Monthly Archives: February, 2017

QotD: “please stop talking about the human body as if it is a morphing vague undefinable accidental mass”

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like if we were to start saying “humans don’t have five fingers because some humans have less or more” then you erase the fact that these abnormalities become disabilities. you don’t help people who are born missing fingers by ignoring the fact they don’t have the amount of fingers they should. these people grow learn and adapt but the fact that they must do so is a unique experience because of their disability, and something most people don’t have to do.

please please please PLEASE I am begging you please stop talking about the human body as if it is a morphing vague undefinable accidental mass. The human genome took thousands of years to evolve and will continue to evolve but now at this time humans have a set of characteristics that define them as humans and not as dogs or trees or bananas or birds or whales. They are primates, they are apes, they have two legs two arms ten fingers one stomach and one heart and also for the love of the moon the stars the depths of the sea and my sanity TWO SEXES

From always ask who benefits

Sexual Offences Bill criminalising purchase of sex passed in Republic of Ireland

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Legislation which criminalises the purchaser of sexual services rather than the seller has been passed in the Dáil by 94 votes to six.

There were three abstentions.

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill also strengthens laws to combat child pornography and prevent the sexual grooming of children. And it amends provisions on incest and indecent exposure.

[…] Provisions in the Bill also include prohibition of the wearing of wigs and gowns in proceedings involving children and the prohibition on the cross-examination of victims of sexual offences by an accused, which will apply once the Bill is commenced.

Irish Times, continue reading here

Today a historic precedent was set when the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill, which includes laws to criminalise the purchase of sex and ensure vulnerable women, children and men in prostitution can access support, passed its final hurdle in Seanad Éireann and will now be part of the Irish Statute Book.

The 70+ partners of Turn Off the Red Light, which have been tirelessly campaigning in support of this crucial legislation are united in their welcome for
the new legislation, which will better protect vulnerable women, children and men who are being sexually exploited.

Denise Charlton, Chair of Turn Off the Red Light,said: “From the very beginning this Bill has been about protecting and supporting those most vulnerable to sexual exploitation, violence and abuse. It focuses on the perpetrators of sexual crime
– the pimps and traffickers who enable abuse and exploitation to continue, and who benefit from it financially.

“We commend the Tánaiste, Minister Frances Fitzgerald, for championing this Bill as it progressed through the Oireachtas. By supporting it, the Irish Government is making a clear statement that it will stand up for the most vulnerable in our society.

“The inclusion of a review period in this legislation affirms the Government’s commitment to making sure the legislation has a real impact for those it seeks to support. We look forward to working with the Government in the coming months to ensure this happens.”

Statement by Turn Off the Red Light, continue reading here

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD this evening welcomed the passage of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 through both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Speaking this evening the Tánaiste said –

‘This is one of the most comprehensive and wide ranging piece of sexual offences legislation ever to be introduced and has been a priority for me as Minister for Justice and Equality. It is an essential piece of legislation that brings additional protections to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. It contains the right laws for these times, laws that will protect victims of the most vicious and depraved crimes.

The provisions of this Bill enhance and update laws to combat the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children. It widens the range of offences associated with child pornography to ensure that no one who participates in any way in the creation, distribution, viewing or sharing of such abhorrent material can escape the law.

Also, the Bill provides greater clarity in relation to the definition of sexual consent for the first time.’

The Bill contains:

· New criminal offences to protect children against grooming;

· New measures to protect children from online predators;

· New and strengthened offences to tackle child pornography;

· New provisions to be introduced regarding evidence by victims, particularly children;

· New offences addressing public indecency;

· A provision in relation to harassment Orders to protect victims of convicted sex offenders;

· Provisions maintaining the age of consent to sexual activity at 17 years of age and for a new “proximity of age” defence;

· A provision to criminalise the purchase of sexual services.

