Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio with Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc

Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, award winning author of Horror Sinisteria, will be on the Cult of Gracie radio show on XXBN tonight, June 18th, at 9 p.m. central.

Called “One of the most unique and twisted authors of our generation,” Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc is a best selling, three-time award winning author of Horror Sinisteria. From ghosts to the paranormal, from the Occult to pirates, Andrea can write it, write it well and keep her fans and critics begging for more. A force of nature, Andrea has blazed a path through a genre most often dominated by men. She is routinely sought out for appearances at everything from private functions to public venues to conventions, where she appears as a celebrity guest.

Click here to listen to the show live, and call in with your comments and questions for Andrea at 1 (646) 200-3136.

Andrea has titles with Ephemera Bound, a publisher Gracie works with.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio with Dr. Michael Goodyear

Tomorrow, June 11 (at 9 p.m. central), Cult of Gracie Radio has Dr. Michael Goodyear, MD, PhD, as the guest.

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Canada's Dalhousie University, his main focus there is in responsible human research governance, particularly the ethical aspects of research. His active interest in issues of women's health have lead him to a longstanding involvement in women's health and studies (including family planning, social justice and ethics), and the problems associated with those on the margins of society.

No wonder then that he would become interested in the issues & myths surrounding sex work.

Well-versed in the research, as well as the ethics and methodology of research, Michael's put his skills and knowledge to use in identifying social determinants of marginalization and speaking out both for decriminalization and against the myths of sex work.

An avid supporter of sex workers' rights, Michael moves past academia, actively seeking out & speaking out.

He speaks directly to the matter of why decriminalizing sex work, especially that at the street level, is a feminist issue:
Public health measures must be built on evidence based best practice. Only by moving sex work outside of the criminal justice system, focussing on public health and social care, can we achieve this and help to break the cycle of violence. Criminalisation of sex work that limits access to care contravenes UN guidelines on human rights.

Remedies for social issues surrounding prostitution lie not in legislative measures but in social determinants such as wage disparity and access to welfare that limit women’s choices. Labour politicians frequently state that the moral fibre of a society must be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable members, yet their policy discriminates against the most disadvantaged.
Michael Goodyear speaks on the inaccuracies of sexually transmitted infections in sex work (found via Dr Petra Boynton):
Unfortunately the discourse in public health, and in particular that concerning services to individuals involved in commercial sex, are more likely to be informed by opinion than by evidence. In addition repeated exposure to messages reinforces and polarizes previously held prejudices.
And he speaks sanely regarding an issue that drives me insane ~ the perpetuation of myths:
It is unfortunate that the Gazette insists on repeating tired myths about sex work, without checking its facts. This is a very unbalanced article. The German World Cup story has now made its way into the archives of urban myths. Even anti-trafficking organisations such as Prevent Human Trafficking are expressing concern about the constant reporting of untruths. "It seems that this estimate originated with unsubstantiated statements made by a few antitrafficking groups which, though they have no basis in reality, have somehow gained legitimacy through repetition".
This includes challenging Melissa Farley & her "findings" on several occasions:
Melissa Farley is one of those people who are convinced there is a connection between sex work and trafficking, but mainstream researchers do not.
For more information, see his Marginalization of Women and Sex Work page.

With all of this, I'm surprised that I had not discovered Michael earlier. (We "met" at my post at Sex In The Public Square). But then, as Michael himself has noted, the myths are passed along far more enthusiastically than the truths.

Click here to listen to the show live, and call in with comments and questions at 1 (646) 200-3136.

UPDATE:

There were some issues with BlogTalkRadio's server/site, and so the show will be downloaded, edited and uploaded to adjust for that. (Hopefully it is all recorded.) Meanwhile, please be patient with the "dead air" gaps ~ the show did go on (even longer than scheduled).

And look for the return of Dr. Goodyear on a future show. (Please fee free to listen to future Cult of Gracie shows , and past shows , as well! lol) Many thanks to him for sharing his information and his patience during a glitchy show.

