In response to Joy Smith:

http://www.straight.com/news/553441/joy-smith-canada-must-target-buyers-sex?comment_mode=1#add-new-comment

 

 Under the old laws, sex workers (and their bookkeepers, security and even roommates who were "living off the avails") could be arrested and placed on a life-long sex offender registry, prevented from travelling and have their children seized. And yet the only people I saw actually trying to end this injustice were pro-sex-work groups. People allied with the views espoused in the article, who were "concerned about women and girls," made some noise about the Nordic model, but it was the sex workers who organized and got this law overturned - all at great personal cost and risk. I say we listen to the people who actually fix things.

 
What of exploitation? A lot of people are horribly exploited and even forced into agriculture, and no one seems to be in favour of banning that. Same for food service, garment manufacture, caregiving, and a lot of other fields that pay a lot less than sex work. These other fields *also* see sexual assault and rape. The solution is not criminalization of the worker, nor of the client - how do you expect labour standards to be upheld when business has to operate in secret? The solution is labour standards, respect and worker organizing. These are much easier things to make happen when people can do their jobs openly and transparently.
 
As for the Nordic model - I'd like to see stats that actually back this up. Human trafficking stats are dubious: often, travellers and foreign workers suspected of prostitution (read: people of colour, trans people), are stopped, searched and interrogated. Once it is "determined" that they are sex-workers (the evidence can be as little as "had frilly underwear in suitcase") border guards then conclude that they are not "on vacation" but are being trafficked against their will. Border security detains and deports them - all "in the interest of protecting them" of course. I've seen it happen to American actors. I've heard of it happening to East-Asian women on vacation to Australia. It supports the hypothesis that a lot of anti-trafficking leglislation, when practiced, winds up being no more than a thin justification for xenophobia. So I don't buy the stats coming out of it. So please, give me some meticulous research, and until then, let the sex workers decide what's best for themselves.
 Unanimous. They were terribly-designed laws that made sex-work dangerous and now parliament has a year to draft better ones. I don't feel optimistic about Harper, but hopefully new laws will not:
 
- make it illegal to have a sex worker as a roommate
("living off the avails")
 
- criminalize doing sex work indoors. In Canada. Where it's cold outside. And also unsanitary and dangerous
("bawdy house")
 
- checking in to make sure the client isn't potentially violent
("communicating for the purposes of")
 
- prevent people from learning other trades because they can't tell anyone about their employment history, so they can't have a resume, so they can't get a job
 
- take away peoples kids
(you can be a rampantly verbally abusive bigot and have kids no problem, but if you do sex work...)
 
- put escorts on the lifelong sex-offender registry
(Homicide can be removed from your record. Sex work can't.)
 
- enable police to rape sex workers
 
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/supreme-court-strikes-down-canada-s-prostitution-laws-1.2471572
 
Dreampt that I wrested the golden ring from Cersei after a scuffle. I spring the dragon from its cage and it is mine now.

Found someone else from Earth, who was peddling VCR parts as miraculous curosities

_____

 

A sentencing circle and a band leader accused of murder. They decide to test whether his community actually supports him.

Temporarily free, he hosts an orgy. As with all orgies, there is someone there whom I'm more interested in than others; someone whom I've always had strong feelings for. Do I partake? As with all orgies, I am reluctant. I am looking for reasons not to get involved; reasons to be asexual. At last around some people. Maybe I could lie nearby? But it's her. And she's interested in me too. And this is probably the only chance we'll ever get.

But there are hints that something is amiss. People going missing. I am in the rafters soon, in black-tac, sneaking, like Chris.

It might be unclear from that post, but life is pretty good right now.

I'm tired, and have been for a few weeks. Or months. I knew this least year was going to be a slog. And I was right. But on the whole, my life, my options, are great.

What's more - where I feel unbelievably lucky - I wanted that "coming out in school" experience, that "study what you want while becoming the adult you know you are" experience. The kind they make (highly idealized) Queer coming of age movies about. I thought I'd never get that. But I did, more or less. I took interesting classes, moved to another city, met lots of people and worked a range of jobs. And I got it. And I got some some amazing skills to go along with it. And many human connections too.

Only complaint  - not as much sex as I'd like.
   I can fix that. I'll need help of course.
 

Right now, my life is brimming with potential, and all kinds of directions I can chase it.

I'm going to go make a list of options.

And sleep. It's time for a rest.

