Informative links topic

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fortunate
Informative links topic

Just starting a thread with recent or existing informative articles and research and websites.

 

http://www.understandingsexwork.com/sex-work-canada

The purpose of this section of our website is to tackle the incomplete and inaccurate information that exists about sex workers in Canada. This is because the stereotyping of sex workers that goes on in the popular media and among people with little firsthand experience of sex work can have a profound impact on the health, safety, and security of sex workers, as well as their friends and families, those who pay for their services, and those who play a managerial role in the sex industry.

Our study seeks to gain a comprehensive understanding of the sex industry across Canada, so as to help improve the social, cultural, and legal environments that shape the health and well-being of the people associated with the sex industry. While the information currently contained on our website goes some way toward this end, many knowledge gaps still exist. As such, our website will be updated with new information as the results of our national project become available.

 

http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/valerie-scott-says-your-great-aunt-was-pr...

 

It seems clear there are quite a few misunderstandings about who sex workers are, what they do, and how they operate. Even the clearest of debates seems to have two different conversations happening at the same time: It’s a service! It’s a sin! It’s a right! It’s a crime! We wanted to speak to a pro who has been at it for years who could help shed some light on this mostly foggy subject.  

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onlinediscountanvils

Melissa Gira Grant: [url=http://www.salon.com/2014/02/06/the_rights_bogus_sex_work_stance_taking_... right’s bogus sex work stance: Taking power away from women[/url]

Quote:
this issue of discriminatory and abusive policing against sex workers isn’t often thought of as a civil rights issue, or as a women’s rights issue. Some feminists call for more police crackdowns on the sex trade, despite the consequences for sex workers. Last week, the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women praised the NYPD’s efforts to “focus on sex trafficking victims” during the Super Bowl – this, as dozens of women were waiting in the courts on prostitution charges stemming from the “trafficking” crackdown. When people see the police as a solution, to sex workers it looks like they’re turning a blind eye to discrimination and abuse.

On her show this weekend on MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry asked what motivated the Super Bowl hype, and more broadly, these calls for law enforcement to combat trafficking. Panelists Joy Reid and Dave Zirin echoed what sex workers’ rights advocates have long been saying: it’s about putting people into the prison system, and it’s about profits for those who benefit from that system. Under the mandate of “fighting trafficking,” we have fueled a new law enforcement mini-industry in anti-trafficking conferences and consultants, task forces and trainings. When did Cindy McCain announce her commitment to combat trafficking? During an anti-terrorism conference. All these new measures and the stings that result don’t necessarily mean there’s an increase in trafficking; they mean fighting trafficking, like “fighting terrorism,” has incentivized law enforcement to produce more arrests.

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Poor LE, and they are the ones stuck being held accountable that they can't find these hundreds of thousands of victims, and often have to drag victims kicking and screaming to the 'help' centre places.   

 

Approx one year ago Sweden toughened up its laws, because, one radfem politico says, there doesn't seem to be enough people going to jail for this, so they did make jail time one of the things judges could sentence someone to.   The ones who do get charged, however, tend to pay a fine and go on their way.  Depending of course on what their job is.  To the politician who owned 3 Thai massage parlours that helped clients with happy endings and the person arrested after a session in a hotel room with a sex worker, they also lose their jobs.   

for example 

http://www.thelocal.se/20130226/46422

Feb 26 2013   Police in Stockholm were surprised on Monday to find that a man they had arrested for buying sex from a prostitute was the duty prosecutor to whom they were obliged to report the crime.

 

And there is this highlighting the level of stigma that is now acceptable against sex workers, not their clients, they themselves. 

http://www.thelocal.se/20130912/50200

Quote:A pub in south central Sweden has been cleared of discrimination charges after bouncers denied entry to several women of Asian appearance in what owners claimed was an attempt to cut down on prostitution.

 

Another favourite (another story mentions a swedish politician was found to be owner of 3 different Thai mps)

http://www.thelocal.se/20120110/38422

http://www.thelocal.se/20130808/49526

Quote:Every fifth Thai massage parlour in Malmö, southern Sweden, accepts requests for sexual gratification at the end of a session, a Swedish newspaper reported on Thursday.

 

And of course

http://www.thelocal.se/20130527/48160

Quote:Despite Sweden's much-debated and soon 15-year-old law that bans buying sex, rather than selling it, the statute has not resulted in any convicted sex buyers spending time behind bars.

 

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http://metronews.ca/news/ottawa/717330/ottawa-human-trafficking-study-ge...

 

What is meant when sex workers and their advocates claim that the Rescue Industry profits from false statistics above.   200k in funding to find out the numbers, that they apparently already have, according to this story here, they 'know' there are 150 victims in Ottawa.    So why not go out and find them, what is the need of that 200K funding to research it?

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Human+trafficking+Ottawa+least+women+u...

 

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A vice article.   Keeping in mind that even vice.com can't help themselves from using an inappropriate and irrelevant pic of an outdoor sex worker, in an article that is competely and only about indoor sex workers.

 

http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/canadian-cops-launched-a-sting-operation-...

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http://www.torontosun.com/2014/02/07/the-ins-and-outs-of-selling-sex#pd_...

 

this one comes with a voting poll.   Interesting how the votes are going, not surprising, just interesting.   

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2555730/Police-Chinas-sin-city-D...

