From page A18 of the May 24 edition of the New York Times
What do you think? This Bloomingdales ad for Rag & Bone Jeans ($165.00) and silk Equipment top ($178.00) contains the tag line "MEET YOUR NEW MUST-HAVE" and depicts an Asian model staring into the camera with her lips parted. It accompanies an article with the headline "In Oakland, Redefining Sex Trade Workers as Abuse Victims" which, among many things, criticizes the 'exoticization' of Asian women in the US.
The article can be found online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/us/24oakland.html
Ten is the number of bodies that have been found on Long Island's southern beaches since December. The first four, all found between December 11 abd 13, were confirmed to be the remains of women who had had some experience in sex work. The next was found on March 29. Three more were found on April 4, and two were found today. The identities of those most recently found have not been determined, and police have not made a definitive statement about whether all of the murders are connected.
So far, none has turned out to be Shannon Gilbert, the search for whom turned up these other victims.
I suspect they will turn out to be related, victims of a serial killer who targets women who, among all of the other things that they do in their lives, also exchange sex for money.
SWOP-NYC has responded with a statement that rightly reminds us that the dangers of sex work are the dangers of stigmatization and isolation, and not particular to the exchange of sex for something else of value.
I just spent three days at my statewide union's Representative Assembly where health and safety was one of the key concerns.
Once I made the decision to do sex work, the rest was fairly easy. At the time, Craigslist was a wide-open playing field for sex work of all kinds under the "Erotic Services" section. The only problem I really had was my inexperience and ignorance of the Atlanta market. I had no idea what I was worth as a whore. I didn't know anything about being a sex worker at all!
I placed an ad on Craigslist, specifically mentioning that it was my first time, and watched the emails pour in, one after the other. I didn't have any reason to pick the guy that I did, other than I had a good vibe off of our limited email interactions. We arranged to meet at the hotel where he was staying for work and we agreed on a price for my time - $100.00 but no penetration, only a hand job.
Thank you to Sex in the Public Square for giving me the space to write.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Julia B. Adams. Here's what you need to know in order to catch up with where I want to begin writing. I'm almost 40-years-old, I've been married for about 10 years and we have two daughters. In fact, I'm not all that different from my friends, peers, and colleagues - graduate degrees, careers, families, home life.
I have a confession to make. I'm not anything like them. Julia B. Adams is not my real name. I don't dare give you my real name because I've done something so bad that if others knew, I would risk damaging everything that matters to me: my family and my career. Some people would treat us very differently. People would condemn my husband, causing him to feel worse about this than he already does. Our daughters lives' would be changed forever. So what is this hideous crime? I had sex for money.
With a half-finished bottle of soju sitting on the floor between us, and another two waiting to be opened, we settled in, my friend Mr. Lee and I, for an evening of drinking in my very small seven-and-a-half pyong apartment in the part of Seoul known as Chamshil. I lived in the the Ju-gong Apartment Complex, where the English Training Center (ETC), the hagwon, or private language school, that had hired me to each for the year housed all its faculty. We were not far from the Olympic Stadium, where the opening ceremonies for the 1988 Summer Olympics had been held. In fact, some of my colleagues and I had watched the ceremonies from the roof of my building. Mr. Lee had been a student in one of my classes, and when it was over, he asked if he could be my friend. When I said yes, he suggested this night of drinking as a way to cement that friendship.
Sex Workers Outreach Project USA, a social justice and anti-violence project by and for sex workers, decries trafficking and demands protections for workers.
In the debate regarding the coercive shutdown of the Craigslist adult services sections the voices of sex workers have been conspicuously overlooked. Trafficking is not sex work. Real traffickers and child abusers must be stopped. Sex workers are in a unique position to help end trafficking, if our perspectives are taken into account.
Based on our extensive knowledge and experience with the sex industry, SWOP calls on elected officials and members of law enforcement to pursue a sane and effective approach to ending trafficking.
The conflation of consensual sex work with rape is a disservice to both victims of trafficking and to sex workers. Persecuting consenting adults for exchanging sex for money is a waste of precious resources that could better be used providing services and legal protections for minors and others who have been abused.
It's about time! From the the Change.org petition site:
On June 15, 2010 the New York State senate passed a bill that, effective as soon as Governor Paterson signs it, enables survivors of human trafficking to vacate their convictions for prostitution-related offenses. This amendment to New York State Criminal Procedure Law grants those who were trafficked into commercial sex the opportunity to start over with a clean slate.
The Sex Workers Project (SWP) worked closely with Assembly Member Richard Gottfried to draft and introduce the bill in April 2009, which is also sponsored by Senator Thomas Duane. Supporters include the New York City Bar Association, the New York Anti-Trafficking Network, and Sex Workers Action New York.
The new legislation empowers survivors of trafficking by allowing them to move on with their lives, and function in society without the stigma of past exploitation. Survivors have a better chance of escaping re-victimization or further coercion when they do not have criminal records that often prevent them from obtaining work, getting stable housing, and adjusting their immigration status.
The message below was sent by PJ Starr and I'm sharing it exactly as it was sent. I hope you can help Desiree Alliance with a donation.
Are you interested in supporting sex worker rights through performance art? Go to http://kck.st/96VUMQ. We are seeking supporters to pledge to donate as little as $5 to support the July 2010 Desiree Alliance conference scholarship program and performance art event "If it happens in Vegas... it's still illegal." The performance “IF IT HAPPENS IN VEGAS… IT'S STILL ILLEGAL" will be our most visible event during the conference and will reveal that not only is sex work unjustifiably subject to law enforcement across the United States that the same applies in the “wild” “party” town of Las Vegas.
Donors will not only get the pleasure of supporting sex workers in a cool way but also get exclusive access to a bunch of photos and video about the conference/performance and event via a passcoded website. People donating $25 or more will be able to access a special blog where we spill the beans about how we organize and strategize. Other supporter premiums include the Soixante-Neuf package (for donors of $69, we send you our underwear!) and the Art Lovers Special ($100 or more, we send you movies made by sex worker advocates and a CD from Mariko Passion).
We have to raise $2500 in total by Friday June 18. Donations are also tax deductible.
Ron Weitzer sent me this collaborative video in which a group of women thoughtfully argue in favor of sex worker rights. It's a bit more than nine minutes long but take a look at it and check out some of the related videos. Let me know what you think!
PS: I looked around on YouTube for a link to info about the collaborators and couldn't find anything. If you were involved in the making of this video and you want the project credited more completely or would like to share more information about it please let me know how to do that by using the contact form to send me an email.
I am just getting home from a long day at work and have not yet blogged about International Sex Worker Rihts day. But I sat down at the computer with a cup of tea and tried to collect my thoughts, and the first thing I saw as I browsed was this:
Today (March 3) is International Sex Worker Rights Day. I would like to observe the occasion here by listing and highlighting some things pertaining to sex work/sex workers’ rights lately that I find cool/uplifting/heartening/lovely. The t-shirt I am wearing in the picture, by the way, was produced by the fabulous and local-to-me organization HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive).