Judge Deni, feminism, genderberg, the importance of rallying together

In a post Gretchen mentioned that Genderberg was also addressing the Deni issue.  Which is great.  It is important that anyone and everyone that is interested address the issue.  I’m not minimizing their efforts.  I appreciate them.

But, to my understanding, and I could be wrong as I haven’t spent much time looking for the answer, my understanding is that most of genderberg is private and closed.  Thus the only member of Genderberg that was public with us was Gretchen.  I believe she truly needs to be an example for her peers at Genderberg and the radical feminist community.  Judge Deni won by a landslide.  The rape survivor has now been raped three times, by the rapist, by Judge Deni and by th Pennsylvania Electorate.  With a 66 percent vote of support for her return to office, one would have to believe that the biggest reason this issue did not impact more voters in Pennsylvania is that they were not aware.

We have commonality in opposing violence, opposing rape, opposing violence against sex workers between our movements.  The Deni victory has to be a benchmark for it to be remembered what and who we are truly fighting.  Sex worker rights activists aren’t allowed in Genderberg.  Again, this is an assumption.  I haven’t applied for membership either.  But given the response to my posts from Genderberg’s owner, there isn’t much reason to believe I or others would be accepted.  Which I understand the need for private space.  The sex worker rights movement also has our private spaces.  But some need to be open.  Some occasions call for unity regardless of political division.

One of the great disappointments of this live blog and the awareness campaign regarding Judge Deni is very few people outside the sex worker rights movement joined us in making a public statement against the social injustice perpetrated by Judge Deni.  As sex workers and sex worker rights activists, given the nature of this issue involving Judge Deni and her treatment of a sex worker that was raped, we have an important place in this fight.  There is a time and a place for debates within feminism.  Those debates are important.

There is a time and a place for feminists, women’s rights activists, supporters, and others, who may not agree with the sex worker rights movement, to put aside the political differences and join us in an issue far more important than our differences.

We held an open forum.  Anyone was welcome to post here.  To my knowledge one radical feminist, Gretchen dared to do so.  I know for a fact there were others that cared about this issue and were outraged at Judge Deni’s decision and equally outraged at her victory last night.  But for whatever reason all but Gretchen stay away from us publicly.  While it was heartening to receive private emails supporting our work on this issue from radical feminists, those voices would have been so much more powerful in public standing with us.  The idea isn’t to congratulate me for doing something viewed as constructive.  The idea is to fight for social justice.  That as to be public.

I don’t mean this post inherently as critical of anyone.  It is intended as a rally call.  It is apparent from the election results that too few voters knew about this.  We could have done so much more together and been able to get the attention of the media much easier as a group than separate.  The vast power of the media to effect change can’t be understated.

How can sex workers expect justice in court when we are shunned and stigmatized by most feminists even though they are fight for the same cause we are in this instance?

Who knows better the pain, horror and fear of rape and the injustice dealt to sex workers that are victimized than sex workers themselves?  This is a call for feminists who don’t want to be seen working with sex worker rights activists to rethink their position.  If we can’t even not be stigmatized and ostracized by anti violence, anti rape feminists, how is social change and society as a whole going to be expected to change?

This is not intended as an insult to radical feminists.  The idea is not to touch off a confrontation of who is the better activist.  That is exactly the opposite.  The idea is to lightly bonk some over the head and say please, remember that sex workers are human, we are women, and that is a commonality we all share.  We feel pain just as any other rape victim does.  Fighting for our justice is fighting for justice for all women and a stand against the much greater enemy which is violence against women.

There is a time to define our positions and a time to join together in one.  This is the latter.

Since we are locked out of radical feminist forums and ours are open, this is a call for radical feminists to stand with us.

Jill Brenneman

SWOP East

45 Responses

  1. I agree with you that it would be great to see radical feminists start to come down around to the notion that sex workers are actually human beings. I was just arguing with one on another blog who defended Deni and asked how we were to know whether the victim wasn’t just some “shafted hooker”. Ah, warms your heart to hear women standing in solidarity, doesn’t it?

