prima-anarchia:









This is Wendy Babcock.
Thank you.
We are working on it.
xo

prima-anarchia:

This is Wendy Babcock.

Thank you.

We are working on it.

xo

"Restrictive laws which seek to prohibit behaviour for which there is a substantial demand and which is profitable encourage the involvement of organised crime and corruption."

— Australian Criminology Institute

(Source: canabisexual)

 liz-zie-liz:


Imagine if all sex work opponents/researchers felt this way.

 liz-zie-liz:

Imagine if all sex work opponents/researchers felt this way.

(via liz-zie-liz-deactivated20131127)

wallswillcrumble:

I am just so done with women who put down sex workers. 
Shut the fuck up. YOU are holding the feminist movement back. Move out of the way. 

(Source: betweentwothings)

Awesome!
everythingbutharleyquinn:





(this was in 2010, I was in attendance)

Awesome!

everythingbutharleyquinn:

(this was in 2010, I was in attendance)

(Source: thisspinsterlife)

"How is it that as a society, we have grown so accustomed and seemingly desensitized to atrocities happening to sex workers? Sex workers are raped, robbed or murdered and most of a community looks the other way. The issue becomes that the individual was “asking for it” by the type of work he or she did or does, not that he or she is or was a person, with a life and a family that was victimized."

Vanessa Pinto, HuffPo: December 17th is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

(via victimblaming)

December 17th marks the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.  Sex workers and their allies, clustered in intimate gatherings in cities around the world, will light candles and read aloud the names of sex workers who have been victims of violence.  These names will echo into a world indifferent to their suffering. 

The event will likely pass with barely a whisper of media notice, and many women’s rights groups will ignore or remain blithely unaware of the occasion.  It is an uncomfortable global truth that we do not regard violence committed against non-trafficked sex workers as violence against women.   

Our staunch moral judgment of individuals who by choice or circumstance participate in the sex industry –- buttressed by laws that criminalize, stigmatize, and condemn many of them to unsafe working conditions without police protection – results in the shatteringly silent incidents of rapes, assaults, and murders of sex workers.  This unforgiving moral judgment is unfair.  Most sex workers are trying to do the best they can for themselves and their families in choosing among the options life presents them.  

Why do we not view violence against sex workers as violence against women, or that against gay or transgender sex workers as part of “gender-based violence?”  Because we rarely view sex workers through a multi-dimensional prism of personhood.  Our distaste for their work and our beliefs about their ethical posture denies their womanhood and disallows us from registering violence against sex workers as violence against women. 

Many sex workers reject this moralized dismissal of their personhood.  Several years ago I had the good fortune of collaborating on a human rights project with empowered sex workers in India.  I still remember one sex worker defiantly noting:

“In the past we thought that sex work was not a good thing and anything bad that happened to us we just accepted it and cried.  But we learned that we deserve to be treated not as good or bad but as women.”

Our underlying moral judgment of sex workers may also account for why many women’s rights groups do not actively package and promote violence against non-trafficked sex workers as an urgent issue of violence against women.

Women’s rights advocates are often more comfortable focusing their attention on violence against victims of sex trafficking who are forced into prostitution via threats, abduction, or economic exploitation.  These trafficked sex workers fit more squarely into society’s moral paradigm of the ‘innocent victim’ than non-trafficked female, transgender, male, and gay victims of violence who may choose to participate in the sex trade.

Feminists, conservative politicians, and religious groups have formed an unlikely alliance that perpetuates this hierarchy of victimhood, which marginalizes the pain of non-trafficked sex workers whose moral positioning is less palatable to the vast majority who disapprove of what they do.  This hierarchy renders us less sensitive to their suffering and leaves many women’s rights groups strangely silent on instances of violence against non-trafficked sex workers. 

Sex trafficking, let me be clear, is rightly condemned as an international crime worthy of sustained eradication efforts.  But in their zealous efforts to fight global sex trafficking, many women’s rights advocates have supported raids of brothels that have often led to violence perpetrated against non-trafficked sex workers. 

The Indian sex workers I partnered with were terrorized when an NGO-initiated raid led by local police purporting to rescue trafficked child prostitutes resulted in the arrest of 70 sex workers in the community, none of whom were victims or perpetrators of sex trafficking.

In seeking to ‘save’ underage trafficked sex workers, the advocates had perhaps unwittingly fostered violence against women who had bravely created a sex workers’ collective demanding freedom from societal and occupational abuse.  “We say, save us from saviors!” the Indian sex workers proclaimed.

Indeed, women’s rights advocates cannot justify violating the rights of one group of women while trying to save another.  Donors and advocates supporting anti-sex trafficking efforts must ensure that police anti-trafficking units are not engaged in abuses of non-trafficked sex workers.

Amid the lit candles and the haunting reading of names, I will attend a vigil to commemorate sex workers who have been assaulted, battered, and murdered, who we have chosen to criminalize instead of protect.  There will be signs and posters that say “violence against sex workers = violence against women.”  There will be passionate appeals for the building of broad women’s coalitions to decry this violence.  And, hopefully, there will not be an empty seat in the house.

