Coalition Radio Network https://coalitionradionetwork.com Join the Coalition Radio Netork Sat, 17 Oct 2020 20:19:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/cropped-coalition-wordmark-3-1-32x32.jpg Coalition Radio Network https://coalitionradionetwork.com 32 32 Jessie Page: The Fetishization Of The Natural https://coalitionradionetwork.com/jessie-page-the-fetishization-of-the-natural/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jessie-page-the-fetishization-of-the-natural https://coalitionradionetwork.com/jessie-page-the-fetishization-of-the-natural/#respond Sat, 17 Oct 2020 06:24:36 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6338   Recently I got roped into watching the Netflix reality show, The Circle. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a game show meant to determine which contestant will win the social media popularity contest. All contestants live in their own units within the same apartment complex, yet they can only[Read More...]

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Recently I got roped into watching the Netflix reality show, The Circle. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a game show meant to determine which contestant will win the social media popularity contest. All contestants live in their own units within the same apartment complex, yet they can only communicate with each other through a social media platform that is specific to the show.  

Given that they have no contact with each other outside of the text and picture-based platform, contestants can create whatever persona they desire. As expected, some contestants play themselves and use their own pictures, while others invent new identities and use other people’s pictures. One contestant, for example, catfishes as his girlfriend, believing that he would be more wellliked as a conventionally attractive woman in the social media game.  

While I couldn’t muster enough interest to finish the season (most of the contestants are insufferable), I struck with it long enough to pick up on an interesting trend. In trying to assess the authenticity of other contestants, many brought up filtered pictures as evidence of catfishing. As in, “So-in-so can’t be who she says she is, look at how filtered her pictures are!” 

Coming out of an online sex work milieu (where filtering and editing pictures is an art form), I found this rather strange. In fact, it’s so strange that my partner teased, “Wow, you must be fake as fuck!” I don’t manually filter my thirst traps, but only because I have learned to take my pics through an app that algorithmically filters them automatically. Snow–an app I highly recommendwill even do your makeup for you. My sex worker friend who taught me this trick said that they had to stop applying cat-eye eyeliner through the app, despite the fact that the app was great at it, because they didn’t actually know how to do it in real life and thought clients may come to expect it when meeting them 

I don’t use this makeup feature only because I enjoy putting my makeup on, I’m relatively good at the cat-eye, and the entire primping process puts me in the headspace to perform sexiness. But if this were not true, I wouldn’t be above applying makeup digitally. Afterall, I’m already taking the pictures this way. 

This all brings up an interesting question: what is it about filters and makeup that signals inauthenticity?  

These questions came up yet again last week when I was shooting a video series for Beautiful Agony, a website out of Australia that specializes in capturing “natural” orgasm faces. I happen to love O faces, so I was excited to film some of my own.  

In order to participate in the project, you have to submit two distinctly different orgasm clips from the chest up, orgasming whatever way is natural to you 

 

 

I shot two clips. The first, on my couch in the living room with my partner orally assisting me offcamera; and the second, I masturbated in lingerie in a secluded outdoor spot (if you guess where I was, I will deny it!) 

To my surprise, my outdoor scene was accepted, but I was asked to redo my indoor one because it didn’t seem natural. Why? Because my makeup was too heavy (it was the way I wear it every day), and because it seemed like I was looking at the camera (I’m a former cam girl and I currently make indie porn – I have been conditioned to look at the camera when shooting).  

This is not a critique of Beautiful Agony, they were great to work with I was happy to redo the scene. It is their site and they can cultivate whatever aesthetic they desire! As a professional, I work hard to create whatever I am contracted to make, so long as it fits within my own boundaries; I do the same when clients commission custom scenes. But it did give me pause for thought.  

The outdoor clip seemed natural, I assume, because we had been hiking most of the day and I no longer had a fresh set of makeup on. But let me assure you that while the scene is aesthetically interesting (that is what I was going for), there is nothing particularly natural about masturbating while laying on a dirty rock in the middle of nowhere, being poked with twigs and branches, and pretending to ignore a camera overhead. It is a performance, and a physically uncomfortable one at that (though I did somehow manage to have a real orgasm; why not make the most of it?). 

On the other hand, the one I did in my house was fun, easy, and I came hard. I was home, my partner pleasured me the way he knows I like it, and I created the aesthetic that makes me feel most sexy. Did I look the way I would if I stepped out of the shower soaking wet? Of course not. But it is the look that I have carefully cultivated through makeup, tattoos, fashion, camera angles, and cosmetic enhancements, all of which make me feel most at home in my own body. It is what has become natural to me. 

 

 I am in no way suggesting that anyone succumb to the pressure to maintain beauty standards that are unattainable, uninteresting, or undesirable for them. Rather, I am suggesting that the current cultural move back to natural, that takes for granted what natural is, seems misguided. If natural just means no makeup (or in some cases spending hours to make it look like you’re not wearing makeup), or accepting your body as it is, what message does that give our trans brothers and sisters? Or really anyone who works to cultivate their aesthetic and their identities through makeup, filters, or surgeries 

 More importantly, why is this notion of aesthetic naturalness framed as the moral high ground? Why would we assume, in other words, that those who wear less makeup or who don’t filter their pictures are in any way more real, or more authentic?  

