San Francisco hosts Sex Worker Advocates from New Zealand and England

RECEPTION FOR:
CATHERINE HEALY, NEW ZEALAND PROSTITUTION LAW REVIEW COMMITTEE &
NIKI ADAMS, ENGLISH COLLECTIVE OF PROSTITUTES
February 10th  6PM-10PM

Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce that the US PROStitutes Collective (US PROS) and Sex Worker Outreach Project USA (SWOP) are hosting Catherine Healy, member of the New Zealand Prostitution Law Review Committee[1], on a visit to San Francisco.  Catherine was appointed to the Committee by the Minister of Justice and was a key member of the broad based coalition which achieved the decriminalization of prostitution in New Zealand in 2003.

 
Catherine comes to San Francisco from London, where she spoke at the House of Commons and various meetings around the country, at the invitation of the Safety First Coalition (chaired by the English Collective of Prostitutes – ECP).  Her tour transformed the debate on prostitution in the UK so that decriminalization, as practiced in New Zealand, is now discussed as a viable option.  A packed meeting in Parliament was attended by over 10 Lords and Ladies and inspired them and many others to vigorously oppose a government Bill which proposes compulsory “rehabilitation” for sex workers and measures to criminalize men who buy sex.
 
We are also glad to announce that Niki Adams, spokeswoman for the ECP, will be accompanying Catherine on her visit to the San Francisco Bay Area and can tell us more about these groundbreaking events. Niki has organised for sex worker rights for over 15 years.  Her work has helped set legal precedents which challenge discrimination and establish prostitute women’s right to protection. She was key to the first private prosecution for rape in England, brought by two prostitute women — the rapist was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years, She co-ordinates Legal Action for Women (LAW), an anti-sexist, anti-racist, legal service, founded in 1982, for low income women and their families based in London.
 
Catherine and Niki will be arriving in San Francisco on February 5 and leaving on February 12.  US PROS and SWOP USA along with SWOP NORCAL will host a reception – February 10th  6PM-10PM @ the Center for Sex and Culture theatre (1519 mission street.  Look for the green awning next to the le Duplex bar).  Snacks and drink will be available, donations welcome. For more info please email rachelwest@crossroadswomen.net  or info@swopusa.org.
 
 
Robyn Few                                                            Rachel West
Sex Worker Outreach Project                        US Prostitutes Collective


[1] The Prostitution Law Review Committee is an eleven member Committee appointed by the Minister of Justice. Nominations to the Committee were provided by the Ministers of Justice, Health, Police, Commerce, Local Government and the Minister of Women’s Affairs in consultation with the Minister of Youth Affairs and the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.

Please Take Action

From Kitten Infinite:

SWOP/SEX WORKER media outlets, please forward to your chapters and list serves and pick up the phone or shoot out an email.
The media constantly find ways to degrade sex workers by prefacing their identity with some sensational thing like “drug addict prostitute” or in this case “cross-dressing prostitute”.  Be an ally to trans sex workers and all transwomen who experience degrading identifications and contact Bob Ellis and tell him his attempt at grabbing people with headlines is offensive to even his readers.

I emailed Bob and said this:

Hi Bob!

I was forwarded a story titled “Body of cross-dressing prostitute found” and I am offended by your media outlets attempt at grabbing headlines.  The body that was found is a human being whose identity has not yet been determined.  I find it disrespectful to acknowledge anyone, dead or alive, with gender identity without an individuals own self-identification.  Forward thinking communities have a better sense of this self determination within the LGBTQ community, and so do your readers.  The term “cross dressing” was left behind with the J. Edgar Hoover Era.

Also, as I am sure your readers gravitate to the word prostitute even without the sensational prefix of “cross-dresser”, but a more appropriate term is “sex worker”.  This is a term that has been accepted by media for over a decade, and the term “prostitute” is commonly used only when the effort to degrade a sex worker is deliberate.

Please know that is is not lost upon your readers that this is only an attempt to work these awful insults into bold print upon your magazine.  The story was incomplete except the title, and people understand the implications involved when identifying a murder with sensational language and nothing else.  The “article” is just lazy reporting, capitalizing off of the deceased.

Thank you for reading,
K. Infinite

Take some time to call him if you can, you don’t have to be as mean as I was;)  The story can be found here.  Literally three sentences.

And Bob’s information is below, forwarded ala Sarah Kennedy from GLAAD.  Thanks Sarah!

Bob Ellis 313-222-0541, bob@clickondetroit.com

Sexual Intelligence Award

I don’t know that this is a big deal, but I’ve enjoyed Marty Klein’s postings for some time now. Nominations are open for his Sexual Intelligence Award. These honor individuals and organizations which challenge the sexual fear, unrealistic expectations, and government hypocrisy that undermine love, sex, and relationships–and political freedom. To nominate someone: Please send your nomination, with a paragraph about him/her/it/them, to Klein AT SexEd Dot org. URLs of nominees are welcome but not mandatory. Nominations are due February 26.

On allies and enemies…

I have three posts up regarding “supposed allies” and/or those “concerned with sex workers”.   

It’s been cathartic.

And enlightening/horrifying.

And telling.   

And it leads me to believe, or solidify in my head with absolute conviction, as I rather believed it before, that our interests, experiences, needs, and countless other things are utterly secondary to an agenda of some of our “allies”. 

Which is why I want to thank you all so much for this blog.  This is a safe space. 

Agent Mulder was right…Trust No One.  And yes, I do realize I draw a lot of fire for being vocal and combative, but hell, I feel we have to be.  Because no one else is going to do it for us.