Anti Prostitution Group Commits Violence On Sex Worker At UC Berkeley Performance

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Anti Prostitution Group Commits Violence On Sex Worker At UC Berkeley Performance

by Maxine Doogan
Sunday Nov 11th, 2007 10:29 PM

“My Real Name” was a One New Earth Production performance by Students and Artist Fighting to End Human Slavery. Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Ethics Studies and promoted by the SAGE Project violent scene after violent scene was played out against streetbased prostitutes. This play actually turned out to be a propaganda piece conflating incest, rape, domestic violence, economic disparity, homelessness, drug addiction with the occupation of prostitution by depicting graphic sexually violent images and reenactments.

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–> Anti Prostitution Group Commits Violence On Sex Worker At UC Berkeley Performance
By Maxine Doogan

11/09/07

An altercation involving Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers Union, followed a performance sponsored by U C Berkeley Ethic Department at UC Berkeley Worth Ryder Gallery on Nov. 9th 2007 which resulted in the U C Berkeley Police issuing a 7 day stay away order to Ms Doogan, Lisa Roelillg one other companion.

“My Real Name” was a One New Earth Production performance by Students and Artist Fighting to End Human Slavery. Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Ethics Studies and promoted by the SAGE Project violent scene after violent scene was played out against streetbased prostitutes. This play actually turned out to be a propaganda piece conflating incest, rape, domestic violence, economic disparity, homelessness, drug addiction with the occupation of prostitution by depicting graphic sexually violent images and reenactments.

The producer had stated that this performance was meant to be interactive and invited audience members to interact with the people depicting the violence during the performance. It was unclear if the people relating the violence were actors or the actual people who had experienced the violence originally. The producer also said a discussion about trafficking in the sex industry would follow the performance.
Many people walked out before the end as did Doogan, who returned at the conclusion expecting to find a discussion under way but instead found her comrade, Lisa Roellig, a former streetbased worker surrounded by anti prostitution activist, like researcher Melissa Farley, who recently called for the closing of the legal brothels in Nevada.

Roellig, an ex-streetbased worker and Doogan attempted to converse with the producer about her relationship to the issues raised in the performance. The producer responded by yelled and waved her arms saying she didn’t believe in the comodification of women and that no discussion was going to take place. However a loud discussion ensued between all parties with the producer stating that Doogan ‘sucked the dicks of corporate America’ and was ‘a white and privileged’. Another anti prostitutionist, also a former streetbased worker, stated that all prostitutes are dogs, and used physical intimidation to push Doogan out the door while evoking the name of blood of Jesus Christ. Doogan responded by leaving the building and calling the anti prostitution group “poverty pimps”. Annie Fukushima, U C Berkeley Doctorial Candidate, threatened to call the cops and Doogan encouraged her to do so.

Doogan, Roellig and the third person made statements to the police that Doogan had been physically assaulted. UC Berkeley Campus Officer Sanchez only wanted to know if the women who called the police were women of color. All three women were issued 7 day stay away orders.

Said Roellig, “While they were privileged enough to call in the cops because two women show up to question their view of our lives, I was not ever privileged enough to call the cops when I was raped, assaulted or robbed on the street because I was a criminalized worker. These women are outspoken on their abolitionists views and are advocates of the continuation of the States oppressive laws that control our bodies, our economies and most important make us easy targets for police abuse and corruption”

Please call, write or email the Berkeley Police Department and tell them to receive the report of battery on Maxine Doogan. And the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Department because it failed in its commitment to be understanding of the deep multiple meanings of racial diversity in the Americas in the area of prostitution when they sponsored the performance and facilitated racial violence against sex industry workers.

Office Of The Chief Of Police

Victoria Harrison, Associate Vice Chancellor/Chief
(510) 642-1133
vlh [at] berkeley.edu
Mitch Celaya, Assistant Chief
(510) 643-9597
mjc [at] berkeley.edu
Jennifer Woods, Executive Assistant
(510) 643-7500
jwoods [at] berkeley.edu
Adan Tejada, Administrative Lt.
(510) 642-3679

Andrew Tucker, Administrative Sgt.
(510) 642-1157
atucker [at] berkeley.edu
Jennifer Sakai, Training Officer
(510) 642-1135
jvargas [at] berkeley.edu

Department of Ethnic Studies 506 Barrows Hall #2570, Berkeley, CA 94720-2570. (510) 643-0796 (510) 642-6456 [Fax] Email: ethnicst [at] berkeley.edu
Beatriz Manz Chair and Professor

Graduate Group Staff
Ethnic Studies Graduate Group Staff
Name Position Phone Number E-mail Address
Francisca Cazares Student Affairs Officer (510) 642-6643 fcazares [at] berkeley.edu

Ethnic Studies Graduate Group Advisors
Ethnic Studies Graduate Group Advisors
Name Position Phone Number E-mail Address
Laura Perez
Graduate Advisor (510) 643-1584 leperez [at] berkeley.edu
Sau-ling Wong
Advisor for GSI Affairs (510) 642-6195 slwong [at] berkeley.edu
Francisca Cázares Student Affairs Officer (510) 642-6643 fcazares [at] berkeley.edu

89 Responses

  1. What belledame said.
    😮

  2. er…wtf? Was Farley there? Is there a more clearly detailed event by event discription of this whole ordeal? Were these clowns charged with anything yet?

  3. Good grief!

    I’d read about “My Real Name” and knew if was a radfem-type thing. That they’re now physically attacking people with opposing views who show up at their events is a new one.

    And like Ren said, I’d like to read something with a more clearly detailed telling of events.

  4. This sounds wrong on so many levels. The violent scenes, the “attack the real sex worker” thing. It’s like they have this “idealized victim” concept of sex workers and can’t stand to have this ideal challenged. Sort of a “white woman’s burden.”

    It’s also completely awful.

  5. Yeah, I do find this account kind of confusing, although I get the gist of it.

    Just to start with, though, “My Real Name” sounds like a Very Bad Idea for a whole bunch of reasons even before getting to the showdown afterward here. It sounds tbh like a kind of radfem “Hell House,” only in an uncontrolled environment.

  6. right ok, more info on “My Real Name,” to begin with:

    http://www.onenewearth.com/projects.aspx

    “Champaign, Candy, X-Tasy, Pleasure are just some of the adopted street names that go into creating the persona of trafficked
    prostitutes who have built their lives on creating a exploitive
    fantasy. Who are these people? Where are they from? How did they get to the streets? What were their real names before they had to create
    the multiple personalities that make it more bearable to get into the
    cars of strangers? More importantly, who are they outside the
    imprisoned definitions of a hooker. We all have facades that oppress
    us and stop us from digging to our essence. The heavier the burden of
    oppression, the deeper we have to dig to free our essence. Few know
    this better than children, women and men who have been sexually pimped
    by the greed and indifference of the streets.

    People of all walks of life often feel they are labeled/named by
    others. Rarely are we allowed to label/name who we are. This reality
    is doubly felt by those who are oppressed by a series of unfortunate
    circumstances. The goal is to place a human face in front and not
    behind the solutions.

    My Real Name is a play that raises the voices of those who have been
    muted by the world microphone. With a strong belief in rehabilitative
    art, My Real Name consists of stories of trafficked prostitutes who
    are willing to share their experiences with the help of dramatic
    flashback scenes of their lives. The performances are done by using a
    mixture of actual survivors and trained actors…”

    ***.

    Farley has a plug for it

    http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/blog/2007/10/my_real_name_novembe

    but it’s not clear if she’s actually involved in it.

  7. […] Anti Prostitution Group Commits Violence On Sex Worker At UC Berkeley Performance « Bound, Not Gagg… “they were privileged enough to call in the cops because two women show up to question their view of our lives, I was not ever privileged enough to call the cops when I was raped, assaulted or robbed on the street because I was a criminalized worker” (tags: prostitution hypocrisy assholes crime law sexwork bullshit) […]

  8. You might want to see if you can get the Daily Californian (the UC Berkeley student paper) to cover the incident:

    http://www.dailycal.org/

  9. Thinking about it, that Day of No Prostitution organizer, Ashley whatever, in Vegas was threatening violence against any sex worker rights activists that showed up on Day of No Prostitution, warning us to stay away or face violence. I still have the emails and the posts stating this that she posted in my blog.

    Is their motto something akin to fighting fire with fire? Stopping violence by committing violence?

    I wonder what the percentage of radical feminists that actually support and condone violence against sex workers by radical feminist activists is and whether this is a case of continued drift into extremism by the anti’s while the moderates are silent, silenced or leave their movement.

  10. yikes. she said that? i missed those posts…

    well, there’s definitely a sort of spiral that starts to happen sometimes with groups: the more extreme they get, the more moderates are turned off and drift away; the more the moderates drift away, the less checks and balances the extremists have and so get more extreme…

  11. […] story here Der Beitrag wurde am Monday, den 12. November 2007 um 11:44 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde […]

  12. You all realize that Maxine Doogan is telling a highly fictionalized version of what happened. What happened was a bunch of women put on a play on a college campus. Then some extremely hostile people stand up and start shouting crazy shit at people whose history and motivations they know nothing about. Then the hostile people start getting rough and threating, eventually escalating to violence.

    The restraining order against Maxine Doogan and Lisa Roellig did not happen for no reason at all. Just accepting what Doogan says at face value is a little naive on your part. Her story makes no sense because it just didn’t happen that way.

    There is a disturbing trend of pro-prostitution people trying to silence and destroy those who would point out the problems of prostitution. Some of these people are pimps, some are clearly paid by the big players in the “adult entertainment” industry. Some just have anger management issues. You need to ask yourselves, why can’t people disagree about prostitution without this being a war?

    Bringing violence against people because you don’t like the play they put on is a completely insane and inappropriate response that has only one intention – to intimidate people into silence. If you believe so much that prostitution is great, make your case. Trying to intimidate anti-prostitution into silence is not going work..

    Please everyone calm down and figure out what really happened before you immediately take the side of someone who had to be physically and legally restrained from hurting others.

  13. This account is very confusing, and I would like to hear what others in attendance experienced. I don’t say this to discredit Maxine — activists needs to stand by their actions as well as words — but to keep this situation from becoming so polarized beyond belief.

    What it sounds like is a lot of the tactics I was taught in the rape crisis movement — that because rape & sexual assault are very triggering, we ourselves may become triggered/trigger others in our discussions of it. When there is no space to contain that sort of very intense material and no room for honest discussion, emotions spiral.

    I really would like to come up with ways we can work to end violence without having to have such potentially emotionally triggering experiences in doing so.

  14. The account of Maxine Doogan is accurate. I sat through the entire play because we were told there would be a discussion following the performance. Although we were also told by the plays producer that the play was meant to be an interaction, we at no time interacted or reacted during the performance.
    Following the play, I approached the producer of the play because I wanted to know if there was going to be a discussion. She told me that there was not going to be a discussion that evening but that there would be a discussion following the other performances. I told her that I would not be at any other performances, that I was there tonight along with another actual sex worker and I wanted to discuss the content of the play. I told her that I was angry that the play portrayed all women as victims and all men as predators and rapists. I wanted her to know that what I saw that night was a shallow and stereotypical dipiction of our lives. She let me know that she used the stories of real “survivors.” she is also informed me that one of the cast was an actual “former prostituted woman.”
    My comment to her was that this kind of stereotypical portrayal of prostitution reinforces the abolishionists position of criminalization, which in turn makes us more stigmitized and victimized.
    It was during this conversation that Maxine Doogan joined the arguement. I want to again remind you that the show was over when this arguement took place. In fact the audience that was left were either leaving or had already left due to the graffic violenct scenes and images, The women left in the room were the promotors, producers and sponsors of the event.
    Maxine Doogan told the women that they were promoting the criminalization of prostitution and profitting off of the criminalization of prostitution. The producer of the show responded by saying that we were commodifing womens bodies and sucking the dicks of corporate america. She also called us white priveleged western women. I also remember that M. Farley wanted to ask me a question and that Maxine’s response was that she was not going to let her interview me because she takes our stories and than lies about us.
    The producer of the show did lose control. My take on her loss of control was that she was pissy and defensive that we did not like her “art” piece. her reaction (actually reactionary) was more “drama” than substance and it was clear she was not interested in any kind of a dialogue about such a complex issue.
    Especially with two actual sex workers.
    The one identified “survivor” of the play came out screaming that she had been raped and abused and that the story she read during her monologue was her story. At the same time I was trying to keep her from my face ( I had my hands up ) I was also trying to tell her that I had had those experiences also. I was not trying to deny her story. I never got further in the conversation because at this time she starting saying all prostitutes were dogs and calling is dogs. she seemed very focused on Maxine because we were trying to leave as the lights turned off and the woman followed Maxine on her way to the door to tell her that she (Maxine Doogan) was either posssed by satan and there was something else she kept saying that had something to do with jesus’s blood and being washed with it. The woman grabbed Maxine as she was trying to get out the door and I actually had to pull the woman off of her so that Maxine could exit safely.
    It was as we were almost to the street that the Berkeley campus Police stopped and detained us. They were unwilling to take Maxine’s assault report.
    I also want to make mention of the other crime that took place that night beside the assault on Maxine Doogan, That plays producer was very irresponsible in showing such graphic scenes and images of child and women rape and murder that it should have had warnings. Personally I felt retraumitized by the ecperience and I can’t understand why the so called mental health professionals present that night could not recognize that. That the producers of the show and the promotors would use a mentally unstable women to further their agenda of state sponsored opression (laws criminalizing women and their enforcers, the DA’s and the police) to further their agenda is shameless.
    I would like to again state that Maxine Doogan was assaulted that night as she was trying to exit the building and that the campus police were unwilling at that time to take her report.
    To call in the police on women who have already “survived” abuse and violence from law enforcement is all that needs to be said on who these women really represent.
    Lisa Roellig

  15. Did this program actually say it was for punishing the prostitutes as criminals? The program sounds pretty sympathetic to the horrors prostitutes go through. I can’t imagine that people didn’t realize that a program about prostitution wouldn’t have disturbing content but its true that programs like this need to handled very sensitively.
    As a radical feminist, I am against violence towards pro prostitution activists/women but if someone got up in my face I felt threatened, I would defend myself vocally and may call the police. Especially if it was a man. Especially considering the threats that have been made on radical feminists.

  16. Also, I think from Lisa’s describtion Maxine acted very insenstively to this women. She had just gone through sharing her story. She is a fellow survivor too.

  17. It sounds like she’s saying MD was addressing the producers at first, not the cast, and it’s not clear who physically got in whose face first. It also sounds like a real mess, and yeah, just from the description the idea of the production sounds like a powder keg waiting to happen, and a Really Bad Idea in general.

  18. as for this:

    >Some of these people are pimps, some are clearly paid by the big players in the “adult entertainment” industry. Some just have anger management issues. You need to ask yourselves, why can’t people disagree about prostitution without this being a war?>

    okay,

    1) you know, I keep hearing these accusations of such and so being a “pimp” or getting payola from Big Wheels in “the industry” (because it’s all one monolithic thing, presumably, from Playboy right on down to street prostitution). And you know, way early on I was more prepared to at least give some weight to this idea, that there’s a serious P.R. movement afoot from skeezy people. I guess it depends where you look. So far, online at least, I came across maybe one guy who sounded like he was defending trafficking. He wasn’t one of the ones being called a “pimp” or a “marketing front” though: generally I hear that hurled at women like Renegade or Jill, and/or a couple of guys that basically have just out and out said, “hey, I watch porn.” (and some that don’t, but well never mind that now).

    but anyway: is whosis trying to suggest that Maxine Doogan and Lisa Roelling are “pimps” rolling in the big time payola? Or is this now the “Anger management” thing? Because,

    2) with the latter, even putting aside this particular event at which I was not and so don’t -know- what really went down, in general? calling the harm reductionists and/or sex workers rights people “anger management” needing? um, ms. pot, ms. kettle is on line two. I mean, given all the virtual meltdowns I’ve seen, not to mention the whole, “hey! let’s go into strip club parking lots and key random cars, and/or deface library books! them’s good activism, all right!” just saying.

    3) “You need to ask yourselves, why can’t people disagree about prostitution without this being a war?”

    Who needs to ask whom what where now?

    In this instance: “why can’t you just be quiet while we misrepresent you:” um, that’s not really a -disagreement-, per se, you know…

  19. No where in my account of the events of Friday night could anyone possibly come to the conclusion that Maxine acted insensitively to the woman identified as a ‘survivor” because no where in my account of Friday night did I include any thing other than the words used against Maxine by the woman and the assault of Maxine by the woman as Maxine was trying to exit the building.
    So far I have read the contribution to this topic accusing Maxine of fabrication from someone obviously not present that evening. Who also by the way, accused us of “pimping” and profitting from “big players in the adult entertainment industry.”
    Promoting a stereotype that is used for the agenda of anti-prostitution’s agenda to keep us crimminalized is liberation through incarceration and continued abuse at the hands of law enforcement. What would we do, after all without “Daddy” and all the arm chair therapists, researchers and now “artists” calling us whores and pimps and labeling us victims? Have more time to do what has to be done. Organize ourselves as all workers must do- for better working conditions (yes, health and safety) and for better wages. If you think this is just too much for your intelectual brain to handle-just get out of the way.

  20. i wonder if “truthisbetter” is the same multimonikered troll that’s been here a bunch of times before. M.O. and style feel similar.

  21. and, okay:

    a non-survivor decides to put this show together with mostly actors reading monologues and -one- actual survivor. who, from the account–well, let’s not go to the “anger management” place in turn and just note she was probably triggered. but, she’s apparently gotten Religion, and…well, anyway.