Also, Elizabeth at Sex In The Public Square has posted her thoughts (&wonderful questions) on the show.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

All About Eves








What do all these photos have in common? They are all the amazing work of Eve Arnold.

Master Photographer Eve Arnold and Marilyn Monroe enjoyed a 10 year friendship, lasting until Monroe's death.
While many dismiss Marilyn’s intelligence, Eve didn’t. Both women knew what effect being a woman had on the world around her, and as Eve says, “We could make use of it, or we could let it be.”

Arnold would later say, “I didn’t want to be a ‘woman photographer’. That would limit me. I wanted to be a photographer who was a woman, with all the world open to my camera.” (And more recently confirms this belief, saying in a BBC interview, “No, I am a photographer. And you don’t say, a man photographer. So it seems likely that I am a photographer.”) This certainly puts the the two women on decidedly different paths, at least in appearance; yet it would stop neither’s success.

Read more about Eve Arnold ~ including more photos.

Via Silent Porn Star.

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A Reminder

From Blog For Choice:

The Netroots Nation Scholarship: You know what Netroots Nation is, right? It used to be called Yearly Kos. Well, this year, Netroots Nation is partnering with Democracy for America to offer scholarships to bring some of those activists to Austin to network with fellow progressives just like them.

Here's more from their email:

Whether you're an activist organizing locally to support a presidential campaign or a blogger mobilizing communities for a common cause, this is your chance to show off what you've done to move the progressive agenda forward.

Our scholarship program is a way to ensure that activists of every age, background, and economic bracket, representing numerous points of view and all 50 states, are able to attend Netroots Nation. Because the more diverse the audience, the richer our experience in Austin will be.

The scholarship program will cover the cost of registration and lodging for at least nine activists.

Sounds awesome right? Click here to apply for your scholarship now. The deadline is June 10 at 11:59pm Eastern.

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Straighten-Up & Fly White

From an interview with Velvet D'Amour (via Slip of a Girl):
The biggest obstacle to the promotion of healthy beauty within the fashion industry is the dependence fashion has on advertising. Since magazines are dependent on the advertisers to exist, this beholds them to adhering to what has become the yawningly boring average--thin, white, tall and young.
I would just end with an "Amen", but as serendipity would have it, I also just read a post at Infomercantile regarding "Beauty in a Bottle", which had the following scans of "No-Kink," a hair straightening product, and "Modelle-Creme," a skin whitener.


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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Two XXBN Shows Today

On Sunday, June 8th at noon (central), Renegade Evolution will be on XXBN discussing The Conviction of Max Hardcore for Obscenity Charges, Language, and Sex Workers & Normal People.

Click here to listen to the show live. You can call in at 1 (646) 200-3136.

Then, at 7 p.m. (central), Holly Pottle interviews Jill Brenneman regarding her vision for Sex Workers Against Rape, a campaign she is in the process of starting. Topics to be discussed include sex workers rights approaches to stopping abuse and how the criminalization of prostitution encourages abuse. Jill will also discuss how she transitioned from being part of the sex work prohibitionist segment of the feminist movement to a leader in the sex workers' rights movement.

Click here to listen live, and call in with comments and questions at 1 (646) 200-3136

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"One Brief Moment Of Strange Inconsequential Irrational Belief"

High school is our last chance!

To sell beach towels for the marching band?

To deal with all elements of society as equals. Before being branded and shuffled off to the work and education society has deemed appropriate for us.
From Dorothy Gambrell's Nature's Doomed Adolescents, a Cat and Girl cartoon.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

High-Five Fridays #19

High-Five Fridays is on an official hiatus; but you can still participate.

#1 What the Coat Hanger Means ~ not for the faint of heart, but then neither is Chris.

#2 Carnival of the Liberals #66 ~ 10 excellent reads, and the opportunity to submit &/or host.

#3 For the Record, Melissa McEwan makes a sane argument regarding the insanity of misogyny which surrounds Hillary Clinton and affects us all.

#4 Dangerous Knitting. I don't even know what to say. Other than to breathe the word "amazing." (Via Sir Robin Rides Away.)

