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Sex Industry Workers on BlogTalk Internet Radio

Who: Host Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers Union will be joined by Douglas Fox of the International Sex Workers Union who will be updating listeners on the Crime Bill which criminalize clients of prostitutes. Susan Davis of Canada’s West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals will be speaking about the legal challenge to over turn anti prostitution laws and Sienna Baskin, staff attorney of Sex Workers Project in New York will be updating us on a legislative effort to stop using condoms as evidence of prostitution.

What: International Checkin and Community Building by and for Sex Industry Workers on BlogTalk Internet Radio


When: Sunday, January, 31st 2010 3pm PT (West Coast), 6pm ET (East Coast), 11pm-UK (Britain)

Call in and Discussion (347) 826-9733 for inside the USA and 001 347 826
9733 for outside the USA.

This internet radio show will be followed by a very special phone conference to help organize endorsements for the New York State Assembly Bill A03856 "No Condom as Evidence Bill"

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“Sex work organizations: Programs, advocacy, and opportunities for Chinese NGOs”.

This is a memo from Asia Catalyst based on research and outreach conducted over the past six months into international sex work organizations and their current programs and advocacy.  The aim is to share this information with Chinese sex worker groups as they develop programs and advocacy campaigns.

Sex work organizations: Programs, advocacy, and opportunities for Chinese NGOs

(h/t Asia Pacific Network of Sex Worker$)

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Ban lifted on Sisters in Islam book in Malaysia

By M. Mageswari (mages@thestar.com.my)

[The Star Online]

KUALA LUMPUR: The SIS Forum (Malaysia) succeeded in throwing out the Home Minister’s order banning its 215-page book, Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism.

High Court judge Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof on Monday ruled that the book is not a threat to public order.

He said the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia’s (Jakim) objection to the book was that it could confuse Muslims, especially those who with only a superficial knowledge of their religion, as the publication explains Islamic teachings according to the writers’ own views.

“Can this disrupt public order? I think not.

“Only seven pages out of 215-page book are said to have offended the guidelines by Jakim, and those came from only two of 10 articles published in the book.

“I fail to find objective evidence to support the facts (to ban the book),” he said.

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"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

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2010 BB! Convergence Call For Workshops!

bash back denver is pleased to host the twenty-ten bash back! convergence from may twenty-seventh to thirtieth.


We want this year’s convergence to be a smashing success, and to do it we need your help.  Workshops were an integral part of previous convergences and will be this year.

We are seeking workshop proposals for this year’s convergence especially on the following topics:

Anti-Oppression!, Mental Health, Queer Nurturing, Response to Sexual Assault, DIY Sex Toys, DIY Other Sexy Things, Sex Work, Direct Action (including Bloc Tactics, Mobile Disco Sound Systems, Analysis/Theory), Anarchist and Queer Theory/Histories, Prison Abolition, Prisoner Support, Kink, Spirituality, Group Presentations,Queer/Anarchist films and documentaries, and Permaculture/Rural Queer.  

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Melissa Steyn: On Defining - and Defying - the 'Most Proper Way' to be Sexual

Christi van der Westhuizen interviews MELISSA STEYN, author and professor of diversity studies

CAPE TOWN, Jan 16, 2010 (IPS) - "The Prize and The Price - Shaping Sexualities in South Africa" is the first book of its kind in South Africa to unpack the ideology behind the enforcement of "acceptable" versions of sex, gender and sexuality.

The book's editors, Melissa Steyn and activist Mikki van Zyl, take aim at the system of "hetero-normativity": the institutions and norms that enforce exclusive heterosexuality.

Christi van der Westhuizen spoke to Steyn, who is the director of Intercultural and Diversity Studies of South Africa at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Q: Why study hetero-normativity?

A: Because hetero-normativity is so powerful in the way it structures social behaviour, expectations and our identities. It is invisible, so we tend not to be conscious of the extent to which it shapes our society.

