arvan's picture

"Speak Up 2010" - Application Online Now

“Speak Up! Media Skills for the Empowered Sex Worker” is a weekend-long seminar offered by Sex Work Awareness (SWA) in New York City. 

Speak Up is taught by Audacia Ray and Eliyanna Kaiser, two former executive editors of $pread magazine who have worked with mainstream and independent media as part of the sex worker rights movement for many years.  The 2010 training will kick off with an evening seminar on Friday, April 9th and consist of two full days of workshop on April 10 & 11.  They are able to train 10 people.

They will be accepting applications until February 17, 2010.  Accepted applicants will be informed no later than March 1.

The inaugural training in 2009 yielded:

  • A video public service announcement, I Am A Sex Worker, which has been viewed 30,000 times online and has screened at events and film festivals in San Francisco, Amsterdam, and other cities;
  • Workshop participant Megan Andelloux has used her training to assist her in many media appearances debating her right to open her Center for Sexual Health and Pleasure in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Watch her on ABC News;
  • Read What Speak Up Did For Me by participant Calico Lane

Clarisse Thorn's picture

Manliness and Feminism: the Followup

In late October I posted a three-part series under the title "Questions I'd Like To Ask Entitled Cis Het Men" (Part 1: Who Cares?; Part 2: Men's Rights; Part 3: Space For Men).  These posts kicked up more of a furor than I anticipated, with a bunch of cross-postings and responses on other blogs.*  It all gave me a huge number of new perspectives to synthesize, which is part of why it took me so long to post this followup ... but here I am!

I really want this followup to be readable to people who didn't bother with the initial three posts, so please let me know if I fail!

Introducing myself, and One Correction

Please allow me to introduce myself.  I think those posts probably make more sense (as will large swaths of this one) if you know who I am, and they got linked around to so many non-regular readers that most of the audience now doesn't.

I go by Clarisse.  It is not my real name, because I am a sex-positive and, in particular, pro-BDSM** activist, and being all-the-way-out-of-the-closet about kink can have serious, long-term repercussions for someone's life (the most pressing for me, right now, being employability: my immediate superiors here in Africa know about my BDSM identity, but the larger rather conservative organization sure as hell doesn't).  Identifying as feminist and pro-BDSM can be really fraught territory -- many avowed feminists regard BDSM with suspicion and some, on the more extreme end, with outright hatred.   (Famous German feminist Alice Schwarzer once said, "Female masochism is collaboration."  Many feminist spaces have a long tradition of excluding or marginalizing BDSM, like the Michigan Womyn's Festival, which incidentally did the same thing with trans.  Nine Deuce, a popular radical feminist blogger, has been known to assert that sadists are morally obligated to either repress their sadistic desires or kill themselves.  For example.) In her post "Healing My Broken Feminist Heart", Audacia Ray talks about how much it hurts to identify as a feminist and yet be told, often, that the way you realize your personal sexuality is unfeminist; I've been meaning to write a response to that post for ages, because boy do I know how that feels.   (I swear, I have the biggest crush on Audacia Ray. I want to be her when I grow up.)

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