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The Week in Links: July 8

Micheline Bernardini

Rather than backing down in the face of Ashton Kutcher’s attack on its advertisers, The Village Voice is amping up its articles on trafficking hysteria at large. They’ve created a dramatic infographic about actual trafficking arrests, and here’s their publication Seattle Weekly taking a closer look at Kutcher’s “philanthropy consultant.” You can also read their recent condemnation of how journalists crucified Craigslist. (VV’s self-aggrandizement is getting old quick, though. Here’s hoping they can stick to the solid facts and lay off the braggadocio, because it’s just as gross when they make the debate all about them as it is when Kutcher makes it all about himself.)

More on Ashton Kutcher and The Village Voice: Laura Augstin, SWOP-NYC, Belle de Jour, Megan Morgenson.

More on the appeals court ruling on the anti-prostitution pledge.

DSK’s rape accuser is suing The New York Post for calling her a prostitute.

The Irish Examiner, apparently not motivated by Ashton Kutcher being an ass, published its own critique of sex trafficking hysteria. And Argentina’s President, apparently acting without the urging of Ashton Kutcher, has flat-out banned all ads for prostitution.

Annie Sprinkle talks to The New York Times about her career in sex work.

The 25-year-old, unbelievably gruesome murders of two Philadelphia trans women working as prostitutes may finally be solved.

Did you know the world’s first bikini was worn by a professional nude dancer?

The Week In Links—December 6

Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of depressing sex worker news this week? Take a second and try to enjoy this .gif.
Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of depressing sex worker news this week? Take a second and try to enjoy this .gif.

On Dec. 4 brothels, strip clubs and sex shops in Soho, London were raided by over 200 police officers. The officers arrived in  riot vans and were reinforced by a police helicopter. Think about that for a second: 200 police officers were deployed. That’s a literal army.  The English Collective of Prostitutes’ response to this event can be read here.

Botswana is ramping up its effort to target sex workers. Over 30 sex workers were arrested there over the weekend.

Police raided a brothel in the United Kingdom. The door was answered by someone who sort of looked like what a sex worker might look like when she’s working and then it becomes a headline because journalists are lazy.

The amazing members of the Association of Women Prostitutes of Argentina held a demonstration in front of the Congress building in Buenos Aires. The demonstrators “called for the government to recognize the violence sex workers suffer as a result of a non-existent legal structure for sex work.”

Actress Rashida Jones wrote an op-ed for Glamour about the “pornification” of culture. Highlights include “Men: WHERE ARE YOU??? Please talk to us about how all this makes you feel.” Yes, so true, where can we possibly hear a man’s opinion on women’s bodies and behavior?

The Week in Links—January 16th

Fees and fines are illegal, kids. (Photo courtesy of Red)

The Willamette Week broke the news that I, Tits and Sass Week In Links editor Red, and my fellow dancer Amy Pitts are suing my former strip club this week after months of tedious and stressful settlement negotiations. Shorter and less informative video clips on the suit can be found here and here, but probably the best coverage so far is this New York Daily News story, which makes more meat puns than I would normally find decent.

Alaskan sex workers are raising money to go to Juneau to lobby the Alaskan legislature. You can support their campaign and learn about their efforts here: Nothing About Us Without Us!

Bengals defensive back Adam Jones was ordered to pay over $12 million for his part in a fight and shooting that broke out at the Vegas strip club, Minxx.  Jones made it rain, dancers started fighting over the money, and eventually shooting broke out, injuring three people, including  one security guard who was paralyzed from the waist down.

New MTA safety ads warn against pole dancing in subway cars: “Poles are for safety, not your latest routine.”

Tits and Sass contributor Naomi Sayers responds brilliantly to an interrogation around C-36 and the assumption that it protects sex workers, while outlining sex work activists’ next steps in a post-C-36 Canada.

Nigerian full service sex workers are offering three days of their services free if General Muhammadu Buhari wins the upcoming presidential elections in February. Clever reverse Lystrata tactic!

Porn actor Jiz Lee writes that people should be as concerned with ethical porn consumption as they are with ethical porn, since illegal distribution not only allows consumers to not pay for workers’ products, it also allows producers to evade the very safety standards set in place to protect performers.

Benjamin Frederickson worked as a HIV positive sex worker in the Midwest and New York for years, documenting his life and his work with Polaroids that are now being shown in an exhibition at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York until February 28th.

The Week in Links: January 27

Siemens-built prostitute meter

The German town of Bonn has declared that its prostitution meters—a means to tax commercial sex—are a success.

Rebecca Hall plays a “free-spirited, seemingly ditzy Florida stripper aspiring to make it as a cocktail waitress in Vegas” in the new Stephen Frears movie Lay the Favorite. Just like in real life, strippers aren’t always who you expect them to be!

Susannah Breslin of Forbes spoke with some of the biggest names in porn (including past Tits and Sass interviewee Stoya and contributor Lorelei Lee) about how newly mandated condoms within the city of L.A. will affect their industry.

The U.K.’s only drug treatment center for sex worker mothers will close due to funding shortfalls.

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear arguments in the case strip clubs have brought contesting the state’s pole tax. The clubs may still have other avenues for contesting the tax (the current case challenges the law on First Amendment grounds).

The Week In Links—July 12th

Picture of Jasmine shared by Rose Alliance on Facebook

Swedish activist and sex worker Jasmine Petite was reportedly murdered by her abusive ex after years of documenting his violent behavior to the police, only to have it ignored and dismissed in large part because of her occupation. You can read more here. Sweden’s criminalization of clients has long been lauded by anti-sex trade advocates and various feminists as an effective method of eliminating criminalization’s harm of sex working women. Jasmine’s inspiring twitter feed is still online.

In France, a debate is emerging around legalization of sexual surrogacy. (Which is still definitely not prostitution, ok?!)

Nicki Minaj instagrams photos of her strip club visit with the caption “I endorse these strippers.” Surely our T&S dancers also deserve such an auspicious blurb—though they’re probably not cool with being photographed at work.

Lebanese police may be called to account for their abuse of suspected drug users and sex workers.

Chinese sex workers’ rights activist Ye Haiyan was released from detention for defending herself from police assault, only to have the Guandong security police evict her, her partner, and her 14  year old daughter from their home. “‘If I ever see you again in Zhongshan, I’ll break your legs,” the head of the security police told Ye.

Philippine survivors of the Japan’s WWII era “comfort system” are planning a rally later this month to draw more attention to the decades of injustice and silence around their abuse.

India sees the positive impacts of SCOTUS overturning the anti-prositution pledge.

NYPD Commissioner jokes about shutting down 19 massage parlors in Brooklyn after finding that women working in those locations all had children still in Asia who needed their financial support. Haha!

Meanwhile, Eliot Spitzer is running for NY comptroller as a first step towards reviving his political career. Is that a 2020 run for president I feel coming on?