We covered NYC’s new prostitution courts last week. This week, Robin Richardson of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center sent a great letter to the editor in the New York Times discussing the courts and challenging the criminalization of prostitution. In even more exciting news, the Melissa Harris-Perry Show hosted a dialogue on the courts and on sex work featuring Deon Haywood of Women With a Vision. It was a remarkable discussion, the likes of which we’ve never seen before on network television. In November, Melissa Harris-Perry will also be hosting a panel discussion, featuring Deon Haywood and formerly incarcerated activists and scholars, on female incarceration at Tulane University.
Following recent (often negative) media exposure, brothel workers in Nairobi, Kenya have taken to confiscating recording equipment such as smartphones from clients to protect their privacy.
Sex workers’ rights activists are starting to respond to Equality Now’s campaign, which we mentioned last week, condemning the UN and Global Law Commission’s recommendations to decriminalize sex work. India’s National Network of Sex Workers and the African Sex Worker Alliance have both released statements.
The Los Angeles Times ran a positive review, rife with comparisons to “Belle de Jour”, of “Concussion,” a film about a housewife turned high end escort who caters to women clients exclusively. How we wish this were actually a market that existed in the real world. One thing, though: as our contributor Lori Adorable notes in her tumblr, “Just FYI: I often insist on meeting my clients in public first, and it is not really that unorthodox and definitely just for business. Try harder, people who review media about sex work.”
Ed Sheeran, who won prizes for a shitty song about a sex worker, said of Miley Cyrus ” I think encouraging young people to twerk might be a bad thing. It’s a stripper’s move. If I had a daughter of mine, I wouldn’t want her twerking.” If we had a daughter, we wouldn’t want her listening to Ed Sheeran.
A Bangkok police official defended the role of sex workers by claiming they reduced rape, angering local sex workers’ rights organizations. Chantawipa Abhisuk, director of the Empower, responded saying, “The belief that prostitution can help reduce rape cases in society is just a misunderstanding. There are still many rape cases in our society and they are usually perpetrated by someone close to the victims, not by some total stranger.”
Some dude promoting a prostitution website crashed Wilson Kipsang’s world-record Berlin Marathon finish by jumping into the finish.
Speaking of Equality Now, Melissa Gira Grant posted a summary of their opposition research efforts, recruiting Milano School students to monitor sex workers’ rights organizations for them. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects drafted a letter to the Milano School in response and is looking for academics and researchers to sign on. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Providence strip club begins its new life as a boutique hotel.
The government of Indian state Trapura assured stern action against an NGO that enrolled housewives as sex workers to manipulate funds meant for an AIDS campaign.
Dita Von Teese is suing her insurance broker for failing to make her aware that she could have purchased a policy to cover losses due to acts of god. The burlesque performer had to pay six figures out-of-pocket due to Sandy-related cancellations.
The effort to criminalize clients of sex workers in France has unfortunately made progress.
Porn director Nica Noelle discusses how she changed her mind about mandatory condom use in porn. We appreciate her perspective, but we notice she doesn’t seem to realize that polyurethane condoms are available as a good solution for people with latex allergies. In general, in all this discourse about the pros and cons of latex use, polyurethane condoms are almost never mentioned.
A study by the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, aided by South African sex workers’ rights organization Sisonke, found that of eighty sex workers in Johannesburg, fifty two had been abused by the police.
A thought provoking op-ed in The Globe and Mail critiques a Canadian court’s decision to sentence a street sex worker to thirty nine months in prison for not disclosing her HIV positive status to a client before having unprotected sex with him.
The British Home Office confirmed that there will be no public inquiry into the handling of a police corruption trial surrounding the notorious murder case of sex worker Lynette White.
Melinda Ozongwu wonders in ThisIsAfrica if the legalization of sex work in Uganda could work as an HIV-prevention strategy (answer: it could, and it has).
“The Project” has issued a call for papers for the Anti-Trafficking Review examining anti-trafficking spending and whether it is going where it ought to (answer: no, it isn’t.)