Melissa Farley, comparing actions and alliances to her words

Farley has published more than 25 peer-reviewed publications on sexual violence, prostitution and trafficking. She has spoken with a thousand women, men, and the transgendered in prostitution in 10 countries on 5 continents. She talks about the psychological harm of prostitution, her expertise based upon interviewing 1,000 women men and transgendered prostitutes. Ms. Farley presents herself as a strong advocate for prostitutes. Perhaps she is. But there are also actions and alliances from her past which challenge the credibility of her understanding of the psychology of prostitutes. In 1996 Ms. Farley along with Nikki Craft wrote “Why I Made The Choice to Become a Prostitute“. Perhaps they felt it was comical and amusing to insult the intelligence of prostitutes, to imply that prostitutes are motivated by sexual desires for their step fathers, even comparing prostitutes to being grade A ground beef and the cow simultaneously. Many women that identify as survivors of prostitution have written to Ms. Farley stating their concerns about this piece. These women in prostitution’s viewpoints were ignored or perhaps not pertinent because she was not studying them or already had. Why would a researcher with more than 25 peer-reviewed publications on sexual violence, prostitution and trafficking feel that such a piece below, after being reviewed by survivors of prostitution, sex workers, advocates of sex workers and strongly opposed continue to stand behind such a condescending and insulting literary publication?

Ms. Farley maintains a strong alliance to activist Nikki Craft, sharing publication credits, by Craft’s definition being close colleagues of thirty years. Ms. Craft in her website Always Causing Legal Unrest advocates the firebombing of porn stores, promising to publish the pictures of porn stores that have been the target of radical feminist arsonists guaranteeing confidentiality. While they and others oppose pornography, is arson a valid method of opposition? What if there were people inside? Whether they be employees, customers, even porn actresses themselves, do they deserve to be injured or killed in a firebombing? Is it ethical to publicize this type of action guaranteeing the confidentiality of the criminal? Would that confidentiality extend even if there were deaths? It does not state otherwise in the Always Causing Legal Unrest website which Ms. Craft owns, Nikki Craft and other radical feminists support through their publication of literary works upon. See “One Hot Shot, Burn Baby Burn, Madison Wisconsin Porn Shop Burning and further states in red “WANTED ONE HOT Shot! Large Detailed (!) Picture of Porn Shop Burning! The website proclaims “There are visitors to the ACLU website who have hot fantasies about burning porn stores down. If you have any pictures let us know and we’ll post them on this site for your viewing enjoyment. Privacy will be Protected”

Chilean Sex Worker Rights Advocate and SWOP East Latin America’s advisory board member Beatriz Mercado stated upon reading “Why I Made the Choice to Become A Prostitute” that she could not believe women would write such a piece instead expecting that kind of mockery and vitriol towards prostitutes be the work of junior high school boys. Instead, much to Beatriz’ shock it is the work of a prostitution expert who proudly states her understanding of the psychology of women in prostitution and her ally.

Ms. Farley in her recent study in Nevada stated “30% of her funding was from the Trafficking in Persons Office of the US State Dept” which if the case represents an important question of whether the US State Department is aware they are giving grant money to researchers collaborating openly with an activist advocating felony criminal actions that could easily lead to serious injury or death openly proclaiming she would obstruct justice in the event her invitation to arsonists is taken at face value.

These are important facts to consider when pondering the expertise, ethical basis and independence of the studies

Nikki Craft and Melissa Farley

co-authored the following article

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.