    Seriously, there’s a -reason- people keep comparing activists like this to the RRR. Well, a number of reasons, actually: even without Lisa R’s account, just looking at the play description made me think it sounded like a kind of radical feminist Hell House.

    and, really: only one? Only -one-?

    why is it someone else’s place to do this, anyway? Really, there are no survivors, even abolitionist ones, who could write, direct, and produce themselves?

  22. truthisbetter writes:

    “There is a disturbing trend of pro-prostitution people trying to silence and destroy those who would point out the problems of prostitution. Some of these people are pimps, some are clearly paid by the big players in the “adult entertainment” industry.

    Really? Would you care to back that up with some supporting evidence? Otherwise, all you have are a series of baseless and shitty accusations.

    First, I don’t see anybody in the sex workers rights movement with access to media figures and to political power that Farley, Hughes, and other well-known abolitionists do. Don’t forget that the Bush Administration specifically favors the abolitionist position and has worked to defund sex worker activists internationally who are not abolitionist. So just who is “silencing” whom?

    Second, the sex workers rights movement is funded by the “adult entertainment industry”? By what stretch of the imagination? From what I’ve seen, the porn industry largely tries to stay out of the whole prostitution debate and largely tries to distance porn work from prostitution. Second, the Larry Flynts and Steve Hirsches of the porn world, the ones with the money, are profiting from the status quo and don’t actually have much interest in supporting sex workers rights beyond keeping porn work legal.

    There are sex worker activists like Nina Hartley and Sharon Mitchell in the porn industry, but they’re pursuing their own agenda vis a vis sex work activism, and are not mere shills for Larry Flynt and company.

    Third, just who are you accusing of being a “pimp” and on what basis? Put up or shut up!

  23. I thought the pimp thing was kind of funny actually. The thought of people who make a living as “pimps” banding together “to silence and destroy those who would point out the problems of prostitution” is really hilarious. It shows just how out of touch these “abolitionists” (and can I say how offended I am that they have co-opted THAT term?)are with the varied and segmented labor force that is sex work. Why don’t they try talking to people who actually do the work instead of making assumptions based on stereotypes?

  24. Lisa-

    Thanks for your account of the evening.

    Truthisbetter:

    “You all realize that Maxine Doogan is telling a highly fictionalized version of what happened. What happened was a bunch of women put on a play on a college campus. Then some extremely hostile people stand up and start shouting crazy shit at people whose history and motivations they know nothing about. Then the hostile people start getting rough and threating, eventually escalating to violence. ”

    No, none of us were there. Lisa was, she’s told how she saw it…can you prove it happened otherwise?

    “The restraining order against Maxine Doogan and Lisa Roellig did not happen for no reason at all. Just accepting what Doogan says at face value is a little naive on your part. Her story makes no sense because it just didn’t happen that way.”

    Can you prove otherwise?

    “There is a disturbing trend of pro-prostitution people trying to silence and destroy those who would point out the problems of prostitution. Some of these people are pimps, some are clearly paid by the big players in the “adult entertainment” industry. Some just have anger management issues. You need to ask yourselves, why can’t people disagree about prostitution without this being a war? ”

    Ah yes, the whole we are shills of the Overlords of the Monolith game. Funny, I’ve been personally accused of that one before, and it is untrue. I’ve also been threatened and blackmailed by anti porn supporters in an attempt to silence me. Gee, if I have anger management issues, I wonder why? The anti-porn side resorting to violence, vandalism, threats, slander, lies and attempts at silencing are nothing new, really. We are not the only ones who on occasion fail to play nice. As for why does it have to be a war? Well, when this view of sex work (all of it, the monolith), the view that this play and Farley give the world is the only one out there, when people start acting as if they know what is best for us and should do it for us without a lot of us agreeing or even being on board, we get a little hostile.

    “Bringing violence against people because you don’t like the play they put on is a completely insane and inappropriate response that has only one intention – to intimidate people into silence. If you believe so much that prostitution is great, make your case. Trying to intimidate anti-prostitution into silence is not going work..”

    Doesn’t sound like MD started the violence…and reverse that scenerio, cause it won’t work on us either.

  25. Well it was awful being assaulted and being assaulted in front of all the anti’s. They stood by silently. It seems that the haters only want to rail against violence on behalf of those who advocate for being incarcerated as a means to transition into another job.

    Gretchen, why don’t you can get a copy of the script for us and tell us how many times being incarcerated was recommended by the ‘survivors’.

    Every actor began their monologue with “my name is …. an adverb like, …heart break”, followed by a description of how it all related to women being victims, prostitutes and men being perpetrators, rapist because women don’t’ pay their way.
    The first speaker stated that ‘she was her sister’s keeper’ and invited the audience to not walk in the victims’ shoes but inhabit their souls. This was an invitation for entity possession. And given my abuser’s invocation for the blood of jesus on me and the private email exchange between Lisa and the producer, they are defiantly using the occult arts as a weapon against us.

    This play featured story after story of how all women who are raped by their daddys’, used drugs to drowned their pain and live as lifeless prostitutes or marriage. The actors shouted while they acted out be raped, driven into drug addition, sex addiction, (they must have gotten that part from Jody Williams of Sex Workers Anonymous), starving the children around them.

    One of the monologues started out with an actor strutting around on the stage talking about her abused life in red paten leather high heels, a platinum blonde wig, a short skirt and bustier then ended with her in little girl pony tails, a pastel night shirt and fluff slippers. The message equated infantilism as innocence; the ideal state of safety for women. All the while a screen in the background showed graphic violent images. One photo was of a man and women lying in bed, apparently passed out or sleeping. The woman’s groin area was bloodied while the man had blood on his hands. They didn’t disclose that this performance contained violent sexually graphic images and rape scenes. Another image; a headless bruised body with needles sticking out of its arm.

    We ought to rewrite this play titled, “My Name Is” and include monologues of anti prostitutionist. My name is Poverty Pimp…I profit off the criminalization of prostitution by splitting the proceeds between the San Francisco Police and District Attorney’s office to traffic women from the streets, through the jail to my poverty pimping program where I say I’m providing them services but really I’m taking the 1million dollars given to me by another poverty pimp, US Senator Diane Feinstein, the one who just voted for a man who can’t tell if water torcher is illegal or not, to be America’s top cop and putting it into my Hell House, oops I mean, safe house because nobody can afford to pay for their own housing in San Francisco because of poverty pimps like Diane Feinstein’s’ real estate husband, Richard Blum who is also chair of the University of California Board of Regents.
    Oh, now I get how they just stood there and watched.
    Let us pray.

  26. This “play” sounds to me like simply an updated version of “Not A Love Story,” which was an old antiporn agitprop “documentary” that was used by antiporn/antiprostitution activists in the 80s. Apparantly, these folks have learned well from their predecessors on how to sell hate.

    And the fact that the promoters are now reduced to physically beating down their critics….how ironic that a movement supposedly created to oppose violence against women so easily resorts to violence against anyone not marching in perfect goose-step with them. But that’s usually the case with such fascists, isn’t it???

    I think that I will take the word of Ms. Doogan and Ms. Roelig on this one.

    Oh…and major props to truthisbetter for showing us once again how projecting your own myopia on others can be so hilarious:

    “Bringing violence against people because you don’t like the play they put on is a completely insane and inappropriate response that has only one intention – to intimidate people into silence. If you believe so much that prostitution is great, make your case. Trying to intimidate anti-prostitution into silence is not going work..”

    Ahhhh, yeag. Right. Isn’t irony grand??

    Anthony

  27. And what Ren and Belle said.

    Anthony

  28. Thank you, Maxine for bringing it on and calling it like it is.
    A few comments I forgot to mention about “My Real Name” production in regards to class and race. I find it very interesting that we were both accused of classism and racism (by the producer -also a white woman) and/or not understanding classism and racism (M. Fraley- another white woman) when all the portrayals of homeless people, “pimps” and their “whores” were horrifically racist, classist and offensive. In fact, there were audience members who left because they were shocked at the racist portrayals. Adding to the audience members who left because of the graphic and violent over the top assault of scene after scene and image after image of child sexual abuse, rape, torture and murder of women.
    The most disturbing monologue was given by a young actress, telling us to close our eyes and imagine, if we had children, to imagine sexual abuse and assault happening to them. She went on to discribe that abuse and assault in detail. I could not believe what I was hearing and should have gotten up and walked out at that moment but sat through. It was extremely difficult but I was told there was going to be a discussion following the performance.
    That the producer/writer of the play thought her art piece was any contribution to anyone is beyond me-and apparently to everyone else who walked out that night.
    Lisa Roellig

  29. “And given my abuser’s invocation for the blood of jesus on me and the private email exchange between Lisa and the producer, they are defiantly using the occult arts as a weapon against us.”

    With all due respect, I don’t think we should even go there.

    One of the local members of the abolitionist contingent is apparently a hysterical jesus freak. Somehow figures. I don’t think it gives them any kind of occult power, though.

