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The Week In Links—February 21

Chinese activist Lanlan at ICAAP 2013 in Bangkok, with Gisa Dang of Asia Catalyst interpreting
Chinese activist Lanlan at ICAAP 2013 in Bangkok, with Gisa Dang of Asia Catalyst interpreting

After the state aired a documentary on a so-called “sin city” in China, exposing the prevalence of sex work (amongst other things), support for damaging anti-vice campaigns is growing. Support for the legalization of sex work in China is also growing.

Oh, COME ON, Canada! Just ask sex workers what the best way to re-write prostitution laws is, because the stupid survey you’re offering isn’t cutting it . This survey is much better and PLEASE, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS.

In more Canada news, suspended Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau is working as a day shift manager at an Ottowa strip club. He’s also known as the man who lost a charity boxing match to Justin Trudeau.

That awkward moment when the founder of an anti-trafficking organization is accused of rape, then flees the country.

This promotional video for a Sochi resort hotel includes a clip filmed in the on-premises strip club. We’ve queued it up for you.

The Week In Links—April 10

"Taxes" by 401kcalculator.org
Your taxes are due Wed., April 15! (“Taxes” by 401kcalculator.org)

Just in time for Tax Day: Sex workers deserve tax breaks and bank accounts! We do. 

The New York Post (seriously) published a nuanced look at the city’s erotic massage scene, including a discussion of immigration and the problems with the federal definition of sex trafficking.

Ontario’s Attorney General has found C-36, the bill that implemented End Demand in Canada, constitutional and Kathleen Wynne will uphold it. The protests over the verdict in the Cindy Gladue murder trial only serve to underscore Wynne’s initial misgivings about it.

Kenyan sex workers stick together to advocate for their rights.

400 sex workers will be offered Truvada, a pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, as part of a study at the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute.  The study is simply to see whether sex workers, considered an “at risk” group for HIV infection, will take the drug regularly. The trial will also give 300 HIV-positive sex workers anti-retrovirals, which, if taken properly, can reduce the possibility of HIV transmission to zero. 

The Week in Links—August 8th

 

Orange Is The New Black actress Laverne Cox in Arizona backing trans and sex workers' rights activist Monica Jones' appeal against false charges of "manifesting prostitution" (Photo via Monica Jones'Facebook)
Orange Is The New Black actress Laverne Cox in Arizona backing trans and sex workers’ rights activist Monica Jones’ appeal against false charges of “manifesting prostitution” (Photo by Leah Jo Carmine, via Monica Jones’ Facebook, courtesy of Monica Jones)

Laverne Cox supports Monica Jones’ appeal against trumped up charges of “manifesting prostitution”! We couldn’t have dreamed up a more exciting celebrity cameo in our wildest activist dreams. Catch up on Monica’s case by looking through Tits and Sass’ Monica Jones tag, and stay tuned for an exclusive Tits and Sass update on her appeal by her SWOP-Phoenix comrades.

Coverage of the Portland Cupcake Girls’ Spa Day in the local press had a few of our readers writing in to us and other venues, infuriated. Apparently, neither the Oregonian nor the Cupcake Girls understand that strippers are not all unloved waifs and that actually, they can make themselves up and even (gasp!) pay for their own salon visits without the group’s charity. In fact, they do so consistently in order to work in a field in which their appearance must be immaculate. Read Red’s longform piece on shadowing the Cupcake Girls for more on these well meaning altruists’ fundamental misunderstandings about the sex industry.

Despite the fact that the former head officer was sexually assaulting the very women he was supposed to be helping, the Hamilton trafficking unit carries on, making fake dates with workers through online ads and attempting to rescue them. No charges have yet been filed in the past year and a half, though the former head, rapist Derek Mellor, faces a continued disciplinary hearing in September.

Sex workers in Jakarta have returned to work with the end of Ramadan, a fact that the Public Order Agency finds less than thrilling.

“We will address the issue soon. We hope both streets will soon be free of sex workers,” he said.

Sounds like he has a solid and not at all abusive plan.

The Economist makes an argument for decriminalization that, essentially, boils down to a pro-gentrification (“get the seediness off the streets”) point.Worlds collide when the interests of white male privacy and sexuality come up.

Margaret Corvid writes about some of the prices incurred by the loss of the fourth wall, as internet presence and accessibility becomes mandatory for many sex workers. Tighten your privacy settings, y’all.

MediaUpdate pays tribute to Nokuphila Kumalo, the sex worker assaulted and murdered by South African artist Zwelethu Mthethwa.

Without even a photograph of her, it is difficult to put a face to her name. Access to the fragments of her life prior to her murder is also hindered by the stigma associated with sex work. Although the oldest profession in the world (apart from politics) it remains shrouded in secrecy and shame, criminalised in most countries and regarded with contempt by mainstream society. 

Mthethwa’s trial begins in November.

Not Good Enough To Be Objectified?

I will be the first to admit that my experience in the industry has been super privileged. I was lucky to find a gig that works for me and hasn’t created in me a serious hatred towards the world in general for being kind of terrible and fucked up around race and sexuality. Having said that, I do recognize ugliness when I see it, and this industry is, in some ways, extremely racist, as are some of the people who participate in it. I often struggle to put that into words, because sometimes it’s as simple as someone thinking my body, because it is not white, is not worth as much as a woman whose body is white, and sometimes it’s as complicated as a client going all the way around the race issue (in his mind) but saying things that are clearly race specific and kind of awkward and weird (like “I love the things you people do with your hair.” because he didn’t want to say “Black Women” even though “you people” is so much worse and actually made me recoil in disgust and say, without thinking, “If you’re going to fetishize me you should figure out a way to do it that doesn’t make you sound like a troglodyte, ugh.”)

The Week in Links: March 4

Studies are being conducted to evaluate whether some lubes might increase risk of HIV transmission.

Louisiana currently requires citizens convicted of having oral or anal sex in exchange for money register as sex offenders. But the law is now being challenged. (Deon Haywood, who is quoted in the linked article, spoke on this very same issue at last year’s Desiree Alliance conference.)

A baby was born in a strip club parking lot. Nice try, baby, but if you want to be a true badass, you’d have been born on the strip club stage.

On health & safety regulators and the porn industry.

Indianapolis man sues for damages after being hit by flying stripper shoe (definitely watch the video, which includes vaguely douchey footage of the plaintiff, a visit to a stripperwear store to look at shoes, and a comparison to the President Bush shoe-throwing incident)

Missouri strip clubs are finding ways around a recently passed law that attempted to ban nude dancing.

The Giggles Comedy Club turned Jiggles strip club owner is still fighting the city of Seattle.