Feminist viewpoints on prostitution and sex work

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susan davis

Loretta wrote:

Again, susan, these articles are subject to years of case law and interpretation -- they are not a carte blanche to do whatever one wants, whether it's in the name of work or not. Has the UN ruled on "your" case?


actually not on this issue but.....
http://www.sexworker.at/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=65679
Elena REYNAGA (Argentina)

Sex Work Elena Eva Reynaga is a Female Sex Worker (FSW) born in San Pedro de Jujuy, Argentina. She started working as a social activist in 1994, together with other FSWs, to denounce the violation of their human rights by the police and government. She became a point of reference both nationally and internationally with regard to sex work related issues, including HIV/AIDS, violence, gender, human rights and labor rights. Ms. Reynaga is the Founder and Executive Secretary of AMMAR, the Argentine Association of Female Sex Workers. Its major achievements have been the elimination of police edicts (minor laws) which criminalized sex work, and the establishment of a syndicate, which gives FSWs the status of workers. About 1,700 FSWs living in 11 provinces of Argentina are affiliated with AMMAR. Her work is considered good practice throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region and in some European and North American countries. Ms. Reynaga is a member of the National Board of the Argentine Workers' Centre, Executive Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Female Sex Workers, and a member of the Latin American HIV/AIDS Networks Initiative. In 2006 Ms. Reynaga was a speaker at the United Nations High Level Meeting and at the Women Deliver Conference in London.
 
i met her...it was amazing...there were actually 2 women initially involved but elena's cohort was assiniated by ......some one....organized crime....
 
i wonder if the people who like to think we "represent "pimps nd traffickers have any idea how much we have really risked by being out there in defense of our rights?
i might point out also, they adopted decrim and trusted workers.

susan davis

p-sto wrote:

As a male I'm rather curious about the suppostion that the sex trade is fundamentally degrading to women by creating disposable women and sex on demand.

Ideally speaking a sex worker should be allowed to refuse any client she wishes and have control over the terms of sex.  In practice this fails because because the worker may face violence from the person she refuses, violence from a pimp, fear of losing a client due to not meeting their demands, emotional coercion or she may be compelled by financial requirements.  These concerns excluding pimps also exist outside the sex trade in more socially accepted relationships.  I very much doubt that men would treat their partners or women in general in this fashion do so because they have learned it from sex workers.

As opposed to claiming sex work degrades women I am more inclined to believe that there is a significant portion of society that does not respect women and this lack of respect plays out more frequently within the sex trade as it is viewed as more permissible.

For the record Susan I am in support of decriminialisation.  However, I consider the law and the police to really be the smallest part of the battle.  A respecting sex trade can't really exist in a society that does not fully respect women.  The law is very little if it is not supported fairly by society.

Good luck in your struggle.

i couldn't agree with you more, and thankyou.

susan davis

rework wrote:

Divide and conquer ?
(generally speaking) (wrote this out before I read p-sto, he said it better)

Things that bother me :
Education. Seems only a half credit in Civics gets you high school diploma.
Media. I would shut down Much Music until further notice (no more primetime pimp rap)
Law. Ex PG judge gets seven years (soft time). Should get twenty breaking rocks.

man, that judge should have gotten the death penalty...put em in general population i say...

Loretta

So, susan, what you're saying is that there have been presentations made to the UN but no rulings on the scope of the articles you quoted.

susan davis wrote:

i might point out also, they adopted decrim and trusted workers.

In case you haven't picked it up, for the most part, it's not the "workers" that many of us question here.

 

susan davis

what articles, you mean my opinion...on sex workers as qualifying?

not sure i understnad, just making a point that sex workers have been to the UN and that workers have fought for recognition as workers....that's all...

and of course the point i made about the woman from argentina being assasinated, and how people here seem to forget how much we risk by being "out" and fighting for our rights....in particular those who like to insinuate we represent organizaed crime....pimps, traffickers....i have heard it all hear on babble, even professor young was accused of forcing female law students to take part in the challenge using his male privelge.....or was "funded"by organized crime.....ya, canada's foremost law school donating it's time pro bono as part of the pimp and trafficker conspiracy theory.....

susan davis

also, no one seems willing to acknowlegde the cultural piece of older workers becoming madames and passing on their knowledge....

Loretta

susan, it's not helpful to accuse people of taking positions that they/we haven't taken. Organized crime does get involved in various elements of life, where there's money to be made. So does the corporate sector. Neither have the interests of workers or women at heart but certainly many have presented arguments based on women's equality and/or worker rights and many of us have called their bluff.

Unfortunately, around the world, those arguments are persuading people to support governments and positions that aren't in their interests so you'll have to cut those of us who are skeptical and want more evidence a little slack.

susan davis

i am not talking about you loretta, it has been stated here by others.i try to cut people slack, i really do. but i refuse to sit by while mis information about us is promoted as fact.

i understnad what you mean now about articles...duh?sorry brainfart!!

no, i have never seen any UN or human rights cases presented or won in regard to the articles of the charter i posted.we are not recognized as a distinct culture or easily identifialble group...etc-so do not qualify for protection from discrimination

Stargazer

Low blow remind. Shall I post a few nasty pieces up from the abolitionists crowd? Then I can do so in a passive aggressive way and say, "oh, I posted this not to taint you with that brush! I would never do that". Classy.

