Home The Week in Links The Week In Links—June 20

The Week In Links—June 20

Cards handed out by the MPD in Washington, D.C.
Cards handed out by the MPD in Washington, DC

In Washington, D.C., police make an effort to make sure sex workers know that condoms (in whatever quantity) are not admissible evidence.

The Network of Sex Work Projects has put together a short film about the damage anti-sex work anti-traffickers do: Collateral Damage: Sex Workers and the Anti-Trafficking Campaigns.

Very bad news about Jill Brenneman’s health problems; there’s a fundraiser up to help her.

Sex workers in the Dolly district of Surabaya, Indonesia, protested the mayor’s efforts to push them out to the very last day, whether they left sex work or left Surabaya:

Authorities are offering each of the estimated 1,400 prostitutes around 5 million rupiah ($420) and training in new professions that are expected to replace prostitution there, such as baking or handicrafts.

…“I am not going to accept the government offer because I really need this work,” said Mawar, who gave only one name, sitting on a faded old sofa inside a club in Dolly.

Sounds a lot like Kristof’s non-solution for sex workers.

Brazilian sex workers played a friendly game of football against evangelical Christians. Unsatisfyingly, this report gives no final score.

South African sex worker organization Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) says that President Zuma’s recent State of the Nation speech didn’t address any sex worker issues, despite ongoing abuse and brutality by police against sex workers.

“People laughed at us when we first started the school”: a brief interview with Madame Bandaval, who started India’s first school for sex workers, by sex workers.

This faith-based organization in Malawi is doing more to directly protect sex workers’ health and rights than Gloria Steinem: Badilika wants to empower sex workers to be able to demand and enforce safer sex, and to that end has distributed more than 20,000 condoms in the past two years. Sikwese said:

The alliance’s aim is to encourage sex workers to visit hospitals whenever they feel something is wrong in their bodies. Suppose some of their rights are violated, they have to know where they can take the matter to because they are deserving citizens of this nation just as anyone else.

“Prostitution is big bucks in the U.K — though not as big as property”: Gentrification in London, like it is all over the world, is pushing Soho’s sex workers out.

A new law being proposed in Brazil once again conflates sex work and trafficking by punishing private commercial establishments associated with prostitution or trafficking. Law proposal 5742/13: “enterprises responsible for realising, facilitating, conceding property, or contributing to prostitution or trafficking will be obliged to pay a fine up to 60 living wages.”

Sex workers in Ghana use condoms more than any other youth group, including middle class university students.

Claire Adams points out what most sex workers already know: sham or even illegal contracts abound within the sex industry, not just in Australia.

When sex work is decriminalized, sex workers get to report assaults, and then sometimes the rapist gets arrested!  Of course, then they face the same doubting, victim-blaming publicity as non-sex-work survivors.

Some clients in Spain are accusing six brothel workers of having drugged and robbed them, after the men woke up with no memory of having spent thousands of euros. “No chemical evidence of ‘date rape’ drugs was found because the type that police suspect was used leaves no lasting traces, according to Catalan daily El Periodico.” Just because you don’t remember it, doesn’t mean you didn’t enthusiastically spend every penny.

More on the Canadian debates on Bill C-36: Last Friday, Ottowa hosted a conference on sex work and safety in the wake of bill C-36; Berlin, a sex worker, talks about why “end demand” doesn’t work; sex workers across Canada planned protests, photos of the Red Umbrella and March for Sex Work march in Vancouver last Sunday to protest the new legislation. At the Hamilton protest Angelique Kennedy puts it succinctly:

“There are adequate laws…that apply to human trafficking, sexual assaults, extortion threatening and assaults. These are the things our police and our courts need to occupy themselves with.”

Sex workers are at the frontlines of violent misogyny: Siouxsie Q takes apart Beyond Patriarchy’s anti-sex worker stance, and lets us know about San Francisco art activist group Enough is Fucking Enough who are taking their activism beyond slut walks to “bring awareness to ‘the ways women are dismissed, objectified, violated, and otherwise dis-empowered.'”

Anita Sarkeesian looks at female characters in video games, including the much abused sex workers in Grand Theft Auto.

“It’s like all of those guys who are sure the stripper is, like, really into them, and who get scary when she doesn’t give out her number, combined their forces to write a short story”:  Sady Doyle finally gets something about sex work so right!


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