Wear Red on Halloween to speak up to violence against women.

forwarded from the desk of e. nina. jay:

http://documentthesilence.wordpress.com/

be bold be brave be red stop the violence

Recent events in the United States have moved us to action. Violence against women is sadly, not a new phenomenon in our country or in the world, however, in the last year women of color have experienced brutal forms of violence, torture, rape and injustice which have gone unnoticed, received little to no media coverage, or a limited community response. We are responding to:

* The brutal and inhumane rape, torture, and kidnapping of Megan Williams in Logan, West Virginia who was held by six assailants for a month.

* Rape survivors in the Dunbar Housing Projects in West Palm Beach, Florida one of whom was forced to perform sexual acts on her own child.

* A 13 year old native American girl was beaten by two white women and has since been harassed by several men yelling “white power” outside of her home

* Seven black lesbian girls attempted to stop an attacker and were latter charged with aggravated assault and are facing up to 11 year prison sentences [ now known as the New Jersey 4 ]

In a Litany of Survival, Audre Lorde writes, “When we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.” These words shape our collective organizing to break the silence surrounding women of color’s stories of violence. We are asking for community groups, grass-root organizations, college campus students and groups, communities of faith, online communities, and individuals to join us in speaking out against violence against women of color. If we speak, we cannot be invisible.

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Barmaid arrested for crushing cans with breasts

An Australian barmaid has been fined for crushing beer cans between her bare breasts.Police also accused Luana De Favari of hanging spoons from her nipples, reports the Daily Telegraph.

De Favari, 31, admitted twice exposing her breasts to patrons at the Premier Hotel in Pinjarra, south of Perth.

She was fined A$1,000 dollars (£440) after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Liquor Control Act.

Off-duty barmaid Tracey Leslie, 43, was fined A$500 (£220) for helping to hang spoons from De Favari’s nipples, police said.

The hotel manager was also fined A$1,000 for failing to stop the pair.

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Sex Workers’ Art Show Tour 2008

This is the official call for submissions for the 2008 SWAS tour! Anyone who has worked in the sex industry is encouraged to apply: porn stars, strippers, escorts, dommes, webcam girls (and boys), hookers, etc. Spread this around, post it on your blog, tell everyone you know. And feel free to contact us with questions!

THE SHOW:

The Sex Workers’ Art Show is a cabaret-style evening of visual and performance art created by people who work in the sex industry to dispel the myth that we are anything short of artists, innovators, and geniuses! The artwork and performances offer a wide range of perspectives on sex work. The show hopes through its diversity of viewpoints to move beyond “positive” and “negative” into a fuller articulation of the complicated ways sex workers experience our jobs and our lives. You can read more about the show at www.sexworkersartshow.com.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

Sex trade workers are in a unique position to observe the freaky dynamics of capitalism, desire, ownership, gender, and race. We are looking for hilarious, disturbing, challenging, entertaining, accessible work that addresses these issues. Or, you know, whatever else. You don’t have to be an experienced performer to apply! We’re interested in a range of mediums- spoken word, burlesque, music, video and performance art of all kinds. It is important to us to include performers from all over the world: non-US residents are encouraged to apply!

THE DEAL:

The tour is happening late January through early March 2008. It hits approximately 30 cities nationwide, in a bit over a month. Venues will be varied, from small clubs and galleries to large theaters and college campuses. We’ll be traveling in two new vans, staying in hotels. There will be eight performers, a technical director and road crew along. Pay is $3500/performer, plus lodging, transportation (including flights), and some meals. Staff will be provided to sell performers’ merchandise.

SUBMITTING:

People who are working or have worked in the sex industry are invited to submit any kind of visual or performance art. Pieces should be no more than 12 minutes long. DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED! Please email info@sexworkersartshow.com for more information.

Thanks everyone! Please spread the word and forward this!

The Susan B. Anthony of Pole Dancing

Stephen Colbert nominates a Feminist Difference Maker:

(via the NSWP list)

Penguins are turning to prostitution. Where I have been wrong as an activist

World: Asia-Pacificfrom BBC
Pick up a penguin

Penguins are turning to prostitution. But instead of doing it for money, Antarctic dolly-birds are turning tricks to get rocks off their menfolk.

Stones are essential for penguins to build their nests. A shortage has led to the unorthodox tactics.

“Stones are the valuable currency in penguin terms,” said Dr Fiona Hunter, a researcher in the Zoology Department at Cambridge University, who has spent five years observing the birds’ mating patterns.

Prostitution is described as the world’s oldest profession. But Dr Hunter is convinced it is the first time it has been seen in animals.

Penguin partners

All of the female penguins Dr Hunter observed trading sex for stones had partners.

Penguins stick to the same mate, she said, but none of the males twigged what was happening.

“There was no suspicion on the part of the males. Females quite often go off on their own to collect stones, so as far as the males are concerned there is no reason to suspect.”

She added: “It tends to be females targeting single males, otherwise the partner female would beat the intruder up.”

