‘m sitting in a room in Northern Ireland opposite a man who says he offers “talking therapy” to people who don’t want to be gay. And I cannot help feeling worried – despite all the evidence I’ve read to the contrary, a tiny part of me believes that he may actually convince me that I can choose to stop being gay.
The man in front of me is Mike Davidson, he’s originally from New Zealand and he’s invited me into his home, about 30 minutes outside Belfast. It’s in a very quiet close of small houses tucked away off a side road, the type of place where everyone knows your business. Do his neighbours know what happens here? I start to feel a little uneasy. It reminds me of my home town Eastbourne and of being in the closet, hiding my secrets.
That doesn’t mean the fight is won though, and Icelandic women continue the battle for true equality – not just for women, but for the LGBT community too. Despite a reputation for being one of the most progressive nations towards LGBT people, Iceland has in fact not always gone as far as it could. A recent bill – a form of self-identification for trans people – has moved the country further along. The prime minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, was the driving force. For her, it was a way to ensure that Iceland was again setting an example for the world. “Well, you could say that we have been running a little bit behind, but now with this legislation we’re actually again at the front. So it took some time I think for this small group of people to actually get heard.”
We may like to think we’re quite sexually free and equal these days, but an End Violence Against Women Coalition/YouGov survey of nearly 4,000 adults finds that two-fifths of people think men want sex more than women do. And between a third of and half of us think it is more likely that in heterosexual couples men will initiate and orgasm during sex, and decide when sex is finished, than women. In contrast, women are believed to be much more likely to refuse sex and to “go along with sex to keep their partner happy”.
Ramon Torres had been a U.S. citizen for nearly ten years when he was detained for four days on an immigration hold – despite having a U.S. passport, a Louisiana driver’s license, and a Social Security card, and despite that fact that a court ordered his release.
Torres’ ordeal began in August 2018, when he was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Torres, a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2009, was carrying multiple forms of identification, including his driver’s license and other security credentials. Torres was booked at the Ascension Parish Jail, and the next day the Parish Court ordered his release.
In 2009, North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act (RJA), which allowed defendants to strike the death penalty from their cases if they could show that racial discrimination was a factor in their prosecution. The law came as a response to a series of exonerations of Black people who were falsely convicted of crimes they did not commit by all-white or nearly all-white juries. The legislature took a bold step to address was what suspected to be deeply troubling evidence of racism infecting the death penalty—but no one knew for sure what evidence uncovered by the RJA would find.
Adding to an already ridiculously long list of complaints, now Facebook’s content moderators say a higher-up asked company-appointed counselors to share information from their sessions, according to a new report from the Intercept.
Numerous investigations have described this workforce as notoriously underpaid and overworked in crappy working conditions that require them to scan through some of the most disturbing posts the internet can offer. You know, all the things it might behoove someone to see a therapist about.
This most recent criticism comes from a site in Austin, Texas, led by Accenture, an independent contractor Facebook hired to oversee 1,500 of its content moderators. Accenture and Facebook also employ trauma counselors, a.k.a. “wellness coaches,” to help staff cope after screening all that potentially graphic content to judge whether it violates the company’s terms of service.
A former student says she’s suing the University of Cambridge over the way it dealt with her harassment complaint.
Dani Bradford, 21, says she’s taken the action because she “wants things to change for other students”.
The university upheld a complaint she made about being sent “sexualised” text messages – but Dani isn’t happy with the way it handled her case.
Cambridge University says it “takes the personal safety of its students very seriously”.
Inequities in access to health care put breastfeeding out of reach for many Black people (iStock)
The fight to protect individual choices about reproductive care, including breastfeeding, is an ongoing battle. The central lesson of the reproductive justice movement is that choice means little without access. That lesson applies equally to breastfeeding.
Though laws, in the workplace and other contexts, are in place to protect the right to breastfeed, many low-income women and women of color face entrenched structural barriers that hinder their ability to breastfeed before they can even consider if it is the right choice for them. This problem is particularly acute for Black women, who have the lowest breastfeeding initiation rate of all racial groups at 69.4 percent, compared with 85.9 percent of white women, and 83.2 percent of women overall. They also have the shortest breastfeeding duration, with 44.7 percent of black women breastfeeding at 6 months compared with 62 percent of white women and 57.6 percent of women overall.
Almost five years to the day of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Attorney General William Barr descended on New Orleans to deliver a major policy address. His speech dismissed police violence and espoused a dangerous vision for America — one in which ‘90s era tough-on-crime politics shape policies and pro-civil rights attitudes are derided as “anti-police.”
Speaking to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Barr used war analogies to describe the work of police officers, painting opponents of police brutality as a “vocal minority that regularly attacks the police.” He minimized the type of police violence and racism — like that which took Michael Brown’s life — as being the result of “a few bad apples.” This phrase has been used as code to distract from deeply systemic issues that protect and perpetuate the devaluing of Black and brown lives in the criminal legal system.
In a federal lawsuit filed yesterday, a group of LGBTQ+ video creators claims YouTube discriminates against their content. The group alleges that YouTube suppresses their videos, restricts their ability to monetize their channels and enforces its policies unevenly, giving more leeway to producers with large audiences. According to The Washington Post, the suit argues that YouTube deploys “unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBT Plaintiffs and the greater LGBT Community.”