    Also, I’d just like to make the point as well that Deni did not win by a landslide. In a retention vote like this, the 65.9% she won with is decidedly not a landslide. I know it looks like it but considering that most people just vote a blanket “yes” on all judicial retention votes, the fact that we got 34% to vote against her was pretty good in this type of election. I would have liked her victory to have been at a smaller margin of course, but historically, it’s pretty good.

    And, I should add, it was just Philadelphia voters, not PA voters. This is very local. It is definitely because people didn’t know. With some exceptions, such as the woman I was arguing with on the other blog, I really think most people who had any awareness voted against her. Two and a half weeks was just not enough time!

  2. Two and a half weeks was just not enough time!>

    Yeah, I’d say so. Especially for something that’s apparently fairly unprecedented (voting “no” on a judge’s return to office). Which doesn’t make it all okay, obviously; just, don’t despair. and yeah i’d say the fact that there seemed to be any dent at all on her numbers compared to the other judges could be encouraging.

    >I agree with you that it would be great to see radical feminists start to come down around to the notion that sex workers are actually human beings. I was just arguing with one on another blog who defended Deni and asked how we were to know whether the victim wasn’t just some “shafted hooker>

    What.

    I mean, I wish I could say that surprised me; it doesn’t, alas, the basic headdesk anyway.

    but, what does “shafted hooker” even -mean-? What?

    What’s wrong with these people?

  3. WTF is wrong with people? The radical feminist who said that shafted hooker line and defended Deni….. That’s is fucking outstanding. I’m so glad to have feminists like that advocating for me, my friends and allies. I can only guess which genius came up with that one.

    I am pretty sure Gretchen will be about the only radical feminist with the courage and character to stand with us in this. Perhaps one or two more will dare to follow and be seen with us.

  4. for all the contempt I have for them, and for all the jawdroppingly offensive/hateful shit they’ve actually said, I actually can’t imagine any of the Usual Suspects that I know of saying something quite like that. but then, my imagination’s been known to fail before, i expect.

    i -did- see a diatribe by someone familiar who was duly slamming Deni and the whole thing as awful, but using it as a way to bolster her point of, “you see? you SEE? this is what happens when you give the green light to prostitution! I TOLD you someone would call it “theft of services!” that’s what happens when you make it a commodity!” …words to that effect. fan of the Swedish model, etc. etc.

    at least she refrained from using the phrases “bi-sexee” or “warm wet fuckhole” or “shit eating sex” or “village idiot feminism” or selfish sex-pozzers who only care about their “moist pussies” in that one. one can be grateful for small mercies.

  5. I’m paraphrasing but she had said something like, “How do we know she’s not just some shafted hooker looking for payback?”

    As if a nineteen-year-old single mom is going to step forward to out herself as a sex worker and go before a court because she’s ticked off that the johns stiffed her. Why would she do that? It’s not as if the court would issue a settlement getting her her money back.

    It was the most asinine statements I’ve heard throughout this whoe thing. The fact that it came from someone claiming to be a feminist just made it that much more revolting.

  6. Yeh, that’s -real- feminist. jesus christ.

  7. I can picture one of the usual suspects saying it.

  8. -refrains from asking if you have someone in particular in mind, barely-

  9. Part of what these lazy ass arm chair feminist need to do is get up off their butts and start challenging the law. For instance, we need the definition of rape and sexual assault to have a wider definitions where no means no on our terms. And we need the penalties for such crimes against women, children, erotic laborers and immigrant workers to be notably harsher than they are, at the state and national level just because we’re more vulnerable to violence. We need feminist to stop interjecting their morality, like we need the right wing ‘Jesus for Hookers savers, to stop negatively impacting our economic bottom lines in an attempt to starve us out of business which is what the fucking National Organization for Women in New York is engaging in below.

    It is these kinds of acts by feminist acts against us that leads me to believe that engaging them as allies in our quest for protection and economic equality is a totally waist of time. I bet you that Judge Deni considers herself a feminist and that her act against the worker was a feminist act on behalf of the pimp state.

