What We Missed

Check out the trailer (above) and site for Courtney’s new book, Do it Anyway.

10 Things men can do to stop human trafficking.

Heather Corinna opens a can of whoop ass on that study out yesterday about young people and sex at Scarlateen.

Check out the new campaign Sarah Palin Doesn’t Speak for Me.

Where is the feminist movement on AIDS?

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4 Comments

  1. Posted August 18, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Samhita’s headline, “Heather Corinna opens a can of whoop ass on that study …” is NOT an accurate representation of the article!

    This is somewhat ironic, simply because the content of the article is taking the media, rather than the study, to task for misrepresenting the study’s findings. Let’s review a few of Corinna’s statements:

    “It’s a solid study with some important and interesting information, a whole lot of which is either being misreported or not reported on at all.”

    “the piece got a whole lot of media and internet airplay, even though it was clear few, if any, reporting on it had yet looked at the study itself.”

    “… on the whole, most reports misrepresented the study and its findings in some way, and many demonstrated that right in their headline.”

    “There are some really interesting things in this study, especially when we move away from trying to make broad, adultist generalizations.”

    “Poor reporting, the inclination towards being provocative or intellectual laziness should not be taken as indications that this study is to blame or doesn’t have things of value to offer, because it’s a really interesting and well-done piece of work. ”

    “It includes some findings young people, parents/guardians and educators should know about and furthers some really important conversation. We’re very much looking forward to having more discussion about it with the authors and seeing some reporting that presents the study — and the young people it’s about — less one-dimensionally.”

    So, yeah.. Where was that can of whoop (sic) ass being opened on the study, Samhita? The only can I saw opened up was on innaccurate media reporting of careful and well-crafted work, kinda like you did for Heather Corinna’s reasoned article.

  2. Posted August 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Things Women Can Do to Help Stop Human Trafficking:
    Stop buying clothes or food because those products might have been made by people who had been coerced into the work.

    I’m being a little harsh, but serious here. There are miserable sweatshop workers who’ve been trafficked and make clothes, yet we’re not expecting people to stop that by buying all clothes just in case. There are also immigrants trafficked and virtually enslaved for agricultural purposes. Yet, we’re not naked and starving.
    There are women choosing to make money in porn, strip clubs, and prostitution. That is the profession that they chose. To deprive them of an honest living because someone else might be exploited is just terrible. These are real people with real lives whose livelihoods Ms. Magazine would so readily eliminate.
    Also, on the practical level, porn, strip clubs, and prostitution aren’t going away ever. Seriously, why not just tell people to stop having sexual urges. Until Ms. Magazine comes out with a system where all horny men are instantly satisfied, I can’t see these being practical goals. They also distract from things like legitimizing sexual services and winning the men and women who perform those services legal protection. Pimps exist because of people who waste time and money fighting prostitution rather than legalizing and legitimizing it.
    I just get a little upset when attitudes like this are spread and contribute to a culture that keeps sex workers at risk and legally victimizes them.

  3. Posted August 19, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Typically I love reading through the links posted at Feministing, but the “10 Things Men and Boys Can Do…” is not that great of an article. In terms of the discussion of prostitution, there are some VERY skewed statistics and blanket statements of the “evils” of sex work, rather than attempting to tackle the evils that make sex work dangerous, or the evils that create serious problems like trafficking and rape.

    Here’s an example of the statistics, a quote from the Ms. article: “Viewing prostitution as a victimless crime or something that women “choose” allows men to ignore the fact that the average age of entry into prostitution in the U.S. is 12 to 14 and that the vast majority of women engaged in prostitution would like to get out but feel trapped…”

    If you click on the citation for that age range, you’ll find that it’s a study discussing child trafficking. Read closely. In order to represent that age range accurately, you would have to say “the average age of entry into forced prostitution of those trafficked as children in the U.S. is 12 to 14″. The article makes it sound like the statistics represent the average age of entry into prostitution as a whole, for all women. Therefore, the statistics are highly misrepresented. This is either ignorant or unethical reporting. Going on, the next part of the quote (“the vast majority of women engaged in prostitution would like to get out but feel trapped…”) has no citation. Therefore, it’s an opinion, and not necessarily true– and speaking for an entire group of people who should be given the opportunity to speak for themselves!

    Trafficking and rape are wrong. Chosen sex work, to me, is neither right nor wrong– its dangers and the capitalist society that make it (sometimes) a necessity due to money, rather than a real choice, should be eliminated. But sex work itself should not be inherently vilified, any more than, for instance, factory work, which can also be, depending on the person, something enjoyable, something unenjoyable but necessary because of the evils of poverty, or even slavery.

  4. Posted August 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    No, sex toy james, you are NOT being harsh – that article on Ms. is horrible, sex-negative sweeping generalizations promoting the abolition of all forms of sexual entertainment without a critical eye as to nuance or agency.

    And speaking of (lacking) a critical eye, I’m not terrible surprised the Ms. article was posted on Feministing. It seems that in recent posts, nuance and complexity are no longer desired – which I think used to be fine because at least there was DISCUSSION where issues could be raised. But the new feministing – with 0-5 comments on most posts, offers much to be desired. What happened??

    [I'll ask that this comment please get posted - I have been a commenter here for years, I have sent an (unanswered) email asking why comments take so long or don't get posted at all - and this is the very first time I am expressing my personal disappointment in the site.]

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