Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays for Whom?

Holidays « gudbuytjane
Dismantling oppression requires acknowledgment of privilege, which is a difficult thing to do. We’re trained to evade it and to feel emotions such as anger and defensiveness when presented with it, because to acknowledge our privileges as individuals acknowledges the system from which that privilege arises. Still, if we are truly invested in change and seeking progressive alternatives to the way things are, we must be willing to engage that discomfort.

Acknowledge your privilege this holiday season. Not “in the spirit of the season” – that phrase is couched in the hypocrisy of the public moralizing of an oppressor culture – but against the notion of a culture that abandons those who most need love and acceptance while promoting empty images of family and community. Acknowledge that, as you sit down to dinner with your family or loved ones, there are those who are not welcome to do the same with their families, and that a disproportionate number of those people are transgender or transsexual.

Despite any kvetching on my part about mi familia, at least I am lucky enough to have a family that loves and accepts me as well as my cis gay sister, uncles and cousins. Not everyone is so lucky.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Humanity. No exceptions. No qualifications.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We need to stick a warning label on me after this one...

Did you hear the one about the white nationalist network traveling to Washington D.C. to participate in a Congressional hearing?

No really. I'm not joking. Our congressional "leaders" are seeking advice on immigration reform from people with known ties to white nationalist organizations and holocaust denialists. If anyone here has ever wondered why I get kinda pissed off when people blithely discuss immigration reform and quote bullshit from groups like's your 411. Many of those at the forefront of the push for reform and tighter laws are a bunch of racist douchebags with ulterior motives, i.e., a USA that is "free' of the taint of non-white Western Euro people.

This is not acceptable and I would hope it is obvious why. As I pointed out to a friend online, having these assholes testify for immigration reform is like having Polanski testify for the reform of sexual assault laws. Not. OK.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gee, imagine that...

Caster Semenya found "innocent" of any wrong" to retain 800M Gold Medal

The fact that this young woman's privacy was so blatantly violated makes me angry but I am glad it was not compounded by the further injustice of having her medal stripped from her and her accomplishments dismissed. I can only imagine the kind of abuse she might have been/has been subject to by those who see her as "not a real woman". There are a 150+ people who would testify to what that's like, were they still alive. It also revealed just how rudimentary and incorrect our society's knowledge of sex and gender really are.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In case you hadn't heard...

Lou Dobbs has been fired from CNN.  He is now embarking on a whinging campaign that should probably find him a nice spot on Faux News. Bye bye Lou.  We won't miss you one bit. Statement by SPLC President Richard Cohen on the Departure of Lou Dobbs from CNN
Statement by SPLC President Richard Cohen on the Departure of Lou Dobbs from CNN
Richard Cohen

Earlier this year, we called upon CNN to remove Lou Dobbs from the air for trading in falsehoods and racist conspiracy theories. Tonight we are glad that Dobbs has announced his departure from his influential position at CNN.

In his announcement, Dobbs complained that the public debate over important issues is now defined by "partisanship and ideology rather than rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion."

The truth is, Dobbs has done as much as anyone to poison the immigration debate by repeatedly reporting false information about immigrants. The most outrageous statement was his claim that immigrants were responsible for bringing thousands of new cases of leprosy to the United States during a recent three-year period. He also lent legitimacy to conspiracy theories, such as the claim that undocumented immigrants are part of a plot to reconquer the American Southwest. Most recently, he gave credence to the utterly baseless idea that President Obama is not a native-born American citizen.

Dobbs was certainly capable of fine journalism. But, as his ratings grew, he became a prisoner of the independent image he tried to cultivate, someone seemingly incapable of admitting a mistake. CNN should have asked him to resign long ago.

J. Richard Cohen

Monday, November 09, 2009

To grieving endings and celebrating new beginnings

8 years ago tonight was the eve of a significant event in my life. 8 years later that event has come to naught and so a part of me grieves it however, I also realize that this is the beginning of something else, a new chapter in my book of life. I really and truly don't have much of a clue what is going to come next but I intend to meet whatever it is with an open and brave heart. I know that there will be missteps along the way. I will fall down and be hurt sometimes but that is part and parcel of the whole experience. The pain is as significant as the joy, or so I have always found. You will forgive me if I am somewhat moody the next couple of days. I am still grieving for the dreams and ideals I gave up even as I search for the new. So,I raise a glass for myself and to you reading this. Here's to the endings that bring us new beginnings...

Friday, November 06, 2009

Health care reform: Destined to fail women?

Where's the Birth Control? |
Yet, before we resign ourselves to a very imperfect health reform bill, it's worth reminding lawmakers that women's health extends far beyond abortion. And while those who make our laws may fear the consequences of taking a stand for basic services for this half of the population, the cost of not doing it, both in terms of health and politics, is sure to be far greater.

Emphasis is mine and it's one that needs to be stated over and over because there are a lot of clueless jerks out there who cannot get their heads around the fact that women are more than just reproductive organs. In fact, some of us don't even HAVE reproductive organs. Some of us are trans, some of us are intersex, some of us have simply chosen not to reproduce at all or are unable to. I know, I know, I may be breaking your brain here but seriously, the way they use the bodies of cis women like political footballs is shameful and somehow I doubt that they have even considered trans women in all this quibbling, again, shameful. If they had, you can bet that they'd still be made of fail.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Found via Twitter...

This is an entry from Daily Kos that someone on my Twitter feed posted today and I am glad she did. Too often sexual assaults is presented as a woman's problem. So much of what is out there about rape prevention is aimed at women and is defensive. It's all about us watching our backs, not going certain places alone, how to get away from an attacker, etc. There are too few programs/interventions aimed at the majority of those committing the sexual assaults: men. If we're going to change the stats regarding sexual assaults committed against women then something needs to change because what we're doing now isn't working.

For the record, the actual entry itself is potentially triggering, so be careful.

Daily Kos: On Rape and Men (Brace Yourself)
I am a male. I am a feminist. This diary is for 1) fellow feminists and 2) anyone who underestimates how pervasive the patriarchal sense of entitlement to a woman's body is in our culture. What does that mean? It means it's for everybody: honestly, I think you're one or the other. Black and white? Probably.


If you're a man reading this, this is what you have to do: you have to make your male friends uncomfortable. You have to bring up this subject out of the blue and tell them everything I just told you. You should especially quiz them on some of the recommendations on the rape prevention list. I don't give a shit if they look at you funny for it, especially if you believe them to truly be your friends. Addressing and preventing rape requires the audacity of reason, with an emphasis on "audacity." And if you encounter a man who consistently refuses to accept some of the arguments outlined in this diary, you should be watching him closely from now on.