And maybe a wild grad party.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/08/22/How-To-Read-The-Riots/index.html?commentsfilter=0#comment-235296

It saddens me that opinion writers have a lot of theories on what causes different riots, but very rarely back those theories with proof. I'm afraid that most of this article is just one more unfounded rant.

In London, there have been some great studies mapping riot locations onto charts of local quality of life. From this, we can indeed conclude that classism (and likely racism) were a factor.... in London.

But this article has no proof to back up its claims that the riots were caused by (1) latch-key kids, (2) sexual promiscuity, (3) recreational drugs and (4) class-driven un(der)employment.

And the first three claims are ridiculous.

(1) Lax parenting: Mr. Mair, you claim a lack of parental discipline is at fault. If you look through newspaper opinion columns for as long as there have been newspapers, you'll see writers blaming riots on the new wave of lax discipline. What causes it? Maybe television. Or motor-cars. Or, according to this article... working mothers. And working mothers only seem new if one presumes that all families have money, two present/living parents, and a mother who wants to stay at home.

(2) Promiscuity: I stopped and re-read this article to double check that this article actually blamed The Pill and promiscuity. There are two problems with this.

First, "The Pill" generation was not heavily represented among the rioters - likely because they were too busy planning for retirement. Were the rioters of a promiscuous generation? I don't know, but pretty much everyone under the age of 35 hit puberty during or after the AIDS crisis. As a consequence, most of us are far more cautious and disciplined around sex than our (grand)parents ever were. As for “The Pill?” For the hetero-mating among us, "The Pill" comes after using blood tests, condoms and/or using one's mouth.

Second, if we are more promiscuous (which, as far as I can tell, just means "knowing your own sexuality through experience,") what would that have to do with riots? Unless riots are a sign of the Wrath of God.

(3) Recreational Drugs: Do you think people on MDMA/ecstasy or cannabis are going to riot? No, they are going to dance and snack.

(4) Class and unemployment? Maybe. But where's the proof linking this to the riots? Espescially in Vancouver? Have you interviewed rioters? Do you have proof that they were impoverished? How much does a Canuck's jersey cost anyway?

Here's my question: do we believe that riots are a social evil? A sign thereof? Or are they free entertainment? If they're entertainment, let us speculate all we want as to the lax moral character that has overtaken our youth since the passing of His Majesty King George IV. But if they're a sign of social problems, then we need hard data to plan a fix. This means testing our hypotheses (or at least giving them some critical thought) before we expound on them in public.

I find that I can't open a map on a streetcorner without someone stopping to give me directions. I credit thi this to Boston's friendly attitude.

But [livejournal.com profile] vuge  tells me that I need to get a bra.

Background:

I've been tweaking my estradiol and progesterone levels for a few months now. Normally, you take a given dose of E and P and test your blood for their levels. But instead, the doctor I'm seeing recommends adjusting them until your pituitary emits levels of follicular stimulating hormone and lutenizing hormone in line with cissexed women. The idea is that your pituitary is lying back in a warm endocrinal bath and sighing ahhh... just right. Now let's ovulate.

There's no ovulation, but there is better mood and sleep. The clinic I was going to in Vancouver modeled their trans care after their previous specality: harm reduction for injection drug-users. While tehy're nice folks all-around, they prescribed as little as possible (post-op 50ug patch or 2mg pill of E; no P).

I think I'm sleeping better on the new dose. But my body seems to be completing the puberty that it stalled out on. So I go to goodwill to donate the pants that are too small on my hips and bum, and I buy new ones that fit.


And a bra may be in order. At least if I'm going to go running (ouch!) or to a job interview.

Behind me, vuge says, "no, you should wear a bra all the time."

I'm not sure about this.

"You see those striations on your shirt? That washboard effect running from nipple to nipple?" Vuge asks. "I last saw that in anime."

I don't know how I feel about this. I don't like the idea that I have to cover myself with an extra layer of fabric. An extra layer to wash by hand. An extra layer to shop and spend for, difficult normally, but even moreso due to my insistance on ethical sourcing.

I could cut down my dosage and see if they shrink back, but I'm not sure that's best for my body, my mood.

I like the fact that my body is finishing puberty; that it hasn't stalled out halfway; that it's doing what it should. I'm alarmed and annoyed at how my prior doctor thought this was the end of the line; that no more was to occur; that I should slow down and stop. And since I have trouble remembering that I've changed sex, accidentally knocking one breast with my upper arm now and then serves as a good reminder.