#5 The Pop Feminist is usually brilliant (even when being funny); but this quote from this post is spot-on & worth it's own high-five:
Women especially-- who have been historically institutionally barred from elite, artistic, canonic endeavors-- are often limited to an expression of genius in the artistic medium of the body.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Positivity

From Aaminah Hernández, a simple reminder:

There is a difference between thoughtfully providing suggestions and advice for improvement of ideas versus tearing them down. How often do we tear the idea down instead of offering advice that will build it up?

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Cult of Gracie Radio Show Line-Up

The current line-up of show guests for Cult of Gracie on XXBN:

June 11 Dr. Michael Goodyear, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Canada's Dalhousie University, whose main activities are in responsible human research governance, particularly ethical aspects of research. He is interested in issues of women's health ~ and is an avid supporter of sex workers' rights.
About Michael: Michael has a longstanding involvement in women's health and studies (including family planning, social justice and ethics), and the problems associated with those on the margins of society. Well-versed in the research, as well as the ethics and methodology of research, Michael's been very active in identifying social determinants of marginalization and speaking out both for decriminalization and against the myths of sex work. For more information, see his Marginalisation of Women and Sex Work page.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

June 18 Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, award winning author of Horror Sinisteria, with titles published at Ephemera Bound*.
About Andrea: Called “One of the most unique and twisted authors of our generation,” Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc is a best selling, three-time award winning author of Horror Sinisteria. From ghosts to the paranormal, from the Occult to pirates, Andrea can write it, write it well and keep her fans and critics begging for more. A force of nature, Andrea has blazed a path through a genre most often dominated by men. She is routinely sought out for appearances at everything from private functions to public venues to conventions, where she appears as a celebrity guest.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

June 25 Jack Hafferkamp, of Libido magazine and Libido films.
About Jack: From 1988 to 2000 Jack Hafferkamp published/edited Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility with Marianna Beck. Since then he has operated Libido Films, which specializes in gender-equal explicit erotica. Libido films have been honored at the annual Erotic Awards in London and featured at New York's Cinekink festival. Jack holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, specializing in Erotology, which is the material culture of sex.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

July 2 J. Eric Miller, author of Decomposition * (Epilogue by Susannah Breslin) & Animal Rights & Pornography.
About Jason: Mild mannered English prof by day; author of shocking, dark, subversive fiction by night. Jason's works, as their titles imply, explore taboos.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

July 9 Dr. Gloria Brame, a licensed clinical sexologist and leading international authority on BDSM and fetish sex.
About Gloria: Dr. Gloria G. Brame is a licensed clinical sexologist and a long-time kinky person. You can find out more about Gloria at Sex-Kitten.net: Gloria Brame Discusses Sexual Freedom in America, BDSM in Film, as well as the review of her book. More information on Gloria is available at her website, GloriaBrame.com, and her blog, Inside the mind of Gloria Brame.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

July 16 Jennifer Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai, a novel based on the life of Chinese prostitute-turned-post-Impressionist Pan Yuliang, who stunned China and much of the West in the 20's and 30's by defiantly painting herself in the nude, even though it went against pretty much every Confucian ethic of the time.
About Jennifer: A Brooklyn-based writer, whose nonfiction and fiction work has appeared in numerous publications, spent ten years writing this, her first book. The work explores such issues as body as art, body as profit, Shanghai in the 20's and 30's, the true nature of sexual love.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

July 23 Tom Paine & C. the husband and wife of Polyamorously Perverse fame, who continue to amaze & educate as Tom discusses the private & intimate details of their road of exploration & discovery ~ one which often exposes the unforeseen with brutal, if poetic, honesty.
About Tom & C.: Tom Paine and his wife, who goes by the initial C., confronted the problem of a sex life that had gone flat by re-inventing themselves with an open relationship. They have explored swinging, polyamory and simply working on keeping themselves attractive to the other, with the result of a reborn sensuality that other couples would envy. Currently they play with a single woman they call the Strawberry Slut, but both have the option to see other people should the situation arise. Tom writes a blog called Polyamorously Perverse, and is currently exploring options for turning the blog's story into a book.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

Confirmed guests, with dates not yet scheduled:

Amber Rhea, co-founder of the Georgia Podcast Network, a portal site for Georgia-based podcasts, and the founder of Sex 2.0, an "unconference" focused on the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality.