Follow Chi Mgbako on Twitter, @chiadanna


(Source: thisspinsterlife)

The first time Kyomya Macklean did sex work, her client turned violent after she refused to have sex without a condom. As she fought back, she remembers him saying: “I can kill you bitch! After all, you are just a slut who sells your body to earn a living.” As he assaulted her physically he continued to berate her, saying: “Even if I killed you, nobody would judge me of murder because you are nothing but a prostitute and a kisarani [theLugandan word for curse].”

As the oldest of 19 children in a family in which her father had seven wives, this young Ugandan woman opted to do sex work to pay for her education. After her violent introduction, she continued to do the work – and she organised a group with other sex workers. In 2008, she co-founded Wonetha with two other adult sex workers who had also experienced harassment, insults, stigma, discrimination and arrest without trial. They would like to see sex work decriminalised, and the human rights of people who engage in the sex trade upheld. To this end, Macklean’s story and the stories of four sex workers from Uganda and Kenya are captured in the booklet When I Dare to Be Powerful, published by Akina Mama Wa Afrika, an African feminist organisation whose name means “solidarity among African women”.

There are a lot of obstacles to their goals. Although sex workers in Uganda and many other places are vulnerable to the kind of one-on-one violence that Macklean experienced, human rights abuses from the state are widespread and actively prevent sex workers from improving their working conditions. Although the purported mission of governments who criminalise sex work is to abolish the industry, sometimes with overtones of rescue, in reality the laws punish sex workers and make their lives harder.

Health clinics that offer HIV testing and treatment services in Ugandaregularly deny sex workers access to care and withhold anti-retroviral medications on the grounds that there are other people, whose jobs are legal and who aren’t engaged in immoral activities, who are more deserving of treatment. Some healthcare workers regard time and HIV/Aids resources spent on sex workers as a waste. Sex workers are included as one of the UN’s four populations who are most at risk from HIV, but restricted access to services does nothing to improve the health and wellbeing of those engaged in the sex trade. It likewise does not protect the people sex workers come in contact with. Restrictions imposed because of criminalisation leave sex workers out in the cold and solve no one’s problems.

Although grassroots organisations are making progress, the work has been stymied by government officials. Last month, a Sex Workers Leadership Institute was set to take place in Kampala, Uganda. It was shut down by the country’s minister of ethics and integrity, Nsaba Buturo. In a letter to the hotel hosting the conference, Buturo states that “prostitution is a criminal offence in Uganda” and as a result “the hotel is an accomplice in an illegality”. But as Amnesty International points out in a public statement opposing the shutdown of the conference, the Ugandan Constitution affirms the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. The enforcement of this discrimination against sex workers makes it impossible for them to improve their situations.

Just days later, the district police commander in the town of Kasese in western Uganda incited a contingent of police officers to raid bars and streets where sex workers congregate. On this night, the police delivered beatings to everyone they thought was a sex worker. About 20 women spent the night in jail and the women who were not detained were forced to pay fines. Following the assaults, some got treatment in hospitals. There were, however, no charges made against the women. The roundup was a way for the police to assert their dominance and stigmatise people they suspected were sex workers.

Denial of access to HIV services, restrictions on organising, and police crackdowns do not make it possible to eliminate the sex trade; instead they perpetuate stigma and discrimination. The global sex worker rights movement emphasises that it is possible to make the sex trade more hospitable to workers, but that institutional violence is one of the major barriers.

Since American sex icon Annie Sprinkle established the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in 2003, sex workers from around the world have organised vigils, community gatherings and speakouts on 17 December to mourn victims of violence in our communities. The event was originally created in the wake of the Green River serial killer. But violence doesn’t just come in the form of bad clients – more often, it is delivered by the institutions that are supposed to protect and improve the lives of citizens.

(Source: thisspinsterlife)

If you “reduce the demand” you will not reduce sex workers real need for the money, you will just make their lives impossible.

Sex Worker Conference in Las Vegas- Register and/or Submit Your Proposal!

Originally published on Bound, Not Gagged

5th Desiree Alliance Conference – The Audacity of Health: Sex Work, Health, and Politics

July 14-19, 2013 Las Vegas, NV

Registration is Now Open for the 5th Desiree Alliance Conference

Early Registration Deadline: January 15, 2013

Please read the registration details below to begin the process. 

http://www.desireealliance.org/conference/Registration.htm

The Desiree Alliance is a national social justice organization that is led by current and former sex workers in coalition with health professionals, social scientists, educators, and their supporting networks focused on building leadership, capacity-building, organizing and constructive activism for sex worker rights and autonomy.

As we prepare for our 5th national conference, our priority will be centered on health, sex work, human rights, and following-up with the XIX International AIDS Conference (July 2012) and the 9th National Harm Reduction Conference (Nov 2012).