Dr Hunter and Dr Lloyd Davis of the University of Otago watched the penguins at work on Ross Island, about 800 miles from the South Pole as part of a Antarctica New Zealand programme.

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For all those who wish to do research on sex work

I just came across this post at eminism.org and felt it appropriate to share here.

I’m sure that you’d understand, but activists do not exist to help you do your homework. Every moment activists spend talking to you (including the time it takes to read your email, think how to respond, and write a response) is a moment that they could be doing something else, most likely something more worthwhile. If you wish to grab attention of activists to your project and have them help you do your homework, you need to make it worthwhile to them: what do activists gain from helping you, or how would it help the work they are doing?

Bolivian Prostitutes Protest by sewing lips together

Dear all,

I think we should do something to support the women in Bolivia who have sewn their lips together in protest of losing their livelihoods. (Please see story with links below.) Antiprincess posted a note about this on the thread on the rape/robery case. (Thanks!)

I couldn’t find contact info for El Alto- the city where this is taking place- but I did find an email address on the govt. website. Can you copy the letter below and paste it into a new email inserting your location, organization and name (whichever you want to use!), and send it to this email address? I think if we bombard the email address it will at least make them pay some attention to this situation!

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Hooker raped and robbed – by justice system?

by Jill Porter

A DEFENDANT accused of forcing a prostitute at gunpoint to have sex with him and three other men got lucky, so to speak, last week.

A Philadelphia judge dropped all sex and assault charges at his preliminary hearing.

Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni instead held the defendant on the bizarre charge of armed robbery for – get this – “theft of services.”

Unbelievable.

Deni told me she based her decision on the fact that the prostitute consented to have sex with the defendant.

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Sorry Farley, your end run to get access to my history and divide a friend and I failed. On the ethics issue… Nice………

Over ten years ago I met a woman who became a long time close friend named Katherine DePasquale. Ironically we became friends because of Melissa Farley’s tantrum about me. Katherine interviewed me for an article she was writing in 1997 about prostitution. Katherine and I didn’t know each other. Katherine also talked to Farley who threw such a tantrum about me being included in the article that Katherine called me back asking me what the deal was. We became close friends from that conversation and have been ever since. Farley refused to publish the article acting on her threat to Katherine as she would not publish an article with an interview with me in it as it would “give me credibility”. This was more than ten years ago when I was staunchly on the anti side.

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Legal Defense Workshop in San Francisco Bay Area October 21, 2007

The Erotic Service Providers Union is presenting a legal defense workshop. For more information or to register, please click this link: http://espu-ca.org/wp/?page_id=141

Abolition vs. Prohibition

I’ve noticed on this board and elsewhere that various people have been referring to the pro-criminalization of prostitution position as the abolitionist position. However, I contend that the pro-decriminalization of prostitution position is actually the abolitionist position because we’re working to abolish repressive policies against prostitution. The pro-criminalization side represents the prohibitionist position because this side promotes prohibitionist policies against prostitution.

Lawrence vs. Texas and Sex Workers’ Rights

It’s important for sex workers to be educated about the Lawrence vs. Texas U.S. Supreme Court ruling because this ruling can be an important step in the decriminalization of consensual sex acts for payment and this ruling is a resource you can refer to in court if arrested for engaging in private consensual sex acts.  In Lawrence vs. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas laws prohibiting homosexual sex acts were unconstitutional on the grounds that criminalizing private consensual sex acts between adults is unconstitutional.   Though the Supreme Court opinion (linked to below) addressed that Lawrence vs. Texas was not a prostitution case, I couldn’t find anywhere in the Supreme Court written opinion where it said that this ruling could not be applied to prostitution.

Though Lawrence vs. Texas was about sex acts between members of the same sex rather than sex acts in exchange for payment, the premise that arresting adults for engaging in private consensual sex acts can be applied to sex work.  I encourage people who are arrested for engaging in private consensual adult sexual behavior in the U.S. to appeal on the grounds that such laws are unconstitutional on the basis of Lawrence vs. Texas.  Even if people don’t succeed every time, it’s essential to keep keep challenging these laws and not give up on the path toward ultimately decriminalizing prostitution.  Here’s a link to the Lawrence vs. Texas Supreme Court ruling in writing:

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/02pdf/02-102.pdf

Interivew on Trafficking

Susie Bright interviews Laura Agustín, author of Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labor Markets and the Rescue Industry.

kissing, the memory, and the aftermath

Another dirty and decidedly deleterious post in the eyes of the right from surgeon today.

It’s a diary day, por supesto.

To begin.

I’d like to talk about kissing. I enjoy kissing. Even with clients, when they have an aesthetic I can manage. I have often been told I’m a great kisser, which means nothing, but that I am a chameleon, a basset hound, and can judge taste and type with my lips. I am interested in the myriad of expressions one can find in a kiss. But I have one question. Why lead with the tongue? It happens far too often. Who really thinks it’s sexy to come at someone tongue first? Is it that the tongue represents the cock, and you feel called to demonstrate your manhood by emulating your erection with your tongue? It’s not hot. No, really. It’s not.