    The sex worker rights activist in Philly and New York need to go to Organized Labor to mobilize help. For example, the Coalition for Labor Union Women in Philly is very powerful group of women. They are connected to the United Steel Workers, which despite the waning of steel production in the U.S. still has political and organizational clout because they are connected to organized labor nationally and internationally and the feminist don’t have that. Additionally, Organized labor is so much easier to deal with because they are not interested in effecting someone else’s economy without expressed permission and will only do so within the context and parameter of the what the workers ask for unlike the blockheads feminists in New York who have taken it upon themselves to effect a group of workers access to the market by shutting down their, (our) choices in advertising.

    My experience is that it only takes a few sentences to describe the problem and ask for help and they give it to you and they don’t forget, unlike the NOW, who seems to be completely schizophrenic on our issue.

    NY MAG IS OFF ‘HOOK’ Stops Escort Ads”

    While NOW is not DOJ and many would argue that this is just a business listening to its customers, this seems a bit coercive.

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11072007/news/regionalnews/ny_mag_is_off_hook_834461.htm

    NY MAG IS OFF ‘HOOK’

    By CHUCK BENNETT

    November 7, 2007 — Lonely hearts around town won’t be able to find rent-a-dates in the back pages of New York magazine anymore.

    The popular weekly announced yesterday it will stop accepting sex ads in the wake of protest threats by the local chapter of the National Organization for Women.

    The feminist group called the magazine the “marketing arm of the organized-crime world of prostitution and human trafficking” because of ads touting “Asians Gone Wild,” “Asian Bliss” or “Hot Latinas.”

    “We worked to educate them on the connections trafficking and the existing sex industry,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW-NYC. “Numerous publications have come to the conclusion that it’s not a business they really want to be in.”

    New York magazine became the 15th publication this year, including Time Out New York and the New York Press, that agreed to end the “escort” and “model” ads that are often codes for prostitution.

    “New York has been trying to eliminate this section for years. The business is prospering at this magazine and it was high time to get out of a business we were never comfortable being in,” said magazine spokeswoman Serena Torrey.

    NOW-NYC threatened protests outside of New York magazine’s downtown offices, but Torrey declined to say if the protest threat prompted the move. All ads for adult services, spas, massages and the like will be phased out by the end of the year. The magazine earned $10,000 a week on the adult ads, according to NOW-NYC estimates.

    Calls for comment to “Asians Gone Wild” and “Asian Bliss” were not immediately returned.

    But one independent operator who goes by the name Ashley and advertises herself as a “sexy hot Latina” objected to the prostitution label. “I just provide dancing, bachelor parties, you know what I mean, massages,” she said. “I don’t put sex in my ads and don’t provide sex.”

    Ossorio estimated that less than 15 percent of prostitutes are independent or fit the cliché of a young woman paying for college, and the rest are trapped in “low-budget, assembly-line sex.”

  10. >nikki craft>

    SRSLY? wtf? yikes.

  11. Though NOW does have a blurb in its position statement supporting the decriminalization of prostitution, in general, their actions in support of sex workers’ rights has been less than stellar and this group hasn’t really made sex workers’ rights one of their core advocacy issues.
    However, we still do have supporters in the women’s movement, so I think it’s important to work with our allies wherever we have them. Are you familiar with Feminists for Free Expression? This is a feminist group that has been very supportive of sex workers’ rights and sex work seems to be one of the core issues for this groups. Here is the link to this organization’ s website: http://www.ffeusa.org/
    Of the feminist groups in the U.S. that I’m aware of, this group is the most supportive of sex workers’ rights.

  12. Thanks sexworkeradvocate,
    Supportive words are different from taking punitive action against a group of workers that detrimenally effects their economy without their permission.
    NY NOW has taken punitive actions without the workers permission and this is a clear example of how feminist are in bed with their daddies. It is the example in my mind and it has been the practise of this group for over 100 years and we must call them out on it and demand that they stop it in specific.
    Maybe someone can contact Fem for Free Express and get them to help write letters of protest to NY NOW. Where are those sex worker advocates in NY?
    Can we put together a dialog between us and NY NOW?
    What action are we taking to address this?
    We can’t rely on others to fight our battles for us.

