Home The Week in Links The Week in Links—December 20th

The Week in Links—December 20th

A graphic Amanda Brooks made to illustrate the devastation abusive client Percy Lawayne Isgitt wreaked on her and Jill Brenneman. (Image via Amanda Brooks' blogs, courtesy of Amanda Brooks.)
A graphic Amanda Brooks made to illustrate the devastation abusive client Percy Lawayne Isgitt wreaked on her and Jill Brenneman. (Image via Amanda Brooks’ blogs, courtesy of Amanda Brooks)

You can contribute to longtime sex worker activists Jill Brenneman and Amanda Brooks to help them pay their medical expenses using the email abrooks2014@hush.com through Giftrocket. Brenneman and Brooks were abused and terrorized by a client over a span of two and a half years—they discussed their devastating story with Tits and Sass co-editors Caty and Josephine earlier this week.

Amber Batts is suffering the results of Alaska’s new anti-trafficking laws, which have resulted in her being charged with eight counts of felony sex trafficking for running an escorting agency. She’s been offered a plea bargain which would require her to register as a sex offender for life even after serving 10 to 25 years in prison.  Batt’s best chance against the conviction that would ruin her life is a good lawyer, but her lawyer just quit because she was unable to pay. Donate to her legal fund at crowdrise.

Mistress Anja, a pro-domme in Singapore, talks about how she got into her work and why she stays in it (because it’s a job that pays extremely well, spoiler).

Melinda Chateauvert, Savannah Sly, and Tits and Sass’s own Maggie Mcmuffin are interviewed in this article about Seattle SWOP’s symposium for December 17th, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Melissa Petro and Tits and Sass contributor Tara Burns wrote powerfully about the themes of the day, Petro for Al Jazeera and Burns for Vice. Missy Wilkinson also did a write up of SWOP-NOLA’s December 17th march in New Orleans for Gambit.

First the Swedish model and now mandatory testing: bill C-36 has passed in Canada and one public health organization there is advocating legalization, regulation, and mandatory testing, all for sex workers’ own good of course. The Canadian Public Health Association has taken the stance that legalization and regulation would create the safest climate for sex workers, allowing for the creation of

conditions that enable sex workers to access necessary health services and sexual health education initiatives to promote safer sex practices.

Although the CPHA’s paper outlining its stance uses some good language, it also has some baffling misstatements, claiming that sex workers have a higher instance of HIV and sti infection, for one. A higher instance than whom is left unsaid, but for the most part we have much lower rates of infection than the civilian population.

The Guardian asks how exactly Canada’s laws on prostitution managed to make a full 180 in one year.

If you haven’t already heard about A&E’s prospective new reality show 8 Minutes prepare for a rage blackout: cop-turned pastor Kevin Brown will be stalking full service sex workers, setting up dates with them, and giving himself eight minutes to get them to quit their jobs so he can lead them to salvation.  On camera. Elizabeth Nolan Brown says that

Forman told Entertainment Weekly that the “girls” won’t be shown on television without their permission, and that Brown’s success rate has been about 50 percent. “Sometimes they turn and leave, but that’s the case when trying to save prostitutes,” said Forman. (They’re wily like cats, they are!) A&E has ordered an initial eight episodes of the show.

Lane Champagne explained just how the show hurts both sex workers who want to quit and those who don’t on Tits and Sass earlier this week. There is a Change.org petition to get the show pulled.

A community organization in Mozambique is doing health education and outreach among sex workers. Abavamo hands out condoms and femidoms, teaches hookers about HIV and sti transmission and how to work safer.

UK social enterprise Reason Digital is collaborating with Ugly Mugs to create Safety Nets, an app that uses the same geolocation technology as Tinder and Grindr to allow workers to anonymously upload descriptions of bad dates and ugly mugs to Safety Net users in the surrounding area.

A fifteen-year-old girl, who is believed to have been engaged in “compensated dating,” was found dead this week in Hong Kong.

Only a little over half of the €8 million in funds dedicated to sex workers rights actually went to organizations led by actual sex workers last year, according to a report published by Open Society Foundations, Mama Cash and the Red Umbrella Fund.  The report gratifyingly pointed out that,

“Sex workers are organising around the world for their rights but lack access to funding,” said the report. “Most sex worker-led organisations rely heavily on volunteer work and other in-kind contributions from within their community, while social change can only be achieved through sustained investments and long-term strategies that often require additional external funding.

“Funders should increase their investments in sex-worker rights in general and their grant-making to sex worker-led organisations in particular.”

The Laura Flanders Show’s documentary about the effect of Alaska’s sex trafficking laws on sex workers looks like it may be the most honest documentary about sex workers this year.

Canadian activist and actor Gillian Clarke is performing a piece about sexual abuse in the sex industry in this year’s Thespo festival in Mumbai.

HIV prevention work among criminalized populations in Tunisia–LGBT people, sex workers, injection drug users—is left to nongovernmental groups funded by international HIV organizations, this despite the fact that Tunisia offers free healthcare to its citizens.

The Lancet has this handy graphic: Facts About Sex Workers and the Myths That Help Spread HIV.

The Lancet also, as Al Jazeera notes briefly in this article about the policing of sex in the United States, published a study earlier this year of over 800 individual studies about sex work, which found that

criminalizing sex work led to greater abuses endured by sex workers, and worse public health outcomes. Rhode Island, which accidentally decriminalized sex work, actually saw a dramatic drop in “forcible rape” offenses.

Even charities that focus on getting sex workers to quit sex work recognize that pro-free zones are a bad idea: Lighthouse, an organization in Hull, UK, says that,

we are concerned that if women can no longer work on these streets, they will either be pushed to work off-street in more dangerous situations…

Although they then ruin it by reaffirming that they support the end goal of having fewer women working on Hessle Road (the pro-free zone in question) but they would like that to happen through a “managed approach” which helps them leave, not just Hessle Road, but the sex industry altogether.

The demand for escorts is apparently so high in Australia’s northern territories that sex workers from other areas FIFO: “fly in”, make their money, and “fly out.”

Speaking of FIFO workers, most women arrested for vice in Hong Kong are women from mainland China who travel to do sex work.

A study of full service sex workers in Austria identified 350 sex workers, and only 15 women who could potentially be trafficked.




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