This week, the NYPD’s ridiculous and oppressive practice of using condoms continued to be written up in various venues. RH Reality Check weighed in, as did the Daily Mail, and Jezebel, while the Red Umbrella Project stepped up their campaign against the cops by creating postcards illustrated with victims’ stories that NYers can send to their representatives. Meanwhile, Washington made NYC look awful in comparison when D.C.’s police department clarified that carrying more than three condoms at a time was not against the law, distributing cards to both wayward police officers and (justifiably)wary sex workers reminding them of that fact.
Rabble in Canada ran one of the most genius anticapitalist takedowns of sex work abolitionist feminism we’ve ever read. Sadly, the sex worker who wrote it chooses to remain anonymous as “Sarah M”, so we can’t all make a pilgrimage to bask in her brilliance.
Two anonymous nuns from the religious orders that ran the Magdalene Laundries, where Irish sex workers and other women who defied heteronormative standards were sent by the state and then abused, exploited and buried in mass graves, attempted to justify the Laundrys’ existence as providing ‘shelter’ and ‘service.’ Another Irish newspaper printed an apologist opinion piece by a church flack, in which he claims that most Magdalene inmates were there ‘voluntarily.’ Meanwhile, an Irish Labour rep reminded the world that the orders profited quite a bit from the Laundries, and urged them to make a contribution to the survivors’ compensation fund. And Justice for Magdalenes, an advocacy group for Magdalene survivors, created an 800 page report of survivor testimony and evidence that weren’t included in the official government inquiry. Brace yourselves for heartbreak reading it. The org also submitted a report to the UN Committee Against Torture on the Laundries.
The Scholar and Feminist Online interviewed Miss Major, an advocate of low income trans women’s rights since the Stonewall days. Miss Major had quite a lot to say about her own and other trans women’s experience doing street sex work.
Migrant stripppers and escorts will be offered English lessons with a focus on the vocabulary necessary to negotiate with their clients in a peer-taught new program in London.
Melissa Gira Grant hits it out of the park yet again talking anti-porn feminism, labor, and the disadvantages of feminist porn in the Guardian, and unpacking the sex trafficking panic in Contemporary Sexuality. Surely this ability to be so prolific and yet so consistently on point must be the result of a deal with the Devil.
Thankfully, the push for an EU wide ban on porn has fizzled. An apropos opinion piece in the Guardian goes into the paternalism inherent in “protecting” women from pornography. (Would’ve been nice if the author knew of the existence of the wide world of feminist porn, though.)
Translate this Spanish news story into English to roll your eyes at the bafflement of state police, confronted by the fact that all 30 Romanian women they ‘rescued’ from a ‘pimp network’ at a local club returned to sex work and refused the ‘assistance programs’ offered.
Aspasia, a sex workers’ rights org in Australia, is working on a sex industry code of ethics written by workers. So far the content of the code is a bit too much unmitigated sex positivity, unicorns, and rainbows for us, but the nothing-about-us-without-us ethic of having sex workers write one is admirable.
Some compelling sex worker voices in this (poorly written) article about New Zealand street workers in post-earthquake Christchurch, if you can wade through the standard journalistic pearl-clutching. Seriously, is it a rule that every human interest story on prostitution needs to include the phrase ‘glazed over eyes’? Also worth noting that the NZPC is a sex worker run organisation, not one that ‘manages’ sex workers.
Here’s an interview with Senior Regional Manager of the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, a Bangalore org which works for sex workers’ reproductive rights. We’re really starting to feel outclassed by the sheer breadth of the Indian sex workers’ rights movement.
This photo essay profiles South African sex workers’ rights org SWEAT‘s collaboration with the Women’s Legal Centre in Capetown. The project provides legal advice for sex workers, from sex worker peers who “understand the difficulties and obstacles that [they] encounter on a daily basis.” Sex work is criminalized in South Africa, and sex workers experience harassment and violence from police on a routine basis.