· A statutory statement of the law as regards consent to sexual acts

Concluding, the Tánaiste said, ‘I would like to acknowledge the support and invaluable contributions from my parliamentary colleagues and from civic society, in particular from those people and organisations who made submissions and representations to me and my Department.’

This Bill brings Irish law into line with a number of international legal instruments and implements the recommendations of a number of Oireachtas committees.

Tánaiste welcomes passage of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 through Oireachtas

SPACE International is delighted to join its voice with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Ruhama, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Children’s Rights Alliance, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Men’s Development Network, Irish Nurses and Midwives Association and all of the other organisations that make up the seventy-two members of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign, in welcoming the passing of the Sexual Offences Bill in the Republic of Ireland.

SPACE International’s Irish members, both publicly known and anonymous, have worked extraordinarily hard alongside many others to campaign for the passing of this Bill since 2011, and it is with great joy that we can finally welcome the criminalisation of the demand for paid sexual access to human beings.

We are relieved and gladdened that the Irish government has finally fully recognised the abusive reality of prostitution and committed to criminalise those who exploit others for their own sexual gratification. This is an important and historical moment for Ireland. We have, for the first time since the foundation of the state, recognised the legal rights of prostituted persons to live free of sexual exploitation.

SPACE recognises the highly gendered nature of the sex trade and welcomes the societal change that this legislation will bring about, in particular its positive effect on the goal of gender equality, and is committed to continuing the conversation with regard to social supports for prostituted persons so that they may exit prostitution if they so wish with the full support of the State.

SPACE International welcomes Irish Sexual Offences Bill

Kitty Stryker thinks women should die for saying ‘no’ to men

Previous posts here, here, and here.

H/t to Appropriately Inappropriate for her reblog of the tweet.

Kitty Stryker is a phoney and a fake radical who has co-opted the language of radical feminism, and shills for the sex industry while providing a fig-leaf for the BDSM ‘community’.

On twitter a few days ago, she said “I swear to god I wish we could just put the TERFs and Nazis on a goddamn boat together and send them into the sea.”

When someone else added “or we could put them in concentration camps? Maybe before they went into ovens? Lol” Stryker merely complained that that was “in bad taste”.

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Sryker has changed her twitter handle to “Punch Nazis”, and added a later tweet about ‘terfs’ drowning, so it’s clear she has no problem with violence against women, when they are women she disagrees with politically.

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This isn’t the first time Stryker has demonstrated that she sees women she doesn’t like as not fully human, in this tweet I screen capped a while back, we can see her wondering if radical feminists are actually real people, the ‘kill all terfs’ rhetoric follows on easily.

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Stryker is also an intellectual coward, who ran away from conversations on this blog she wasn’t winning, and now won’t even engage, but she does keep an eye on me, as she tweeted about my previous post more than once.

Here’s a clue for you Stryker, ‘terfs’ don’t exist, there are no ‘terf’ organisations, there are no ‘terf’ leaders, there are no women calling themselves ‘terfs’ except ironically, it’s a term trans activists made up in order to intimidate women into unquestioning silence and obedience.

Stryker also likes lying about the Nordic (Abolitionist) Model, claiming that it made it easier for the police to arrest her – tell me Stryker, how does decriminalising ‘sex workers’ make it easier for the police to arrest them?

She’s doing this still, implying that under the Nordic Model, the police are more dangerous to ‘sex workers’, deliberately and cynically obscuring the fact that the Nordic Model means decriminalising the prostitute her (or him) self.

[EDIT 19/Feb/17: If decriminalising ‘sex workers’ under the Nordic Model doesn’t make the police ‘safe’, then how will decriminalising the whole of the sex industry make the police ‘safe’?]

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The first loyalty of sex industry advocates is to the sex industry itself, always.

