Melissa Farley, words, actions, ethics and ambition

Author of post is Jill Brenneman

Melissa Farley presents herself as an expert in the field of prostitution. Her basis of expertise is her research interviewing women she selected for her studies. She talks often about the feelings of women in prostitution speaking of their feelings as the basis of her message of being their messenger, their potential messiah, struggling to free them from her self described “systems of prostitution” which she states In order to understand prostitution, it is necessary to understand: stripping, exotic dancing, nude dancing, table dancing, phone sex, trafficking, child and adult pornography, lap dancing, massage brothels, and peep shows as prostitution”. Yet in 1996, this self proclaimed expert in prostitution co-authored a piece entitled “Why I Made the Choice to Become a Prostitute”.

The piece below co-authored by Farley is a blistering statement on her perceptions of prostitutes and their motivations. As you read through the list below consider the following. This expert on prostitution implies prostitutes are attracted to their stepfathers and so compelled by this attraction they further find a way to make money for it. She states that women base their decision to work as a prostitute because they saw movies and liked the clothes or believed they could easily make a million dollars while having fun doing it. She mocks prostitutes that are gang raped, insults their intelligence, career choices, educational choices and relationship decisions.

She conflates a decision to do sex work for the purpose of earning a living in the same sentence as being an illegal drug user and needing vast amounts of money for plastic surgery. Perhaps number 17 states her actual feelings about sex workers in the most graphic context “It’s complicated, but I thought that working in the sex industry would increase my self-esteem. It’s sort of like saying to the world, “I am the best Grade A ground beef” and being the cow.” A statement such as the one from the previous sentence makes it hard to fathom that Melissa Farley is an expert in the psychology, lives or feelings of those she researches, claims to represent and postures that she is trying to liberate.

From personal interactions with her at speaking events in 2002 in which we each were presenters, in after event meals and discussions I found her to be remarkably elitist and disdaining of those she claims to represent. While she portrays herself as an advocate fighting for the human rights and liberation of prostitutes, the 1996 piece filled with contempt, sarcasm and insults about the integrity, character and intelligence of sex workers is far closer to the perception I got of her in personal interaction than that of the sympathetic freedom fighter and social justice advocate she presents as to the media and her speaking engagement audiences. Perhaps the most blatant example can be found on her website www.prostitutionresearch.com in her blog called traffickjamming in which she violates Federal Law by displaying a pornographic picture of a woman being tortured, a picture which she did not bother to get the consent of the photographed woman, a picture which is in violation of US Law U.S.C. § 2257, which requires documentation the person filmed is over the age of 18 and consenting to the picture. Under legal definition failure to follow this law defines the picture as child pornography. Even without that legal definition there is no documentation the woman photographed is in fact over 18 or consenting to the use of her image. But Melissa Farley once again demonstrates her lack of consideration for the feelings of the individuals she purports to represent. Her words might be powerful statements claiming to be helping individuals in prostitution but her actions present a far different picture. The illegal pornography on her website which she places herself above the feelings of the photographed woman and even of Federal Law and the piece below are actions demonstrating a far different perspective than that which she presents to the media. Considering the illegal pornography and the statements below is Melissa Farley actually expert on prostitutes? Is she an advocate for their rights? Or is she an opportunist using the issue to access federal funding under Trafficking Victim’s Protection Reauthorization Act 2003 to fund her research for her latest book and speaking event tour and using prostitutes and the issues of prostitution and trafficking as opportunistic methods to advance her career and present herself as the renowned leader in the field for her own gain. Her actions seem not to point to achieving social justice for prostitutes but instead show an egregious exploitation of those she researched and represents with flagrant contempt and disregard for their intelligence and humanity.

Why I Made the Choice To Become A Prostitute

By Nikki Craft and Melissa Farley

I became a prostitute because . . .

1. I saw Pretty Baby and it reminded me of my stepfather and I thought I could get paid for it.

2. I saw Pretty Woman and I liked the clothes.

3. I saw a Demi Moore movie and I thought, Wow, what an easy and fun way to make a million dollars.

4. I like getting fucked by the football team, the fraternity brothers, and law students at graduation parties. I realized that gang rape could be a transcendental experience.