Perhaps, and this shouldn’t be a conceptual stretch, it is through the alternations of the body, be them physical or digital, that we express something true and real about ourselves. Perhaps it is through this artistic rendering of the self that we communicate to others who we understand ourselves to be.  

 

 

Jessie Sage – she/her  is the managing editor of Peepshow Media, an online magazine featuring news and stories from the sex industry, and co-host of the Peepshow Podcast. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, VICE, Men’s Health, Hustler, and more. She works in the sex industry as a phone sex operator and indy performer. You can find her on NiteflirtSextpantherManyvids, and Onlyfans or follow her on Twitter @sapiotextual.

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RI ACLU & Community Object To Newport Canvassing Authority’s Decision To Close Park Holm Senior Center Polling Location https://coalitionradionetwork.com/ri-aclu-community-object-to-newport-canvassing-authoritys-decision-to-close-park-holm-senior-center-polling-location/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ri-aclu-community-object-to-newport-canvassing-authoritys-decision-to-close-park-holm-senior-center-polling-location https://coalitionradionetwork.com/ri-aclu-community-object-to-newport-canvassing-authoritys-decision-to-close-park-holm-senior-center-polling-location/#respond Sat, 17 Oct 2020 05:56:48 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6328   The RI ACLU has decided to intervene on behalf of Newport citizens residing in precinct 2109 who feel that the consolidation, by the Newport Canvassing Authority, of a polling center located for years at the Park Holm Senior Center with the Pell Elementary School in Precinct 2102 would result[Read More...]

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The RI ACLU has decided to intervene on behalf of Newport citizens residing in precinct 2109 who feel that the consolidation, by the Newport Canvassing Authority, of a polling center located for years at the Park Holm Senior Center with the Pell Elementary School in Precinct 2102 would result in grave inconvenience to members of the minority community & senior citizens.

From Steven Brown – RI ACLU (Excerpt)

“Our organization has received complaints from a number of Newport residents residing in
Precinct 2109 who are deeply concerned about this decision of the Newport Canvassing
Authority (referred to as the “Board of Canvassers” in the agenda and as “BOC” in this letter),
which was approved on a 2-1 vote on Tuesday”

Listed Below: ACLU RI Complaint Letter & Community Letters

Park Holm consolidation letter to BOE FINAL
Park Holm Complaints

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Court Preliminarily Approves Settlement in Title IX Lawsuit Against Brown University Addressing Women’s Athletics https://coalitionradionetwork.com/court-preliminarily-approves-settlement-in-title-ix-lawsuit-against-brown-university-addressing-womens-athletics/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=court-preliminarily-approves-settlement-in-title-ix-lawsuit-against-brown-university-addressing-womens-athletics https://coalitionradionetwork.com/court-preliminarily-approves-settlement-in-title-ix-lawsuit-against-brown-university-addressing-womens-athletics/#respond Sat, 17 Oct 2020 04:45:12 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6324 A federal court has today preliminarily approved a settlement agreement between Brown University and lawyers representing women student-athletes at the school who brought a class-action lawsuit in June following cuts to the varsity athletics program.  The suit, filed in June by counsel from the ACLU of Rhode Island, Public Justice and two private[Read More...]

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A federal court has today preliminarily approved a settlement agreement between Brown University and lawyers representing women student-athletes at the school who brought a class-action lawsuit in June following cuts to the varsity athletics program.  The suit, filed in June by counsel from the ACLU of Rhode Island, Public Justice and two private law firms, alleged that the cuts violated a consent agreement that the University entered more than two decades ago to comply with Title IX, the federal law that guarantees equal access to athletic programs for female athletes.  

Under the Order entered today by U.S. District Judge John McConnell, Jr., members of the lawsuit class, consisting of “all full-time female undergraduate students currently enrolled at Brown, as well as female undergraduate students who are currently on leave or who have deferred matriculation for the current academic year,” will have until November 24th to raise objections to the settlement. A “fairness hearing” on whether to approve the settlement is scheduled to be held on December 15. 

 

Under the proposed settlement, Brown has agreed to: 

  • Reinstate its women’s varsity equestrian and fencing teams;  
  • Maintain full support for those teams and not to reduce future support as compared to men’s teams’ support; and 
  • Not eliminate or reduce the status of any women’s varsity team or add any men’s team for at least the next four years, during which time the University will be required to comply with the consent decree it agreed to in 1998. 

The consent decree will expire on August 31, 2024, but the University must still ensure equal opportunities in its athletics programs under Title IX.  

The lawsuit was handled by attorneys Lynette Labinger, cooperating counsel from the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island; Leslie Brueckner of Public Justice; Arthur Bryant with the law firm of Bailey & Glasser; and Jill Zwagerman and Lori Bullock of Newkirk Zwagerman in Des Moines, IA. 

Earlier this year, Brown announced it was eliminating five varsity women’s teams, a decision that violated the 1998 court-ordered requirement that “intercollegiate level participation opportunities for male and female students” be provided “in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.” The cuts announced by Brown would have resulted in a disproportionate impact on women’s sports participation in violation of the original consent decree. The proposed settlement agreement was reached by the parties last week as a result of court-ordered mediation. 

A copy of the terms of the settlement agreement, along with background information on the case, Cohen v. Brown University, can be found here.

 

Class_Notice_9.25.2020_(final) Brown U

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Additional Links:

Court Challenge Filed To Brown University’s Abandonment of Gender Equity in Athletics Programs

 

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RAMP Real Access Motivates Progress! Host: Tina G. Pedersen Guests: 211/Point Programs of United Way https://coalitionradionetwork.com/ramp-real-access-motivates-progress-host-tina-g-pedersen-guests-211-point-programs-of-united-way/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ramp-real-access-motivates-progress-host-tina-g-pedersen-guests-211-point-programs-of-united-way https://coalitionradionetwork.com/ramp-real-access-motivates-progress-host-tina-g-pedersen-guests-211-point-programs-of-united-way/#respond Thu, 15 Oct 2020 02:52:58 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6316 Cortney Nicolato, President & CEO of United Way of Rhode Island & Aura Medina, Manager of The POINT, a statewide network for seniors, adults with disabilities and their caregivers operated by UWRI and linked through 2-1-1 joined RAMP Host Tina G. Pedersen in a wide ranging conversation! Join RAMP, Real[Read More...]

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Cortney Nicolato, President & CEO of United Way of Rhode Island & Aura Medina, Manager of The POINT, a statewide network for seniors, adults with disabilities and their caregivers operated by UWRI and linked through 2-1-1 joined RAMP Host Tina G. Pedersen in a wide ranging conversation!

Join RAMP, Real Access Motivates Progress! & Host Tina G. Pedersen on The Coalition Radio Network, at www.CoalitionRadioNetwork.com or www.Facebook.com/TheCoalitionRadio Wednesday evenings @ 7PM Eastern Time

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Outrage Porn Free Civilly Disobedient Media!

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Miscarriage … Loss https://coalitionradionetwork.com/miscarriage-loss/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=miscarriage-loss https://coalitionradionetwork.com/miscarriage-loss/#respond Wed, 14 Oct 2020 03:29:25 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6309   “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou TW: miscarriage    Prior to my current career, I worked for several years as a doula, staying awake for 20-30 hours at a time while I walked laboring mothers and their partners (and sometimes entire[Read More...]

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

TW: miscarriage  

 Prior to my current career, I worked for several years as a doula, staying awake for 20-30 hours at a time while I walked laboring mothers and their partners (and sometimes entire families) through one of the most intense events of their lives. I would rub their backs until my hands ached, sit outside their birthing tub or shower and talk them through the waves of pain that came and went with their contractions, help their partners push their knees back and coach them through the pushing process, and advocated for them when their doctors and nurses disregarded their basic wishes 

 When I first started, I remember someone telling me that they had too much pregnancy/childbirth related trauma to be a doula. Though I was already a mother, I had yet to experience the intense pain of a pregnancy that doesn’t end with a healthy mom and baby. That didn’t come until I was actively working in the field.  

 Last week, when model and celebrity Chrissy Teigen tweeted a picture of herself in the hospital bed where she lost her baby, I was flooded with memories of my own losses. Her tweet opens with the following statement: “We are shocked, and in the kind of pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before.”  

 Prior to experiencing that pain myself, it was hard to imagine why attending births (especially relatively low-risk, healthy ones) would trigger a trauma response, though of course I had enough empathy to understood that they could. When I experienced two losses in a row while having to simultaneously remain strong enough to celebrate my clients joy, I understood on a deep, visceral level. 

 I remember answering the phone to the excited voices of my clients who wanted to go over the results of their most recent ultrasounds, when just days before my husband and I sat with giddy excitement in those same imagining rooms, only to have our baby projected on the screen mounted on the wall in front of us, large enough to see that it’s little heart wasn’t beating.  

 I also remember talking to my clients about whether they thought they would use an epidural or not for pain management, when the decision I was being faced with was whether to schedule a D&C (the surgical procedure to remove the tissue inside the uterus), or pick up a prescription of Misoprostol and induce an abortion at home. 

 I also remember, after choosing to go the Misoprostol route (though I made the opposite choice the second time around, knowing that I didn’t have it in me to labor at home again), having to call in a backup doula when one of my clients went into labor, because my husband and I were busy scrubbing the blood out of our carpet, sheets, mattress: more blood than we thought possible, and certainly more than anyone warned us about. They said it would be like a heavy period; our room looked like a crime scene.  

It’s been five years since we went through that. We have a delightful baby that is hardly a baby anymore, he turns four at the end of this year. He was 10 and a half pounds at birth, born via c-section because not only was he huge, he was also breech. We called him our “big stubborn baby,” because while his siblings didn’t make it, he wasn’t going anywhere.  

 While I don’t work as a doula anymore, I believe at this point it is something I could go back to. My pain has, for the most part, receded to the background. But that isn’t to say it is gone. I feel so intensely for Chrissy and her partner, in part, because I know that the kind of pain they are experiencing is a pain that never really leaves you, it marks your soul.  

