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Dented Blue Mercedes: BDSM, Gender, Entitlement, and Jian Ghomeshi

Whether anybody wanted the conversation right now or not, it’s become time to have a conversation about BDSM, gender and entitlement.

Over a week ago, Jian Ghomeshi, the then-popular then- CBC commentator, appeared to be coming out of the closet about engaging in what he referred to as “rough sex (forms of BDSM),” and claiming to be fired because of workplace discrimination. The post read as sincere and from the heart (and badly timed because of his father’s passing), so we wanted to believe him. For anyone who cares about sex and gender minorities, there was a temptation (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Our destinies are bound together (even if our needs are diverse and sometimes at odds)

Monica Roberts at TransGriot is exploring the future of the trans* movement:

“One of the things I was pondering recently was triggered by me seeing a pic of a five year old trans girl. I began to ponder what her Trans World that we 2K10’s activists are fighting tooth and nail to shape, would be like 10 to 20 years from now…”

Blogger apparently won’t accept a comment this long, so I’ll post my thoughts here instead:

Any time we try to wax prescient about a social issue and its future, we have to be careful not to (Read more…)

My journey with AIDS...and more!: I’m Thinking, “This is Going to Hurt!”: On ‘How Not to Deal with Grief’

From my friend Betty Ann on her Facebook page: “This article deeply moved me…as I suspect it will for any of you who have been impacted by the kind of grief associated with multiple loss, deaths due to overdose and or HIV/AIDS. Rather than just clicking on “like”, can you write a few sentences in […]

Dented Blue Mercedes: On conscience-based medical exemptions

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently reviewing its Human Rights Code policy on conscience-based exemptions for medical professionals, and their effect on access to medical services.

This review was sparked by a number of news reports of doctors in Ontario and Alberta refusing to prescribe birth control because of their religious beliefs. In some of those cases, patients were refused in clinics where there was only one doctor on duty.

Concurrently, south of the border, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of a corporation’s right to deny medical insurance to its employees when doing (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about its constitutionality. Sex workers, mainstream media and even many Nordic model proponents and abolitionists agree that it places sex workers in even greater danger than the previous laws did.

But is there also a poison pill within the legislation that could be used to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about its constitutionality. Sex workers, mainstream media and even many Nordic model proponents and abolitionists agree that it places sex workers in even greater danger than the previous laws did.

But is there also a poison pill within the legislation that could be used to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

I also looked at the obvious aspects of C-36 that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists.

There are further discussions as well — more concrete than speculation, but still under the surface of the legislation itself.

Conflating sex work with human trafficking

Anti-prostitution (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

I also looked at the obvious aspects of C-36 that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists.

There are further discussions as well — more concrete than speculation, but still under the surface of the legislation itself.

Conflating sex work with human trafficking

Anti-prostitution (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography somehow. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

That is, however, speculative. The bill itself contains many clearer aspects that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists, as well (though the objections vary).

The Canadian government’s public consultation on sex work — which sex worker advocates felt had been (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography somehow. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

That is, however, speculative. The bill itself contains many clearer aspects that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists, as well (though the objections vary).

The Canadian government’s public consultation on sex work — which sex worker advocates felt had been (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer. A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a fantasy, and may not include any actual sex acts at all. Does sex have to happen in order for there to have been a “sexual service?” Where is that line drawn?

It’s because of this vague nature of the terminology that some (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer. A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a fantasy, and may not include any actual sex acts at all. Does sex have to happen in order for there to have been a “sexual service?” Where is that line drawn?

It’s because of this vague nature of the terminology that some (Read more…)

Illuminated By Street Lamps: Supervised Injection In Toronto: Why The Discussion Has Screeched To A Halt

By Joe Fantauzzi @jjfantauzzi

Drug use is a multifaceted issue in urban life. Addiction can take an enormous toll on individuals and can leave the municipalities in which those people live struggling to adequately service their needs as well as the needs of the community. Supervised injection facilities, in which users consume drugs in a safe, clean space aided by sterile equipment and attendant medical professionals, have emerged as a new field of Canadian urban policy. I contend that despite medical evidence and the recommendations of medical professionals across Canada who advocate supervised injection as a harm-reducing approach to drug (Read more…)

Illuminated By Street Lamps: Ontario: A leading jurisdiction for intense, coercive neoliberalism

By Joe Fantauzzi@jjfantauzzi Global capitalism has liberalized incrementally since the end of the Second World War. As the Keynesian welfare state fell out of favour in the late 1970s amid a stagnating economy and rising government spending, a new business-friendly approach dubbed neoliberalism (literally, “new liberalism”), emerged and ushered in an epoch of devotion to market principles as the solution to what ails Ontario both economically and socially. The implementation of the Canada-US Trade Agreement in 1987[1], North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994[2]and the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995[3] were (Read more…)

Illuminated By Street Lamps: The Toronto G20 Summit: A State of Exception

By Joe Fantauzzi@jjfantauzziBetween June 26 and 27, 2010, thousands of demonstrators[1] descended on Toronto, Ontario to protest while the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies[2] met behind a protective fence built of steel and secretive legislative authority. When the tear gas cleared and the G20 Summit ended, 1,105 people had been detained. It has been described as “the largest peacetime mass arrest in Canadian history.”[3] Of those arrested, 779 — 80% — were released without any charges (as of June 2012).[4] Following Giorgio Agamben, I contend that the Province of Ontario employed (Read more…)

PostArctica: Katie Rentzke

Excellent street photographer who works for social change.

