Body Cams

danah boyd and Alex Rosenblat write about why police body cams may not do any good and could do a lot of harm the communities we hope they’d protect. A summarizing quote:

We turn to technology because it’s new and fancy, because we hope that it can do things that people cannot do. But technology is a tool. And it is primarily used to reinforce existing structures of power, even when we hope that these same tools can be used to challenge the status quo.


Smith (finally) accepts trans women

the new policy

Smith will consider the application of anyone who self identifies as “female” on their admission materials.

Smith will not consider the application of anyone who self identifies as “male” or any other gender on their admissions materials, even if they were assigned female at birth.

If someone who identifies as female at the time of their admission to Smith later comes to identify as another gender, they will be welcome to stay at Smith.

This is a slightly different policy than those of Mount Holyoke or Scripps.  Under those policies, anyone who either self-identifies as female or was assigned female at birth is eligible for admission (even if they do not consider themselves female at the time of application.)

In essence, this is a more fair, truthful adhesion to Smith’s longstanding unofficial admissions policy of “Smith admits women and graduates people.”

Two interesting interviews about sex work.

both of these are audio interviews from the npr show on the media.  some of the links below are to written articles covering the same ground.

1. An interview with Rachel Aimee and Eliyanna Kaiser, two editors of $pread magazine, a publication by and for sex workers that existed from 2005-2011.  They have a new anthology coming out.

2. An interview with Alana Massey, a writer/activist who recently wrote about the reality show 8 minutes for the new republic.

8 minutes is a tv show where a former cop turned pastor supposedly solicits sex workers through their ads, pretending to be a john, then tries to rescue them by talking them out of sex work and (again supposedly) offering them resources to get out.  (One sex worker who was on the show has come forward saying the show is scripted, her appearance on the show led to her arrest, and when she contacted producers of the show asking for their promised help, the host just offered to pray for her.)

A quote from the Massey interview:

“It makes it about sadistic traffickers and not about inhospitable economies, inhospitable law enforcement situations. […] I can’t fist-bump myself into having an income. I can’t ‘girl power’ into it.”