Also for the record, this entry is talking about cis women. I suspect the incidence of rape committed against trans women is far higher but the stats are even harder to collect/estimate correctly.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hey Bigotry!

Tomorrow we can drive around this town and let the cops chase us around, the past is gone but something might be found take its place....

Dallas Police Gave 38 Improper No-English Tickets | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth
Police officers have improperly cited Dallas drivers for not being able to speak English 38 times in the past three years, Chief David Kunkle said Friday.

The discovery came after a woman was pulled over earlier this month for making an illegal U-turn and was given a ticket for being a "non-English speaking driver."

Kunkle said his department's computer system for citations has a pull-down menu that includes a law requiring drivers of commercial vehicles to speak English.

The chief said it was a federal law that was misapplied to local drivers of private vehicles.

Sadly, I am not the least bit surprised other than that I would have expected this from Farmer's Branch or Irving first but yanno, whatever. We brown people are all the same anywhere you go right?  I'm tempted to pretend I only speak French the next time I get pulled over.  Wonder how they'd react to that?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gratuitous Cleavage Shot

Inspired by Essin Em's Nearly Naked Thursday post. Why the hell not? Boobies are awesome and sometimes it's nice to post something that is not angry or sad.

Although while we're talking about issues...

Remember this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Save those boobies, boys n' girls!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do I really need to keep saying this?

No More Money - Take Action
Tell your Senators: Stop funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs! Only support funding for comprehensive sex education!

The Senate Finance Committee recently approved two amendments to the health care reform bill-one creating a comprehensive sex education program for the states and the other extending the failed Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program. We need to ensure Congress only funds a comprehensive approach to sex education and does not fund ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that leave young people at risk.

And why should we reject Abstinence Only sexuality education? Here's a primer for why I and many others are against it: Reality Behind Programs.

Friday, October 09, 2009

You're right Mr. President...

It is a challenge to you. During your campaign, you used a phrase that is deeply significant to the Chican@ community: "Yes we can/Si se puede". We are hoping that you live up to that promise and many of us want you to succeed but there have been far too many times this year that it felt like you were letting more cynical minds steer you away from that promise. Here's to hoping the Nobel steers you back on course.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Because I think it would make me OM NOM NOMMABLE

Customized Cupcake Car

Put on your matching hat, slip under the muffin top of your Cupcake Car, and let the world figure itself out for awhile. Get (or give) the sheer, joyful chaos of a gift that is mind-blowing, triple-dog-dare, double-infinity forever cool. Make the kids or grandkids literally squeal with joy. Bring it to work and buzz the breakroom. Crash parades! Putter about the ‘hood. Ever had a crowd of kids chasing after you just for the crazy gleeful heck of it? (No worries, the top speed is a comfy-safe 7 mph.) What’s it made of? A 24-volt electric motor, a heavy-duty battery, sheet metal, wire, fabric, wood…and mad genius. Launched at Burning ManSM as a cooperative art car project, the Cupcake Car sprang from the fevered mind of Bay Area artist Lisa Pongrace and her less-rules-more-laughs posse of artists and techno geeks. Yours will be tricked out with your favorite topping, so start thinking flavors.

Seriously, this would be so much fun to drive around just for the sake of seeing people's expressions. And I would hand out cupcakes while I was at it and thereby put into motion my plans to DOMINATE THE EARTH! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Yes. That's my plan for world domination. Cupcakes. What? Like YOU don't like cupcakes?????

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Because "Just Say NO!" is not an education

I have probably ranted enough on this blog about sex education and the need for accurate comprehensive info for EVERYONE including kids but unfortunately not everyone is as enlightened as you folks. This month is the Sex Ed Month of Action (It is also still Latin@ Heritage month because we Latin@s are damned sexy!)and there's an online petition out there for people to "sign". In light of the fact that the Senate Finance Committee has voted to re-fund abstinence only programs, it might be a good idea for you to let them know you think that's a really, really bad idea.
SIECUS - Sex Ed Month of Action

Throughout October 2009, young people and their allies are engaging in advocacy efforts in communities across the country to raise awareness for the need for REAL sex education. The Sex Ed Month of Action will engage young people and their allies across the United States in showing their support for comprehensive sex education.

It’s time to get REAL! Young people need access to comprehensive sex education programs that provide them with the information and skills they need to make responsible and informed decisions so they can lead healthy lives.

SIECUS has teamed up with our colleagues to put an end to federal funding for ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and support the right of young people to receive age-appropriate and medically accurate comprehensive sex education.

Now is the time to act! Please join Advocates for Youth, Choice USA, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, SIECUS, Sierra Club, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice to support the work of young people and their allies from a diverse range of social movements in advocating for comprehensive sex education.

As part of our collective advocacy, we will be sending a petition to leaders of Congress urging them to support the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, to create the first dedicated federal funding stream for comprehensive sex education that meets the needs of all young people. Our goal is to collect 10,000 signatures by the end of the month!

Get Involved Now!

* Click here to sign the petition online!
* Click here for more information on the REAL Act.
* Click here for information on the need for comprehensive sex education.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Because if we keep doing the same thing over again, it might work this time!

Senate Finance Committee Votes to Fund Comprehensive Sex Education
Failed Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding Also Restored

Washington, DC – Late last night, the Senate Finance Committee approved an amendment offered by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) to fund a comprehensive sex education funding stream, The Personal Responsibility Education for Adulthood Training.The amendment provides $75 million for states; $50 million of which would be geared to evidence-based, medically accurate, age-appropriate programs to educate adolescents about both abstinence and contraception in order to prevent unintended teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. The remaining funds would be for innovative programs as well as research and evaluation. The amendment passed 14–9 with Republican Senator Olympia Snowe (ME) joining all the Democrats voting in favor.

“We would like to thank Chairman Baucus and his staff for their strong support of a comprehensive approach to sex education, ensuring that all young people have access to information so that they can make responsible decisions and lead healthy and safe lives,” said William Smith, vice president for public policy at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). “The Baucus Amendment creates a new comprehensive sex education program for the states and can be easily reconciled with a similar measure, the Healthy Teen Initiative, on the House side. This is a huge step in putting evidence and common sense over hypermorality and will get states the money they need to support good programming.”