  13. Why on earth should feminists be asking a pimp like Maxine Doogan for permission to do anything?

    Doogan is out there supporting the most outlandish ideas – yeah, lets decriminalize sex trafficking, cause really the trafficked women just want to be happy hookers in fairy tale land. And hey, sex offender registries are unfair to sex offenders. And no prostitute should be able to talk about her experiences unless she talks about it the way I want her to.

    Doogan is off her rocker and is no friend of feminists or women in general. She just wants to make the world safe for pimps. I am so sorry Maxine you feel your entitlement to a lucrative life as a pimp is being interrupted by women trying to save other women from sex slavery that they never asked for.

    Do a search here some time for “Doogan” and “pimp”. Its hilarious how often she uses the word, but strangely, not to describe herself. (Doogan was convicted of pimping in Washington state, partially because she was a user and abuser of sex workers who finally wouldn’t take her abuse any more.)

    It’s one thing to advocate for one’s self as a sex worker. There can be some integrity in that. But to argue that the world should be save for pimps to make a living selling other people for sex, that’s over the top and out of the park.

  14. “But to argue that the world should be save for pimps to make a living selling other people for sex, that’s over the top and out of the park.”

    Really? Is that Maxine’s argument?

  15. Because I read her say this: “For instance, we need the definition of rape and sexual assault to have a wider definitions where no means no on our terms. And we need the penalties for such crimes against women, children, erotic laborers and immigrant workers to be notably harsher than they are, at the state and national level just because we’re more vulnerable to violence”

  16. “President Bush has been the crucial factor. He has created a political climate in which all of us, from local activists to high-ranking political appointees, could do this work. 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. And he seems to have done it because it’s the right thing to do, not because of pressure or favoritism. The new law and policy will literally initiate change for millions of women and girls around the world. Years from now, when the anti-Bush hysteria has died away, I believe he will be recognized as a true advocate for women’s freedom and human rights.”
    This statement is from Donna Hughes in an interview she gave for National Review Online. The same Ms. Hughes who leads the attack on Maxine Doogan as well as other sex industry workers and our supporters. I believe this is what we refer to as “showing your ass.”
    Lisa Roellig

  17. Hey Shampoo Lady,

    Maybe you should know what Maxine does for a living before you call her a pimp. Have you ever spoken to her yourself? Have you obtained her services? Have you spoken to anyone that HAS worked with her? Do you know for a fact that she was “convicted” in Washington State for being a pimp? Would it surprise you to find out that those convictions were overturned based on the fact that the so called “worker” who testified against her was sleeping with the lead detective involved and that she never really worked for or with Maxine?

    The best part about what you say is that you don’t actually have an argument for keeping prostitution illegal, instead you choose to make personal attacks against those who are trying to make the world a safer place for sex workers.

    Criminalizing sex workers only makes them more vulnerable to those who want to hurt them. If you are working to keep prostitution criminal then you are causing just as much harm to sex workers as those who beat, rape, and murder them.

    You must be part of the same “feminist” group as Judge Demi.

  18. Ah, I see. Shampoolady is your latest incarnation. We are up to what? 12, 13 names? Why post more than once under the same name? Surely you fool us. What’s an IP address amongst friends?

    WTF?

  19. Has anyone written to NOW about their NY publications and escort ad stance?

  20. To clarify what Shampoo Lady said, Maxine was not convicted of abusing anybody. She ran a referral service for sex workers, and was convicted of pimping for that. By legal definition, a pimp is any third party who makes a living off of prostitution, so one need not be abusive to meet the legal definition of a pimp. In fact, anti-prostitution laws benefit abusive pimps because they can use these laws to scare sex workers in prostitution from leaving them or reporting the abuse to the police. Also, they can plea bargain down to pimping charges, so they aren’t charged with the abuses they commit.