 

 

What illegalization of prostitution looks like.   

onlinediscountanvils

Really compelling interview with [url=https://twitter.com/melissagira]Melissa Gira Grant[/url], sex worker and author of [url=http://www.versobooks.com/books/1568-playing-the-whore]Playing The Whore: The Work of Sex Work[/url], who speaks with Minority Report's Sam Seder about sex work, feminism, prohibition, decriminalization, representation, intersectionality, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y79SjIy0J8

Interview runs from 8:45 to 37:00.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/thinking-of-sex-work-a...

 

Writer Melissa Gira Grant's forthcoming book, Playing the Whore, is a short, focused effort to change the way we publicly talk and think about prostitution and sex work. Rather than focusing on the "sex" part—the risqué acts at which we can shiver in prurience or horror—Grant suggests we focus on "work." By doing so, she argues, sex workers become neither corrupters who need purging, nor victims who need rescuing, but workers who need the sorts of things all workers need—access to healthcare, a safe work environment, and protection from abuse and exploitation.

What is the greatest danger sex workers face? Or what is the most important thing sex workers need? Or are those the wrong questions?

They're impossible questions to answer because people's needs are diverse and people's experiences are diverse. So I think that's the first place to start. There is no one solution, there is no one project, there is no one political point of view that can possibly speak to every single person who has experience in the sex trade.

But starting with the first part, what is the biggest danger? I really think that having to live under systems of criminalization such as that in the United States, where almost everything having to do with selling or buying sex is criminal and often completely unregulated. It's incredibly difficult for people to protect their rights as human beings and workers, to ensure that their civil rights are respected, when you're working in an environment that says, "Well, this isn't actually a job, you kind of get what you deserve. And even more so, you might be a criminal."

Now the new tendency is to call you a victim of the sex industry. So, the problem is not that you've experienced victimization in the sex industry, the problem you have is "the sex industry," and the way we're going to resolve that problem is to remove you from it.

That is a one-prong approach, which is going to fail a lot of people because that's not what people are telling you their problem is when they say, "I experienced an abusive customer." Or, "I experienced a police officer impersonating a customer in order to get free sex from me, and then threatened to arrest me if I didn't do that." Or even when someone says, "I called in sick today at the strip club where I work and I got fined $200, so now I'm going to show up at work the next time owing them money. That feels coercive and exploitative, and also why am I being fined for being sick?" Who else gets fined for being sick?

 

 

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http://essays.bearstrong.net/2013/03/16/what-sex-workers-want/

 

If you ask sex workers want they actually want, the answer is not prohibition, and not the “Nordic model”, but safer working conditions and respect. And their wishes are no longer as easy to ignore as they used to be.

On International Women’s Day this year, March 8, Norwegian feminists marched under banners with slogans like “Prostitution is violence” and “Enforce the sex purchase law”. They believe that the sex trade is a form of buying and selling of women’s bodies, and that it is a patriarchal legacy that should be abolished.

Strikingly absent beneath these banners were the supposed victims, the prostitutes themselves. When one listens to sex trade prohibitionists, one gets the impression that sex workers dream only of being rescued from the hell their lives have become, and that abolishing the sex trade will liberate these women from the pimps and johns who abuse them.
Instead, many sex workers feel betrayed by mainstream feminism. It is difficult enough, they feel, to learn to deal with dangerous clients, STDs, social stigma, and the criminal underworld. Now, on top of that, comes an army of activists who have little knowledge but a lot of power, offering “help” that makes their working conditions more dangerous, not less.
i
The closer someone is to the sex market, the less likely they are to favor prohibition. In Norway, Pro-Sentret, the City of Oslo’s support service for prostitutes, and PION, an interest group for Norwegian sex workers, have been warning for years that the war on prostitution harms the people it is meant to aid.

This is also true internationally. Demands for strict laws against sex work tends to come from groups who, either from ideological or religions reasons, dream of a world entirely free of prostitution. Sex workers themselves have more modest dreams: They want safer working conditions, and to be treated with respect. They have little interest in ideological utopias. Their own safety and well-being comes first.

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http://rightswork.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Issue-Paper-4.pdfhttp://rightswork.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Issue-Paper-4.pdf

 

From 2012.  I always think it is interesting that the Swedish model has been studied, dissected, and debunked by many different scholars and researchers, and yet the media is rarely able to pick up these articles to use when copying out the press releases of the anti sex work factions in their stories.    

 

The Swedish Law To Criminalize Clients:  A Failed Social Experiment

 

The Swedish approach is not practical or reality-based. It envisions a time when all men who purchase sex are either in prison or are so afraid of being arrested that they no longer seek commercial sex, at least not in Sweden. Obviously, it is impossible to arrest, let alone imprison, all men who purchase sex. So, the law is an experiment in social engineering to change the behavior and thoughts of Swedish men. Prior to the law, men did not have to worry about being arrested. The hope was that the mere threat of arrest, plus social stigma, would be enough to change their behavior

The law focuses on increasing the social stigma against buyers, as well as sellers, of sex. Although it is constructed upon the theory that sex workers are passive ‘victims’, in practice, it is intended to increase stigma and discrimination against the sex workers who refuse or are unable to quit selling sex.

 

Bärlüer

A lot of interesting nuggets in this interview with Melissa Gira Grant in Salon:

Quote:

Our labor rights essentially shouldn’t be – for any worker – contingent on whether or not we love our job…

On the one hand, we’re being told move into occupations we love and adore and, sort of, make sacrifices…in how we’re paid or how we’re treated. But on the other hand…sex workers are lined into categories: there are sex workers who love what they do and have choices and then there are people who are oppressed and poor…

Our legal approach to sex work shouldn’t differentiate between people who love sex work and hate sex work. People who hate their work – people who hate their work because it is dangerous – deserve rights equally with people who enjoy their work. In fact, [they] probably stand to gain a lot more from labor protections…

Quote:

[When representing a unionized strip club at a national convention of the Service Employees International Union] the people that I remember having the most positive conversations with about stripping…were nurses and home health service workers. Like they totally got something about the physical labor, and bodily labor and intimacy…Those were the folks that I felt I had the most interesting conversations with about how, you know, what we’re doing is connected…There was no, like, “You’re strippers? What are you doing here?”