There was also a vote on an amendment introduced by Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) that reinstated funding for the failed Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program which had expired on June 30, 2009. The amendment passed 12–11 with Democratic Senators Blanche Lincoln (AR) and Kent Conrad (ND) joining all the Republicans on the Committee in favor. Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding had been refused by nearly half of the states both because of the restrictive nature of the program and the fact that overwhelming evidence has proven these programs to be ineffective and a waste of taxpayer dollars. This amendment would direct $50 million a year through FY 2014 for the extension of the Title V abstinence-only programs.

“This amendment takes a giant step backward by restoring funding for the failed and discredited abstinence-only-until-marriage program for the states,” continued Smith. “However, because this program so clearly doesn’t work and half the states don’t even participate, we are confident it will be stripped from the final bill and ask Congressional leaders and the White House to ensure this happens.”

Both amendments still face several potential hurdles in committee, on the Senate floor, and in conference with the House before they become law.

For more information, please contact Patrick Malone at, or (202)265-2405.

Originally seen on 's LJ but I received this via email just now too. I love that those assholes won't give us a public option for health care but they will throw $50 million at failed programs that will continue to spread lies and misinformation about prevention of disease and unplanned pregnancies. Fuck them all right in their goddamn, useless ears.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gassy, crazy old white guys...

Emitting hateful noxious gases. That is what Dobbs, Limgbaugh and their ilk are. Or so goes the theory from Nezua of The Unapologetic Mexican. This is the first good chuckle I've had all day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Press Release from SWOP USA

I am on the SWOP USA mailing list and received this press release just now encouraging me to forward it as widely as possibly so here it goes!

*** Please Forward Widely ***

The Desiree Alliance, Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA) and allied organizations such as BAYSWAN and the Best Practices Policy Project are saddened to observe the malicious tactics used by Glen Beck of Fox news in a recent “expose” of ACORN. All of our organizations stand firmly against the exploitation of minors in prostitution and we also oppose trafficking in persons, but we are concerned about the way the provision of services to adult sex workers was portrayed in the recent report.

In Glen Beck’s effort to critique ACORN via a highly edited series of videos, he in fact belittles the efforts of sex workers who seek services to find stable living circumstances and financial help.

“The Fox news report tears down the efforts of grassroots service providers all over the country to reach out to hard to reach communities of sex workers to help them,” said Tara Sawyer of SWOP-USA.

“Sex workers are already very fearful about accessing services that could help them and these low-brow media attacks on service providers increase barriers and harm” she added.

All of our organizations are concerned that the “expose” will cause service providers and non-profit organizations to shy away from providing harm reduction services and helping sex workers “where they are at.”

“Providing sex workers with information about how to live safely, even though what they do is criminalized, is essential,” said Susan Lopez of Desiree Alliance “And we commend all organizations that provide these services to prevent HIV, help sex workers find housing, seek financial support and to take care of their health needs. Don’t turn sex workers away because of unconscionable undercover reports like those carried out by Fox.”

About the Organizations:

The Desiree Alliance is a diverse, volunteer-based, sex worker-led network of organizations, communities and individuals across the US working in harm reduction, direct services, political advocacy and health services for sex workers. We provide leadership and create space for sex workers and supporters to come together to advocate for human, labor and civil rights for all workers in the sex industry.

Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA
is a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.

.·:*¨¨*:·. .·:*¨¨*:·. .·:*¨¨*:·.
Tara Sawyer
Sex Workers Outreach Project
Board Member
912 Cole St. #202, San Francisco, CA 94117
24/7 support& referral hotline: 877-776-2004x1

The Nature of Love (according to me)

I’ve had a several conversations lately, both online and in real time, with friends about love. I suppose it isn’t surprising given the nature of my life changes recently that I’ve been thinking about such things but I have really been thinking on the topic for a long time. Probably since the day I agreed to marry my ex.

I can’t honestly say that I’ve figured it out and I doubt I ever will. It would be arrogant of me to think that I’ve discovered the secrets of a phenomenon that has had the greatest philosophers , poets, prophets and lovers of the ages baffled since the concept was established. To paraphrase Socrates, a wise Latina sexgeek knows that she doesn’t know. ;-) I can however talk about what it is I have noticed and what my take on those observations are, though I won’t pretend my interpretation is necessarily superior over anyone else’s and these ideas are likely to change over the course of my lifetime because I’m flexible like that.

One thing I’ve noticed is that we are big believers in “types” of love and assign differing amounts of relevance, importance and expectations to each type. Familial love, friendship love, romantic/sexual love…so many different types. Now of course I understand that there are differences in the various relationships. Obviously we don’t want to make it weird by getting them all mixed up, right? The thing I don’t like about this though is that most people seem to assign priority to the love by what “kind” of love it is. More often than not, Romantic love takes precedence over any other to the detriment sometimes of those other relationships. Of course, I’ve also seen it happen with familial love or relationships too. Personally, I dislike the idea that any relationship automatically takes precedence over any other simply because of the “type” of love/relationship it is.

Reading back over that I realize that I am having issues with trying to decide whether I can correctly conflate the words “relationship” and “love”. Are they really the same thing? I’m not so sure but I think we do equate the two quite often. The only thing I do know is that regardless of the type of relationship I have with someone, if I love them, they will hold an important place in my soul and I don’t like to think that any of them is automatically more or less important than any other. I know more than a few people who would disagree with me and that’s fine. Again, this is a highly personal subject and everyone will think/feel/handle it differently.

My other problem with how we see love is the kinds of demands/expectations we place on the people we love and our relationships with them depending on the type it is. Romantic love MUST be an always and forever kind of thing that fulfills all our wildest dreams and fantasies and a good portion of our needs as well. Familal love, especially parental or filial, is also supposed to be an unchanging, self sacrificing thing. In fact, we often demand that our love, beloved and their love for us never change. If it does then great drama and woe follows and relationships are often ended or damaged beyond repair. I dislike this tendency. Humans are innately adaptable creatures, it is our most effective survival mechanism, this ability to change and yet for some reason, in our connection to each other, we fight that natural ability. Lovers refuse to acknowledge that the person they loved 10 years ago may not be the same as the person standing before them now. A parent may not want to face that the baby they gave birth to is not the same helpless child 20 years later. The tug of war between the actual human and the image the lover (I am now using this in the sense of someone who loves, not the romantic sense) has of them is more often than not the cause of the friction between people. It’s very hard to acknowledge those changes and yet if we do not, if we do not allow our love to change the beloved may very well decide they need to look for love elsewhere…from someone who does not have such a stake in them remaining an immutable, unchanging ideal. Of course, even if they move on the chances are that they will experience the same issue all over again and may themselves make the same demands on that new person.