5. I figured that laying on my back and getting fucked by hundreds of men, and getting on my knees and sucking thousands of dicks, was the most profound empowerment a woman could have.

6. My vocational counselor and I discussed a whole lot of possibilities: doctor, lawyer, women’s-studies teacher, legal secretary. I was offered a four-year scholarship at Stanford, but frankly, prostitution seemed the most rewarding job option available.

7. I worship the goddess and she told me, “Fuck mankind.” I misunderstood her spiritual message and found myself in lifetime sexual servitude instead.

8. I came to appreciate the depth of Hugh Hefner’s, Larry Flynt’s, and Bob Guccione’s understanding of my sexuality.

9. My boyfriend wanted me to do it. He said that being part of a stable of whores who worked for him could help me learn how to get along with other women.

10. My father wanted me to do it.

11. I met a nice man on alt.sex.prostitution.

12. Camille Paglia told me it was the feminist thing to do.

13. I felt coerced by my landlord, the day-care center, the utility companies, the grocer, my dealer and my plastic surgeons to pay my bills every month.

14. I didn’t want to work at Red Lobster.

15. I wanted to be treated like a lady.

16. I went to COYOTE’s Halloween extravaganza, the Hookers’ Ball, and found out just how glamorous prostitution could be.

17. It’s complicated, but I thought that working in the sex industry would increase my self-esteem. It’s sort of like saying to the world, “I am the best Grade A ground beef” and being the cow.

18. And then, ya know, even though it all sounded really good, and selling fucks and blow jobs sounded really empowering, I realized that talking about it and writing books defending it would be even more empowering.

39 Responses

  1. The quotes from Melissa’s book on “why” women became prostitutes were their/prostitutes’ actual quotes. They said it – not Melissa. Because she reports their statements – doesn’t mean she made the statements up. As for her being an “expert” on prostitution – please show me another researcher who has travelled to witness first hand as many countries’ sex work activities, interviewed as many different sex workers, and actually done as much research as she has. Not her opinion on other peoples’ research – her own research. I have never had her insult my intelligence, put me down, or act in any way “elitist” towards me or any other sex worker she’s interviewed. If she acted “cold” towards you at a public event – maybe she just had something else on her mind and it wasn’t personal. I don’t know – have you asked her? Have you asked her about this photograph on her site you claim is illegal? Some photos are considered in the “public domain” and therefore you don’t need written consent. I don’t know however – but if you have an issue about it – how about asking her if she has the consent before assuming she’s violating the law? The woman is reporting on sex workers’ experiences and writing down their words. This site is supposed to be about sex workers’ voices – yet when one woman does this – she’s being shot down for not presenting only one side of the issue. Just because their experiences aren’t your experiences – does that mean Melissa shouldn’t give these women a voice at all?

  2. Yikes! I found the piece “Why I Made the Choice To Become A Prostitute” to be dripping with contempt, derision, and a bit of hatred. How can anyone with any sense of self imagine that these words come from someone who says they “care” about prostitutes?

    Instead those words seem to come from someone who has been stung at some point by the idea of sex work, free sexuality, or a cheating husband or boyfriend.

    Perhaps something in Melissa’s and Nikki’s childhood made them hate men and prostitutes. Could they have been abused? Raped? Bullied? How awful for them. Such hatred does not arise in a vaccuum.

    But the answer isn’t to throw more hatred at a situation. Perhaps a less hateful approach would serve them and their purported cause better.

  3. Jody,

    Yes I did ask her about the picture. She refused to respond to my question in personal email. I also posted the question on her blog but she moderated the question out without response.

    I didn’t say she was cold to me at events. You are distorting my words. We had a significant discussions. Her statements to me and others were condescending and elitist. This was a shared opinion of those at the supper.

    Her statements at International Day of No Prostitution about how she would respond if any sex worker rights people showed up were abysmal. As she was going to change speeches to a hateful and very disdainful speech about sex workers, prostitutes, etc.

