Category: Discrimination

Amnesty International, CATW, a bunch of celebrities, and decriminalization

[Content note: sex trafficking and sexual abuse]

Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Lena Dunham, Emily Blunt, and numerous other celebrities, along with former sex workers and victims of sex trafficking and women’s rights advocates, have signed a letter from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) criticizing a policy currently under discussion within Amnesty International. The policy, which Amnesty plans to introduce at a meeting in Dublin in August, promotes decriminalization of sex work to protect sex workers’ rights, health, and safety.

Philosophy, liberalism, and race: Falguni A. Sheth in the NYT

I found this interview in the NYT the other day about the philosophy of liberalism and its dependence on racism to be fascinating (let me hasten to say that nobody who has read Engels on the Irish, for example, could possibly say that radical leftism is not similarly based on racism). I do think it’s more important in the context of the US to understand the relationship between liberalism and racism because the US is a nation-state that is more or less based on liberal philosophies that largely can’t bear to hear any indication that such philosophies might be fallible (What did the founding fathers intend? Well, who gives a fuck what a bunch of rich slave-owning gentile white men intended? I’m not convinced they were bearing my best interests in mind.).

Criminalizing trans people

So, a Florida state representative, Frank Artiles, has introduced a bill to criminalize somebody using any bathroom or changing room or locker room but the one corresponding to that person’s assigned sex at birth. It doesn’t matter how they’re presenting,…

This week in US juridical misogyny…

1) You’ll be interested to know that if you get fired for breastfeeding, that is not an instance of sex discrimination, according to a ruling from the Eighth Circuit Court that the Supreme Court has decided to let stand, because,…

Time magazine: I can’t even.

Time magazine’s annual poll of the year’s “worst words” looks for words that make you “definitely cringe,” even “exhale pointedly,” even “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids.” And it asks people to “vote another word off the island” (and if I never hear that phrase again, I’ll be okay). This year’s poll includes bae, basic, bossy, disrupt, I can’t even…, influencer, kale, literally, om nom nom nom, obi, said no one ever, sorry not sorry, turnout, yaaasssss, and… feminist.

This Week In Racist Police Profiling

Just two of the latest incidents: a Black actress kissing her White husband in front of her CBS workplace detained on suspicion of prostitution, and a Black man shot repeatedly in the back by police after buying a souvenir samurai sword.

Scalzi on why “but not all [p] are [q]ists” defensiveness is a derail

We tend to get it here mostly on threads which criticise racist aspects of mainstream feminism, but it’s all over the social justice map – people derailing criticism of ongoing perpetutations of oppressions with their defensive insistence that while yes of course that incident was very wrong however critics need to acknowledge that They/We are not all like That/Them.

John Scalzi lays out the 101 on why that argument functions as just another silencing tactic whether one means it that way or not, and notes how falling back on it blocks one’s ethical self-examination of how one benefits from the status quo:

What would you do if you needed an abortion in a country where it’s outlawed?

I’m in Brazil right now with the wonderful International Reporting Project, and while here I spoke with a young woman who, like many women around the world, got pregnant when she didn’t want to be. Here in Brazil, abortion is generally illegal. After trying several different methods unsuccessfully and reaching out to a variety of slightly-shady people for help, she decided to go the safest route: To say she had been raped and get a safe, legal abortion in a Brazilian hospital. Her story is here. Women in this country are understandably very afraid to speak with anyone about abortion, and lots of women die or are injured from unsafe procedures. I’m particularly grateful to this young woman, who I’m calling Juliana, for her generosity, her honesty and her courage in sharing an extremely complicated story.

Anita Hill, 20 Years Later

Twenty-three years ago, Anita Hill testified before Congress in the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, who is now a Supreme Court justice. Hill’s testimony brought the term “sexual harassment” into the general American lexicon, and changed the way we talk about gender, power and the workplace. At the time, Hill was vilified by the media and treated horribly by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her testimony, and the hostility she faced, galvanized women and feminists across the U.S. On Friday, a new documentary called “Anita: Speaking Truth to Power” will be released. I’ve seen it, and it’s excellent — go check it out.

Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Hill — one of my personal heroes — and to interview her for Cosmopolitan. You can read the whole thing here. A bit of it: