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Bahamian Women Battling for Equal Rights

You would think that a nation which spent so much of the 20th century doggedly pursing equality would be united today over equal rights for women to pass on citizenship to their children and spouses. You would think that a constitutional provision to prevent discrimination against more than half the population would be entirely non-controversial.

But you would be wrong.

Blogging at Bahama Pundit, Larry Smith says that “the main point is simply that Bahamian women and men should have the same rights under the law.”

Sex, Censorship, and the Internet: Take the EROTICS Survey

EROTICS logo APC

The Association for Progressive Communications is asking LGBT activists, women's rights activists, queer bloggers and anyone with an active voice on issues of gender and sexuality on the Internet to participate in their 2014 EROTICS survey. APC explains that the survey seeks to help advocates “understand how sexual rights activists (from a variety of focuses and countries) use the internet to advance their work, what sort of risks, harassment, content regulation, or censorship they deal with, and how they respond to them.” The organization plans to use this information to help increase access to digital security for sexual rights activists and advocate for gender and sexuality issues among Internet rights activists. At a deeper level, they hope to:

…expose the connection between the regulation of sexual speech and content on the Internet and provide evidence that will help sexual rights activists explain the impact of such regulation on their lives and their work.

The EROTICS survey is available in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Take the EROTICS survey here and visit the project website to learn more about the study.

Accessibility and Lack of Appreciation for Young HIV Carriers Fighting AIDS

Image on Flickr by user

Image on Flickr by user max_thinks_sees (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Under the premise that AIDS is the second cause of teenager deaths in the world and the nvisibility for vulnerables populatons in this field, Puerto Rican journalist Natalia A. Bonilla Berríos writes about the participation of L’Orangelis Thomas Negrón, HIV carrier from birth, on the XX 2014 AIDS International Conference held last July in Melbourne, Australia.

Thomas wonders how accessible is life expectancy for teenagers and young people living with AIDS in the world? And she develops an answer:

Hice mención de las poblaciones claves y cómo, el no reconocerlas es una agresión a su propia existencia, y más aún cuando se es adolescente. La expectativa de vida, que se dice que es la misma que las personas que no viven con VIH, y cuán real es esto, cuando hay países que criminalizan el VIH y la homosexualidad; cuando quienes hemos vivido toda la vida con VIH no sabremos qué pasará con nuestros cuerpos en cinco o diez años porque no hay estudios suficientes; cuando las mujeres y transgéneros somos víctimas de violencia de género; o cuando migrantes y trabajadores/as sexuales no tienen acceso a la salud. Sobre todo, el hecho de que países desarrollados están a punto de firmar acuerdos que afectará el costo de los medicamentos genéricos de los cuales los países en desarrollo dependen.

I mentioned key populations and how no acknowledging them is an aggression against their existence itself, even more for teenagers. About life expectancy, said to be the same as individuales who live free of HIV, and how real that is, when some countries penalize HIV and homosexuality, when those of us who have lived our whole lives with HIV don't know what will happen with our bodies in five or ten years as there are no enough researches, when women and transgenders are victims of gender violence or when migrants and sex workers don't have access to healthcare. Above all, that fact that developed countries are about to suscribe agreements that will affect the costs of generic drugs, on which developing countries rely.

Visit Natalia Bonilla's blog. On Twitter, look for @nataliabonilla.

This post was part of the fourteenth #LunesDeBlogsGV,(Monday of blogs on GV) on August 4, 2014.

In Love With a Porn Star?

Psychologist and many blogs author Johanna Pérez Vásquez writes on her blog Sexo sin maquillaje (Sex without make up) about sex without worries, taboos nor prejudices. On this post, she raises a question Can a porn actor be in a platonic relationship with a woman?:

Una mujer puede elegir como amor platónico a un deportista para satisfacer, en su imaginación, la necesidad de tener a un compañero sexual con la vitalidad suficiente para hacer el amor durante horas [...] Si una mujer, insatisfecha con el rumbo que lleva su vida sexual, ve una película en la que el protagonista jala el pelo, lame la vulva y chupa los dedos de los pies justo del modo en que a ella le gusta es muy probable que surja alguna conexión, una que quizás lleve a acciones que también se dan para expresar atracción hacia amores platónicos más “castos y limpios”.

A girl can choose to have a platonic relationship with an athlete to satissfy her imagination, the need of having a sexual partner with enough vitality to make love for hours [...]. If a girl, unsatisfied with the way her sex life is going, watches a movie where the leading star puls the hair, licks the vulva and the toes just as she likes it, most likely there will be some kind of connection, one that may take to actions that also express attraction into more “chaste and pure” platonic relationships.

As each day more women freely accept they watch pornography, it's probably that in the future women may share their opinions about the actors on these films and even share videos via social networks.