  30. Gretchen, when you said that this play addressed the horrors of prostitution, did the play address how the criminalization of prostitution encourages these horrors? Like, for example, the horrors that occur when police officers enforcing anti-prostitution laws trick sex workers into thinking they’re clients and then have sex with them or make other forms of sexual contact with them before arresting them. Or, when police extort sex acts out of sex workers by telling them they’ll arrest them for prostitution if they don’t give them free sexual favors? Or, did they play address how perpetrators of violence against sex workers in prostitution can rest assured that they’re almost guaranteed to get away with the abuse becuase the criminalization of prostitution creates a context in which sex workers are scared to go to the police out of fear of incriminating themselves or because they see the police as their enemies, which leaves the perpetrators of violence on the loose to go and attack more people? Or, did the play address how some of the sex trafficking victims are people who were trying to flee persecution because of the criminalization of prostitution, and are thus more vulnerable to traffickers? Did the play address any of these horrors of prostitution? And to the prostitution prohibitionists, please don’t go off giving “lip service” about how you think that the clients rather than the prostitutes should be criminalized. That’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking if the play addressed any of the horrors mentioned above.

  31. In response to truthisbetter, none of us are saying that all prostitution is great just like we’re not saying that all marriage is great, but just because not all prostitution is great doesn’t mean it should be criminalized. There’s nothing great about the prohibition of prostitution. In fact, the prohibition has the opposite effect.

  32. “Gretchen, when you said that this play addressed the horrors of prostitution, did the play address how the criminalization of prostitution encourages these horrors?”
    Thank you for bringing up the essential question. Of course, the answer to that question is NO.
    “What happened was a bunch of women put on a play on a college campus.”
    Calling M. Farley, Annie Fukushima etc. a bunch of women putting on a play is like calling “The Mintemen” a group of “concerned citizens” patrolling the borders.
    Lisa roellig

  33. sex worker rights wrote

    “Gretchen, when you said that this play addressed the horrors of prostitution, did the play address how the criminalization of prostitution encourages these horrors? Like, for example, the horrors that occur when police officers enforcing anti-prostitution laws trick sex workers into thinking they’re clients and then have sex with them or make other forms of sexual contact with them before arresting them. Or, when police extort sex acts out of sex workers by telling them they’ll arrest them for prostitution if they don’t give them free sexual favors? Or, did they play address how perpetrators of violence against sex workers in prostitution can rest assured that they’re almost guaranteed to get away with the abuse becuase the criminalization of prostitution creates a context in which sex workers are scared to go to the police out of fear of incriminating themselves or because they see the police as their enemies, which leaves the perpetrators of violence on the loose to go and attack more people? Or, did the play address how some of the sex trafficking victims are people who were trying to flee persecution because of the criminalization of prostitution, and are thus more vulnerable to traffickers? Did the play address any of these horrors of prostitution?”

    From what I gathered, the horrors the play did address were the drugs, poverty, rape on the job, long periods of child abuse that prostituted women often go through. You are right — i have not read the play so I do not know if it showed the abuse the legal systems put prostituted women through. I agree, that is another component that would be good to put in there so people know that women are victimized in so many ways. I’ve read a lot about aileen wourenous (sp)(from monster). she went though a lot because of the cops forced her to do them or they would tell.

    Lisa, I do think your account of the night came off very condescending towards the ex-prostituted woman. If your story is accurate, no it wasn’t appropriate for her to scream in someone’s face, but damn — she has been through horrible trauma in her life and sometimes this can make people over emotional when they are talking about it. Plus, I’ve noticed that there can be a mocking of people who leave the sex industry and speak out against it by the industry and the pro-pornstitution community (linda lovelace). I have not noticed that here usually but did in the reaccount of this women. (especially about the religion – i am an athesist but sometimes when people are recovering from trauma, they look towards religion). I think this women is very brave to have spoken out — especially considering how she could have gotten mocked from the ex sex community.

  34. “The one identified “survivor” of the play came out screaming that she had been raped and abused and that the story she read during her monologue was her story. At the same time I was trying to keep her from my face ( I had my hands up ) I was also trying to tell her that I had had those experiences also. I was not trying to deny her story. I never got further in the conversation.”
    “Personally I felt retraumitized by the experience and I can’t understand why the so called mental health professionals present that night could not recognize that. That the producers of the show and the promotors would use a mentally unstable women to further their agenda of state sponsored opression (laws criminalizing women and their enforcers, the DA’s and the police) to further their agenda is shameless.”
    Gretchen, pitting sex workers against eachother is the symptom of their program and agenda.

  35. “One of the monologues started out with an actor strutting around on the stage talking about her abused life in red paten leather high heels, a platinum blonde wig, a short skirt and bustier then ended with her in little girl pony tails, a pastel night shirt and fluff slippers. The message equated infantilism as innocence; the ideal state of safety for women. All the while a screen in the background showed graphic violent images. One photo was of a man and women lying in bed, apparently passed out or sleeping. The woman’s groin area was bloodied while the man had blood on his hands. They didn’t disclose that this performance contained violent sexually graphic images and rape scenes. Another image; a headless bruised body with needles sticking out of its arm.”

    Okay, that description actually makes me feel dirtier than a lot of actual porn. and that’s INCREDIBLY irresponsible to not provide warnings if they’re gonna show that kind of stuff! particularly given who they were supposedly going to address! gahh, i hate fucking agitprop theatre, i mean -incompetent-, smug, “look! shock tactics ALWAYS are preferable to anything else!” sophmoric…I’ll stop now.

  36. >she has been through horrible trauma in her life and sometimes this can make people over emotional when they are talking about it.>

    why not extend the same benefit of the doubt to Lisa and Maxine, then? do you not think sitting there watching all that would’ve been -emotional-?

  37. and it really does sound indistinguishable from any number of right-wing morality plays, except for the whole “get saved or go to Hell in the afterlife” business; and I guess the one actor even had that covered.

    and so, Farley -was- there, huh.

  38. lisa, its like no matter what they did you would find fault. Ya’ll fault them for not for having sex workers involved enough in this. Then when there is one involved, you say they were exploiting her. How do you know she isn’t dedicated to the cause? Sharing ones story can be very cathartic and a way to feel you are helping others. Ya’ll were the only ones she got mad at for being insensitive to her trauma — not the play’s producers. Obviously, something was done to her by the customers, pimps and those in the industry — not by the radical feminist that made her mad. One thing I suspect is that supposedly Maxine was involved in pimping — being a madam….whether that is true or not, i can’t say for sure, i can only go on the article I read. I wish i knew the whole story but i’m thinking there is more to this on a personal relationship level?

  39. I don’t believe that criminalizing sex work benefits anyone except those who wish to harm sex workers. I consider myself a feminist. I believe that choice is always better then none. I believe that our bodies are our own and that no one should be able to tell us what we can do with them. Although I am willing to agree that some sex workers are in the wrong profession for all the wrong reasons. I also agree that no matter how awful the situation may be for any one particular sex worker criminalizing the act will only further harm them and all other sex workers.

    That said…I was at the exhibit the night of the incident. I attended the event because I was under the impression that it was an exhibit about human trafficking. I became aware of the performance that night at the exhibit. I thought that the piece was intended to tie together human trafficking and prostitution. I wanted to see what arguments would be used to do this because I haven’t heard any that show the criminalization of prostitution as preventing human trafficking.

    The performance was not about trafficking. It made no attempt, other then the producers introduction, to tie human trafficking with the street based prostitutes the performance portrayed. It wasn’t that I disagreed with the argument. The problem was that it didn’t make an argument at all. The performance was very graphic both with its monologues and visual images. It also had more to do with incest; childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and drug addiction then it did prostitution. Even more so, the monologues used stereotyping of men, women, and sex workers to make blanket statements about them. Not all sex workers were raped as children. Not all men will fuck a dog. Not all pimps are violent. I understand that these were the thoughts, feelings, and memories of specific street based prostitutes and pimps. I am not attempting to deny their stories or the suffering they lived. What I am saying is that criminalizing prostitution only makes them (and other sex workers) more susceptible to the abuses they endured. Is that really what they want for other women? Do they want other sex workers to be raped, beaten, and robbed without any recourse from the police? Or worse yet, from the police? If we take away the criminalization of the sex work we can then begin to address these women’s real problems such as drug addiction, sexual abuse, and poverty and not just simply incarcerate them and continue the cycle of abuse.