QotD: “Menstrual seclusion was once about giving women a safe space – hunter gatherer cultures can teach us how women’s blood is potent, not polluting”

Among many hunter-gatherers to this day, menstrual blood connotes potency, not pollution. Menstruating women and girls have privileged shamanic access to the spirit world, often imagined as connection to the Moon, “women’s biggest husband”. This potency demands such respect that women are inviolable and no man dares infringe these taboos for fear of destroying his hunting luck.

Could menstruation and its observances in fact be experienced as empowering for women? Take the menstrual traditions of the Yurok Indians who live in north-western California. Here, a woman would go on strike once a month for 10 whole days, declaring herself “on her Moontime”. It was her time off. She didn’t cook for her husband or do household chores. It was believed that a woman should seclude herself during her flow because “she is at the height of her powers”. Such time should not be wasted in mundane tasks, distractions or worries about the opposite sex. Rather, all her energies should be applied in concentrated meditation “to find out the purpose of your life”.

In the old days, menstruating Yurok women would communally bathe and perform rituals in a “sacred Moontime pond” up in the nearby mountains. In belief, all the fertile women in a household who were not pregnant menstruated “at the same time, a time dictated by the Moon”, when they practised their bathing rituals together. If a woman fell out of phase with the Moon, breaking synchrony with her sisters, she could “get back in by sitting in the moonlight and talking to the Moon asking it to balance her”.

Anthropologists have described how withdrawal of sexual and domestic services was in many cultures on women’s terms. Far from being oppressive, so-called “seclusion” could be experienced as special time. In 2001, Wynne Maggi described what happens regularly to this day inside the bashali, a communal menstrual house used by women among the Kalasha people of north-west Pakistan.

In this community, there are no isolated menstrual huts. Instead, there is a large sacred building serving as a communal meeting house for the women, who see it as the physical centre for their solidarity and freedom. Women congregate here when menstruating or giving birth, so that at any one time there may be as many as 20 women inside, gossiping, laughing and singing together, many with babies and toddlers. During their stay in what they call their “most holy place”, women compare notes on the duration of their menstrual flows.

The men express pride that in this society, “our women are free”, despite the fact that the bashali building is off-limits to them. Women who want to escape their husbands for a few days can use it as a refuge. Maggi describes graphically how women enjoy the intimacy of sleeping overnight in the bashali, arms and legs wrapped closely together. What happens in the bashali is women’s secret, so much so that men don’t even have the words to ask what happens there. The special house for women is the biggest building in the village. Like so many men’s houses or temples in patriarchal societies, but the other way round, it is one from which half the population is excluded.

Among African hunter-gatherers, where gender egalitarianism is strong, a girl’s first menstruation triggers special celebrations embracing the entire community. For hunter-gatherers of the Ituri Forest in the eastern part of the Congo, the elima ritual is a collective and joyous affair. Lasting several moons, activities centre on an elima hut, which is in fact the most impressive structure ever used – more like a temple at the centre of the community.

Girls who have recently begun menstruating go inside with older women to be given practical lessons about boys and sex, but mainly to learn ancient, polyphonic songs and the hut resounds with their singing. The girls emerge “on the warpath” to playfully hunt out boys with big whippy sticks. Festivities revolve around this sexual wargame of girls laughingly chasing boys and the boys countering and teasing back. If any boy gets whipped, he must try to enter the elima hut, assuming he can get past the mums and aunties guarding the entrance. In this way elima becomes a type of initiation for both sexes, very much on the girls’ terms.

In Blood Relations, his classic work on the anthropology of menstruation, Chris Knight argues that women invented culture. He traces the origins of sexual morality to female self-organisation and collective resistance toward bad behaviour in males. Knight argues convincingly that women could not command respect if they allowed men to take sexual access to them for granted. The way to get men to be helpful was to make clear that sex was conditional on good behaviour. To make this work, women had to establish, at least periodically, the most fundamental rule of all, that “No means No”. As Knight puts it: “If the body is not sacred, nothing is.”

