Home The Week in Links The Week In Links—October 25th

The Week In Links—October 25th

oh yeah is that the problem, Nick? Maybe stop helping cops, then.
oh yeah is that the problem, Nick? Maybe stop helping cops, then.

Virulently transphobic and whorephobic radical “feminist” lawyer Cathy Brennan was at it again this week on twitter, intensifying her campaign of terror against trans women by threatening to out trans sex workers. One trans sex worker whom Brennan has victimized told Tits and Sass, “She has a webpage for me on her…site, where I sit alongside male rapists and murderers, and she accuses me of misogyny. She has collected information from various social media profiles of mine, and [g]ives links so her followers can harass me. She has collected all this information together with what she believes to be my real name. I fully believe if I were ever to say on twitter I had found a job outside sex work she would attempt to contact them [a]nd show them my adultwork profile. The irony of her being anti sex work yet in a position where she would make any other job impossible [for the sex workers she outs] is particularly bitter. She only ever picks on people without the resources or backup to challenge her. She’s a bully, and seems determined not to stop until some one is dead. Maybe not even then.” Thankfully, twitter has once again suspended Brennan’s accounts.

The former White House official behind twitter account @NatSecWonk, who notoriously ridiculed the D.C. National Security community, is allegedly also behind infamous escort client twitter account @DCHobbyist. Sic semper hagglers!

In the wake of being raped and beaten by a client, a sex worker in California fights discrimination in victims’ aid.

NYTimes writer and sweatshop advocate Nicholas Kristof  livetweeted a trafficking op in a “southern U.S. city” last night. He seems to have edged close to, but then backed off of, self-awareness. Kristof pulled this kind of stunt before when he livetweeted a brothel raid in Cambodia. Read Melissa Gira Grant’s Kristof primer for more on his white savior antics.

The Somaly Mam Foundation, named for Kristof’s partner in the Cambodia raid, has come under scrutiny for fraud. This feature in Cambodia Daily talks about woman who was coached by Mam to lie about her trafficking victim history in a documentary. This Metafilter post collects several stories about the questionable financial practices within the foundation, which participates in the unlawful arrest and detention of Cambodian sex workers.

You know what’s news this week? Justin Bieber groping a stripper’s ass. Hands to yourself, Bieber. The stripper in question later tweeted, “I’ve Danced For A lot Of Celebrities And They Normally Don’t Phase Me But Justin just Had Me In Shock !” No, we don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, either.

The University of York’s student paper, Nouse, and the Huffington Post still seem surprised that students often use sex work to fund their education. Yawn. Meanwhile, the former chief constable of  the South Wales police spoke out in support of a new study into the extent of student sex work in Wales at Swansea University.  We yawned yet again at ex-chief constable’s Barbara Wilder’s specious distinction between students and those OTHER sex workers: “[T]hey [the prostitutes Wilder encountered before] were mainly people who had drug addiction or had mental health problems or in really desperate desperate financial situations. They were often driven into it with no choice. Whereas with students we think we are dealing with a different set of circumstances. They are intelligent, starting their lives.”

Ex-porn performer/current anti porn activist Alexa Cruz/Vanessa Belmond shared her story on British TV show Date My Porn Star, claiming that, ““[n]obody really wants to date a porn star, stripper or escort. Also the whole family thing and having kids, I’m like ‘who’s gonna have kids with an ex-porn star.’ ” Many of our partners and children would disagree.

The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Astitva Sansthan, and other Calcutta sex workers’ rights organizations protest an anti-trafficking law that criminalizes their brothel clients.

An abandonedVictorian brothel was turned into a temporary art gallery, with employee files and other confidential information on display as part of the installation. Thankfully, local sex workers convinced the gallery’s management to close it down.

Police in Scotland plan to use condoms as evidence. The Conversation gave us another entry to file under The Headline Says It All, documenting the outraged responses of Scottish NGOs: “Police Attitude to Sex Saunas is Wrong, Bizarre, and Dangerous.”

SF Weekly blogs on how Obamacare is particularly helpful to sex workers, the queer community, and artists, referencing Siouxsie Q’s Whorecast.

Cosmopolitan takes a break from their sex-worker bashing to highlight a viral video of Chicago burlesque performer Michelle L’Amour twerking to Beethoven.

The Red Umbrella Diaries documentary film project is fully funded, though there’s still another week left to give to their Kickstarter.

Best Practices Policy Project circulated a press release on the SWOP Phoenix protests of coercive prostitution diversion scheme Project ROSE, stating that “after Phoenix SWOP protested Project ROSE in May, one of the protest participants was picked up by an undercover officer the following night and taken to the Project ROSE site. The SWOP member, a student at the ASU School of Social Work, was deemed ineligible for diversion, and now faces up to 6 months in jail.”  An article in The Nation Report also details a SWOP member’s previous Project ROSE experiences. In connection with the Project, Best Practices Policy goes on to discuss how arresting people “for their own good” (e.g. through forced diversion programs) violates social work ethics.

In the UK, more “rescues” in handcuffs, at gunpoint.

French porn star Virginie Caprice scrawled her support of soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic candidacy for Player of the Year in lipstick all over her breasts. Now, that’s dedication.

“It’s a telling reaction: the heart-of-gold courtesan who sacrifices both her love and her life for her man is more appealing than the shrewd businesswoman, the real Marie Duplessis. And why? The dark thrill of the operatic trope: the woman dies to save the man because she has sinned; her sacrifice will set the world right.” Tom Jokinen talks courtesans, opera, the trope of self-sacrifice and Breaking in “The Courtesan Dies At The End” at Hazlitt.

Deutsche Welle features a piece on sex worker critiques of Thai anti-trafficking practices.

An Arkansas police chief was suspended for seeking reimbursement for a steak dinner purchased at a Florida strip club.

UN Women backtracks somewhat on their pro decriminalization position. The Inter Press Agency published an article on sex workers’ responses to Equality Now and its attack on UN positions on sex work.  And here’s yet more on sex workers’ defense of UN support of decriminalization.

Stuff.co.nz wants you to know that “stripping becoming hip isn’t cool.”

The Global Network of Sex Work Projects released a briefing clarifying how criminalization of third parties impacts sex workers in negative ways, empowering employers, increasing the vulnerability of workers, and criminalizing workers by proxy.




  1. I’m totally down with Second Wave feminism and Andrea Dworkin’s work changed my world view, but I cannot, for the life of me, understand the hatred some radfems bear towards trans women. I really, really just don’t get it. Trans people are some of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised people in society, and reading their stories brings tears to my eyes…tears of compassion, not pity.

    A feminist whose stock in trade is fighting the oppression of women ought to be able to recognize oppression when she sees it. Because that’s what it is–oppression. Bigotry is personal preference and an entitlement. Oppression is political–it is the practice of bigotry.

    I was somewhat active in feminist politics for years, volunteering for Planned Parenthood and joining NOW. I never once encountered a pushy trans woman (or ANY trans woman) pushing into womens’ spaces or doing anything hostile or inappropriate. In my experience, Trans folk keep mostly to themselves, probably because they’re scared and intimidated by hateful assholes.

    It’s a shame. Nobody deserves that. The harassment of trans women by RadFems is just plain BULLYING and it makes me sick to my stomach. I mean, fuck. Who could be lower on the social hierarchy than a transsexual prostitute? A homeless addict? You have to bully the most defenseless?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.