    I also witnessed the incident that followed the performance. The producer did tell the audience that the performance was supposed to be interactive, it wasn’t. She also said that there would be discussion following the performance, there wasn’t. I was standing on the opposite side of the room when Lisa Roelling approached the producer. There were also several other women standing around the producer making a semi circle around Lisa. Once the producer began yelling at Lisa, Maxine Doogan crossed the room to stand next to Lisa and support her. The producer began yelling that she doesn’t believe in the “comodification” of our bodies. The producer also mentioned being in a refugee camp (I have no idea what this had to do with anything). Maxine responded by saying “Oh, then this is really about you, not us.” At which point the producer began screaming “you are fucking right this is about me” over and over while throwing her arms in the air. At that point another woman entered the room through another door. She began yelling at Lisa and Maxine that all prostitutes are “dogs”. Lisa attempted to explain that she herself was “on the street”. At that point, the producer called Lisa, Maxine, and I “white privileged” whores who “suck the dick of corporate America”. I still have no idea why any of this was even directed at me as I never said anything to anyone throughout the entire altercation. Lisa then showed them her tattoo of Che Guevara to again show them that they had mis named her. The producer responded by telling Lisa that Che Guevara wouldn’t allow her (Lisa) to suck his (Che Guevara’s) dick…even if he paid her.” At this point Maxine, Lisa and I begin trying to walk out the door. Maxine called the group of women near “Poverty Pimps”. Which resulted in the woman who had emerged from the other door (the one who said all prostitutes are dogs) following Maxine and berating her with religious epithets. She got so close to Maxine’s face that I could see her spit hit Maxine’s cheek. At one of the doorways the women began pulling on Maxine and preventing her from walking through the door. Lisa had to get the woman off of Maxine.

    When we finally got outside the UC Berkeley guards detained us. When we attempted to tell them what had happened they refused to take any formal statements. They asked each of us for ID. I asked if they would be getting the ID of everyone still inside the exhibit. I was told that they would. They lied to me and instead issued Maxine, Lisa and I a citation to stay off the campus for seven days. The only reason provided by the guards for the citation was that we had “crashed” the event. This isn’t any more logical now then it was then. We paid admittance for a public show. And, one of the shows sponsors, Annie Fukishima, asked us specifically to attend the performance. The producer verbally assaulted me when I didn’t say a word to anyone throughout the entire incident. The officers refused to do anything about it and they also refused to do anything about the battery that was done to Maxine.

    The show was titled “My Real Name”. To quote One New Earth, “People of all walks of life often feel they are labeled/named by others. Rarely are we allowed to label/name who we are”. If the point of the show was to allow sex workers the freedom to name themselves then why didn’t the producer allow Lisa and Maxine to name themselves? Why did she create all sorts of names for them? Why did she attempt to name me even though I wasn’t engaging with her at all? If the supporters of anti prostitution want to share real stories of sex workers then why don’t they want to hear what Maxine and Lisa have to say? I think the point of the show is great, let people name themselves. Unfortunately the producer and other show supporters don’t seem to believe or live by their own message.

  40. Maxine is an actual sex worker who is trying to organize other workers in our industry for the rights all workers should have. The right to negotiate for our hours and working conditions (health and safety). We also have the right not to be arrested. We have the right not to have our costumers arrested. We have the right not to have our children taken away from us. We have the right to report crimes against us. Which we can not do under criminalization. We have the right to go home safely at the end of the day.
    As the founder of Erotic Service Providers Union Maxine spends more time and energies on improving the economy, rights, health and safety of all workers in our industry than anyone I have ever met. If that makes Maxine a “pimp” or a “madam” than make me a “pimp” and a “madam” too.

  41. belledame, like i said i haven’t read the play. And i do believe lisa and maxine when they say it was emotional for them.

  42. From what you wrote, she does seem to have good intentions.

    What i meant by being a madam/pimp — i read an article in the seatle times that said she was accused of being one and charged for being involved in running an escort service. If this is true, Doesn’t that make her a pimp too? If she is making money through the sale of women’s bodies?

  43. Gretchen, I don’t buy your sweet and nieve questions like your are leading me down some road of discovery.
    I stand with and by Maxine Doogan and every other worker in our industry who has benifited from Maxine’s solidarity and commitment to our industry should do the same.
    I encourage all sex workers and supporters to respond to Maxine Doogan’s call to action at the beginning of this blog. Thank you.
    Lisa Roellig

  44. Bound Not Gagged and other sex industry workers, thank you for letting me tell it like it is.
    I am going to watch the “Sorry Your Grandma Got Mugged” video now because I need some of Scarlots’ comic relief. Plus, Robin is the bomb in that little cop outfit.

  45. >A few comments I forgot to mention about “My Real Name” production in regards to class and race. I find it very interesting that we were both accused of classism and racism (by the producer -also a white woman) and/or not understanding classism and racism (M. Fraley- another white woman) when all the portrayals of homeless people, “pimps” and their “whores” were horrifically racist, classist and offensive. In fact, there were audience members who left because they were shocked at the racist portrayals. Adding to the audience members who left because of the graphic and violent over the top assault of scene after scene and image after image of child sexual abuse, rape, torture and murder of women.
    The most disturbing monologue was given by a young actress, telling us to close our eyes and imagine, if we had children, to imagine sexual abuse and assault happening to them. She went on to discribe that abuse and assault in detail. I could not believe what I was hearing and should have gotten up and walked out at that moment but sat through. It was extremely difficult but I was told there was going to be a discussion following the performance.>

    that sounds just grrrrrrrrreat. fuck.

  46. Gretchen, are you suggesting that the survivor who attacked Doogan had read the Seattle Times article and immediately knew who she was?

    What i hear people saying is that the producers did an -incredibly- piss poor job of being sensitive to actual survivors. And that the contretemps that occurred was just the bomb that had been waiting to go off all along. If you’re not gonna blame the person in the cast for her attack, ok, but i wouldn’t blame M & L for going off on the producers (and thus presumably setting her off) either. Triggers all around, yeah yeah? And the people who were RUNNING the thing were -not- survivors. They were people with an agenda doing bad agitprop; but using live people and heavily triggering material for one’s cause isn’t like dumping maple syrup on a library book or even keying cars in a strip club parking lot. They were -irresponsible-, and so maybe they weren’t the ones who did the physical abuse and pimping out, but damn, I don’t see how this shit helps anyone or anything.

  47. “Plus, I’ve noticed that there can be a mocking of people who leave the sex industry and speak out against it by the industry and the pro-pornstitution community (linda lovelace).”

    “Mocking”? It depends on who you’re talking about. Certainly, some repentant porn stars take on a very sanctimonious “I’m a good girl now” routine – Traci Lords and Shelly Lubin come to mind – and that is mock-worthy. But, to be fair, its also a role the larger culture demands of them in order to be re-integrated into respectable society.

    In the case of Linda Lovelace, I don’t know that anybody is “mocking” her, so much as countering the spin that the anti-porn folks put on it. Nobody is arguing against the fact that she was very badly abused by her former husband and “manager” Chuck Traynor. The degree to which she was abused by the porn industry is what’s debatable, and I’ll note that Lovelace never charged that anybody in the industry (other than Traynor) had any role in her abuse. Also, it also has to be noted that Lovelace later distanced herself from the anti-porn movement and had some not particularly nice things to say about Steinem and MacKinnon, who she said basically used her for their own purposes.

  48. “What i meant by being a madam/pimp — i read an article in the seatle times that said she was accused of being one and charged for being involved in running an escort service. If this is true, Doesn’t that make her a pimp too? If she is making money through the sale of women’s bodies?

    That’s a rather slippery and bad-faith use of the word “pimp”. The term “pimp”, as it’s commonly understood, is someone who uses violence to control prostitutes and who takes all of their money. You’re using it to describe anybody who’s ever had a management role in a sex-related business, perhaps even for anybody who’s ever had financial dealings with another sex worker. Its a nasty bit of conflation, implying anybody who does business with sex workers also abuses them.

    Maxine Doogan may very well have been a “pimp” at one time in this sense, as has Robyn Few. To the best of my knowledge, both of them are also former sex workers and now sex work organizers.

    To use this as a tactic for discrediting either of them is more than a tad shitty. If somebody has worked as a shop foreman, are they no longer qualified to be a union organizer? Also, have you heard of either Doogan or Few using violence against or otherwise abusing sex workers employed by them? If not, I’d drop this crap about their being “pimps”.

  49. truthisbetter, aka, many of the radical feminist posters on this blog, try to grasp the idea of an IP address trace. Using different fake email addresses doesn’t obscure anything.

    Truthisbetter here is a novel thought, pick an identity and stay with it.

    How bout them cowboys?

  50. One of radical feminism’s thought processes is to create a process of healing for those injured in the sex industry by connecting them to activism. This thought process is based on the idea that connecting a survivor to activism connects them to a larger group fighting oppression and empowers them to fight back against a larger macro level abuser they define as the systems of prostitution.

    In the right circumstances connecting a survivor of any kind of violence with others fighting violence and doing activism can be a positive concept that helps them regain a sense of power, strength and break isolation.

    But……….. And it is a very big but……. Radical feminist based health care providers and organizations while meaning well often connect survivors with activists that do not have the survivor’s best interest at heart. Instead these survivors are given the sense of empowerment by being given a vocal stage to express the horrors of their past. Horrors which are real and valid. However, often times the survivor activist is not prepared for the emotional datadump that comes with this process. Some of the activists either don’t care or are too caught up in their own pain to recognize that the survivor they are bringing into vocal activism is not prepared emotionally for exposing their victimization to the world, not prepared for the waves of powerful emotions that come with that. Often many activists misdirect survivors who are in the midst of powerful emotions, at whatever soft targets happen to be there and be convenient for the activists in leadership roles. These activists use activism and survivors as fodder for their own battles, battles that are often misdirected at sex workers and sex worker rights activists because the actual abusers are not available.