  21. First some facts. Mary Ellen Doogan sold women for sex and made money off of every transaction. That’s pimping. She was extremely lucky that she was taken down by a dirty cop or she would still be in jail. Her convictions were not overturned. Yes I have met her, numerous times. Lots of people post on this computer and we don’t all want to use the same name. So what.

    Second. Have you honestly thought through what decriminalization would mean? Those of you who are prostitutes would have a lot more competition. Prices would go down, standards would go up. Traffickers would bing in younger hotter girls.

    Those of you who are pimps would be fighting over clients and territory with some pretty nasty people. We’re not talking about the big bad pimp down the block. Doogan and Few don’t stand a chance against the Hells Angels, Monguls, Yakuza, Israili mob, or Norteneos.

    Cops will still arrest people who are a problem. Prostitutes still won’t want to list the job on their resume.

    The neighbors will balk at having prostitution in their neighborhood and near their schools so eventually it will be zoned. Then you’ve just got Amsterdam again. Organized crime and trafficking of 15-year olds.

    Is that really what you want?

  22. Under the current model…more and more women are entering the industry every day (mostly due to economic factors). Plenty of girls are coming from South America and Asia — and by a broad interpretation of the law they are trafficked (though sex workers should start being more concerned with how “hot” they are). Sex workers don’t want to list sex work on their resume and punitive laws can affect a sex worker for life. Corruption is rampant in police. Biker gangs run prostitution rings. Cities have “no prostitution” zones.

    Under well though out decriminalization…sex workers might be free of the effects of police corruption. It will be easier to enter and leave the industry as workers choose. Women who aren’t afraid of their past will certainly list sex work on their resume (since it’s not illegal). Real traffickers can be more easily spotted and reported. (I’m sure biker gangs will proceed with life as they always have.) Having cops arrest people who are a problem (like those who prey on sex workers) will be a welcome change from cops arresting sex workers themselves. And most importantly, sex workers would be seen as humans and workers – not some plague on society.

    I’ll take decriminalization any day. It may not be a perfect and complete answer, but it’s better than the current solution. Criminalizing sex work does no one any favors. Please explain just how criminalizing sex work actually helps the sex workers.

    And as for all those hot, cheap, foreign girls you like to imagine…I guess we’ll just have to take our chances.

    XX

  23. Shampoolady2, your comments about younger, hotter “girls” was extemely non-feminist. The fact that you would even be thinking about that as a main issue rather than the occupational rights, safety and well-being of sex workers is very non-feminist. If any guy were to say that, which perhaps you are, then he’d probably be considered a sexist creep.
    Also, the U.S. government gave the Netherlands high marks on efforts to fight human trafficking in an annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. Also, trafficking occurs in criminalized systems of prostitution as well. In fact, the criminalization of prostitution encourages trafficking.
    Also, even if different people use the computer you use, which might or might not be true, the writing style and the things said are vey much the same between these different usernames, which leads me to think it’s all the same person. Regardless of which username you’ve used, your comments have consistently shown a lack of concern for the rights and well-being of sex workers, an ignorance toward sex workers’ issues, and a refusal to acknowledge how the criminalization of prostitution encourages abuse.

  24. What is not surprising is that on the anti-prostitution blog sites you have to go through a moderator to post. So that if you are an actual worker sex worker or a former sex worker with an actual workers perspective you can not even post on a blog that is claiming to either represent you (misrepresent you) or rescue you (jail you or put you in some shame based no job training,no education bullshit program that profits off your criminalization). Your anti-prostitution sites also attack actual workers who actively organize for better working conditions to improve the lives of other sex industry workers.
    What you continue to do is never address the issues and resort to personal attacks and name calling. Your attacks against Ms. Doogan are reprehensible. For those of us who work or have worked in the industry for many years know that Ms. Doogan was the pioneer for most of the health and safety policies that have now become standard to the industry. Ms. Doogan has been at the vanguard of organizing the industry to make the industry better and safer for actual workers. Shame on you for accomplishing nothing but mouthing off your ignorance.
    Support service workers in the industry are essential for most sex workers. They make it possible for us to pay our rent, feed our kids and go home safely at the end of the day (or night). They also make it possible for us to work with other women, which most workers prefer. It is a right of all workers, including sex industry workers, to choose how and where they are going to work and who they are going to work for and with.
    Monday is International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers. Ms. Doogan and Ms. Few have organized many events in the San Francisco Bay Area. I hope all workers and allies will come out in support.
    Lisa Roellig