Still working to reschedule with Dr. Susan Block, sex educator, cable TV host and author, regarding what we can learn from bonobos.

Another session with
Dr. Jane Vargas, a PhD in human sexuality & expert in tease and fetish, talks cross dressing.

*Disclosure Note: Gracie Passette is an editor with Ephemera Bound.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What Are They Going To Do About Jeffs?

Summer re-run, I wrote this June 15, 2005 ~ but as I know you aren't digging through the old Cult of Gracie archives...

Warren Jeffs is getting attention again. I've written about him before, but the more I learn, the more I am interested ~ in a creepy sort of way. The latest press is all up in arms about the so-called 'Lost Boys', teenage boys split off from the group & left to fend for themselves. By ridding the community of teenage boys, Jeffs lowers the competition of men for claiming multiple wives, sort of like a stallion. Unlike that wild life scenario, it seems none of the strong males came sniffing back around to challenge him... Well, as far as we know. We think he's in hiding somewhere, but if a body shows up, there's a group to consider.

Meanwhile, the law figures the only charge they can file is that of Jeffs arranging the marriage of an underage girl. Never mind they had this knowledge in 2002. And in 2004, others noted the irony: "As Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl go on Sunday talk shows to argue for the rights of women in Iraq, Jeffs ascends the pulpit to tell his followers that a man must have at least three wives to secure a place in heaven, while a woman will get there only if invited by her man, local residents said."

But, they are only women in the USA. So who cares? We need to focus on what other men do to other women. Men in the USA are exempt.

*ahem*

Seems Jeffs hasn't been violent enough. Nor do the problems of his ignored assets etc seem to be enough to warrent any legal action. They are a-scared of Mr Jeffs, they are.

(The idea of acting as if he's a murder victim might be the best approach: "Hey, Jeffs, no harm, no foul, we thought you was dead & we went looking for ya. Now that we see you're a-ok, we'll let you be on your merry way..." Then they can follow him back to his lair & monitor him... or not, I guess.)

But Jeffs' civil liberties aside, what I want to know is, are we going to blame Mormons & religion, or is this another lone gunman?

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Get In Bed With Searah Deysach On Cult Of Gracie Radio

June 4th, at 9 p.m. (central), on Cult of Gracie radio, Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed & maker of lesbian porn films.
About Searah: Frustrated with the lame sex toy scene in her hometown, Searah Deysach, with help from her friends and family, opened Chicago’s first woman-owned sex shop Early to Bed in 2001. Now Searah spends her days spreading the good word about sex positively and the joys of masturbation through her store, writings and a busy schedule of talks at colleges and community groups. She is also the sex columnist for (the now defunct) Punk Planet Magazine and the online community ChronicBabe.com. She lives in Chicago with her girlfriend and their bunny.
Join us! Listen live & call in or post your questions to chat. (You can use the same link to listen to the archived show &/or download it too!)

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Republicans Suffer From Dementia & Can't Understand Satire

First republicans were actually using comedian Steven Colbert's satirical works to push their agendas, and now ABC reports that the Minnesota Republican Party's released a letter, signed by a whopping six GOP women, attacking comedian Al Franken who is running for United States Senate in Minnesota.

Eight years ago, Franken penned a column for Playboy called "Porn-O-Rama!" in which the former Saturday Night Live comedian wrote about visiting a made-up sex institute where he takes part in sexual acts with humans and machines.

"While you may attempt to defend your writing as satire, we hardly find anything defensible about your finding humor in your desire to have sex with women or robots that look like women simply to give yourself a good time," the Minnesota GOP women wrote in the letter. "This column is at its worst, an extreme example of the kind of disrespect for the role of women in society that all of us have fought our entire lives. At best, it is the disrespectful writings of a nearly 50-year-old man who seems to think that women's bodies are the domain of a man who just wants to have a good time."

