Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Different ways to be a dom, scholarly style

Forgive the long radio silence. I was taking a class on Text Analysis (nerd heaven for this anthropologist). Using new software (MAXQDA), I was able to re-examine some of my data. I thought I'd share the results here. Please note this analysis is *only* on how masculine-identified individuals discuss dominance. I'm happy to hear feedback, especially from the kinky community. It's kind of heavy on the methodology section. For those of you whose goat this does not float, feel free to skip that section.

Learned Doms and Natural Leaders: Models of Dominance as Articulated by Masculine-Identified Members of a BDSM Community

            In mainstream American culture, “hegemonic masculinity can be described as a pattern of activities that enable men to establish and maintain dominance over women within social institutions” (Steinfeldt, et al 2009:261; emphasis added). The nature of hegemony is to offer culturally plausible goals that maintain or enhance the status of those in power, in this case, men. The linkage between masculinity and dominance over women is a common one. Shifting gender roles, increases in the leisure class, changing sexual mores, and hot Texan nights conspired to create a natural laboratory of sorts for the exploration of gender. I worked in a BDSM (bondage-discipline, dominance-submission, sado-masochism) community for twenty months, from 2009-2011. Due to length, I have chosen dominance as the thematic focus of this paper, leaving aside the question of dominance over whom for now. I argue that the association of dominance with masculinity is not as unquestioned as it once was, at least among middle-class, predominantly white, Southerners. The dominant-submissive axis is one of several identity spectrums in the BDSM community, but perhaps the most salient (barring gender) in the heterosexual portion of the community. By studying the ways that masculine identified individuals discuss the topic, a model of dominance can be induced that in some ways reinforces hegemonic masculinity and in others contests it. 
            The data for this analysis was drawn from a collection of interviews conducted in Texas with BDSM community members about their experiences with sexuality and within the BDSM community.  I have included all the masculine-identified people I initially interviews (n=7), as it is theoretically interesting to see how dominance is discussed by those who purportedly aspire to it under popular American ideology. For reasons too difficult to explain succinctly, I did not interview any masculine-identified people who only identified as submissives, but in this sample I have a range of respondents on the dominance-submissive axis (see Table 1 below). According to Morse (1994), a sample of as few as six may be sufficient to explore the essence of an experience using grounded theory analysis. Although I have six cis-gendered men in my corpus, I have chosen to include Jo, an individual who identifies as transmasculine (not as male, not as a man), because they[1] offer a foil to some of the cis-gendered men’s explanations of dominance. In other ways, Jo’s responses illustrate the expansion of masculine dominance.

D/s[2]  Identity
Switch, submissive leaning
Table 1 - Interviewees
            In popular speech in the BDSM community, the dominant-submissive spectrum is dichotomous; one is either dominant or submissive. Recognizing that this is not always the case, there is a special class of individuals called “switches,” who act as dominant or submissive, either between or within relationships. In practice, dominance (and its counterpart, submissiveness) varies in amount and quality, not hewing to the binary model suggested by categorization. Switches offer a counterpoint to “purely” dominants individuals in the sample.
            One final note about the sample, you may notice that Jason identifies as “non-D/s.” Among the community members, it was rare to find someone who did not identify on the dominant-submissive spectrum. Jason identifies as a switch, but only on the “top-bottom” spectrum, which is roughly “person acting-person being acted upon.” It refers to a person’s preference for activity, not as an aspect of identity. In many ways, the two axes are conflated and tops are assumed to be dominants (and bottoms submissives) unless it is actively asserted otherwise. Despite opting out of the D/s identity, Jason is still able to discuss dominance in a way that sheds light on the phenomenon as an active member in the community.
            As alluded to earlier, I have used many techniques pulled from Grounded Theory, albeit with a more structure approach than that originally advocated by Glaser and Strauss (1967). Bradley et al, promote a “qualitative data analysis design that applies the principles of inductive reasoning while also employing predetermined code types to guide data analysis and interpretation” (2007:1758). Additionally, Weston et al “used a priori theory to frame our questions, drive our interview protocol, and structure the initial levels of the coding scheme. We moved into a more grounded approach as we discovered codes working through the transcripts” (2001:382). Taking a page from their playbooks, I approached my coding with a priori themes about dominant identity, behaviors, characteristics, and value judgments.  After a first pass using those codes, a set of themes emerged from the data.
            Using line-by-line coding and the constant comparison method (see Markovic 2006 and Bernard and Ryan 2010 for comparison), I was able to discern tension between the idea of as dominance as something innate and the belief that dominance can be learned. Codes further coalesced as I used the pile sort method to determine core and periphery quotations. Using MAXQDA, I was able to generate a proximity matrix of salient codes, which pointed to the strong relationship between “learned dom” and “characteristics of good dom”.
            Lacking the ability to visualize my data or to use statistical analysis for methods like word frequency, I rely instead on that old anthropological workhorse– thick description (Geertz 1973). Thick description is appropriate for the inductive nature of this research, where the aim is to explore emic categories and create a model that accounts for the apparent tension between the “natural” and the “learned” types of dominance.
             Even limiting myself to masculine-identified individuals discussing dominance, several interesting patterns emerged. The one I found most intriguing was this idea that dominance is a fixed characteristic, innate, mysterious, and natural, which stood in contrast to the valuation people placed on learning how to be a better dominant as a positive characteristic for dominants.
            All of the individuals expressed what qualities a “good dom[3]” should have. These qualities are split between how doms behave in the community and how doms behave toward their subs. In order to be respected in the community, a dom must be knowledgeable about techniques and willing to learn from other dominants. Credentials are held in high regard, especially those granted by established BDSM training programs and mentorship. Part of being knowledgeable means being in control and not doing unintentional harm.
A dom must be responsible for the results of their actions. This is the intersection between the community-facing aspects of being a dom and the relationship-facing aspects. A good dom will learn their sub’s cues (being able to read body language, gauge pain processing, know what triggers exist), help the sub achieve their goals (either set collaboratively or set by the dom), express clear expectations, and offer appropriate aftercare. Although beyond the scope of this text analysis, from participant observation I know that subs compare notes often and a dom who really violates these rules will quickly gain a reputation.
Xavier, a thirty-four year old male dominant, explained, “to me, the dom is the one that is in control, and to be in control you need to know what’s going on. You need the knowledge and if you don’t have the knowledge, how can you have control?  So, knowing what the person [sub] likes, wants, desires, whatever and being able to just do that is part of what makes a dom to me, being able to just take them and go.” The themes of control, knowledge, and responsiveness to the partner are highlighted. It is central to his construction of being dominant.
Conversely, respondents were much less verbose about what makes a bad dom, with a preponderance of replies coming from the switches. It is reasonable to posit that this stems from the fact that they have literally been on the opposite side of the equation. “Pure” doms seldom compete directly with one another, instead relying on proxy estimations, like the number of play partners or reputation in the community. Switches, on the other hand, have direct experience with dominants and are able to articulate it in ways that do not occur to pure doms. Bad doms are predatory, selfish, arrogant, not knowledgeable, and presumptive of others’ statuses.
Top space, an altered state achieved by dominants during a scene, is seen as the purest expression of dominance. It stands in contrast to all the characteristics needed to be seen as a good dom. It is described as intense, powerful, primal, animalistic, and deep. There is tension between “dominant” as a role in the community and “dominance” as experienced in an altered state. For Jo, the mark of a bad dom is the objectification of the sub. They say, “It’s not like I say you’re an object, you’re a thing, I’m done, I have nothing to do with you.  If somebody’s gonna cry I’m gonna hold them.” This directly contradicts Terrence’s experience of top space, when he states, “I found myself flogging to the beat of the music and I was aware that she was there, that she was a person, that she was human, but I sorta just didn’t care.  The world collapsed down into the five feet in front of me – me, my arm, my flogger, and her ass.” Despite a language built around the construct that dominants are active and submissives are passive, Terrence is the only person who evinces nonchalance with this type of objectification. If this paper was longer, this would be the time to return to the gendered aspects of dominance.
Top space is the one of the few acceptable venues for the expression of dominance in terms of hegemonic masculinity – a primal Joh of energy stemming from having power over another individual. By severely restricting the time and place of such shows of dominance, the BDSM community has created a space for a different type of masculine dominance, which is responsive to the needs of others, relies on the opinions of the group, and values learning (and by proxy, humility). These characteristics are derived from the narratives of masculine-identified people themselves. These are the traits they seem themselves expressing or want to strive toward.
            Text analysis is a powerful tool to explore new theoretical avenues, especially in a setting that already has so many judgments placed on it, from within and without. Typical gender analysis might overlook the distinction between dominance as a role in community, dominance as a role within a relationship, and dominance as an experience (top space). My next steps for this research include expanding the analysis to account for what feminine-identified individuals say about dominance and how that compares to the masculine-identified individuals. Within the scope of this project, all the respondents identified as primarily masculine or feminine, whether that be cis or trans*, but further work in this area should seek out gender fluid individuals. Concurrently, I will be performing the same analysis on what people say about submissiveness and switching. I have high hopes for further line by line coding and the possibilities for MDS.

