Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes on Prop K - Take a Stand for Sexual Freedom

All right dear friends, here we are with the first hints of Autumn in the air. So much change and flux everywhere. Whether it's a Chinese curse or a blessing, we are most definitely living in interesting times!

Amidst this goliath financial crisis and the culture wars of our upcoming presidential election, I have found solace immersing myself in my studies. It's been great to make new friends in my classes and connect with them on such a gratifyingly cerebral level. After my 6-year obsession with all things pro domme, it's awesome to switch gears and find myself discussing the ideas of Neitchze, Goedel and Freud on a regular basis.

But alas, there is always something to shake me back to reality.

I held my breath and felt my muscles tighten as one of my professors related a tale of a transvestite who was married to one of her patients. "He was wearing earrings... and woman's lingerie," she said, pausing with an arched eyebrow for dramatic effect.

Some details in life, one would rather forget. I guess it's a bit of cognitive dissonance, so as not to be reminded of harsher truths. Like the fact that sadomasochism is still listed as a disorder (classified as a sexual paraphilia) in the DSM - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a handbook for mental health professionals. I mean really, does it make any sense to group consensual power play alongside pedophilia? Granted, this is the same manual that listed homosexuality as a disorder up until the 80s.

Another little fact that I too often try to ignore - that our sexual freedoms in this country are quite limited, particularly for women involved in sex work. Look at what's happening in New York, where yet another house of domination was recently raided and shut down. A 21-year-old domina was arrested for prostitution for allegedly offering a prostrate massage for money. Don't vice cops have anything better to do than turn their masturbation fantasies into reality? I have nothing to say that hasn't been said before, but it does sicken me, how the entire pro BDSM scene in Manhattan is being terrorized by law enforcement.

Which brings me to my final point. Vote yes on Proposition K and take a stand for sexual freedom! From The San Francisco Chronicle : "Voting yes on Proposition K to decriminalize prostitution - to prohibit the city from arresting prostitutes - will make it easier for sex workers to report violence to the police and improve public health. The decriminalization of prostitution was the main recommendation of the citywide San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution more than 10 years ago. A recent UCSF study found that 1 out of 7 sex workers in San Francisco were threatened with arrest by police officers unless they had sex with them, and 1 out of 5 reported that police officers paid them for sex. Clearly, the policing of sex work is problematic."

New Zealand legalized prostitution in 2003, and you can see from this article that the level of discussion surrounding this issue is much more reasonable, with less moralizing and hypocrisy.

It's time to stop being complacent and complicit, living in fear and allowing others to smear us with labels of "criminal", "deviant" or "immoral." It's time to make positive change for justice, fairness and freedom. Take a stand!