 When we lost our first baby, we planted a tree–a weeping willow–in the backyard of my husband’s childhood home, where his parents still live. This summer marked the 5-year anniversary of the birth of that tree, and the day we buried some of our baby’s tissue with dirt and mulch, next to the tree we planted for them. You can see the tree from their kitchen window, and I think about them every time I’m at their house.  

 On the anniversary itself I lay in bed, being overtaken by a grief that I thought I’d worked through. My body felt hollowed out, my belly empty. I remembered what it was like to carry all my babies, those living and those dead. And I mourned for the ones who didn’t have a chance to live out their story 

 There is no correct way to react to such a deep loss. I planted a tree, Chrissy Teigen reached out to her online community with a picture from her hospital bed and a heartfelt description of their pain. That her way was met with trolls who thought she was using her loss as an attention seeking measure, simply because she in fact got a lot of attention (as celebrities do), makes me sick.  

 If you can’t understand what it is like to lose a baby, and I’m not sure you truly can unless you experience it yourself, you should not judge someone for the way that they choose express their grief. I hope that with time their grief will also recedes to the background, and that future joys will outweigh their current pain. For me it has, but it has taken accepting the fact that it will never really go away.   

Jessie Sage – she/her  is the managing editor of Peepshow Media, an online magazine featuring news and stories from the sex industry, and co-host of the Peepshow Podcast. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, VICE, Men’s Health, Hustler, and more. She works in the sex industry as a phone sex operator and indy performer. You can find her on NiteflirtSextpantherManyvids, and Onlyfans or follow her on Twitter @sapiotextual.

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FIRE! Largest Free Speech Ever Survey Of College Students Ranks Top Campuses For Expression https://coalitionradionetwork.com/fire-largest-free-speech-ever-survey-of-college-students-ranks-top-campuses-for-expression/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fire-largest-free-speech-ever-survey-of-college-students-ranks-top-campuses-for-expression https://coalitionradionetwork.com/fire-largest-free-speech-ever-survey-of-college-students-ranks-top-campuses-for-expression/#respond Tue, 13 Oct 2020 10:41:26 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6307   University of Chicago #1 for free speech, DePauw worst, Ivy League underperforms Survey reveals differences among political affiliation, gender, race, religion, and more Acceptance of violence to stop campus speakers higher among liberal students Nearly one-third don’t think Trump should be allowed to speak on campus, 22% for Biden[Read More...]

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  • University of Chicago #1 for free speech, DePauw worst, Ivy League underperforms
  • Survey reveals differences among political affiliation, gender, race, religion, and more
  • Acceptance of violence to stop campus speakers higher among liberal students
  • Nearly one-third don’t think Trump should be allowed to speak on campus, 22% for Biden
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29, 2020 — The Ivy League offers students sterling credentials, but is miserly when it comes to offering them free speech — try the University of Chicago instead. That’s just one of the findings from the first-ever rankings of the free speech climates at 55 of America’s largest and most prestigious campuses, based on the largest free speech survey of college students ever performed.
“2020 College Free Speech Rankings: What’s the Climate for Free Speech on America’s College Campuses?” features the opinions of the roughly 20,000 students surveyed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, College Pulse, and RealClearEducation.
Other highlights: Seven of the top 10 colleges for free speech are public, and only one of the top 10 is in the Northeast, while the bottom 10 include many schools that repeatedly make headlines for campus censorship.
Notably, eight of the top 10 institutions in the study earn the highest, “green light” rating for their free speech policies in FIRE’s annual Spotlight on Speech Codes report.
The top five colleges for free speech:
  1. The University of Chicago (Green)
  2. Kansas State University (Green)
  3. Texas A&M University (Green)
  4. University of California, Los Angeles (Green)
  5. Arizona State University (Green)
The worst colleges for free speech:
  1. Syracuse University (Yellow)
  2. Dartmouth College (Yellow)
  3. Louisiana State University (Red)
  4. University of Texas (Red)
  5. DePauw University (Red)
Eight of the colleges in the bottom 10 hold either FIRE’s worst, “red light” rating, or a “warning” rating for colleges that explicitly prioritize other values above free speech. Seven of the bottom 10 are private colleges, three are located in the Northeast, and two of them are in the Ivy League.
“These rankings provide proof that your choice of college can make a real difference in your ability to speak your mind,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “Campus leaders no longer have an excuse for remaining ignorant about students who feel muzzled on their campuses. One thing is for sure: colleges have a lot of work to do.”
The 2020 College Free Speech Rankings take into account the varied dimensions of free expression on campus — from the ability to discuss challenging topics like race, gender dynamics, and geo-political conflicts, to whether students hold back from openly sharing their views. The rankings are designed to help students and parents make enrollment decisions based on a range of factors including openness, tolerance, self-expression, administrative support for free speech, and campus policies. The rankings capture and score, on a scale from 0-100, the overall speech climate, as well as the distinct experiences of conservative and liberal students.
Self-expression
Fully 60% of students reported feeling that they could not express an opinion because of how students, a professor, or their administration would respond. This number is highest among “strong Republicans” (73%) and lowest among “strong Democrats” (52%). Black students are most likely to report an instance where they censored themselves (63%).
Just 15% of students reported feeling very comfortable publicly disagreeing with a professor about a controversial topic. Only 11% of female students reported this, compared to 19% of male students.
Opposing viewpoints
Students reported an alarming willingness to shut down certain speakers: 87% of students reported that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders should be allowed to share his views on campus, but only 69% said the same for President Donald Trump and 78% for former Vice President Joe Biden. Students identifying as Republican or Independent were more tolerant of speakers than Democratic students: 71% of strong Republicans support Biden coming to campus, compared to 49% of strong Democrats reporting the same for Trump.
  • Female students reported less tolerance for speakers than male students.
  • LGBT students reported less tolerance for speakers than straight students.
  • Black students reported less tolerance than Hispanic, Asian, or white students.
Students at Ivy League schools were slightly more in favor of using violence to stop a campus speech: a total of 21% expressed some level of acceptance for violence in these cases, with 1% saying it was “always” acceptable, 3% saying “sometimes” and 17% saying “rarely,” compared with 18% overall and 15% among students in the Southeastern Conference. One quarter of atheist students and black students expressed some level of acceptance for violence, as did 27% of LGBT students. Similarly, liberal students expressed a higher acceptance of violence. Students identifying as extremely liberal said violence to stop a speech or event from occurring on campus was “always” or “sometimes” acceptable at a rate double than students identifying as extremely conservative: 13% to 6%. More than a quarter of extremely liberal respondents said it is “rarely” acceptable, compared to 8% of extremely conservative respondents.
The difference in support for other forms of protest are even more varied:
  • More than 60% of extreme liberals said it’s “always” or “sometimes” acceptable to shout down a speaker; compared to 15% for extreme conservatives.
  • 37% of Ivy League students say that shouting down a speaker is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable, compared to 26% of students not enrolled at Ivy League colleges. When it comes to removing flyers, the figures are 37% to 28%.
  • Almost 1 in 5 Ivy League students find it “always” or “sometimes” acceptable to block other students from entering a campus event, compared to roughly 1 in 10 of non-Ivy students.
More than 40% of college students identified race as a topic that is difficult to have an open and honest conversation about on campus, a figure that rises to 66% for black students. Similarly, 45% of students reported that they do not feel they could have an open and honest discussion about abortion on their campus. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is particularly difficult to discuss at elite colleges in the Ivy League.
“For the first time ever, prospective college students and their parents can systematically compare the environments for free speech and open discourse across dozens of campuses,” said Vice President of Communications Nico Perrino. “For college administrators, this should be a wake-up call and serve as a roadmap to improving their campus cultures. Students might remain silent in the classroom or on the quad, but their survey responses are loud and clear.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and sustaining the individual rights of students and faculty members at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience — the essential qualities of liberty.

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RI Democratic Women’s Caucus Executive Committee Calls for More Women Legislators in Top Leadership Positions https://coalitionradionetwork.com/ri-democratic-womens-caucus-executive-committee-calls-for-more-women-legislators-in-top-leadership-positions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ri-democratic-womens-caucus-executive-committee-calls-for-more-women-legislators-in-top-leadership-positions https://coalitionradionetwork.com/ri-democratic-womens-caucus-executive-committee-calls-for-more-women-legislators-in-top-leadership-positions/#respond Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:26:08 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6302   The Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus Executive Committee is calling for more women legislators in top leadership positions throughout the state legislature. Rhode Island is one of only nine states in the US where no female legislators serve in leadership positions. With the Rhode Island Senate poised to become[Read More...]

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The Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus Executive Committee is calling for more women legislators in top leadership positions throughout the state legislature. Rhode Island is one of only nine states in the US where no female legislators serve in leadership positions. With the Rhode Island Senate poised to become a majority-women chamber, this imbalance of power must be fixed. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made,” and it is our belief that those places include the committee rooms and the third floor of the State House.

The recent passing of Justice Ginsburg has made it clear: no matter what happens at the federal level, states are the last line of defense in protecting economic and social justice. During the fight to pass the Reproductive Privacy Act, our women legislators displayed the foresight, courage, and tenacity needed to protect our state from anti-liberty tyranny, should the federal government overturn Roe v Wade. Rhode Islanders can thank the Democratic women of our state legislature for codifying our right to reproductive freedom at the state level, ensuring abortion will remain safe and legal no matter what happens in the Supreme Court. These are the types of elected officials we need in leadership.

We need state legislative leadership that governs transparently while promoting open and participatory democracy at all levels. The Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus Executive Committee believes our state legislative leaders must:

  • Prioritize legislation that addresses economic and health disparities for women, particularly women of color. The coronavirus crisis has laid bare what women in this country have known for years: our work is devalued. In addition to affecting public health, Covid-19 is worsening a caregiving crisis that was already causing deep financial instability for women and their families.