  4. Jody wrote:
    “…please show me another researcher who has travelled to witness first hand as many countries’ sex work activities, interviewed as many different sex workers, and actually done as much research as she has.”

    Please see: http://www.sexworkersproject.org/info/MelissaDitmore.html

    Dr. Melissa Ditmore is well-traveled and has made connections with thousands of sex workers around the globe. Her research is actually cited properly and she is not condescending and degrading to her subjects.

  5. Jody Writes “Just because their experiences aren’t your experiences – does that mean Melissa shouldn’t give these women a voice at all?”

    Jody I would advocate you know what you are talking about before you make assumptions about my experiences. Check out Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery and you will find my experiences aren’t so far from those Farley interviewed.

    Only I choose to speak and define my activism to what is proprietary to my beliefs rather than having Farley do it for me.

    You seriously need to get over your presumptions of sex worker rights activists and look at who we are and what we are actually doing for social justice rather than just making rash judgments based on stereotypes created by a portion of the feminist movement.

  6. “You seriously need to get over your presumptions of sex worker rights activists and look at who we are”

    Yes, I am very curious about this. How many of you are currently working as sex workers? How many of you pimp other sex workers out? How many of you are johns?

  7. Jody,

    I have personally been to 36 countries, worked in 6 of them, and visited the red-light districts in most of the 36. In those red light districts, I had been invited to participate in their sexual commerce as a guest performer on several occasions, and graciously accepted the invitation on a number of them.

    In my travels and experiences, and in my relationships with those I met, I very, very rarely found any weak, victimised women.

    On the contrary, I found the most amazing, strong, self-possessed women I have ever met anywhere! These women rock. And I guarantee they would laugh at the proposition that they were somehow victims.

    On the other hand, I am intimately aware that there are places where women are chained to beds and have no control over whom they service. But by conflating trafficking with prostitution, these women will not be helped. This is because all of the money being poured into the anti-trafficking hysteria is being used to arrest women like us off of craigslist.

    I am very pleased for you that you have found a friend in Melissa Farley, and that she treats you with respect and warmth. I am sure Ms. Farley is absolutely lovely when you agree with her. But to try to criminalize a livelihood choice for millions of women around the world only perpetuates the harm she claims to be trying to ameliorate.

    Regarding the piece above by Craft and Farley- you aren’t saying that actual prostitutes said these things?

    In solidarity,
    EH

  8. To my knowledge, there are no pimps, managers or clients participating at this board.

    Most of us are currently working or retired from sex work, in many different aspects of the industry.

  9. Um. You might want to check in with your fellow posters.

    p.s. women can be pimps too.

    p.s.s. Ya definitely got yourself at least one john.

  10. Your claims are entertaining, but baseless. Please do expose for us silly whores who the pimps and johns are lurking on our blog. This ought to be rich!

  11. Josie writes: “How many of you are currently working as sex workers? How many of you pimp other sex workers out? How many of you are johns?”

    Josie I’m a flight attendant. I don’t pimp out anyone nor have I ever hired anyone for sexual services. I am also Director of SWOP East, Sex Workers Outreach Project which is entirely volunteer with no funding, with direct services being offered on a volunteer basis in Minneapolis and a condom outreach project called Pledging Action which is entirely funded by sex workers and sex worker rights activists out of our own pockets because TVPRA, Trafficking Victim’s Protection Reauthorization Act cut off funding to organizations in Chile, TVPRA being something Farley uses for her projects, to get condoms to street based sex workers in Santiago Chile so that they don’t die of a horrible sexually transmitted disease.

    I hate to burst your stereotype bubble Josie but you are making some presumptions that are inaccurate.

  12. I too have been to many countries and spoken with sex workers. And they aren’t fond outside of the US of TVPRA or the imperialistic first world feminist “rescue” programs and concepts that Melissa Farley, Donna Hughes, Janice Raymond and others exploit to access funding while suffocating outreach projects worldwide by starving them of grants and aid because of TVPRA. I too can speak for sex workers from many countries in Latin America. They aren’t impressed with the US policies which Farley and her allies advocate. They are viewed as death sentences for sex workers, and US arrogance and lack of understanding of what is really happening to sex workers outside the US.

