The Week in Links

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Courtney Stodden. (Photo courtesy of JPAvocat)

Courtney Stodden’s “sex tape” got released early, but really, as Dr Chauntelle Tibbels points out, it’s porn, making this the most official sex work Stodden has ever done.  The 20 year old got married at 16 to that creepy guy from the X-Files and won all our hearts with her unabashed gold-digging ways.  Welcome to the club, Courtney.

Attention, New Zealand workers: A sex worker was attacked in Christchurch last week.  In a heartening example of what legal rights can do, the Prostitutes’ Council was able to issue an alert to its members and police are investigating the crime.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief: noted sex worker hating, transphobic academic Sheila Jeffreys is retiring.

A couple of DEA agents were busted for illegally running a strip club in New Jersey. They didn’t disclose their purchase of the club to the agency, which said that the club made the DEA a potential target for blackmail.

Alex Tichelman was sentenced to six years in prison after she pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the heroin overdose death of her client, Google executive Forrest Hayes; the criminalization of both drug users and sex workers were contributing factors.

rabble.ca has decided in favor of retaining Megan Murphy’s writing on the site and using it in the future, finding that it is not actually too violent against sex workers, transphobic, or racist.  They’d know better than we do, I suppose.

In the latest update on 8 Minutes, Ariana Lange reports on the interactions between the show’s producers and the overburdened, unequipped Houston resources they sent sex workers to. Elijah Rising’s Cat French told Lange of Kevin Brown “…he went off the goddamn rails.”

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April Brogan (image via @brogan_rebecca)

April Brogan (image via @brogan_rebecca)

Melissa Gira Grant’s story about April Brogan’s death from withdrawal complications while in jail is a heartbreaking look at how little regard the justice system has for sex worker lives. Our Caty is quoted on the double stigma drug-using sex workers face.

A woman running an underground brothel in Germany has been busted; her workers, undocumented Chinese migrants, will be deported.

A new Cambodian study reiterates what the Lancet already proved: further marginalization and criminalization of sex workers, even in the guise of ending trafficking, only puts us more at risk.

Sex workers don’t owe you any answers” is a sharp, smart, and sadly necessary reminder by Alana Massey that we do not, in fact, owe you answers.  Not to friends, not to teachers, and definitely not to sad little clovers on the internet:

“The best thing sex work taught me was that men will take every opportunity to demand things they feel entitled to,” Bruiser told me in a direct message on Twitter. “I literally owe them exactly nothing.”

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Sex work blogger, activist and T&S contributor Mistress Matisse subtley tells Pastor Brown how she feels.

Sex work blogger, activist and T&S contributor Mistress Matisse subtly tells Pastor Brown how she feels. (Photo via @mistressmatisse’s Twitter feed.)

Possibly cancelled A&E reality TV show 8 Minutes reneged on its promise to help sex workers. Some argue that their lives were made worse after filming. The subsequent backlash has attracted a lot of negative press for the show; representatives from the show don’t seem to be responding to any journalists’ inquiries, including our own at T&S. The good news: the controversy highlighted the endless strength of Whore Nation.

We covered sex worker activist Jill Brenneman’s life altering experience with an unhinged, violent client here. The rest of her life is pretty fascinating, too. Read about it in this poorly written but well-intentioned piece for Salon.

Journalists frequently rely on a sexy, sinister narrative when covering sex work; such is the case with Alix Tichelman, the sex worker that abandoned her client as he overdosed on heroin.

Is anyone surprised to learn that the biggest profiteers of Kiev’s sex industry are its police officers?

Will noted whorephobe and transphobe Megan Murphy get canned from rabble.ca? Probably not, but one can dream. [READ MORE]

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baltimore Hundreds of people protested in Chicago on Tuesday, in support of Baltimore and the many casualties of police brutality, including Mya Hall.

A Vietnamese restaurant owner turned her restaurant into a lucrative side business for herself and women being exploited by local factories, which, of course had to be stopped.

The San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival is coming up, May 15th-24th.

Jessica Pilley, author of Policing Sexuality, the history of the Mann Act, goes over the history of anti-trafficking activism and its ties to racist immigration and border policies as well as the development of the surveillance state.

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Grindr screenshot, from Instagram user iamnastynate

This is new: a hyperbolic clickbait article about a rise in gay male sex workers.  Apparently—contrary to the hysterical Australian articles of a few months ago—hookup apps are facilitating paid sex, and not driving it out of business.  Whew!

The workers at Nevada’s Bunny Ranch are campaigning for Hillary Clinton under the slogan “Hookers for Hillary.”

Two very determined runaways who engaged in survival sex work have been caught by police and are being touted as trafficking victims.  One managed to escape, while the younger one was sent back to the family she ran away from.

Given the recent protests by South Korean sex workers to have the Special Law on the Sex Trade repealed, here’s a history on sex work in South Korea.

This for-profit company is claiming it can help trafficking victims by allowing law enforcement to skip the subpoena and instead pay Rescue Forensics for the online histories of sex workers. But, as Melissa Gira Grant points out,

In the eyes of advocates who work to support actual trafficking victims who may need emergency legal help, housing, or medical care, Rescue Forensics is a product built to solve a poorly defined, if not entirely nonexistent, problem: the lifespan of an online ad. “The assumption that advertising websites do not maintain information,” [Kate] D’Adamo explained, “or that this kind of advertisement is not accessible to law enforcement is not only absurd, it is a willful ignorance.”

In what makes a good tie-in to Lime Jello’s earlier post on Tits and Sass about studying sex work, Noah Berlatsky writes about the unique and necessary perspective sex workers bring to sex work research—when they’re allowed to do it.

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