Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Top Stories This Week
1. Programming pause; 2. Police and white supremacist murders of Black people and abolition as justice; 3. Sex work during the pandemic; 4. The transformative potential of crisis; 5. Access to a platform for adult-content creators; 6. How the internet has changed coming out as trans; and 7. Revolutionizing education.
In recognition of the importance of the protests against police violence and white supremacy occurring around the United States, we are suspending Woodhull Freedom Foundation's regular programming in order to be more responsive to unfolding events and to amplify the voices of members of directly-impacted communities.
(Offices of Ben Crump Law:The New York Times)
The Only Justice for George Floyd Is To Finally Abolish Slavery in the U.S. (Medium)
On the horrific, senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, Andre Henry writes: “To chant justice for George Floyd, or Breonna Taylor, or Ahmaud Arbery without also chanting ‘Abolish the Police’ is tantamount to having our cake and eating it. One must choose. We can either end racism or keep our racist institutions but we can’t have both. [...] The question of what will take the place of policing and prisons is salient, but not for the reasons many think. It’s an important question because of the way it obscures this country’s addiction to anti-Black violence. The truth is that prisons torture and police terrorize, and in doing so they contribute to the problems we claim they solve, and their victims are disproportionately Black.” Read more. For an article on the death of George Floyd in context,click here. Please also join in mourning the passing of Tony McDade, a Black trans person murdered by the police in Florida. May they all Rest In Peace and In Power.
The following ways to donate, to educate, and to act are by no means exhaustive, but they are a good place to start.
Educate and Act: For a collection of resources and action items, click here. For a list of anti-racism resources for white people, click here. For an infographic on reform vs. abolition in the context of policing, click here. For a zine on alternatives to calling the police,click here. For thoughtful perspectives on mainstream rhetoric around “looting,” click here and here. For a free E-book on police violence and resistance in the U.S., click here.
The Fragile Existence of Sex Workers During the Pandemic (The New Yorker)
Alexis Okeowo writes about the precarious nature of sex work during the pandemic: “The pandemic has created a catastrophic health and economic crisis that has illuminated the fragile existence of low-wage and gig workers in the United States. The experience of sex workers, who find the most stable work as independent contractors, is no different. [...] Like undocumented workers who are barred from getting government benefits in exchange for their labor, and prison laborers who receive little consideration of their rights as workers, sex workers have few places to turn for help.” Read more.
(Trent Davis Bailey)
“A Lot of It Is in Our Hands”: Rebecca Solnit on the Transformative Potential of Every Crisis (Mother Jones)
Delilah Friedler interviews disaster historian Rebecca Solnit on the transformative power of crisis. On the COVID-19 pandemic, Solnit says: “For better or worse, a lot of the people having this kind of deep interior life are the people who determine what the country and the world look like. But that doesn’t erase the existence of people who don’t have a home, or their home isn’t safe, or they’re in financial freefall and don’t know how to buy next week’s groceries. The intersectional understandings that many of us have been working on have been really useful for recognizing wearing a mask is different if you’re Black and male. Sheltering in place is different if you’re an abused woman. Your kids’ homeschooling has a lot to do with whether you have the digital devices and internet connection that are not universal.” Read more.
Sex Workers Built OnlyFans. Now They Say They’re Getting Kicked Off (Rolling Stone)
EJ Dickson discusses the surging popularity of OnlyFans, a website primarily known as a platform for adult-content creators, and the adverse effects the increased traffic may have on sex workers: “The influx of so-called civilians (industry terminology for people outside the sex industry) has prompted concern among many sex workers, who’ve long relied on the platform as a source of income and are worried about oversaturation of the market. [...] To make matters worse, some feel that they’re being pushed out of the platform, reporting that their accounts have been deleted even when they have not violated OnlyFans’ terms of service.” Read more.
Along With Pain, The Joy of Stealth (them.)
Meredith Talusan shares an essay about passing as cisgender and how the internet has changed the nature of coming out: “Were I transitioning now, I would have to disclose to thousands of people online, rather than just send an email to fifty people at work and a few dozen friends. I would need to decide whether to delete the digital traces of my past, the hundreds of photos, dozens of videos, and thousands of posts that refer to my gender, as well as cut ties with numerous people I’ve only interacted with online.” Read more.
Educators Must Use the Pandemic to Revolutionize Education for All Students (Truthout)
Tussanee Reedboon, an AP U.S. History teacher, urges educators to revolutionize education: “Teachers of economically low-wealth students of color have to work significantly harder to teach AP content by providing the ‘common knowledge’ students are assumed to have already acquired, and teach them the more complex and difficult topics that are almost always not their own history. At the same time, teachers need to help develop students’ academic English proficiency skills in order to interpret questions and prompts that are purposely worded in a way to trick even an ‘English-only’ student. Why do we have to work harder than teachers in affluent neighborhoods without support from the organization that created the exam?” Read more.