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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Top Stories This Week

1. What the first trans celebrity can teach us about transphobia today;
2. A federal lawsuit seeking damages for the trauma imposed on separated children and families;
3. Hustlers and the damaging stereotype of sex workers as thieves;
4. Ten reasons why folks should care about the Hyde Amendment;
5. A reflection on the Kavanaugh hearings, one year later;
6. How ICE picks its targets in the surveillance age; 
7. Ending child sexual abuse without prisons. 

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(New York Daily News Archive)

What the First Trans Celebrity Can Teach Us About Transphobia Today (them.) 

Samantha Riedel reflects upon Christine Jorgensen, one of the first trans celebrities who became an international celebrity in the 1950s and 60s for her transition. However, as Riedel contends, “Jorgensen’s hypervisibility was insufficient to shift society’s perceptions of transness. To the contrary, despite her continued insistence that her story was ‘a mold that could fit me alone and no other,’ Jorgensen became the poster child for American narratives of trans identity, inadvertently homogenizing the infinite diversity of gender identity and hastening the construction of transness as an illness or disorder afflicting otherwise ‘normal’ people.” Read more.



(John Moore:Getty Images)

Federal Lawsuit Naming Top Trump Officials Seeks Damages for ‘Horrific’ Trauma Imposed on Separated Children and Families (Common Dreams) 

On October 3, 2019, the ACLU and other attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the thousands of children and families separated at the border. Jessica Corbett quotes Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants’ Rights Project, “The suffering and trauma inflicted on these little children and parents is horrific [...] We think that the family separations was so extreme and so unprecedented that if ever there was a case warranting damages, it’s this one.” Read more.



(Everett Collection)

“Hustlers” Explodes the Damaging Stereotype of Sex Workers as Thieves (Bitch Media) 

In her review of Hustlers, Lorene Scafaria’s adaptation of Jessica Pressler’s 2015 New York magazine article, Aya de Leon argues that the film subverts the stereotype of sex workers as thieves: ‘They didn’t make the rules in this post-economic-crash dystopia where patriarchy is determined to leverage financial precarity to exploit women. [...] Though I wanted to see these women using their surplus money for more than individualistic consumerism, the film still manages to be a powerful and moving testament to female friendship, brilliance, ingenuity, and survival.” Read more.



(Micah Bazant for Forward Together)

Ten Reasons Folks Should Care About the Hyde Amendment (Rewire.News) 

Eveline Shin lists reasons why folks should care about the Hyde Amendment, which restricts government funds from covering abortions, except in extremely limited circumstances. For one example: “Hyde is a racist abortion ban that disproportionately harms Indigenous people covered by Indian Health Services (IHS). IHS provides health care to more than 2.5 million Native American and Alaska Native folks, many of whom may need an abortion at some point but will not receive coverage because of the Hyde Amendment. Throughout history people in positions of power have staked claim over the decision-making of Indigenous communities, and Hyde is another example of that.” Read more.



(Drew Angerer:Getty Images)

I confronted Jeff Flake during the Kavanaugh hearings. One year later, I regret nothing. (Vox) 

A year ago, Ana Maria Archila confronted Senator Jeff Flake regarding his intention to vote for Kavanaugh. As Archilla writes, while Trump and the GOP tried to send the message that protest does not work, they failed to realize “that courage and solidarity are the seeds of social change, and those seeds were firmly planted in the hearts of millions of people during the fight against Kavanaugh. When people protest, they are surrounded by acts of courage and solidarity—and that courage is contagious.” Read more.



 (Matt Black:Magnum:The New York Times)

How ICE Picks Its Targets in the Surveillance Age (The New York Times Magazine) 

The business of deportation has undeniably been transformed in the surveillance age. McKenzie Funk investigates ICE’s use of big data and technology: “It piggybacks on software and sharing agreements originally meant for criminal and counterterrorism investigators, fusing little bits of stray information together into dossiers. The work is regulated by only a set of outdated privacy laws and the limits of the technology.” Read more.



(OneBlueLight:Getty Images)

How Can We End Child Sexual Abuse Without Prisons? (Truthout) 

Victoria Law begins with a question: “How can we disrupt and end child sexual abuse without turning to police and a racist prison industrial complex that disproportionately criminalizes, arrests and imprisons Black and Indigenous people, further destabilizing their families and communities?” To consider potential answers, Law interviews documentary filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons. As Simmons says, “Part of the problem of trying to address child sexual abuse is that we’re still trying to protect our family members from the state. [...] More can change if we can open up and say, 'What does accountability look like?'” Read more.



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