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/with-no-career-p...

 

Interesting, in the comments, there are a few who don't believe the story is true, and others who may believe the story is true, but a sex worker would be incapable of actually writing it.  Even tho the story is actually about a university graduate who dabbled in being a sex worker, the thing that sticks in their minds is that sex workers can't write articles that would get published in a news paper lol   

 

Even the guy who refers to Dr. Magnanti, former escort who also wrote Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

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Book review

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sex-workers-need-rights-not-rescue-a...

 

 

For a different take, filled with complete nonsense and missing the point entirely, check out the rabble blogs section for Feminist Current.    

onlinediscountanvils

Naomi Sayers: [url=http://storify.com/kwetoday/indigenous-peoples-sexwork-humantrafficking-... peoples: Sex Work, Human Trafficking, & Colonialism[/url]

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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/mercedes-allen/2014/03/across-left-divid...

 

The language that assumes that one is a traded product during commercial sex is understandably enraging.  It would be natural to be infuriated about sex work if that were really the case.  And this is often the way that abolitionists frame the discussion: as though prostitution sells people.  In reality, sex workers sell an experience, from which a they ultimately walk away, with their capacity to direct their own lives intact and their ownership still in their own hands (as much as is possible for any of us, at least).

It is through this framing that the personhood of sex workers is erased, and replaced with a kind of infantilized victimhood in which sex workers are simply helpless and in need of rescue... even from themselves, perhaps.  It is by portraying the worker as the commodity that is for sale, rather than the service they provide, that people can then argue that a worker's consent is not actually valid consent.  Individual will has ceased to matter.

 

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http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Zealand+work+model/9623498/story.html

 

In the decade since its passage, the Prostitution Reform Act has not resulted in any growth of the sex industry or increase in number of sex workers, nor has the sky fallen.

The Prostitution Law Review Committee, headed by a former police commissioner and charged with reviewing the law’s operation after its enactment, also found that there has been a marked improvement in employment conditions and a decrease in violence against sex workers.

As the Committee concluded, this was possible chiefly because the 2003 law empowered sex workers by removing the illegality of their work. Sex workers and the police appreciate these laws that foster better relationships and create an environment wherein sex workers can more readily report crimes committed against them.

Sex workers, including those who work on the street, in managed brothels, alone or with their peers from home, feel more able to refuse clients or a particular sexual practice, a strong indication that decriminalization of prostitution enhances their autonomy and safety.

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http://rankandfile.ca/?p=2063

 

Some of the public discussion of the role of sex workers in the economy has likened sex workers to small business owners or entrepreneurs; they offer a service often as independent contractors. For many sex workers, this is the case: they negotiate directly with their clients on services and payments, they deal with the management of the finances of their work, they hire and fire driving, security, or other staff. Other sex workers don’t own anything and are employees with employers. These workers may be misclassified as independent contractors in their workplaces, but labour and feminist activists should not be fooled by this common attempt to limit workers’ rights by calling them something they are not like taxi drivers and couriers.

 

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This is the sort of thing people should expect possible if Canada makes prostitution illegal.

 

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Hawaii+lets+cops+have+with+prostitutes+d...

 

HONOLULU — Honolulu police have urged lawmakers to preserve an exemption in Hawaii law that lets undercover officers have sex with prostitutes during investigations. But they won't say how often — or even if — they use the provision.

 

 

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http://www.straight.com/news/615581/open-letter-300-researchers-call-decriminalization-sex-work-canada?comment_mode=1#add-new-comment

 

Re: Evidence-Based Call for Decriminalization of Sex Work in Canada and Opposition to Criminalizing the Purchasing of Sex 

We, the undersigned, are profoundly concerned that the Government of Canada is considering the introduction of new legislation to criminalize the purchasing of sex. The proposed legislation is not scientifically grounded and evidence strongly suggests that it would recreate the same social and health-related harms of current criminalization. We join other sex worker, research, and legal experts across the country and urge the Government of Canada to follow the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision and support decriminalization of sex work as a critical evidence-based approach to ensuring the safety, health, and human rights of sex workers.

A large body of scientific evidence from Canada,[1] Sweden and Norway (where clients and third parties are criminalized), and globally[2] clearly demonstrates that criminal laws targeting the sex industry have overwhelmingly negative social, health, and human rights consequences to sex workers, including increased violence and abuse, stigma, HIV and inability to access critical social, health and legal protections. These harms disproportionately impact marginalized sex workers including female, Indigenous and street-involved sex workers, who face the highest rates of violence and murder in our country. In contrast, in New Zealand, since the passage of a law to decriminalize sex work in 2003, research and the government’s own evaluation have documented marked improvements in sex workers’ safety, health, and human rights.[3]

Therefore, we call on the Government of Canada to join with global leaders, community, researchers and legal experts in rejecting criminalization regimes, including those that criminalize the purchase of sexual services, and instead support the decriminalization of sex work in Canada as scientifically-grounded and necessary to ensuring the safety, health, and human rights of sex workers. Below, we briefly outline our key concerns.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/03/27/lies-damned-lies-and-sex-work-statistics/

 

Lies, damned lies, and sex work statistics

Imagine a study of the alcohol industry which interviewed not a single brewer, wine expert, liquor store owner or drinker, but instead relied solely on the statements of ATF agents, dry-county politicians and members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Or how about a report on restaurants which treated the opinions of failed hot dog stand operators as the basis for broad statements about every kind of food business from convenience stores to food trucks to McDonald’s to five-star restaurants?

You’d probably surmise that this sort of research would be biased and one-sided to the point of unreliable. And you’d be correct. But change the topic to sex work, and such methods are not only the norm, they’re accepted uncritically by the media and the majority of those who the resulting studies. In fact, many of those who represent themselves as sex work researchers don’t even try to get good data. They simply present their opinions as fact, occasionally bolstered by pseudo-studies designed to produce pre-determined results. Well-known and easily-contacted sex workers are rarely consulted . There’s no peer review. And when sex workers are consulted at all, they’re recruited from jails and substance abuse programs, resulting in a sample skewed heavily toward the desperate, the disadvantaged and the marginalized.

This sort of statistical malpractice has always been typical of prostitution research. But the incentive to produce it has dramatically increased in the past decade, thanks to a media-fueled moral panic over sex trafficking. Sex-work prohibitionists have long seen trafficking and sex slavery as a useful Trojan horse.  In its 2010 “national action plan,” for example, the activist group Demand Abolition writes,“Framing the Campaign’s key target as sexual slavery might garner more support and less resistance, while framing the Campaign as combating prostitution may be less likely to mobilize similar levels of support and to stimulate stronger opposition.”

 

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http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/04/03/jesse-kline-the-wrong-way-to-deal-with-prostitution/

 

Indeed, in a 2012 issue paper published by the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at the American University Washington College of Law, researcherAnn Jordan argues that the Nordic “experiment has failed. In the 13 years since the law was enacted, the Swedish government has been unable to prove that the law has reduced the number of sex buyers or sellers or stopped trafficking.”

Part of the problem is that the intellectual underpinnings of the Nordic model are based on a branch of radical feminism that views all prostitutes as victims. In doing so, it marginalizes those who work in the sex trade and are thus most affected by the law. Smith is a proponent of the view of “prostitution as a crime that is inherently harmful to women and girls and therefore must be eliminated.”

The result of this radical ideology in the Swedish context is a legal regime that sees no distinction between those who freely choose to engage in the sex trade and those who are forced into it against their will — a crucial distinction because in a free society, individuals should have the right to freely enter into economic transactions that are agreed to by both parties, but no one should have the right to force another to perform sexual (or any other) services against their will.

The Swedish approach also promotes state-sanctioned discrimination and the marginalization of a specific group of people, namely sex workers. In fact, one of the government’s own reports claimed that this “must be viewed as positive from the perspective that the purpose of the law is indeed to combat prostitution.”

“The Swedish approach disempowers women who happen to be sex workers and prevents them from asserting their labour and other rights,” Jordan argues. “This viewpoint also positions all sex workers as passive objects (not agents) who are not in control of their actions or able to speak for themselves.”

Indeed, the Nordic model is not just antithetical to the personal liberties of those who choose to buy or sell sex, but to the economic freedom of prostitutes, as well. Just like in Canada, prostitution is legal in Sweden, but those who work in the industry do not enjoy the same rights as every other citizen.

Swedish hookers are legally required to pay income taxes, for example, but there is no legal way for them to do so, because they are not allowed to register as a business or an employee. Nor are they permitted to enjoy the social security benefits and labour protections that are available to anyone working in any other industry.

Swedish law also prevents prostitutes from working in secure environments by making it illegal to run a brothel, or rent an apartment or hotel room to operate out of. It is also illegal to run an escort agency, act as a security guard or advertise sexual services.

 

 

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http://rabble.ca/columnists/2014/04/patriarchal-values-dominate-sex-work-debate#comment-1433888

 

.........

I've written previously on the many striking parallels between anti-abortionists and radical feminists. Both cast women as victims and use dehumanizing language to describe sex workers and women who have abortions. Both are paternalistic and don't recognize women's agency. Both demonize third parties as exploiters or profiteers and want to criminalize them -- "pimps" and brothel owners for radical feminists, and abortion providers for anti-abortionists.

Both exploit the sad stories of the minority of women who feel damaged by sex work or abortion, and both ignore the majority who choose sex work or have abortions without regret. Both rely on ideology and emotional appeals, as well as their own B.A.D. science (biased, agenda-driven) full of distorted statistics and fabricated "facts." For example, both falsely claim that abortion and sex work are inherently dangerous and bad for women. And both share the delusion that prostitution and abortion can be abolished via criminal laws, despite overwhelming and conclusive evidence that women cannot be stopped from selling sex or having abortions, and that criminalization of either puts women in danger.

 

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If you posit instead that sex (and sex work) is a means of power that women have over men, and a positive expression of their sexuality and autonomy, then the perspective changes dramatically. I've often wondered -- since feminist prohibitionists blame the patriarchy for prostitution, would it end if we managed to achieve an egalitarian world? My answer is no, since there will always be people who cannot obtain sex, and sex workers would likely enjoy influence and prestige in an egalitarian society. Our modern society's negative attitudes towards promiscuous women are a legacy of patriarchy and the male need to guarantee paternity of children by controlling women's sexual behaviour.

