Andrew Hunter, one of the founding members of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, and a personal friend and ally of ours here at Tits and Sass, died suddenly yesterday. His radical commitment to the rights of sex workers, drug users, and HIV positive people will continue to create an impact after his passing. NSWP will be collecting and posting tributes to his life and work on a memorial page on the NSWP website, so if you have memories to share please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did Charles Lane, editorial writer for the Washington Post, seriously make an argument against decriminalization? Also in the Post, political scientist Samantha Majic argues that governing bodies should work with and listen to sex workers when designing policy related to sex work.
Sex work advocate Susan Davis is excited about Canada’s new prostitution ruling, but also expresses apprehension about what new laws her country’s conservative government might create.
Melissa Gira Grant wrote a short history of the red light, virtual and otherwise, at Medium: “The red light, like a review on The Ultimate Strip Club List, is a message exchanged between men.”
Continuing to look at the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision to overturn anti-prostitution laws in the Bedford case, here’s an academic look at the decision. This editorial in support of the decision says “you can’t have a criminal law that endangers the lives of people who engage in lawful activity.” Kate Zen wrote this analysis at Truthout that contrasts the decision with the Swedish Model of criminalizing clients. While we don’t understand how anyone could call the Canadian sex workers behind this decision “voiceless,” this piece illustrates how the decision can make sex work safer. And this Al Jazeera article is a brief summary of the decision.
The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) wrote a letter to the Guardian about the weight of its coverage of the the debate on criminalizing clients in its articles, and having received no response, posted it on their website.
Tits and Sass contributor Terra Burns is quoted in this piece on December 17 in Alaska; harmful anti-trafficking legislation was passed in that state last year.
Check out this incredibly bad piece of johnalism from Uganda, “A prostitute’s Christmas; does baby Jesus’ birth even mean anything?” “‘You think we are here at this time of the night [it was midnight] to make money for The Observer? We only entertain willing buyers, not journalists,’ said one of them, punctuating her sentiments with obscenities.” High five.
Feminist Lauren McGrow argues that sex workers must help design laws surround their trade, that the Swedish model is a failure, and that decriminalization is the only legitimate to help and protect sex workers.
The violence continues against transgender sex workers in Turkey. This attack was exceptionally brutal and senseless.
How the Nordic model, the Swedish model, and feminists infantilize, dismiss, and generally make life impossible for sex working women: “Remember single women from many countries are denied visas to visit various countries so as to protect them from being ‘trafficked’ so it will not be long before these is a campaign to prevent men travelling alone from visiting Thailand/Cambodia etc.. without clearance from the anti-sex tourist office in their home country.”
The data that drives sex work related policy is, more often that not, bad, misleading or corrupted.
University of Colorado tenured professor Patricia Adler may be forced out following controversy over a lecture she gives in her “Deviance in U.S. Society” class: “The lecture is delivered as a skit, involving assistant teaching assistants reading from scripts. The undergraduate assistants play the roles of ‘slave whores, crack whores, bar whores, streetwalkers, brothel workers and escort services.'” Cool, sounds cool. “During the lecture, Adler talks with them (with the assistant teaching assistants in character) about such issues as their backgrounds, ‘how they got into the business,’ how much they charge, the services they perform, and the risks they face of violence, arrest and AIDS.” While it sounds like the university was worried about the lecture being too risqué, we’re just happy to be over here taught in a class about “deviance” and hope she was able to get around to homosexuality and masturbation by the end of the semester.