Second.

Yesterday, I have this call. Someone I’ve seen once before, who I cannot remember. I remember his voice, vaguely, but his name is common, and his words are nondescript. I am occasionally put in a position where I do not recall the type of session I had with someone. I remember them, perhaps, but not their proclivities. Which puts me on the spot. “Would you like to have a massage today? or…?” He responds with a, “yes, last time you gave me a massage, it was great!” Not enough details. Did I fuck this man, trample this man, tie this man up, tantric massage? Or what? I can’t figure it out. I hint, I suggest, I insinuate. Nothing. No clues, no answers, and then he arrives at my door.

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Britney Spears: The world’s best paid Sex Worker

In Britney’s most recent video, she is seen dancing around a stripper pole. The video is being called ‘raunchy‘ among other things by the MSM. I’m sure that parents of teen-aged girls everywhere are freaking out. But the single is doing well at #3 in the top 100. Her fans love it. She’s making a comeback and although she’d likely never self-identify as a sex worker, everybody knows that sex is a driving force behind her fame:

Let’s face it – Britney Spears is exactly this. Britney is expected to be hot, sexy and promiscuous and she indeed delivers in her new video. And the lyrics – well, it’s Britney Spears not Shakespeare. I know, it’s trendy to attack Britney, but how about a job well done this time?

So what do sex workers think? Her pole skills are not particularly impressive and I didn’t find the video to be all that raunchy. I don’t see her being a woman who’s owning and utilizing her sexuality. To me, the video is more of her statement of compliance: They don’t want my music, they want sexual entertainment, but good girls sell records, not sex. Sex polished off and packaged as music videos, cd’s, concert tickets, etc has been selling for decades and is socially acceptable- as long as nobody acknowledges that sex is being sold. So will Britney own her sexuality and present a sincere public image of a successful, sexual adult woman, or will she grasp onto the image oif a sexually naive little girl whose sexuality is defined, distorted and distributed by the music industry?

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Sex Work in the News 10/01-10/07

Women fearful after string of sexual assaults in NCCo

Delaware

When told police were looking for a knife-wielding man suspected of attacking five women whom he picked up along nearby roadsides since May, the women said they were terrified. But despite the last four attacks reportedly taking place over the past week, neither plans to stop getting into strange men’s cars to have sex for money.

Dayton to establish ‘no prostitution zones’

Ohio

Howington said prostitution is illegal throughout the city, but it’s difficult to make arrests due to Ohio law that requires police catch the person in the act. Establishing “no prostitution zones” gives police a way to get prostitutes off the street before they connect with customers, she said.

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God Bless Sin in Las Vegas

Sex Workers Appreciation Day, October 5th, 2007, had more than 25 people show up in solidarity and support of Sex Workers Rights at the Glitter Gulch on Las Vegas, Nevada’s fremont street. In 2 hours, we collected over 150 signatures from people all over the United States. Tourists from all over, and locals took our pictures and learned about Sex Workers rights, many for the first time.

Our signs:
“Farley, Don’t Tread on me”

“No sex worker phobia will be tolerated”

“Support your local sex workers”

“Sex Worker Rights are Human Rights”
“We Honor Ourselves With Respect and Empowerment”

The scene: 4 people from California, 2 sisters of Perpetual indulgence, 1 ACLU lawyer, 2 totally wasted men(who held a sign for us) and around 15 local advocates, allies and sex workers.

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Photos from SWOP’s Trip to Vegas

Just popped in my inbox; two photos from the road (click to make bigger).

no whore phobia - swop

whore shirt - swop

Prostitutes dispute Trummell charges

The Pahrump Valley Times did an interview with women who actually work in a legal brothel. They may not represent every single person who’s ever worked at Sheri’s Ranch, but they do prove that there are many different experiences.

 The scene in the Valley Inn and Sports Bar at Sheri’s Ranch, where the girls gave interviews this week, was far different from the impression speakers like San Francisco clinical psychologist Dr. Melissa Farley offered at the press conference focused on the release of a book on sex trafficking.

Text of Petition to Support Sex Workers’ Rights

Petition to Support Sex Workers’ Rights
Support Nevada’s State Rights!

When sex work is a part of the underground economy, workers have no labor rights; they suffer violence, stigma, isolation, fear and criminalization.
Support the basic labor rights and human rights of your local sex industry worker!
Sex Workers Outreach Project asks the people of Nevada to:
• Support the right for sex industry workers to be free of violence and exploitation.
• Support the rights of individuals to choose sex work.
• Support sex industry workers’ rights to work and travel just like other workers.
• Promote labor rights for those who freely choose sex as their work.
• Support the rights of consenting adults to make individual choices about their sexuality.
• Stand up and fight against coercion, deceit and violence against women.
• Spend our tax dollars to combat sexual assault, rape, and abuse.