Dr Camilla Power

“Hawaii bill would legalize prostitution industry”

Hawaii lawmakers are considering decriminalizing prostitution in the state after the speaker of the House introduced a bill that would also legalize buying sex and acting as a pimp.

The proposal also would end a state law that says police officers cannot have sex with prostitutes in the course of investigations.

Transgender activist Tracy Ryan said she is trying to convince state lawmakers to pass the bill because transgender women are overrepresented in the sex trade and therefore disproportionately affected by criminalization laws.

House Speaker Joseph Souki said in an interview that he does not have a position on the bill and he introduced it as a favor for Ryan.

“I don’t like seeing people sent to jail that don’t belong there,” Ryan said.

But long-time anti-sex trafficking advocate Kathryn Xian said legalizing the selling, promoting or buying of sex would make it harder to police the industry.

“If this bill passes and everything was no crime whatsoever, then abuses against women and children would just shoot through the freaking roof,” Xian said. “It would be exponentially harder to prove violence in the industry. It would be almost impossible to prove any sort of labor abuse.”

Asked about the part of the bill that strikes language preventing police from having sex with prostitutes during investigations, Souki said: “No, again I have nothing to say about the bill.”

Hawaii has an unusual history with prostitution investigations. Until 2014, it was legal for police officers to have sex with prostitutes as part of investigations, but state lawmakers changed that after The Associated Press highlighted the loophole in a story.

The Honolulu Police Department did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment about the bill.

Ryan wants to preserve the law preventing police from having sex with prostitutes to arrest them if the bill does not pass, but “if they can’t arrest them anyway because it’s no longer illegal, it’s a moot point,” she said.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro said the bill would make it harder to address global sex trafficking because “it would be more difficult to find the bad actors, more difficult to get witnesses to make cases.”

Michael Golojuch Jr., chairman of the LGBT caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, said transgender women are overrepresented compared with other women in the sex trade because the discrimination they face leads some to feel it’s the only kind of work they can get.

Golojuch personally supports the idea of decriminalizing prostitution, but he said he and the caucus had not yet taken an official position on the bill.

“My dream job would be union organizer for consensual sex workers,” Golojuch said. “It would be great for people who want to do that work to unionize them and empower them so that they are taken care of.”

Not everyone thinks legalizing prostitution would benefit sex workers.

“By normalizing sexual exploitation and recasting it as a career choice that has no harms attached, we’re creating a setting and a system where we are OK with objectifying women, where we’re OK with buying other human beings’ bodies, and that has effects that are far-reaching in terms of how women are treated,” said Khara Jabola, chapter coordinator of Af3irm Hawaii, a feminist group.

The bill and another to decriminalize marijuana may be part of a push to reduce the prison population, House Majority Leader Scott Saiki said.

But any decriminalization bills are unlikely to pass before the Legislature gets a report from a working group that has been meeting on the topic. That report isn’t expected before the session ends, Saiki said.

From the Associated Press

Everything I’m going to reblog about the Women’s March

i hope you hit your limit yesterday.

yesterday, male people told you precisely how pathetic, worthless, & contemptible they find the female experience.

to them, any attempt to organise as female people is laughable & shameful. no matter how abstract your slogans (“no uterus no opinion” makes no attempt to exclude anyone from womanhood), no matter how obfuscatory your circumlocutions (”dfab”, “dmab” in reference to unambiguous sex). any solidarity between female people will be ridiculed as the enterprise of “cis women”, i.e. members of the female sex who have not dissociated from it.

i hope you listened to them & i hope you saw their tantrum for what it was: the same entitlement, the same ego, the same contempt for female people, the same ignorance of female experience.

engels said that: The first class antagonism which appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamian marriage, and the first class oppression with that of the female sex by the male.

patriarchy, male supremacy, institutional sexism, whatever you want to call it: it is the sex-class system through which male people subjugate female people, first & foremost to assert control over reproduction.

bell hooks said that: “feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.

feminism is the movement to dismantle that sex-class system. feminists must speak lucidly about sex, sex-class, socialisation, & reproduction.

