The Week in Links—June 12th

by Red on June 12, 2015 · 0 comments

in The Week in Links



Vincent Musetto, writer of the greatest headline in New York Post history—HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR—died on Tuesday.

The fact that 225 Haitian women being forced to resort to transactional sex with UN peacekeepers to obtain food, medicine, and other needed items comes as a scandalous surprise makes me worry about the naivete of the public.

This week in strip club op-eds: Nick Kristof gave a budding young johnalist room in the New York Times to practice the art of centering a story about harm reduction workers on his perspective as a first-time visitor to Baltimore’s Block. Women can be johnalists, too, as yet another tourist report shows. This column, though, on a Florida strip club that’s training its staff in how to use a defibrillator, is some actual news you can use.

Multiple stupid articles about camming this week, with inflated claims about the power wielded and the income earned by cam models.  The first is essentially an extended ad for Cam Girlz, a documentary that looks like an infomercial for camming rather than any attempt at cinema verite.

The Stranger tries next, declaring: “Camming is not like any other form of sex work.”  No, of course not: no long shifts with sometimes huge, sometimes minimal payoff; no performance of emotional authenticity; no live interactions. Camming is totally different.  Right.

Meanwhile, Die Okay critiqued Kate Durbin’s depiction of cam workers in her recent performance piece, Cloud Nine.

An upstate New York Division of Tax Appeals judge ruled that while pole dancing performances on stage are art, lap dancing isn’t. This decision leaves Albany area strip club Nite Moves paying back taxes on $3 million of private dance income. You may remember we’ve been following this case for a while. Bubbles shared her opinion.

Molly Smith from the Sex Worker Open University compares the Nordic model of sex work client criminalization to the New Zealand decriminalization model at The New Republic—sex workers are overwhelmingly happier and safer with the latter.

A not-unforeseen result of End Demand is that sex workers don’t feel safe reporting violence against them, with a concomitant rise in violence.

An Atlantic City strip club owner, who’s experimenting with a new business model, proposes boosting the ailing gambling town’s economy with a (legal) red light district.

The Nashville DA’s office fired assistant prosecutor Antoinette Welch, who had been in charge of its human trafficking unit and prostitution diversion program.

Glenn Kessler popped all the hot air out of inflated and hysterical stats about sex trafficking, to little effect.

Street sex workers in Toronto report being afraid of abuse, according to a survey by the Sex Workers’ Action Network.

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was acquitted of aggravated pimping charges related to a series of sex parties held from 2008-2011. Two survival sex workers testified tearfully during the trial, referring to the orgies as “slaughter” and “butchery” and describing how Strauss-Kahn anally raped them.

After months of mass arrests, Nigerian sex workers are demanding that the government either give them jobs or decriminalize sex work, protecting them from further abuse and extortion at the hands of police.

Daniel Wolfe, the Director of the International Harm Reduction Development program, insists that sex workers are among the groups of people who need to be included in outreach efforts:

One main thrust of the programs in this area is the direct involvement of marginalized people in designing the help they most need. “You hear sex workers talk a lot about rights, not rescue,” he said. “Their voices need to be heard.”

Wolfe cited a recent example in Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, who express their response to some of the rescue approaches with an emblem of a sewing machine with a slash through it. Wolfe paraphrased the message of this group as, “Please don’t come to us and tell us you want to teach us how to sew so we can get out of sex work, before you ask us what we tried already and understand about our local context and why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Workers in South Australia protest the “archaic” anti-sex work laws and point out how much safer sex workers are under decrim or even legalization.

More on the 18 sex workers chosen by the Nicaraguan Supreme Court to receive technical and legal training to become community facilitators and mediators between the sex worker community and the state.

Pennsylvania politicians are debating changing the status of underage sex workers from criminal to victim in order to better serve this population. No mention is made of the agency of underage sex workers, most of whom are runaways doing the best they can after exiting untenable and unsafe home conditions, a reality energetically ignored by pretty much everyone. This myopia is reflected in the tenor of the conversation:

“Even if there are a few cases where someone’s doing it voluntarily, is it worth nailing those kids?” said Leach, D-Montgomery. “Is that so important that it’s more important than giving the overwhelming majority of children who are victims of crime the break that they need?”

Because branding children as criminals is a surefire way to rehabilitate them and help them on to other futures!

Lovely. The only thing the world needs less than another movie about a serial killer who focuses on sex workers is another actual serial killer who focuses on sex workers.  We probably won’t see the last of either any time soon.

In New Orleans, 19-year-old dancer Jasilas Wright was found dead on I-10 five days after 16-year-old Kaylan Ward was found; police deny there is a connection.

Suzanne Harrington at the Irish Times thinks it’s time we had a sensible chat about sex work.  Will anyone listen? Besides us, I mean.

The UK considers lifting the ban on gay or sex working blood donors.

No, we aren’t done talking about it: Elizabeth Nolan Brown gives her take on Hot Girls Wanted and Jezebel’s Anna Merlan dives in to talk with people in industry.

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