SmartAss Recommended Reading (Part One)

When I was writing this post, I talked about some of the web sites I visit. I thought it would be good to share with you some more of the folks that I let into my brain pan whenever I have adequate ability to absorb information (sometimes solid, sometimes that ability can elude me). Here, in no particular order, are more works I enjoy, find edifying, or within find fellowship – you may want to seek them out too!
LaPrincipessa's picture

Feminism In the News

Court rules in favor of sexual equality in Korea.

A longstanding law designed to ban people from having sex under the pretense of marriage was declared unconstitutional on Thursday. The Constitutional Court ruled that the law goes against sexual equality and women's right to make their own decisions regarding sex. The ruling reflected changing social values, especially concerning sex.

In fact, the law has increasingly been considered outdated. It was enacted in 1953 to make it illegal for a person to have sexual intercourse on false promises of marriage. The criminal code has long been aimed at protecting women from being coaxed into sex with their male partners. But there have been growing concerns among both men and women that the law was the product of Korea's male-dominated Confucian culture, which denied women's right to self-determination regarding sexual activity.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Feminism in the News

A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks.  In order to bring it all to you, I have labored tenuously through the internets to find the most pertinent, compelling and interesting information regarding women and feminism.  Without further ado: links, stuff I missed.

From the BurntOrangeReport, a very stern warning: "hell hath no fury like a woman disenfranchised", a great letter to their congressmen on his Pro-Stupak, Anti-Woman vote.

If women and families are forced to have children that are unplanned and unwanted, then the government and society that imposes that burden on women and families must offset the burden with all of the necessary societal programs that are needed to sustain and enhance the child and the family.  If you take away choice, then you must replace it with social and economic programs to help the families be responsible, productive tax paying citizens.  When your fiscally responsible views collide with your anti-abortion stance you have to choose and fully support one or the other, which will it be?

I personally love the "you will be primaried mutherfucker if you don't make this right" part of the letter.  It is exactly what voters who despise the Stupak Amendment should be doing, calling for strong primary challengers.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Links, Stuff I Missed

The story title says it all: Women forced at gun point to remove their bras.

In Mogadishu, extreme Islamist group al Shabaab has been reported gathering up and whipping women who are thought to have breasts that are too firm, implying that they’re wearing bras, which apparently goes against strict interpretation of Sharia law.

Because clearly there is nothing more important to militants than cracking down on rebel, bra-wearing, women.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Links, Stuff I missed.

Here is a collection of news stories from the week that I didn't have a chance to write/talk about.

On The Nation, Barbara Crossette tells us all what Pepfar used to be, and how the Obama administration is attempting to make the best out of a flawed program.

Pepfar stands for United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Under our previous Decider the fund was unnecessarily barred from effective use because it was subject to the typical conservative ideology.

subject to micromanagement under ideologically inspired guidance that, among other requirements, demanded that 50 percent of AIDS prevention funds in countries with generalized epidemics be devoted to abstinence and "faithfulness" campaigns. That provision, born of provincial ignorance about the world, would be a joke if it weren't so cruel to millions.

The old guidelines also barred links between AIDS efforts and family planning, at a time when AIDS was becoming a woman's disease in many places and women had no power to resist unwanted or risky sex.

The author is correct in that AIDS is becoming a 'woman's disease' not only in name and perception, but in reality.

arvan's picture

Morning News Mop

From Alternet, Ester Amy Fischer writes, My Life As a 'Craigslist Hooker': Why We Need Smart Policy About Sex Work, which not only calls for a "rational discourse about sex work.", but also offers a very personal and human perspective of the author's own experience with Craigslist Erotic Services:

On Wed. May 13, Craigslist announced that it will shut down its erotic services section, marking the end of an era. With the negative publicity generated by the Craigslist Killer and a stampede of outraged attorney generals calling for its demise, Craigslist Erotic Services will be no more. This is a requiem. And a plea for a rational discourse about sex work.


 I didn't hawk my wares on Craigslist Erotic Services for terribly long, less than a year all told. And while I understand that this is not every woman's experience of being a sex worker, for me at that time in my life, it was liberating in certain ways. It made me feel relaxed with my body and allowed me to be experimental with my appetites. It liberated me from a part of myself that always tied or sought to tie sex to a deep emotional connection. It gave me insight into men and male sexuality that I hadn't had before.

But one thing it never gave me was the answer to a few burning questions:

Why can't we as a society have a rational, meaningful discourse about sex work, embracing all its nuances and contradictions?

How can work which never once made me feel exploited, injure and exploit so many other women?

Why does sex work seem to raise so many people's moral hackles, when what they should be angry about are the class distinctions which never once made me feel exploited?

And finally, why do we think that something which has never gone away can be eradicated by legislation or censorship?


arvan's picture

Morning News Mop

Another Transgender shooting in Memphis, as covered by the Tenn. Transgender Political Coalition. 

We were contacted by a reporter with Channel 3 (WREG-TV) who provided a copy of an affidavit of a shooting that occurred in South Memphis on Wednesday, May 27.  The man arrested for the shooting, Terron Taylor, told police that he did it because the victim “misrepresented his gender.”

The victim, identified as Kelvin Denton, is in critical condition after being shot in the nose and throat.

At this point, we do not know any details about Denton’s life, but regardless, we abhor this sort of violence for any reason.  Our thoughts and prayers of everyone in the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition go out to Kelvin, family and friends, for a speedy recovery.

We urge Shelby County authorities to prosecute Taylor aggressively and not permit the use of the trans-panic defense.

arvan's picture

Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday

You know the deal: Tell us what you've done this week. 

We want to know...we really do. 

arvan's picture

Pro Choice and Disabled - A Contradiction?

This fine reflection was originally posted at Disability Cool:

I have been a feminist for as long as I can remember. Even as a young girl at the age of ten, I did not believe in the stereotypes that other young girls did. In college, I told a guy off for calling me a "chick". "I am not a chick or a girl - I am a woman", I told him strongly. I had not even met another feminist at the point in my life, but feminism seemed to come naturally to me.

I have been disabled for as long as I can remember. My disability is genetic. It started to show itself when I was five years old and got progressively worse as I grew older. I was correctly diagnosed when I was 39 years old, so you can imagine what kind of medical procedures I had been put through all of my life.

Choice versus eugenics

So how do these two worlds connect and help to make sense of the title of this article. In my work with the women's community, I am well known for my pro-choice stance. I have gone to pro-choice rallies, spoke at a pro-choice forum about my own experience of having an abortion and even been on a CBC morning news show (a national TV network). I believe in a woman's right to choose if she wants to have an abortion or does not want to have an abortion. It does go both ways. And don't kid yourself, lot of women with disabilities have abortions just like lots of non-disabled women have abortions. Abortions should be covered by the medical health program wherever the woman lives and must be safe and legal. I believe in nothing less than this.

arvan's picture

Open thread and data dump 5-19-09


Lincoln Journal Star - Omaha couple to allow 8-year-old to live as girl.

OMAHA, Neb. — A west Omaha couple says their 8-year-old son has asked for years to wear dresses and change his name, so they’re enrolling him in a new school where he can live openly as a girl.

The parents say their middle child is transgender, and he’s asked to be called a girl since age 4.
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