Hello, my name is Jazz Goldman and I am a first time blogger.
I've been sitting at my computer on and off since 11am this morning, finding myself the victim of yet another round of paralysis of the pen. It's a tricky little condition, greatly aggravated by the internet, facebook in particular. But this post isn't about how effectively facebook saps your focus and energy, perhaps more on that another time. Today, I wanted to write about my life thus far and how it has been intersecting with my career and the world at large.
I am a lapsed performance artist and a budding sex educator, so when I came back from the amazing Momentum conference in D.C., I was buzzing with ideas and possiblity. Shortly after returning home on April 1st, I was hit with a wall of sadness and panic. I returned to see a powerful web of veritable fascism weaving it's way into my life. Another bill has been passed, adding to the nation's race to see who can demolish the Bill of Rights and Constitution the quickest. Now, if you are arrested, which you can be for "suspicion" of being a terrorist or just plain old suspicious behavior--a decidedly broad term, you can be strip-searched. That's right, if you go to jail your bodily autonomy is completely handed over to the state without any checks and certainly not a shred of balance. If you think this law only applies to serious felons, you would be sorely mistaken. Just ask Albert Florence who is currently sueing after he was strip-searched twice in a six-day period while being imprisoned for an unpaid traffic violation. You know how shifty those folks are who avoid traffic tickets!
To summarize--the government can now imprison you at will and indefinitely if you are suspected of terrorism. You can be imprisioned for up to 10 years if you protest near any person who has a secret-service agent with them, and when you are imprisioned, you can be strip searched--over and over all in the name of safety and security. Let's not forget about the much contested Patriot Act, the expansive legislation that arguably started this horrifying trend (see page 3 for the really scary and relevent segments). You might be asking yourself, how does this tie into sex education and over all sexual freedom? I will answer your question with a different question-why is the sex positive community seemingly unlinked with the larger, more mainstream politically active communities? In the face of current events, in would seem that political liberals should be banding together to stop this stuff, but as far as I can tell they simply are not.
My fear and anxiety over these issues deepened as I realized no one in my sex-positive circles mentioned these terrible pieces of legislation. In my humble opinion, the sex positive community is frightenginly isolated from larger issues and I believe this is to the detriment of sex positive activist goals. These kinds of laws affect everybody, whether they are polyamorous, gay, kinky or straight and married with children-therefore all political activists should be banding together to stop this nonsense. If our bodily autonomy is stripped away in prision, in the doctor's office (if unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds as a pre-requisite for getting an abortion catch on any more), then it's only a little while before the government starts coming after the rest of us, only if we appear suspicous that is.
I'm putting out a call to action for activists to drop partisan agendas and work together. Get your church involved with your LGBT activism, get your polyamorous group involved with kinky events. Go out and have those sometimes awkward, but incredibly important community building conversations so we can all start working together!