OMG! Sex Work2.0!

A breathless article describing the online world of escorts. Because, you know, no one has been aware of it before.

I took exception to the description of the ECVIP site as “complete with photographs in which female bodies are on display, while their faces stay out-of-frame or are digitally obscured”. First, many sex workers need to keep their identities safe in this society. (Google “Eliot Spitzer” or “DC Madam” if you want to know why.) Second, how are these photos any different than a Victoria’s Secret site? Other than the face-blurring, where’s the difference? One is to compel men to spend money, the other is to compel both men and women to spend money.

Why the Emperor’s Club Was Investigated

According to this article, it was Spitzer’s money-maneuvering that brought federal attention to the agency in the first place. Notice that members of the agency were arrested last week. Spitzer’s connection was leaked yesterday. He has not been charged or arrested.

Spizter a Former Client

An escort who had seen Spitzer says he was a good client. According to this article, it’s probable he’ll be charged with money laundering instead of sexual charges. And that he’ll resign. So far, neither of these things have happened.

Love the sexy picture next to his, even if it’s not connected to him. Wonder if they asked permission for that image to be used?

Spitzer Good for Wall Street

The Dow has risen faster today than it has since 2003. They’re all quite happy Spizter got his comeuppance.

Hypocrisy of Law

This is my opinion on the Spizter scandal as it has blossomed so far. I don’t pretend my opinions are shared by everyone on this site. And please understand I’m only referring to cases like Spizter’s, where’s both parties are consenting adults.

Much has been made about his hypocrisy, both in his business dealings and his history with anti-traffickers and shutting down other escort agencies. The hypocrisy of the law is something else.

Again and again, it has been clear that Spitzer won’t be charged with wrongdoing. In fact, one man felt Spitzer’s public humiliation was punishment enough.

Oh really? Is it?

Then let’s round up all the girls who worked for ECVIP, have them come forward, say they were sorry for consensually working for the agency, remove them from any public offices they hold and then let them go home. I’m sure the scarlet letter is punishment enough for them. Why does the law need to get involved?

Or let’s round up the four administrative members of ECVIP who were arrested last week for violating the Mann Act and possible money laundering. Get them in front of a microphone, let them eat humble pie and send them home. No need to get lawyers involved.

How about every sex worker and client who is arrested in sting operations in every city in America? Their names and pictures are often posted online for all to see. Certainly it’s humiliating. So why process the arrest, charge them and force them to do jail time? Is their humiliation somehow less than Spitzer’s?

Continue reading

News Bits Spitzer Edition

Impeachment probably looms for Spitzer if he doesn’t resign very soon. Though, according to James Tedisco, impeaching Spizter would require an indictment or arrest.

Spitzer is a Democratic superdelegate who has endorsed Clinton, which is an interesting fact in the very close Democratic nominee race. Of course, the whole scandal reminds plenty of Bill’s sexual problems in the White House. Hillary seems to have a soft spot for philanderers, though Spitzer’s endorsement is gone from her site.

Business details of how Emperors Club operated.

WHAT ABOUT KRISTEN? New York Sex Worker Organizations Respond to Spitzer Scandal

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts
Shakti Ziller, Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK), swank@riseup.net 877-776-2004 x 2
Audacia Ray, 718.554.1714
Sarah Bleviss, Sex Workers Outreach Project NYC (SWOP-NYC), swop.nyc@gmail.com
Prostitutes of New York (PONY), pony@panix.com
Desiree Alliance, http://www.desireealliance.org/

WHAT ABOUT KRISTEN? New York Sex Worker Organizations Respond to Spitzer Scandal

New York, NY – In the last few days, Governor Eliot Spitzer has publicly admitted to being associated with an escort agency and is considering resignation. As sex worker advocates, we are concerned about the representation and fate of “Kristen” and sex workers who are being thrust into the spotlight because of the investigation into the Governor. We also share the widespread concern for Governor Spitzer’s family.

Sex worker organizations urge the press and the public to focus on the violation of sex workers rights and the need to change these laws and policies, rather than simply on the story of one individual who has purchased sexual services.

“Nobody is talking about the impact of this story on ‘Kristen’ and other women, men and trans people who are currently working in the sex industry,” Shakti Ziller of SWANK in NYC added, “Prostitutes disproportionately face punitive action after arrest as compared to clients. Whether or not she will face prison time, “Kristen” has been dragged into the spotlight and will be subjected to public humiliation. Shouldn’t the police emphasis be on catching perpetrators of violent crime and protecting sex workers – not exposing adults who are consenting to a transaction? All she did was try to make a living.”

“Governor Spitzer ran on a platform of being a different kind of politician and then portrayed an inaccurate image of himself. Being involved with the services of sex workers is a very common thing, if all forms of consensual sex work were decriminalized for adults involved in a consensual transaction, sex workers could access the services they need,” says Dylan Wolfe of SWANK (Sex Workers Action New York).

Governor Spitzer took a lead role in developing the NY State Anti-Trafficking Law. Over the objections of advocates who worked directly with victims of human trafficking and with sex workers, Governor Spitzer pushed through penalty enhancements against clients of all sex workers. Sex worker advocates fought against such provisions because these policies drive people who need help further underground.

“Spitzer has stood up for workers’ rights in certain capacities, but has not followed through with meeting the real needs of sex workers,” Audacia Ray, author of Naked on the Internet, noted, “It would be great if the government could use money towards services, not punitive measures.”

The press has picked up on the relationship that inter-state trafficking laws (under the Mann Act) have to this case. This connection illustrates a point that sex worker advocates have been making for a long time: Laws against inter-state transportation for the purposes of commercial sex are too often used for punishing people working as sex workers and those who work with and patronize them.

The exposure of Randall Tobias last year as a customer of an escort agency, Senator Vitter’s rumored association with sex workers and now this recent news of Governor Spitzer, the corruption and hypocrisy inherently associated with prohibiting consensual prostitution are again being brought to light. Shaming these men will do nothing to improve the nature of the sex industry and the deeply-rooted corruption that is associated with the prohibition of prostitution.

“The criminalization of prostitution breeds this type of hypocrisy and makes our politicians (and other public figures) vulnerable,” says Carol Leigh of Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA. “This vulnerability exists until our society recognizes that consensual sexual behavior is private and these private acts should no longer be criminalized.”

“Many of our clients are politicians, judges, lawyers and even police,” Monica S., 26 of Brooklyn said. “It’s odd that they spend so much effort putting us into jail, but then turn around and give us their money in exchange for sex. Why do they think they won’t get caught breaking the laws that they make?”

The commentary on Dealbreaker.com, a Wall-Street news site, says about Wall-street’s anti-Spitzer reaction to the ‘Client 9’ story: “‘There is a God’ was the first thought on Wall Street. The next thought is, ‘Please don’t let it be revealed that I’m Lucky Number 7.'”

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