Another issue I have observed is our fear of running out of love. The jealousy and possessiveness that we often feel regarding others love for us. We can see it in sibling rivalry, friend rivalries and, oh yes, most definitely in romantic rivalries. This idea that someone who loves us cannot possibly love anyone else besides us without us somehow losing some amount of that love. Now I am the first to admit that the energy it takes to care for someone is indeed a finite resource. My career has been all about caring for people and there are some days when my ability to care and be compassionate is just flat out gone. Everyone can experience burn out whether it’s in their job or in their relationships but I believe that loving someone, really loving them, can also be a source of energy for us. This is assuming that the relationship is a healthy one of course but if it is, then I do believe it’s capable of replenishing us rather than always taking from us. I don’t believe love is something that has to be divided. I know for instance that my mother loves me and my sister equally and I do not feel that my sister’s existence has diminished my mother’s love for me in anyway. Yes, when she was first born I did experience jealousy, as most kids do but eventually I cam to realize that I also loved her and in time, as she got over that whole Id-fueled selfish stage, she also loved me back. The love I was given did not in fact diminish but was multiplied. The same has often happened with my friends, I have found. When I meet the friend of a friend and we decide that we are also well matched we come to connect with each other as intensely as the original friendship and voila! I have the love of one more friend and so do they. No one has lost any love or a friendship and we have both gained in the process.

Now I cannot speak for how this works in romantic relationships, having not engaged in polyamory (or whatever other name you choose to assign to the idea of having more than one committed relationship at a time) but I do know that I have loved, in a romantic sense, more than one person at a time. Because of the circumstances I highly doubt either person would say that they felt my love for them was equally intense but I know that in my heart, it felt that way to me. From what I have seen of the folks who have made this work, it does seem to be the case. I’m not saying there aren’t issues in it all but when the people involved are able to work it out, they do seem to be capable of loving their partners with equal intensity. This is perhaps one of the trickiest maneuvers, trying to make this work. Human beings seem to be programmed for possessiveness so the idea of sharing something that is so seemingly essential to our wellbeing is an unpleasant one at first but the thing is, are we really “sharing” love? Yes we share time but is love truly something that is divvied up like food amongst people? Or, as the cliché goes, are we simply multiplying it to “feed” everyone who we wish to feed? I think I prefer this idea myself, the idea that it isn’t necessarily a finite resource but something we can continue to love and not run out. We may run out of energy or time but love? I hope not.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's wrong with this article?

The Associated Press: Circumcision doesn't protect gays from AIDS virus

By MIKE STOBBE (AP) – 20 hours ago

ATLANTA — Circumcision, which has helped prevent AIDS among heterosexual men in Africa, doesn't help protect gay men from the virus, according to the largest U.S. study to look at the question.

The research, presented at a conference Tuesday, is expected to influence the government's first guidance on circumcision.

Circumcision "is not considered beneficial" in stopping the spread of HIV through gay sex, said Dr. Peter Kilmarx, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Could it be that the dumb ass reporter has equated anal sex with gay sex and hetero sex with vaginal sex? Maybe? Possibly? Few things irritate me more than those terms because they are incredibly narrow minded and imprecise. What about oral sex? Is that gay or hetero? Please do tell, Mr. Stobbe. I'd love to know. Oh wait, lemme guess...that's lesbian sex? I need to borrow someone's Great American Challenge so I can beat this clueless dope over the head with it until he gains some semblance of intelligence about human sexuality.

Let me be a postmodern sexgeek here and break it down for you. Straight people have anal sex, gay men have other kinds of sex besides anal sex. Lesbians have anal sex too (we'll discuss the niceties of strap ons some other time). Any man who has unprotected, insertive anal/penile sex with someone, regardless of their gender, who has HIV, is at risk even if he is circumcised. Anyone who has receptive anal/penile sex with a man who has HIV is also at incredible amounts of risk regardless of circumcision. In other words folks, cut or uncut, using a condom is still your best bet for preventiing infection with HIV and other STD's.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Syringe Exchange Ban Moves to Senate

(From the Harm Reduction Coalition)

Needle ban fight moves to Senate

We are too close to lifting the federal syringe exchange funding ban to allow it to fail. Attempts to put it back in after it was removed in House committee were defeated, but by a very close margin. What did stick, unfortunately, was an amendment to deny federal funds to any SEP within 1000 feet of a school, rec center, daycare center, playground, video arcade, or anywhere groups of children may go on even an occasional basis. For almost every existing syringe exchange project, and in most cities overall, this would present a huge barrier.

So, we have 2 important tasks - to get the overall ban removed & to get that amendment removed. The decision will most likely be made in a closed conference between Senate and House Appropriators in early September, and we
need those legislators to walk in there knowing what they have to do. If your program would be ineligible to receive federal funds if this 1000 foot buffer zone is enacted, or if you care about the issue at all, this is a KEY TIME for you to act.

Send a letter directly to your Senator from our Online Action Center and ask that they resist any restrictive amendments from both the Financial Services and Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bills, and to leave the decision of how and where to offer services to the local public health and public safety communities. Feel free to use the pre-written one provided or write your own.

SECOND: Although it would be good for everyone to communicate with their Senators, it is especially important for those in states with Appropriations committee members. If you are in one of these states, please follow up with a personal call to the Senator's health advisor and speak to them directly. You can reach them through the Capitol switchboard at 1-800-828-0498, or 1-800-459-1887.

THIRD: We are doing a postcard campaign to Senators as well, to reach out to allies, clients, shoppers, and so on that we don't reach online. We need people who will go out and get some postcards signed by supporters. If you can commit to this, please email us at and tell me how many you want, and send your mailing address. The following list of Appropriators are the highest priorities.

HERB KOHL, Wisconsin
PATTY MURRAY, Washington
JACK REED, Rhode Island
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania

Thursday, August 13, 2009

For the record...

I am all in favor of microbicides. Anything that will help stop the spread of HIV is fine by me (with ethical considerations a given here of course), however, I would really love it if these people writing about them would stop acting like African women are the only women in the world who are not empowered to require condom use by their partners! I have met far too many American women with the same issue AND I have met African women who were quite self efficacious and required condom use from their partners. Let's try fighting HIV AND racism, KTHNXBAI!

This moment of fail brought to you by the alertness of Bianca Laureano.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Because I may as well save the world too while spun on sugar and caffeine...