Works Cited

[1] Jo prefers to use the singular “they/them” pronouns rather than “he/him.”
[2] D/s refers to Dominance/submission spectrum
[3] Within the community, “dom” or “domme” (feminine) is short for dominant. “Sub” is short for submissive.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Flexing the binary

I will be presenting a paper at the European Association of Social Anthropologists at the beginning of August on gender. I'm excited for several reasons - returning to Europe, meeting up with colleagues from Portugal, international exposure - but mostly because it is an opportunity to return to the gender conundrum that remains part of my dissertation work. Here's my abstract: 

Erotic Practices: Using BDSM Ritual to (re)Inscribe Gender
The traits of "dominance" and "submissiveness" are glossed as masculine and feminine, respectively, in the mainstream culture of the United States. Taking to heart Judith Butler's notion of gender as performance, practitioners of BDSM (Bondage/Discipline Dominance/Submission Sadomasochism) in the southern United States engage with gender identity as plastic and attempt to unmoor these attributes from physical bodies. Using erotic ritual practices that often draw implicitly from anthropological theories, such as Victor Turner's concepts of liminality and communitas, group members have created a space to contest the lockstep association of dominance with masculinity and submissiveness with femininity.
Although the emic understanding is that these traits are entirely separate from one's gender, which in turn is separate from one's body, in practice the embodiment of these characteristics affects one's perceived gender over time in predictable ways in the larger heterosexual/pansexual group. The existence of a smaller group composed entirely of self-identified "women who play with women" serves as a foil against which to test the hypothesis that dominance and submission may be unlinked from the physical anatomy of a particular person but still strongly associated with a gendered identity.
By relying on erotic rituals to reinforce novel constellations of dominant/submissive-masculine/feminine, BDSM practitioners tap into anthropological theories developed in cross-cultural settings which have permeated mainstream American consciousness about the malleability of gender, the utility of ritual, and the role of sex in creating and maintaining social identities.
I am excited to start work on this paper. My ideas on being gendered/gendering/etc. have been percolating (more or less quietly) in the background as I've gone about my paid work. Now, I'm finally ready to return to them.

Gender was one of the things that first drew me to the kinky community. There were so many flavors and permutations and possibilities. Only after reflection did I perceive that everything was not as fluid or liberatory as I first felt. Still, it remains amazing to me that there is a space for people to stretch and flex what it means to masculine and feminine in the heart of Texas.

The systems I am trying to understand still rely on binary thinking - masculine/feminine or dominance/submissiveness. There is no third leg to the triad to really go beyond dualistic thinking. Sometimes I feel like studying gender in the United States is some sort of Levi-Straussian ouroboros - is binary opposition innate or a product of socialization?

Just when I feel everything will devolve into blue versus pink, I take heart in remembering the "switch." A switch is a person who can claim any particular gender combination at any given time. One of my favorite people described this as, "It's not an actual switch, not either/or but both/and." It's situational and relational and hella complicated but for me it's a possibility outside of 1 or 0.

Until Estonia, I'll be threshing out the finer points of what I mean by dominance and submission, feminine and masculine. You'll probably be reading about it here as I try out different schema. The switch will be my muse but probably not my subject, at least in this paper. I'm happy for feedback, especially from the kinky community, so if my ponderings on gender have squicked you or ring true, let me know.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Stating Desire" now available in print

Last year, I wrote a chapter for an anthology that grew out of a panel I sat on with Staci Newmahr at the Eastern Sociological Society in New York. It was published yesterday!

Selves, Symbols, and Sexualities: An Interactionist Anthology is available now from SAGE. On the whole, the book looks interesting in its varied takes on sexuality and research with broad cross-discipline application.

My chapter, "Stating Desire: Sexuality, the State, and Social Control" is available as one of the sample chapters, so you can read it for free!

