Ashton Kutcher

For her third installment of Big Mother Is Watching Youa guide to prominent anti-sex worker activists and officials, Robin D goes to Hollywood to check out do-gooder celebrities and the whorephobic campaigns they run.

Susan Sarandon and Meg Ryan

Susan Sarandon flexes her activist muscle at the Witness Focus for Change Benefit in 2009 (Photo by Kate Glicksberg, via Witness Flickr account)

Susan Sarandon flexes her activist muscle at the Witness Focus for Change Benefit in 2009 (Photo by Kate Glicksberg, via Witness Flickr account)

Meg Ryan doing a TED talk in 2010. (Photo by Flickr user redmaxwell)

Meg Ryan doing a TED talk in 2010. (Photo by Flickr user redmaxwell)

Susan Sarandon and Meg Ryan were key players in NGO fraud Somaly Mam’s ascendence in Hollywood. Mam is the celebrity activist exposed by Newsweek in 2014, after a slew of articles about her fabrications appeared in The Cambodia Daily in 2012 and 2013. She ran a re-education camp filled through brothel raids and therefore populated by local sex workers held against their will and others deemed to be “at risk” through Mam’s organization AFESIP (Agir Pour Les Femmes en Situations Precaires). Both populations were instructed on at least several occasions to lie about their stories and concoct trafficking tragedy porn to relate to visitors and journalists.

“I have been personally inspired by the work of Somaly Mam and I encourage anyone who can devote time and money to help Mam continue to make a difference in this world,” Sarandon stated on the Somaly Mam Foundation website. Ryan appears in Nicholas Kristof’s documentary Half the Sky, which lauded Mam’s organizations for their work. Both Sarandon and Ryan were photographed multiple times with Mam at various Hollywood events and fundraisers.

Sarandon seems to have missed the point of the May 2014 expose of Mam in Newsweek, saying that she continues to believe Mam’s story regardless. Mam’s victims, though, apparently aren’t worth her consideration. Sarandon has made no public statement on the testimony of the women now saying that Mam coached them to lie and fabricate horror stories about being trafficked, including Srey Mao and Meas Ratha; nor on the medical records on purported Mam trafficking victim Long Pros’ eye, proving that her eye was removed in surgery for a tumor and not by an imaginary pimp gouging it out; nor the untold many sex workers who have been and continue to be imprisoned in “rehabilitation centers,” including AFESIP’s center.

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South African strip club owner creates a line of fragrances “aimed primarily at men” called Alibis. Scents include “I Was Working Late” with the hints of coffee, wool suits, cigarettes and ink. It looks like they’re only available at the club so we can’t confirm that this is not a joke.

Dr. Conrad Murray was more than one strippers’ annoying regular.

Sensibilities are offended in Miami over Swinging Richards.

How Cambodia’s anti-slavery laws are working out for sex workers: “Every single sex worker we spoke with said the police demanded bribes or stole money from them. Some officers demanded sex.” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof live-tweets a brothel raid in Cambodia, which raises questions.

Speaking of Twitter, Ashton Kutcher defends Joe Paterno, turns his Twitter account over to his management team. [READ MORE]

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The Athens Vertical Pole Academy announces an upcoming breast cancer benefit performance

Melissa Gorga of Real Housewives of New Jersey denies rumors that she is a former stripper.

Two Pakistani police officers got caught on the wrong side of a sting operation. They were arrested at the Multan brothel, where a madam claimed that they had been extorting money.

Courtney Love has announced that she’s working on a memoir—we hope she talks about her days as a stripper!

The World Pole Dance Sport & Fitness Championship was held just outside of Budapest last weekend. Alesia Vazmitzl of Belarus won the women’s gold medal, and Evgeny Greshilov of Russia won the men’s.

Minneapolis and New York City hosted SlutWalks last weekend.

A writer at BusinessInsider.com suggests a new iPhone app to pay for lap dances when customers are low on cash.

A UK woman hired a stripper to entertain guests at her 100th birthday party, which appears to have been held at a nursing home.

Melissa Petro is blogging about sex work for Bitch.

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Two Brazilian pole dance champs held an “impromptu dance-battle” at a Rio de Janeiro dance studio.

Sino Weibo, the Chinese version of Alexa DiCarlo, was outed as a 31-year old married man living in Hangzou. He was fined 500 renminbi (about $79) for “cheating the public with fabricated facts” and “disrupting social order.”

Pervs from around the country convened last weekend at the Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco’s annual BDSM and fetish festival. [READ MORE]

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Sex writer Melissa Gira Grant published a piece in the Guardian last week questioning the rhetoric of anti-sex work activists—particularly Ashton Kutcher, who’s been collaborating with wife Demi Moore in a highly publicized “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign. (Kutcher and Moore’s “activism” has been discussed previously in several other Tits and Sass posts, like this one, this one, and this one, to name just a few.)

In her article, Grant deconstructs the myth of clients “buying” prostitutes instead of exchanging money for labor. Sex workers don’t “sell our bodies” any more than pro-athletes, construction workers, ballerinas or models do. We use our bodies for labor; they’re not “things” that clients can purchase. To buy something implies a permanent change of ownership. After several years of being a prostitute I find that I still very much own my body—despite all the men who have allegedly “bought” me.  [READ MORE]

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