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The Week In Links—June 20

Cards handed out by the MPD in Washington, D.C.
Cards handed out by the MPD in Washington, DC

In Washington, D.C., police make an effort to make sure sex workers know that condoms (in whatever quantity) are not admissible evidence.

The Network of Sex Work Projects has put together a short film about the damage anti-sex work anti-traffickers do: Collateral Damage: Sex Workers and the Anti-Trafficking Campaigns.

Very bad news about Jill Brenneman’s health problems; there’s a fundraiser up to help her.

Sex workers in the Dolly district of Surabaya, Indonesia, protested the mayor’s efforts to push them out to the very last day, whether they left sex work or left Surabaya:

Authorities are offering each of the estimated 1,400 prostitutes around 5 million rupiah ($420) and training in new professions that are expected to replace prostitution there, such as baking or handicrafts.

…“I am not going to accept the government offer because I really need this work,” said Mawar, who gave only one name, sitting on a faded old sofa inside a club in Dolly.

Sounds a lot like Kristof’s non-solution for sex workers.

Brazilian sex workers played a friendly game of football against evangelical Christians. Unsatisfyingly, this report gives no final score.

The Week in Links—November 7th

Viktoria (2014)
Viktoria (2014)

Viktoria, a new film about migrant sex workers in Switzerland, is out now in that country.  Switzerland attracts sex workers from Hungary, although prejudices against the Roma—a group many of the migrants belong to—color their reception.

Jordan Flaherty, interviewed on this site about his reporting on Project ROSE, has a new story out about how Alaska’s sex trafficking laws are used against those they ostensibly protect: “Some of them appear to be charged with trafficking themselves.” The accompanying television segment is here.

The Canadian take on the End Demand/Swedish model, C-36,  passed in the Senate on Tuesday despite testimony from Canadian sex workers that it would only endanger them further.  It is now one step away from becoming law.

In the UK, the amendment to the Modern Slavery Bill which would have implemented the End Demand model was defeated, bringing UK sex workers closer to decriminalization.

Kate McGrew, the sex worker contestant on Irish reality show Connected, says she is not a prostitute, she’s a sex worker, and pointed out the stigma attached to the word “prostitute” as well as the negative repercussions of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign, which seeks to implement the Swedish model in Northern Ireland.

After hearing horror stories from disabled clients, Trish St. John began Sensual Solutions, a Vancouver escort agency that works with disabled people.

Here’s yet another lawsuit over the employee rights’ of strippers has hit, this time involving the Queens, New York club Scandals.

The Week In Links–May 10th

Stoya plays Marie Antoinette at Molly Crabapple's recent art opening. (Photo by Jennifer Loeber)
Stoya plays Marie Antoinette at Molly Crabapple’s recent art opening. (Photo by Jennifer Loeber)

Seven sex workers’ rights organizations have been denied the right to intervene in the Supreme Court case deciding the constitutionality of Canada’s prostitution laws. However, many religious and abolitionist groups supporting the prostitution laws will be allowed a hearing, much to sex workers’ rights advocates’ outrage.

Nassau County is the first county in NY state to disallow condoms as evidence in prostitution cases. The NY Times covered the continuing struggle to get the no-condoms-as-evidence bill passed in the state legislature since 1999, quoting Sierra Baskin, co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, extensively.

Texan rad fems discover escort review sites the way Columbus discovered America, and don’t allow an opportunity to create legislation based on  trafficking hysteria to go to waste. The New Statesman’s Helen Lewis is also full of puritanical outrage about Britain’s Punternet.

Similarly, the Australian media discovers camgirls.

Alternative porn star Stoya gets a great profile in the Village Voice, in which she talks about her homeschooled childhood, loving New York, and speaking for herself in her Vice column and her tumblr rather than allowing journalists to distort her words.

