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My article in Bitch magazine, and keynote at Portland State’s Transgender Day of Remembrance celebration

Date: November 18, 2011

I have two updates to promote my stuff:

First, my article on the U.S. anti- (domestic minor sex) trafficking movement has been published in the brand new issue of Bitch magazine, which should be shipped to subscribers and bookstores near you soon (official publication date is December 1st). The article has also been posted on BitchMedia website (but buy the magazine or get subscription anyway because we need to support the magazine).

Bitch Winter 2011 issue

Second, I am giving a keynote lecture at this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance celebration at Portland State University. The celebration includes a reading from the anthology Trans/Love Saturday evening, and a day of workshops, presentations, and candlelight vigil on Sunday. My own presentation takes place at 4pm on Sunday, but there are so many other great stuff happening! Please visit Basic Rights Oregon‘s listing of all TDOR events in the state, scrolling down to Portland to view the activities.

There is also a facebook group for my talk at http://www.facebook.com/events/178569218900819/. I hope to see all local and visiting folks there!

New on Eminism.org – See the slides from my past presentations

Date: October 16, 2011

I don’t often use slides for my presentations, but sometimes I do, using an iPad running Keynote connected to the projector. I went through my hard drive and found some Keynote files of these presentations, so I decided to share it with readers… Please note that they are not meant to be stand-alone, and therefore they may not sense by themselves. I just thought it would give readers some idea about the sort of things I present about. See:

http://eminism.org/presentation/slides.html

Also, if you like my stuff and are affiliated with a college or university (especially Women’s Center or queer/trans groups on campus), please try to get me invited. I fund my activism with speaking fees at colleges, which is great because I am raising money for activism and community education by doing activism and education.

My 2008 presentation: Shelters as a Tool of Social Control?

Date: June 23, 2011

I found yet another slide from one of my past presentations… This one is titled “Shelter as a Tool of Social Control: Is there a Domestic Violence Industrial Complex?” and was given at Humboldt State University in April 2008.

The slide obviously doesn’t convey everything I had to say on the topic (if it did, I would not need to travel to Arcata to actually give the talk), but I thought it would be interesting to post it online… If this interests you at all, please try to get me invited to a university near you :-)

Send Emi to San Fran Sex Worker Festival!

Date: May 16, 2011

Hello friends,

I am attending the Sex Worker Film & Arts Festival in San Francisco later this month to present my workshop on how sex workers and allies can fight back the conflation of sex work and human trafficking that is propagated by the anti-trafficking movement. Such conflation doesn’t just hurt sex workers; it distorts the society’s understanding of what sex trafficking actually looks like and misleads our society’s response to serious human rights abuses.

As some of you know, I’ve been doing a lot of research about the anti-trafficking movement, attending dozens of anti-trafficking events and conferences in addition to reading lots of materials, and I have been presenting my findings at universities and community groups in the last couple of months. There is also an upcoming presentation about the topic at University of Oregon next week (19th) before going to the Sex Worker Festival (May 27th).

In addition, I’ve been posting lots of materials related to this topic on my blog, and I am putting together a zine.

Unfortunately, airfare has gone up so much recently and my trip to San Francisco would cost much more than I had anticipated. I’ve already fronted the money to purchase the ticket because I was afraid that it would go up even further, but I need your financial support. Please help me with the cost to attend the Sex Worker Festival by making a donation.

You could:

– Paypal me the money at emi AT eminism DOT org. This is the easiest if you already have an account.

– Buy me an Amazon.com gift certificate. You can pick the amount and enter emi AT eminism DOT org as the recipient. This way, we can avoid paying transaction fees to Paypal and I can use it for something I need.

– Go to my online store and order my buttons and zines. This won’t be donation strictly speaking, but part of the payment becomes my income. (Please note that I’ll be busy preparing for the festival and making the aforementioned zine, so

– If you are affiliated with a university student group or department, try to get me invited to give this presentation! I know anti-trafficking groups are very active on many campuses, and they would benefit from a different perspective… plus, the honoraria will help fund my activism and trips to attend activist stuff.

– Which doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invite me if you work with a community group that doesn’t have funding. I would be happy to give presentations to Portland-area (or wherever, as long as the expenses are paid for) community groups–just email me at the address I mentioned above.

