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Anti-Sex Worker Activists Are Behind #50DollarsNot50Shades

image via 50 Dollars Not Fifty Shades on Facebook
image via 50 Dollars Not Fifty Shades on Facebook

There’s a new campaign circling social media encouraging people to not only look into the abuse and lack of consent within the book Fifty Shades of Grey, but to also boycott the movie, with a philanthropic twist. According to their Facebook page, “#50dollarsnot50shades is a grassroots, women-led campaign, encouraging people to boycott the 50 Shades of Grey movie & give a $50 donation to [a] domestic violence shelter or agency. The money you would have spent on movie tickets and a babysitter or movie tickets, popcorn and drinks will go towards serving victims of abusive relationships like the one glamorized in the 50 Shades series. Hollywood doesn’t need your money; abused women do.”

As someone who not only practices BDSM professionally and personally and dislikes the poor excuse for BDSM erotica that is the Fifty Shades franchise, I thought that this idea was actually quite clever. Instead of supporting a movie and book series whose leading man doesn’t talk about consent with newbie Ana while also meeting all of the signs of being a domestic abuser, why not make a donation to a local women’s shelter for domestic violence? Brilliant.

Or maybe not. The campaign is not as grassroots as it claims, but instead is run by anti-pornography activists. 50 Dollars not 50 Shades is sponsored by the London Abused Women’s Centre (LAWC), the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE), and Stop Porn Culture. It is also affiliated with PATHS of SaskatchewanAntiPorn.org and Pornography Harms which is apparently part of the NCSE.

Quote Of The Week

Smith didn’t just consider it irrelevant to ask these women what the law has meant (and hasn’t meant) to them. She also refused to engage with the many sex workers who tweeted her to point out this omission […] She allowed police officers – people who see it as their mission to drive sex workers out of business, people who have a long history of using sex workers for their own ends in all sorts of nefarious ways (yes, even in post-criminalization Sweden)  to define their experiences for them. I have a few words for that type of reporting. ‘Feminist’ isn’t one of them. 

Wendy Lyon responds to the silencing of sex worker voices in The Independent columnist Joan Smith’s whorephobic discussion of criminalization in Sweden this week. Another excellent response from Jem of It’s Just A Hobby here

 

Your Story Already Sucks: An Open Letter To Tourist Journalists

Oh, hello there. It’s such a surprise to run into you here, Clueless Journalist Who Successfully Pitched an Article About Prostitutes Which You Have No Idea How to Actually Deliver. I know how much you hate to do even the most basic amount of research about the huge, knotty subject you’ve cavalierly decided to tackle, so it’s refreshing that you’ve deigned to stop by Tits and Sass. I’ve been involved in the sex industry for about 9 years, which means I’ve had plenty of time to collect examples of the emails you send to solicit my time and expertise in order to support your own career, and boy, are they compelling. Time and time again, before even doing fifteen minutes of self-education, you get straight to the interview solicitation. Why try to learn on your own when there will surely be a bevy of call girls dying to tell you everything you need to know for free, right?

Here are the all the important points to include if you want to make it clear right away that you’re completely unqualified to say anything on the subject of prostitution.

1) You don’t want to “demonize” me. Color me impressed. We all know that famous aphorism about how good intentions reliably pave the way to magnificent results, so the ability to not hate me is the only credential you need in order to earn my trust. Plus, it’s federal law that journalists, like cops, have to tell you the truth if they’ve not got your best interests at heart, so I’m sufficiently reassured that you mean exactly what you say.

Strip Club Tourist Reports: Strip Club DJ Edition

Strip club tourist reports comes in two main forms: I’m Not That Kind Of Guy and I’m Not A Guy. This week, I learned about a third type: I Was A Strip Club DJ For A Night, in the form of Eric Spitznagel’s “I Was (Almost) a Middle-Aged Strip Club DJ” for MTV Hive. Spitznagel went to Chicago’s Admiral Theater to shadow the club’s DJ for a night, and the results are fairly predictable, if a bit nastier than I was expecting. He feels old. He feels like a fish out of water. The girls have stage names that amuse him. They take off their clothes. He finds it fascinating that one of the dancers likes British indie rock, which means he’s definitely not following me or my stripper friends on Twitter, because jesus fuck, if there’s one thing strippers like, it’s Britpop.
I wasn’t terribly familiar with Spitznagel, so was surprised to find that a guy who wrote such a disingenuous piece on being a strip club DJ for a night has written two books about the porn industry and interviewed Charlie Sheen for Playboy. Such experience would seem to make a guy a little less inclined to be all “Whoah! Naked women and cheesy lines!” Apparently he’s considered a humor writer, though, so that explains the tone.

That’s Not A Facial!

How nice of 19 Action News of Cleveland, Ohio to illegally videotape the dancers at four Cleveland strip clubs. I hope a wannabe Joey Greco crossed with The Leprechaun (pole dancing in geriatric shoes and a suit) doesn’t ever film me doing the “upside-down praying mantis.”

While we’re on the subject of terminology, I’m pretty sure there are technically no facials in the video. The so-called “facial” might more accurately be described as “motorboating.” It’s not like the dancer female-ejaculated onto the guy’s face from the stage. And the girl who “appears to be totally naked and grinding her customer” isn’t actually grinding him. He would need to have a 12-inch erection for there to be any contact between her crotch and his. Not to mention the plot inconsistency with the snow at the end? (Yes, I’m sure you were distracted by Leprechaun chest bumping us too, but look at the ground!) Worst. “Exposé.” Ever.