 

How about this: abolitionists don't really care about women, they care about controlling women's sex. Puritanical people who wish to infantilize women. make them slaves.

 

Really remind. Is this the best you can do?

remind remind's picture

thefword

Quote:
Secondly, the movement uses radical rhetoric, talking of rights and discrimination, freedom and unions. This probably leads many activists (who follow the logic of word association) to believe that this is their struggle. However, if we lift this veil of words, it becomes apparent that this is a very strange understanding of rights: women only have the right to be prostitutes, but no right to stay out of prostitution! Àmbit Dona and similar organisations all over the world lobby for prostitution to be entered onto the labour market, but haven’t got the time or money to help anyone leave the sex trade.

What kind of freedom of choice is this? When they speak of discrimination, they don’t mean discrimination against women, or low wages for women being a reason why many women are forced into prostitution, but discrimination against prostitution. This presupposes an ideology that that believes prostitution is a career and is discriminated against as a career. It’s a line of argument claiming to speak on behalf of the oppressed by equating them with the oppression and is on a par with helping beggars by defending begging, describing it as an ‘alternative life style’, forgetting that there often is no other choice. They claim to be advancing the prostitutes’ interests, but this only happens if they want to remain in prostitution. If you leave prostitution and face discrimination on the job market for being an... then these organisations don’t give a shit about you.

Parts of the radical youth movement in Spain have been won over by this rhetoric and are now giving their, albeit passive, support for what is in practice married men’s right to fuck where and how they want for 15 quid. The bitter irony is that in the year 2008, an idea can be seen as radical even though it only sets out to change how people see things, not how things actually are

remind remind's picture

What, are you trying to say I have no right to a quote,  from the fword, of all places, an article written  and researched by a former prostitute?

 

ETA: this is the feminist forum, and I do not understand the attempts to silence

susan davis

no one will ever silence you remind, you have a right to your opinion.

stargazer-it's ok, it's the same old argument- sex workers are not recognized as a distinct culture- even though we are present all throughout human history.this is why we are interested in being recognized as such.

people aren't allowed to discriminate against workers.....?and the UN has already established a precedent of sex work as work in that regard. if child slaves in india can unionize carpet making, why can we not do the same......why can we not expect equal protection under the law?our ptrofession is discriminated against on so many levels starting with seperate criminal provisions for violence against us. 

susan davis

i love how they always quote the lowest wages in feminist arguments,it's so horrible !look how "cheap"it is!!!....unless they are trying to say we are privelged or "a list" and even then our voices are even more diminished by naming the top possible price....as if we are greedy or you know gold diggin'....just out to protect our own interests....or the interests of men....evil...traffickers...sex consumers...demons......you know, we're the "chicks out front", representing all that is bad and causing violence against women. its our fault.

Loretta

You need to read what we're writing, susan, not what you're reading into it.

In terms of madames nurturing younger women in the brothels, I don't think this is the reality. Emma Thompson has been working to expose that as a myth in her interactive art exhibit Journey. There, a very different story is told.

Also, I think it's important to hear from those who don't support the move to legalize prostitution and set up a brothel in Vancouver. Rick and Lynn Frey, mother of Marnie Frey, a young woman among Robert Pickton's victims, strongly object and have posted a piece called To Anyone Using Our Daughter's Legacy on the website of the Vancouver Eastside Missing Women.

 

 

susan davis

i absolutely agree that all voices are necessary. maggie devries, sarah devries sister supports decriminalization, is a friend and testified in the charter challenge.

the divides even exist amongst the families of the victims in the trial in the case of the missing women.

respectfully, i would ask that people do not use that person's name. we feel that fame is a contributng factor in the motives for these crimes and during the trial tried to impress the same idea on media.we should remember the women who died, not him.

in the DTES, we refer to it as the trial in the case of the missing women. it was a community based decision made suring media training for sex worker organizations in preparation for the trial.

in a previous case, the sex workers on the street reported up to 9 reporters a day trying to film them and interview them. we organized a unified front and with the help of VPD media liason created a plan to prevent that type of thing from playing out again...we were for the most part successful.

sorry, i just always have to say that. i try really hard but it still comes out sometimes....

 

susan davis

i would also like to point out, there are already brothels in vancouver....why should we not, in a triage, worker controled kind of way, stabilze the immediate safety of the sex workers on the street? why can we not give them a toilette to use, security, access to resources? when i worked ouside it was awful. you find a decently secluded spot and use in for a while but then some one will complain about the mess( i have never worn a condom, not sure why it's balmed on workers) and the police will follow you and bust you naked while engaged in?coitis" with your curtomer in a car. extremely humiliating. as well as these secluded spots are great spots to rape and kill you...no one to see, no one to hear....i had to dive out of cars and run for my life....it was insane. the police routinely kicking us all out of the hotel where we lived.

outside you are completely vulnerable...raining, cold, wet....there isn't even a 24 hr space yet...almost...and damn its nice....

how can we argue we are enabling...it is happening now....it has been for years......we need to stop the slaugter right now.....why is it not ok to connect people to resources, alternative income sources(the other coop enterprise aspects) and a community to be part of anf proud of....?we all share the same eperiences...we are the best medicine for each other.

it's not like we're talking about rounding sex worker up and putting them into government controled limited access to our vaginas institution as has been suggested by others.

we were inspired by a sex worker coop in india and a man who won the nobel prize for peace, not some over romanticized version of history as peeople would have you believe. we are not looking to paint some pretty woman picture. we are woking hard under direction from sex workers themselves, our membership -a genre and gender and racially diverse group of workers all with varying capacities- we spent 2 years working up to incorporation to ave all our work thrown in our faces by a lie- the olympic brothel lie- our actions were misrepresented, the wishes of the workers themselves ignored- meanwhile a huge misinformation /fundraising campaign ensued.....

i  choose to honor the voices of the workers, much respect to the families of the victims but i am responsible to my constituency and must remain true to direction.