Ahhhh coffee...sweet elixir of life, make me strong so that I may smite my enemies as their screams echo in my ears. Or at the very least help me to annoy the dictators and assholes of the world mightily so they will go home and leave people the hell alone.

In other words, go the the AIUSA site and send an email to the military junta in Myanmar telling them that this shit is unacceptable.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Reason For Hope?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have decoded the entire HIV genome, opening the door to understanding how viruses infect humans – knowledge that could lead to new antiviral drugs," the Triangle Business Journal reports. The building block of HIV is a single stranded RNA, not a double stranded DNA (Gallagher, 8/6). In the Nature study, published Thursday, the team of researchers describe how their newly developed "chemical method called SHAPE ... make[s] an image not only of the RNA's nucleotides, but of the shapes and folds of the RNA strands," Reuters writes (Fox, 8/5). The approach allowed researchers to capture a more complete picture of the HIV RNA genome than previously identified, revealing "that the RNA structures influence multiple steps in HIV's infection cycle," HealthDay News/U.S. News & World Report writes (8/5). According to the team of researchers, the technique could lead to new treatments for HIV as well as "for other viruses such as influenza and the bugs that cause the common cold," Reuters writes (8/5).

I would love to think that this will aid researchers in finding a vaccine or a cure. Only time will tell.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What's up with the Postmodern Sexgeek?

I realize it's been a very long time since I've podcasted and for those of you who were following me, I apologize. I didn't mean to fade and I hate the thought that I may have disappointed people. The fact is that I am going through a huge upheaval in my life and the result is that I haven't had the energy to podcast.

In January of this year, I broke up with my husband. As anyone who has gone though the break up of a marriage can tell you, the whole process is pretty miserable, regardless of whose idea it is. In this case it was mine but that doesn't mean it's been all smooth sailing and fun for me. Every day brings new feelings of guilt, doubt, fear and anxiety. Did I make the right decision? Am I fool for doing this? Can I really make it on my own?

Upfront I need to say that nothing catastrophic happened between me and Mr. B. He's a good man and we have remained friendly. Rather, the problems happened as they do for most people. A gradual pulling away from one's partner, hurt feelings and resentment piling up day after day, year after year until one day you wake up and realize that the feelings you once had for this person are no longer recognizable. Yes we tried the counseling. I tried faking it 'til I made it. It didn't work. Once the intimacy, the trust is gone, it's almost impossible to bring it back. And when I say trust, I don't mean to say that he cheated on me. He didn't. When I say trust I mean my belief in the depth and strength of his feelings for me. I stopped believing that he thought I was "the right one" for him and started feeling like I was simply better than the option of being alone.

I imagine he has his own take on this as well and I won't invalidate that. These are only my feelings on the matter and I cannot speak for him. I know he was hurt and probably still is and it makes me incredibly sad to know that I was the cause of it but personally I felt it was dishonest to continue the relationship when my heart and soul were no longer in it. We both deserve the chance to find joy with someone who makes our hearts sing but staying together would have made that difficult at best.

Nowadays I am trying to get used to living alone, sleeping alone, being alone. Breaking up with him meant giving up a part of my family and that is as painful as it sounds.

Aside from the emotional aspects of a break up are the practicalities: a halved income, learning to do the yard work (mowing the lawn is hard work!), home repair (hint: he still is willing to help with that and saved my ass recently!), trying to feel safe as a single woman living alone in a large city with not so great crime stats. Thank god for my two large dogs. Without them around I'd be far more scared and anxious, the relative quiet of my neighborhood notwithstanding.

Despite all the negatives and the hardships, I still have hope. Hope that he and I will both heal and be able to maintain our friendship. Hope that someday I will find the joy and love I seek. Hope that eventually it will no longer hurt so much when I see that ring still sitting on my dresser that I haven't yet had the heart to sell.

I also have to admit that this has all taken a toll on my Postmodern Sexgeek persona. When the emotions are this strong and raw, it can be hard to feel sexy or ready to dish about sex and sexuality the way I was. I spend a lot of time wondering if I am even still this person anymore. Sometimes I feel like a fraud when I think about how much I encourage people to be in touch with their sexuality and yet right now mine is ebbing and flowing like the tide according to my emotions. I remember what it feels like to fall in love, to rejoice in that passion and intoxication that comes with the beginning of a romance. The burn of newly ignited lust is also something I remember well but it seems more academic these days and less like something I actually feel myself. I know this is the aftermath of a break up and only temporary but it is hard to do a podcast that takes pleasure in something I am having a hard time getting in touch with.

Does this mean the Postmodern Geek's Guide to Sex is over? No, not necessarily. It does however mean that I am having to rethink so many things and I haven't yet made any decisions about where I'm going and what I am doing with the podcast and even with this blog.

If you're reading this, thank you for being here, thank you for listening. I am sorry if I have disappointed and perhaps, soon, some new version of this little experiment will be born and we can continue the conversation.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Is anything prettier?

Just made this right now to go with dinner and I really don't think there are many things prettier than the red, white and green combo of classic tomato salsas, esp when one makes pico de gallo. I will be using this in the tacos I am making from the left over pork chop I had sitting in the fridge. OM NOM NOM!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

On Food Pr0n and Lady Pr0n

Almost afternoon, whatever.

As is my usual habit when I wake, I checked my phone for new email and was amused to find that Tastespotting had "followed" me back on Twitter ( I added them last night in a fit of food pr0n desire). For the uninitiated, Tastespotting is leading purveyor of glossy, sexy, inspiring, mouth watering foor pr0n. Each gorgeous photo of lusty dishes, playful cupcakes and juicy tarts links back to the recipe so that we average Joes and Janes can try our hands at creating our very own yummy centerfold spreads of food. Do not click that second link if you're hungry. Just sayin'.

Now for those of you who like porn of a more...human flavor, I just read on Vi's blog that Hegre now has iHegre available for the iPhone. Now personally, I am not particularly inspired by the Hegre lovelies because they're just too skinny and conventional for me but they are quite lovely in their own way and I know more than a few of you will like their looks. And yes, those links are very NSFW so don't click if you're not alone or around porn friendly types.

