Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Top Stories This Week
1. A study of HIV criminalization;
2. Support our Community Access Fund;
3. Funding discrimination;
4. Apple’s mass surveillance plans;
5. Grief in social movements;
6. Testing sexual assault kits; and
7. Banning sexually explicit content.
HIV Criminalization National Survey
We are proud to join national, state, and media partners with the Henne Group and Sero Project to encourage folks to take this important national survey as part of a study to Assess Attitudes on HIV Criminalization Among PLHIV. We encourage you to learn more and take the survey here.
Our Community Access Fund campaign runs through November 16th!
In 2019 we launched the Community Access Fund to support a more accessible Sexual Freedom Summit. Fortunately, and thanks to those of you who have supported us in the past, we’ve been able to provide fully accessible programming for our virtual Summit and to continue to maintain a consistent focus on accessibility as a goal in everything we do (like the new website we’re building!) Learn more about how we use your donations and give today!
Should Our Tax Dollars Fund Discrimination? (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog)
Tess Joseph writes about a recent class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education: “While the suit is complex, its argument can be put in simple terms: religious beliefs are not and should not be weaponized as a ‘free pass’ to discriminate against people, including the LGBTQ+ community. The federal government, which allocates billions in funding to religious colleges like [Bob Jones University], must not, in so doing, fund discrimination.” Read more.
Speak Out Against Apple’s Mass Surveillance Plans (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
Joe Mullin details Apple’s mass surveillance plans: “Apple plans to install two scanning systems on all of its phones. One system will scan photos uploaded to iCloud and compare them to a database of child abuse images maintained by various entities, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a quasi-governmental agency created by Congress to help law enforcement investigate crimes against children. The other system, which operates when parents opt into it, will examine iMessages sent by minors and compare them to an algorithm that looks for any type of ‘sexually explicit’ material. If an explicit image is detected, the phone will notify either the user and possibly the user’s parent, depending on age. These combined systems are a danger to our privacy and security.” Read more.
Grief Belongs in Social Movements. Can We Embrace It? (In These Times)
Malkia Devich-Cyril reflects on intergenerational trauma and coming to terms with death in movement building: “While loss is deeply uncomfortable, we can learn to adapt to the natural phenomenon of loss. But when structural inequalities produce major and secondary losses, leading to widespread collective grief, death is out of balance with life. Individual and collective, repeated and generational, traumatic loss stacked on top of existing natural loss. We must tear down the systems, institutions and narratives that engineer death, fuel it and simultaneously distract us from it.” Read more.
Testing Sexual Assault Kits Is Not Always a Path to Justice (Rewire News Group)
Anna Lynch explains the Department of Justice’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) and its shortcomings: “The SAKI Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) program is making significant changes in the places that have received grants. Backlogs of sexual assault kits are being cleared and police departments are gaining new investigative tools. The focus on protocols for interacting with sexual assault victims is a breath of fresh air. However, the program only addresses 57 percent of the country. Victims in the other 43 percent of the country are still waiting.” Read more.
OnlyFans Reverses Porn Ban in All-Too Rare Victory for Sex Workers (them.)
Oliver Haug describes OnlyFans’ reversal of its ban on sexually explicit content: “If implemented, the ban would have amounted to a substantial loss of money for creators. The U.K.-based company, first launched in 2016, claims to have over 130 million registered users and over 2 million content creators, who reportedly earn over $300 million each month. [...] While many are celebrating the OnlyFans policy reversal, it represents a rare win for sex workers in a political climate that has become increasingly hostile towards their rights.” Read more.
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