JMartin

Out of curiosity, what is the best way to title the above-mentioned mass murder trial? I like the idea that the women should be the focus when we remember this case. Titles and language are very important to me as I believe it frames the debate.

I think it's really important to note that the Vancouver anti-human trafficking campaign that was mentioned above is NOT a fundraising campaign. It is an awareness raising campaign. The speakers in the panels at the campaign meetings share their stories, experiences, and research. 

People that share their own experiences are not liars until they misrepresent their own experience, which we've not seen yet on these panels. Women in these panels do not claim to represent all women in the sex industry. They represent their own experiences and share statistics that have been congruent with their experiences. I can absolutely respect that there are people who hold a contrary experience to those panelists and organizers of the above-mentioned campaign. However, I'd personally appreciate if people would refrain from calling that campaign a "lie". I believe that those who share their experiences do not deserve to be called liars. 

I've attended campaign meetings for full decriminalization that took a similar format to the anti-human trafficking campaigns in Vancouver and have managed not to publicly attack anyone's efforts towards justice in the sex industry no matter how much I may disagree with the solutions they offer. It can be done. I think abolitionists and those supporting decrim can start listening to (and stop ignoring) each other when we can agree that no one deserves to be attacked for their informed opinion.

I've been looking for quite some time for someone who supports decriminalization to swap reading material with me. I'd like to take a look at the most convincing arguments (or perspectives) for decriminalization. So far I've been called a moralist and told I'm not worth listening to for suggesting such a swap...but the challenge is out there. Let's trade. 

Loretta

susan davis wrote:

i  choose to honor the voices of the workers, much respect to the families of the victims but i am responsible to my constituency and must remain true to direction.

 

OK, but it should be no surprise that most of us are going to be looking at the broader picture of the effect on all women when considering the issues.

G. Muffin

susan davis wrote:
i  choose to honor the voices of the workers, much respect to the families of the victims but i am responsible to my constituency and must remain true to direction.

 

Loretta wrote:
Also, I think it's important to hear from those who don't support the move to legalize prostitution and set up a brothel in Vancouver. Rick and Lynn Frey, mother of Marnie Frey, a young woman among Robert Pickton's victims, strongly object and have posted a piece called To Anyone Using Our Daughter's Legacy on the website of the Vancouver Eastside Missing Women.

 

Susan, I don't think you showed "much respect" or even any respect to Rick and Lynn Frey here.  I know that sometimes reporters chop stories and can take statements out of context but that whole exchange was painful to read.

Stargazer

Didn't she just post the link to a story? Is there some other infraction susan has committed against these people to warrent that G.Pie? I haven't seen it so maybe you can enlighten me.

 

Aw forget it, I found it. It is called a difference of opinions. Susan was not speaking directly to that family, she was speaking to the media.Who knows what was edited out.

susan davis

JMartin wrote:

Out of curiosity, what is the best way to title the above-mentioned mass murder trial? I like the idea that the women should be the focus when we remember this case. Titles and language are very important to me as I believe it frames the debate.

I think it's really important to note that the Vancouver anti-human trafficking campaign that was mentioned above is NOT a fundraising campaign. It is an awareness raising campaign. The speakers in the panels at the campaign meetings share their stories, experiences, and research. 

People that share their own experiences are not liars until they misrepresent their own experience, which we've not seen yet on these panels. Women in these panels do not claim to represent all women in the sex industry. They represent their own experiences and share statistics that have been congruent with their experiences. I can absolutely respect that there are people who hold a contrary experience to those panelists and organizers of the above-mentioned campaign. However, I'd personally appreciate if people would refrain from calling that campaign a "lie". I believe that those who share their experiences do not deserve to be called liars. 

I've attended campaign meetings for full decriminalization that took a similar format to the anti-human trafficking campaigns in Vancouver and have managed not to publicly attack anyone's efforts towards justice in the sex industry no matter how much I may disagree with the solutions they offer. It can be done. I think abolitionists and those supporting decrim can start listening to (and stop ignoring) each other when we can agree that no one deserves to be attacked for their informed opinion.

I've been looking for quite some time for someone who supports decriminalization to swap reading material with me. I'd like to take a look at the most convincing arguments (or perspectives) for decriminalization. So far I've been called a moralist and told I'm not worth listening to for suggesting such a swap...but the challenge is out there. Let's trade. 

i am not talking about the anti trafficking campaign ,i am talking about specifically the "no olympic brothels"campaign- whic did lie about the intentions of canada's first sex worker coop.i have proof of correspondence between myself and the groups in question in that they new we did not want an olympic brothel yet went ahead with their campaign anyway causing major misunderstands and essentially stalling our plans for trying to ensure workers had an alternative income source during the games becuase, as i have said all along and is already happening. sex workers will experience an economic crash during the games and will and are being seriously impeeded as "clean up"begins-seymor strollhas been gentrified displacing all those workers and as we are all inside the "security zones".

we call it "the trial in the case of the missing women"

susan davis

G. Pie wrote:

susan davis wrote:
i  choose to honor the voices of the workers, much respect to the families of the victims but i am responsible to my constituency and must remain true to direction.