  • Pass legislation that would raise wages to a living wage for essential workers like grocery clerks, delivery people, waitresses, caregivers, and housekeeping staff during the pandemic.

  • Pass meaningful environmental protection bills that will strengthen environmental protections in our state,  and ensure that appointees who both care about the environment and the affordability of energy for its consumers are leading  Rhode Island’s Public Utilities Commission.

  • Actively legislate during the pandemic, and do so safely for all members of the state legislature. Members of the public must be allowed safe and easy access to their government and its elected officials during the pandemic. Indeed they should have been working on these issues throughout this pandemic, BECAUSE it is a public health emergency that calls for motivated, competent leadership.

  • Provide oversight to crisis related expenses amassed since the start of the pandemic and work to immediately pass a budget.

The results of the primary clearly show that Rhode Islanders want more women elected officials who are progressive and fair, and who are able to competently navigate our state through these troubled times. The time for change is now. The time for women to lead is now.

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What Can Phone Sex Operators Tell Us About Men & Masculinity? https://coalitionradionetwork.com/what-can-phone-sex-operators-tell-us-about-men-masculinity/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-can-phone-sex-operators-tell-us-about-men-masculinity https://coalitionradionetwork.com/what-can-phone-sex-operators-tell-us-about-men-masculinity/#respond Wed, 23 Sep 2020 03:06:48 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6294 What can phone sex operators tell us about men & masculinity? When you think of phone sex, what comes to mind? I am assuming that for most of you this conjures up imagines of the cheesy, soft–focus 1-900 ads from the 90’s. Kenny G playing in the background, a scantily[Read More...]

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What can phone sex operators tell us about men & masculinity?

When you think of phone sex, what comes to mind?

I am assuming that for most of you this conjures up imagines of the cheesy, softfocus 1-900 ads from the 90s. Kenny G playing in the background, a scantily clad woman saying in a near whisper, “Come chat with me…”

I saw these ads for phone sex services as a kid, and I didn’t expect to grow up to become one of these “fantasy girls, though I do in fact work as a professional phone sex operator.

The reality of my job, though, looks much different than this. In fact, it more closely resembled online dating. Or at least, the beginning stages of dating: the flirtatious text messages, the long late-night conversations, and the awkward and fluttery sexual tension.

Yet, there are obviously a couple of key differences.

First, phone sex is commercial. It is paid affective and emotional labor; it is sex work.

And second, unlike dating platforms, there is no expectation of physical or IRL dating. While my clients may at times joke about waiting to meet, I don’t believe that this is what they are seeking (after all, there are more direct paths to inperson meet-ups).

This brings up two related questions: What are clients buying when they call phone sex operators, and why are they doing it?

The answers to these questions illuminate something about the function of sex work in our culture. And more, about the needs and desires of men.

***

There is a stereotypes of sex workers’ client that I am sure you know: they are desperate or socially inept (at best), and predatory (at worst). These men, it is thought, are either incapable of having sexual relationships with women without paying, or they prey on them, exploit and abuse them, and reduce them to their sexual function before discarding them.

This has not been my experience with clients (and here I acknowledge my privilege–I am not saying that these things never happen or that I haven’t had bad clients, but rather that they haven’t dominated my experience in the sex industry).

In fact, while I do peddle smut in various forms, it would be inaccurate to say that this is what I spend the majority of my time doing, or that my interactions with clients can be reduced to sex. The vast majority of my work, I assure is, is more banal than you imagine it to be.

It is a transaction–an exchange–of money for attention: I serve as a friendly voice on a lonely night, an outlet to talk about or play out a kink they may be embarrassed to talk to their spouse or partner about, a fantasy narrative to excite them and get them off, relationship advice, information about various sex communities, political commentary on social issues, small talk, etc.

Thinking back on all of my calls and text histories it seems to me that I am primarily selling one thing: intimate interactions for men, a space for men to be able to share parts of themselves that they feel unable or unwilling to share outside of the bounds of sexual transactions.

And since this is such a booming market, I think that we need to spend some time thinking about what it is about masculinity that feeds this market.

***

Clients themselves are best able to answer this question, and for this reason I interviewed a handful of men who patronize phone sex operators. Though not my own clients because I was afraid their erotic attachment to me would color the interviews.

When I asked John* what he was looking for when he called phone sex operators he replied, “We can get pornography online for free, but when it comes to loneliness, NiteFlirt [one of the primary phone sex platforms] is the best.”

Calling phone sex lines as a way to fill a void of loneliness is also how Mark saw it. When I asked him what he thinks phone sex operators are selling, he responded by simply stating, “What you are selling is interactivity.”

Other interviewees talked about these interactions as meeting particular needs. Jake commented, “I was looking for affirmation.” And Michael, “It was an outlet for me to get what I wasn’t going to get in my personal life.”

Joe saw the sexual nature of these interactions as an entry to intimacy. He remarked, “I really enjoyed the butterflies I would get when I was connecting with a new person. It was almost like I was sharing a part of myself with someone new.”

These clients are pointing to their own loneliness and need for affirmation; for space to express their emotional lives. But these are emotional needs, not necessarily sexual ones. So why turn to sex workers?