Urban Voice Youth Photographic Project is a program that gives an artistic voice to underprivileged youth by teaching them basic photography skills. The project goals are to use the camera to motivate youth’s discovery of the world around them, show youth that they have a voice in that world and give them a positive outlet to express that voice. The project not only teaches youth the creative skill of photography but also uses educational mechanisms to assist with improving social studies knowledge, literacy and speech comprehension. This project has been implemented amongst (Read more…)

Illuminated By Street Lamps: Locating Canada’s State Multiculturalism As A Racist Doctrine

By Joe Fantauzzi@jjfantauzziCanada is a multicultural nation. More than four decades of policy, legislation and celebration have engraved this country’s pluralism into its national character. The ethnic diversity of this country is presented globally as a fundamental strength of the Canadian nation. But massive structural inequalities which have not been erased with state multiculturalism policies remain ─ and have, in some cases, been exacerbated. I contend that nationalism in Canada is highly predicated on race and a structural racism that is intrinsically linked to Canada’s brand of state-sponsored multiculturalism. Following Himani Bannerji, I argue this race-focused nationalism works (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work closes March 17, 2014.

Although the questions appear to be stacked, it’s important that people who support decriminalization participate. There’s certainly no shortage of people filling out the forms and calling for new criminalization. The questionnaire is here, and Maggie’s Toronto provides some advice on answering positively, here.

If you’re still on the fence about whether you support decriminalization, then please consider answering questions 1-5 with the following:

“I decline to answer from my own experience, but instead call upon the Harper Government to make it a priority to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work closes March 17, 2014.

Although the questions appear to be stacked, it’s important that people who support decriminalization participate. There’s certainly no shortage of people filling out the forms and calling for new criminalization. The questionnaire is here, and Maggie’s Toronto provides some advice on answering positively, here.

If you’re still on the fence about whether you support decriminalization, then please consider answering questions 1-5 with the following:

“I decline to answer from my own experience, but instead call upon the Harper Government to make it a priority to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Protective” Custody

The way that trans people are housed in detention and correctional settings has come to attention recently, after British comedian Avery Edison was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for having previously overstayed her visa — and then she was initially sent to a mens’ prison while the issue was sorted out. After an outcry. Ms. Edison was moved to a female facility, but a number of other experiences that trans people have had with CBSA and Correctional Services Canada (CSC) have also come to light.

On Friday, I’d posted an article discussing some of the issues (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: “Protective” Custody

The way that trans people are housed in detention and correctional settings has come to attention recently, after British comedian Avery Edison was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for having previously overstayed her visa — and then she was initially sent to a mens’ prison while the issue was sorted out. After an outcry. Ms. Edison was moved to a female facility, but a number of other experiences that trans people have had with CBSA and Correctional Services Canada (CSC) have also come to light.

On Friday, I’d posted an article discussing some of the issues (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: On the Detention of Trans People

“… in a way that is not inconsistent with one’s gender identity.”

Remember that phrase. It’s going to simplify something that might otherwise seem like a complicated issue.

So this British comedian walks into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Some of you have heard this one before…

The treatment of trans people (particularly trans women) in detention facilities, in the correctional system and in border security has come under re-examination recently, following the story of 25-year old Avery Edison. The British comedian had overstayed her student visa during a previous visit to Canada, and so upon her return, (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: On the Detention of Trans People

“… in a way that is not inconsistent with one’s gender identity.”

Remember that phrase. It’s going to simplify something that might otherwise seem like a complicated issue.

So this British comedian walks into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Some of you have heard this one before…

The treatment of trans people (particularly trans women) in detention facilities, in the correctional system and in border security has come under re-examination recently, following the story of 25-year old Avery Edison. The British comedian had overstayed her student visa during a previous visit to Canada, and so upon her return, (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

I’m putting on my op-ed hat for this. The following draws from my own history, but I think it helps provide some insight into the left-wing divide over sex work. I’m skipping over this very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget some important distinctions and nuances, so bear with me.

This is two parts in one: a personal experience for context, and then some important distinctions about the divisions among the left and among womens’ rights groups over sex work.

A Personal Experience: A Preface

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

I’m putting on my op-ed hat for this. The following draws from my own history, but I think it helps provide some insight into the left-wing divide over sex work. I’m skipping over this very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget some important distinctions and nuances, so bear with me.

This is two parts in one: a personal experience for context, and then some important distinctions about the divisions among the left and among womens’ rights groups over sex work.

A Personal Experience: A Preface

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do (Read more…)