 

Loretta wrote:
Also, I think it's important to hear from those who don't support the move to legalize prostitution and set up a brothel in Vancouver. Rick and Lynn Frey, mother of Marnie Frey, a young woman among Robert Pickton's victims, strongly object and have posted a piece called To Anyone Using Our Daughter's Legacy on the website of the Vancouver Eastside Missing Women.

i am not "using "manrie fey's legacy....i am also great friends with her cousin who is my cohort....

i am taking direction from sex workers.

i do repsect the families and as stated am friends and in contact with some, sat on boards and committees with some....?

give me a break gpie- i don't find you too damn respectful either

 

Susan, I don't think you showed "much respect" or even any respect to Rick and Lynn Frey here.  I know that sometimes reporters chop stories and can take statements out of context but that whole exchange was painful to read.

susan davis

sorry to get so upset.....

challenging whether or not i know respect is an insult in street culture, i am still a member of the underground community and struggle with cultural differences everyday, meaning the cultural differences between mainstream society and street.
i wrote about it here;
http://www.rabble.ca/babble/sex-worker-rights/culture
in street culture all you have is your name, your honor and respect. if a person questions whether or not you know respect they are looking for a fight.
respect;

  • for our elders
  • for our community
  • for ourselves
  • for our leaders
  • for each other...etc.

 

anyone who knows me will tell you i know respect. i am not the one who who started the name game by dropping names. another unacceptable practice in street culture. anyone who tried to drop names or impress you with who they know are what's known as a...well it's a swear word so i won't put it here, i don't want to call anyone names i'm just explaining myself. 

i have never used the names of any missing women in my work or tried to say i represent them. the abolitionist side however felt it was appropriate to invoke my friend, nikki,  who was murdered, name in their cause even though she herself would have never been allied with them. she was pro decrim.it disgusting to see the depths some people sink to.

i know respect and knew that not all families were comfortable with our work and so never name drop when delivering speeches or writing. i mention maggie and sarah here as a reaction to your name dropping and now regret it and saying you started it is no excuse. but let me tell you, it is in extremely poor taste in my opinion to bring people's names into it.

i worked on the street during "that persons" reign of terror and this is something that happened to all vancouver sex workers. we were all terrified, who will be gone next, workers being murdered in our hotel, police refusing to take our reports. (a story i tell in another thread about a female police officer telling a sex worker who had been assaulted- she didn't really feel like taking the report- or another officer telling a trans worker who was reporting an assault-good....) police kicking us out of our hotels making us desperate to find new lodging and desperate to make money to pay for it...no refunds just cause you were kicked out by police...getting into cars, desperately negotiating, workers being stripped and wearing garbage bags to get back to the hotel....

i as any vancouver street sex worker from that time am a survivor of it and can express my feelings in that regard if i like. as can any one really as we were all affected, but name dropping is unacceptable unless you are her direct family. i am sorry you find it hard to read about the working conditions but them are the facts.honestly, i can see no more pressing objective that stabilizng the safety of workers still facing these conditions and regardless of their state of mind. we need to connect people to resources and make them safe...i still remember those days so vividly...cold...lonely...

it's just so bizarre to me that safety wouldn't be our first priority and that stabilizing their safety is seen as "enabling" or some crap...weird...

 

oldgoat

One of the reasons these threads are so difficult to moderate, and there are lots, is that by the time something comes to the moderators attention a lot of posts have passed under the bridge and it is certainly very impractical if not impossible to read upthread or reference other threads to appreciate the context of any post of concern.  Lots of threads, lots of posts, unusually high average word count. (frankly I don't think the content justifies the utter overwhelming volume, but I've always seen concise as a cardinal virtue)

 

So with respect to this post...

Stargazer wrote:

Low blow remind. Shall I post a few nasty pieces up from the abolitionists crowd? Then I can do so in a passive aggressive way and say, "oh, I posted this not to taint you with that brush! I would never do that". Classy.

 

How about this: abolitionists don't really care about women, they care about controlling women's sex. Puritanical people who wish to infantilize women. make them slaves.

 

Really remind. Is this the best you can do?

Stargazer you and remind aren't seeing eye to eye on these threads.  We get that.  When you say that about abolitionists I know you're using it as an example, but it's infammatory, unjustly accusitory, and relates to why we don't allow ironic racism for example.  Abolitionists are NOT motivated as you suggest, so don't post it.

It's also a personal attack.  Doubtless you don't think it is.  I could probably find posts of remind's which sound like personal attacks on you, and she would think they aren't.  (that's not an invitation to start looking for them BTW)

I don't think that anyone here is badly intentioned in what they post, but could we please make this about issues, and not eachother , and not speculate about eachothers intentions.

Stargazer

Oh so I should just post up a nasty little item them, with no coments and that would have been okay?

Remind dropped that little bit as a direct attack, and once again remind walks away with nary a word as to her behaviour. In this thread and in many many threads.

But okay oldgoat. Wouldn't it be fair to say that what remind posted was inflamatory, and a form of attack as well? At least to show some fairness here?