Nickie Roberts said in the foreword to her book Whores in History:

"I am wholeheartedly on the side of the unrepentant whore, the most maligned woman in history…in [this book she] speaks up to denounce and challenge her oppressors, and thereby overcome the centuries of lies, denial and stereotyping that have been her lot. Only when she is listened to by the rest of our society will women finally and irrevocably be able to end our division into Good Girls and Bad Girls."

 

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I think the comments section is worth reading.  I am sure some will read this and walk away oh, noes, she doesn't enjoy bad sex so she must be a victim of whatever whatever.   It is just more that i think we don't all want to have it presumed that we enjoy every minute, and to me all work is like that, no matter if it is or isn't your dream job.  Just as a fast food worker is going to enjoy many parts of their work even tho some of us think we are better than having to be reduced to work at McD's or something.   many clients hate the idea that sex workers might be forced to provide, but that isn't really the topic of this article. The topic is the growing numbers of men who find it a condition of seeing a sex worker that she fully and enthusiastically enjoys their time together, on a sexual level, every time.  which is unrealistic given that sex workers are really just women, like other women, sometimes we are in the mood, and sometimes not, but in any case we agree and consent to a partner, or a client, because they are our partner, or our client.   :)

 

http://titsandsass.com/getting-away-with-hating-it-consent-in-the-context-of-sex-work/

 

“Getting Away” With Hating It: Consent in the Context of Sex Work

As a sex worker, I additionally reject the enthusiastic consent yardstick as a determination of rape because there is a stark difference between the times I’ve agreed to (undesired) sex with clients, and the times I haven’t agreed to certain types of sex with clients

Labeling all of those experiences “rape” erases the truth, my reality, and my agency.

It also means, as many sex workers have pointed out when dealing with prohibitionist propaganda, that my “yes” and my “no” while I’m working are equally meaningless, so there would be no difference between my experience with a client who respects my boundaries and one who doesn’t. 

As an adult human being, I assume responsibility for my own best interests. Sometimes I decide those interests are best served by freely consenting to unwanted sex.

zerocarbs

Hi Fortunate, I am not a sex-worker nor have I ever met very many, but I find most of your links and analysis very interesting. Thank you for having consolidated so much concentrated information into this thread. I am certain that decrim is the way to go, even if prostitution itself might present certain problems to some of its practitioners.

I have a somewhat hypocritical attitude to prostitution, but that probably relates to the way I was brought up (I'm in my sixties). In particular, I was absolutely appalled to find that an attractive young table dancer was doing "dance" work plus extras to cover her tuition. The hypocrisy was that I firmly believe any adult young woman should be free to persue whatever type of work she choses, whether it's sex work or waiting tables. But I was none-the-less absolutely shocked that this particular young woman felt compelled to basically engage in prostitution to cover her school tuition. Something has gone seriously wrong with this country if her case is common.

I guess my thinking is that that sort funding option shouldn't be even remotely common (although Brooke Magnanti was a great exception) - although it should certainly be an option.

But that's the crux of my hypocrisy: if sex work is just fine, then it should be just fine as a way of funding tuition. But if it becomes standard practice that a woman who seeks higher eduction has to fund it through sex work... sorry, that makes me very uneasy. Its a race to a very creepy bottom.

Note: I spent most of my career prostituting my mind to the IT industry (not exaggerating: it really felt like that) If I'd been willing to be a male prostitute, I might have been a much happier man. Although actually I should have gone into one of the trades. I've become quite a good amateur electritian and it's so much more satisfying than any of the IT work I ever did.

Cheers, Mo PS - signing off now. Babble Drives me nuts.

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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2014/05/what-does-representative-sex-worker-look?utm_content=buffer4b7bf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

The point is, there is no "representative" sex worker. We come from all walks of life. It should not surprise anyone that there are sex workers who can string three sentences together. The stereotype of the utterly desperate, drug-addicted and intellectually deficient street walker is not an accurate characterization of the people who work in my industry (nor is it an accurate characterization of all street workers or all drug using sex workers). Are there people who fit this stereotype? Yes. They are not representative of all sex workers, just like I am not representative of all sex workers. All of our experiences are legitimate and all of them matter. There is no one sex worker who can speak for all of us.

When making government policy, it is essential that the experiences and perspectives of all sex workers are taken into account. Legislators need to consider the views of those who choose sex work from among several options, as well as those who choose it because they feel it is the only option. Legislators should also consider the most vulnerable members of my community, and determine what course of action would be most beneficial for them (the available evidence suggests that decriminalization is the model which best helps all people who work in the sex industry).

 

 

 

The point is, you don't know what we're like or why we do sex work unless you actually know us, so don't make any assumptions about us without at least talking to us. Finally, never speak for us or over us. We are capable of speaking for ourselves, so listen to us when we do, and seek out our perspectives if we aren't fortunate enough to have access to a communication platform.

fortunate

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NotYourRescueProject&src=hash

 

Josh Garcia ‏@55_pajama  7h

Because I am diminshed as a human being when others tell me I can't make my own choices

 

Molli Desi ‏@MolliDesi  May 21

When will the #humantrafficking lies be exposed ?

 

Sangue Rosa ‏@cagnaglamour  May 20

Trying to post on #feminist websites. Minute they see I enjoy being #submissive, nothing but backlash.

 

Kathryn ‏@kathrynbardot  Apr 7

I'd LOVE to see your stats source @MinPeterMacKay "Prostitutes are predominately victims"

 

Scarlet Alliance ‏@scarletalliance  Feb 22

If exit programs were about skills/options why would I have to sign agreement to stop #sexwork to get the training?

