If you can get past the tone (sex workers “submit” to this lifestyle and “are often diseased”) this article about a retirement home for Mexico City sex workers is fascinating and the book is probably much better (it’s “non-patronizing or glorifying,” unlike the article, which is just the former) .
More discussion of Somaly Mam: Melissa Gira Grant at the New York Times elaborates on the damage done by Mam, more here on the dubious ethics of “donor bait”, even more about the repercussions, Jesse Walker looks at Kristof’s personal investment in believing and promoting Somaly Mam’s lies, and Margaret Walker demands a better explanation from Kristof. Remember when Kristof wrote:
“Mr. Obama and the Democrats who favor labor standards in trade agreements mean well, for they intend to fight back at oppressive sweatshops abroad. But while it shocks Americans to hear it, the central challenge in the poorest countries is not that sweatshops exploit too many people, but that they don’t exploit enough.”
In Canada, new antiprostitution legislation has been introduced to replace that which was struck down in the Bedford decision. So far, it looks like it would be unconstitutional in similar ways. “Bill C-36, dubbed the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, brings the so-called Nordic model to Canada. It introduces a new prohibition—the purchase of sexual services, and communication that surrounds it.” International Business Times and the National Post refute the so-called benefits of the Nordic Model, while polls show most Canadians still know very little about the sex industry or the various legal options being considered.
There’s a secret strip club in Manhattan and the Times is on it. We’re disappointed the story doesn’t talk about the city’s tradition of private lap dance clubs, especially Lou Posner’s Hot Lap Dance Club.
Romeo Miller (FKA Lil’ Romeo) will star in “urban stripper drama” Chocolate City.
Vietnam is taking a new approach to “rescuing” sex workers, offering them loans to leave the industry. Sex workers are deeply skeptical about the whole deal.
Saskatoon is really interpreting the stripper laws strictly, as Melody Sterner found out: she got a warning for “dancing provocatively without a license.”
A client with severe disabilities writes about some of the stigma he experienced from care workers when he told them he’d seen escorts.
Two women were arrested on suspicion of prostitution after motel housekeeping noticed condoms in their trash. We can’t just be glad they’re having safe sex, the police need to be involved?
The end of this article about Cambodian women, motherhood, and poverty focuses on sex workers and labor rights, with a last line that directly refutes Kristof: “Tola sees the “lack of labour rights for women as a worrying trend that is completely changing the culture of Cambodia.””
Ruth Jacobs points out that the reason many sex workers “lack a voice” (as Katha Pollitt said) is that we’ve been deliberately silenced and drowned out by people like Somaly Mam.
The EU is requiring each state to include revenue from production forbidden by law, including sex work in its tallying of GDP, giving UK papers just enough fodder for puerile cracks about crack and hookers. Classy, lads.
Jessee Willasee’s new art show/installation will be web cam dramatizations, with models and actors simulating a cam session on laptops in hotel rooms, accessible for $10 during the shows run. Willasee says he was inspired by Abbott’s wink: “His attitude to that phone-sex worker backed up my determination to do this show.” Okay, but first of all, you’re undercharging. And second—no phones.