BTW, I am definitely not the only person on the end of remind's attacks. I know, I've gotten PMs. The more you guys come down on others but not her the more rope you give her to attack people. Just look at the threads. The truth is there.

susan davis

also, jmartin;

i thought we were all posting links to reading material....?i would be happy to exchange literature.are you in vancouver?i could lend you books and you could lend me books!!!

jacki-mo

I repect p-sto's posts and look forward to more. But if memory serves was there not a ban in place on males posting to the Feminist Forum?

I am personally not in favour of such a ban BTW

susan davis

p-sto

i have a hard time wrangling the concept as well....?are one group of women more valuable than another? worth compriising the safety of for the sake of the safety and protection of the other? are we unsavable, damaged goods to be left on the curb.....?

this has always been the most difficult argement to hear, it will compromise the safety of "real"women....like the police man i did new recruits training with telling new recruits..."taking bad date reports from sex workers is important, it could help to solve a crime against a real woman".....

are we not real? do we not deserve protection....?am i not a human being entitled to equal protection under the law.....?

these hypothesis or "but what ifs" promoting fears of escalated violence against "real"women under decrim, are not justification for doing nothing. my friends are dead and aren't on any lists...their bodies were found, their murders in some cases solved.

how many people who cry "but what if...." face being kidnapped,terrorized,stripped, assaulted, murdered,raped,robbed,freezing to death,OD....when they try to work everyday....and by that i mean, earn money?

i guess i do still to a degree....but not compared to what i witnessed on the street....nice choices i have eh? which of the dangerous environments is least dangerous....?dangit!!

p-sto

jacki-mo wrote:

I repect p-sto's posts and look forward to more. But if memory serves was there not a ban in place on males posting to the Feminist Forum?

I am personally not in favour of such a ban BTW

I was under the impression that we may post as long as we don't speak over the femaies.  Can't seem to find where I read that at the moment.  Either way I'm happy to post these questions somewhere else if I'm perceived as disrupting the flow of conversation among the feminists.

jacki-mo

P-sto:  no, do not go elsewhere. I was just wondering...

oldgoat

jacki-mo wrote:

I repect p-sto's posts and look forward to more. But if memory serves was there not a ban in place on males posting to the Feminist Forum?

I am personally not in favour of such a ban BTW

 

Nope.  There are a few individual males who have been kicked out of certain threads, or the Feminist forum for good, but there is no such catagorical rule.  Also, occasionally a particular thread may be designated woman only by the opening poster for reasons which we hope are clear at the time.  That doesn't happen often though.

jacki-mo

good I think any general ban would be very counter-productive. Nuff said.  Thanks OldGoat

remind remind's picture

susan davis wrote:
i am talking about specifically the "no olympic brothels"campaign- whic did lie about the intentions of canada's first sex orker coop.i have proof of correspondence between myself and the groups in question in that they new we did not want an olympic brothel

 

Quote:
A group of Vancouver prostitutes wants to open a "co-op" brothel in time for the Winter Olympics, saying it would help sex-trade workers by providing a safer working environment when the world comes to visit in 2010.

Susan Davis, a working prostitute, said she envisions the creation of as many as five cooperative brothels if the B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities, which includes men, women and transgendered sex-trade workers, convinces the federal government to permit the first brothel on an experimental basis.

...Davis said the group is weeks away from incorporating a cooperative corporation an

....She believes tens of thousands of men who come to Vancouver during the Games will be searching for sex. B.C.'s booming construction economy has already brought thousands of workers, and along with them, prostitutes, she said.

Studies show more than 90 per cent of women in the sex trade are not there by choice

susan davis

your link does not support your assertion, you attacked the brothel the same way the last time i posted about it remind.

as i explained before, i expressed that thhere were 5 distinct wtrolls in vancouver and that coop business models could support those groups in deciding what they need on a localized level.

your link merely goes to the same article you posted before and as i explained before, it is a mis quote by a reporter.please do not post misinformation about sex workers with no data to back your claims. i have expressed this over and over. you are confusing the debate by presenting statements as fact. please post a link to support your assertion of 90% of sex workers being there by choice....?or should we trust a reporter...or you?....as an expert i mean...?

as far as i know such a census has never been taken and there is no real way of proving these numbers which are for the most part based on sample studies groups of street entrenched, drug addicted survival sex workers who comprise 10% of our industry and interestingly enough reflect child abuse estimations among the entire general population...10%.

c'mon remind, we already did this once a;ready in this thread...it's getting tiring...where's your link to support your assertions? you could always pull up another article describing us as mentally ill/ crazy and not in control of how we really feel....with our fake arguments.....

it is not an accurate representation and should be considered as fact in these discussions.

post a link to support these assertions or don't post them at all.

susan davis

also, the men did come for thhe construction boom and we did make lots of money....it's over ...we ave always said sex workers will experience and economic crash during the games as i describes above...again in the thread.....

we did incorporate canada's first sex worker cooperative and the article does nothing but support my assertions that there never was a plan for an olympic brothel.shall i post proof in the form of correspondence again.....?i can't believe you have such a short memory. we have been over and over this specific thing.

the plans for our coop are here for everyone to see, just search the forums people. you tell me, where in any of our writing or plans, did we ever say, olympic brothel?never.it has however proven to be an effective tactic on the part of the abolitionists to undermine the real activities of the coop and prevent and further movement towards our real goals of alternative income sources, and safety.

so remind, by all means...hack away...it changes nothing. we never wanted or tried to creat an olympic brothel.

remind remind's picture

Excuse me, I never posted this link before, so you and I never addressed anything about it, not in this thread nor any other, in fact I just came across it this am......before I even entered this thread as a matter of fact.

