The Week in Links

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The Week In Links—August 9th

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Elle, from her martial arts training

WNYC did a segment on transgender and sex worker self-defense training with Daisey Lopez and Sempai Elena, “THE self-defense instructor for New York sex workers.”

We Got This: A Zine about Screening, Safe Calls & Buddy Systems For Safer Indoor Sex Work” has been released by Born Whore/Juliet November. It’s a PDF pamphlet that compiles a lot of valuable safety information.

Eliot Spitzer made life harder for sex workers and is remorseless about it, Melissa Gira Grant reminds us.

Sydney Leathers went HAM on the male ego (and talks about being a sugar baby) in this astonishing piece for XOJane.

Gnarly concern trolling in the wake of the murders of sex workers: “Show me a child who deserves to grow up a heroin addicted street sex worker. No one gets to choose their parents.” Thankfully Tracy Connelly’s actual family speaks here, and her partner here.

The Week In Links: March 25

An update on Oregon’s strip club debate, Oregon’s sex-trafficking bills, and Colorado’s john schools.

Care to read about truck drivers’ “commercial sex contacts“?

You should definitely care to watch this inspiring video of Cambodian sex workers and allies marching for rights.

It’s also worth checking out Amanda Marcotte’s commentary on teachers with a sex working past.

Canberra sex workers want changes to the law that will support their safety and privacy. Naturally, anti sex work folks (masquerading as anti sex-trafficking, and putting quotes around “safety for sex workers”) are not okay with that.

Performing artist and sex worker Annie Sprinkle is getting married for the tenth time this Saturday, and you can buy a ticket!

Camille Paglia talks about the recently deceased Elizabeth Taylor’s role as a call girl in Butterfield 8.

And nudists are worried that they’ll suffer if strip club laws restrict public nudity.

Bring your church program for a free pole dancing class near Houston.

The Week In Links—October 19th

Bibiane Bovet, Montreal municipal candidate and out trans woman and former escort (Photo courtesy of the Montreal Gazette)
Bibiane Bovet, Montreal municipal candidate and out trans woman and former escort (Photo courtesy of the Montreal Gazette)

Some British GLBT organizations and trade unions are taking the excellent example of their African counterparts, standing in solidarity with sex workers’ rights organizations like the English Collective of Prostitutes and the Sex Worker Open University in their campaign against proposals to institute the Swedish model of criminalizing clients. Sign the Collective’s petition against the End Demand model—Rupert Everett will thank you for it.

One of Montreal mayoral hopeful Mélanie Joly’s hand-picked candidates for a municipal position, Bibiane Bovet, is a trans woman who used to work as an escort in order to finance her bottom surgery. Joly knows about Bovet’s sex working past and—gasp!—doesn’t care. In fact, one of Bovet’s escorting clients, another municipal employee, advised her to run for the position in the first place, and Joly went on record praising Bovet’s integrity and saying she has her full support.

File under The Headline Says It All: “Groups ‘rescue’ Thai sex workers, whether they want it or not.

SWOP-Phoenix is protesting the Project ROSE Prostitution Diversion Initiative, in which Phoenix police and students from the ASU School of Social Work team up twice a year to arrest local sex workers and have them “choose” between a six month diversion program or criminal charges. SWOP-Phoenix’s position is that diversion programs “ignore the fact that many people who work in the sex industry are not victims in need of rescue, but consenting adults who should not be arrested, coerced into diversion, or incarcerated for working.”

While on a vacation in Thailand last month, Rihanna took in a “ping pong” strip show in Phuket, tweeting afterwards that she was “traumatized” by the “live bird, two turtles, razors, darts and ping pong [balls]” pulled from the performers’ vaginas. In a pretense of shock they’ll be sure to keep up till they get their next bribe, the Thai Police shut down the club and arrested the owner, no doubt also throwing a few of the club’s performers in jail along the way. Riri! Don’t make us sad. After “Pour it Up”, we thought you were Good for the Strippers. Now it turns out that you are (inadvertently?) Bad for the Strippers. Stop getting second world sex workers arrested, Rihanna, that’s a REAL faux pas. Next time just use your celebrity tweeting powers to get the Thai equivalent of a humane society to spirit away those birds and turtles from non consensual vaginal spelunking.

Melissa Petro tells the xojane reading public what escorts already know: “Most Dudes Have Probably Bought Sex At Least Once.”

With so many Tamil men dead or missing after three decades of civil war, with southern men filling up the jobs in the north’s building boom, and seeing as how widows are traditionally seen as inauspicious and unfit for remarriage, many women in female headed households in Sri Lanka’s North are engaging in survival sex work to subsist.

We covered SWOP-NYC’s letter to the Columbia Institutional Review Board reporting Dr. Sudhir Venkatesh’s wildly inaccurate and insulting research on New York sex workers in an earlier Week In Links.  (One blog entitled the fiasco “When Your Own Research Population Organizes Against You, New York Sex Worker Edition.”) Now, our own Tits and Sass founding editor Charlotte Shane eviscerates Venkatesh’s historical amnesia, insistence on reinventing the wheel without acknowledging the work of sex worker researchers before him, and his approval of police abuse of sex workers in The New Inquiry.

The Week in Links—May 15th

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.”

The Week In Links—June 5th

Happy Blackout Friday!  Lady Dee
Cam Model Lady Dee mugs for the camera. Happy #Blackout Day!

Bubbles said it first, but the documentary that “exposes” exploitation in amateur pornography production, Hot Girls Wanted (now available on Netflix), has some problems. Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals offers some constructive criticism of the doc and suggests what points it should also have covered.

Speaking of, what is that agent’s job from Hot Girls Wanted like, anyway?

A Portland sex worker art show/book launch party for the $pread Magazine Anthology got some local press. The show, $pread The Love, the brainchild of our own Tits and Sass Week In Links Editor Red and other Portland sex worker activists, was held yesterday.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes about how the JVTA heedlessly replicates the War on Drugs for Politico; something Melissa Gira Grant reported on a couple of years ago. Politico then ran a rebuttal letter with seven signers. They’re pretty illustrious: Tracy Sefl, is a senior campaign adviser to Hilary Clinton, and, of course, Autumn Hanna VandeHei is married to Jim VandeHei, cofounder and executive editor of Politico.

Sex workers in Zimbabwe aren’t using digital currency because it’s hip and high-tech, they’re using it for their safety.