In a terrible blow for Bay Area sex workers, the sites MyRedbook.com and SFRedbook.com were shut down by the FBI, accused of money laundering and facilitating prostitution. Redbook was one of the few free advertising sites left where sex workers could advertise, talk to and screen clients with a degree of distance.
Operation Cross Country, a five-day nation-wide trafficking sting, yielded 168 child victims, many of whom had never been reported missing, and far more adult workers. The children, who are primarily runaways, many of whom weren’t reported missing by their families, will be returned to their families where possible or placed in foster care. In at least one instance a driver was also arrested on charges of conspiracy and promotion of prostitution.
Anne Elizabeth Moore and Leela Corman did a comic strip about what anti-trafficking NGOs really do for Truth-Out’s series Our Fashion Year.
Toronto’s Maggie’s Sex Worker Action Project is raising funds to battle C-36.
Some interesting opposition to banning sex work in Kenya ranging from the classic defense of sex workers’ human rights to STI prevention to: “These sex workers help some men who are constantly beaten by their wives.”
In San Francisco, there’s a peep show on a boat: “All These Darlings and Now Us,” is “a waterborne installation combining performance art, urban resistance and a sex-positive philosophy.” Artist Constance Hockaday cited the gentrification-fueled demise of the Lusty Lady as an inspiration.
The World Cup hasn’t been a boon to Brazilian sex workers so far.
“When our jobs are illegal, they not only become more dangerous, they also become more stigmatized,” she says. “In a time when porn performers already face the abrupt closing of our bank accounts, discrimination in hiring and in housing applications, and a risk of firing from other non-sex-work jobs we might obtain, the question of our livelihood moving underground becomes one of survival.”
Just because sex workers can report assaults in decriminalized countries doesn’t mean they’ll be taken seriously by juries, as the verdict in this New Zealand trial proves. Because it’s more believable that sex workers would bring assault and rape charges over a payment disagreement than that they were actually assaulted.
More on Canada: This Lethbridge Herald op-ed points out that:
“There is nothing in this proposed legislation that would have prevented Robert Pickton from his reign of terror against prostitutes and drug addicts – the six he was convicted of killing, the 20 he was also charged with murdering, or his own tally of 49. There is nothing to prevent more Picktons.”
Women’s News reports that neither side is happy with C-36. Terri Jean Bedford, (the Bedford of Bedford v. Canada which challenged Canada’s prostitution laws) says, “…that it will not survive the courts, is not enforceable on any significant scale and is a gift to organized crime if it does stand up.” This op-ed in the New York Times asks “What would it take to legalize prostitution?”
Not all sex workers are rich Eastern Europeans in need of saving! Clare Jones debunks a list of myths about street workers so we don’t have to.
Joe Manganiello marvels at his luck in discovering the male strippers of La Bare. “To think that I could stumble on this desert island that wasn’t recorded on any map was mind-blowing to me.” Why does every auteur assume that they must be the first to have discovered a particular subset of sex workers?