I don't particularly like the extra attention from men. Or rather, I don't like that this sexual expectation, or that it's contingent on the shape of my chest.

I wore a button down shirt to visit vuge in the hospital. When I left, she overheard the nurses respectfully discussing whether I was a boy or a girl. Given this, given how people associate "btuch " with "dyke," the men who cross the street to give me directions that I don't need, then strike up a conversation that ends with "I wish we could spend more time together." would figure I'm gay.

"Yeah." says vuge. "But they're probably thinking, hitting on her is probably not going to work. But if it did? .... Yeah. It's worth a shot."

I'm thinking: sports bra.
While the common definition of "libido" is "sexual appetite," it can also refer to the overall life-affirming tendency in humans; creativity in more than just the artistic sense.

I bring this up because, as my body, mind and gender start to come into line with each-other, I have the feeling of being aligned. Like a completed circuit or a lashed bundle of sticks, or a railway track. A conduit. Chakra-like.

The life-affirming impulse is there. This includes vivid dreaming and the inability to silence demands from my sub-conscious for such things as time to unwind, exercise, healthy food, less computer work, and working with my hands.

Looking forward over the next months and years, I can see a lot of long-term endeavors that have structured my life coming to an end.

And then what?

Let's keep in mind that structure, purpose and meaning are a matter of perception.

I started asking myself this question just shy of two years ago. I stopped thinking of what I should do (whatever that means), and instead turned towards what I want. Or what makes me happy. Or whatever is worth it to me.

Envy.

Aug. 30th, 2007 09:52 am
Are envy and sex naturally intertwined?; two branches grown around each other; two snakes mating.

I know this isn't a healthy way to feel, but I need to acknowledge it.

I do a half-ass job of serious complaining. I'm not very good at having a healthy relationship with periods in my life where bad shit happened. I'm poor at saying "That was bad. I didn't deserve it. Now I'll deal with it."

Instead I'll say things like "It really bothers me when things like that happen to other people. What can I do to make sure that other people don't have to go through that."

I still don't know what underlies it. The need to feel in control? A lack of language to acknowledge what is, frankly, my experience at what can most succinctly be described as getting screwed over? The belief that since I have one form of priveledge on my side, that I can't take isse with other deficiencies? There. I said it.

I have a lot of good things going, and, yeah, I get it that others have it worse, but that's not a useful attitude to deal with rough patches: it teaches us that we have no right to feel angry or sad for ourselves as long as someone else is having a rougher time. Who is this singular person who is actually the worst off of all? Could they plesae stand up, or are they too weak from hunger, thirst, public ridicule, nervous disorders, and being pinned under an angry walrus? What do they tell themselves? It could, hypothetically speaking, get worse?

No. No. No. We need to I need to say "this sucks."

And then, maybe (read: "probably;" read "or soon, but I need to concentrate on this"), once I get that out, I'll say "okay then. let's fix it."

So I'm going to complain, and I will do so unapologetically.

It was good to go to dinner, and be surrounded by life.

I was wondering why the office was so quiet -
Laurine, our ombudsperson died on Saturday night;
I didn't know her very well, but I can see that my friends did, and that they're hurting;
an in-bed heart-attack; sudden; unexpected.

It still does not seem real: I expect her to show up tomorrow;
amicably baffled by this false rumour.
And, in the coming weeks, I will likely be surprised
that I haven't run into her, and then I'll remember.

This is one of life's post-its, it reads,
"you, and anyone you know, could die at any time."
"So act approprately"

New to me was this sudden desire to fuck.
You could explain it evolutionarily: a surprise death spurs the desire to repopulate the tribe...
(it's also the first death I've seen since with the new hormones)
...but that doesn't cut it. Rather, it feels like a way of saying "we're still here, right?"
It's been too long without a gender update.
Before I begin, I would like to say that I hope I can someday put "changed sex" on my resume. It's a job in itself; one involving a lot of research.


Projects
Ah, yes. This is where some of you may come in.

I am here

Jan. 8th, 2007 04:06 pm
I'd been to meetings and so on, but now, at work in the Student Union on the first day of school, I actually feel that I'm on the job at the SFSS.

I feel connected to the land and space of SFU in a new way. This is my space. I can feel it move, and I am a part that makes it turn.
It's good: secure; embodied; rooted.
...spiritual? Maybe. Whole? Possibly. It's a feeling of resonance: not the promise of things to come - just a good thing in the now.

