After the arrest of activist and sex worker Monica Jones, we’ve decided to keep a close eye on Phoenix, Ariz.’s Project R.O.S.E. program. Just a hunch, but it seems a few Project ROSE-ers are keeping an eye on us, too! A big thanks to Project ROSE for reminding us that we should be oh-so-grateful to have the option of forced rehabilitation over arrest.
Red Umbrella Project, the S.H.I.N.E. Project of the Community Health Network, and Persist Health Project will be hosting a Day of Sex Worker Health and Wellness, including a drop-in workshop on medical services and free, confidential sexually transmitted infection testing for those in the sex trades on November 19th at 7pm, at 147 Prince Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. This event will be free and open to the public,but it is especially designed to meet the needs of people in the sex trades.
Our own Tits and Sass co-editor Josephine helped compile a list of the best recent online nonfiction on sex work for Longform.
A new draft of bill AB640, currently stalled in the California Senate, would not only mandate condom use on porn sets for both oral sex and intercourse, but would also instruct employers to provide performers with protective eyewear to avoid ocular contact with semen. (In fact, there are unenforced laws on the books right now that demand these safety measures as well.) We’d like to leave this at that with no additional commentary besides “WTF?”, but since one of us once made a sheepish visit to her local clinic after her boyfriend’s spunk flew into her eye, we have to add that we know firsthand how low the risk of STI transmission is through that route.
Eric Barry tells HuffPo about his difficulties finding a job after outing himself as a former escort on his podcast, Full Disclosure: “I’ve stayed true to myself, and I can say unequivocally I have no regrets about that. But rent looms.” We feel you, dude.
Two new studies on Australian and Thai airports reveal bizarre biases in custom officials regarding whom they stop under suspicion of sex work or being a trafficking victim. Packing lingerie, being Asian, and whether or not the purported victim cries are apparently key factors.
In a story we missed last month, South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma pledged his continued support for the decriminalization of prostitution. Decriminalization will remain on the agenda of the newly appointed SA Law Reform Commission.
On July 2nd, 24 year old Turkish trans sex worker Dora Oezer was murdered by a client. The following Friday, a 100 plus person protest against transphobic violence, organized by Turkish sex workers’ rights organization Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, was held in Istanbul, while a similar protest was held in Berlin. International sex worker community outrage over Dora’s murder and the murder of Swedish sex worker Petite Jasmine have led to plans for further Justice for Dora/Justice for Jasmine protests in eighteen European cities, six Australian cities, three North American cities, and Seoul today outside of Swedish and Turkish embassies. While most of the mainstream media has maintained silence on this topic, HuffPo UK did run a sympathetic piece, as did The Local. Stay tuned for a Tits and Sass exclusive interview with Turkish sex workers on Dora’s murder and the realities of trans sex workers’ lives in Turkey, to be posted next week.
NYC sex workers’ rights org The Red Umbrella Project and its lit mag, Prose and Lore, hit the big time with a profile on ABC News.
Occasionally, Jezebel renews our faith in it by doing things like running this great piece on copwatching escort Nicole Masterson.
Toronto police have yet to classify homeless sex worker Kassandra Bolduc’s death as a murder. Local charities and the homeless community are concerned that there have not been enough press releases urging people with information on the case to come forward.
The four religious congregations that have refused to contribute to the compensation fund for residents of their former Magdalene laundries have combined assets worth €1.5 billion, the Irish Times reports.
An Alwaba article on Syrian refugees in Lebanon turning to survival sex work is more nuanced than most on “the delicate line between prostitution and sexual exploitation.”
Apparently, we should legalize prostitution to fight terrorism (?) and to provide lonely men with companionship, not because, you know, sex workers might want labor rights. As the kids on the internet say, FAIL.
Registration for the Desiree Alliance Conference is still open with hotel room discounts until July 7th.
Tensions over escorting simmer in rural Australian towns, where touring sex workers follow the market that transient miners create, even after the Queensland Supreme Court upheld a ruling that allows hotel owners to refuse accommodations to sex workers.
Beijing police rejected the ruling of a Guangdong court in southern China stating that “happy ending” massages are legal.
Kenyan activists have raised the alarm over increasing attacks targeting gay men, male sex workers and transgender women after three brutal assaults, all within the span of several weeks.
Scotland’s bill to criminalize clients of sex workers seems to have failed. No official coverage on that yet, but MSP Rhoda Grant, the proposed law’s main backer, issued a statement on her web site today about how disappointed she was, which was then taken down. Diligent sex workers’ rights activists kept screenshots, however. [Update—Scottish sex workers’ rights org SCOT-PEP issued a press release announcing the defeat of Grant’s bill.-ed.]
Ireland will pay several hundred former residents of Catholic-run Magdalene laundries at least 34.5 million euros ($45 million) to compensate them for years of unpaid labor and human rights abuses, the government announced Wednesday, following a decade-long campaign by laundry survivors.
Meanwhile, The Irish Times reports that a law criminalizing payment for sex has been recommended by the Oireachtas Committee on Justice. Tellingly, the article quotes a representative of Ruhama, one of the organizations behind the Magdalene Laundries, in which countless sex workers were incarcerated and abused, as being in favor of the bill.
Courtney Trouble, progressive porn maker extraordinaire, asked quirky indie actress Ellen Page what she thought of feminist porn, and she responded with a rousing endorsement. We personally have always wanted Ellen Page’s approval.
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.