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arvan's picture

Call for Submissions: New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law

Call for Submissions: New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law, 2 Volumes
Edited by Lynn Comella, PhD and Shira Tarrant, PhD
Deadline: July 30, 2012

Co-editors Lynn Comella (University of Las Vegas, Nevada) and Shira Tarrant (California State University, Long Beach) are seeking submissions for a two-volume edited collection under contract with Praeger.

Description: New Views on Pornography is a two-volume collection of the most current scholarship on pornography. This edited series presents empirical research on a range of contemporary issues regarding pornography’s politics, psychology, cultural and legal debates, providing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary overview of the field of porn studies in one convenient location for students, researchers, and professors across related fields. Our goal as editors is to showcase new and innovative research that examines the culture and politics of pornography in a global context, including but not limited to, questions of production, audiences, market niches, technological innovations, political debates and controversies, obscenity, free speech, public policy and the law. The editors seek well-researched facts and data in order to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of issues on the subject.

arvan's picture

On Tim Tebow and the captive audience sales pitch

When I was a kid, our family would gather at my grandmother's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  All manner of cousins, aunts, uncles and sundry relatives would descend on a little house in Batavia, IL.  She had a bar in the basement with a pool table, a long dining room table made longer by adding some folding card tables and folding chairs.  In the living room, she had a big color TV - one of those tube jobs with the old remote that clicked loudly when you pressed a button.

The house and the day were a montage of running around, opening presents and eating tons of food including some questionable things made with Jello.  After a day of consumption and jubilation the adults were usually at the bar or playing pool downstairs.  Meanwhile, us kids would settle down in front of the TV to watch football.  We sprawled out across the floor, next to tables and a few choice seats in the big lounge chairs.  Late arrivals sat in the "bleacher seats" - a couch covered in plastic slip covers that stuck to skin in the summer and was slicker than ice in the winter.  Food coma and the chance to maybe see Gale Sayers break a long one.  This was the perfect ritual to mark the passing of another year and the bonds of family.

There was only one thing that could destroy this idyllic landscape: my great-uncle, the Priest.  He would come in when the game was on and we were all too tired or too full to move.  It was the kiss of death for fun.  It would usually go something like this:

great-uncle Priest: "What are you all doing in here?"

some kid: "um...watching the Bears lose"

great-uncle Priest: "Jesus never played football."

(fun dies)

On the Word "Lame" with PatientC

 

A transcript is available at PatientC.

arvan's picture

that time when I was 12 and forced to deal with abortion

My parents sent me to Catholic grade school, catechism and the whole nine yards.  My mother was Catholic but she was also a Democrat, pro women's rights.  She dragged us to church but she was not on board with a lot of the Church's ways.  My dad was Presbyterian and never went to church.  He didn't buy into much of the rah rah business.  But, Catholic school was where we went.

By the time I was 10, it felt like I had every sacrament except marriage & last rites.  I had one clip-on necktie and a drawer full of white shirts & black pants.  My instructors were nuns or priests.  I still have scars on my knuckles from steel tip rulers being applied in response to some hijinx or another.

Until about the age of 10 or 11, us kids were kind of like a room full of puppies.  Adults, nuns and priests mostly talked at us making announcements, scolding and instructions of some sort.  Nobody asked us what we thought.  We talked to each other in the schoolyard or on the weekend as we ran around on our own.  We never asked the nuns or priests that much either.  Nobody wanted to get pulled into some lecture about Jesus or some obscure holiday / saint / rite that we would then be responsible for remembering later.

That all changed around the time I was 12 or 13.  Maybe it was  because we were going to be leaving for high school in a couple of years, or perhaps it was the times we lived in.  Probably, it was because we were or I was now becoming aware of the world around us.  Our little brains were looking around the world and forming opinions and making choices.  That shit right there is like kryptonite in the Catholic Church, let me tell ya.

arvan's picture

Privilege within communities working to lessen privilege

Audre Lorde once spoke at a feminist conference, noting that she was the only black lesbian there and one of only two women of color.  She was pointing at privilege and exclusion within a group formed to remedy and address privilege and exclusion.  In this address, she pointed to the language and organizational structure adopted by feminists to address patriarchy was formed by patriarchy to reinforce patriarchy.  That language and organization are the "master's tools" she speaks of and her assessment is that by using them, privilege will not be eliminated, but instead renewed and sustained.  

That metaphor has resonated with me since the very first time I heard it.  I started blogging for a number of reasons, including identifying, owning and interrupting privilege.  I have come to some conclusions which I will share in this post, namely:

- Privilege is always happening, in everyone's life and in every group.

- I can only interrupt, acknowledge and impact my own privilege.  This seems to be true for us all.  It is also true for groups.

- Denial sustains and reinforces privilege and honesty creates an opportunity to interrupt privilege.

The very instant any group or community is formed or declared, exclusion and privilege are established and instituted.  

Exclusion: some people are in that group and some are not.  

Privilege: the group has leader(s) / former(s) / administrator(s) / public & private voice(s) in some form or another who agree to their ability to declare the identity of that group.  There is also privilege in the selection of new members to the group or the expulsion of current members.

This can be problematic for any group whose stated goal is to address or lessen privilege.  This is often a group whose members and lives are often largely defined by their experiences of having been excluded by privileged persons and groups.  How such an organization or group addresses its privilege and exclusion will impact how successful they are in their efforts to impact privilege elsewhere and as a group or individuals.

arvan's picture

Open Letter to Cardinal George regarding his comparison of LGBTQI to the KKK

I just could not let this one go without saying something...