And that does it for me for now. I need to go get dressed and get some things accomplished around the house before it snowballs out of control...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In memory of Neda Salehi

As much as I hate to admit it, I have become, like a large portion of the US, inured to violence and pictures/videos of violence posted on the news or online. As a result, when I saw the video of Neda's shooting and death at an Iranian protest she attended with her father on HuffPo, I clicked it knowing it would be terribly sad but not thinking twice about how it would make me feel. You can imagine my surprise when I found myself having to fight back sobs while I watched the young woman's life bleed from her mouth and watched the life leave her eyes. Yes, the video is that graphic and perhaps that is why it's affect on me was so strong. Now I have watched people die before. I've sat at the bedside of dying people and held their hands as they breathed their last but for some reason this struck me heavily. I don't know if it emotion left over from old grieving left unfinished, if it was because she was a woman and hence it seemed more personal or if it was simply the violence perpetrated against her by the Basij but suffice it to say, it got my attention.

I don't pretend to understand everything about Iran and it's politics. What I do know is that the violence against the people being that we see being tweeted/blogged/video'd is wrong and a violation of basic human rights. While I have no illusions about my ability to effect a change there I do know, thanks to years of work with Amnesty International, is that governments don't like it when their injustices are seen and marked by the world and making sure that Iran and Ahmadinejad know we are watching is important.

Neda paid for her convictions with her life. We are hardly being called upon to sacrifice anything so valuable.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It is becoming increasingly more dangerous to be brown in America

Though I can't say I am all that surprised. It was only a matter of time before things like this started to happen:

3 arrested in killings of dad, girl in Arivaca | ®
3 arrested in killings of dad, girl in Arivaca
Sheriff: Border watchers were after drugs, money

By Jamar Younger
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.13.2009
Three people, including the leader of a border watch group and an officer within that group, were arrested in connection with a May 30 home invasion that left a father and his daughter dead and the mother wounded, authorities said.
One of those arrested, Shawna Forde, is the leader of Minutemen American Defense, a group out of Washington state that conducts operations along the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona. The group is not related to either the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps founded by Chris Simcox, or the Minuteman Project founded by Jim Gilchrist.
Authorities also arrested Jason Eugene Bush, 34, who serves as operations director for the Washington group, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, in connection with the shooting deaths of Raul Flores, 29, and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia Flores, said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.
Now tell me again that I am being oversensitive about the vitriol coming from these anti-immigration groups regarding people who look like me and whose names sound like mine. The kind of talk these people engage in has one purpose: creating an artificial rift between "us" and "them". The result is that those "others" become dehumanized hence making it that much easier for people needing a scapegoat to take out their anger on their fellow human beings. Anyone who doesn't believe me needs to go back and study their WWII history and maybe take a trip to their local Holocaust museum to be reminded of what happens when a nation allows a group to be viciously scapegoated and dehumanized by those who seek to maintain a stranglehold on their perceived power base.

And how do we combat this? How can we stop the bullshit from escalating into actual violence? For those of us who are members of the threatened group/s, we need to have the courage to speak up on our own behalf. And no, just because you are an American citizen does not mean you are safe from this. Bigots don't stop to ask your citizenship before they kick you in the head. To them we are all the same. For those who are not a member of said groups, especially those who are white, I ask you to be a true ally to our communities and speak up when you hear people propagating bigotry and hatred against those who look different or whose last names sound different. Folks like that will probably not heed what I or anyone of my ethnicity say but if you do, perhaps, just perhaps, they will rethink their biases.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stay At Home Dads: Why is this sooooo surprising?

This morning on The Today Show they had a story about stay at home dads. With all the job losses these days, a lot of men have ended up spending a great deal of time at home while their wives continue to work or even go out and find new jobs after some time spent as stay at home moms/wives. Now personally, I've always loved the idea of having a stay at home husband. I'm not terribly fond of homey type work and while I love having a comfy, cozy house I am usually pretty bad about maintaining one. Having someone who around who is happy to do that work would be a lovely thing and I have no problem being the breadwinner. Alas, my career makes this highly unrealistic since I chose to be a do-gooder rather than a money maker but nevermind. That's not what this is about.



Yeah, not so much. It bothers me that our society still holds these gender role stereotypes so closely that the second someone steps outside of those roles it looks like some kind of iconoclastic revolution. Why shouldn't men be allowed to stay home and tend the hearth if they feel like it? Why shouldn't men be allowed to spend lots of time caring for and nurturing their children? And why shouldn't women be allowed to go out and make the money if that's what they prefer to do? Why do we insist on maintaining these roles to the detriment of everyone involved?

I think this story stood out because lately I've seen several posts about women's roles regarding marriage and motherhood and it annoys me that after all this time we still insist on holding women to old standards of success, i.e., being a wife and mother is the most important thing a woman can do with her life and everything else is frivolous. And before anyone tries to turn this into "Marie hates children and Moms" let's clarify things. I have much respect for Moms and I do actually like kids. I have a mom and I was once a kid so yeah, I'm not hating here. However, I do not buy the party line that I am a failure as a female human being because I have not reproduced and that my 14+ years of experience as an STD/HIV prevention worker mean nothing because I have no kids. If you want to start a fight about it, move along. What I am saying is that while we as a country continue to harp about women's rights in other countries, we better not forget that we aren't exactly past the sexism that started the American feminist movement in the first place. When the time comes that a man staying home and caring for the household and children is no longer worthy of a news story THEN we can stop looking in the mirror and focus ALL our attention elsewhere. Until then? People in glass houses and such...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mature, full bodied and complex

And the rest of you.

I was just telling a friend how I have been fighting with my own insecurities lately around my self esteem, my appearance, my age. Lo and behold one of my favorite Twitterers/bloggers/activists/cool dudes, Nezua of The Unapologetic Mexican, posted this:

it's time to call it a tumblr day when... - imaginando
its part of that ageist thing in (at least US culture). we have unspoken fears that all we are worth is our tight skin and firm shapes. rarely is it reinforced that living years gives you an arc to better compare changes and events in life; compare people, seeing more people and hearing more stories gives you a wider context of information to tally and thus KNOW things and understand them; having had more relationships has taught you more about yourself as well as people as well as relationships; that watching your body wear out inevitably forces you to shift focus onto Essence (knowledge, creative spirit, love power, maturity), not Symbol (tight abs, tight skin, perkiness); that more time spent on Earth generally means more patience or a clearer focus, you’ve had time to test out many distractions and now are on your way to learning how to see past your own defenses and have shed more misconceptions (or at least had the time to work at it), and so now can learn from those older than yourself, as well as learn from the young while at the same time put up with their condescension, as they too, been often been raised in an ageist culture, themselves. In other words, you will get the chance to face that cocky, stupid, shallow punk you may have once been!

