Campaigners demonstrate to call for the decriminalization of prostitution in Scotland (Picture by Ian Rutherford, courtesy of the Scotsman,com)
The Root and the Daily Beast ask porn perfomers whether the industry is racist—the answer is a resounding NO DUH.
A Westminster Council study shows that the recession puts sex workers under a greater risk of violence. This is yet another reason to adopt the Merseyside model in which crimes against sex workers are treated as hate crimes in court.
The Scottish Trade Union Congress forbade the Sex Worker Open University from using their site to have a Sex Worker Worker’s Rights Conference at the last minute, claiming that the Congress supported sex workers organizing but also supported the Swedish model of criminalizing clients. (Maybe we need to write a primer on how those two positions are functionally contradictory.) The Scotsman reports that this didn’t put a damper on the attendees’ protest—they protested *outside* the Scottish Trade Union Congress in opposition to the Swedish model, chanting, “Rhoda [Grant], don’t erode our rights!” (Rhoda Grant is the Labour MSP behinds the push to criminalize clients.)
Despite the usual moral panic in that regard, here’s yet more evidence that teen prostitutes are not languishing on the streets of New Zealand.
The Sabotage Times explores Brazil’s new upmarket hipster brothels. Apparently, nothing can escape being tarred by a hipster brush.
Freakonomics hosts an interview with Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers’ Union, on the term “sex work” and the disadvantages of legalization vs decriminalization.
A Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee member uses a device for detecting fake currency, made available to sex workers to check their clients’ bills (Photo by BBC News)
A Florida escort was arrested on charges of attempted murder for nearly biting her client’s penis off. It’s possible that this woman was just fulfilling a treasured universal sex worker fantasy, but I think it’s more likely there was an assault on the client’s part that we’re not hearing about.
Two teenage girls drowned in an attempt to escape a trafficking protection center in Thailand.
A bizarre French law that prohibited “passive solicitation”–which was defined as women wearing “revealing clothing” in “areas known for prostitution”–was overturned by the Senate. Now there’s some discussion of France adopting the Swedish model of criminalizing clients, which sex workers’ union Strass is opposing.
Maisonneuve attempts to parse a “fucked up paper maze” of new laws clamping down on migrant strippers coming to Canada.
Ontario street sex workers, represented by advocacy groups like the PACE society, are demanding a federal hearing by the Canadian Supreme Court, which will soon be deciding whether current laws criminalizing activity associated with prostitution are unconstitutional. They hope that their stories will influence the court to abolish these laws for good.
The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee is running a program to help Calcutta sex workers identify counterfeit bills.
Swedish police set up a dummy sex ad, then claimed the hundreds of people who responded were “more curious than interested in buying sex.” Yes, it was obviously an intellectual exercise for all of them.
A Canadian student was stopped at the border to the US twice during her travels,interrogated for hours without food or water, and ultimately refused entry because she was carrying condoms and lingerie. She was accused of being a sex worker and berated for committing adultery. Rabble.ca posted her personal account of the ordeal.
Courtesy of PHDstress.com
Louis Vutton has been accused of promoting prostitution in a promo video for its 2013 fall collection, in which models do a poor imitation of street workers on a Parisian set.
Sex work abolitionist feminist Joan Smith concludes in the Independent that the Swedish model of criminalizing clients works, based on her experience jumping in a squad car to shadow the Swedish police.Hmmm, maybe she should have asked Swedish sex workers about that?
Maggie Mcneill ponders the implications of having the protection of prostitutes dropped from the final version of the Commission on the Status of Women in Cliterati.
A new study at the University of Victoria will collect data based on the firsthand accounts of Canadian clients of sex workers. Chris Atchinson, one of the researchers involved, hopes that the study will broaden perspectives mostly informed by research focusing on street survival workers.
Police say they’ve seen no evidence to back up an NZ First MP’s claims that girls as young as 13 are working as prostitutes in South Auckland.
Psychologists finally notice the similarities between their jobs and ours in Psychology Tomorrow magazine.
Sex workers and women’s rights activists across India have welcomed the government’s move to drop the word “prostitution” as exploitation from the amended Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code.
Kate Zen asks in Policymic, “Why are sex workers left out of the women in violence conversation?”
Strass (Union of Sex Workers) protests the passive solicitation law in Pigalle Square in Paris on March 16th, 2013–photo by Zaer Belkalaï, courtesy of demotix.com
Renowned 70s porn star Harry Reems died this Tuesday.
Apparently, you can tell a lot about a state or country by the porn it favors. The state of Kentucky has an unexpected fondness for hentai, and Britain is into girls who can squirt. Russia has a thing for Sasha Grey.
Tomorrow there is a book release party for HERE. by Lindsey Kugler at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, OR. HERE. is a “mini-memoir” about Lindsey Kugler’s experience working as a social worker and for MyFreeCams.
Dr Brooke Magnanti takes on lies, damned lies, and prostitution statistics in a Guardian article this week.
Wilmington, North Carolina police officers get drunk and arrest escorts. Good times.
A bill has been introduced to the South Australian parliament which would decriminalize all forms of sex work, based on the New Zealand model.
African trafficking survivors fleeing from Italy to Ireland find that the government is unwilling to grant them asylum.
The fact that a Brooklyn sex trafficking survivor is escorting now apparently invalidates what she suffered before, according to the prosecution, who want to drop her case.
Courtesy of the Red Umbrella Project, art by Tanya Mensen, story told by a 20-year-old white Hispanic cisgender woman
This week, the NYPD’s ridiculous and oppressive practice of using condoms continued to be written up in various venues. RH Reality Check weighed in, as did the Daily Mail, and Jezebel, while the Red Umbrella Project stepped up their campaign against the cops by creating postcards illustrated with victims’ stories that NYers can send to their representatives. Meanwhile, Washington made NYC look awful in comparison when D.C.’s police department clarified that carrying more than three condoms at a time was not against the law, distributing cards to both wayward police officers and (justifiably)wary sex workers reminding them of that fact.
Rabble in Canada ran one of the most genius anticapitalist takedowns of sex work abolitionist feminism we’ve ever read. Sadly, the sex worker who wrote it chooses to remain anonymous as “Sarah M”, so we can’t all make a pilgrimage to bask in her brilliance.
Two anonymous nuns from the religious orders that ran the Magdalene Laundries, where Irish sex workers and other women who defied heteronormative standards were sent by the state and then abused, exploited and buried in mass graves, attempted to justify the Laundrys’ existence as providing ‘shelter’ and ‘service.’ Another Irish newspaper printed an apologist opinion piece by a church flack, in which he claims that most Magdalene inmates were there ‘voluntarily.’ Meanwhile, an Irish Labour rep reminded the world that the orders profited quite a bit from the Laundries, and urged them to make a contribution to the survivors’ compensation fund. And Justice for Magdalenes, an advocacy group for Magdalene survivors, created an 800 page report of survivor testimony and evidence that weren’t included in the official government inquiry. Brace yourselves for heartbreak reading it. The org also submitted a report to the UN Committee Against Torture on the Laundries.