The Week in Links

Would this sculpture be considered banned pornography in the UK? (image via Flickr user urbanadventures)

Would this sculpture be considered banned pornography in the UK? (image via Flickr user urbanadventures)

Have you heard about the new regulations on porn made in the United Kingdom? You know, the oddly specific rules that have banned pissing and whipping and squirting and jazz hands and weird mustaches? They’ve at least inspired the coolest protest ever.  Three words: MASS FACE SITTING.

Speaking of dumb laws in the UK, Britain’s established its first “prostitution free zone” in Hull County. Problem is, according to Vice Magazine, is that initiative just won’t work. Yet just down the street Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson vows to keep sex workers protected.

Maple syrup. Hockey. Cute accents. Canada has a lot of awesome stuff, including a corps of like-minded activists calling for the repeal of the country’s most recent cruddy prostitution bill, C-36.  Even Premier Kathleen Wynne (Ontario) voiced her concern, stating the law is unconstitutional and will do little to keep sex workers safe. Further, local police departments have complained that they have received no instruction or directives on how to enforce the new law. One Edmonton police officer called the law “useless.”

This is a really terrible idea:

A&E has greenlit a provocative new reality series in which a man tries to convince prostitutes to quit their jobs. EW has learned exclusively that the network has ordered eight episodes of 8 Minutes (working title), a series featuring cop-turned-pastor Kevin Brown surprising escorts in hotel rooms and offering to rescue them from a life of trading sex for cash. In each episode, Brown has eight minutes to make his case.

This is still a terrible headline that was changed from “Autopsy suggests dead hooker was fleeing Long Island killer” to “Autopsy finds no drugs in dead hooker’s system, suggests she was frantically running from Long Island serial killer.”



Melbourne sex workers rally for Monica Jones

Monica Jones was barred from entering Australia for the last three weeks of her student placement and ultimately deported back to the United States.  Eloise Brook at the Guardian wrote an intelligent and pointed response, asking how a social work student becomes a national threat.

Gloria Steinem’s latest move, signing the open letter to the AP Stylebook, shows that her politics remain firmly in the abolitionist camp.  Steinem crossed the line from “dated” to “damaging” this spring with her writing for the New York Times on Indian escorts and her baseless claims that funding for condoms and sexual health actually went to pimps and traffickers.

This strange Cosmo interview with three anonymous sex workers purports to show “What It’s Really Like to Be a Sex Worker,” although the straight-out-of Farley talking points responses of the third woman, who is, excuse you, a survivor of prostitution, make it sound like she’s actually Rachel Moran.

The UK just banned certain acts, including face-sitting and golden showers, from being depicted in porn.  The acts themselves remain legal, but filming them is not.

The Safe Harbour Outreach Project has written a letter to Newfoundland premier Paul Davis, requesting that he postpone implementation of C-36 because of the inevitable danger it places sex workers in.



Janet Mock tweeting about the horrific state of the Black union earlier this week. (Screenshot of Janet Mock's Twitter feed)

Janet Mock tweeting about the horrific state of the Black union earlier this week. (Screenshot of Janet Mock’s Twitter feed)

Trans and sex workers’ rights activist Monica Jones appealed her conviction on false charges of “manifesting prostitution” this Monday. In related news, Project ROSE, the criminally wrongheaded alliance between the Arizona State School of Social Work and the Phoenix police in which sex workers were arrested in stings and funneled into jail or diversion programs, the very one which Jones was sent to when she was arrested, has shut down.

However, the ASU researchers behind Project ROSE just got a 1.4 million dollar grant to prevent child sex trafficking.

The Vancouver police department announced that it will not be using C-36 as a guideline when making arrests; consenting adults buying and selling sex will be left to conduct their business undisturbed.

The impact of C-36 will be most disastrous for the most marginalized groups of sex workers, First Nations women and migrants.

Immigrant sex workers from Asia and Central America deny that they are trafficked. They announced that they do feel like victims of police, however.

New reality show The Sex Factor promises to be The X Factor for adult stars, offering competitors the exposure needed for success in the saturated market of porn…and further saturating the market.

Feminism needs sex workers and trans people (and presumably trans sex workers as well).

It’s hard to be a sex worker without a community of sex workers to commiserate with and give you moral support and perspective in the form of a healthy dose of reality. This Ivy League student sex worker could use the latter: in this piece, she expresses her surprise at how easy it was to become a “prostitute”: aren’t we all chain smoking, jaded women of the world? Unlike her.



Walt Goggins as Venus Van Dam

Walt Goggins as Venus Van Dam

GLAAD released their third annual Trans Images on TV report and were pleased to find that “only one character this year was portrayed as a sex worker, Venus Van Dam on FX’s Sons of Anarchy. This is an improvement over previous years in which the most common profession for trans characters was sex worker.”

Terri Jean Bedford received the second annual Ontario Civil Liberties Association award last Friday, and called on Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory to refuse to enforce C-36.

Non-sex working feminists continue to speak over sex workers regarding the legalization or decriminalization of sex work in India. Lalitha Kumaramangalam, the chair person for the National Commission on Women who began the discussion, is still in favor of legalization, but says that there is a fine line between legalization and decriminalization and the Commission’s recommendations are still being finalized.  The Hindu Businessline does a good rundown of the differences between and drawbacks of legalization vs decriminalization.

Jane Pratt is in the middle of watching XOJane get sold off, yet she still has time to speculate about sex workers’ backgrounds.

Late to the game with this one, but remember that “This is what a feminist looks like,” t-shirt that made waves when the Daily Mail revealed it was manufactured in sweatshops, unlike virtually every other mass market piece of clothing?  The proceeds from these feminist shirts went to The Fawcett Society, active supporters of End Demand campaigns to implement the Nordic model.

Adult Verified Video Chat is auctioning off sex with its female performers, onscreen.  Though the second auction is currently ongoing, no scenes have yet been shot for the first auction, as both the winner and the runner-up had “scheduling conflicts.” [READ MORE]


image courtesy Amanda Brooks

(image courtesy Amanda Brooks)

Amanda Brooks published this post about the ordeal a client put her and Jill Brenneman through over the past two years. It’s a horrifying and compelling must-read.

Scarlet Road, a documentary about an Australian escort and her disabled clients, is showing at the Columbus International Film Fest.

An Irish sex work abolitionist group is making fake sex worker profiles on Tinder, conflating sex work with sex trafficking in an attempt to drum up support for abolition.

The defeat of the “End Demand” addition to the UK’s End Modern Slavery bill will not stop the implementation of the Swedish Model in Northern Ireland, where the criminalization of paying for sex passed a few weeks ago over the protests of sex workers and their allies.

Naomi Sayers writes about the reality of being an indigenous woman and a sex worker and the way that marginalized people are betrayed by the people entrusted with their protection.

The drummer of AC/DC doesn’t like when escorts play with his pet dog.

Thuli Khoza, the co-ordinator of Sisonke Durban (the Durban chapter of the South African sex workers’ rights organization Sisonke) discusses the work Sisonke does around outreach, education, and advocating for decriminalization in South Africa. [READ MORE]