  25. Shampoo lady 2, well bless your heart, a different IP address. What did you go to the library or Kinkos?

  26. You all make a lot of assumptions. What makes you think none of us have ever been prostitutes? Why do you assume we’re feminists? As to anti-prostitution sites, I don’t run any, don’t know about others. Jill, are you stalking us? Why the obsession with the IP address?

    Why is it that some of you want to turn a discussion into an attack when people disagree with you? Maybe it’s because you are steeped in a culture that cannot allow dissenting opinions. Look at how Doogan attacked a playright and actors because people wrote a play she did not like and when a restraining order was issued against her Doogan wrote a crazy backward story claiming SHE was attacked. Propoganda 101 – tell a big lie – forcefully – and dare people to call you out on it.

    It’s classic gorilla pimp behavior – say crazy things, promise that you are the only friend of the prostitute, punish people who disagree, make yourself out to be the victim, but keep a firm hand on what is allowed. Take a look at the comments here declaring other people’s comments “unacceptable.” What kind of fascist statement is that.

    The basic fact is that there is nothing that can make sex work safe. The act involves being alone and unclothed behind a closed door with someone who has paid to ejaculate in or on you. There is an inherent power imbalance. Legal or illegal or decriminalized, women in prostitution are going to get hurt.

    The real question is what are you doing to help women get out and to help women avoid the horror in the first place?

  27. Am I being siber stalked?

  28. shampoolady3,

    Why do you assume all sex work is about “being alone and unclothed behind a closed door with someone who has paid to ejaculate in or on you” or an “inherent power imbalance.” Sounds like a traditional marriage to me (the horror! the horror!).

    Why do you assume street prostitution is the norm? Although it’s a squeaky wheel and the most dangerous type of sex work, it’s not even close to the majority experience. Legal reforms would help street workers the most but the idea is to help all sex workers because all suffer under criminalization.

    Criminalizing sex work has been proven (quite well) to not help the sex workers. It does society no favors either. And the course of human history shows that sex work isn’t going to go away due to philosophical ideas. The only solution is to try and find a way that sex workers can live and work in the safest possible environment. (Getting them “out” is not a working solution; see the last several thousand years of human history.)

    We’re here to try and effect change. The details may differ from person to person, but we all feel that sex workers’ human and civil rights need to be addressed first before any positive change can happen.

    We believe that sex workers are human beings capable of piloting their own lives — therefore are capable of choosing for themselves whether or not to be in sex work. Changing the legal system would make leaving the industry far easier and much less traumatic than now. That accomplishes your main goal right there. What’s to complain about?

    I’m still waiting for you to explain how the current system of severe criminalization helps sex workers. It must or you wouldn’t defend it so. Please — explain.

    XX

  29. Shampoo Lady. Take some time, read Carl Jung and discussion about psychic vampires. I have no blood for you. I already know who you are and you know who I am so you can stop the charade. You will need to feed your hunger someplace else. Get a fucking life and some serious help because you really fucking need it.

    And no, the psychic vampire and related analogy is not a goth reference.

  30. Maxine, you like 3/4 of the sex worker rights movement and anyone else from any side of the argument that psychic vampire determines to be her enemy gets the peripheral zabba search/google search lookup from psychic vampire aka shampoo lady and her incarnations. Not to mention a bulk archiving of anything anyone has ever written in any forum saved to disk for future reference.

    Are you belng cyber stalked? Theoretically at the moment, but our psychic vampire has done this with half the world, all of which are presumed to be enemies. Someone such as psychic vampire with such a large collection of enemies, is dealing with various DSM IV diagnosis codes and wanting you to be the target for her to draw the strength from.

    Not to mention an important event is coming for our movement and she would love to distract during this. But she is feeding on others to fill the holes left by her personality disorders.

