There were Justice for Dora/Justice for Jasmine protests against violence against sex workers at Swedish and Turkish embassies in thirty six cities worldwide on the 19th, as documented by Melissa Gira Grant in her article on the movement in In These Times.
But no sooner were the protests held were two more casualties of violence against sex workers discovered—Tracy Connelly, a street sex worker in St Kilda, murdered in her van and discovered by her partner, and Philadelphia resident and trans sex worker Diamond Williams, dismembered by killer client Charles Sargent and memorialized in a vigil in Love Park on Tuesday night.
Tits and Sass co-editor Bubbles has a review up on the New Inquiry of Robert Kolker’s Lost Girls, an account of the murder of several escorts whose bodies were discovered buried along the Long Island coast. Co-editor Charlotte Shane talks about fetish client she remembers with special fondness in The Toast, and Bubbles also has a strippers’ eye view of mining boom towns up on Buzzfeed.
Hard Corps, an anti-porn documentary, sought funds on Kickstarter. The documentary claimed to delve into the world of porn and trafficking “undercover.” Melissa Gira Grant inquired as to whether all sex workers who appeared in the documentary had agreed to do so, because if not, that would be truly exploitative. The project added a new item on their FAQ claiming that all those who appeared signed permission forms, but porn actress Nina Hartley, who appears in the documentary, stated that she didn’t remember whether she’d signed such a form and she certainly had no idea at the time that the footage would be used for “Hard Corps.” Furthermore, “Hard Corps” is backed by the Salvation Army, while Kickstarter guidelines forbid charity projects. Marie Calloway at ANIMALNY and The Huffington Post UK picked up the story.
Melissa Petro challenges our society to pardon ex-sex worker women as easily as it pardons men like Eliot Spitzer in NY Magazine.
Thomas Jane, star of guy escort series Hung, reveals that he himself used to be a street sex worker who saw both men and women as clients when he was down and out in Hollywood.
The Marshall Islands government says a US report naming the country as a sex trafficking destination for women from East Asia is “totally baseless“.
There is a loophole in Bennington, VT law, on the books since 1947, that enables some spas to operate without prostitution charges, as the state attorney discovered when one of these spas became involved in a local prostitution investigation.
The Edinburgh Police Department revealed just how much they valued sex workers’ confidentiality when a street sex workers’ documents were found in a park wastebasket.
A federal judge ruled that Nebraska cops must return over $1 million confiscated at a traffic stop from Tara Mishra, who saved the money $1 at a time during her 15 year career as an exotic dancer.
A Memphis, Tennessee woman was arrested for prostitution three times in 52 hours. One wonders what sort of violent crime was going on unhindered in the area as police repeatedly arrested the same person.
Sex Asistent Catalunya, a Spanish group made up of sexologists, therapists, sex counsellors, and people with disabilities, wants the Spanish government to back a motion which would make sexual assistants legal as they already are in many countries across Europe. Meanwhile, in South Africa, The Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Task Force (SWEAT) hosted the Sisonke Open University Seminar on sex workers and people with disabilities.
Salon notes that only sex workers seem to use condoms for oral sex.
Naomi Watts is going in pregnant street sex worker drag for her next movie. Our disgust is almost impossible to convey.
“Is city’s plan to cut down prostitution really putting women at risk?” Short answer: uh, yes.
A sex worker, who unsuccessfully sought damages from a Moranbah motel for discrimination, has been ordered to pay the Central Queensland accommodator’s legal bill.
The Hitlist interviews Kristin Diangelo, former escort and filmwriter, on her documentary, American Courtesans.
The co-ordinator of the Namibia Sex Workers Alliance, (Naswa) Jeremein Morkel called for the establishment of more organizations to represent the interests of sex workers and call for decriminalization. Nambibia has between 3,000 and 4,000 sex workers and only two sex workers’ rights organizations.
The Columbus police department announced that it will shift its vice operations into arresting clients rather than sex workers. Thanks, but no thanks.
A New Yorker who runs a travel company specializing in trips to Thailand and the Philippines was convicted of promoting prostitution.
Diamond Williams was NOT a male sex worker. She was a transgender woman. I’m assuming you got that incorrect information from the now five day old Daily News article? If you had done any follow up research (aka googling) you’d see she wasn’t a “male prostitute dressed as a woman,” but a trans woman and much-loved member of the LGBT community here in Philly. There was, unfortunately, nothing surprising about the language and general tone of disrespect used by local media. The Daily News is well know in our communities for their terrible treatment of those in the sex trade, especially trans women. (Though the Philadelphia Inquirer did a much better job covering the vigil and speakout this past tuesday.) But for Tits and Sass to get it so, so wrong? You guys should have done better. Please correct this immediately. If it were me, I’d publish an official apology as well.
a cis gender ally and working woman myself
I’m extremely sorry and will correct the link immediately.
Though the link that I read didn’t identify her as “male prostitute dressed as a woman,” which would’ve clued me into the fact that it was typical transphobia on the part of the mainstream media, but only said that she was an unidentified male worker.
Still, you’re absolutely right that I should’ve Googled the story further.
After overwhelming criticism towards the coverage of the murder of Diamond, local news really stepped up their game. Here is what you could have linked to: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Loved-Ones-Celebrate-Life-of-Slain-Transgender-Woman-216696921.html
Totally new here. Found my way here thru Bubbles’ article on Buzzfeed via Longform. I just want to say the article is one of the most eye-opening piece of long form journalism I’ve read in awhile, and now I’m glad it had led me to this site.
I know almost nothing about the politics of sex workers outside of a very crude outline of 2nd wave feminism vs. sex-positive feminism sort of angle, which I can only guess, from the little I’ve gleaned, would cause many of you to facepalm. I only found this site late last night so I’ve only read a few things but the few things I’ve read has been both, well, again, eye opening and smart.
The lit. crit. discussion about what purpose did i serve in your life, I remember reading someone mention negative criticism of form as mask of a reader’s discomfort with content and thought it a pretty powerful insight in that I’ve suspected that for awhile but never quite put the 2 & 2 together. I’m sort of in the lit. field and the criticism and review I’m used to reading are generally subpar to the level of close reading that the informal discussion operated at.
Then I read a few entries under the “Tina Fey Hates Sex Workers” category tag because I lol’d at such a tag and those were informative; just used to my feminist-minded friends fawning over her success.
Then I clicked on the “You’re Not Funny” tag to check my own whorephobia (also lightbulb moment when I realized I’ve yet heard any feminist friends mention sex work re: slutshaming, thought I had that one down), and the mom & daughter dialogue in the George Takei one I imagined playing out in my head and ouched.
All this is to say, I can’t wait to devour the articles on this site. This is the most exciting find for good and interesting and generally learning stuff site for reading I’ve found in a long time. And on that note, could someone send me a few articles (or comment threads) here that can give me a crash course on the culture and politics of pro-sex work? And “here’s how you don’t say something stupid here” guide would be swell too.