  13. Josie, perhaps you are the john? Or the pimp? Just asking, because you seem so sure. I have no problems if you are- none at all.🙂 It’s a free board!

    I know I have paid men money to dance for me at certain strip clubs at which men entertain women, so that perhaps makes me a john of sorts…or would I be a joanne? Lol!

  14. Seriously. Why be ashamed. If selling sex isn’t bad, you shouldn’t be ashamed of hooking up people to sell sex. Or whatever lovely term you want to call it.

  15. I think you’ll have a hard time finding anyone on this board, on either side of the issue, who agrees with U.S. policies overseas.

  16. Farley agrees with, endorses and reaps the financial rewards of it. Thus my problem with her. Ethics

  17. Josie’s probably on about me. I’m one of the bloggers over at Blog of Pro-Porn Activism. I’m pretty open about my porn viewing. I used to visit Lusty Lady pretty regularly back when I was in Seattle, too and have written about that. As for whatever other sexual services I may or may not have purchased before, I don’t really consider that anybody’s business.

  18. AHA!! There you are, you scoundrel…lol!!
    😉

  19. Regardless of why people work as prostitutes, they shouldn’t be persecuted for providing consensual sexual services in exchange for payment.

  20. “Regardless of why people work as prostitutes, they shouldn’t be persecuted for providing consensual sexual services in exchange for payment.”

    Well, I think what most of the abolitionists are advocating is prosecution (or persecution, depending on your point of view), coupled decriminalization of the selling of sex. Now whether you can really have a system where buyers are prosecuted and sellers have absolutely no legal entanglements is somehow doubtful.

    They claim that’s the system in Sweden, but there have been more than a few cases where street prostitutes picked up in sweeps have been held as material witnesses or, if they were foreigners, deported.

  21. Thank you Jill, for posting this. The list of “Why I Made the Choice To Become A Prostitute” does not sound like ANYTHING I’ve ever heard come out of the mouth of a sex worker. It’s horrible.

    FYI Josie, I’m a retired stripper and retired escort. I do several things now and one of them is producing information for escorts to enable them to make good choices for themselves (including the choice NOT to be an escort!). I’ve seen too many girls get harmed because of the lack of real information easily available. So I’m doing something about that.

    What are you doing to reduce harm to sex workers?

    XX

  22. I’m currently working as a sex worker, though I have become so terrified of increased police efforts that I’m not taking on new clients. This has lead to me booking appointments with men I would not have otherwise seen again at times when I was strapped for cash.

    Most of my clients have treated me with more respect and kindness than any boss I held as an administrative assistant. But I have such anxiety over fear of law enforcement now that I’d rather take my chance with a known rapist than risk getting caught up in a sting (and no, I’ve never been raped by a client, though I know women who have).

    And BTW, the fact that you didn’t write the “reasons for becoming a prostitute” piece is irrelevant. If I wrote a mock list of “why I left sex work to join forces with Melissa Farley,” and included things like “I got too old, ugly and lazy to make money in the business or find other work” and submitted it to BAYSWAN or NSWP, I doubt they would put it up on their sites.

  23. Ooops, I never “held” my bosses before; that should have been bosses at any job I held as an admin. assistant.

    After all, when I was running a little bit late for work, I could have never called my boss up and requested that he run pick me up some coffee and a muffin just to bide more time.

