It's Election Day in the U.S. To kick things off, Elizabeth at Sex in the Public Square provides an overview of what's on the ballot, divided into the subthemes of sex worker rights, (same-sex) marriage, and reproductive rights.
On the first topic, sex worker rights, everyone's talking about San Francisco's Proposition K, a "yes" vote being for citywide decriminalization of prostitution.
Bound, Not Gagged has been covering Prop K thoroughly and consistently for the last while, with frequent updates: please do scroll through the sidebar for the full list of posts.
Existential Hedonist posts a rebuttal to Melissa Farley's anti-Prop K piece (cross posted on freakonomics blogs).
La Libertine muses on morality and Prop K.
The Las Vegas Courtesan offers her thoughts, noting the difference between "decriminalization" (which is what Prop K would do) and "legalization" (which is what Las Vegas has).
Mariko Passion reports on on-the-ground actvism, and also connects the dots between (all) migrant rights and sex worker (including migrant sex worker) rights in San Francisco, the "sanctuary city."
At Alterdestiny, Eric Loomis puts regulating prostitution in historic perspective.
And $pread bloglinks to a Youtube video of blogger/artist/sex worker Sadie Lune's performance piece on prop K at the Museum of Modern Art.
Several states have anti-gay-marriage initiatives on the ballot. California's Proposition 8 is getting the bulk of the attention because, unlike in those other states, California currently -has- legalized same sex marriage; the ballot initiative proposes to put asunder what the courts have allowed by amending the state Constitution. (The legal status of the couples who married before the election, assuming 8 passes, is going to be fuzzy, to say the least).
We Are Not The Enemy is a photo blog which demonstrates what it says on the label.
Sugarbutch makes the case for the symbolic importance of same-sex marriage, despite personal mixed feelings about marriage as an institution.
At Life, Love and Liberty, Natasha curses the bigotry that inspired Prop 8 as "The Morality of Misery."
Gilette, Ex Courtesan in Transition, is grimly baffled that this is even an issue to begin with.
Cara at the Curvature goes into some more detail on two anti-choice initiatives, proposition 4 in California (parental notification for minors seeking abortion) and prop 11 in South Dakota, another attempt at a -total ban on abortion-.
Vote! Vote! Vote! if you haven't already! As Suzanne of CUSS notes, if for no other reason, if you live in New York or Seattle, you can walk into Babeland, tell 'em you voted, and get a free Silver Bullet vibrator or a (groan) "Maverick" penis sleeve. (And as you enjoy your legally purchased vibrating sex toy, be thankful you don't live in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, or Virginia).
Still political, less immediately electoral:
Juhu Thukral has a guest post at feministing on why the Mann Act expansion (regarding anti-trafficking laws) is bad for women.
From the world outside the United States (yes! it exists!),
In the UK, Lina at Uncool has a withering take on Jacqui Smith's (Home Secretary and "Feminist Superhero!") plans to criminalize street prostitution, and the research the policy is based on.
hexpletive weighs in on the very, very, very bad idea that is the "Clean Feed," Australia's proposal of mandatory nationwide Internet restricted access (i.e. "censorship")
Natalia Antanova is disgusted by a new Ukranian method of enforcing anti-prostitution/prostitute/sex worker laws.
In the Philipines, Pinay TG has a series of posts comparing and contrasting two recent Supreme Court rulings on the right to change one's name and sex on one's birth certificate, and the ramifications of each. part one part two part three part four
Elisabeth Pisani (The Wisdom of Whores) notes the irony of learning of Indonesia's newly passed draconian anti-porn (in a -very- broad definition of the term, apparently) law whilst discoursing on anal sex on the nation's highest rated TV show.
More on porn and the media:
At the Blog of Pro-Porn Activism, iamcuriousblue reports on the advertising wars over Kevin Smith's new indie-"mainstream" (i.e. general cinema release) film, "Zack and Miri Make A Porno."
Trinity checks out the SM bit of "The Price of Pleasure," and finds it wearying.
Renegade Evolution takes issue with the trope, "Porn tells us very little about women, but a great deal about men."
Meanwhile, Snowdrop Explodes, man, tells us what porn means to/about himself.
Gracie at Sex-Kitten.net belongs to the Sisterhood of Smut Collectors.
Violet Blue thinks the career trajectory of smart, feminist, mainstream-headed Sasha Grey spells the beginning of the end for the marginalization of porn actresses and anti-porn fearmongering. (NSFW)
And seguing into the broader body politic, from personal to political and back again and everything both-and-between, in no particular order:
Aishwarya reviews "What Every Married Woman Should Know," published in 1951.
