Farley Promoting US Imperialism in Anti Prostitution Agenda

I would like to invite people to view a video which interviews sex workers and advocates around the world about the results of the policies Farley promotes. The US has a policy, an ‘anti-prostitution loyalty oath,’ which prohibits organizations from receiving funds from the US government unless they explicitly sign a statement that they oppose prostitution. Although real progressive organizations around the world (about 200 of them) have protested this, and Soros sued the government over this policy, Farley wrote an amicus brief IN SUPPORT of the Bush administration policies. Now with her close relationship with ‘Ambassador’ John Miller, darling of Bush’s religious right wing constituency, and with her federal funding, she has found her niche. Human rights advocates are quite aware of the harms of this type of zealotry, but this Bush administration tactic of focusing on knee jerk and simplistic moralism masks the true damage of US imperialism. Farley is yet another ‘Ambassador’ of this moralism in the guise of feminist concerns, while promoting xenophobia. Watch the video.

The video:
http://sexworkerspresent.blip.tv/file/181155/

This link discusses the issue:
http://www.genderhealth.org/loyaltyoath.php?TOPIC=PRG

Another video made by sex workers in Thailand challenges the type of imperialism that Farley promotes in her support for the Bush admin. policies:

http://sexworkerspresent.blip.tv/file/310429/

14 Responses

  1. What on earth are you talking about? Miller approved that grant to Farley shortly before announcing he was leaving the State Department Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Was he fired because he dared to take a look at trafficking in the U.S.? Who knows. He’s now a college professor, ask him.

    As far as “anti-prostitution loyalty oath”, Farley signed no such thing. To imply she did is to slide even further down a slippery slide of smear campaign slime.

  2. A smear campaign isn’t needed. Here is the link in the amicus brief submitted against Soros and for the Bush administration.

    If you google this it comes up:

    Civil Action No “05-CV-8209” “Prostitution Research”

    Farley’s non-profit is signatory number 16.

    As you see 200 organizations signed in protest of this policy.
    http://hrw.org/campaigns/hivaids/hiv-aids-letter/

  3. The USAID anti-prostitution pledge is only one way the United States flexes its muscles in other parts of the world forcing others into compliance. In addition to AIDS funding, we’ve established a “Tier Placement System” to rate countries on compliance with our trafficking/prostitution laws.

    The list reads more like a popularity contest than anything else, with every white, Western, industrialized nation guaranteed top placement with minimal effort (including Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark- much to Donna Hughes’s chagrin). The Tier III countries are hardly a surprise, with countries such as Iran, N Korea, Venezuela and Cuba on the list, regardless of whether or not we know of any trafficking going on there. Other countries such as S Korea, Thailand and Belize have had to make some effort to keep off the bottom rank.

    In S Korea, this has meant the implementation and rigorous enforcement of new laws against prostitution.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/FL22Dg01.html

    “Why are the Korean government and women’s organizations ignoring the voices of the sex workers? Why the rush to eradicate prostitution after years of tolerance of this illegal trade?

    The South Korean government has been under relentless pressure from the United States to demonstrate its commitment to combat trafficking in women and girls. As part of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) passed in 2000, the US State Department publishes the yearly Trafficking in Persons Report to monitor world efforts to combat trafficking. In 2001, it identified South Korea along with other lowest-ranking countries such as Sudan and Myanmar. This represented a huge international embarrassment to the South Korean government, which has taken pride as a regional leader in democracy. (Persistent violations can carry sanctions by the US.)

    The South Korean government thus set out to prove its anti-trafficking commitments. While “trafficking” refers to the use of force, fraud, and deception in exploiting labor in all sectors, the US administration of President George W Bush has implemented its anti-trafficking policy with a preoccupation with prostitution.”

    And BTW, that was an excellent (albeit tragic) video- thanks for sharing it!

  4. I really think the women on here need to start wearing their reading glasses. The “oath” is to QUOTE not “promote, support, or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution” if they receive grant money. Since when did not promoting the practice of prostitution become the same as “denouncing” it? You gals have said the oath was for her to “denounce” it. And even when I was working as an escort you wouldn’t have caught me dead in a legal brothel (no joke intended there). As an escort I wouldn’t support the way legal brothels are run. Who in their right mind would agree to being locked up for weeks at a time, having their car keys taken from them, being charged for every little thing while at the same time not being allowed to even go the market yourself, and all the other abuses I’ve seen happen to women at those places? Why is everyone on here it seems working in areas where it’s illegal to be a prostitute trying to support what is essentially a few trailers out in the middle of the desert in Nevada? Are you guys on these guys PR payroll or something? Those guys sure don’t pay my bills either when I was escorting or now. Why are you arguing to put money in guys’ like Dennis Hof’s pocket and trying to stop the thousands and thousands of women in the US working as prostitutes to get support and exit services like they offer in Sweden?

  5. Jody,
    If this is so an innocent, why did 200 human rights groups protest this oath?

    In fact the oath winds up applying to very broad attitudes towards sex worker rights. “Promote, support, or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution” is loosely interpreted.

    Watch the video and you’ll understand how this is seriously harming sex workers around the world who have few options.

  6. This Oath is a death sentence around the world. Farley stating she didn’t even know what it is. That’s great for a prostitution expert to be unaware of lethal legislation. I guess she missed that one in her research in 34 countries.

