The Week in Links—May 28th

by Red on May 29, 2015 · 0 comments

in The Week in Links

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Things fall apart in the Witcher brothel. (Screenshot from Witcher 3)

In this video game brothel, clients and workers become disembodied parts before they fuse together in a scene that manages to be amusing and nightmarish at the same time.

The top Honolulu prosecutor had to drop charges against the massage parlor workers who were arrested in a raid and then charged with sexual assault after the police couldn’t find enough evidence to charge them with prostitution. Elizabeth Nolan Brown shreds the whole incident and points out that, while charges are dropped, some of the women are still vulnerable to deportation.

Katie Hail-Jares calls out the Honolulu Police Department’s use of coercive tactics to “rescue” sex workers and discusses the multiple ways this policy is not only ineffective, but outright damaging.

A South African ex-sex worker and Sisonke activist discusses the economic circumstances that led to him going into sex work and the social stigma and violence South African male sex workers face.

Despite all the big talk about rescuing sex workers and helping people who want out of the industry, the Canadian sex work exit fund is too small to be of much use to anyone. More on that.

The Terrence Higgins Trust in the UK seems to be actually invested in helping HIV positive sex workers leave the industry! Unsurprisingly, THT actually works with sex worker support group SWISH.

A legislator in Tanzania takes the “If wishes were horses” approach to public health:

“It is unacceptable to find people engaged in commercial sex and then educating them on how to avoid contracting HIV. The only solution to addressing HIV prevalence is to prohibit prostitution,” Ms Ali said.

And on that note: two new studies are out examining why the attempts of other Indian states to replicate the success of Kolkata’s Sonagachi project—a “programme of HIV prevention through community mobilisation…intended to empower sex workers to tackle the social conditions which made them more vulnerable to HIV”—met with different results.

NPR did an extensive profile of Ruby Corado, the ex-survival sex worker and trans woman activist who founded DC’s Casa Ruby, a drop-in service center which also acts as a communal home for trans people.

The Bay Area Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival held a panel on the collateral violence of anti-trafficking efforts.

New Zealand has been getting some great press, starting with the New York Post and continuing with this Australian article detailing why New Zealand is “the best place in the world to work as a prostitute.” Look, the view from the States makes the whole of the Antipodes seem like the Just City.

Given all the furor, a New Zealand news site decided to investigate. As one Actual New Zealand Sex Worker pointed out, the writer doesn’t know the difference between decrim and legalization [“In 2003 we became one of the few countries to legalise the industry”], but, she says, “it’s mostly all right despite that.”

And this Kiwi Christian organization is pretty bummed over all that good press!

The Indian government is planning to conduct a survey of sex workers, while sex workers worry about what such a survey would mean for their safety and confidentiality.

Janet Mock talks a bit in her “It Got Better” video about the necessity of underground economies to trans women of color, while the accompanying article quotes from her other writings about her past sex work.

In asking “What have you done for money?“, Kate Durbin highlights the massive earning difference between men and women artists, and gives voice to many sex workers who use the sex trade to fund their art.

And, thematically connected by the continued use of images of women’s lips, this is an interesting op-ed on anti-sex work feminists getting it all wrong in the UK.

French prohibitionists try to claim that immigrant sex workers drain the economy by sending their earnings abroad, apparently relying on whore-and xeno-phobia to cover the absence of reality in their research.

More on Laura Lee’s struggle to fight End Demand in Northern Ireland.

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