In response to this question, Joe offered, “Sex gets put on the table, and everything else is a hidden agenda item.”

Michael offered a possible explanation as to why this would be. “I don’t think that there is a way of solving [our loneliness] that doesn’t include sex, even among the most gentlemanly,” he said. “That is how men know how to feel connected.”

And John added, “A lot of men want romance, but they think it needs to be wrapped in a turn-on.”

In other words, in a world in which men are only allowed to be vulnerable, to be open, and to be intimate with those they are having sex with, it is safer for them to seek out the intimacy that they desire when it couched in sex.

If you take nothing else away from these responses, I think it is important to think about this notion of sexual transaction. Indeed, far from being the central driving force in my work, is often a cover for something deeper. Something that tells us more about masculinity, intimacy, and loneliness.

My work with men has led me to believe that while men’s pain is not the same as being marginalized or oppressed, it is in fact profound. In my experience, men seek out the attention of sex workers because they feel unseen and unheard. Moreover, the only needs that they feel comfortable seeking to meet are their sexual ones. Jake said this best: “Men don’t know how to do the work. They will think it is a sex fantasy. Even when they are direct about what they want, they don’t want to talk about what they need.”

We ought to start paying attention to the conversations that are happening around toxic masculinity, but rather than coming at them with anger, it is important to also approach them with empathy and (dare I say it) love.

I will close a quote from bell hooks, who says this more eloquently than I could hope to:

“The truth we do not tell is that men are longing for love. This is the longing feminist thinkers must date to examine, explore, and talk about. Those rare visionary feminist seers […] are no longer afraid to openly address issues of men, masculinity, and love.”

I want to suggest something here that may sound audacious to those of you outside of the sex work community: Perhaps we should think of sex workers as the rare visionary seers who can teach us to address these issues of men, masculinity, and love.

*Names have been changed to protect identity.

Jessie Sage – she/her  is the managing editor of Peepshow Media, an online magazine featuring news and stories from the sex industry, and co-host of the Peepshow Podcast. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, VICE, Men’s Health, Hustler, and more. She works in the sex industry as a phone sex operator and indy performer. You can find her on NiteflirtSextpantherManyvids, and Onlyfans or follow her on Twitter @sapiotextual.

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ACLU of RI REPORT SHOWS ALARMING LACK OF PRIVACY PROTECTION FOR STUDENTS ON SCHOOL-LOANED COMPUTERS  https://coalitionradionetwork.com/aclu-of-ri-report-shows-alarming-lack-of-privacy-protection-for-students-on-school-loaned-computers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=aclu-of-ri-report-shows-alarming-lack-of-privacy-protection-for-students-on-school-loaned-computers https://coalitionradionetwork.com/aclu-of-ri-report-shows-alarming-lack-of-privacy-protection-for-students-on-school-loaned-computers/#respond Mon, 21 Sep 2020 23:57:48 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6283   The ACLU of Rhode Island released a report today which highlights the alarming lack of privacy protections given to students who use school-loaned laptop computers. Though all schools in Rhode Island rapidly transitioned to virtual learning in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey by the ACLU of RI[Read More...]

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The ACLU of Rhode Island released a report today which highlights the alarming lack of privacy protections given to students who use school-loaned laptop computers. Though all schools in Rhode Island rapidly transitioned to virtual learning in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey by the ACLU of RI has found that a majority of school districts give officials the power to access the contents, microphone and camera of the student’s computer at any time. The survey also revealed that most school district policies explicitly advise students that they have no expectation of privacy on these devices, even if they are available for both academic and personal use.

          The ACLU’s report notes that out of 36 public school districts in Rhode Island: 

  • 23 districts explicitly advise students and parents that they have no expectation of privacy when in possession of the device.
  • 23 districts give school officials the authority to access the contents of a school-loaned device for any reason and with no notice.
  • 24 districts allow officials to access the microphone or camera on a school-loaned device at any time.

The report issued today also raises concerns that school districts are using third-party software platforms for remote learning without ensuring that the programs comply with a state law that prohibits the commercial use of student data.

Recognizing that virtual education will play a large role in the lives of students for years to come, the report urges all school committees to take action to pass privacy-protective policies and calls on the General Assembly to adopt uniform standards of privacy for all students in Rhode Island. Legislation to establish privacy standards for use of school-loaned computers was introduced in the House and Senate, but no action was taken during the pandemic-shortened session. “On top of the many uncertainties of this time, students shouldn’t have to fear that their schools may be inappropriately spying on them,” said Hannah Stern, policy associate at the ACLU of RI. “School districts and the state government both have a responsibility to ensure student privacy on these devices.”

The ACLU first conducted a statewide survey of privacy policies for school-loaned computer programs, or 1:1 programs, in 2017. At the time, 22 districts were utilizing such programs, and a report issued by the ACLU that year documented the lack of privacy protections for students.

In March 2020, with the onset of the pandemic, school-loaned computers became ubiquitous and imperative. In response, the ACLU of Rhode Island contacted each school district in April, urging them to adopt stronger privacy protections for their students when use of the devices and remote learning were mandatory. Only one school district, Tiverton, had responded positively and indicated it would be amending their policies to thoroughly protect student privacy.