You can follow Johanna on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and G+.

This post was part of the ninth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on June 30, 2014.

Bangladeshi Sex Workers Take Cow Steroids To Mask Their Real Age

ActionAid, a British charity, mentioned in a recent report that 90% of commercial sex workers in Bangladesh are addicted to Oradexon, a steroid meant for cattle. Diaspora Bangladeshi blogger Anushay Hossain explains why they use this drug:

This medicine meant to fatten cows has become the preferred drug among the madams [employers of sex workers] of Bangladesh. They are using the pills to mask the real age of the underage girls working for sex in their brothels by making them appear older and at the same time making the more ‘seasoned’ sex-worker look plum and voluptuous.

Demanding Gender Equality in the Bahamas

Lynn Sweeting, blogging at Womanish Words, wants equality for women in the Bahamas and pens a poem in that regard.

Should Women Starve Their Babies for Fear of Public Breastfeeding?

Olivia Kidula explains why breastfeeding in public should not stop:

A friend of mine recently gave birth to her first baby girl and is still getting the hang of motherhood. I began to notice she breastfeeds only when no men (besides her husband or father are around) and when she can “comfortably” hide away in a small space. When I mentioned to her that there should be no shame in feeding and nourishing her child in front of anyone, she responded,

“society would rather she starves than look at my breasts.”

The more I thought about the implications of her words the more upset I became. Who would want a child to starve? Who would truly want to deny a child nourishment and comfort at the chest of his mother?

A Documentary That Allows Transgender People's Voices to Be Heard

Though gays and lesbians are gradually gaining more acceptance in Puerto Rico, the same cannot be said yet of transgender people. That is why a film like Mala Mala, a documentary in which trans people speak freely about their stories, is so important. The film, directed by Dan Sickles (@dan_sickles) and Antonio Santini, is on the official selection of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

One of the people interviewed for the film is Paxx Moll, a chef who is also a transgender female-to-male. In an article published in La Respuesta, a digital magazine about the Puerto Rican diaspora, he talks to E. J. Dávila about who he is, his experience being part of the documentary, and about the lack of social and medical spaces for trans people in Puerto Rico, particularly for transgender men.

This is the teaser trailer for Mala Mala, which will premier in Puerto Rico in the coming months:

Chinese Women Protest Against the World Cup

12 women staged an anti-World Cup protest on 7 of July in Shanghai. Photo from Weibo via Offbeat China.

12 women staged an anti-World Cup protest on 7 of July in Shanghai. Photo from Weibo via Offbeat China.

Offbeat China explained why women are so angry and how the World Cup has destroyed relationships in China.

They are primarily pissed about two things: 1) their partners neglecting family responsibilities due to late-night game watching; 2) reckless gambling on games.

Empowering Girls Through Sports in Bolivia

The blog El clavo en el zapato (The nail in the shoe) visited District 4 in El Alto, where the project “Niñas con altura” (Girls with height) is fostering the participation of high school girls in sports. It's funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the foundation Save The Children:

Fue muy emocionante observar a 200 beneficiarias del proyecto, dialogar e intercambiar con un par de personajes singulares: Maitte Zamorano, atleta y futbolista [...]. La acompañó Iris Uriona, una de las primeras mujeres árbitras de la Liga Profesional del Fútbol Boliviano.

Ambas compartieron sus sueños, recuerdos, ilusiones y retos. Para estas niñas alteñas, el tener tan de cerca a dos mujeres que con esfuerzo y trabajo, han logrado romper los moldes que se esperan de una joven boliviana, una de ellas con la capacidad de ser la goleadora del continente y la otra siendo jueza y voz de autoridad ante un conjunto de varones, que sin embargo han recibido poca atención mediática.
[...]
Iniciativas como las de “Niñas con altura” están poniendo las bases para tener una juventud que pueda soñar con llegar muy arriba, incorporando precisamente lo que han aprendido jugando: liderazgo, autoestima y participación en la comunidad.

It was very exciting to watch 200 beneficiaries of the project, conversing and exchanging with two unique figures: Maitte Zamorano, athlete and football player [...]. With them, there was Iris Uriona, one of the first female referees in the Professional Football Bolivian League.

Both of them shared their dreams, memories, excitement and challenges. For these girls from El Alto, having two women who through effort and hard work have been able to break the mold that is expeccted of young Bolivian women, one of them with the ability of being the continent's top goal scorer and the other a judge and authority among a group of men, that nonetheless have gotten little attention from the media.
[...]
Initiatives such as “Niñas con altura” are setting the foundations for having a generation that can dream of being on the top, incorporating precisely what they have learned by playing: leadership, self-esteem and community participation.

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