A few things I would like to bring up:
-- In September, the Eighteenth Carnival of Radical Feminists, exploring a radical feminist understanding of hierarchy and class, was up at Witchy's place. There will be the Nineteenth Carnival of Radical Feminists up at Pisaquari's place, Buried Alive.
-- The Stop Porn Culture Slideshow is back online! Please read my post I Blame The Porno-iarchy for a good introduction to it.
-- A new website is up (from an email I received):
Our Voices Matter (OVM) is a new, grassroots, online project being launched to bring to the forefront the voices of individuals who have been harmed by prostitution, pornography, and/or trafficking. OVM seeks to provide a safe space for survivors to give voice to how prostitution, pornography, and trafficking have impacted their lives.You can also share your story anonymously (or by using a nickname) here on my blog if you've been harmed, affected by pornography or harmed in the sex industry. Survivors of pornography and prostitution, let your voices be heard. Your stories matter.
Our Voices Matter aims to shatter silences, create healing, raise awareness and incite action. OVM seeks to gather the pain, hurt, abuse, and horrors of survivors into a loud, overwhelming, and hopeful outcry that can and will be heard. OVM is an assertion that women and children matter; that the quest for a day when women and children are not bought and sold is worth fighting for; and that real social change is imperative to actualizing this goal.
Our Voices Matter seeks your involvement:
* Share your testimony. We welcome written, audio, and video testimony as well as art, poetry, and other creative mediums. Testimony can be shared anonymously or with a pseudonym. All communications are confidential.
* Spread the word. Please circulate this link to individuals and groups that may be interested in taking part. Please post the available flier in your community or at your local rape crisis center, battered women's shelter or other community space for women.
-- A new film, by Chyng Sun & Miguel Picker, The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality & Relationships is now available from the Media Education Foundation website.
-- Also, from Melissa Farley of Prostitution Research & Education:
. . . Despite the illogical attempt of some to distinguish prostitution from trafficking, trafficking is simply the global form of prostitution. Sex trafficking may occur within or across international borders, thus women may be either domestically or internationally trafficked or both. Young women are trafficked for sexual use from the countryside to the city, from one part of town to another, and across international borders to wherever there are men who will buy them.-- from the article Human Trafficking and Prostitution.
Prostitution is widely socially tolerated, with the buyers socially invisible. Even today, many mistakenly assume that prostitution is sex, rather than sexual violence, and a vocational choice, rather than a human rights abuse. Although clinicians are beginning to recognize the overwhelming physical violence in prostitution, its internal ravages are still not well understood. There has been far more clinical attention paid to sexually transmitted diseases among those prostituted than to their depressions, lethal suicidality, mood disorders, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder) dissociative disorders, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injury. Regardless of its legal status or its physical location, prostitution is extremely dangerous for women. Homicide is a frequent cause of death.
Prostitution is an institution akin to slavery, one so intrinsically discriminatory and abusive that it cannot be fixed--only abolished. At the same time, its root causes must be eradicated as well: sex inequality, racism and colonialism, poverty, prostitution tourism, and economic development that destroys traditional ways of living. The conditions that make genuine consent possible are absent from prostitution: physical safety, equal power with johns and pimps, and real alternatives. It is a cruel lie to suggest that decriminalization or legalization will protect anyone in prostitution. Until it is understood that prostitution and trafficking can appear voluntary but are not in reality free choices made from a range of options, it will be difficult to garner adequate support to assist those who wish to escape but have no other choices. Enforcement of international agreements challenging trafficking and prostitution can aid in this effort as can laws challenging men’s purchase of sex.
It is important to address men’s demand for prostitution. Acceptance of prostitution is one of a cluster of harmful attitudes that encourage and justify violence against women. Violent behaviors against women have been associated with attitudes that promote men’s beliefs that they are entitled to sexual access to women, that they are superior to women and that they are licensed as sexual aggressors. Those concerned with human rights must address the social invisibility of prostitution, the massive denial regarding its harms, its normalization as an inevitable social evil, and the failure to educate students in the mental health and public health professions. Trafficking and prostitution can only exist in an atmosphere of public, professional and academic indifference.
And, finally. . . for my little return to the blogosphere, let's chill out a little and put some music on!
Here is Neneh Cherry, one of my favorite (female) singers, in the video of Woman:
Lyrics of Woman:
You gotta be fortunate
You gotta be lucky now
I was just sitting here
Thinking good and bad
But I'm the kinda woman
That was built to last
They tried erasing me
But they couldn't wipe out my past
To save my child
I'd rather go hungry
I got all of Ethiopia
Inside of me
And my blood flows
Through every man
In this godless land
That delivered me
I've cried so many tears even the blind can see
This is a woman's world.
This is my world.
This is a woman's world
For this man's girl.
There ain't a woman in this world,
Not a woman or a little girl,
That can't deliver love
In a man's world.
I've born and I've bread.
I've cleaned and I've fed.
And for my healing wits
I've been called a witch.
I've crackled in the fire
And been called a liar.
I've died so many times
I'm only just coming to life.
My blood flows
Through every man and every child
In this godless land
That delivered me
I cried so many tears even the blind can see
[Please note: I do not agree with every lyrics in the song, just some bits and pieces I can relate to.]