It’s worse when the aging defer to the early part of the circle; deny age, are shamed of age, try to be younger than they are….this sends a message to the young(er) that we ought fear age, we ought think little of it, that all that matters is the beginning of the arc and that is a dangerous and wrong thing to teach.

I am proud of my years. I am so much more than I was 20 years ago. And more than I was ten years ago. And now, am released from fearing age quite as much as I did, because I know it means more wisdom and less ignorance. If I want it to, that is. Because it also requires work.
I find the ageism thing is particularly hard on women. We really are encouraged to maintain a youthful appearance as long as possible and there are companies all over the world making megabucks on just that bullshit. It's hard to buck that social programming, I know I fail at it quite often.

It's especially hard now that I find myself single again at 38. I'm no longer a cute twenty something with tight skin and perky tits. I don't begrudge young women those things because, yanno, I was there once too and it was fun but I do realize that I need to not mourn what I've lost because in so many ways, I've gained. Yes, at 18 I had a hot body and nice skin but guess what? I was also ridiculously insecure and inhibited. Nowdays, things aren't so lovely on this face and body but my mind is a much sexier playground than it used to be.

I guess the trick is to stop worrying about the people who think I'm less desirable/interesting/fun beause of my age and spend my time around those who love me and my laugh lines.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sexgeek eats

Mondays are always painful for me. Well almost always but this is especially true if I have imbibed a bit too much on Sunday and end up with a bit of a hangover and tons of things to do that day. When that happens, dinner is best when it is low fuss and very simple but also very comforting and satisfying. Tonight's menu? I am trying out a new recipe that is apparently an old Roman dish, Pasta Cacio e Pepe. In other words, pasta with romano and black pepper. Molto semplice, sì?

The recipe is so easy as to be laughable and yet sounds incredibly delish. Cook some pasta and then drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss it with pecorino, butter, pepper and the pasta water. Voila! Dinner is served. Doesn't get much easier, does it? This is a perfect Monday night meal for when you have no desire to fiddle and fuss with anything more complex. I'll let you know how it turns out. ;)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon Fail and Amazon Rank

I posted on the Amazon Fail incident yesterday and more and more stuff is coming up about it. The folks at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books have set up a page for the purposes of Google bombing Amazon because nothing hurts a company worse than bad PR. Give it a click folks.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And following closely on the heels of that lovely prior post....

I get this in my inbox which was like a slap in the face...

Cody, WY

Sexuality education in Cody High School is under the microscope after members of Cody Right to Life submitted a petition to the school board asking to ban a local family planning group from teaching the sexuality education component of the health curriculum.

The school board accepted the petition of approximately 500 signatures and quickly voted 4–3 to suspend Northwest Wyoming Family Planning (NWFP) from teaching its one-day lesson in the health classes. The board resolution also mandates that students be segregated by gender for the lesson about contraception and STDs and that it be taught by a health teacher or school nurse.[1] In addition, the board voted to create a task force that would include representatives from NWFP, Cody Right to Life, parents, teachers, a school nurse, and a board member that would review the high school’s entire health class and come back with recommendations.

Members of Cody Right to Life, who argued that NWFP did not focus enough on abstinence, “negative outcomes,” and the risks and side effects of contraceptives, were satisfied with the board’s decision. A city council member also said she was pleased with the board because of her concern that NWFP was not covering the “damaging emotional consequences that come with underage sex.”[2]

When will people learn that their personal beliefs do not sound public health policy make?????

Ada Lovelace Day was yesterday...

Did you all know about this? I sure as hell didn't and that makes me ask myself..."WHY THE HELL DID I NOT KNOW???"

Ada Lovelace Day — Bringing women in technology to the fore
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless.

Recent research by psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones. That’s a relatively simple problem to begin to address. If women need female role models, let’s come together to highlight the women in technology that we look up to. Let’s create new role models and make sure that whenever the question “Who are the leading women in tech?” is asked, that we all have a list of candidates on the tips of our tongues.

Don't know who Ada Lovelace is? For shame!!!!

Ada Lovelace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815, London – 27 November 1852, Marylebone, London), born Augusta Ada Byron, was the only legitimate child of George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron. She is widely known in modern times simply as Ada Lovelace.

She is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. She is today appreciated as the "first programmer" since she was writing programs—that is, manipulating symbols according to rules—for a machine that Babbage had not yet built. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities.[1]

So yeah, the first computer programmer was a chick. LONG LIVE THE OVARIES!

I raise a glass in honor of all the awesome, tech geeky chicks I know. Every single one of you is made of win and awesome.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24th-World TB Day

Just an FYI. I know most of us don't see a lot of TB in everyday life but the fact is that it remains a problem here and in many other places in the world, including our neighbors.

Materials » World TB Day
Mexico’s multidrug-resistant TB has been acknowledged as a serious public health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Report 2006, Mexico had nearly 34,000 TB cases in 2004, with an estimated incidence rate of 32 cases per 100,000 people. The prevalence of TB in Mexico is of great concern to the United States, given the shared borders and immigration flow between the two countries. To combat TB, in 2000 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Mexican Secretariat of Health signed a $16 million bilateral grant agreement to strengthen TB prevention efforts.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Urgent Action Appeal from PLanned PArenthood

Planned Parenthood has just learned that Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is expected to attack Planned Parenthood again today. He will offer an amendment to the Appropriations Act this afternoon that would block Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving federal funds from Title X, the nation’s family planning program.

This move is an unconstitutional, completely unfounded attack on the nation’s leading source of reproductive health care information and services. In these difficult economic times, we need to make reproductive health care services more available for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women — not less.

We need you to call your senators and tell them to stand up and oppose the Vitter amendment.

The appropriations bill is being voted on this afternoon, so we need you to call today. Ask your senators to speak out on the floor and oppose Sen. David Vitter’s Amendment No. 601 to the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R.1105).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Postmodern Geek's Guide to Sex #37: The POTUS is Rocking My Sexgeek Socks

Download the MP3 here!

Hi folks! I"m back after a rather long holiday hiatus. I chat a bit about some of the exciting policy decisions that have come out of our new President's policy decisions as well as throw in some random sexgeekiness that has struck my fancy recently.

Global Gag Rule: LIFTED!

I mention NARAL's Blog for Choice Day and the entry I made on that day which I was then happy to see start coming true the next day as mentioned above. :-)

Also, Condoms do help protect against HPV, Tonsils are not friendly to HIV and in Weird Sex News: Blow Up Doll Bandit.