 

Baronesa the fringe ‏@Baronesa1980  Jan 5

#notyourrescueproject

Consensual labor = work

Nonconsensual labor = slavery

Stop conflating those two, you damn SWERF

 

Pasta ‏@pastachips  Jan 3

Coz 'rescuers' can't even bring themselves to talk to us if we're not sayin what they wana hear

 

whoretic ‏@whoretic  Jan 2

#notyourrescueproject because telling me you know better than me about my life is oppression; not liberation

 

Laurelai Bailey ‏@stuxnetsource  Jan 2

Im #NotYourRescueProject because im a human being, if you want to truly help me then ask me what i want and give it to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fortunate

What happens in Amsterdam

 

http://behindtheredlightdistrict.blogspot.ie/2014/05/amsterdams-cure-for...

 

Since the project has started, the city government has closed dozens of windows. Not because they found criminal activities, since they lost every single court case on that, but simply with money. They bought out the owners of the windows. Today those windows are being occupied by artists and other 'creative' people, of which most don't even pay rent, or pay very little rent at all.
Where the women have gone to that where working in those windows however, nobody knows. The city government of Amsterdam was apparently so interested in saving these girls from forced prostitution, that they simply forgot they even existed. The girls where without a room to work, and literally where on the street the next day. Nobody knows where these women are now, since the other windows are already occupied by other girls working there.

t's a pure guess what happened to the women. Did they find another window in Amsterdam? I doubt that, since there are already so many girls who want to work behind a window, and there's a fight for a window every single day, I doubt there was room for these girls to work there as well. So what where did the city government do for the women that lost their place to work? Did the city government offer them anything? Did they offer them another job? Did they offer them another place to work? Did they ever ask them how these girls could now pay the rent to their apartments? Did they ever ask those girls how they could live without a place to work? No!
The city government didn't do anything, for those girls they supposedly where 'so worried' about. In stead, all they did was buy more windows, leaving less room for girls to work in, pushing them away into nothingness.

fortunate

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/rescued-to-death/

 

This essay first appeared in Cliterati on April 27th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.

Though it’s wrapped in layers of feminist and “anti-crime” rhetoric, the truth is that the war on whores (whether in its pure form or disguised as concern over “sex trafficking”) is “deeply rooted in Protestant Christianity’s obsession with ‘pure and pious womanhood’, and even when there is no Christian group involved in a prohibitionist scheme the same themes of sin and degradation echo through their rhetoric, even if translated for a non-Christian audience.”  One of the most telling examples of this can be seen in prohibitionist adoption of the “hate the sin, love the sinner” doctrine:  we are repeatedly told that prohibitionists only want tohelp sex workers, to “rescue” us from “objectification” and “degradation”, to “save” us from our own choices.  As Furry Girl put it:

They support us!  They acknowledge our choices!  They see us as real people!  And they can’t wait to show their loving solidarity with us by putting us in jail, taking away our income, and making our jobs as dangerous as possible…They see nothing odd about trying to have it both ways:  being the heroic would-be saviors of the fallen with one hand, and with the other, the cause of the fallen’s increasing unhappiness.  They’re the abusive boyfriend who brings you flowers after giving you a black eye

 

fortunate

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/we-wont-go-away/

 

 As Charlotte Shane explains at length in a recent essay, prohibitionists are now harping on how sex work is “hidden” while simultaneously recognizing that clients have no trouble finding us.  In a pathetic, yet dangerous attempt to make their fantasy of “invisible, voiceless” sex workers trapped in a “dark underworld” true, they continuously attack the online advertising which makes us anything but “invisible”, pretend that the many sex workers who speak online are “privileged” and “unrepresentative”, and ridiculously brand all of our allies from the UN to Human Rights Watch to academics who study the sex industry as “pimps”.

fortunate
fortunate

 

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/guest-columnist-molli-desi...

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/guest-columnist-molli-desi...

 

Molli Desi is one of the small number of Devadasi (sacred prostitutes of India) still remaining; she and Rani Desi, a Nagarvadhu (high priestess) now live in Londonand are active on Twitter, which is how I got to know them.  A few years ago Molli was trapped in one of the rescue industry’s many “rescue centers”, but eventually escaped; I asked if she would share the story on my blog and she graciously consented to do so

 

 In reality, though, it is the NGOs who are the real traffickers; sex workers and other women they capture are a commodity that they buy and sell.   To get money from USAID they must promise to be anti-prostitution, and to get money from other donorsthey use women they have captured to put on shows.  The women are even given false ages to make it look like they are very young; they told the court and donors that I was 12 years old though I was actually 17, and one woman of 23 was said to be 16.

 

.....

My main accusation against the “rescuers” is that everyone presumes that they take proper care of those they “rescue”; in truth, however, the NGOs havecomplete power over their victims. There is no proper protection for women and girls they detain, so it is very common for centre staff to rape them.  Though the Government is supposed to supervise orphanages and centres, the reality is that it lacks the capacity to do so; all NGOs know there is inadequate supervision, and many of them resist external accountability and will pay the few inspectors who do come to give them clean reports.  This power and impunity from consequences invites abuses of all kinds, such as the way the night guard charged his friends for sex with us; personally, though, I did not find the sex trading for telephone credit and food nearly as bad as the way the women senior staff acted toward us.  They want sex workers to be forced into domestic work or garment factory work, or to be married to low caste men; they know they are trapped inside patriarchy and resent our determination to live free.  You can find many “rescue” stories on the internet, but most of them are usually mediated by the “rescuers”; if you read my account here and the various links I have included, you will hear another truth.

fortunate

http://www.policymic.com/articles/89867/9-lies-we-have-to-stop-telling-a...