I'd like to thank all the people in the Cactus kinky community, who I cannot acknowledge by name for obvious reasons. Even though the article looks at the community critically, I hope it conveys the compassion and creativity that is so central to the community.

So, if you read it, let me know what you think.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How did I become always only a woman?

It was just after 9 pm on a Tuesday. I sat on a mostly deserted train heading west. In front of me was an older white man speaking to a slightly tipsy older black woman. I could tell she was tipsy from her slurred speech and can of Old English. He kept egging her on about her relationship with god, asking her if she really thought she was a good person. She was earnest, replying to his questions with seriousness. I wasn't sure if he was being so condescending because she was black or if it was because she was a woman. In all likelihood, it was a little of both. Yay intersectionality.

Occasionally during his needling, he would turn around and stare directly at me. For various reasons, I didn't feel like entertaining him. I would stare off into the distance. The older woman seemed to be engaged with him, as she'd continue speaking long after he stopped encouraging her, so I didn't feel the need "help," however that would have happened. 

She got off at the main terminal after he admonished her about leaving her beer can on the bus in the most patronizing tone you can imagine. I knew I was in for it. He turned around and faced me fully and insisted, "Hi."

"I don't feel like having a conversation."


"I don't feel like having a conversation tonight."

"Did your nose ring hurt? I bet it did hurt."

Nod. It's the reply I give to any stranger who wants to ask about my septum ring.

At this point, my reluctance to talk to him edged from distaste to outright rage. Under different circumstances, maybe I would have felt like chatting. But the reality was we were now alone in a train car, at night, in a town with no real good side of the tracks. He obviously felt entitled to refuse my desire to be left alone in order to keep himself occupied while on the train. I am 99% sure it was because I was a woman.

"Where are you going tonight?"

"I still don't feel like talking."

"Jesus! Fine."

Then I began wondering about what to do if he got off at my stop. Or what if I got up and he followed me? I could probably take him in a fight... 

Fortunately, he got off at the next stop. Before he left, he turned around again and glared at. 

"Have a good night. I hope you don't try to talk to anyone because they might be *mean* to you!"

I'm sorry - I hurt his feelings?!? Because I didn't feel like talking to him, he made it all about my unstated bitchiness. He didn't know what the rest of my day had been like. I had subverted the "natural" course of interactions between the genders by refusing to accommodate him in the first place. I might have played along if he hadn't so obviously been taunting the tipsy woman, acting like he was superior while assuming that she wouldn't pick up on the fact that he was being an ass.

I am proud of myself for just saying no. I wouldn't have had the courage to do that even five years ago. But then I returned to the script women and girls are socialized into, that there are consequences for not going along with a man's wishes. I started worrying about assault and rape. Aside from being an overbearing ass, I had no indication that this man had nefarious intentions. I was pissed, however, that he had no sense that the situation was making me uncomfortable. I also hated that the situation made me uncomfortable. In many ways, I am forced to pay attention to my gender in Cleveland in ways I have not had to in years, and not in a celebratory I-am-woman-hear-me-roar kind of way. In professional settings with men, I have to prove that I am competent enough to be there in ways that they do not. It is frustrating, to say the least.

I had thought my experiences with sexism was a process I grew through and beyond. By the time I moved to Texas, I was under the impression that the perceived slights I experienced in New Orleans were due to my zealousness for feminism which is experienced by new converts. For years I was angry about everything. Time mellowed me. I was able to discern flirting from harassment. I gained the type of confidence that automatically demanded respect (I thought). I knew that other women and girls faced discrimination but I had broken the mold.

The truth was that it was more circumstantial than that. The Texas town I lived in was progressive, by most standards. For four years, my gender mattered less than it might have other places. In addition to that, my white and cis privileges allowed me to ignore (to some extent), the other forms of sexism that were taking place around me. In fact, it was absurd, since gender informed a large part of my analysis of the kinky community. I thought about my dissertation all the time and was oblivious to the reality around me. I also worked in a municipal department where, from the department head down, almost all of the supervisors were women. Most of my coworkers were women. It was easy to feel un-oppressed.

