This is why none of the sex workers I know trust or support Salvation Army.
Feminist Whore has taken the time to go down the rabbit hole to examine some of the groups and actions supported by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s anti-trafficking efforts, and what she uncovers is stomach turning beyond belief. This video is required viewing for anyone who wants to claim any knowledge about sex trafficking and the responses it inspires. But here are some highlights:
- Health clinics are listed as “site of prostitution.” Really, I’m pretty sure they just mean that you can find and ambush sex workers here when they’re trying to take control of and maintain their reproductive and sexual health. (I.e. “sabotage effective outreach”)
- The literature demonizes trans people and emphasizes the importance of Christianity in “healing”
- Masturbation is a sign of having “survived sexual exploitation” as is going back to sex work.
- The 5 minute mark. Just watch it. I have never heard anything so fucked up.
so a handful of scholars(???) sat around and agreed that gagging a woman and having her whimper in distress was a good way to explain to volunteers why volunteering is like…a good thing…my brain can’t process this shit.
I’m not convinced they are Scholars Coco. This doesn’t strike me as the writing of anyone even vaguely familiar with any of the respectable acaademic literature on sexuality generated since the 50s,. Even the more stridently anti sex-work faction in feminism would be horrified at the exercise at the end and the twaddle about masturbation (Seriously salvos? Even the bloody catholics think masturbations OK lol).
No, I’d guess it was some low level social worker whos gone and inserted a giant slab of bad theology in their brain and then put the resulting cognitive mess through a blender with good old fashion dose of misogeny.
The failed attempts at respectful language (using “survivor” instead of “victim”, etc) just make it even more surreal.
Health clinics are listed as “site of prostitution.”
Well, as a matter of fact, they are. I mean, have you any idea how many pharmaceutical company representatives file in and out of doctors’ offices every day?
I’m trying to imagine what on God’s green earth was going through these people’s minds when they came up with that “Activity Role Play” and am at an utter loss.
Autumn, it is so nice to see you here!
I agree, I cannot fathom any circumstances under which someone would feel comfortable suggesting this, nor under which others would approve it. (Sadly, cynically, the idea of “prurience” is all that comes to my mind. Like, it’s something Frollo would have invented to punish Esmerelda.)
That was probably the most fucked thing I’ve seen in the last month.
The image of doughy white “Christian” volunteers-in-training giggling over that last exercise is haunting my brain. I hope every woman that’s been selected to represent the sad, trafficked, abused, confused little sex worker in that scenario has promptly fled her training.
It disgusts me that these people call themselves Christians. I mean, I’m a hardcore atheist, but I was raised Presbyterian and I read a fair amount of the bible when I was younger, and none of this would have been in any way condoned by Jesus or his disciples, at least while he was alive.
also Kaballah (which Ashton and especially Demi [a former escort herself!] and Demi’s publicist Liz Rosenberg are members of) thinks this of prostitution,
“Question: What is the spiritual root of prostitution? Why has it existed for millennia and continues to be so popular?
My Answer: Because it satisfies one of man’s primary desires, which are: food, sex, family (home), wealth, power, and knowledge.”
To be fair, Kabbalah is not something that one is a “member” of. More to the point, the kabbalah they claim to practice is mostly trendy BS with little to do with the actual kabbalistic texts. And of course, the “my” in this guy’s “my answer” indicates that this is HIS personal opinion.
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Even though I agree with your analysis, your immature sniping during your commentary, not to mention your juvenile use of vulgarity, detracts from whatever credibility one might expect from a responsible journalist.
Not sure if this is directed at myself or at Feminist Whore but I believe you would benefit from reading the following regardless. (Excerpted from http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html)
“The next level up we start to see responses to the writing, rather than the writer. The lowest form of these is to disagree with the author’s tone. […] Though better than attacking the author, this is still a weak form of disagreement. It matters much more whether the author is wrong or right than what his tone is.”
If you or anyone watches that video and only manages to be offended by the use of of an occasional “dirty word”—are you familiar with George Carlin, sir?—our priorities probably differ too widely to engage in productive conversation with one another.
I’m of two minds about the “tone” argument. It is possible to be right, but be such an asshole about it that you put people off unnecessarily, or sideline the issue into one about your behavior. Or have a point worthy of further discussion, but phrase it in such a way that its a conversation stopper. None of which either you or FW are even remotely guilty of here.
And then there’s people who clearly just have a bee in their fucking bonnet that you’re –gasp– using profanities, or maybe that you’re a little too angry about an issue that affects you personally. Those are people that need to get over themselves a bit, which is where I’d peg “Chuck Roast” here.
I appreciate that distinction. Someone left a comment on the site recently that was not approved even though they agreed with the post’s points because they used so many slurs. (Not that one slur would be okay, but this was especially egregious.) If someone is being completely nasty, it will be hard for others to look through to the larger point underneath, and purposefully trying to be as offensive as possible definitely seems counterintuitive to a discussion.
I don’t want to speak for FW, but I would guess that any “vulgar” words on her part—I can’t remember her using any—come from sheer incredulity and fury. For myself, I was angry and fatigued and therefore really tapped out when it came to academic, distanced responses. I reject the idea that the only acceptable or “credible” way one to talk about a subject is by pretending s/he doesn’t have emotional, human responses to truly terrible information.
“In USA – Hands That Heal Program works with the Human Trafficking Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. The program also does education and training in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Hong Kong, and Cambodia. The curriculum is being translated into 9 languages. The program has done training in 10 cities in USA so far, more than a dozen upcoming, 10 or more in the world outside the USA.”
–Nicole Wood from World Hope International @ Commission on preventing Trafficking, November 18, 2008 led by democrat Adam Ebbin:
Australian sex workers successfully protested against Salvation Army campaign: Scarlet Alliance president Elena Jeffreys said the Salvation Army had exploited the sex worker involved and was encouraging community discrimination against legal prostitution (Sydney, May 2009):
Family group apologises to sex workers (Tasmania, April 2010):
They can only spread horrifying material, as long as they do not hear otherwise from a strong group of self determined sex workers.
The language that Love146 uses reminds me a lot of the Church of Scientology.
All religion is a hustle anyway.
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why will you not post my comments? perhaps they didn’t make it through – or do you not like dissenters?
You can learn about our comment policy here: https://titsandsass.com/?p=2791 Read it! It’s free!
Criticism is welcome as long as it’s not incoherent, abusive (that includes ad hominem attacks,) or just plain off topic/irrelevant.
The Salvation Army has a very long history of this; it was a product of the “social purity” movement of the late 19th century, the same movement which resulted in “abolition” becoming the dominant legal framework for prostitution law. The Salvation Army was in fact instrumental in promoting the “white slavery” hysteria of the late 19th-early 20th century, and to this day Salvationists insist (http://salvationist.ca/2011/05/rescue-the-perishing/) that “white slavery” (or as it’s now called “sex trafficking”) was an actual reality rather than the moral panic legitimate historians recognize it as.
I was suspicious of Ashton and Demi, the moment a stripper-friend told me about their “activism”. Don’t trust Hollywood to be realistic about sex workers, ever.
I have to say that I’m kind of surprised that Ashton would support groups like these D-Bag Christians, I’ve seen him on Bill Maher’s show, and he seem’d pretty liberal, I’m wondering if he is just blindly supporting a group without doing any research. These Christians have good intentions, but are so ignorant and brainwashed they can’t help themselves. Sex workers need EDUCATION not Jesus, and since when has masturbation been a bad thing. Great piece.