sexual rights

Legal restrictions on content are not helpful - Discussions around feminism, sexuality, technology and violence

APC’s Women’s Rights Programme convened a meeting on feminism, sexuality, technology and violence at Rutgers University Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights in the United States in November. The three-day meeting ranged from setting out definitions to practical concerns and future collaboration. The meeting grew out of the Exploratory Research Online (EROTICS) undertaken in 2008 with research projects in five countries. Phase 2 of this project included a survey of sexual rights activists about their online experiences. Many were impressed to hear that 98% of sexuality rights activists who completed the survey said that the internet was critical to their work. However, over half reported receiving threats online and 27% said that they had stopped some of their work online in response. This demonstrates a truly chilling effect and the need for sexuality rights activists to understand how to protect themselves and their organizations online.

APC’s Women’s Rights Programme convened a meeting on feminism, sexuality, technology and violence at Rutgers University Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights in the United States in November. The three-day meeting ranged from setting out definitions to practical concerns and future collaboration. The meeting grew out of the Exploratory Research Online (EROTICS) undertaken in 2008 with research projects in five countries.

Feminist Porn: Re-imagining Parameters of Sex and Sexuality

If you’re looking for porn where a scream of pleasure is actually pleasurable, you’ve come to the right place.

In the early 20th century tucked away inside the waiting rooms of French brothels, the first pornographic films ever made began to be screened. Shot in black and white, these films were designed to excite clients before meeting with women, presumably making the sex workers’ jobs go quicker.

Like being on the street: Women and online abuse

This is the second in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Connect Your Rights!” meeting held in Mumbai in November 2013. The meeting explored topics such as tools to combat violence against women, pornography, sexuality, and freedoms and risks in the online world.

This is the second in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Connect Your Rights!” meeting held in Mumbai in November 2013. The meeting explored topics such as tools to combat violence against women, pornography, sexuality, and freedoms and risks in the online world.

No easy reading

Nora Quebral (2012) – who is credited with coming up with the concept of ‘development communication’ in the early 70s – argued recently in an account of Asian domestic workers in the Middle East, and the right-to-drive protest by women in Saudi Arabia, that any analysis of rights is necessarily deeply contextual: (1) “A tough question to answer would be: in which [of these two societies] do women have more equal rights to communicate and to develop?” (p63) (2) While a universal rights-based discourse considers those rights inalienable, Quebral’s point is that it difficult to analyse the extent

Nora Quebral (2012) - who is credited with coming up with the concept of 'development communication' in the early 70s - argued recently in an account of Asian domestic workers in the Middle East, and the right-to-drive protest by women in Saudi Arabia, that any analysis of rights is necessarily deeply contextual: “A tough question to answer would be: in which [of these two societies] do women have more equal rights to communicate and to develop?” (p63) While a universal rights-based discourse considers those rights inalienable, Quebral's point is that it difficult to analyse the extent that to which those rights are realised, and in doing so to build easy comparisons between different contexts.

Crowdmapping Sexual Harassment in India

This is the first in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Connect Your Rights!” meeting held in Mumbai in November 2013. The meeting explored topics such as tools to combat violence against women, pornography, sexuality, and freedoms and risks in the online world.

This is the first in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Connect Your Rights!” meeting held in Mumbai in November 2013. The meeting explored topics such as tools to combat violence against women, pornography, sexuality, and freedoms and risks in the online world.

Snippets from Connect Your Rights, Mumbai

Point of View held “Connect Your Rights!”, an all-day meeting exploring the links between gender rights, sexual rights, and Internet rights, on November 11, 2013 at Mumbai. It was the first meeting in the second phase of the EROTICS India project. The first phase comprised of an exploratory research study on sexuality and ICTs in India.

Point of View held “Connect Your Rights!”, an all-day meeting exploring the links between gender rights, sexual rights, and Internet rights, on November 11, 2013 at Mumbai. It was the first meeting in the second phase of the EROTICS India project.

Day 2: Sexual Right, Privacy and Technology - Common Concerns Moving Forward

At Rutgers University Newark Campus, November 8-9, 2013, organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights (CGHR).

At Rutgers University Newark Campus, November 8-9, 2013, organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights (CGHR).

Read our Storify about day 2 of the meeting .