& yet that speech & movement is condemned as oppressive, exclusionary, & cruel to male people, because sexist male people will never be happy with feminism. never. it’s not worth it to try to appease them.

Fyxan

the whole “abortion is too exclusionary to bring up at a women’s march” thing makes no sense regardless of how you define woman (i.e. “female people” vs. “anyone who identifies as a woman”).

is rape an appropriate topic for a women’s march? not all women are raped. not all rape victims are women. is bringing up rape at a women’s march oppressive to women who haven’t been raped? if never-been-raped women protested that anti-rape activism “excluded” them & hurt their feelings, would we take them seriously? if never-been-raped women proclaimed that anti-rape activism “reduced women to rape victims”, would you take their side?

so is female reproductive autonomy an appropriate topic for a women’s march? every person that suffers under the exploitation of female reproductive capacity – denied abortion, forced abortion, forced impregnation, etc. – is a member of the female sex. the vast majority of those people consider themselves “women” (or the equivalent word in their language).

so what if members of the male sex feel offended & excluded by discussions of male exploitation of female people? their bruised egos don’t need to be assuaged by women.

if rape can be discussed at a women’s march, why not female reproductive autonomy?

Fyxan

it would actually be great to discuss white feminism with respect to white women uncritically expecting black women to take over their domestic roles when white women “empowered” themselves in the workplace in the 60s and 70s or, like, white women CEOs exploiting women of color globally in sweatshops so they could join the boy’s club of millionaires, but no…. alas……. it’s not to be……… instead we get to say that referencing menstruation is the pinnacle of white feminism

Laurier Rose

Those on the frontline of this rage know it is there. Millions of us marched last Saturday. This has rattled Trump, who is obsessed with size, with ratings and with reviews. But let us now pursue clarity and strategy, and name what is happening.

Patriarchy is the sea in which these sharks gather. I am glad to see that people are using this word again. It went out of fashion for a bit when feminism was portrayed as a series of tedious personal choices over shoes, shopping and sex toys. But the concept of patriarchy is essential to understanding what is happening right now. It is a system by which men hold power over political leadership, moral authority and every kind of social privilege, over women and children.

Patriarchy is not some men-only affair. Many women play a role in sustaining it. The far right, by the way, is not afraid of using this word. It claims it as the basis for all that is good in western civilisation. The elevation of Trump is absolutely patriarchal fundamentalism. He has swept up a lot of the Christian vote because of it. The adulation of Putin is the worship of another white power based on patriarchal rule: unapologetically anti-women, anti-gay, anti-black and anti-Muslim. It is obsessed with displays of masculinity to the point of fascist camp. The right promises the restoration of a time when men were men and women were sanctified mothers or whores. Such authoritarianism may be delivered by both men and women. As the American author and feminist bell hooks says, patriarchy has no gender. It is not situated only within the individual – which is why screaming “Sexist!” at someone only gets you so far. Were the women who voted for Trump furthering patriarchy? Yes, obviously. They may believe it can protect them.

The dismantling of this power cannot possibly come from those who won’t name it and spend the entire time shoring it up, largely reaping its benefits: that is, much of the liberal establishment. By assuming the culture war had been won, the myths of impartiality and neutrality have allowed far–right voices to go unchallenged. The assumption that we all believe in equality, are anti-racist, love an art gallery and some heated debate turned out to be wrong.

Patriarchal power asserts itself through cultural as well as economic resentment. And that is everywhere. The oft-repeated sentiment that feminism is itself an extreme movement is evidence of how liberalism bows down to authoritarianism.

So much more important now than whether dullards profess their allegiance to women’s rights while refusing to listen to women is understanding who will get down on their knees to service the new man-child patriarchy. And those of us who won’t. The power of telling it like it is is ours.

Suzanne Moore, full article here