The Desiree Alliance conference is a forum for people who have experience in sex work and sex trade and allies of sex workers.  Sex work includes working as an exotic dancer, hustler, webcam model, street-based sex worker, massage worker, escort, prostitute, tantric practitioner, sexological bodyworker, living with the support of a sugar-daddy or a sugar-mama, having sex for housing / food / clothing, drugs, or having sex to get the money needed to survive.  Our membership base is made up of current and former sex workers as well as activists that do not identify as sex workers themselves, but advocate for sex worker rights. Desiree Alliance is made up of women, men, LGBTQI persons, transgender persons, herm-identity, Other, hetero, etc., and many of our members are from (non)working class low and middle income backgrounds.

Desiree Alliance is committed to bring diversity that aims to provide safe spaces for the most marginalized to the least marginalized sex worker, providing education, networking, and alliance-building opportunities regardless of socio-economic status, color, sexuality, sexual identity, culture, class, race, religion, physical or mental capabilities, gender, gender identities, age, size, political beliefs, or immigrant status.

Based on our limited funding capacities, Desiree Alliance provides a number of scholarships to people from groups that have often been marginalized from organizing for sex worker rights. We invite diverse sex workers to apply including people of color, immigrants, gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans-people, differently- abled/disabled people, senior citizens and others to apply. Visit: http://www.desireealliance.org/conference/logistics.htm#scholar

Call for Proposals for individual tracks for the conference are available  at: http://www.desireealliance.org/conference/CFP.htm
Please begin the registration process for the Conference ASAP!

Deadlines
Early Registration Deadline: Nov. 15th thru January 15th, 2013    $150.00
Regular Registration Deadline: January 15th thru April 15th, 2013  $200.00
Late Registration Deadline: April 15th thru July 7th, 2013     $250.00
Please see additional information at:
http://www.desireealliance.org/conference/Registration.htm

This is a wonderful opportunity! Please apply if you’re interested! 

audaciaray:

Today is the final day to apply for the Red Umbrella Project’s Becoming Writers workshop in NYC, which is FREE and runs for eight weeks this fall. The deadline is August 9th at 10 pm. The class is designed for people with experience in the sex trades.
Becoming Writers intended for both experienced and first-time writers and will cover the fundamentals of memoir writing. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to showcase their work in a reading at the Red Umbrella Diaries on December 6, 2012 and in a publication (both hard copy and ebook) that includes the writing of class participants.
Classes will meet for three hours, weekly, on Tuesday evenings at the New School in Manhattan (exact location will be made available to accepted participants) and will be facilitated by Melissa Petro, published writer, experienced teacher and former sex worker, who has written extensively about her experiences as a stripper and call girl for places like Salon, Daily Beast, Bitch Magazine, xoJane, Rumpus.net, and elsewhere.
Classes begin with an all day seminar in Brooklyn on Sunday, September 2 (from 11 am to 4 pm, lunch provided). We will then meet regularly starting Tuesday, September 4 and conclude Tuesday, October 30 (there will be no class on Tuesday, October 2). Snacks and beverages will be available at all class sessions. We are able to provide roundtrip MetroCards to some participants as well as computers to those who do not have access to a computer to write on – please indicate on your application if this support would make the course more accessible to you.
Full info and the application are available here.

This is a wonderful opportunity! Please apply if you’re interested! 

audaciaray:

Today is the final day to apply for the Red Umbrella Project’s Becoming Writers workshop in NYC, which is FREE and runs for eight weeks this fall. The deadline is August 9th at 10 pm. The class is designed for people with experience in the sex trades.

Becoming Writers intended for both experienced and first-time writers and will cover the fundamentals of memoir writing. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to showcase their work in a reading at the Red Umbrella Diaries on December 6, 2012 and in a publication (both hard copy and ebook) that includes the writing of class participants.

Classes will meet for three hours, weekly, on Tuesday evenings at the New School in Manhattan (exact location will be made available to accepted participants) and will be facilitated by Melissa Petro, published writer, experienced teacher and former sex worker, who has written extensively about her experiences as a stripper and call girl for places like Salon, Daily Beast, Bitch Magazine, xoJane, Rumpus.net, and elsewhere.

Classes begin with an all day seminar in Brooklyn on Sunday, September 2 (from 11 am to 4 pm, lunch provided). We will then meet regularly starting Tuesday, September 4 and conclude Tuesday, October 30 (there will be no class on Tuesday, October 2). Snacks and beverages will be available at all class sessions. We are able to provide roundtrip MetroCards to some participants as well as computers to those who do not have access to a computer to write on – please indicate on your application if this support would make the course more accessible to you.

Full info and the application are available here.

(Source: audaciaray)

"When I say I’m “pro-sex work,” obviously there are some terrible conditions, and there are obviously horrible circumstances where people are forced into that line of work. But there are also people doing it because they want to do it, and their rights need to be acknowledged. I think that their rights need to be fought for, because that profession in itself — when it’s all done in a way that should be done, and everyone has rights and it’s safe — is a necessary and honorable profession."

Emily Browning

(via aghoulistmike)

There is nothing inherently sexist about Sex Work.

What is sexist is how we treat our Sex Workers. Sex work in itself is not the issue, the issue is how we choose to view Sex Work and those who are in the industry with very little respect or civil rights. 

(via brazenbitch)

(Source: senhoritaugly, via nothingman)