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The Week In Links—March 13th

Sen. John Cornyn
Meet Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the man who introduced a controversial human trafficking bill. Democrats blocked the bill because of a hidden anti-abortion provision.

Crowdfunding website mysteriously changed its terms of service and then canceled ESPLERP’s fundraising campaign to challenge the constitutionality of the state of California’s prostitution laws. Very peculiar:

Although GiveForward and GoFundMe both prohibit crowdfunding campaigns for sexually explicit materials, that hasn’t stopped both platforms from hosting ethically ambiguous fundraising campaigns. Last fall, GoFundMe hosted a fundraising campaign for Darren Wilson’s legal bills after he was accused of shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. GiveForward also caught flak for hosting a crowdfunding campaign for the MMA fighter War Machine, who is alleged to have brutally beat and raped his ex-girlfriend, adult performer Christy Mack. (The site later removed the campaign page.)

ESPLERP is one of the candidates for the $10,000 People’s Momentum Award.  Vote for them here.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown gives a comprehensive breakdown of the new and massive Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act which neatly solves the problem of what to do with returning veterans by:

Establish[ing] the “Human Exploitation Rescue Operative (HERO) Child Rescue Corps.” In the HERO Corps, “the returning military heroes of the United States are trained and hired to investigate crimes of child exploitation in order to target predators and rescue children from sexual abuse and slavery.”

Oh yeah, sounds safe and well thought out. It would also create an incentive for police and prosecutors by funneling the fines for those found guilty of trafficking or other illicit sexual conduct back into the fund from which police and prosecutors are paid.

Law makers in Montana are having trouble deciphering between when a sex worker is a victim and when she is not. (Here’s a hint: she might not always be a victim, but she is definitely never a criminal.)

Get your tickets, pack your bags! Milan’s 2015 Expo World Fair is set to begin in May. It will supposedly attract so many sex workers, 15,000 of them to be precise, that the locals have started the calling the event the “Sexpo.”

The Week In Links—March 6

Today is #blackout Friday, and gorgeous performer and Tits and Sass contributor is representing for us! (Photo by Jose Antonio Contreras, courtesy of Essence Revealed)
Today is #blackout Friday, and gorgeous performer and Tits and Sass contributor Essence Revealed is representing for us! (Photo by Jose Antonio Contreras, courtesy of Essence Revealed)

In California, ESPLER (Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project) have filed a lawsuit against the state’s attorney general, Kamala D. Harris, and four district attorneys. The plaintiffs, three sex workers and one client, maintain that their constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of association, and substantive due process right to earn a living are violated by CA’s prostitution laws.

Let’s get hysterical! Where there’s sports, there will be sex trafficking. This time we’re supposed to panic about the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

Seriously though, why is there no Uber for men that ask stupid questions?

The story of how evangelical Christians imported sex trafficking hysteria from feminists is a good illustration of why we should be suspicious of any cause that unites conservative Christians and radical feminists in.

A study led by Leeds University found that the majority of sex workers are pretty darn satisfied with their work, over 1/3 have college degrees, while over 70% have worked in healthcare, education, or non-profit work.

And in response, the Independent asks, “Why should we find that surprising?

The Week In Links—February 27

it's white and gold bitches
Breaking! Sex workers use internet, get sucked into popular memes! And it is unquestionably gold.

Contribute to the fundraiser to help porn performer Cytherea get back on her feet after being the victim of sexual assault during a traumatic home invasion here.

Jiz Lee will be guest editing a future issue of the Porn Studies journal on Porn and Labor. They’re soliciting submissions from now until July.

Wired explored the impact of the MyRedBook raid on Bay Area sex workers.

The Philadelphia murder trial of a woman who gave illicit butt injections continues. Her attorney sounds like a prize:

In questioning Saunders and King, Rudenstein stressed that they sought out Windslowe and the injections.
“What happened to the rope?” Rudenstein asked Saunders.
“What rope?” she replied.
“The rope she tied you down with to do this to you,” he said.