"Denounce this article and apologize immediately," read the letter.

Sheesh. And they say feminists have no sense of humor...

Perhaps too many republicans suffer from frontotemporal dementia and therefore cannot process sarcasm. (It's funny because it's true.)

Meanwhile, for those suffering from a poor sense of humor, an dementia-induced inability to recognize sarcasm, or a fundamental ignorance of humor ~ including satire ~ and its historical use as social protest, the Franken camp's response (via ABC) should help clarify things a bit:

The Franken campaign said the Playboy column was written as a satire.

"Al had a long career as a satirist," said Jess McIntosh of the Franken campaign. "But he understands the difference between what you say as a satirist and what you do as a senator. And as a senator, Norm Coleman has disrespected the people of Minnesota by putting the Exxons and Halliburtons ahead of working families. And there's nothing funny about that."

You don't have to be an Al Franken fan (though I am) to love the "he understands the difference between what you say as a satirist and what you do as a senator".

Maybe a little remedial reading, via the links here, would help those six GOP ladies... Or lobotomies. Hey, Dr. Katherine P. Rankin, do they do parahippocampal gyrus lobotomies for the sarcasm impaired?

Related: In the New York Times article on sarcasm, Dr. Rankin is quoted as saying, "I bet Jon Stewart has a huge right frontal lobe; that’s where the sense of humor is detected on M.R.I."

And now you know how to spot all the smart funny people (who are happy to see you). Bet there are few bulging lobes in today's republican party.

Then again, they are rarely happy to see me.

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Obligatory Trafficking Post

Mention you are a sex worker and you'll have to answer to the trafficking issue. Here are some facts, along with my rant:

Today's trafficked slaves are also used for labor purposes which have nothing to do with sex. Isn't that equally horrible?

Human adults and children are sold for everything from farming & mining to sweat shops & begging ~ even "domestic servants" ~ and they are imprisoned and even disfigured so that they cannot runaway. Why doesn't anyone hold Merry Maids accountable for the enslaved maids, or ask a farmers union if they think they should put an end to farming because there's a trafficking problem? Where's the public outrage at these industries?

There's none.

Because it's ridiculous to hold an industry accountable for the actions taken outside of the industry, for a problem past its own scope. Slavery is the issue, not the industry itself. And so it should be with sex work. In fact, keeping prostitution illegal & stigmatizing sex work only helps those trafficking as they use the fear of police action to keep individuals from trying to get help.

And even when these companies and industries have slaves, folks just don't care about it like they do sex trafficking.

Hell, Nike knew of it's own sweatshops, and when the buying public discovered such facts they continued to buy the shoes; no one thought it necessary to put an end to making shoes or even Nike's way of making shoes with slave labor. This information didn't prompt the government to any great action, or even stop the consumption of Nike products because hell, it was only slavery.

It's the new corporate colonialism; it's fine if workers are locked in, can't use the toilets and work 12+ hour shifts with a 10 minute break.



Nike worked to keep consumers happy too. Brand your logo with a celebrity face and mention how you add to economy, and voila! you are no longer offensive. People will buy anything, even at these prices ~ and I do mean the cost in human lives.



Maybe sex work just needs the right celebrity endorsement. The dollars of adult entertainment are already known to be pretty staggering... Perhaps we need to have a 1.7 billion dollar advertising budget to get our message out.

By the way, guess the demographic of the average Nike slave? Women aged between 19 and 25.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Of Liberals

From an episode of The West Wing:
Santos: I know you like to use that word "liberal" as if it were a crime.

Vinnick: No, I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have used that word. I know Democrats think "liberal" is a bad word. So bad you had to change it, didn't you? What do you call yourselves now? Progressives? Is that it?

Santos: It's true. Republicans have tried to turn "liberal" into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.

Vinnick: A Republican president ended slavery.

Santos: Yes, a liberal Republican, Senator. What happened to them? They got run out of your party. What did liberals do that was so offensive to the liberal party?

I'll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act.

What did conservatives do? They opposed every single one of those things. Every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet – "liberal" – as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work Senator. Because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.

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