 

If you have issues with the newspaper who posted that  90% data please take it up with them....all I was doing was providing info that seemed to counter your declarations that you stated no interest in starting a legal  brothel for 2010.

~

Am deeply disquieted about the trafficking details in the article, which is actully of more interest to me, than this thread topic

Damn scarey to think 40,000 women and children could be being trafficked in BC in that 2 weeks.

 

And  I read elsewhere this morning that street children in SA are already being picked up by organized crime to service men's "needs" for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

p-sto

Loretta wrote:

I would agree completely. A number of us have raised the issue of abusive behaviour toward women and whether or not proposed changes would be detrimental to that matter. As well, a number of us have also raised concern about the need for society to work towards improving the situation with those who are marginalized through racism, sexism, illness, and poverty (list not exhaustive). It is part of a larger picture rather than strictly limited to those who, for whatever reason, are involved in prostitution.

Loretta, I would have liked for you or someone else critical of the decriminialisation movement to have addressed the ideas that I raised in post #50.

I should likely say more on the subject but I'm having a difficult time composing my thoughts on something so complex for the moment.  I can imagine various scenarios that could be harmful but I'm still having trouble with the idea that improving the status of sex workers is necessarily bad for the remainder of women.

Lee Lakeman

Thanks remind. As someone who had to field dozens of media calls as to a feminist ant-violvence response to the plans to open brothels for the oympics, I am grateful for the correction of the slur that the abolitionists constructed this situation and did so as some kind of trick. 

I do see that it is no longer in the interests of the sex trade profiteers to blithely claim that the olympics is just another business opportunity for the sex trade.  And I do see how those interested in building the "coop" brothels for slightly better motives in both Vancouver and Victoria got the impression that there would be an exemption from the law, cooperation from the regulating bodies and tolerance from the "progressives".

But now the profiteers and their apologists feel the outrage of the community at this back door way of decrimializing/legalizing and normalizing a dangerous business. The business and its promoters no longer want to have us see the connection between sporting events and sex tourism between the promotion of brothels and the number of johns, between domestic prostitution and the trafficking of women from the poorest parts of the world to meet that demand.

But reality more than clever abolition strategy keeps the issue in front of the public: The Bakker case of torture of both Asian children and addicted Vancouver women prostituted, the Pickton case of indoor "partying" with  the Hells Angels and the destitute women of the downtown east side, the Ng case of suspected trafficking of Asian women, the trafficking of the Fujian women from China through Vancouver to the USA, the recent murder conviction of an indoor massage/escort by Andrew Evans and the missing Aboriginal women of both the downtown eastide and the highway of tears in the interior do that (and there are many more)

The tolerance for and even promotion of the demand for prostitution of women and children in Vancouver and the trafficking of women and kids to Vancouver became a public issue when the then mayors Larry Campbell then Sam Sullivan appeard to be going along with the brothel notions and the notions of red light districts. The coop developers bragged of money from Van city and promises from politicians.  Feminist spoke up.

It certainly is true that Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter objected early to the tolerance of prostitution by the authorities who seemed only too content to let women die in the streets and let women migrate into danger for the sake of the pleasure of individual men and the profit of motorcycle gangs and international traffickers. My earliest memory of such work was the old slogan of "For the prostitutes and against prostitution" and a public protest in the death of Linda Tatrai pre Expo.  We remain against the criminalization of ther women and children and few men sold in prostitution and for the criminalization of those who exploit them as johns pimps and owners.  (despite the revisionist hestory posted here of both a constantly divided women's movement and a joyful golden age of prostitution)

Authorities have been content to harass women trapped in prostitution but let john's pimps and bawdy house owners escape the rule of law. Not to speak of evading the human responsibility to put an end to the demand that supports this multimiliion dollar international trade in human beings. Criminalizng the buying of sex is one good way to do that. 

 

susan davis

those numbers are not true remind......and i did discuss it before. with you...i will go back and read all threads again just to find it for you.....not.

once again, just because it "says so in the paper" doesn't make it true.the VPD and the SIWSAG action group contracted an investigation into this and it has been since debunked. it will not happen.

estimates from RCMP say 600-800 people are trafficked in canada each year...it's a big leap to 40,000 in 2 weeks.did you not read any of the articles from england...900 brothel raids...no trafficking victims? even in the US...where supposedly there are 250,000 trafficking victims each year were 1200 cases documented by authorities......this is a case of panic created by skewed data and biased research.

we have beaten this subject to death.

