Because Farley’s work makes people so much more sympathetic to the plight of sex workers….

A rather choice item from “District 5 Diary”, a conservative blog here in San Francisco. Somebody who doesn’t think too highly of Polk Gulch street prostitutes, evidently. And who does this person turn to to back up his prejudices? Bob Herbert’s Melissa Farley-inspired column, naturally:

The column (below) by Bob Herbert nicely frames the prostitution versus “sex worker” issue. In the progressive mind, prostitutes are now just “sex workers,” guys and gals who are simply trying to make a living. We should presumably just leave them alone to ply their trade in city neighborhoods, like Polk Street. Anyone who takes a more jaundiced view of street walkers—that is, other residents and businesses in the area—are accused of killing a “vibrant” neighborhood. [read more]

Yep, I’m sure this guy has learned from Bob Herbert that prostitutes are victims and is all about busting only the johns and letting the prostitutes go free.

I Can Has Sex Worker Rights?

lolsexworkers

It’s really this simple: fine, some people think we’re crazy for seeing sex work as anything less than total loss of freedom. But if you think jail and forced “treatment” is a way for sex workers to be “free,” you are operating from as crazy a place as internet cat people.

You’d Think On a Blog Called Jezebel There’d Be Some Sense About Prostitution

Conversation is hot over at Jezebel, deconstructing Jessica Cutler and the good old (yes, 1983 wants its debate back!) “ohmygod, is whoring, like,
empowering, or, uh, rilly rilly bad?” thing.

Snip from a choice comment, that sounds like so much of the same rhetoric from some visitors to this blog, yes?:

Well, and think about the sex workers who write about sex work.
Ms. Cutler, for instance.

It’s the privileged few who could be doing something else but who
chose sex work for a little while and treat it like a fun adventure,
tee hee hee! Usually middle to upper-class women who have access to
the publishing world and powerful people in general.
That they have become the “face” of prostitution does a grave
disservice to the countless women (and children) around the world who
are enslaved in the sex trade. Women who literally have no choice but
to sell their bodies to entitled men who ARE “normal” by outside
appearances, but who are nevertheless willing to pay money to degrade
women.
The problem with legalizing prostitution is that it’s impossible to
regulate. Nevada turns it over to the brothel owner and the local
sheriff. The brothel owner becomes the pimp and can set up his own
rules.

Amsterdam, Sweden & Germany are all changing their laws because it’s
not working.

To truly regulate prostitution you’d need a cop in every room, making
sure there’s no abuse. You’d also need to ensure that cops respected
sex workers and treated them like people; they do not.
There is no humane way to legalize and regulate the selling of human
beings for the sexual gratifcation of others.

Everything old is new again, if you’ve got a book to sell. Does Farley & her PR team have enough of a sense of humor to see that for some tired old whores, the book is an exit strategy? (Seriously.)

(thanks, Rachel Kramer Bussel, for the tip)

Critiques of Swedish Prostitution Model

Some anti-prostitution advocates here have suggested that the Swedish system of criminalizing purchasers of sexual services is a beneficial solution and that there has been some sort of ‘proof’ as to the success of this system. Indeed, this ‘proof’ has been seriously contested from a number of quarters.

Did you hear General Betray-Us this week? He had lots of ‘proof’ that the Iraq occupation (they call it a war) is very successful now. This is widely critiqued as US propaganda. On this website you can see that Swedes also challenge their county’s ‘proof’ and propaganda. Of course Farley’s has been widely challenged.

Please visit the site below for the other side of the Swedish Prostitution debate.

http://www.bayswan.org/swed/swed_index.html

Where are the answers to three vital questions from anti sex industry activitists

Question 1. Both Ren Ev and I have repeatedly asked radical feminist anti prostitution activists three questions and never get answers to them. Question 1 is if you advocate abolishing the sex industry what is your plan to do this, how will you achieve it, what happens to the sex workers that are currently in the sex industry and when will it be accomplished? To be this dedicated to the concept of abolition someone must have a strategic plan. What is it?

Question 2, I have made repeated requests to radical feminists that we try to drop the acrimony and work on issues we both can agree on. Is it so awful to work with actual sex workers that you can’t work with us? Wouldn’t it be more prudent and helpful to all if you found out what we really advocate rather than obsessing on Larry Flynt, Nevada Brothels and abusive pimps, issues that the vast majority of swr activists are actually working on? Why fight us when there are actual abusers and abuses we could ally with each other to combat.

Question 3. Why does everything have to be analyzed for faults if relayed by sex worker rights activists? I discussed the very anti prostitution org in Minneapolis called Women’s Recovery Center as one I have worked with in the projects development and support and send referrals even now. And all that came was condemnation of this program from radical feminists with factual misrepresentations of WRC not offering psychological assistance to exiting sex workers. Which is perhaps a weakness in their website because they do offer it. Why are they considered a poor resource even though the project is radical feminist? Is it just because they don’t hate SWOP East and still work with us thus they are collaborators with the enemy? If this is the case it is a very sad statement. That some/many rad fems are far more interested in politics and war with sex worker rights activists than actual work. This is 2007, not 1967. Militancy had a very important place in the sixties and seventies. Without it feminism wouldn’t have been successful. But this is 2007. Times have changed. Methods need to also.

Please, I would like answers to my questions. Ren would too.

Brenneman