A piece in Australian lit mag Overland republished in the Guardian declares that the author “feels uneasy about sex work” but has “changed her mind” about it because “it’s not about me.” Uh, nice start, we guess? It’s interesting how many times the article employs the personal pronoun after its declaration that sex work is not the non-sex worker’s personal business to police.
Indeed, the murder of St Kilda street sex worker Tracy Connelly caused a pro-sex workers’ rights stir in the Australian media and elsewhere. The best example was a thoughtful post in the Conversation which reflected on the use of the word “prostitute” to describe Connelly in reports of her death: “The term “prostitute” does not simply mean a person who sells her or his sexual labour (although rarely used to describe men in sex work), but brings with it layers of “knowledge” about her worth, drug status, childhood, integrity, personal hygiene and sexual health. When the media refers to a woman as a prostitute, or when such a story remains on the news cycle for only a day, it is not done in isolation, but in the context of this complex history.”
Meanwhile, Kemal İffetsiz Aysu Ayrıkotu, chair of the Turkish sex workers’ rights organization the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, posted in the Global Network of Sex Work Projects’ Facebook to report three more deaths in the Turkish trans sex worker community this week: the murder of a woman named Gaye, the suicide of an Izmir woman, and the death of Ozge from Kurtulus, Istanbul from unknown causes.
To round up this week’s list of casualties in our community, everyone is just SHOCKED by the “double life” of 72 year old murder victim Janina Wrigglesworth, who worked on income taxes and also advertised as a massage worker. We think the lead should have been the fact that she was killed. At least the article quotes Sex Professionals of Canada’s Nikki Thomas.
Melissa Petro tells xojane how she survived a MSNBC appearance to talk about Spitzer, sex work, and Weiner.
Anthony Weiner’s former sexting partner, Sydney Leathers, is negotiating to appear in a porn parody of their affair. Adult film actress Aurora Snow reminds her of some factors she should consider before making that decision in an open letter in the Daily Beast.
Scholar/adult film actor Conner Habib reflects on the vagaries of porn names in Buzzfeed.
The FBI arrested 159 people and rescued 105 children involved in child prostitution rings across the country. Judging from the photo in the Fox News story of a teenage girl being led away in handcuffs, “rescue” here looks a lot like arrest.
Stoya debunks myths about Big Porn and brainless exploited porn actresses in a Vice essay on porn, ethics, and labor rights.
The Daily Beast’s piece on Medécins du Monde’s efforts to provide illegal migrant Chinese sex workers in Paris’ Bellevile neighborhood with safe sex information employed unfortunate phrasing in its byline: ” …Anne-Marie Bissada on grassroots efforts to educate the women on STDs and street smarts.” Actually, we’re sure these women could school the nonprofit workers on street smarts. And does Medecins du Monde also teach the migrant sex workers how to ensure that their clients comply with condom use?
Porn magazines will no longer be sold in US Army and Air Force shops. Why, that’s just unAmerican.
Tracy Quan gives Truthdig her insight on author Shereen El Feki and her book Sex and the Citadel, a “sex futurist” text on Egyptian society, sex work, trans women, feminism, privacy, hymen repair, queerness, and much more.
For the first time, Nicaraguan sex workers set up an office for a sex workers’ rights organization to assist in protection from abuse, violence and discrimination. Prostitution is illegal in Nicaragua, but authorities often turn a blind eye to it.
The Guardian points out that the issue of trafficking is about much more than sex. Indeed, the UK’s Department for International Development and the International Labour Organisation have launched a £9.75m anti-trafficking initiative to prevent 100,000 south-east Asian women from being trafficked into forced labor in the garment industry and as domestic workers. To which we can only say, it’s about time.
A UK man caught with a street sex worker in his car told police she was there to show him where to buy tomatoes.
The New York Times profiled a “rehabilitation” program for prisoners convicted of prostitution. Sex workers’ rights advocate Jennifer J Reed said all there was to say about this when she succinctly asked about the missing link in this “solution” on Facebook: “Socio-economics?”
Rejoice. Hugo Schwyzer is finally going away.
A former NY city police officer admitted in court that he took favors and money from a Queens brothel as part of a protection scheme that helped shut down its competitors. Apparently, sexual services were one of the ways the brothel paid its fees to the cops involved. Surprise, surprise.
Alternet has an article up on the exorbitant penalties imposed on sex offenders, even if they did little or nothing to earn that label. Odd how the fact that in many states sex workers are put on sex offender registries is never mentioned, though.
San Francisco city supervisor Katy Tang goes on crusade against sex in massage parlors.
Round 1,001 of the “Is lap dancing art?” debate.
An Illinois woman who claims she was forced to work as a prostitute for her boyfriend remains held in Lake County jail without a chance to post bail because she is considered a flight risk and might not return to testify in her boyfriend’s trial. As Laura Agustin stated, “So now she’s coerced and forced to testify rather than to have sex. Talk about treating women as objects. Shows horribly how the #RescueIndustry aims at controlling women.”
A man has been charged with impersonating a police officer after he allegedly arrested and attacked an escort in Perth. Not enough that we have to worry about the real cops?
Daily Life ran a feature on Kangxin Home, a nonprofit for HIV positive Chinese sex workers.