Monthly Archives: June 2009

Speaking Out

Laurie and Debbie say:

Liz from Badgerbag wrote us (and many other people) about the erotic photographer Michael Rosen’s abusive sexual behavior towards her, when she modeled for him years ago. And that she was not the only young model who had this experience. She spoke to her anger and concern that in spite of her public blogging about it, and her discussions with people in the sex positive community, that he remains an accepted a member in the community. We admire and support Liz’s courage and persistence in speaking out.

Liz said:

I am perturbed that despite years of my having spoken out in private and in public spaces about the photographer Michael Rosen’s continued actions, he has a show coming up at Femina Potens, a queer and feminist space in SF.

Breaking silence about abusive behavior is always crucial. Keeping silent even in any close and embattled communities, while understandable, is ultimately destructive to the community rather than supportive.

We know only good about the Femina Potens Gallery, and are hopeful that they will heed Liz’s words.

Pantryslut wrote this in response in an open letter to Femina Potens on Live Journal:

… It has come to my attention from multiple sources that Mr. Rosen has a history of inappropriate conduct with solo women he photographs in his studio. It is also my understanding that he has never publicly acknowledged or addressed the concerns of his former models.

Until the day comes that Mr. Rosen does, indeed, engage with the larger sex-positive community about these concerns, I, as a member of that community, am unable to continue to support his work. Indeed, I am compelled to speak out against others supporting his work or extending him our collective community goodwill. …

We agree.

In Every Black Man’s Eyes

Laurie says:

portrait of Black soldiers during the Civil War

This portrait of Civil War black soldiers really struck me in its powerful portraiture.

It’s from a blog by Ta-Nehisi Coates, In Every Black Man’s Eyes–Death To The Rebel, about the history of black soldiers in the Civil war, reflected back and forth through his personal history of blacks and guns. He also reflects on those black soldiers and the history of racism and the South. The blog is well worth reading but it was the portrait that stopped me cold.


This weekend I started in on Drew Faust’s This Republic Of Suffering and Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard. I was reading Faust’s meditation on how soldiers prepared themselves to kill, and I came across this incredible passage about the reaction of black soldiers to the Fort Pillow massacre perpetrated by Nathan Forrest. It’s written by one Cordellia Harvey, sent South from Wisconsin to help with the Union wounded:

“Since the Fort Pillow tragedy, our colored troops and their officers are awaiting in breathless anxiety the action of the government…Our officers of Negro regiments declare they will take no more prisoners, and there is death to the rebel in every black man’s eyes. They are still but terrible. They will fight…The Negroes know what they are doing.”

There’s another passage in which an enslaved black woman comes upon her mistress weeping uncontrollably over the latest news–she’s lost her only son. “Missus,” says the slave woman. “We is even now.” The “Missus” had, over the years, sold every one of this woman’s children into slavery in the deep south–all ten of them.