  7. The original implication, my lovelies, was that Farley signed some kind of loyalty oath. Since you were conflating A with B to make your spurious charges you are now confused. As per usual.

    The bottom line is that y’all want to charge her with somehow altering her findings to fit the weirdo creeps in the Bush administration and she did no such thing.

  8. Actually Josie, if you go back and read the post, it states that Farley filed an amicus brief in support of upholding the anti-prostitution oath when the policy was challenged by another organization.

    The point is that decisions about where money goes is based on the organization’s position on prostitution and whether they do any research that reflects anything other than the prohibitionist position. This applies to int’l organizations.

    It was challenged by US-based organizations who do work in other countries. Farley’s brief was submitted in one of those law suits. Carol Leigh sites the brief in an above comment.

  9. Going back to your original post, about he “policies Farley promotes…

    As far as I can tell, Farley promotes decriminalization for women in prostitution. She thinks prostitutes should not be arrested. She favors arresting johns and pimps. She favors services and alternatives for women who want to leave prostitution.

    The Bush administration on the other hand is a fucked up bunch of liars and weirdos as far as I can tell.

    I understand you are mad that a grant from the U.S. State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons paid for about 30 percent of her research on sex trafficking in Nevada. You can either get over it or don’t, but it would be patently ridiculous to assume Farley gives a fuck what the Bush administration wanted her to find or say in or about Nevada. She made her own discoveries and reported them honestly.

    Period.

  10. “She favors arresting johns and pimps.”

    Yes, we understand what she wants.

    Arresting our clients still forces us to operate in a criminal market and further limits our ability to keep ourselves safe.

    And don’t forget- it’s necessary to cuff, arrest and deport trafficking victims to ensure that the pimps don’t distract the cops and run down the street with the victim flung over their shoulder.

    “The Bush administration on the other hand is a fucked up bunch of liars and weirdos as far as I can tell.”

    Yet you seem to think that they make good decisions about protecting women in the sex industry. The Bush Admin has been a driving force in creating some of the most restrictive policies that make women unsafe around the globe. Farley and her colleagues are cheerleaders for these policies.

    We know that this admin is very, very bad for women’s health and rights. Why support their policies in this area? It’s as if the abolitionist WANT sex workers to be punished by the Bush Admin, like we are the whipping whores providing shelter to all of the ‘good girls’ out there.

    I’ll leave you with this quote from Donna Hughes, who supports the same models that Farley promotes:

    “Mainstream feminists like to say he’s anti-woman, but by supporting the abolitionist work against the global sex trade, he has done more for women and girls than any one other president I can think of.”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/interrogatory/hughes200601260824.asp

    Bush has done more for women and girls than any other president? Do you seriously trust that these people are working to improve the lives of women?

  11. And of course, there’s Laura Lederer, who until she stepped down last month, was #2 in the State Department Office of Trafficking in persons and had been since the beginnings of the Bush administration. Lederer, of course, was somebody who goes way back in the feminist anti-porn and anti-prostitution movement (back to the late 1970s, in fact – she was a founder of the San Francisco anti-porn group WAVPM and editor of “Take Back the Night”, an important early anti-porn anthology). And she was somebody who very much helped get this policy in place, which settled a very old score that abolitionist groups like CATW had with other sex worker rights and non-abolitionist anti-trafficking groups. So the whole rhetoric of “radical feminist abolitionists are totally outside of American power structures and are motivated purely by their ethics” rhetoric – totally not buying it.

  12. Karly, you are not just comparing apples to oranges, you are trying to merge them into one big applorange.

    This was called “guilt by association” under the original author, Himmler.

    Farley does not equal Bush. What more do you need? She hates Bush, does not love Bush, does not agree with Bush, does not like Bush, can not stand Bush, etc. etc.

    If you want all the career people at the State Department to quit thinking and working just because Bush is president, that probably is not going to happen. The truth is that some of the people in the U.S. State department have been there for 20 years and some will be there 20 more. Maybe you don’t know how the U.S. state department functions, but there are books and you can read up on it. Bottom line – not everyone at the State Department agrees with the current administration.

    So all this hooey about how Farley is somehow complicit in Bush administration bullshit is old and tired and irrelevant to the lives of women in Nevada. So if y’all could just FOCUS on REAL WOMEN IN NEVADA for just a MINUTE, that would be fabulous.

  13. Lederer and the other folks in the trafficking office are very much Bush admin political appointees.

  14. From Anna Louise Crago’s article “Unholy Alliance:

    http://www.alternet.org/rights/15947

    “…funding would be cut to projects perceived as supporting “trafficking of women and girls…and abortion.” The attack on abortion and the tying of HIV-prevention funding to abstinence-based programs stirred up a firestorm of protest from women’s groups and health activists in the U.S.

    Though touted as a grave set-back for the feminist movement’s advances around reproductive rights, in an interesting twist, some feminist groups found a diamond in the rough: The provision on prostitution, at least, could be counted as a victory. “The challenge now is to implement these landmark [anti-prostitution] policies in order to free women and children from enslavement,” said a celebratory Donna Hughes of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) last month.”

    ” A successful joint campaign was mounted to ensure that the TVPA would not only condemn forced labor and forced prostitution but condemn sex work as a whole — forced or not.”

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