The Edge of Vanilla has fond memories of the Boy Scouts.
Girl With Pen goes into a deeper analysis of -why- our attitudes toward sexuality, young sexuality in particular, are so fucked up, the costs thereof, and what is to be done.
DeeDee at Sex-Kitten.net observes that Controlling [Womens'] Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts.
For National Coming Out Day-Month-Lifetime, Sugarbutch commemorates the death of Matthew Shepard, and heeds the call to let the soft animal of the body loves what it loves" (Mary Oliver)
At Revolutionary Act, Daisy examines the normativity of monogamy, and finds it problematic.
Red Spine makes a passionate argument for sex workers' rights and agency, taking into the complexities of class stratification into account.
DeeDee at sex-kitten.net wrote on the intersection of poverty and "choice" for Blog Action Day.
Monica at $pread Blog is getting tired of mainstream misunderstandings of sex work, and of the sorry State of the Nation (economic and otherwise) as revealed in our cultural enthrallment with the rich, famous, shallow, and sensationalistic.
Cheshire-bitten protests the age-old denial of sexual agency to those diagnosed/stigmatised as mentally ill.
Sylvia/Problem Chylde has (quick) thoughts about sexual stereotyping of WOC and/or overweight/obese women.
Nudemuse also has something to say about the harmful ramifications of those intersections of racism and fatphobia when it comes to getting medical care.
Nix Williams explores the erasure of trans sexuality in a review of reviews of "Boys Don't Cry."
Queen Emily responds to Nix and adds analysis of her own.
Season of the Bitch has two on tattoos.
The Scarlet Pervygirl muses on thigh size, heteronormative anxiety, and the sensuality of flesh.
Sara Speaking would like to inform you that it's okay to talk to a woman while she's breastfeeding, really.
Nudemuse ruminates on the etiquette of complimenting a stranger's (or anyone's) appearance.
Essin' Em asks: When is "You Turn Me On" Not a Compliment?
At SexAbility, Ms. Pet gives the rundown on her own recent BDSM and disability workshop.
Beyond the hills offers a female dominant's raspberry to chivalry, and to the idea that "submissive"="passive" in general.
From a male submissive perspective, maymay concurs that "equating passivity with sexual submissiveness is a stupid mistake."
The Femme Fluff confesses to being a proud Pillow Queen, with a bit of lagniappe on being a "receptive girl"
Alterisego (aka "What the Fuck Was I Thinking?") has some thoughts on identifying as genderqueer.
Back at Revolutionary Act, Daisy confirms for the nth time that -yes- already, one can be a bottom in bed -and- a feminist, -both-, and speculates that the reason we keep getting stuck on this question has to do with the "abuse" of the old feminist trope, "The Personal Is Political."
Finally, Winter at Text and the World questions binary assumptions inherent in language used in feminist sexual "liberation," and wonders if we can ever get beyond them.
Thank you so much to everyone who submitted! Happy reading, all.
Next edition of this Carnival will be hosted at Sex-Kitten.Net.
ETA: also, too, p.s., Chay Magazine is now accepting submissions for its second issue.
(Read the first issue here.)
Having observed in Pakistani society, a disturbing tendency towards fear and shame around issues of sex and sexuality - that is to say, around a normal human interaction - the founders of Chay Magazine feel that sex and sexuality should enter the public discourse. The taboo and silence around sex and sexuality are oppressive on all of us, irrespective of gender, and lead, at the very least, to unhappiness in our daily lives and, more often, to violence, shame, depression, ill health and general social malaise. We at Chay Magazine endeavor to bring to the Pakistani reading public a place to converse about those things we are most shy of. Our hope is that, through this, we can become braver and stronger, more powerful, self-assured, and just and fair members of society.
Our focus is on Pakistani society and our themes emerge from this context. However, Pakistan is only our starting point. Chay Magazine aims to enter the fray of international feminist discourse and, as such, we invite writers of all nationalities, geographies, stripes to contribute. We are not so much interested in where you come from as in what you have to say.
For the first few issues, we have outlined some broad themes, which are listed [here]...
Issue 2 CFS
"The Politics of Sex" (go here for detailed guidelines)
...Please submit features, non-fiction and fiction of between 500-1200 words; no more than 3 poems; no more than 3 pieces of visual art (min. resolution 300dpi) to CHAYMAGAZINE AT GMAIL DOT COM .
DEADLINE: December 15, 2008