 

9 Lies We Have To Stop Telling About Sex WorkersImage Credit: Getty

Sex work is probably one of the most controversial topics of our times, the oldest profession in history. The past 100 years have seen many shifts in public perception of the sex industry from good time girls to girls for sale.  

As a sex worker of 10 years who has been involved in activism and policy work, I have heard the full gamut of assumptions people make about the industry, which is easy to do — the media does not allow much room for nuanced portrayals of the lives of sex workers. 

Such perceptions can lead to increased stigma, dangerous laws and discrimination, however, so let's go over nine of the biggest lies told about sex work.

 

Bacchus
fortunate

 

Great article.   Great information, and no, I never knew that about her.  

 

It comes to this: there is no way, in the minds of most people, to have worked as a prostitute and not be ashamed of it. Most people believe there is no way to have held this job (and it is a job), move onto other things, and not consider it a “seamy life” or “shameful secret.” To most people, there is no way a woman of Maya Angelou’s caliber could ever have performed as a sex worker. The idea just won’t gel for them, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the truth.

Maya Angelou: Poet Laureate, Pulitzer nominee, Tony Award winner, best selling author, poetess, winner of more than 50 honorary degrees, mother, sister, daughter, wife, National Medal of Arts winner, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, consummate and powerful woman, artist, and former sex worker. Yes, the woman you love, the woman we all love, the incomparable Dr. Maya Angelou was a sex worker and she proved, in her life and her stories, that there’s nothing wrong with it.

fortunate

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/28/heres_why_it_matters_when_a_human_rights...

 

Here’s why it matters when a human rights crusader builds her advocacy on lies

Newsweek's cover story on Somaly Mam shows us how harmful sex-trafficking journalism can be for women
 .....

What anti-trafficking NGOs are saving women from, in other words, is a life outside the international garment trade, which, according to folks who sell us our clothes, is no kind of life at all — even though folks in those jobs tell me they can barely survive. About one-seventh of the world’s population of women works in the garment industry, which very rarely pays more than half a living wage (including to folks who work fast fashion retail in U.S. urban centers). This helps keep women in poverty around the globe.

So it does matter, Newsweek, that key parts of Somaly’s story aren’t true. She’s “saving girls” by installing them firmly within a system of entrenched, gender-based poverty. This matters to all of us who would like to see that system’s demise.

 

fortunate

Newsweek article about Mam

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/30/somaly-mam-holy-saint-and-sinner-sex-trafficking-251642.html 

 

.......

Another of Mam's biggest "stars" was Meas Ratha, who as a teenager gave a chilling performance on French television in 1998, describing how she had been sold to a brothel and held against her will as a sex slave.

Late last year, Ratha finally confessed that her story was fabricated and carefully rehearsed for the cameras under Mam's instruction, and only after she was chosen from a group of girls who had been put through an audition. Now in her early 30s and living a modest life on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Ratha says she reluctantly allowed herself to be depicted as a child prostitute: "Somaly said that...if I want to help another woman I have to do [the interview] very well."

She, like Pross, was never a victim of sex trafficking; she and a sister were sent to AFESIP in 1997 because their parents were unable to care for all seven of their children. 

.......

Experts in sex trafficking say that while it is a serious problem, the scale and dynamics of the situation are often misunderstood, in part because of lurid, sensationalistic stories such as those told by Mam and her "girls." In 2009, 14 organizations and academics, including George Soros's Open Society Foundations, wrote a letter to Salty Features, an independent film production company based in New York, to thank it for its interest in making a film about Mam's work in Cambodia.

But they advised against having the documentary focus on Mam due to AFESIP's lack of understanding of the sex industry. In an interview for Euronews in 2012, Mam said girls as young as 3 are being held in Cambodian brothels. Experts in the field say that is almost unheard-of. Patrick Stayton, who formerly ran the Christian, faith-based International Justice Mission (IJM) in Cambodia, says, "They may have had a supply of younger girls between the age of 14 and 17," but adds, "We've never seen prepubescent girls, or very, very rarely." 

.............

In response to a newspaper story about victim stories allegedly fabricated by Mam, Sébastien Marot, the executive director of Friends International, an organization that helps train and educate children in precarious situations, posted a response on the organization's website: "A large number of organizations get sucked into using children to raise funds: making them talk about the abuse they survived in front of a camera, having their picture in a pitiful situation published for everyone to see. In worst cases, the truth is distorted or the stories invented to attract more compassion and money. The impact on the lives of these children is terrible: If they come from an abusive situation, such a process re-traumatizes them and in any case it stigmatizes them forever." 

 

YinYang64

Here's a link to an article that provides some stats on the economics of sex work: http://www.alternet.org/economy/does-sex-work-beat-walmart-type-jobs

The data is for the US, and it analyses WalMart and other retail jobs as a comparison.

 

One database puts the average current salary for prostitutes in Ohio at $41,000. Generally, mid-range online escorts who book their own clients can make around $200 to $300 per hour, though this number would go up in a big city. In New York, the highest ranked escort can earn over $5,000 in an hour. At that level, of course, substantial funds must be invested in designer clothes and expensive grooming.