Feed URL:

Intro and Outro music is "We Carry On" by Portishead

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hidden Agenda? Who me???

Nevada ogles the potential tax dollars of legal prostitution - Los Angeles Times
"I think it's an appalling way for a state to make money," said Melissa Farley, executive director of the nonprofit Prostitution Research and Education group in San Francisco. "Once there's an awareness of what prostitution does to women, it makes no sense to allow it, to tax it, to decriminalize it or mainstream it."

Nevermind that Farley relies on funding that is predicated on the idea that all women in sex work are poor helpless victims. She just wants to save them all from a life of sin and loose morals. She doesn't care about the money! *nod nod*

Perhaps she needs to talk to actual sex workers before saving them from making a living?

The article itself is fairly informative.  I'm just annoyed that as usual they interviewed another would be savior of prostitutes everywhere (whether they want to be saved or not) but couldn't be arsed to speak to an actual sex worker to see what she thought.

Oh Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!!

Obama To Alter Abortion Policy --
In one of his first acts as president, Barack Obama is planning to lift a rule that prevents federal money from going to international family planning groups that counsel women on abortion or perform the procedure.

Obama's repeal of the abortion aid policy is one of several executive actions that he will take soon after his inauguration today, according to several Obama transition aides. He is also considering lifting Bush administration restrictions on federally funded stem cell research.

My thanks to Mr Rubix for first bringing this to my attention. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. It is almost enough for me to forgive him for this: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case.

Note: I said "almost".

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog for Choice Day

I almost missed it! Thank god for Twitter...

This year's topic? What is your top pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?

Well let's see.
  • I want medically accurate information about condoms put back on the CDC web site
  • I want the US to stop throwing money away on abstinence only education that has been shown not to work and in fact that actually hurts the kids receiving it
  • I want the global gag order lifted
  • I want us to be able to provide money for HIV prevention to agencies even if they have not come down on the side of the moral majority regarding sex work
  • I want access to medically accurate information about human sexuality, contraception and disease prevention to be available to kids and adolescents in a way that they can easily access it
  • I want pregnancy to stop being seen as punitive damages paid for having sex
  • I want there to be safe, medical abortions available for women who have to make that tough choice

Yes, that's a long list and perhaps an ambitious one but I believe that if enough of us pay attention, make some noise and insist that our government listen to us, we can make some if not all if it come to pass.

Go here for more info about Blog For Choice Day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream

I find myself brought to tears listening to this speech on the day before we inaugurate our first African American President. I wonder what Dr. King would have to say on such a momentous occasion and I give thanks that I am here to witness it.

Some may ask why I, a Latina, feel so strongly about this speech and Dr. King. I know many non-African Americans who feel no sense of significance on this day and to them I say, you're a fool. Dr King spoke of the shared slavery every one of us suffered when even one member of our society was not free. For those who live in Texas, remember, there was a time when those of Mexican descent were being made to accept "separate but equal" accommodations. A time when our people were lynched for perceived crimes. There was a time when signs were put in the windows that said "No dogs or Mexicans allowed". Make no mistake, Dr King's legacy was as important for our equality as it was for the African American community and to forget history is to be foolish enough to repeat it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Condoms Do Help Prevent HPV Infection

On December 2, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published final rules governing the labeling of male latex condoms set to go into effect January 9, 2009. The biggest change to come out of the new labeling is the FDA’s conclusion that correct and consistent condom use reduces both the risk of infection with HPV (the Human Papillomavirus) as well as rates of HPV-related disease including cervical cancer and genital warts.

This is an important bit of info for everyone to know about. Hopefully it is also one more nail in the coffin of abstinence only education.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

This is Me Geeking out on Sex Related Info

And yes, it is very likely that I will manage to work this into a conversation with someone about prevention.

Aidsmap | Cellular infection study partially explains lower HIV infection rates through oral sex
A study in which slices of human mucosal tissue were infected with HIV has partially explained why HIV is caught so much more easily through anal sex than through oral sex. The study, in which tissue samples from the tonsils and the rectum were infected with two different kinds of HIV, found that rectal CD4 cells express five times as much of the CCR5 receptor molecule on their surface as tonsil cells. This is the co-receptor for R5 or M-tropic virus, the variety of HIV that is usually transmitted. Rectal CD4 cells, once infected, also produced more of this virus than tonsil cells.

The study also found that in response to infection with the other kind of HIV, X4 or T-tropic virus, tonsil cells, but not rectal ones, secreted chemicals called chemokines that blocked further access to the CCR5 receptors.

However, while showing why CD4 cells in the tonsils are so much less susceptible to R5 infection than rectal ones, it does not show why these cells – most of which also carry the CXCR4 receptor – are so much less likely to be infected with X4 virus in vivo than in the laboratory. The researchers say that another so far undetected defence against X4 virus must exist.

The research team was led by scientists from the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, and also included prominent microbicide researchers Ian McGowan from UCLA and Robin Shattock from St George’s Hospital, London.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Well imagine that...

Womanist Musings
Throughout the film Eastwoods character kept referring to the visible minorities as spics, chinks, gooks, and niggers, all while he demanded to be addressed with respect. It seems that only whiteness deserves to be acknowledged as human and not referenced by a racial epithet. I continuously marvelled how Eastwoods character was able to assume such a position of superiority based solely in race and have this premise accepted by every single person of colour that he interacted with.

When I started seeing the ads for this movie I couldn't help but notice the casting of characters and the fact that Eastwood was the sole voice of moral superiority in each clip they showed. I guess my initial misgivings where on the money.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Are you lonesome tonight.....

Police seek blow-up doll sex bandit - Yahoo! News
SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian man broke into three adult shops, had sex with blow up dolls named "Jungle Jane" and then dumped his plastic conquests in a nearby alley, local media reported Wednesday.

"It's totally bizarre. It's a real concern that someone like that is out on the street," said one of the owners of the adult sex shops in Cairns in northern Queensland state.

"He has been taking the dolls out the back and blowing them up and using the dolls and leaving them in the alley," the owner, who gave the name of Vogue, told the Cairns Post newspaper.

Police told the Cairns Post that scientific officers had taken DNA samples, fingerprints and pictures of the crime scene.

(Reporting by Pauline Askin, Editing by Dean Yates)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A shout out to my LJ friends...

Who may be making it over this way for the first time. *waves* Nice to see you! Take off your coat, have a seat and stick around for a while. It's usually quite cozy.