The online market for sex and sexualized services is growing, and it has nothing to do with the Superbowl or any other sporting events, as this Arizona State University study discovers.

Three California massage parlors were raided on suspicion of trafficking and then, though no evidence of trafficking was found, they were shut down anyway because of poor record keeping, especially around workers’ compensation. This incident once again raises the question:  is this about protecting vulnerable people, or shutting down sex businesses?

An assault in the West End of Vancouver has police warning sex workers to be on alert for

Mark Stacy Spelrem, 45…wanted in connection to the assaults. He’s described as a white male, 5-feet-11 with a slim build, with short dyed blond-orange hair “that is spiked at the front and balding at the back.”

The Week In Links—February 20

Lux ATL (Photo via her Facebook)
Lux ATL (Photo via her Facebook, courtesy of Lux ATL)

Tits and Sass contributor and Mastodon video vixen Lux ATL was featured in Atlanta alt-weekly Creative Loafing‘s Lust List last week.

This VICE UK opinion piece takes abolitionist Julie Bindel to task for her use of the term “pimp lobby” to dismiss sex workers fighting for their rights.

The largest study ever done on trafficking survivors finds that people who’ve been trafficked for sex (and the Reuters article doesn’t specify what that means, an important oversight given the very flexible definitions of sex trafficking) have much better mental health overall than survivors of other forms of trafficking.

In another brilliant move which distracts attention from actual human rights and labor abuses in strip clubs in order to refocus attention on the mythical specter of strip club trafficking, the US state of Indiana is debating making birth certificates and proof of US residence requirements for working as a stripper. Apparently…

Up until now, the state has not required the performers to show documents typically required at other workplaces.

Oh yes.  All those pizza places, movie theaters, coffee shops, and daycares, all requiring a birth certificate.

Strip club owners would have to take photos of each stripper and job applicant, and keep them on file for at least three years.

That sounds safe and not at all open to abuse.

City Paper links to Seattle SWOP’s struggles against the proposed End Demand legislation, and then, inexplicably, rather than talking to a sex worker about sex work, they interview Dan Savage.  There were no members of Seattle SWOP available, perhaps? They were all in Olympia that day and couldn’t take the call?

The Week in Links—February 13th

Seattle SWOP

SWOP-Seattle went to Olympia to speak in front of the legislature about the proposed End Demand bill, with the result that Senator Kohl-Welles has a third amendment to add, one which will increase the penalty for buying sex only after the third arrest, a misunderstanding only slightly less appalling than a recent senator’s offer of a hot meal to an activist lobbying against discrimination against sex workers.

Church leaders in Scotland have signed a letter calling for an amendment to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill which would criminalize the purchase of sex in Scotland.  Sex workers and rights activists are protesting, pointing to the recent report which concluded that End Demand did anything but protect sex workers.

This National Post review goes over all the work of controversial Canadian French writer and ex-sex worker Nelly Arcan, who hung herself in her apartment in 2009. Her novel Whore—a bleak account of a sex worker’s life as told to her psychoanalyst—was nominated for both the Prix Medicis and the Prix Femina, two of the most respected French literary honors. (As told to her psychoanalyst, though? Could that plot be more French?)

Trans porn performer, cam girl, and writer Rebeka Refuse talks about her entry into sex work, Marxism, her work with Trans Housing Network and her plan to create small, easily fundable shelters for trans people.

Bonela and Sisonke, two sex workers’ rights groups in Botswana, wrote a letter about the recent support for sex workers’ rights shown by Assistant Minister of local Government and Rural Government, Botlogile Tshireletso.

Simon Leahy, who clearly isn’t friends with any sex workers, is having a porn festival in New York to open up a wider dialogue about sex. The festival includes a film by James Franco; sadly, Miley Cyrus’ contribution was withdrawn.

The Virginia Trucking Association is partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking to help educate truckers about what trafficking looks like.  Not “how to provide best services to young runaways,” or “how to recognize and respond to abusive behaviors,” but “trafficking.”  Okay then.

An Australian man who raped an escort multiple times through fraudulent payments has been sentenced to eight months in jail.