Tag Archives: activism

Slavic Pride in Belarus interrupted by the police

Updates:
Here you can read the account of an activist who was arrested, beaten and humiliated by the Belarussian Policeforce.
Here is another  post, which rightfully shame the lack of media-coverage.

These videos says it all really, but if you want to read more about it, go to this blog and read more.

I visited Belarus in 2005. It was eyeopening, for many reasons. For those of you who are unaware, it is a European Dictatorship, in which people who dissent are punished by jail or worse. A friend of mine died, he was an activist. I don’t want to give any details, but all in all; the Belorussian president Lukashenka got blood on his hands. And the conditions for queers is horrendous.

Please distribute this widely and remember that an army of lovers cannot loose, even when it feels like we are sometimes.

All my love to the brave queers in Belarus. I so badly want to stand next to you. I so badly want this shit to end and for you to live the life you so deserve.


This just in: Erotic Awards double-standards

Erotic Awards held their prize-giving ceremony this past weekend. I just wanted to raise awareness of how the event went down, especially considering that the person who was awarded the ‘activist of the year’ was denied (due to the lack of accessibility) the possibility to receive the award on the stage as well as giving an acceptance speach. This is mostly a post consisting of quotes, I am afraid you have you live with that. (Revision period, exams starting in a week)

These are the words from De (also known as Clair Lewis,or Dennis Queen) who works with Consenting Adult Action Network:

Just back from trying to attend the Erotic Awards in London, I won ‘campaigner of the year ‘ award. What a sham! Given how I was excluded yesterday by an inaccessible stage, venue which was impossible to move around independently except for outside in the cold.. and a very rude awards compere, I don’t know if someone from CAAN will be going tomorrow to deliver my speech at the Rally after all, despite me having spent hours writing a powerful speech designed to pull more people into active campaigning. And anyway who knows if we’ll even get on the platform!

My costly attendance last night was unnecessary and a waste of my desperately needed personal resources, but we were told it was very important to have someone there by seven (judges decided days before who won) .. the event started two hours late.. and basically we didn’t get to accept the award on stage or say anything so we lost the opportunity to use this for publicity, be filmed and photographed or do or say anything useful.. or to just even identify myself to anyone – every other award winner was invited to the stage, something was said about their work and they were then invited to talk for a minute or two about it. My trophy was passed down (via others, not the person who was doing the presenting) across to where I had been asked to sit in my wheelchair, with the other winners by the stage.. the compere said CAAN is a campaigning group our website is www.caan.org.uk – and that was it. Didn’t even mention I was there (other CAAN people i saw later thought I hadn’t attended!!)

It would be good to hear the views of other CAAN people and supporters what we should do with this token gesture of a golden penis trophy.. Do you think other CAAN people should further personal time, energy and money on publicly supporting this event? and should we keep any kind of relationship with this archaic organisation which is too busy patronising disabled people to let us join in on an equal basis? They didnt even seem to think this was a problem. Really unimpressed.

:-( ended up having to get a hotel cos couldn’t stay at the event as I was so cold it hurt, because it was so late by then that there were no more trains :-( after wandering the streets in the rain.

De

……..

I’d have given these thanks for my award, were I given the mic like the otherErotic Award winners. I know I couldn’t get on the inaccessible stage in my wheelchair, but I *can* still communicate. I will instead use my voice where I am welcome and let the ignorance of the people running things on the stage – Tuppy Owens and Helen Croydon (who were raising money ‘for the disabled’ (!)) – speak for itself.

“Thank you to everyone involved who has worked hard to support me in my role as National Convenor for our Consenting Adult Action Network.

Thank you to the Erotic Awards judges for this great compliment, which is due to everyone involved in our inclusive network, really, and well deserved.

All of us at CAAN are volunteers, donating our personal time, skills and resources, in all sorts of different ways. Many CAAN people work behind the scenes due to the personal risks of being outed.

Please continue to support us and join the fight against state-sanctioned discrimination, exclusion and criminalisation of consenting adults, just because of our sexual choices.

……

To read more about De, activism with CAAN and activism in general, check out the blog

I really don’t know what to say, except that it is embarrassing for Erotic Awards, that pride themselves upon being alternative, open and accessible.


The Lies about the Lies, part 2

First part by Xzenu Cronström Beskow can be found here.

To recap, the ten lies that Melissa Farley claims to uncover, are:

  1. 1. Pain is pleasure; humiliation is enjoyable; bondage is liberation.
    2. Sadomasochism is love and trust, not domination and annihilation.
    3. Sadomasochism is not racist and anti Semitic even though we “act” like slave owners and enslaved Africans, Nazis and persecuted Jews.
    4. Sadomasochism is consensual; no one gets hurt if they don’t want to get hurt. No one has died from sadomasochistic “scenes.”
    5. Sadomasochism is only about sex. It doesn’t extend into the rest of the relationship.
    6. Sadomasochistic pornography has no relationship to the sadomasochistic society we live in. “If it feels good, go with it.” “We create our own sexuality.”
    7. Lesbians “into sadomasochism” are feminists, devoted to women, and a women-only lesbian community. Lesbian pornography is “by women, for women.”
    8. Since lesbians are superior to men, we can “play” with sadomasochism in a liberating way that heterosexuals can not.
    9. Re-enacting abuse heals abuse. Sadomasochism heals emotional wounds from childhood sexual assault.
    10. Sadomasochism is political dissent. It is progressive and even “transgressive” in that it breaks the rules of the dominant sexual ideology.