If this is what leadership feels like, then I'm definitely interested.
I am well. I'm relaxed, fed etcetera.
I'm not sure what prompted this, but I'd like to see that it happens more often.

I went to the gender discussion group at the Three-Rivers health care center. Very cool. Food for thought.


The 2006 Abridged North American Guide to The Categories that will Define You.
Job - largely mutable - since the death of the feudal system you can always be unemployed
Race - immutable unless you discover that you have a great grandparent who is part something else in which case you can pick,
Age - mutable, but only by time
Weight - mutable! mutable! mutable! we Northamericans don't care if your entire family is whale fat: lose those pounds!
Height - immutable... unless you like leg-braces and scarring
Hair colour - mutable
Natural hair colour - immutable save by gray hairs and baldness
Hobbies - highly mutable
Nationality - mutable... in theory
Sexuality - some disagreement exists; some say you're born with it, others say that it changes on its own, sntill others say that you can change ("should cure") it
Family Ties - severable under only extreme conditons; spouses and childern can be added, siblings and parents can not; your parents can add siblings and siblings can add nieces and nephews without your permission;
Pets - mutable (easier to add than remove)
Sex/Gender - an interesting question (mutable but icky)


Note the special filter: not everyone can see this. I don't like springing things on people via LJ unless I have reasons to belive that they'll be cool, or I've spoken to them first.

[edit - the filter is gone]

I don't like it when people get attention by kvetching about their health. Asking for help, or community or understanding, is another matter and one with which I am largely unfamiliar but am giving a try.

Last couple of weeks, I've realzied that a lot of social justice theory is a way for people to justify themselves. It's regretful and dangerous that our society requires one to express emotion only if one has an intricate theoretical mobile to back it up. One cannot say "I find this behaviour to be rude" and be taken seriously. One says instead "I find this to be an example of a dangerous worldwide imperial... blah... blah... blah."

Case in point: me and gender. I had not appreciated the possibility that my feeling that gender was irritating and pointless might be a product not of my sophisticated mindset, but instead, my innate cognitive predispositions. In other words, the reason that otehr people are fine with conventional gender assumptions is not because they're miseducated, but because itn works for them.

My feeling of gender incongruity grates at me and, while it cycles, is getting worse over time. It has been most prominent when I'm distressed, or short on sleep, but now it's coming up more often. I'd dismissed this feeling as being the product of other partially unearthed psychological factors, but it seems that the reverse may be true.

OCD (and I assume healthy-brain anxiety though I'm not well aquainted with it) works like this. One thing causes anxiety, so one has obsessive anxious thoughts about that thing but in a different light. If one has obsessive thoughts about burning down a friend's house, it may very well be that one is bothered not by fire or arson or the possiblity of being an arsonist, but because the house makes one anxious and the mind, seeking a reason to justify this, spits out "you're an arsonist - bad!."

Gender then: while extreme gendered behaviour irks me, it seems that I'm not bothered by masculinity as a whole, but the expectations that apply to me though it. I'm not actually worried about coming across as demonstrating negative male behaviours - I just hate coming across as male.

More on this to come.
Something's shifted recently, I can see into what I'm doing, why I'm doing it. I can see where the problems with how I'm living my life are, and what I need to change them. I can even see them on the fly, while I'm erring, and hav ethe impulse to fix it.

Weird.

The genie seems out of the bottle. Being in some sort or capital-R Relationship uncorked something weird and it's still spilling out and all over the place. I feel different, see myself, sex, and the interaction between the two differently, and I can't pin down events to cause this, just events that should cause this, that make sense.

It's good, but scary.
I think that if We need to score points on Them, We should try to avoid this whole mutual annihilation* thing in favour of another strategy, that being revenge sex.

Consider: it's the 80's and you turn on the TV to see the Gipper saying "Mr. Gorbachev, I fucked your wife."

A hell of a lot better than the Star Wars program. Of course, if we made hot love not cold war, we'd still have boondoggle national defence, but it'd be ramapant sexualization instead of millitarization. Monkey Puppet would drop the missile defence so that billions of dollars could go to putting giant condoms in space or something.



*often by Proxy. That is to say the thtreat of mutually assured destruction is preserved by cooperatively beating the crap out of a areas of no consequence such as Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, South America, Africa or just the rest of the world. Both sides in the Cold War could cooperate pretty well as long as they could have a scene where they pretend to fight while mutually pummelling a hapless third party.

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