There are BENEFITS to becoming a contributor:

– For a contribution of $10 or more, you will receive a copy of the brand-new yet-to-be-titled zine that examines the anti-trafficking movement, due to be published later this month. (Please send me your mailing address.)

– In addition, I will mail you a sticker that says “Real Feminists and Human Rights Activists Don’t Buy Ashton,” which is a parody of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign.

– I will love you! Yes my love is for sale, which isn’t technically prostitution so it’s legal to say that, I think.

That’s it! Thanks for your support!

Emi

“Homosexuality, Gender Identity Disorder, and the Politics of Depathologization”–Alternatives 2006 Conference Keynote

Date: April 27, 2011

I was going through my computer, and found this slide from the keynote speech at Alternatives 2006 conference, an annual gathering of mental health client/consumer self-advocates and allies funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the federal government (with its baggage–read “Anatomy of an Epidemic” author Robert Whitaker’s experience of being invited, dis-invited, and then re-invited by the conference organizers due to his politics).

It was at this conference my bio simply stated that I was “an advocate” without specifically mentioning what sort of advocacy I do, because words like “intersex,” “transgender,” “queer,” “sex worker,” and others were unacceptable to SAMHSA (at least under Bush administration). Anyway, here’s the slide I used for my talk, which is pretty straightforward…

Racist Feminism at the National Women’s Studies Association

Date: June 28, 2008

In March, I was invited to speak at the “tribute panel” dedicated to Black feminist thought, especially the work and life of Audre Lorde during the National Women’s Studies Association. I felt honored, and more than slightly intimidated, to be selected to address the importance of Audre Lorde’s work in my own life as well as in the feminist movement at large. Other panelists were Kaila Adia Story (University of Louisville) and Melinda L. de Jesus (California College of the Arts).

It was during my second year of college I was first introduced to the writings of Audre in a Women’s Studies course. Throughout the academic term, students read several articles each week, discussed them in the class, and wrote journal entries that reflect on the week’s readings. Week after week, most of the assigned materials were those written by white, middle-class, straight (or sometimes “political lesbian”) women, and I was having difficulty relating to much of what was being discussed. I kept writing in my journal how I didn’t relate to the reading, but I did not realize it had anything to do with the selection of the materials. I felt bad about being so “negative” about feminism and feminists.

Toward the end of the term, one week was dedicated to the work of “women of color” (yes, a whole week–woo hoo!). If I remember correctly, it consisted of selections from the anthology “This Bridge Called My Back” (Combahee River Collective statement, and I think one of the Cherrie Moraga’s pieces) and Audre Lorde’s “Sister Outsider.” For the first time, these articles spoke to me. They gave voice to my feelings of alienation and frustration that I could not point a finger on. And even though it was just a week out of the entire term, and it is possibly the worst form of tokenism within the discipline, they anchored me to feminism and Women’s Studies to this date. Without “Sister Outsider,” I may not have been a feminist today.
(more…)

Intersex people are from the Earth, and other stuff beyond patriarchy.

Date: May 6, 2008

I’m going to Eugene this Friday to present at Beyond Patriarchy conference. I was originally planning to do two workshops (one on intersex activism and another on sex worker feminisms) but due to my schedule (I’m hosting Good Asian Drivers‘ stop at In Other Words bookstore in Portland on Saturday) I can only do the latter. That said, I thought you might enjoy reading the description I wrote up for the intersex workshop:

Title: Intersex People are from the Earth

Description: Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and yet they act like the Earth belongs to them. This workshop is for anyone who wish to learn about the Earth’s native species, intersex people, and their struggles.

Obviously, this is all tongue-in-cheek… Most intersex people identify and live as men or women just like most non-intersex people, so it’s not correct to assume that intersex people are somewhere between men and women… See “What is wrong with ‘Male, Female, Intersex’” at Intersex Initiative’s website.

Since I’m posting the information, here’s the description for the workshop I’m actually presenting:

Title: Class and Sex Worker Feminisms

Description: Sex industry and sex work have been sites of fierce contention within feminism. But too often, the discussions revolved around anti-prostitution feminists who depict poor and working-class women as voiceless victims (thereby silencing them), and pro-sex feminists who neglect them altogether (thereby silencing them) and focus on sex workers who are relatively better off. This discussion attempts to complicate the analysis by introducing class-conscious pro-sex feminist positions.

The workshop will be held at Century Room A, Erb Memorial Union at University of Oregon at 3:35pm on Friday.

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