Part 2: The Strawman Sadomasochist
To some extent, all ten points listed in part one are to some extent a “Strawman Political” version of sadomasochists. In this part I will focus on six points where this “Strawman sadomasochist” is the main problem, while the next part will instead deal with the four points where the main problem is radical feminist dogmatism.

1. Pain is pleasure; humiliation is enjoyable; bondage is liberation.

For some people, the RIGHT kind of pain in the right degree and context can indeed be enjoyable. Same thing goes for humiliation and for being tied up with ropes – which is what the word “bondage” refers to in a BDSM context. (BDSM stands for sadomasochistic sexual practices: Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism & Masochism.)

During my decades of experience with the BDSM scene, I have *never* encountered a person who claims that all pain is enjoyable. However, I have often encountered this stereotype among people who are prejudiced against sadomasochists and their BDSM practices.

It is also worth noticing that this first point of Farley’s is homage to the novel 1984 and the propaganda of the evil regime in that novel: “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.” The problem here is not the homage itself, but that she attributes it to the sadomasochists. The strawman sadomasochist she is “exposing” have more in common with the villains of children’s comic books, standing on mountaintops shouting “Muahaha, I’m EVIL!” to the raging thunderstorm, then it has in common with actual people. I assume that Farley has made up the ten points herself, incorrectly presenting her prejudice against sadomasochists as if it was the actual opinions of actual sadomasochists. If the list actually do come from someone who claim to be a sadomasochist, and Farley has not twisted the words or ripped them out of context, then Farley has indeed been extremely lucky with finding a source that is easy to mock. Continue reading


The Lies about the Ten Lies, by Guestblogger

Ve: When I first read Melissa Farleys piece ‘Ten Lies about Sadomasochism’ I wanted to respond.  I did not know how, but kept the text in the back of my head.

Then, time went by, and I did not give a proper response. Instead, a couple of weeks ago I saw the text was mentioned in a discussiongroup. Closely following, I realised a fellow sex-positive activist who is also an acquaintance of mine was saying all that I never managed to express when it came to Farley’s badly informed rants.

So here, we proudly present our first guestblogger; here is Xzenu Beskow and the first part out of 3, with an examination of the claims made by Melissa Farley.

Part 1: Totalitarian categorism in Radical Feminism

It is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this metaphor is very true for totalitarian branches of radical feminism. Tough everyone divides things and people into categories, it is all too easy to make the categories into prisons instead of tools. This is the point at which categorization turns into what I call categorism: When categorization by skin color or ethnicity turns into racism, where categorization by gender turns into sexism or transphobia, where categorization by sexual orientations turns into homophobia, heterophobia or paraphobia.

Feminism focuses on the categorization of people into men and women, and on the oppression of the second category. At best, this focus is liberating by fighting oppression and by making oppression visible. At worst, however, feminism can be misused to lock people into narrow categories of what it means to have a certain gender or sexuality. And thus, certain branches of radical feminism are infamous for prejudice against gender identity minorities (notably transsexuals, for example with Raymond’s book The Transsexual Empire) and against all sexualities that do not fit their narrow normative orthodoxy.

Such orthodoxy can be relatively harmless when it is very far from what the mainstream believes. If a debater claims in the name of feminism that all heterosexual women are brainwashed victims of male rapists, then the debater is unlikely to accomplish anything other then giving antifeminists an opportunity to ridicule feminism as such. But if the same debater instead claims that all masochists are brainwashed victims of sadistic rapists, then the debater has a chance to cause real harm to real masochists since this sexual minority is already viewed with mistrust and prejudice by many in the mainstream.

One good example is Farley’s “The Ten Lies of Sadomasochism”. In this text, the author makes the claim that there are ten claims that sadomasochists usually make about themselves. She also claims that these ten statements are lies, and that she has successfully exposed them as such.

Three things are wrong about this statement. First of all, her list is highly questionable. Some claims are twisted into generalizations, others are outright outrageous. It is obvious that it is the list of a radical feminist who want to portray sadomasochism in a bad light, not a list that the sadomasochist subculture would agree on. Thus, her whole argument is based on a “Strawman Political”. (See http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrawmanPolitical )

Second, not only does she use heavily ideological definitions of what certain words mean, but she also pretends that sadomasochists agree with her definitions of these words.

Third, she generalizes in ways that very consistently imply the word “all” without using the word itself. She talks about how all sadomasochists are, without ever using the word “all”, taking for granted that all sadomasochists form one coherent group. This kind of generalization is a hallmark of categorism.