  24. Sex Worker ::raises hand:::

  25. I’m a retired sex worker myself. When I quit – I was young, thin, blond and attractive. I also had an eating disorder to keep myself looking that way. Since I quit – I’ve had a lot of health problems directly related to my time in the sex industry that have almost killed me, caused me to have more than one surgery, and suffering from things like PTSD and depression. Yes I’ve gotten older – I quit the biz some time ago. Yes I’ve gotten fatter – you have the hormonal and female problems I have from all the tricks I’ve turned and you might find yourself having weight issue as well. Of course quitting drugs that I also used to use to keep thin and keep up my veil of denial about the sex trade probably put on a few pounds too. I’m tired of people claiming that the only reason ex-sex workers aren’t out turning tricks is they’ve gotten too “old and fat”. First of all you assume I looked like I do now the day I quit – which is false. Second you seem to think that there isn’t a market for old fat chicks. Believe me – johns will buy anything and I still keep getting propositioned by johns and pornographers. You are kidding yourself if you think johns only limit themselves to young thin attractive women – just same as thinking men only rape attractive women they are attracted to. Tell that one to the 80 year old woman who got raped. I’ve known Melissa for over a decade and I personally know many of the women she’s interviewed for her research. Of course there are other researchers out there – but I haven’t seen one that has done more extensive research then her yet. I am seeing a lot of people who don’t know how to read talking about her writing though. Anyone who read her book on “why” would know that yes those quotes did in fact come out of the mouths of sex workers. And because Melissa reports it does not mean it’s her personal opinions. And anyone who thinks she’s making money on things like the book she just released – well they haven’t seen the budget then. Melissa’s blog isn’t maintained by her – but by a volunteer. Her volunteer also just suffered a trojan that ate the hard drive. If someone’s post got lost – that doesn’t automatically mean it was deliberately deleted. And because she hasn’t had time to personally answer each and every email doesn’t mean she’s avoiding anything or anyone – she’s busy right now trying to fend off all these attacks from people who want to attack the research in the book without having read it yet. You sound like the Mayor – “well I want to read the book before telling anyone else not to read it so I can at least make a constructive argument about that”. It’s like the woman who thinks all photos on the net require a model release obviously doesn’t know anything about photos that are in the public domain that don’t require such a release. This debate reminds me exactly of what is going on in the tobacco industry and with smokers. Just because someone has smoked for 40 years and hasn’t had cancer “yet” doesn’t mean the majority aren’t getting it, the 2nd hand smoke isn’t harmful and nor does that mean that you should allow the tobacco companies to hide and buy off any press that isn’t to their advantage. The public has the right to know all sides of an issue without anyone trying to silence the other views – like this website is trying to do. I notice an awful lot on here trashing Melissa – yet I don’t see one word on her site trashing any of the women on this site. Yes women on here are claiming she’s the one attacking prostitutes. The only “attacks” I’m seeing so far as on this site to her and to the voices of real actual ex-prostitutes’ voices she’s trying to give an audience to.

  26. >>The only “attacks” I’m seeing so far as on this site to her and to the voices of real actual ex-prostitutes’ voices she’s trying to give an audience to.>>

    I”m a real ex-prostitute. She fought very hard to keep my voice from being heard in The Effects of Prostitution in 1997. Made some late night phone calls to the owner of a website called http://www.exposeprostitution.org to try to keep my views from there.

    Since you know her well and she is committed to giving voice to ex prostitutes then I’m certain she will want to hear my thoughts and publish them. Right…………..

    As for Melissa not trashing anyone on this site. She does it all in late night condescending telephone calls with very false allegations and very nasty faux psycho analysis. She apparently forgets the http://www.exposeprostitution.org 2004 crusade of hers to keep my views or anyone happening to oppose the vitriol being thrown at me by radical feminists for a trans-theoretical model implementation at Project Prosper.

    The photo. You are going to tell me the photo of the woman being hung by her wrists and tortured is public domain and exempt from consent and 2257? And even if it is public domain, that justifies the ethics of using a picture of a woman being tortured without her consent and without the protections to keep a child from seeing it? If it is in a rad fem setting it is ok for an eight year old to see it?

    Her comments about Robyn Few at Girlfest? Rather than answer the question about the harm of TVPRA, which she couldn’t answer because she is getting money from what is stolen from sex workers worldwide, she answers with some bogus distortions about Robyn’s criminal history.

    Once again, SWOP is an anti violence project. Thus we too are fighting violence against women and children. Radical feminists hold no monopoly in that. This idea that sex worker rights activists support rape, forced trafficking, is nothing but vitriolic rhetoric.

    So when does the former prostitute now flight attendant get her views published by Melissa? So if Melissa reports the words of the previously prostituted women and that they are the words of the women and not her opinion, then she would have no problem publishing my words as an ex prostitute. Correct?

