Cops

Home Cops

The Week In Links: April 29

As bodies continue to be uncovered in Long Island, LI sex workers arm themselves for work. Meanwhile, local police keep “cracking down” on prostitutes, claiming that their press for arrests was in place before the serial killer gained national attention.

Audacia Ray offers a concise critique of the so called “superheroes” of New York who are pledging to protect prostitutes from the Long Island serial killer with their martial art skills. Everything about their approach and the media surrounding it is, frankly, a bunch of unhelpful paternalistic bullshit.

A photo has been released of the Seattle man charged with raping and torturing a sex worker. Police are asking other victims to come forward. .

Brooke Magnanti (Belle De Jour) addresses the obfuscation and hysteria that dominates discussions of  trafficking, porn, and sex work.

Hawaii is considering two different bills to suppress prostitution, neither of which is well-considered.

A former stripper is suing a Detroit strip club for firing her after she refused to perform sex acts on customers. Check out the video; the plaintiff uses the term “modern day sex slaves” but doesn’t provide any evidence of coercion and instead talks rampant drug use by her fellow dancers and ends with a moral plea to protect women from stripping altogether. The strip club owner admits there’s drug use at his club, but points out that there’s drug (ab)use in many professions.

Dickish Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew fame is running for mayor of Miami on the platform of requiring strippers to buy work permits. (“Fellas, relax,” he tells the customers. Because god knows dudes spending their expendable income shouldn’t be the ones paying more when you can tax the women trying to make a living.)

Police are looking into unsolved prostitute murders across the entire country in attempt to connect them with a recently charged serial killer suspect from Reno. Joseph Naso is charged with murdering four women. The media is speculating that some of those women were prostitutes but the police won’t confirm.

Working Mother Arrested in Sting Operation


I woke up one morning last week to this story: During a sting operation in West Oakland, a 25-year-old woman was arrested when she agreed to have sex with an undercover officer in exchange for money. After being arrested, she told the police that her two twins (some reports state their age as one year, others as one month) were sleeping in her locked car nearby where she had left them to work. The children were then turned over to Alameda County child protective services, and the woman was charged with willful cruelty to a child in addition to solicitation.

Why I Call Myself A Prostitute

Earlier this year, I taped a radio segment for the Judith Reagan show with Susie Bright and Sarah White. Both are intelligent, open-minded, and progressive women. But when Judith Regan read my provided bio (“Charlotte is a prostitute,”) each turned to me with raised eyebrows and smiles. There may have even been giggles. I had the impression they were offering me their support in the face of Judith calling me something rude. After all, “prostitute” still strikes most people as a dirty word.

Part of their reactions, in this circumstance, may have been inspired by Judith’s resonant, provocative delivery. (There’s a reason the woman’s given a microphone for three hours straight.) But part of it was probably the nakedness of the term. With “prostitute,” there’s no euphemistic softening of the reality as there is with “escort” or “companion” or “callgirl,” no prettying up of the transaction taking place. The difference between these terms is not fundamental; it’s all about presentation. If you do an image search for escort or callgirl, you’ll see a lot of pictures of traditionally attractive women in lingerie, posing against a bland background or somewhere indoors. If you image search “prostitute,” you’re going to see a lot of seedy settings and red light ambiance.

How to Avoid Getting Busted

 

 

www.thegeishadiaries.com (Meeshee Photography)

The Geisha Diaries published a great post this week on how to avoid trouble with law enforcement. Every escort should take a look at this piece in particular, and the site is also a great resource in general for sex workers.

Protect, Don’t Prosecute


(Reposted in full from The Red Umbrella Project)

In the week leading up to December 17, 2010 – the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers – the remains of four women who were killed while doing sex work were discovered on a beach in Long Island. Over the past two weeks, the remains of six more bodies have been found in the same area. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer has requested that anyone involved in the sex industry who may have information about the disappearance of colleagues come forward and share this information with the police. But there remains a rather large barrier: prostitution is criminalized, and sex workers have no guarantee that we will be protected from prosecution if we step forward. Therefore, we are calling for amnesty for all prostitution related offenses in Suffolk County until the killer is apprehended.