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* The New Gay is looking for stories of people affected by a lack of ENDA. “Fired from your job for being gay, lesbian, bi or trans? Do you feel that no one cares about your lack of livelihood born from our governments systematic betrayal of its own people? Now you can do something about it,” TNG writes. File your stories here.
* Fugitivus on sex work:
Theoretically, I don’t have a problem with sex work. I don’t think there’s anything inherently, fundamentally wrongdirtybad with sex as a job, or sex for pay. But that’s based on a concept of sex work in a vacuum, and we don’t live in a vacuum. We live in a patriarchy. And sex work situated within a patriarchal world is inevitably swimming in a pool of wrongdirtybad, and anything tagged with the wrongdirtybad brush becomes fair game for serious violations of humanity.
On the one hand, since my ideal vision of the world doesn’t differentiate sex work from any other kind of work, it seems like that should be the thing I’m working toward. I “should” be the kind of feminist that is all on board for decriminalization or legalization, or normalizing the sex trades so they’re not a dirty stigmatized mess — and often I feel bad that I’m not more so. On the other hand, I work in a profession where I frequently see young girls who have been trafficked and exploited, and/or mothers who have had to prostitute themselves in order to feed their children, and their desperation has usually caused them to be exploited as well. Some of the abuses I see surrounding exploited sex work are so heinous that it’s very difficult not to come away with a “SHUT IT ALL DOWN” view of sex work. And yet, I know it’s not something that can be shut down, not now, not ever. I often just don’t feel like my brain is large enough to find a way to integrate some of the worst horrors I’ve ever seen with a utopic vision of positive, healthy sexuality. I don’t know how to overcome my revulsion of abuse long enough to separate the tools (which are not inherently abusive) from the abusive people who are handling them. At some point, they just seem practically, realistically fused together, even if conceptually I know they aren’t.
* Speaking of: Last month, D.C. police busted six people for solicitation [PDF] at 2121 P St. NW.
* Westboro Baptist Church turns its attentions to Lady Gaga.
*Metro Weekly takes a local angle on Chinese counterfeit condoms lubricated with vegetable oil, featuring FUK!T Campaign leader Dan O’Neill:
”When you have counterfeited items, like your Louis Vuitton bags and what have you, at the end of the day, that’s not great. But here, when one’s life is put at risk,” [O’Neill] says. ”This has real implications in that it undermines the public’s trust in these products.
”What we don’t want, or what would be terrible, is if people are just trying to get a deal and at the end of the day they just totally abandon their trust in using condoms altogether, thinking, ‘Why bother?”’