Friday, October 19, 2007

Judge Thinks Sex Workers Can't Be Raped

I just saw this on the Green Party of Philadelphia's discussion list. I'll be doing whatever I can to help turn this bigot out, and will pass on anything you can do as I learn of it.

Eric Hamell

When is a rape not a rape? When the victim is a sex worker! Did you know that in Philadelphia forcing a sex worker to have unprotected sex with multiple partners at gunpoint and without consent is not considered rape? That's right, Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni decided that based upon her occupation, the victim, a 20-year-old single mother, had consented to any and all brutality unleashed upon her. When asked whether she considered rape to be a traumatic event, Deni stated that this case "minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped."

In what reality is forcible unprotected sex by multiple people not rape? In what reality is it okay for a municipal court judge to free a violent rapist because of the judge's contempt for the victim's occupation?

On November 6, 2007, help tell Judge Carr Deni that determining a case of rape is not dependant upon the victim's character, social standing, or occupation. Rape is rape and no means no. Vote NO on Deni's retention with the Municipal Court of Philadelphia. Spread the word! No means no, vote NO on retaining Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni!

Interested in taking action against Judge Carr Deni? There will be a planning meeting about this campaign on Tuesday, October 23rd. Even if you do not vote, we still need your help! Contact Matilda at mazzidly@... for more details.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Welcome to SexFreedomAction!

And what is SexFreedomAction, you ask? It's a place where I intend to make people aware of opportunities to advance sexual freedom and counter sex-negativity in all its forms.

It will differ from many other "sex-positive" sites in that it will be focused exclusively on promoting action, rather than simply commenting on issues or "fisking" the neggies, which is often not much of an intellectual challenge anyway.

If people want to engage me in discussion or debate, I'd suggest they hie themselves over to my other blog, Gondwanaland, which is more general in nature.

I'll shortly be posting an initial list of general ideas for action. Meanwhile, you may wish to check out the Woodhull Freedom Foundation's Sexual Freedom Network.

Eric Hamell

Everyday Things You Can Do to Combat Sex-Negativity

1. Call people on their pejorative use of words for sex workers and the non-monogamous, such as "prostitute," "whore," and "slut." Likewise, watch out for body-negative metaphors like "naked" and "fig leaf."

2. If you see or hear something sex-negative in the paper, electronic media, etc., respond with a letter to the editor, an elected representative, or whoever is the guilty party.

3. Don't forget to reward the good folk! No, I don't mean the Elves; I mean those who do something sex-positive when you weren't necessarily expecting them to. I give an example here.

4. Equip yourself to respond in more informal ways, such as with stickers on ads or posters with sex-negative messages. You can make these by hand on blank labels you can buy at most drug or stationery stores. For instance, in response to some sex-negative stickers I was seeing around, I made some bearing a "sex-positive" symbol consisting of the feminine/masculine/androgynous symbol -- a circle with a +, a ->, and a +> arranged around it equiangularly, with a + sign in the center -- with the slogan "What part of YES don't you understand?" above and below it. I would put these on the edges of the offending stickers so that it was clear upon what I was commenting.

5. Avoid "segregating" sex in your language. For instance, say "movie" rather than "porno"; "actor" or "actress" rather than "porn star."

6. Seek out products and services of the sexually rebellious, even in areas unrelated to sex. Doing so can help to break down the stigma still attached to such people by much of society.

7. Register and vote for candidates who take sex-positive positions. Consider getting actively involved in your political party to advance such positions and candidates.

Eric Hamell