 

onlinediscountanvils

POWER & Pivot: [url=http://www.powerottawa.ca/Briefing_Note_C-36_Social_Science_Evidence.pdf... Workers and Bill C-36: Analysis based on Social Science Evidence[/url]

fortunate

This link was posted in another thread, some months ago.  On the topic itself, it is good to note that after first attempts to get this stopped (from 1999), this year NYC announced that condoms would no longer be used as evidence.    anyways, not why i am including the link:

  http://www.vice.com/read/new-york-cops-will-arrest-you-for-carrying-condoms

From there, this is mentioned:

Mainstream feminism might remember that the war on women always starts with the war on whores. Then, that category expands to include everyone but the white virgin tying her knees together in church. Until 1996, Ireland locked up unmarried moms and rape victims in Magdalene Laundries, where nuns worked them to death to cleanse their imaginary sins. The nuns built those Magdalene Laundries to imprison sex workers. Tens of thousands of women died within their walls, of every walk of life except the very wealthiest.

 

Which leads me to remind people that these nuns are still in the business of 'rescuing' sex workers.  They are now called Ruhama, 

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2014/03/page/3/

As regular readers know, the chief organization crusading for imposition of the Swedish model on Ireland is Ruhama, the new mask worn by the orders of nuns who for centuries enslaved many thousands of women in the horrible Magdalene laundries.  Just barely over a year ago I published “Puppet Show”, in which I shared information from Irish and British activists exposing Ruhama’s chief puppet, Justine Reilly, as a convicted “pimp” with a long history of “reframing her experiences” to transform herself from ruthless businesswoman to naïve hooker to pathetic victim of “pimps” herself (whichever was most profitable at the time).

  But soon after that column appeared, Ruhama unveiled a new star, Rachel Moran, whom they paid to present herself as the author of a fabricated memoir entitled Paid For.  I say fabricated because over a year before it appeared a correspondent wrote to me saying that during a bad time she had shared her own unfinished memoir with people from Ruhama and had reason to believe they had photocopied much of it and would in the near future build some tragedy porn around it; when this book appeared she confirmed that much of it was plagiarized from her manuscript.  But while Moran’s pantomime performance as victim-turned-author seems credible to True Believers and ignoramuses, it is utterly unbelievable to those involved in the tiny and close-knit world of sex work in Dublin.

fortunate

More fraud in sex trafficking myth  http://humantraffickingstatistics.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/human-trafficking-activists-lying-about-sex-trafficking/

 

Sex trafficking instructor invoved in the movie “Taken”  sentenced for lying about human trafficking

This is just one of many sex trafficking activists that are caught telling lies.  Since forced sex trafficking is so rare.  These anti prostitution groups need to invent victims in order to get attention and money in to their organizations. Most liars are not sent to jail as they should be. Movies about forced sex trafficking are works of fiction, just like most movies are.

....

Additionally, the FBI said Hillar fabricated a gruesome tale that his own daughter had been kidnapped, forced into sex slavery, sodomized and tortured before being hacked to death with machetes and thrown into the sea. He further claimed that this experience and his life story was the basis for the 2008 film “Taken”. The significant press attention that film generated, in turn, generated free press for his business. Hillar admitted he fabricated the story about his daughter, who was alive and well.

 

fortunate

http://humantraffickingstatistics.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/sex-trafficking-and-prostitution-are-not-the-same-thing-no-victims-found/

 

Sex Trafficking Sex Slavery is used by many groups as a attempt to outlaw all adult consensual prostitution around the world by saying that all women that have sex are victims even if they do it willing. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims. This is done by the media, aid groups, NGO’s, feminists, politicians,  and religious organizations that receive funds from the government

. There are very strong groups who promote that all adult women who have sex are victims even if they are willing, enjoy it and go out of there way to get it. These groups try to get the public to believe that no adult women in their right mind would ever go into the sex business unless she was forced to do so, weather she knew it or not. They say that 100% of all sex workers are trafficking victims. They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution.

Which is what their real goal is. There is almost no one who challenges or questions them about their false beliefs. Therefore, the only voices you hear are of these extreme groups. These groups want to label all men as terrible sex offenders for seeing a willing adult woman. No one stands up to say this is foolish, the passive public says nothing. These groups even say that all men who marry foreign women are terrible sex predators who take advantage of these “helpless foreign women wives”.

The poster below was made by migrant sex workers (they call themselves that) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the EMPOWER [4] centre. I have posted it before but so many people are still unaware of the problems associated with Rescue that I like to re-run it. See for yourself the reasons workers at Barn Su Funn Brothel gave for denouncing raids and rescue operations intended to liberate them, whether rescuers are police officers, ngo employees or even celebrities and then think twice about how you will Fix Their Lives so easily.

These sex workers complain that when the Police and anti-prostitution groups “rescue” them, they do more harm then good.

Rescued sex workers complain that being “rescued” creates the problems below:

• We lose our savings and our belongings.

• We are locked up.

• We are interrogated by many people.

• They force us to be witnesses.

• We are held until the court case

. • We are held till deportation.

• We are forced re-training.

• We are not given compensation by anybody.

• Our family must borrow money to survive while we wait.

• Our family is in a panic.

• We are anxious for our family.

• Strangers visit our village telling people about us.

• The village and the soldiers cause our family problems.

• Our family has to pay ‘fines’ or bribes to the soldiers.

• We are sent home.

• Military abuses and no work continues at home.

• My family has a debt.

• We must find a way back to Thailand to start again.

 

The poster brings us close to a situation many people doubt: that poorer migrants selling sex often prefer to continue what they’re doing to being forcibly rescued by people on anti-trafficking crusades.

This is not to cast doubt on many helpers’ good intentions or the genuine rescue of some individuals. But it shows how rescue agents haven’t consulted the prostitutes they want to save first, to find out whether they want to be helped and, if they do, what kind of help would actually be helpful. The poster makes it clear that cutting migrant women off from their source of income has drastic consequences for themselves and their families.

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