    Many survivors are brought into activism far too early, pushed to the front line with little or no preparation for what is coming nor enough time in dealing with the harm done to them by the original victimization that they survived.

    While it is wonderful in concept to connect survivors to empowerment by connecting them to other activists and activism against social injustice, the concept is often misused by disingenuous and self serving academic activists looking to advance their own agendas using inexperienced activists that are often far too early in their own healing process to be ready for what is expected, often demanded of them.

    While there are plenty of radical feminist activists with healthy boundaries that are more than ready to do activism, many others are not and are exploited by the very activists that claim to be fighting oppression and connecting them to that fight.

    In my own experience radical feminism top heavy with disingenuous, self serving academic activists with little or no well interest in the well being of the survivors they are using to front their agenda, little or no interest in the welfare of the survivors or the consequences.

    This event is a case study of that dynamic.

    No one is being empowered nor is social justice being advanced when survivors reliving the pain of their experiences are part of an alleged fight against oppression that targets sex workers or former sex workers, many of whom suffered similar victimization but that are choosing a different method of pursuit of social justice than radical feminism.

    Just because someone states they are a radical feminist does not mean they are truly interested in the welfare of survivors, of anyone in or having been in the sex industry or in social justice. Just because someone is a sex worker rights activist or a current or former sex worker does not mean they are an abuser or an oppressor.

    Vicarious victories against predatory pimps and clients at the expense of current and former sex workers, and sex worker rights activists are not victories against oppressors but instead hollow myths of victories behind the smoke and mirrors of unethical and disingenuous radical feminist academic activists.

  51. You captured it, Jill. Well done.

  52. Hmmm, i can’t respond to everyone’s comments. (i am curious blue — don’t bother to write me — i told you i am interested in talking to the women activists and those in the profession for their perceptives not those that consume them).

    But I will say to Jill, that I will be sure and keep your insights in mind if I am ever to work with surivors who want to tell their stories and help with the radical feminist cause. I am actually glad that I read some of these post because — believe it or not — and jill can vounch for me on this — i do care about the mental well being of abused people and not exploiting them. Gotta Go now due to a very busy day tomorow . take care

  53. It’s such a smoke and mirrors propaganda. The whole pro prostitution, pro porn, allegations of being paid off by some monolithic pro prostitution forces. Why is it most of the sex worker rights activists that I know including myself are all struggling financially if we are supposedly being paid off? Because we aren’t and the whole pro prostitution thing that the anti’s use or are taught to believe are cheap theatrics to demonize us and divide those that would otherwise likely be our allies.

  54. >truthisbetter, aka, many of the radical feminist posters on this blog, try to grasp the idea of an IP address trace. Using different fake email addresses doesn’t obscure anything>

    Bright lass, there.

    I notice also she only seems to show up when the subject has anything to do with Farley.

  55. JB: I’ve recently heard a welfare reform activist talking about a similar sounding process. here, open the wound and let the people gasp in horror and outrage, great thanks…but then, no aftercare, and a sense of performance on demand, and being treated like a curiousity rather than entirely human in the same way that the “helping” activists are…

  56. it also reminds me of the abortion wars, particularly what happened with Jane Roe.

  57. I think this play was awesome because it let me know that apparently I’m a drug-addicted rape-victim who has no future and leads a corrupted, pitiful life. I didn’t actually realize this until I talked to my mom the day after the play happened and she filled me in on what our lives are like.
    What doesn’t make sense about this whole situation is how people are defending the lady who attacked Maxine by saying she is somehow excused from what she did because of her “experiences”. The point is, these “experiences” shouldn’t exist in the first place. I don’t understand why these people would present these horror stories of prostitution and at the same time be for it’s criminalization. Didn’t all these things happen as a direct consequence of prostitution being illegal? My mom, Lisa Roellig, is not a dog and she doesn’t suck any corporate dicks. She just wants to help people. This can’t be said for the “intellectuals” that made this play who just wanted to shock people into saying “YAH PROSTITUTION IS DISGUSTING MAKE IT GO AWAY” instead of actually understanding such a complex issue. Actually, I could be wrong because now that drugs are illegal nobody does them.
    I LOVE YOU MOM

  58. Jessica, that is an awesome post to your mom!

  59. Belledame222, I notice that “coincidence” too. How the various incarnations of this same ISP number show up every time Farley is involved in the topic.

    Sheer coincidence of course🙂

  60. I will vouch for Gretchen. Whether on issues we agree or disagree on I believe she is ethical, working toward social justice in a method she believes in. While there are differences of opinion on political and social change goals I respect her activism and wish radical feminism would take many lessons from her. There can be constructive work toward social change from many differing perspectives and worldviews and part of that growth is diversity and respect for each other and a willingness to fight exploitation in a constructive and ethical way.

    truthbetold or whatever her name is, perhaps you would like to take a que from this? I’m thinking maybe from now on we list truthbetold and her various personalities by IP number? Shrug…………………..

    How bout them Cowboys?

  61. Jessica, I love you. I am so grateful that I get to be your Mommy.

  62. Like all victims of violence, I see that I am being met with suspicion; that what I am reporting isn’t true, can’t be true, must not be true because the circumstances are so preposterous or is it that my occupation renders me of questionable character?
    Not only did the police not listen to me but the haters of prostitutes are now calling me a pimp and those who profess to be pro sex worker rights are ‘confused’ about the account. And now Lisa has to put up with what the haters think, of her?

    “Lisa, I do think your account of the night came off very condescending”

    It reminds me when I watched defense council for De La Fuentes Jr. cross examine the women who were testifying against his client about how he assaulted them on their jobs as streetbased workers. He chided them for the work they were doing, their boyfriends were pimps supposedly, what they were wearing, what they were saying…yadda yadda yadda…

    These responses are all a direct result of the criminalization of prostitution. It’s called stigma, discrimination and that is how you treated me.

    Gretchen’s comments about being a pimp are along the same monolithic continuum that ‘pimps sell women’s bodies’.
    This glare of ignorance of how the sex industry actually works says that she is an outsider. She doesn’t support decrim and but she supports violence against sex industry workers. What ethics are being employed here?

    This leads me to again question; why do these people who don’t work in the sex industry think that they have the right to question us, our work, our agency, our right to be self-determined? Once again we have another example of someone naming us and then holding us up to scrutiny on their terms.
    Unacceptable.

    Take a lesson; if you are going to using names like pimp, and then use them in the context of how they are written in the law, which would include defining our children as pimps. The ‘living off the earrings’ law was passed so that men wouldn’t live off the earning of women. Women didn’t have any rights to anything, so they would have to employ men. Haters wanted this law enacted because their goal was to stop prostitution at all costs, and removing the protection that men provided is what they were after because then we’d be left to having our children taken away and run out of town and off the land. Starved out. Kind of like the oppression that results from rape, domestic violence, and drug addition.

    You all need some training about how to receive a grievance because for all your ‘radical’ ‘feminism’ your movement is responsible for the harm done to prostitutes.
    I can look to the training I received this past summer at the Summer Institute for Union Women. Experience shows that third party grievances, which are the kind of grievances that were brought forward under the guise of “Art”, bring no justice. I think that the contents of this veracity didn’t belong in the form of a play as a means to communicate about systems of oppression and certainly not to create solutions. They were only looking to pimp the poverty, they don’t really care about us.

  63. >responded by saying “Oh, then this is really about you, not us.” At which point the producer began screaming “you are fucking right this is about me” over and over while throwing her arms in the air. At that point another woman entered the room through another door. She began yelling at Lisa and Maxine that all prostitutes are “dogs”. Lisa attempted to explain that she herself was “on the street”. At that point, the producer called Lisa, Maxine, and I “white privileged” whores who “suck the dick of corporate America”. I still have no idea why any of this was even directed at me as I never said anything to anyone throughout the entire altercation. Lisa then showed them her tattoo of Che Guevara to again show them that they had mis named her. The producer responded by telling Lisa that Che Guevara wouldn’t allow her (Lisa) to suck his (Che Guevara’s) dick…even if he paid her.”

    wtf???

    who IS this person, anyway? the producer, i mean.

  64. and what exactly did Farley and the other people do while all this was going on?

  65. “Hmmm, i can’t respond to everyone’s comments. (i am curious blue — don’t bother to write me — i told you i am interested in talking to the women activists and those in the profession for their perceptives not those that consume them).”

    Last I checked, this wasn’t your blog and neither I nor anybody else here needs your permission to speak.