Day 1: Sexual Right, Privacy and Technology - Common Concerns Moving Forward

At Rutgers University Newark Campus, November 8-9, 2013, organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights (CGHR).

At Rutgers University Newark Campus, November 8-9, 2013, organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights (CGHR).

Read our Storify about day 1 of the meeting .

Day 3: Sexual Right, Privacy and Technology - Common Concerns Moving Forward

At Rutgers University Newark Campus, November 8-9, 2013, organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights (CGHR).

At Rutgers University Newark Campus, November 8-9, 2013, organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights (CGHR).

Read the Storify about day 3 of the meeting .

Infographic - Sexual rights activism & the internet

Download the graphic under 'Attachment' below.

An infographic highlights the preliminary results from APC’s global survey on usage, risks, and navigation of internet regulation by sexual rights activists. Read more on the survey findings here.


Of Porn, Morality and Censorship: A Perspective from India

Filed in April 2013, a legal petition that calls for a ban on pornography on account of its linkage to sexual violence in India has raised several eyebrows and debates within the country. This piece written by Richa Kaul Padte explores the context for this proposed legislation, the social and legal cultures in which it sits, and its implications for internet censorship within India.

‘[Pornography] is worse than Hitler, worse than AIDS, cancer or any other epidemic. It is more catastrophic than nuclear holocaust, and it must be stopped’ – Petition filed by Kamlesh Vaswani to the Supreme Court of India

In early April 2013, lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani filed a Public Interest Litigation petition to the Supreme Court of India calling for a ban against the consumption of pornography.

A is for Agency

It’s been a great month for cyber-feminism. The #FBrape campaign succeeded in changing the social network giant’s policies on violence against women in record time. The global alarm over the NSA surveillance scandal created mass awareness over privacy and access to personal data. And Instagram launched hipster filters for videos.

It’s been a great month for cyber-feminism. The #FBrape campaign succeeded in changing the social network giant’s policies on violence against women in record time. The global alarm over the NSA surveillance scandal created mass awareness over privacy and access to personal data. And Instagram launched hipster filters for videos. Perhaps not as breakthrough, but definitely encouraging of more targeted filming and documentation. In its first phase, EROTICS generated a unique body of knowledge about the negotiations and navigations of internet regulation around sexuality content in five different countries. The case studies looked at usage, access, activism, identity and other fascinating components that highlight our relationship with cyberspace as sexual rights activists. As we move into the next phase, EROTICS II, the team is hoping to build on the learning to advance global mechanisms of support that amplify that work that different groups and networks are taking on locally.

Tangled, like wool - Sex, sexuality and the internet in India

Here we go again. On June 13, the Indian government blocked 39 websites which allow users to share porn, among other content1. I’m not anti porn, but even if I were, this wouldn’t make much sense to me. Internet users can easily watch or share porn on a zillion other websites, so what can such a random action possibly achieve? And it is random; we have no idea why those particular sites were chosen. Is it because they contain child porn, which is illegal to watch? We don’t know. Is it because someone complained? If so, about what? We don’t know.

Sexuality and the internet: a five country perspective

This blog post is the final one in a series of ten blog posts to report on the EROTICS India workshop, recently concluded in Delhi. All the blog posts in this series are written by Richa Kaul Padte, the official rapporteur at the meeting.

‘The internet is an unregulated space where you can connect to other people… It is a new frontier, it is a new imagination that makes things possible… It is this space that is so central to our existence and being.’ – Jac sm Kee, APC Women´s Rights Programme

How does the relationship between sexuality and the internet play out in different countries? What does this mean for sexual rights? The EROTICS research looks at different aspects of Internet use in five countries through the lens of sexuality.

Gendered abuse online

So you’ve got "proper online security":http://pointofview.org/blog/general/wearing-a-digital-condom-staying-safe-online, "strong passwords":http://pointofview.org/blog/general/passwords-your-first-line-of-defence, and great software all good to go. But are there other kinds of threats you may face online? What about abuse, verbal violence and harassment that no firewall or plug-in can prevent?

So you’ve got proper online security, strong passwords, and great software all good to go. But are there other kinds of threats you may face online? What about abuse, verbal violence and harassment that no firewall or plug-in can prevent?

‘I faced sexual harassment and it was published in [a prominent newspaper], and then it was put up on the internet.

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