News and Views

I am sure I can’t be the only one infuriated that some bloke’s resignation from a reality entertainment programme has overshadowed all other news including the government’s latest legislative announcements on prostitution.

The BBC has contrasting views from two sex workers and the latter one is absolutely right that the legislation fails to address the outdated rules on autonomous brothels (run by sex workers for the safety of sex workers) which I talked about briefly yesterday flagging Fiona McTaggart’s comments on the failure to get that legislation altered.

In brief the new law does take the Finnish model (with some amendments) so that it will be illegal for men to buy sex from a woman who is controlled for gain by another. The idea being that women acting autonomously as sex workers will not be criminalised (and not will their punters) but men who seek to ignore pimping, coercion and trafficking will be criminalised. As an interesting addition is Laura Agustin’s piece here on why we need to think about migrants own agency/autonomy offers an alternative view.

Italian anti-rape poster showing naked woman in crucifixation pose on a bedWhilst we’re on sex crimes, the UK Police have admitted withholding information about sex abuse at childrens homes in Albania from the Albanian Police. Seems the abusers called on the Old Boys Protection Network and got the result they wanted. And Feministing has coverage of a new Italian anti-rape campaign which may be backfiring slightly because the poster objectifies women and has been called blasphemous.

This blog piece about abled bodied privilege and appropriation of adaptations to make spaces accessible strikes me as very, very timely.

Many accessibility solutions are structural; they require collective action — constructing spaces such that wheelchairs can be used within them; hiring interpreters and providing caption services… these are not actions that can be undertaken by a single person.

What is unfortunate about this, though, is that it relieves the fully-abled individual of hir responsibility to hir disabled counterparts. It means the fully-abled individual can safely get away with never thinking about disability, and the connection between societal access and hir actions specifically, at all. Sie never has to consider how hir attitudes and behaviors very really shape the environment of hir peers. Sie never has to stop and think, how does what I am doing affect those around me, and how can I change that to make things better for them?

And whilst we’re on analyses here’s something on sexual violence against transgender women (may be triggering) which makes some fantastic points. (I know Laura already flagged it here but it’s worth quoting a little…

You know what? Here’s a word that didn’t mean anything to the person who sexually assaulted me, and didn’t mean anything to the people and institutions that made it worse, so much that I’d almost convinced myself it didn’t mean anything when I was the one saying it:


And some good news, as we often miss that here, Nepal has recognised full equal rights to LGBT peoples. Japan has it’s first professional female baseball player. Condoleeza Rice is to fight violence against women internationally after leaving her current job. And the US has it’s first female Four Star General.. And a female commercial pilot who was working as a flight attendant is being feted for helping to land a passenger plane when the co-pilot had a breakdown.

Meanwhile on the popular culture front – Jessica Valenti has written for the Guardian about female comedians and highlights the ever fantastic Target Women as an example. And judging has begun on the first Linda Hamilton Memorial Women In Action Screenwriting Contest. We look forward to the results.

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