Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Top Stories This Week
1. Two impressive, important programs this week; 2. The history of fights for free speech; 3. Transformative justice as a response to harm; 4. The problem with community policing; 5. Becoming a better, safer top in bed; 6. Free public early childhood education; and 7. Housing justice.
First up, TONIGHT, we bring you A Tale of Two Pandemics for an intergenerational conversation among activists, writers, and organizers about their memories and impressions of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and COVID-19. Then, on Thursday, we’ll host the co-founders of the Sex and Cannabis Professional Alliance for a comprehensive overview on the intersection of sex and cannabis. Catch us on Facebook Live and REGISTER HERE.
Free Speech Fights Have Historically Targeted the Left (Teen Vogue)
Kim Kelly tells the history of free speech fights: “Once upon a time, the biggest free speech battles in the country weren’t happening on college campuses or Fox News, and they had nothing to do with aggrieved Republican boomers or so-called cancel culture. A century ago, these conflicts unfolded on the streets of cities like Spokane, Washington, Missoula, Montana, and San Diego, California, where police doled out beatings and threw leftist protesters in jail by the hundreds for the crime of publicly exercising their First Amendment rights. Led by a revolutionary industrial labor union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), these ‘free speech fights’ centered on the right of organizers to stand on soapboxes and speak out about capitalism’s exploitation of workers.” Read more.
How Transformative Justice Responds to Violence Without the Carceral System (Shadowproof)
Reina Sultan discusses prison abolition and transformative justice as a response to harm: “People wonder how society would hold people who commit violence accountable for their actions, and in particular, use sexual violence as an example. One way abolitionists have confronted these questions is through the development of Transformative Justice (TJ) processes. These processes, which have roots in Indigenous practices, model a different set of skills and principles for approaching harmful and dangerous situations. Abolitionists argue we should eliminate all forms of policing and incarceration, and instead fund life-giving, community-based social services.” Read more.
(David Dee Delgado:Getty Images)
The Problem With “Community Policing” (Slate)
In an except from Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms, Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law write: “In a community policing model, the police always decide which members constitute the ‘community.’ In Los Angeles, says Brooklyn College law professor Alex Vitale, police determine which community members are chosen as the community leaders that the department interacts with when developing its community policing plans. These leaders are nearly always people who tend to be sympathetic to police—such as homeowners, religious leaders, and business owners—while homeless people, youth, and formerly incarcerated people are nowhere to be found.” Read more.
How to Top: Our Tips for Becoming a Better, Safer Top in Bed (them.)
Matt Baume shares tips for becoming a better, safer penetrative top in bed: “Topping might seem straightforward enough, but it can come with its share of challenges, both physical and emotional. While sexual play and adventure are great, you might not know where to start—and there are some wrong moves you could make while penetrating another person that could actually hurt them. Don’t be afraid, though: With a little forethought, practice, and plenty of communication and consent, you can top with the best of them.” Read more.
Free Public Early Childhood Education Is the Only Solution to the Current Childcare Crisis (Jacobin)
Daphna Thier and Jonathan Valenti posit free public early childhood education as the solution to the current childcare crisis: “The privatized model of early childhood education is unsuccessful at providing high quality affordable childcare, and only very large corporations paying minimum wages make consistent profits. [...] Publicly provided childcare could prioritize safe environments for children and teachers during the pandemic with a combination of at home childcare and low teacher-to-child ratios at schools, along the lines of state-run eldercare. They could be held accountable to higher ventilation requirements. It could offer stable salaries for teachers. Benefits plans and PTO would allow teachers to seek health care and stay home if sick.” Read more.
What Does Housing Justice Really Mean? (Rewire.News)
Jen Deerinwater shares her vision of housing justice: “I’m enraged every month when I have to pay rent while white people occupy our Indigenous lands without our consent, and the U.S. government breaks its trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations. Housing is a fundamental human right, but far too few in this country have this need met. I want a future where housing is free for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC), for people with disabilities, for people who don’t make much money. I want a future where the people who accumulated their wealth on stolen land are made to honor tribal sovereignty.” Read more.