This is true for most dominant ideologies. But hetero-normativity is even less within our conscious understanding day-to-day than, for example, how whiteness operates to shape the racial order.

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Iran threatened by female activists

By Michael Theodoulou, The National

Iranian security forces recently beat and arrested some 30 “mourning mothers” holding a peaceful weekly vigil in a Tehran park to demand news of their sons and daughters who had been killed, disappeared or detained in the unrest following June’s disputed presidential election.

The shocking scene encapsulated an acute quandary for the regime. It has a tight grip on the levers of repression – but one of the most potent threats it faces comes from unarmed women protesting peacefully.

The authorities feared female activism long before the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, viewing women’s demands for equal rights as inseparable from a wider drive for greater democracy.

“If the regime accepts the principle that women have equal rights, it has to revise and re-think its entire ideology, which is based on the pre-modern interpretation of Islamic law,” Ziba Mir-Hosseini, a senior research associate and legal anthropologist at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, said.

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New Play About Canada’s Prison for Women - Jan 27th, 8pm, Montréal

P4W: Invisible Stories from Canada’s Prison for Women
(a workshop production)

The only building to house Canada’s federally sentenced women was known to inmates and correctional officers simply as “P4W”.  From 1934 to 2000, the Prison for Women received public scrutiny from repeated investigations, and finally a federal inquiry that led to the closure of the then notorious institution.  But the issues that led to its shutting down are far from resolved for the cases of federally sentenced women in Canada.

Life on the inside of Canada’s Prison for Women

Now, ten years later, playwright and director Julia Ainsworth brings a thoughtful and unprecedented play to the lives and daily struggles for these women. In January 2010, Zeitgeist Theatre Collective, in association with Mischief Theatre, will bring audiences beyond the walls of P4W and into the hearts and minds of the women who lived there.

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National Young Feminist Leadership Conference

Registration for FMF's 6th annual National Young Feminist Leadership Conference is now open!  Join them March 20-22 to network and share feminist organizing strategies with hundreds of activists, including top feminist leaders in advocacy organizations, universities, public office, and more.

The event will be focusing on domestic and global repro rights and health, anti-abortion harassment and violence, gender-based violence, the legislative process, and other critical topics at this 2-day conference.  Then join the event staff and other attendees on  Monday 3/22 for a Congressional Day of Action and tell your members of Congress what issues are important to you!

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Between invisible friends

By: Delwar Hussain

Bangladeshis thrive in and work against the ‘grey area’ of subtle acceptance of un-discussed alternative sexualities. From a very young age, Suleman (not his real name) has known that he was attracted to men. He would wear his mother’s saris when she was out of the house, and put on his sister’s makeup in the belief that this is what men found appealing. Suleman also knew that he wanted to be an imam. He sought to understand the creation of the world, to find answers to questions about life after death. At 13 he joined a madrassa, where he began the required rigorous training, which included memorising the entire Quran and learning Arabic and Persian. Small in stature but with an imposing black beard, he is today dressed in a white kurta-pyjama with a matching skull cap. “Imams have a lot of responsibility,” he says. “The Malik has chosen me, even with all my flaws, to follow him. If I can fulfil even the slightest of his wishes, then Allah is pleased.”

Now 32, Suleman believes his education is still not over, although he is a teacher at the same madrassa at which he studied, leading the five daily prayers and also the Friday jumma at one of the largest mosques in Dhaka. His dry, husky voice, a result of the fiery sermons about how to lead an Islamic life, has a cheerful tinkle buried within it. Suleman made the decision to become a religious leader partly in the hope that it would bring an end to the desire he had for men, something he thought at the time to be outside the bounds of religious acceptability. As with the other Abrahamic religions, the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom, used by some Muslims to condemn homosexuality, was a narrative with which he was intimately familiar. In earlier years, Suleman tried controlling his feelings by praying and fasting obsessively, in the process excelling in the eyes of the scholars at the madrassa.

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