The ten so-called lies are:

1. Pain is pleasure; humiliation is enjoyable; bondage is liberation.
2. Sadomasochism is love and trust, not domination and annihilation.
3. Sadomasochism is not racist and anti Semitic even though we “act” like slave owners and enslaved Africans, Nazis and persecuted Jews.
4. Sadomasochism is consensual; no one gets hurt if they don’t want to get hurt. No one has died from sadomasochistic “scenes.”
5. Sadomasochism is only about sex. It doesn’t extend into the rest of the relationship.
6. Sadomasochistic pornography has no relationship to the sadomasochistic society we live in. “If it feels good, go with it.” “We create our own sexuality.”
7. Lesbians “into sadomasochism” are feminists, devoted to women, and a women-only lesbian community. Lesbian pornography is “by women, for women.”
8. Since lesbians are superior to men, we can “play” with sadomasochism in a liberating way that heterosexuals can not.
9. Reenacting abuse heals abuse. Sadomasochism heals emotional wounds from childhood sexual assault.
10. Sadomasochism is political dissent. It is progressive and even “transgressive” in that it breaks the rules of the dominant sexual ideology.

In the next two parts we will take a closer look at each of these claims. I have divided this into two chapters: The Strawman Sadomasochist and Sadomasochism Versus Radical Feminist Dogma.

To be continued

By Xzenu Cronström Beskow

The author is a  queerfeminist veteran, active both in struggles against sexual abuse and  for the rights of sexual minorities. Xzenu got  academic degrees in psychology and sexology.

 


I’ve been bad

 

Daddy, I’ve been so bad. Not updating the blog…

No, not really. I’m just saying that all those updates I’m planning takes a bit more time than I thought. It’s worth waiting for, because we are going to be speaking about needles. We are going to look at a radical feminists argument against BDSM and pick it into pieces. And furthermore, in hopefully a not too distant future, more interviews with perverts.

So, what then?

First of all: did you know that keeping a slave makes you stay healthy?
Another site that is a bit better on keeping up to date is Island of Pain.
They report on the Sharon Warner Case, which is one of those brilliant, fucked up things that makes me sad, mad and frustrated.  I’m not going to try to put it better than it is already written:

Chavez, on the other hand, as the situation is described by Warner, seems to have mixed work ethics and lifestyle behaviour beyond what could be seen acceptable, even within the BDSM community. My opinion is that you are definitely on thin ice when you involve your graduate students in your lifestyle behaviour – Not moral reasons, but because certain dependencies issues are created, as the lines between work and lifestyle are blurred.

So, yeah, what is wrong with people who can’t see the power dynamics at play here?  Go ahead and be as kinky as you want, but let’s dwell for one second on consent. Consent, power and trust.  Thinking about those terms, that we are often playing with and then just not realising the implications of involving your students is just plain stupid. No one is judged yet, but I don’t care and have a really hard time feeling sorry for Chavez. Furthermore, as it’s said in the comments, this is not about kink. It could be, but it’s not about kink-rights.

Another stupidity is Julie Bindel’s latest rant on how horrible the trans-people are, or rather, the mutilation and distortion of gender that they portray; as well as how loud and threatening they are.  I can’t feel sorry for her. At all. She has been advocating many a important issues, but not understanding that her stance on transgendered people is so insensitive and out of touch is deserving of the award ‘Nutter of the week’.

Moving on to something completley else; the fact that we know nothing or very little about HPV (human papilloma virus). Poundcake explains it very clearly and it is indeed important to keep updated about all of these things. I want to stay healthy and do regular check-ups about every half year. It feels like a  total overhaul, like beeing a car that goes in on service. And even though I am careful it is always nervous doing the three-minute HIV test.

Tomorrow, at Trafalgar Square there will be a candle light vigil for Ian Baynham, who died after an attack in the end of september.
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/10/16/vigil-planned-for-gay-man-murdered-in-trafalgar-square/#
There will also be a march against homophobia in Liverpool, sometime in the end of November, following after recent homophobic attacks.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=162737774775&ref=mf

And a very hardhitting blog-entry on how the case is still not won in regards to LGBTQI-rights can be found here.


Church says yes

So yeah, I’m not religious and have been having a hard time to understand why people would want to be a part of a structure that through so many years clearly expressed a anti lgbt- attitude. I left the Swedish church in my late teens and even if I look back sometimes and think it was not the most constructive thing to do, I am very proud today. But not because I’ve left but because I used to belong to a structure that today has shown that it can change. Not only a semi-change (civil partnership) but also a full change GIVING SAME SEX COUPLES THE FULL RIGHT TO MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the light of queer activism around the world this is amazing news. Change can happen, take place and mean something rather than nothin. Empty words can become filled with a meaning. I’m not fooled in the fact that the meaning not always itself is the best one ( how come marriage is continued being viewed as the goal of love, as the ultimate manifestation of love?) but I do acknowledge single individuals want to enter such an agreement and manifestation and think they should have the every right to.
And now, finally, in Sweden you can


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