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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)

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Police Force HIV Tests for Sex Workers

By Charles Mpaka

LILONGWE, Oct 10 (IPS) - It was, Malawian police say, a routine sweep for criminals at one of the country’s busiest border posts. They were looking for criminals.

But when the police arrested 14 prostitutes as part of their search, and then allegedly forcefully tested them for HIV and charged them for "deliberately trading in sex while having a sexually transmitted disease", human rights organisations had to step in.

The forceful HIV testing of the women was a violation of the women’s rights, human rights organisations say. But Malawian police have claimed that it was nothing more than just a routine part of their of job.

But human rights organisations in Malawi want the police to answer a few vital questions about the circumstances surrounding the women’s HIV tests.

Early this month, in a routine sweep for criminals, police in the southern region of Malawi combed the town of Mwanza, one of the two busiest border posts through which Malawi receives and sends large volumes of cargo.

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Stop Street Harassment!

The Problem:

Gender-Based Public Harassment, or Street Harassment:
Simply by being female in public, girls and women can become the target of men's leering, whistles, honks, sexually charged comments, vulgar gestures, masturbation, stalking, sexual touching or grabbing, assault, and even murder. This behavior is called "gender-based public sexual harassment," "public gender harassment," "eve teasing," and "street harassment."

Not only is does this behavior assume women's availability when she's in public, invades her privacy and is often annoying, it also makes many women worried for their safety and feel unwelcome in public places. While women's perception of men's attention in public varies depending on factors like what the men are doing, the women's personal history with violence, age differences, race differences/similarities, socioeconomic differences, and how safe they feel at the time, no woman wants to be insulted, groped, stalked, or assaulted. Many women don't want to be bothered at all; and not all women are heterosexual!

Girls and women should have just as much right as boys and men to be in public spaces without being treated as public property and worse. The harassment and assault must stop!

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