The Week In Links—November 29

At the Scarlet Alliance National Forum. (Photo by Jackie Dent via SBS)
Australian sex worker activist Nada (on the right) at the Scarlet Alliance National Forum. (Photo by Jackie Dent via SBS)

Sixty French celebrities, including Belle De Jour star Catherine Deneuve, signed a petition to protest a bill in France Parliament that would impose fines on the clients of sex workers. Thus, admirers of Deneuve can continue their fangirling without the bite of political guilt. Meanwhile, France 24 puzzles over the resounding silence around the issue in Parliament, and Al Jazeera interviews Manon, a representative of French sex workers’ rights organization STRASS, and Melissa Gira Grant on sex workers’ POV on the proposal. STRASS members were slated to hold an open meeting with legislators on Thursday, though, until now, French sex workers were not consulted by lawmakers on the topic. (Is anyone surprised?)

Apparently, times are tough for us all over Europe—in Germany,  the country’s most prominent “feminists” have launched a campaign against legalized sex work.

Here’s some coverage on the three day Scarlet Alliance National Forum in Sydney earlier this week.

Has Jenna Jameson returned to adult films? The fabulous Miss Jameson sets the record straight.

Singaporean trans sex workers speak out at the International Congress on AIDS Asia Pacific.

Karen Wirth presented the latest in trafficking hysteria in the NY Times yesterday, dashed with the pretense of scientific rigor. The Atlantic joined in with a piece entitled “It’s Not Just Justin Bieber: Travel Websites Are Fueling Sex Tourism.” Much dark side. Such gritty, hard hitting reporting. Wow.

Shilpa Samaratunge answers the question, “Is sex work work?” with a resounding yes in Sri Lanka’s Groundviews. The leftist journalist also interviews three wheeler drivers, who play an important role in the country’s sex trade by maintaining connections between sex workers, their clients and the locations in which sexual exchanges take place.

In light of all these recent stories about how us sex workers just lurrrv the Affordable Health Care Act, here’s an interesting piece on how an Argentinian stripper, Annabelle Battistella alias Fanne Foxe, inadvertently doomed Nixon’s Health Care Reform Act in 1974.

The Week In Links–April 19th

Kitty Stryker and Siouxsie Q looking foxy for the mainstream media (screenshots from the CNN Money video)
Kitty Stryker and Siouxsie Q looking foxy for the mainstream media, TARDIS dress and all (screenshots from the CNN Money video)

Anti-trafficking ideologues are wringing their hands in dismay and blaming the Hawaii police for not being able to find the hordes of sex trafficking victims that surely must be out there somewhere. Yet arrests are turning up no trafficking victims whatsoever.

A Pennsylvania cop going undercover accepted a blowjob from a suspected prostitute before arresting her. He was so unashamed of his actions he detailed them in his police report, and the police department also found no problem with this officer’s behavior.

Laura Agustin is characteristically awesome on Alternet, asking why migrant sex workers need saving.

More coverage from the London Evening Standard on the Westminster Council study which demonstrated that the recession is putting London sex workers at more risk of violence. We love the fact that the image used here is one of sex workers protesting, rather than the usual cliched graphic of high heels in low lighting, and we love that members of the British government are urging the wider adoption of the Merseyside model (treating crimes against sex workers as hate crimes.) We could do without the xenophobic undertones here, though–“those foreigners are taking our sex work jobs!”

Amber Dawn and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore have a dialogue in the Advocate about sex work, memoir writing, cycles of violence, and queer community.

The New Orleans Police Department want to squelch wild rumors that a missing teacher is the victim of sex trafficking Russian mobsters. If they didn’t want this sort of hysteria, maybe they shouldn’t have spread trafficking panic during the Super Bowl.

Rachel Kramer Bussel covers the Feminist Porn Awards for the Daily Beast. Courtney Trouble, Madison Young, and Tristan Taormino make an appearance.

Calling Margaret Thatcher a prostitute is insulting to sex workers, National Union of Metalworkers of SA’s second deputy president Christine Olivier told members of her union. “It implies that they are collectively at par with the reactionary Thatcher rather than members of the working class. So comrades [from] KZN [KwaZulu-Natal] may you use another word when you refer to Margaret Thatcher,” she went on.

So it looks like women who were trafficked into domestic labor in the United Arab Emirates are running away and going into sex work. I bet anti-sex trafficking crusaders are gonna have a hard time getting their heads around that.