    Actually I advocate that people do read Melissa’s book. I haven’t ever advocated any book not be read.

  27. Jody:

    Why yes, fair use, she can use those photos/ 2257, well, makes it illegal. Just like it would be illegal for the pornographers. I do think she supported the law, and if she supported it, she should damn well follow it. And, legal or not, putting up a nude photo of a woman engaging in heavy bdsm on her site WITH NO WARNING- though she DID add one after WE suggested it might be a good idea- and with obviously NO CONSIDERATION to how the woman in the photo would feel about it…well, it doesn’t speak too highly of her to me.

    If she helped you and treated you well, marvelous. Others, however, are allowed to take exception to her and her treatment of them.

  28. Yo, buttheads. The photo was copied from an ADVERTISEMENT from kink.com. Now one would assume the woman gave her consent for kink.com to use that photo any way they like, yes? Otherwise such a fine upstanding business establishment such as kink.com would never use that photo as an advertisement.

    Furthermore, as if it is needed, that photo was NOT PORN. Look closely, there is no sex going on in that photo my friends. The graphic you all are bitching about shows two instances of torture. One at Abu Gharaib and one in San Franciso at Kink.com.

    I BEG you to sue over that photo. The discovery phase of that case could keep us happy for years.

    The whole point of the two photos side by side that they are both about torture and neither is about sex. Look hard. No sex.

  29. OK, I’m starting to finally get a picture about what this is all about. Something about late night phone calls where Farley says something negative about Jill Brenneman.

    Please forgive those of us who don’t know, or give a crap, about what the personal issues are between Farley and Brenneman. Personally, I don’t know and don’t want to know.

    But if Brenneman is creating this whole smear campaign on Farley just because of some personal, unresolved. bullshit, then y’all have just wasted a ton of our time.

    Jill, honey, call Melissa and work it out. Or don’t. But creating this whole “live blog” “virutal press conference with no press” personal attack smear campaign is a really cheap and intellectually bankrupt way to deal with your personal issues with Farley.

    For Christ’s sake, we are dealing with real women’s lives here. Real women are getting the snot beat out of them tonight because they did not meet thier quota or refused to go bareback or whatever.

    Your personal beef with Farley is NOTHING compared to the real lives of women and I really resent it if you have dragged all of us through this fucking horror show because she hurt your tiny little feelings somewhere.

    Is this a serious movement or is this all about Jill’s feelings being hurt by Farley?

    Inquiring minds would VERY much like to KNOW!