Cardinal George set the low bar for reason, respect and atrocity this week in comparing LGBTQI persons and organizations to the KKK.

He is upset that a bunch of queers want to have their pride parade on a street where one of his churches are.  He claims that queer people walking past his church violate his religious freedom.  Here is my open letter to him.

Dear Cardinal shitbird George,

Religious freedom means that you can believe whatever you want and you can talk about it with others.  It does not mean that you can use the law to keep people out of sight, who disagree with you or whose existence contradicts your views.  

You can say whatever you want about god in a building you own (without paying taxes while collecting money to pay off victims of your pedophile rapist priests and to deny the rapes ever happened).

But you cannot choose who walks down the city street in front of your church.  

Not everyone shares your faith.  I myself think of god as non-existent and yourself as a deluded, power-drunk man pretending to be god.  

In looking at the KKK, they're christians.  They burn crucifixes on people's lawns and have operated with overt and covert support from christian organizations - and still do.

In looking at history, it was the Catholic Church --- your employer, who supported Hitler in the genocides of jews, homeless, poor, roma and millions of others.  It was the Catholic Church and Pope who organized the Inquisition, targeting jews and women because people were listening to them instead of the Pope.  It was the Catholic Church who blessed, financed and helped the Atlantic Slave Trade and the genocide of millions of indigenous persons in North & South America as well as the European colonies in the Pacific in exchange for gold, wealth, land and the right to force millions into praying to your god.

There are exactly zero LGBTQI organizations which have done any of these things.  

So, "Mr. blood on his hands from playing god", if I were you, I'd shut the fuck up and collect my money from the people I've already conned into believing in my shitty god story and not draw attention to murders and atrocities, because that shit all points back to your holy doing.

As for my right to parade down the street past your fucking church, I'm going to wear a leather speedo in front of your church, stick my hand in my pants and kiss men and women in front of your church - as is my goddamn right.  In fact, I may stop by tomorrow, during Christmas mass because that is my right as well.

Fuck you.

arvan's picture

the (snow)faces change but the (appropriated) song remains the same, and the crowd goes wild.

I was tripping over the many tumblr conversations about Hugo Schwyzer lately.  A good number of people articulated some solid points about him, as well as the many who stated their outrage and distrust of him.  Some folks take his writing as separate from his life and others will not grant this as valid.  From what I see, he's done some pretty shitty things.  Each one of those points is worth discussing, yet something else was gnawing at me in all of this and that's what I want to discuss now.

How did a cis-het white man get to be a voice for feminism?

I was asking myself why is Hugo Schwyzer, a cis-het-white-male, even a topic in conversations about feminism?  Why are we discussing his languaging of feminist concepts?  Put otherwise, how did we get a privileged face in front of conversations about the abuse of privilege, mouthing the words of the oppressed with people accepting, repeating, defending and challenging him on his merits to speak for those denied equality by the privileged class of which he is a member?  

The short answer is that it depends on the audience as to whether he is or is not.  So, who then is willing to accept the face of Hugo Schwyzer as a mouthpiece for feminist ideals?  Who indeed?  Privileged, white people - that's who.  

Jaded's picture

On Archiving the Past

This week I'm flitting between three cities, attending conferences in two, making my way back in the third one -- moving in my old room again, while half of my boxes and things are stuck in another house eight hours away from where I grew up. Thinking about memories, what each place, room holds and means to me has become quite the routine for this time of the year. Memories of my family intertwine with national history -- partly because of my grandmum's participation in the freedom struggle and in part my great-grandfather's connections with Nehruvians -- so much so that writing anything about the nation would be futile without mentioning my family and the place I occupy and negotiate in both spaces. My sister and I usually clean grandmum's cupboard, pack up her photographs, clean her saris while her ghazals play on the tape -- it's something we do without discussion or planning, it's an annual chore of sorts. This year, mum invited two of our aunts along, all of us began with the cleaning and boxing. Somehow, they started talking about her little quirks, her way of cooking this sabzi or the other, quickly praising her poise ("Right to her last days, she has never been inconvenient to anyone") that dissolved to silence as my sister asked my aunts what was she like when they were growing up, if she was as radical as the stories assure us. These are not memories you want to remember her by, auntie huffed, think how great a grandmother she was to the two of you, the Swadeshi¹ thing is very old, what's the point of thinking of all that now? I find this extremely disorienting -- to specifically remember her as a defanged version of her older self, as a wife and grandmother but not as a woman in her own right who wanted to be more than just a housewife.

arvan's picture

so, here's a fucking question

Why is an HIV vaccine being tested in Canada with a 2009 HIV population of approx.64,000 instead of sub-saharan Africa with 22.5 million people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS?

We seem to have no problem testing fertilizers, pesticides and weapons systems in Africa, but saving millions of African lives before some thousands of English & French speaking lives - no can do, apparently.

Isn't that more than a little bit fucked up?

Jack Molay's picture

Unorthodox Transgender Love

One of my online friends, Sahar, has sent me a very interesting email about the relationship between a male to female and a female to male transgender crossdreamer.

A crossdreamer is understood as a person who get aroused by the idea of being the other sex.

Some researchers, like Ray Blanchard, believes this is caused by some kind of "erotic target location error" ("autogynephilia").

Others, like transactivist Julia Serano and myself, understands it as one of many ways of expressing an inner, repressed, counter-sexual self ("an inner woman or inner man").

Meet the girlfag

Sahar is a male to female transgender crossdreamer who has joined up with a girlfag.

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