Call for Submissions

Feminism For Freaks

At its best, feminism offers an emancipatory potential from gendered oppression, inequality, and violence. At its worst, however, feminism can work to simply affirm the rights of middle-class, heterosexual,white women, and exclude the voices of already-marginalised groupssuch as women of colour, trans* women, sex workers and so on.

LikeDerrida’s democracy, a truly liberatory feminism is mostly a feminism to come. Not un-coincidentally, those marginalised groups of women are often demonised by the dominant culture, rendered as monstrous, simultaneously invisible and hyper-visible, compelling and threatening, desirable and disgusting–and forever denied a voice ofour own. The question of if and how monstrosity can be reclaimed or re-worked is a vexed one for feminists.

We therefore invite proposals that affirm the voices of socially excluded people, that seek to create new and exciting knowledge and address themselves to feminist theory and activism or the wider culture, on such topics including, but not limited to:
* Monstrous bodies and identities
* Social marginalisation and exclusions (for instance, borders, walls,and immigration laws, and the silencing of voices such as those of women of colour and transgendered people)
* Liberation/transformation/organisation
* sex work
* queer sexualities and genders
* BDSM
* Visible signs of difference (Muslim women wearing the veil, disabled bodies etc)
* religion and spirituality
* freaks in popular culture, body modification etc
* fat positivity

Academic, non-fiction and creative work will be considered–the call is broad, and we’re willing to accommodate new and interesting work by freaks of all kinds. Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words and a short bio by May 31st to estrangedcognition@hotmail.com and suzanmanuel@gmail.com

Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy

The Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy homepage is a collection of links to blogs that will host future editions of this carnival, promoting the sexual rights and freedom of women.

The first edition is up at Uncool blog.

The next edition will be held at Labyrinth Walk on the 21st April 2008. The call for submissions outlining possible themes is here.

This theory of feminism is known more commonly as Sex Positive Feminism, a movement that developed in the 1980s in response to feminists against pornography and prostitution. Sex Positive Feminists (or sex-radical, pro-sex or sexually liberated feminists) believe that women’s sexual freedom is an essential part of women’s autonomy. Any legal or social control or regulation over the sexual self is an attempt to control and regulate women, undermines their freedom and infringes upon their human rights. We are interested in promoting sex workers’ rights, sex education in schools, and we encourage the free expression of sexualities.

“Experts” and Other Johns

It isn’t just second-rate poets. The publication of academic work on prostitution is an industry in itself, an obscenely wealthy competitor of the “sex sector.” In the 1800s, people read about the “diseased body” of the prostitute in works by William Acton and Havelock Ellis. These days, the New York Times and other periodicals lap up the advice of “prostitution experts” like Ronald Weitzer. 

The following is taken from an enlightening article “Do ‘High-Class’ Prostitutes Escape the Law?” from Cleveland.com:

Prostitution expert Ronald Weitzer of George Washington University says the way existing laws [against street prostitution] are enforced works just fine.

More at Sex! Work?

Vlogging as Advocacy / Expression Under Repression

boingboing.tv has on Ethan Zuckerman of Global Voices to talk about how videobloggers in Tunisia are producing videos that challenge government repression and the fallout from expressing themselves freely — having their conferences and workshops infiltrated by state police thugs, and activists being arrested for participating.

Tunisian Vloggers
(Click to play at boingboing.tv)

This reminded me of the sex worker activists and allies in Cambodia who are making karaoke protest videos, taking pop songs and imagery to remix political messages into a format that people across language and literacy differences can resonate with. Also cool connection: Tactical Tech Collective, who has been working with the Open Society Institute and global sex worker activists since last Spring to bring tech and advocacy together, was in Tunis at the conference discussed int the video above — more on that story here.

And of course it makes me even more excited for what RedLightDistrictChicago has in store for us for renegade video in July at the Desiree conference…!