Change.org is like AA: it works if you work it. That was made quite clear this week when Holly Kearl of StopStreetHarassment.org posted a petition on Sunday and got results in less than 24 hours.
Article: Wave of (female genital) mutilation
ActivistResource.org apprised us of a 2009 documentary being screened in our neck of the woods (Hudson Valley) tonight called Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter, so we checked out the trailer. It’s the story of one woman’s quest to save her young daughter from the horrors of the African tradition of female genital cutting. In her native Mali, up to 85% of women and girls undergo clitoral excision, which can result in lifelong pain, infection, infertility and even death. After watching the trailer, you’ll think “This is crazy! How can people still think this is a good idea? Thank goodness I live in a Westernized country.” But then we’d point you to this report on the increase in labiaplasty by Hungry Beast (a television show in Australia where they can show a lot more — warning: this is NSFW).
Article: "Sex in America with Lisa Ling"
At least, that’s what Ling’s new show on OWN (Oprah’s new tv network) should be called, instead of “Our America with Lisa Ling.” After all, four of the first five episodes focus on matters of sexuality: There’s “Pray the Gay Away,” which looks at the conflicts between Christianity and homosexuality; “Transgendered Lives,” which profiles several different people who were born in the wrong body; “The State of Sex Offenders” which takes a look at criminals once they’re out of jail; and tonight at 10pm “Online Brides,” which we’re guessing (from the promos) follows men to foreign lands who are in search of love (read: paid-for sex slaves). The first three (which we’ve seen) all take a very personal and intimate look at how these issues are affecting real people — it’s fascinating stuff, all shot very cinematically.
Article: Love & sex in YA lit: THE BAD
Our friends, Em & Nora (who we like to call “Em & No”), recently launched a site for grown-ups about young adult literature called LoveYALit.com*, since (according to the New York Times) more and more people 18-and-over are enjoying books originally intended for the 18-and-under set. Of course, books about teens, the most hormonal among us, often deal with issues of first romantic relationships and sexual awakenings — and reading them as adults can emotionally transport us back to our own teenage years, when those things were really new and exciting, dramatic and traumatic. So we asked Em & Nora to give us a sampling of the good, the bad and the complicated of YA love and sex. We published the good first, here’s the bad, tune in next Thursday for the complicated:
Sometimes in YA, the darker, more depressing and horrifying side of sex is explored – molestation, incest, rape, STDs…. You name it, and you’ll likely find it in the YA section. These books are often challenged by would-be book banners but, fortunately, the freedom to read usually reigns supreme. Please note: just because the sex in these books is bad doesn’t mean we think the books themselves are.
Identical by Ellen Hopkins (2008) — This novel in verse is told from the perspective of twin sisters, one who is sexually molested by their father and the other who deals with their father’s “favoritism” by seeking out sex with drug dealers and random, scummy guys. Sex scenes in YA are not frequently written with much detail, but the sexual assault by “Daddy” is some of the more graphic sex we’ve come across in YA. Disturbing with a capital D. Check out our full review of Identical on LoveYALit.
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (2008) — When “Alice” was 10, she was kidnapped by Ray, a nondescript middle-aged man, and forced to be his sex slave. Now that she is 15 and going through puberty, he’s starving Alice to slow down this process while forcing her to look for her “replacement.” This means trolling the playgrounds and choosing a suitable target. It’s a chilling yet fascinating look at the vulnerability of children to power, control and violence — and the subsequent dehumanizing effects of such abuse.
Can’t wait to end up in Pigeon Forge — home to Dollywood! Oho — big news on Sullivan this week… the Goonies were busted BIG TIME! Tuesday night the cops swarmed in, blocked off Sullivan and Prince and went to town on the Goonies. The dealers were all up against the wall (very Law &…
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
During the Pope’s visit to Malta this past weekend, he visited with abuse victims, paying a lot of lip service to “healing” and “investigations.” Yeah right! He also commended Malta for keeping divorce and abortion illegal. What century is this!? So here’s a roundup of some recent abuse scandal pieces to keep you riled up:
- Last week we mentioned Dr. Lothstein, a psychologist who’s treated more than 300 priests who was interviewed for a New York Times article; more recently he was interviewed by NPR, with more revelations about pedophile priests being reinstated.
- This 2003 This American Life story, recently re-aired, profiles a priest who was a “fixer”, sent in by the Catholic Church to places rocked by sex scandals, in order to restore order via deception — he eventually flipped and worked for lawyers prosecuting abuse cases! (It’s Act 1, so you won’t have to weed through the entire episode.)
A leopard shot seven years ago in South Africa caught up with a South Dakota man in an Aberdeen courtroom today.
When two crooks in the Dutch town of Groningen decided to separate a teenager from his bicycle last September, they had the misfortune to do it when a Google Street View car was passing by. The Sydney Morning Herald has a great slide show of the moments before the theft. The images allowed the police…
Salon.com has an extended scene from forthcoming documentary “What’s the Matter With Kansas?“, based on Thomas Frank’s bestselling book of the same title about the Right Wing’s rise in the once-liberal state. It features Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita-based abortion provider who was gunned down last Sunday while attending church. The clip touches on the years of threats and abuse Tiller experienced — law suits, arson, death threats, failed assassination attempts — for his commitment to providing women with safe and legal reproductive care. When Tiller speaks, he seems exhausted yet resigned to defending women’s rights against these radicals. It’s tragic.
After the jump, a round-up of interesting articles and info on Dr. Tiller and reproductive rights in the wake of his murder…