  30. Then inquiring minds should stop typing and read what others have said.

  31. Inquiring minds should also stop making up aliases to try to make their illogical arguments stronger.

  32. Josie writes “OK, I’m starting to finally get a picture about what this is all about. Something about late night phone calls where Farley says something negative about Jill Brenneman.”
    Josie you might want to get another picture developed because the one you have isn’t working out. I wrote about experiences with Farley because they are relevant. Perhaps you don’t want others to know about the bullshit pulled by your heroine Farley who claims to want to give voices to survivors. Well, Josie, I am a survivor and Farley has spent a significant amount of time attempting to convince others not to give me a voice because while my past fits her needs my politics do not. So she doesn’t want to hear from me. That is the point I was illustrating. You oth the other hand appear to be throwing ad hominems in an effort to distract from Farley’s ethical breaches. Nice try, but I can defend myself from your distortion attempts.
    Josie Writes “Please forgive those of us who don’t know, or give a crap, about what the personal issues are between Farley and Brenneman. Personally, I don’t know and don’t want to know”
    Ok, you are forgiven but here is a newsflash, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Thus just because you don’t care, which you have reason to not care since you are a Farley ally and would prefer this not become public info, but others that may find themselves in similar situations of Farley working very hard to derail their right to speak may want to hear about it. World doesn’t center around you Josie.
    Josie writes “But if Brenneman is creating this whole smear campaign on Farley just because of some personal, unresolved. bullshit, then y’all have just wasted a ton of our time”
    This isn’t a smear campaign, this is fact about flawed, research by an alleged expert using a heavily distorted message to advance her career while attempting to silence dissent, silence the views of actual living sex workers from any perspective other than hers. You also give me too much credit. I didn’t create bound not gagged. Nor did I create this live media event. Here is a newsflash that has to constantly be repeated to many radical feminists but I don’t command some vast segment of the sex worker rights movement and not everything that is developed opposing the ethical breaches of radical feminist activists are inherently Jill Brenneman creations.
    Josie write “Jill, honey, call Melissa and work it out. Or don’t. But creating this whole “live blog” “virutal press conference with no press” personal attack smear campaign is a really cheap and intellectually bankrupt way to deal with your personal issues with Farley.”
    Josie do we know each other? I am not your honey. So save it. Call Melissa? Great do you have her phone number? You give me too much credit and insult all those who created this forum and spoke in it. Do you really think everyone would have taken part in this just because I have a history with your heroine that exposed the fact that her lovely words of support for survivors don’t match her actions. Once again Josie, while you may assume the world revolves around you, the rest of the world doesn’t operate that way. It is obvious given your words that you have missed the entire point. Not that it surprises me any. But if you have read and responded to everyone and this is what you came up with as an end result the bankruptcy is your ability to read and process that information.
    Josie writes “For Christ’s sake, we are dealing with real women’s lives here. Real women are getting the snot beat out of them tonight because they did not meet thier quota or refused to go bareback or whatever.”
    Really, no kidding? As a survivor myself, which obviously you know nothing about, I know damn well what it feels like to be one of those women. So save your patronizing posturing bullshit for the high school recruits. Perhaps you may want to consider the fact that Farley claims to not know about the Anti Prostitution Oath, given that she is a subject matter expert and so concerned with prostituted women worldwide, one would assume she would be very literate on legislation that is a death sentence around the world. Those women’s lives are also real. And what exactly did Farley’s research do? Did she bring the women she researched that wanted to leave immediately with her when she left? Did she provide them with resources after leaving? Or did she just write a book and go the lecture circuit? I don’t seem to recall her being Congressman Ryan going to a place where people were held against their will and attempting to come out with those who choose to leave.
    Josie writes “Your personal beef with Farley is NOTHING compared to the real lives of women and I really resent it if you have dragged all of us through this fucking horror show because she hurt your tiny little feelings somewhere.”
    Wow, you aren’t real bright are you? You completely missed the point of this whole event. Your resentment is self inflicted because you can’t or won’t process what you read or are a slave to your beliefs which blind you to. Regardless I could not less what you resent. And given that I was one of those real women, where the fuck was Farley? And what did her “research” do for me when I was in a sex industry situation and could not get out on my own? No where and meaningless. If you want to continue to challenge me on what real women are experiencing we can go through my experiences in the sex industry and I will enlighten you on some realities. Do your homework before you write shit like this because you embarrassed yourself and your movement with this post. Your literacy and coherence about the actual facts of which you write are abysmal.
    “Is this a serious movement or is this all about Jill’s feelings being hurt by Farley?”
    Gee, that’s hard to figure out given all the posts. All I can say is wow.
    “Inquiring minds would VERY much like to KNOW!”
    Well than inquiring minds might want to try something called reading, perhaps even research. There is a tool called google. Try typing Jill Brenneman, or Jill Brenneman prostitution, do your homework and come back when you have something substantial.
    You make this far too easy.

  33. Sorry, Jill, I just am not that interested in your history with Farley. I’m not even that interested in Farley’s history with the issue.

    What I AM interested in is the women in Nevada tonight who have had a brutal day and want out. THAT is what I am interested in. You are clearly an assertive and self-interested human being and I trust you are going to be able to work out your issues just fine with or without me.

    This isn’t about you, Jill, or me, or Melissa Farley. We are all clearly able to take care of ourselves.

    But there are people being used tonight who would very much appreciate our help. Yours and mine and Farley’s.

    Can we figure out a way to cooperate to help them?

  34. Josie writes “But there are people being used tonight who would very much appreciate our help. Yours and mine and Farley’s.

    Can we figure out a way to cooperate to help them?”