Then I moved to Cleveland. For reasons discussed elsewhere on my blog, race has become foregrounded in my consciousness. I am paying more attention to intersectionality. At the same time, I am being treated in the same ways that forced me to feminism's door, kicking and screaming, in the first place. I always have to work a little harder if I'm outside of my institution, which is lead by a strong woman who herself is a force of nature. I have become friends with a group of incredible womyn who brook no nonsense yet most events are for womyn only, cutting down the chances for male influence. I have to be aware of my surroundings because my new neighborhood isn't the safest. I know I move through it differently from my partner after years of socialization that my gender puts me at greater risk. I have to put up with men talking to me constantly at the train stop. Sometimes, I'm up for it. I don't mind passing the time, although I usually have to eventually deflect the inevitable come-on. It isn't even that I feel harassed, it's just the incessant-ness of it. It would be nice every once in a while to strike up a conversation with a man that didn't end with me stressing that I am sexually unavailable.

There are a lot of things I love about my new hometown. Constantly being reminded that I am a woman first in the minds of every man I meet, with all the assumptions that entails, is not one of them. The work is not done and I am not exempt from the struggle because I'm somehow more educated, more evolved, or more oblivious. It's a bit disappointing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sotto voce

It has literally been a quiet month for me. In January, I had a flare up of tendinitis (like carpal tunnel, but the other side of the wrist). This meant I was unable to type without a brace for 2 weeks. It made work more difficult but not unmanageable. I talked on the phone often and kept my emails succinct. It is amazing how picky I become with my words when I'm forced to peck them out letter by letter. I thought about my writing discipline (or recently, lack thereof) a lot during that time period. Being forced to stillness, I appreciated how writing helps me organize my thoughts. I swore I'd get back on the horse as soon as I was pain-free.

Then I caught pneumonia. Not being familiar with winter and its ailments, I went ahead and did a community dialogue event, despite the fact that I had no voice and was running a fever. I don't share my job duties with anyone so there was no one to cover for me. Luckily, at these events, I work really hard on set-up and then let my boss and our community partners do the heavy lifting, so speaking wasn't absolutely required. It was, however, a giant pain in the ass.

I think about how, as an undergraduate and then well into grad school, I would state that the point of anthropology was to "give voice to the voiceless." A tad on the White Savior Complex, I realize now. My current work is forcing me to confront my imperialist notions of lending my voice to the downtrodden. It is uncomfortable at times. I like to think this last year has been a lot about learning to take a backseat while others speak.

I thought I had become pretty good at it, at least as far as the community dialogues have been going. After the last event, when it was painful to even utter a sentence, I had a corporeal reminder of how much I still talk in spaces that are devoted to people who have been marginalized by institutions. I was constantly worried about how others would take my silence (even though nothing was about me). I wanted to explain everything, from why I couldn't talk to how I thought the room should be set up to how the camera should be run. I don't think of myself as a naturally verbose person. It was a shock to realize how much speaking I do.

It was also incredibly frustrating. I couldn't ask for clarification on things that I didn't quite get. I couldn't talk out my thoughts into coherence. Regular readers may have noticed that this is often how I use this blog. It was hard to do my job without being able to communicate. It made me think of the ways in which challenges to communication directly impact people's ways of being in the world, whether that be as non-native speakers, non-literate people, or people with physical conditions that require non-traditional methods of communication. I'm not equating my week of painful silence with these experiences but it did force me to re-think the role of voice.

I think anthropology does have a role in making space for people from different lifeways to be heard by those in power. We should not presume, however, that the people we work with are voiceless. As anthropologists, as academics, as professionals, as Westerners (if you identify in any of those categories), we have privilege. I'm not always sure what to do with that, though. Do we act as cultural brokers, translators, activists?

I side-stepped these questions when I chose to work in the kinky community. The people I worked with generally looked a lot like me, were usually as educated (if not more) than I was, had higher incomes, and were almost all native English speakers and US citizens. I didn't have a lot of power to share with them. I wasn't discovering the atom by talking about stigma or ritual or gender. In bits and pieces, it was all already there. In some ways, my work with them adds academic legitimacy to their lifestyle as a subject worthy of study, but for most of the people I worked with, that amounts to a hill of beans.

So now, I'm in Cleveland. I work with amazing people who suffer the effects of racism, classism, and regional inequity. They are more than this. My struggle is to learn how to share my expertise and labor in a way that advances their goals without taking over the conversation. My body (my favorite learning tool) has spent the last month teaching me to shut up. Now, with the return of my hands and my voice, I will be more mindful of how I deploy my intellectual voice. The goal is more writing at home, less speaking in community, and always singing along while driving.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Queer in theory

I recently finished reviewing Orgasmology by Annamarie Jagose. For the full skinny, you'll have to subscribe to the International Social Science Review by Pi Gammu Mu, which is, unfortunately, behind a pay wall. Political discussion about academic freedom aside, I enjoy reviewing books since it makes me read closely and I have a good relationship with the editor.

This was my first intensive study of a book based on queer theory. Although much of my work focuses on sex and is informed by it, I haven't read a lot of books based on queer theory as the primary methodology. It seems a bit antithetical to the type of anthropology I practice. I enjoy a bit of postmodernism every now and then and rely heavily on constructivism, but I cannot reduce everything (film, speech, clothes) to texts. I occasionally have an uneasy relationship to material culture but I feel to ignore it or at least interpret it as rhetoric can lead to a social science that explicates but does not make meaningful change.

Let me be clear, I want to use anthropology to create a more just world. Purported objectivity be damned. I don't always have the right answer and I'm very conscious of neoliberal and imperialist tendencies even in myself, but I feel that the discipline has an obligation to increase the respect for human dignity for all people, including things like ensuring shelter, water, food, and freedom from violence. <puts away soap box>

This brings me back to queer theory. I enjoy thinking slantwise, sidling up to dogma and staring at it cross-eyed until it comes into a different focus. Things are seldom what they seem and queer theory is a powerful tool to question big concepts, especially heteronormativity. It just doesn't seem to be enough for me, somehow.

Part of the reason I went into anthropology, particularly cultural anthropology, was the possibility for dialogue. Even archaeology, as much as I respect my friends and colleagues toiling away in the field, speaks for the dead. I appreciate a good argument with the people I work with, even if it is usually uncomfortable and occasionally mortifying. I don't feel like I'm stealing their voice although I am reporting on our interactions from my perspective.

At the end of the day, it's queer theory's reliance on interpretation of art and text that does not resonate with me. The thing about art is that the artist's original intention only goes so far. It is up to the viewer/reader/listener to add her or his experience to complete the experience. Queer theory (in what little I've experienced) complicates the picture, challenging people to new interpretations, whether it be film or historical documents.

Perhaps I have to let it go - queer theory is not anthropology nor does it suggest that it should be. I recently met Lynne Huffer, a scholar who works on the intersections of feminisms and queer theory especially regarding ethics. I just received her latest book, Are the Lips a Grave? Queer Feminist Reflections on the Ethics of Sexin the mail and look forward to her perspective on sex, ethics, and Foucault, especially given my new obsession with morality. We were introduced during a lunch hosted by the Women's Center on campus. She spoke forthrightly about some of the politics of developing and sustaining women's centers and LGBTQ centers. When I'm privy to such conversations, I find them enlightening and they make me question my desire to remain in the academy.

She discussed Foucault (my not-so-secret nerd crush) and the implications of his theories for current day feminism and queer theory. I remained quiet for most of the lunch since this isn't my area of expertise but finally I couldn't help myself. I think I asked about the practical applications of public sex as opposed to the theoretical possibilities for political action around such. I then had to explain (briefly, I've gotten much better at briefly) my work. She seemed interested in the lived experiences of kinky people who are testing out some of Foucault's ideas (more or less successfully and with or without intention).

I feel like queer theory has the potential to add to my work, to give me insight into some of the structures I see play out between the het scene and the queer scene. I have certainly cited scholars who are themselves queer or at least part of the LGBTQ community. Even though I identify as queer, I am only a queer theorist in the sense of an adjective modifying my sexuality appended to my predisposition to theorize rather than a practitioner of queer theory. I just get frustrated writing that stops with literary analysis. Even taking into account popular culture, it is often the elite of a culture that shapes the media, writes the history, performs the art.

If anyone can recommend some queer theorists who go beyond this, I'd love to hear about it. Even better, if you would like to discuss queer theory with me so that I can gain a better understanding, I'm always up for a chat. For now, however, I will crack open Huffer's book and see where ethics takes me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Useful information for the rhetoric wars

Nothing profound this week (so far) but I wanted to share a link that I've found useful in my work:

Melissa Gira Grant does a lovely job rounding up stories and blogs about sex workers from a sex-worker-centric viewpoint. It's broken up into topics, for those of you teaching classes. I'm particularly fond of the labor section.

Thanks, B, for the heads up.