    My advice, tell her to fuck off and blow her off. There is nothing to be gained by interacting with her. She feeds off of others energy. She is in need of major psych help and if she can’t get what she needs from draining your energy or others here, she will find a new place to feed.,

  31. I almost forgot.

    Regarding Shampoo Lady a quote

    “How bout them Cowboys”
    Jimmy Johnson

  32. Shampoolady2:
    What business do you have saying that Maxine was lying about being assaulted at the play? Were you there? Also, how can you act like the legal status doesn’t matter when under a criminalized system of prostitution, prostitutes are often scared to seek police protection and perpetrators of violence seem very well aware of this and are almost guaranteed to get away with abuse? This makes sex workers in prostitution easier targets for abuse than they would be under a legal system. For example, I know of a sex worker who reported being robbed by an armed “client” and that he sarcastically said something like, “So, what are you gonna do about it? Call the police?” In other words, he seemed aware that she couldn’t just go to the police without incriminating herself and realized how the criminalization of prostitution made her an easy target.
    I know another sex worker who reported being raped by a serial rapist and she said that she didn’t report the abuse for 3 years out of fear of incriminating herself. She explained that this person went on to kill somebody else. If prositution were decriminalized, this person could had reported the rape without the fear of incriminating herself, and maybe, this rapist would had been caught sooner before he commited the murder and a life could had been saved.
    Decriminalization doesn’t guarantee that prostitution will be perfectly safe. We’re never guaranteed to be perfectly safe in this world no matter where we are or what type of work we do. The tragedies at Virginia Tech that happened earlier this year are an a tragic example. These murders happened on a university campus, but does that mean that going to college is in and of itself a form of violence?
    In closing, decriminalization wouldn’t be a guanantee of safety, but it would make prostitution a lot less dangerous and allow workers in prostitution labor rights and equal protection under the law, which these workers do not have under a criminalized system of prostitution.

  33. There is a lot of magical thinking around here about the benefits of decriminalization and legalization.

    And what is this about labor rights? How does decriminalization help with labor rights? Who are you negotiating your rights with? The only possible venue where sex worker rights are “negotiated” is in strip clubs. How are you going to negotiate a binding labor agreement with all johns? I’m really asking here. And if you do negotiate some rights somewhere, won’t nonunion sex workers just come in and undercut you?

    The whole things seems illogical. Someone is selling sex workers a bill of goods here.

  34. “won’t nonunion sex workers just come in and undercut you?”
    So now we know you are anti-union. Get it?

  35. This quote caught my attention Psychic Vampire writes “Maybe it’s because you are steeped in a culture that cannot allow dissenting opinions.”

    Yes, Shampoo Lady, you are absolutely correct on this. I am so fucking busted.

    Ok, everyone, I am confessing to all of the world, to my allies, friends, loved ones, something I have never been truthful about. I am steeped in a culture that can not allow dissenting opinions. I have never admitted the truth. My father was Chairman Mao and my mother was Joe Stalin,

    Please don’t act surprised, that Stalin is not a man, just look at any picture of my dear mother Joe and it is obvious that is a wig and fake mustache.

    I should have been honest about who my parents were but when I was a little girl being steeped, I was sworn to secrecy and only now am I daring to tell the truth about who my parents really were.

  36. You post inflammatory comments using the real names of actual workers but continue to hide behind “Shampoo Lady 1″ Shampoo Lady 2” and “Shampoo Lady 3.” Stand up and use your real name coward.
    Lisa Roellig

  37. No one has said that decriminalization is a magic pill. The current climate of criminalization is not working. Decriminalization offers a better solution, as witnessed by other countries who have changed their laws.

    If you claim to support sex workers, then supporting the best possible solution is the only answer. Right now, decriminalization is the best possible solution — until someone comes up with a better solution than that. (Proceeding further down the path of criminalization is not a better solution.)

    XX

  38. I feel that people have the right to decide whether to use their real names or a screen name, so I’m not going to pressure shampoolady to post her or his real name. I don’t think it’s cowardly to use screen names, just a personal choice. Sometimes, screen names can be ways to address what we stand for, like my screen name of “sexworkeradvocate.” However, trying to trick people into thinking that you’re more than one person when the computer you use, you’re writing style, the attitudes you express, and the way you express them are the same is really not a good idea, especially when people are smart enough to see right through it. Again, we’re showing that we’re not as stupid as this person treats us like we are. I really don’t care if this person reveals their real name or not. We have know way of knowing whether any of the names people use on here are real. What bothers me most isn’t that this person uses a screen name, but the ignorance and that this person treats us like we’re totally stupid. When you treat people like they’re totally stupid and they’re smarter enough to realize that, then the only person you’re making look stupid is yourself.

  39. Oh man, anti-union, that one is a kick. At least 2 of us met Maxine at union events.

    Who I/we am/are isn’t really important is it? What is important is making sure that women know what they are getting into when the go into the life. It ain’t what your pimp tells you. There are a lot of downsides. The effects will be with you the rest of your life. There is no magical combination of laws that will make it safe.

    You all seem to forget that there are many thousands of women who used to be in the life and have left it. Some of us even know how to use computers. We just want there to be a little reality mixed in with this crazy talk around here.

    The union stuff is especially upsetting to people who have struggled hard to get good union jobs and then see someone trying to drag unions into the disaster zone of prostitution.

  40. So prostitution is a “disater zone”? I can only imagine it’s because of the prostitutes that inhabit the disaster zone. There isn’t anything else there.

    I hope all the prostitutes you’ve rescued, known, or whatever — understand you view them as walking disasters and unworthy of basic human and civil rights.

    They’re not even good enough to join a union — according to you. That may be “reality” for those who don’t care about sex workers, but it’s not the view sex worker activists take of those they’re trying to help.

    You may want sex work abolished entirely and that’s your opinion, but to view all sex workers as things and not as humans capable of making their own decisions or worthy of basic rights means you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

    Your views are just as harmful to sex workers as someone who physically harms them “just because.”

  41. Shampoo lady being such a stanch rescuer of poor prostituted women couldn’t lower herself to respect International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. That is true commitment to “prostituted women”………….. Better they suffer violence than she collaborate with sex worker rights activists,

    The union comment…………. Ok Charlie Bryan. Saving Eastern Airlines employees again are we?

    Now appears Shampoo Lady 4 and Mistress something, conveniently with the same IP addresses as all the others. Very Crafty, well, oops, no pun intended,

    Our psychic vampire is claiming to have rescued prostitutes. From what?? Did any of them know it? Was anybody else there other than her when she rescued them?

    Well, there is always dumping glue on pages of porn magazines. That sure taught Flynt a lesson.

    70.231.154.211

  42. I think all prostitutioned women should be left alone to do what ever they want.

  43. Just for an important clarification, I was not at all meaning that actual workers or supporters were cowards for not using their real names. On the contrary, actual workers and supporters have that right to protect their identity. However, slander and abuse has been hurled at actual workers and organizers of our industry in an attempt to discredit the workers, organizers and the movement and they have been allowed to do so.
    I understand that all intentions of this blog are are good and coming from a place of “inclusion.” But I am afraid if that “inclusion” comes at the expense of one of our workers and organizers, it can not be supported.
    Their is a difference between honest discourse about the issues and the issues being used as a means to assault and attack one of our own.
    Lisa Roellig

  44. Lisa, Amanda,

    What I wonder is if 70.231.154.211 is conscious of her sock puppets? It is probably a 50/50 possibility that 70.231.154.211 aka ShampooLady4 among a dozen others isn’t consciously aware that her sock puppets aren’t real people.

    This week she is Charlie Bryan mixed with Vidal Sassoon. Shampoolady, in the event that you don’t know who Charlie Bryan is. Ask your pal Farley about the conversation that she and I had in Chicago at supper in 2001 after the Loyola Chicago gig. Farley appeared shocked that not only could I read something more difficult than a coloring book, but actually a topic that she knew nothing about. One of the events Shampoo that you feel never happened.

    how bout them cowboys?

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