Quote of the Week

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Quote of the Week

Contrary to the sensationalistic rhetoric of “modern day slavery” and “sex slavery,” the actual practice of sex trafficking–where one person exercises power and control over another person to exploit that person sexually for financial gain–usually looks more like domestic violence than chattel slavery (or what most people imagine chattel slavery are like). We should not hesitate to call the police when we hear or see signs of immediate, life-threatening violence from our neighbor’s house, of course, but calling the police may not always be the best response when we are supporting a friend or neighbor who is in an abusive relationship. [Emphasis added.]

Emi Koyama’s critique of NYC’s new taxi law suggests revising our ideas of effective support for people who want out of the sex trade.

 

Quote of the Week

I was left feeling that those who had warned me against organizing in strip clubs were right: Most strippers are willing to tolerate labor violations in exchange for the relative freedom to pursue quick cash in an unregulated environment.

Tits and Sass contributor Rachel Aimee explores unionization, law suits, and how strippers try to balance the desire for fair labor practices with the desire for independence at In These Times.

Quote of the Week: Indoor Privilege Edition

Indoor sex work involves having access to the indoors. Do we not remember that this is an enormous privilege?

An “on and off” sex worker for 20 years, Fleur de Lit, takes on the recent decision by Ontario’s Court of Appeals with righteous anger and compassion. Though Judge Susan Himmel of the (lower) Superior Court recognized that current laws enhanced the existing vulnerability of outdoor workers, the Court of Appeals decided that laws were not the endangering force in street workers’ lives, citing instead “poverty, addiction, gender, race and age” as being the factors responsible for marginalization and subsequent risks. (And it would be ridiculous for the law to pro-actively recognize or mitigate those factors, right?) Their recent decision only legalized brothels; “communicating for the purposes of prostitution” is still illegal.

Fleur de Lit goes on to write:

Decriminalization won’t change the way that I work: carefully screening clients, asking my colleagues for references and working indoors. The onus of criminality has always been on my outdoor colleagues.

Quote of the Week

We’re engaging in sex work, as a form of economic survival, but also as a form of validation. We have got to address this. We have got to talk about what it’s like getting up in the morning, catching the train or bus to school or work and that ride is tense because you’re the subject of giggles and whispers. […]

Or if you are passable, how you’re still not well received in your community. But then you have a sexual experience with Rahim from next door. He’s telling you you’re good enough and he’ll also pay. Suddenly you’re a commodity. You’re wanted.

Danielle King at Colorlines on being young, black, and trans in Washington DC.

Quote of the Week

[I]n a culture trashy with raunch yet clenched with righteousness, the sex worker persists and insists. She is lamented by some feminists, lauded by others, lectured by religious groups, legislated by governments; monitored by health services, spurned by mortgage brokers, envied or condemned by friends, invited to write memoirs by publishers, assisted by outreach services; must live under one name and work by another. The main part of this list is in passive voice, for this is how people often see the prostitute: a passive dupe. […]

This a crux of the matter: who speaks? Who knows? Is a sex worker herself the best arbiter of whether or not she is degraded, or is judgement better offered forensically from afar?

Kate Holden on Sex Work and Feminism