 

http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/other/2009/127202.htm

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/government-trafficking-enquiry-fails

 

http://vancouver.ca/police/diversity/2009/HumanTrafficking.pdf

 

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/body-and-soul/coop-brothel-lies-and-mis-information-harm-canadas-first-sex-worker-coop-defame

 

also see the 2010 impacts thread in sex worker rights forum, sex industry association and the 20 other threads on this subject in this forum. also, i would like point out thedate on that article...it is hardly current and luck for us we have built relationships with police in vancouver so this type fear propganda will not be causing wide spread raids...

the police are really interested in "cleaning up" the city before the games and have displaced or in the words of sex workers' trafficked"them- defined as forced movement of a person"- so who are the traffickers" the rsidents in neighbourhoods complaining to plice-"get rid of those prodtitutes!"police forcing migration because of complaints....

the propoganda around trafficking is ridiculous.

susan davis

geez lee, are we back to calling me a profiteer?castig me as representing business owners? the group in victoria succesfully opened a worker controleed escort service with extended medical etc. we won public support for our coop brothel in vancouver and it seems we will not need an excemption, just equal treatment to other brothels that already exist all over vancouver. it's nice that you are trying to blame me now, for the mis information camapaign started by you and your affiliates and to blame me for the subsquent media onslaught which i also had to field, featuring some of the most aggressive abolitionist reporters i have ever encountered. and attacks from your associates everytime i try to speak publically and trying to ambush me by luring me to speak on panels that you, once i confirm i will speak, immediatley highjack and fill with your supporters so you can all take turns taking pot shots at me. it looks like i will once again have to post my proof here;

i never once asked for an olympic brothel and my assertions about the harms caused by these anti olympic brothel campaigns on the real activities of the coop are true.

a letter between myself and a member of awan;the date is on dec 12,th 2007- we debated after this and these groups were told we were not planning an olympic brothel but chose to go ahead any way in order to forward their own position. i would have welcomed a balanced debate on the safety impacts of a safe work environment for those people still entrenched in the street level trade. but instead it as been made out to be an "olympic issue" and never was. it is a misrepresentations and as disasterous efforts on our goals for alternative income sources for sex workers during the games and their high level security and displacment of workers.post cards, pressure on government and police leading to a series of raids on asian massage parlours in reaction to mellissa farely coming to vancouver at the request of the same groups...3 asian massage parlour workers have been killed this year....any sense of responsibility for destabilizing the safety of these workers? you know by forcing raids to find "trafficking "victims?will you push for the same during the games?

Laura H)

Sent:
December 12, 2007 10:15:18 PM

To:
susan davis

Hello Susan,
Thank you for the Email and your phone call today.  It would be best at this point in time if you Email us with the information that you suggested presenting to us.  
With the holiday season fast approaching, it does not seem possible that we can meet with you & the two First Nations women you mentioned in your phone call today.
Best Regards,
Laura


From: susan
To: laura h
Subject:
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2007 12:19:45 -0700

hi there!
my name is suan davis and i'm a sex worker of 21 yrs .
i am also the coop development coordinator for the sex worker cooperative we are opening with the sex workers in the downtown east side of vancouver.

i find it very difficult to hear your opposition to this action as it is the action called for by the sex workers themselves in the downtown east side.
we have a coop development team made up of the sex workers from that community and 2 of them are first nations sisters. the coop is not just the brothel. it is the foundation of the sex worker community beginning to rebuild and stabilize our safety.
i agree that no one should have to do sex work and that we must end the survival level trade.

Three Major points about the sex worker coop;

1.                          The coop will be owned by and operated by the sex workers who access it. Direction of the company and distribution of any profits will be voted on by the membership, sex workers from the downtown east side.

2.                          The coop is more than the safe work site. It also encompasses other community economic development activities  such as an art collective (every sex worker I know is an artist), coop catering company, coop publishing company, and coop consulting firm (we do training for the VPD, Fed government and wish to standardize these curriculums and allow other sex workers to be empowered through these engagements as well as get paid!)

3.                          The coop brothel will not go forward without extensive community consultation and an amnesty from the criminal code of Canada. We respect due process and feel strongly that a limited amnesty could be achievable in this case. We will not however go ahead without community support and do not want to put the police in a position where they have to arrest us.

please remember, we are trying to prevent people from being killed or hurt when they are forced to make these choices and engage in sex work. all we want is to give the sex workers in the east end what they are asking for, safety from violence while they work, a place to clean up after they work and the right to define what safety means to them for themselves.

these actions were designed by and for the sex worker community in the east end- please do not deny them the right of self determination and the right to be safe at work.

i would welcome any comments or concerns and would really love to opportunity to present your group with  our plan  for stabilizing the safety of the most vulnerable sex workers in the east end.

thank you
susan davis
(604)671-2345

 

susan davis

also, we were funded by vancity, we weren't"bragging about it" its nice when you make me seem pathetic though, as if all i can do brag....we did it, we incorporated....we were funded by vancity....

really, i take exception to being diminished and belittled in this way. i work my ass off, we get funding...just like the occupational health and safety training is done and was funded by the health authority. apparenty we are not as uncredible or pathetic as you would have people believe.

is it so hard for you to believe we have support for our plan and it is going forward? or do you just enjoy upsetting me.

i question the credibility of anyone who is willing to harm a sex worker to "save" a sex worker.

susan davis

again,lee.... i would like to ask that people do not refer to the men who kill us by name.

we refer to it as the trial in the case of the missing women and it the other case, we could refer to as the trial in case of the torture of women in the DTES.....as explained it is our assertion that fame is a contributing factor in these crimes and so we respectfully request people do not use those persons names.

susan davis

http://members.shaw.ca/pdg/donald_michel_bakker.html

 

a link to a story about the trial in the case of the man who tortured women in the DTES.

remind remind's picture

susan davis wrote:
3 asian massage parlour workers have been killed this year.

indoors is no safer than out of doors then, contrary to some findings otherwise?

