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Books vs. Vaginas

Christian writers say that retailer pressure to ‘sanitize’ their language has left them with little creative space.

August 6, 2012 | Religion Dispatches

When Christian author Rachel Held Evans finished her last book, her publisher suggested she remove the word “vagina.”

“Your editors consult with you about what will not get past the Christian bookstore gatekeepers,” she told me. Words like ‘kick-ass’ and ‘damn’ are out, naturally. But as Evans said, “I was fine with it, until they got to the word ‘vagina.’”

While the author did agree to the edit, she later mentioned it on her blog to let off some steam—her readers were incensed.

They “were really up in arms about the fact that I would have to take out something like that, you know, just basic anatomy,”  she said. One even started a petition on Amazon to let Evans keep the word in her book. She talked again with her publisher, who agreed to put it back in. “I guess we kind of won ‘vaginagate,’”she jokes. “I just don’t know if it will be in Christian bookstores.”

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Sex-work legal battle leaves women without recourse

“Business as usual” for Ontario police leaves some sex workers unsure about their safety

August 4, 2011 | Ryerson Free Press

The legal battle over sex-work laws went to the Ontario Court of Appeal this month, causing some sex workers and advocates to start asking what will happen next in what they describe as a fight for safer working conditions.

Morgan Page, trans sex-work outreach officer at the 519 Community Centre, is not optimistic. She says she expects the court system to draw out the stay for as long as possible before new, potentially harsher regulatory practices are discussed in the House of Commons.

Page suspects that the stays the government is requesting will be granted “after exhausting as much time as they possibly can…that appeal will be appealed by whoever didn’t win, and it will keep being appealed until it eventually gets to the Supreme Court of Canada where we will have the actual decision.”

That decision may not look as good as sex workers had originally hoped, said Page. “The Harper government is not going to back down all of a sudden. That would be political suicide for them.”

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