  66. This is my nightmare as a former “street based worker.” I am peddling my ass in my little whore outfit. Up and down O’farrell street I walk but there are no clients. They have all been arrested and sent to the John’s school. They won’t come back after they are arrested because they gave all their money to the San Francisco District Attorneys’ office. The District Attorney claims that the 1,000 bucks that they took from him is supposed to be used for services for me. But the money really goes to the San Francisco Police Department so that they can keep getting payed to keep arresting him and me. My client also has sat through an eight hout program at the Johns’ School so now I know that even if he has some doe left he is ashamed of himself and scared straight because what he learned at the Johns’ School is that prostitutes are all going to rob him and that prostitutes are all the vectors of disease. Plus, we were all raped by our daddies and now we are being raped again by the pimps and tricks and of course my working out here has nothing to do with paying my bills or paying my rent. When all is said and done, the only ones getting paid out here are the San Francisco Police Department, The San Francisco District Attorneys’ Office and the SAGE Project, M. Farley supplies the research to keep this whole scam going, so I guess she is getting paid too. I forgot to add the Courts and Child Protective Services, they get paid to take my kids away.
    I want to work indoors. I want to work in a clean and safe house with other women but I can’t just make that happen on my own. I don’t know how to advertise and what to advertise and where to advertise. I wouldn’t know the first thing about answering all those phone calls and making the appointments. Plus, how can I be in an appointment and schedule appointments at the same time? How do I know what clients are “good” clients and what “clients” are creeps. Do I just learn as I go along?
    Who is going to teach me about health and safety? We are not born knowing what is safe in our industry and what is not. What if I am wrong about some of my practices? What if I just can’t do everything on my own? It is not that I am not smart and capable. It is just that like workers in other industies, we can’t possibly be talented at everything. The newspaper doesn’t get written and printed by one person.
    Here is the nightmare part. The laws that criminalize support, management and business operators in my industry make support, management and business operators felons. That means the people essential for me to paying my bills and paying my rent go to prison for giving me a job.
    Arresting clients, support, management and business operators is not “progressive.” It is not protecting me from violence and exploitation. Whether out on the street or working indoors laws criminalizing my clients,support,management and business operators leaves me out there all by myself. Actually, I would not be out there all by myself- I still would have the landlord, the PG&E and the grocery store. I guess it is okay for everyone to get paid but us.

  67. The nightmare continues…..
    Now I am ready to “exit” the industry. I want to do something else. “Exit” attempt, first try. I get a job that pays $8.50 an hour and I have three kids. I survive almost a year of rent not getting paid, PG&E being shut off three time, no food for my kids to eat by the end of the week and walking one and a half hours each way to work because i can’t even afford bus fair. My kids are loving, understanding and total soldiers. They support their Mom but it is hard for them to see me so stressed that I can’t provide for them. I feel guilty that I can’t get them the things they need for school and guilty because I can’t participate in their school functions or spend any time with them. I am always working, getting to work or too exhausted to even have a conversation. After one year of this, I go back to work as a hooker.
    When I am 41 years old, I am really ready to “transition.” My kids are grown up and I have saved some money up and I am ready for the “next thing.” The $8.50 an hour job I was lucky to get several years ago I can no longer get. For six months I peddle my ass up and down Park Ave. in Alameda wearing my “I am a good girl outfit.” It is hard to get a job when you are middle aged and all the other applicants for the $8.50 an hour jobs are college educated and in their twenties. One coffee shop recieved 200 applications in one week for one job. Let’s see who are they going to hire? The UC Berkeley graduate who is fresh and 22 or the middle aged woman with the bullshit, made up resume because you can’t give them the real one-you’ve been a criminal for over twenty years.
    Now I have run out of money and have a nervous breakdown and a crisis is unfolding but not too worry. Help is on the way. A counselor I am meeting with has a perfect solution. A program exists in San Francisco made exactly to help women like you. I get refered to the SAGE Project.
    I take my survival very seriously. I want to rise up from the ashes. I show up every day all day and do what I am told. The women I am in the program with I begin to love and we share our lives. The woman peer counselors are very special women, who have been where I have been and giving back. I am told I will get job training, college education,computer training and that I will leave the SAGE Project with the skills and referals I will need to start my new life. I am also supposed to recieve help with a resume and how to get and do a job interview None of any of this ever happens. I spend close to nine months in the program founded on the mission to rescue women and girls from prostitution and I leave there exactly as I came..a middle aged woman, who spent years in the sex industry, with no job training and no education only now I am completely demoralized. Not just because I have wasted nine months but because this was suposed to be the only game in town for women like me. Shocking.
    I want to make very clear that I have no bad feelings for the woman workers and peer counselors. They are all good and loving women doing what they think is best.
    I do however wonder why in all the months that i was a client at the SAGE Project , why I never met Norma Hotaling. Not once did I ever meet the founder and director of the the SAGE Project who travels all over the country preaching her mission of saving women and girls from prostitution. Not once in all the months I was there did Norma drop by to check in on her “girls.” Apparently her office was just right down the block.
    Several months after leaving the SAGE Project I was reunited with an old girlfriend I worked with many years ago and was invited to her birthday party where there would be more woman from my past. At that birthday party was Maxine Doogan. I sat right next to Maxine all through dinner and she listened to my story of where i had been since we last met and my failure total, complete failure at “transition.”
    “You didn’t fail. Transition is very difficult when we are so isolated as workers in our industry are…..what is it that you want to do?” I want to go to college. “Well, I know woman at the Labor Studies Program at Laney College. That would be a good program for you because of your politics and organizing.” Maxine had me registered for classes and my finacial aid forms filled out that following week. I am now a full time student at Laney College and will use my Labor Studies Degree to help organize our industry under the leadership of Maxine Doogan.
    Yeah!

  68. thanks for sharing that, Lisa.

  69. Lisa:

    That was amazing, thanks for writing it.

  70. God damn there is a light at the end of this tunnel! I have recently met Lisa and she IS an amazing woman. I also totally believe she is telling the truth. They have no reason to lie. Maxine has been doing amazing work. She is working her ass off and supporting and promoting sex workers rights and it is coming out of her own pocket. She has recently single handedly taken on the SF District Attorney’s office and the awareness she has brought to City Hall is working in our favor. All of this work she has done without regard to risk of arrest or harassment. She is fearless and I respect her for that.

    I also want to admit that Max and I haven’t always gotten along, we have had and expressed our major differences, but let me tell you what my dear, we are in this together and I am on your side.

    I am also very familiar with being a target from the prohibitionists. (I also take huge offense to them calling themselves abolitionists, because they are not, period. They want to create more laws to increase criminalization.)

    I have been a sex worker since I was 18 years old. I have worked legally and illegally. I think I have been in almost every part of our industry except maybe porn. Unless you call some very sexy and graphic pictures porn. I have been in management. I have also married my clients and worked as a sex worker for my husband. He would leave me money in a specific secret place just between us. I have had sugar daddy after sugar daddy, they never left money after sex but they paid the bills and took me places. So asshole prohibitionist what is your point. Do you say sex worker or just plain whore? I like both and if you want to call me a pimp, so be it, cause you can’t hurt me.

    As far as this play goes, I didn’t want to see it because I knew it would piss me off and bring out all kind of triggers that I might have reacted on. It is probably a really good thing that I wasn’t there because I might not have been as nice as Maxine or Lisa.

    These prohib bitches are calling us out and they are funded. Look at all the money that these bitches are spending just to try and defeat us. They are running scared. We have zero funding and no government support yet we have them pulling out all the stops.

    My dear sex worker friends and allies, the truth is on our side and we will prevail. Many of us HAVE lived the horrors of prostitution and we have also received the benefits of it. For some of us we will never go back to prostitution and some of us would never leave it. I myself hope that someday I will be sitting on a beach somewhere not ever having to sell my services again, meaning I do not want to wait tables and I don’t want to clean your house either. So I say to all of you out there all I want is a choice to do whatever the hell I want to do. And if you are going to put on shit like you just did without warning the audience of the graphic horror and violence against women that you are about to subject them to and you tell them you are willing to hold a discussion afterwards but mysteriously change your mind by the end of the show. Guess what, you gonna get what you deserve. Don’t come to our town and not expect some opposition. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, you are not the majority opinion around here. People in my town believe that sex is not a crime and when they get the chance to vote to change these horrendous laws that people like you created. They are gonna show you exactly what they think.

    Halileujah Sisters, thank you Maxine and Lisa for being there for the rest of us. We support you.

  71. Robyn, you again are the bomb!

  72. Thank you everyone for sharing and for being part of such an awesome movement!!!!

    Those that hate us so much, fuck’em, so what, it’s a compliment to be hated by people like Farley and Craft anyway.

  73. Robyn, Lisa, Maxine have you considered saving these posts to one of the various SWOP Websites? There are very important messages in these posts that I hate to see lost in the archives of any blog. Certainly they would be wonderful additions to SWOP East’s forthcoming new website if you allow me to repost them there.

  74. You are very thoughtful to ask, Jill. Of course, repost anywhere you think best! Love, Lisa

  75. What a great conversation!

    Maxine, we support you here! Lisa- you go! I am so sorry you were both subjected to the insanity you experienced.