 

Externalities to the situation are not killing and torturing women, men are killing and torturing women.

 

Indeed, in my thinking about the  statistics posted that show an alleged  increase in deaths, (I say alleged only because there was no link given) which  were stated to  be from lack of indoor facilties, it would seem to me, that what they  really show is, that the more focus society puts upon male's ejaculatory responses, the higher the death rates for women involved in prostitution have climbed, over the years.

jacki-mo

remind said: " the more focus society puts upon male's ejaculatory responses,

the higher the death rates for women involved in prostitution have climbed, over the years."

 

1. why would increased "focus" cause a higher death rate? I don't see a connection between focus and death rate.

2. how do we know death rates have increased?

 

 

 

remind remind's picture

Susan  posted either in this thread or in the other one,  a non-linked table showing increases in prostitute death statistics going back to the 60's.

It shows quite clearly that since the advent into society of  a  focus on men's  penus pleasure, women have been objectified more, the more objectification  and marginalization occuring the less humanity is felt towards the target group, and the more disposable people become.

History has shown this to be true.

It is also backed up by sociological studies

 

Fair question  though I suppose, but one should ask; why should the closing of show lounges for example increase prostitute deaths?

 

 

rework

Perhaps we should mount a campaign against Viagra, and all the media that promote it. We should tell the men (and their wives) when the willy stops working, "to live with it".

p-sto

Susan posted a link a while back that indicated an increase in the number of sex worker deaths and correlated the increase to more restrictive legislation regarding sex work.  As some one that works in statistics I consider it a bit problematic to draw any conclusions from the numbers she posted for a variety of reasons.  Part of me wouldn't mind seeing the link again to get a better sense of the numbers since I only gave them a cursory view last time.

On the other hand, I'm getting rather tired of seeing both sides trot out statistics that are going to be at least some what inaccurate since the entity they're examining is by it's nature difficult to pin down.

At their best statisics tend to offer a vague idea of the scope and shape of a situation.  They're often much less informative than people assume them to be because reporting can often be inaccurate and apparent relationships are almost always conflated with factors not considered in the analysis.  A dogmatic following of the numbers can be very misleading.

Statistics can inform us to a degree in this issue but a definitive answer as to the right approach isn't going to from them.  Personally I'd like to see less numbers in the discussion and better effort of both sides to address each others concerns.

Stargazer

There are lies, and then there are statistics...

 

P-sto - I was thinking of starting a thread about the common grounds covered by both sides. Maybe you can?

remind remind's picture

susan davis wrote:
http://members.shaw.ca/pdg/donald_michel_bakker.html

a link to a story about the trial in the case of the man who tortured women in the DTES.

Thanks for the link.

Do not think a brothel or a co-op would have stopped these actions, he was right up front about what he was going to do apparently....and indeed the following indicates that it was just accepted as so, so what if it was indoors,  in room they rented, the same thing would have occured to these women.

 

Quote:
The black-haired woman with the white cross dangling from her neck remembers the man she agreed to let hurt her. He was balding, "but not completely," wore glasses, and had a baby seat in the back of his car. He paid to inflict pain on her and she agreed.

"I needed the money," the young woman said, recounting the "date" last fall with a man who she said took her to a waterfront Vancouver park and videotaped a sadistic assault.

"It messed me up for a couple of days," the woman said, standing in the grey drizzle on Vancouver's seedy Hastings Street yesterday.

As she spoke, she stared into her Styrofoam coffee cup and described in graphic detail the man and the crime, without once looking up.

Asked why she didn't report the attack, the woman shrugged. "I don't know."

This woman's story took on broader significance yesterday with the news that Vancouver police are investigating the case of an alleged sadistic predator who they say tortured and videotaped up to 60 women over a period of several years.

Police say the man told the women up front that he wanted to inflict pain, but the acts escalated into violent assaults that involved "extreme pain" and degradation.

The suspect is also being investigated in the videotaped rapes of prepubescent girls as young as 10 in a Southeast Asian country.

Police say the tapes are disturbing to watch and have shaken even the most hardened officers. Police have identified about one-third of the women on the tapes and talked to many, but noted that not one had reported the alleged crimes.

The victims said the man paid to have sex with them and warned that he intended to inflict pain.

Police have charged Donald Michael Bakker, 40, with six counts of sexual assault and one count of unlawful confinement. They say up to 27 more charges may be laid today. (monday).

The alleged crimes are captured on videotape, which police discovered in the suspect's car and home.

Vancouver Police spokeswoman Sarah Bloor said the fact that women agreed to be hurt in exchange for money might explain their silence. Other agencies that assist women in the Downtown Eastside were surprised to hear that another predator was stalking women in the skid-row neighbourhood.

There was no mention of Mr. Bakker's name or physical description on any so-called "bad-date" list, which is circulated in the neighbourhood and warns of men who have assaulted or refused to pay prostitutes.

Mary Wreglesworth, chairwoman of the WISH Drop-in Centre Society, said sex workers are already burdened by defeat and shame.

"They went to the streets as abused children," Ms. Wreglesworth said. "Something like this brings up an incredible amount of turmoil." And if the women agreed up front to be hurt, they may feel they don't have the right to complain, even if the situation spun out of control.

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