    Absolutely. I am happy for a cease fire in hostilities and a collaborative effort with you and anyone else seeking to help these women who want to leave. I want no one to be coerced in the sex industry and work strongly on that issue and have devoted much time in the last 11 years toward that fight.

    I am not an advocate of legalization and personally I despise the Nevada brothel system.
    What would you like to do to assist these women? I fully realized there are many women harmed in prostitution and am more than willing to give space for their voices on SWOP East’s website.

    I will join you seeking reform of the Nevada brothel situation.

    If we can find a way to fund projects to assist them I am more than willing to take that on also.

    Perhaps you can join me in working to oppose TVPRA and the anti prostitution oath so that SWOP and other orgs can access USAid funding so that we can acquire the money needed to provide resources for these women to leave.

    Perhaps you would like to join me in advocating for the human and civil rights of sex workers so that when they do leave they will not be stigmatized, face discrimination for working in the brothels, so that judgment free health care specialized to the needs of those leaving the sex industry is available.

    Perhaps we can work together to acquire money to launch a press campaign on this issue. As unfortunately my activism has virtually bankrupted me as it cost a great deal of money to facilitate the Pledging Action Project in Chile, all money which came out of my and other activists on this project’s pockets. Flights to Chile are not cheap, neither are hotels or rental cars.

    Want to work together, contact me at swopeastnc@gmail.com I am more than happy to put aside all animosity from the past, let it be water under the bridge and move forward for constructive social justice.

    The ball is now in your court.

  35. Jill,

    I honestly HAVE no animosity toward you, I don’t even know you. I take you at your word that you have been helping women leave prostitution. If you have an interst in doing the same in Nevada, I think Jody’s organization is a good way to support that work and I’m sure she would appreciate your help.

    I will never try to encourag women to stay in prostitution, because I think it is inherently harmful to women. But I think we can agree that people who want out should have the right to get out.

    And on that note, I say goodnight and..

    Peace. Out.

  36. Josie,

    I could not agree with you mor. People who want out should have the right to get out, the resources to achieve that and every possible means of support to overcome the stigmatization, discrimination and health care issues often needed by departing sex workers. It is in SWOP East’s core values statement, I have spent 11 years working on this issue and want every resource for those who want to get out to be available. I also want every resource to be available for those who can not or choose not to leave at this time.

    Certainly we can find and perhaps have found common ground and we should go forward with working together for social change. You have my contact info in a previous post. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Peace
    Brenneman

  37. Farley’s 18 reasons for becoming a prostitute are NOT, as Jody claims, quotes from actual women. They are Farley’s fabrications, like Letterman’s top-ten lists. Farley consistently misrepresents the wide range of experiences of sex workers. And, Farley gets “inconvenient data” from sex workers (statements that contradict Farley’s own strong biases and agenda) she dismisses them. Here is one example: Women who told her they support legalization or decriminalization were dismissed out of hand in one of her articles: “Like everyone else, our interviewees minimized the harms of prostitution and they sometimes believed industry claims that legalization or decriminalization will somehow make them safer. Sadly, there is no evidence for their belief.” So, when a worker tells Farley that she supports decrim or legaliz, Farley simply dismisses them as being duped by the industry. In other words, she accepts women’s voices only when they support her own biased viewpoint. This is the very definition of bad science, and explains why Farley’s writings are not taken seriously in academia. Unfortunately, she seems to be the darling of the media!

  38. Josie,
    The idea of “calling Melissa” and “working it out” is ridiculous. Melissa has no interest in working anything out with sex workers who do not agree with her positions. And, ditto for academics who challenge her work. She has accused several scholars who do excellent research, but draw conclusions that contradict Farley’s, of being “apologists” for pimps and traffickers. If you think Farley has any interest in “working it out” or even seriously entertaining opposing views, that would be extremely naive. As an devout anti-prostitution activist, she has no interest in compromise, and the same is true for all others in her camp (CATW, SAGE, Natl Assoc of Evangelicals, Traditional Values Coalition, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, etc.)

  39. Damn, I had such high hopes for an alliance with Farley too🙂

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