    They put that play on in Toledo, too, but we were warned it was going to be gory and I chose not to go (I don’t think Robyn went either).

    We should start putting on more of our own plays!

    I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing community. You people give me strength!

    xoxo S

  76. Yes, JB you are welcome to repost where ever you think would be helpful.

  77. We should all keep in mind the “red baiting” that was used to try and discredit the anti-war movement and it’s activists. Anti-prostituion forces are using similar tactics. “Madam” and “pimp” baiting should not be tolerated by any of us.

  78. That is not to say that so much work needs to be done in educating people on how our industry works. I was refering only to the anti-prostitution forces in my comment on the “madam” and “pimp” baiting.

  79. “Criminalization
    by Lisa Roellig
    Sunday Nov 18th, 2007 10:13 AM
    Street based , people of color and transgender workers of our industry suffer the most under criminalization. The use of art that promotes a stereotype and stigma that in turn gives anti-prostitution forces the fodder to keep us all criminalized and thus continue in the cycle of violence and police abuse and corruption is a very, very bad idea. ”
    I asked Jill to respond to the San Francisco Indy Bay comments following Maxine’s posting and am asking for other sex workers to do the same. This is a good way to educate the Progressive and Labor community about our issues.
    http://www.indybay.org/
    Original post is under Labor and Womyn.
    Thank you.

  80. I am so glad to hear your story about your experience at SAGE. I never could understand that myself. I used to go to “programs” that told me they would help me transition out of the sex industry and they wouldn’t do a thing for me. In my case I learned that they were usually getting grant money to do research and I was their research subject. Here I am thinking I’m going to find solutions – and instead I find I’m still being pimped in one fashion or another. Reminds me of the movie Clockwork Orange – I can either be a prostitute and at least know the score – or when I quit I find other people are making money off supposedly helping me and not doing shit for me but making me feel more like a failure. I finally found a solution that worked for me and also didn’t not fit me because of the stereotypes. I either seem to have people think that we are either drug addicted junkies with a moron IQ, a pimp, homeless, etc., or I have them think because I’m working as an escort and not using and not being beaten up and living in a nice house that I don’t have any problems at all either. In wanting to provide real help to others in my shoes – I started the group Prostitutes Anonymous. Our methods are very successful. We’ve had the group now for 20 years and some of the women who came in the door 20 years ago are still out today and happy (or at least getting happier lol). Since the process is all peer support driven – it really doesn’t cost a whole hell of a lot to help others transition out either. Which is why I get pretty damn disgusted when I see things like ATLAS here in Vegas getting a $500,000 grant to help victims of trafficking – then they spend $9,000 to rent a hall and another $3000 for coffee to bring in speakers to talk about the mentality of johns out of that budget. They don’t have one woman helped for that money – while my phone is ringing off the hook from women wanting and needing help in one form or another and I’m having to do it all off my SSI income right now (I’ve been out of work for a few years now because of health problems so my income has dramatically dropped). I have averaged out that I spent about $26,000 a year now to offer our services that work and we have women who are now out of sex work to show it works. And then I hear about programs like SAGE who get all kinds of money – and that you didn’t even meet her or get help putting a resume together. Which is really weird because to me putting together a resume when you’re transitioning out is a very important part of feeling not ashamed about the things you learned in the sex trade, helping to define your new goals and your new identity – it can be a very powerful experience for us. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t even get offered that or that someone didn’t show you that many of us are so smart and so talented you were wasting yourself in that $8.50 an hour job. I’ve been lucky enough to see many of us move into even more profitable careers outside of sex work using our brains and talent and initiative – and some have made very successful businesses. I know one madam who started a cleaning service in Los Angeles and within one year she was making six figures and also employing other women wanting to transition out. She said she was making more money now with the cleaning service and is very happy today. I myself got into being a paralegal until my daughter was born and then after that I started up an at home business in marketing and advertising (of course we know how to do that ladies lol). In the years I’ve been running our support group – I’ve come to learn a few things about programs like you’re takling about with SAGE. I’ve seen the ones that “shun” me when I call them up and offer to help them start a meeting in their program. I mean this is a no brainer right – they have a program to help women get out of prostitution and this is the only 12 step group there is for that. The ones that are very cold to me and practically hang up the phone – I come to find out either are not providing any real services to the women and basically pocketing the money – or they are up to something downright crooked. This is another reason I stopped working with a lot of other nonprofits and committees. I got kicked around a few times joining up with those to help them start up programs to help prostitutes transition out – spend months and even years and money and time and put my name and ideas out there on the promise a real program would get started to offer real help – only to have the checks come in and me kicked to the curb while they ran off to the bank and said hasta la vista baby to me. So that’s why I’m not doing that one anymore – repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. What I think we need to do is get ourselves more coordinated. Talk more, share more, and make sure we’re all heading towards the same goals – make sure we are registered to vote – get to know our law makers. I think we are natural individualists and rebels by nature – and because of that these other people who form committees are running all over us and money supposed to be there to help us is going into their pockets instead. We have the power to change the laws – but we have to get more coordinated. I think the internet is the one thing that can make that possible now for once in history. I have a page set up at http://www.tapsdirectory.org – I want to use it as a central landing point so we can start coordinating what we can do to get together and make the laws change to suit us and not others who are no different than pimps wanting to make money off us. That’s why in my opinion they still make prostitution illegal – the courts and the correctional systems are making easy money off us that way. They would lose millions of dollars if they stopped arresting prostitutes. If more people coming out of these programs who aren’t getting the help promised started talking about it openly – then maybe they’d get shut down and programs that do offer real help would get funding instead. I salute Maxine for her efforts to try and get us more coordinated together.

    Jody
    http://www.sexworkersanonymous.com
    http://www.tapsdirectory.org

  81. Wow! Jody I looked at both those websites and those are some amazing projects you are putting together. I like how you can work with all kinds of people but still do your own thing — some of your wording I might not agree with but the basic ideas I do.. (i can’t comment on SAGE bc i don’t know much about them). I like that you try to help alll kinds of people. I agree also that putting prostituted women in jail benefits the prison industrail complex. Angela Davis talks about that issue in her cd “The Prison Industrail Complex” you can find that cd at akpress.org by the way. Happy Turkey day.

  82. Jody,
    I am completely beside myself that your website includes the endorsement of women who wish to keep current workers criminalized and who profit off of that criminalization. And what is it that you have their endorsement on exactly? Ways and means to criminalize more of the industry. Unacceptable.
    Didn’t you come out publicly that you would not be working with M. Farley in the future?
    Working with “all kinds of people” either benifits no one or in this case benifits the wrong ones. Read that document posted on your taps directory and while you do that figure out how it is going to be used against our industry- no matter how good you are in the heart or how good your intentions…..you just collaborated with the enemy.

  83. Hi,

    Prostitution has always been a part of society and always will be. If we legalize it, it can be regulated and taxed. Part of the tax money can be used for counseling for the prostitutes if they have a drug addiction or they need some help getting out of the business.

  84. […] too keen in inviting her critics to speak at HER venues. Remember, these are the folks who physically attacked a woman who dared to criticize their zealotry at a anti-prostitution confab in Berkeley, California three […]

  85. […] course, those who actually attended the “play” had a slightly different interpretation of the events that transpired (From Bound, Not Gagged): The producer had stated that this […]

  86. Telling Her Own White Lies

    Mujahahid Shurat Monsoor , Nov 24, 2008 @ 15:49 GMT
    Carol Chehade is a white Arab American Activist. The drama that she has created on stage to empower and uplift downtrodden has become a cloak of what her personal life has become. One of those aspects of her personal life has become a struggle with the father of her daughter over custody. Carol is using the race card and manipulating the legal system by playing the White Woman battered by the Black man Drama.
    Activist Carol Chehade is very good at recreating cinema of the struggle at trafficked girls; when it comes to the real life struggle of her own she fails.

    She is good at writing books about the evils of racism; she is also good at using that same racism in her favor as she is working the system to steal Imanuella Daggett the Daughter of Donnie Daggett (a black man) from him by telling lies to assassinate his character and playing up the battered White Woman by a black man drama. It is very hypocritical to put a little girl out in this world without her father yet at the same time profess to have concern for trafficked girls that are stolen from their families and prostituted.

    Imanuella is Carol and Donnie’s Daughter. Yet due to personal vendetta Carol is using the law in her favor and playing up a false charade of the white woman being battered by the black man. Sound familiar Donnie is a an activist in his own right who works with Sudanese refugees as as well as a family support and behavioral health profession who’s working on a Masters Degree.

    Carol Chehade is guilty of the trafficking that she speaks out against. As soldiers of the underground we cannot allow this to continue while one of the so called activists is playing the race card,
    [article.to_original.phone.prefix]: 623-205-9778

    http://indymedia.us/en/2008/11/34765.shtml

  87. […] Real Name was being performed in Berkeley.” – This is nothing but ignorant spin. Here’s what actually happened, written by Maxine herself: “My Real Name” was a One New Earth Production performance by […]

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