ACLU_of_RI_2020_1-1_Report_FINAL

Rhode Island ACLU ‘s Hannah Stern Joined The Coalition In April To Discuss:

 

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Who’s Telling The Truth? The Bristol Warren NEA Local? Or …. Gov Gina Raimondo’s Press Conference https://coalitionradionetwork.com/whos-telling-the-truth-the-bristol-warren-nea-local-or-gov-gina-raimondos-press-conference/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=whos-telling-the-truth-the-bristol-warren-nea-local-or-gov-gina-raimondos-press-conference https://coalitionradionetwork.com/whos-telling-the-truth-the-bristol-warren-nea-local-or-gov-gina-raimondos-press-conference/#respond Thu, 17 Sep 2020 21:51:04 +0000 https://coalitionradionetwork.com/?p=6275 The Coalition Talk Radio – Dateline September 16, 2020 Earlier today, the Bristol Warren Local of the Rhode Island NEA (National Education Association) tweeted a press release that stipulated in excess of 60 violations of the “Covid Code” necessary to promote safe, in person education. Governor Gina Raimondo & RIDE[Read More...]

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The Coalition Talk Radio – Dateline September 16, 2020

Earlier today, the Bristol Warren Local of the Rhode Island NEA (National Education Association) tweeted a press release that stipulated in excess of 60 violations of the “Covid Code” necessary to promote safe, in person education. Governor Gina Raimondo & RIDE Commissioner Angelica Infante Green, claiming to be unaware of any issues preventing in person education at the Bristol Warren Regional School District. deferred to embattled School Superintendent Jonathan Brice.

A sampling of the issues: Source Bristol Warren NEA September 16, 2020 Tweet

“Bristol Warren Regional School District Building Issues Mount Hope High School:

1. Air Quality and Ventilation Inspection has not been completed and/or results have not yet been reported back to the district (expected possibly sometime next week?)

2. Science wing has basement (actually a crawl space of sorts) with dirt floor, mold, and holes allowing basement air to travel upward into classrooms 3. Science wing has no hot water because pipe is broken, which they will not (or cannot?) repair because it’s lined/covered with asbestos

4. One way hallways / traffic patterns aren’t labeled. Certain wings (like C-wing) are impossible to make one way

5. Currently have 20 box fans for 80 classrooms

6. There will be no stable pods due to high school schedule

7. Because so many classrooms are going to be closed due to classroom size and/or lack of ventilation, numerous classrooms will not be cleaned all day due to constant use

8. Student desks will not be cleaned between class changes due to time constraints

9. Doors and windows always staying open, due to COVID air ventilation needs, violates our safety (active shooter) training and fire codes

10. Students unable to socially distance in hallways because all students will be passing simultaneously due to nature of schedule

11. As of 3pm today (Thursday) desks still remained in front of windows and vents

12. Students will be allowed to enter the building at 7:15 and go to their first period class with no adult supervision until 7:40

Colt Andrews Elementary School:

1. Air Quality and Ventilation Inspection has not been completed and/or results have not yet been reported back to the district (expected possibly sometime next week?)

2. Problems with HVAC system – not enough hourly turnover of air

3. Lack of hot water (sinks need to run for at least 20-25 minutes for warm water)

4. Teacher’s room in Andrews doesn’t have water in bathroom

5. 2nd grade and Kindergarten have push-out windows

6. Windows in classrooms do not have screens

7. No HVAC in Andrews

8. Unsafe doorway to enter – can be broken into

9. Andrews only has one boiler – never replaced and had previously always had two

10. No air flow in some classrooms – the heating/ac system doesn’t turn on

11. Tents outside only fit 9 students while socially distancing 6-feet apart

12. Teachers don’t have adequate space in classrooms, desks against the whiteboard

13. Students expected to keep personal belongings in a bin at their desks – fire hazard? when/how will they be cleaned?

14. Doors and windows always staying open, due to COVID air ventilation needs, violates our safety (active shooter) training and fire codes

15. Desks are not all 6 feet apart

16. Teacher assistants and specialists are in 6+ classrooms a day

17. No markers or signage on walls/floors for students to direct traffic patterns

18. Teachers not allowed to use personal fans, only provided 1 (if that)

19. Over 15 people in a room – 18 desks in my room alone

Guiteras Elementary School:

1. Air Quality and Ventilation Inspection has not been completed and/or results have not yet been reported back to the district (expected possibly sometime next week?)

2. Doors and windows always staying open, due to COVID air ventilation needs, violates our safety (active shooter) training and fire codes ”

The Coalition Talk Radio Watch Live @ www.Facebook.com/TheCoalitionRadio or www.CoalitionRadioNetwork.com Outrage Porn Free Civilly Disobedient Media! The Coalition Talk Radio! Sunday-Friday @ 8:30PM Till ? Listener Call In @ (401) 205-3738 Like Us @ https://www.facebook.com/TheCoalition… Follow Us @ Twitter Coalition_Radio #FreeRoss September 16, 2020

 

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