Farley Saves the Day!

Melissa Farley weighs in in the NY Times. We need someone to get an article in there (and not Bob Herbert).

Besides the usual blather, she states “Her [Kristen’s] purpose, as a man who knew patiently explained, is “renting” out an organ for 10 minutes.” Thank you, Farley, for repeating that. We all want everyone to understand that’s what sex work is. To Farley, we’re all simply female organs — much like the men she accuses of victimizing sex workers with this attitude. Fuck you, Farley, because I am much more than a walking vagina. Really. Believe it or not, my clients saw me that way. Why can’t you?

Farley also trots out the tired “all sex workers are abused as children” thing. Give it a rest, will ya? Everyone had a crappy childhood. That’s why therapists are in demand — arguably more than sex workers. (Though I have to wonder if she was abused as a child, which is why she has such a problem with sex work.)

Does she not realize how much this victimizing of sex workers hurts us? That it makes us less than human in the public eye — not more sympathetic? Does she not realize how patronizing it is to decide what’s right and wrong for every sex worker in the US — regardless of each individual’s experiences and feelings? Does she not realize how much money she makes off our backs — anyone here who has gotten an op-ed in the NY Times raise your hand.

She blames the “buyers” for the problems of sex work. No, it’s people like her who maintain the status quo of criminalizing sex workers. The criminalization of sex work is shown to cause great harm. She far more dangerous than a whole roomful of politican-clients who want a good time hidden from their wives.

21 Responses

  1. “Whether the woman is in a hotel room or on a side street in someone’s car, whether she’s trafficked from New York to Washington or from Mexico to Florida or from the city to the suburbs, the experience of being prostituted causes her immense psychological and physical harm. And it all starts with the buyer.”
    -Melissa Farley NY Times

    Here comes the wall of water. This is going to be spun right into criminalize the clients, put them up on billboards and post their names and addresses on the cop websites. You know, just to protect us.

  2. Actually, some of us had perfectly boring childhoods and good relationships with our parents are not in need of either therapists or Farley.

    Kudos, to the NYTs, however, for allowing a crackpot like Farley to respond. Usually, NYTs is too concerned with respectability to have the lunatic fringe appear in its tony pages.

  3. Lisa,

    They do a good job of criminalizing the clients when they actually do arrest them. Client pictures/information are showing up online almost as often as sex worker mug shots (in ratio to arrests, obviously sex workers are arrested in far greater numbers).

    Farley is so in favor of the Swedish model. I don’t know why, since Swedish sex workers speak against it. I am afraid of this idea getting too much attention in the US.

    XX

  4. I want to bring up the “agency” which may possibly be just a woman good with ads, phones and recruit, trying to raise her kids and pay her rent and may now possibly face long prison time for being good at business and providing high paying jobs for women.
    Listen, I don’t know any thing about this “agency.” All I know is that most the folks I worked for through the years when I worked “indoors” were more like the ones listed above.

  5. Was Farley even ever a sex worker? How does she know what is right for US?

  6. Oh, Amanda, you know Farley doesn’t about care what sex workers really think!

  7. Jessica,

    True, but I want the public to realize this.

    Lisa,

    Yes, these micro-agencies get busted all the time. Recently, one woman was busted because she took appointments bookings and made listings for a couple of her escort friends — probably not even charging them for help (the article didn’t indicate money changing hands). It’s just so stupid. One can’t even do favors for their friends without going to jail.

    XX

  8. Well Jessica, Amanda, what are both of you thinking? Or why? In the distorted reality presented by Ms. Farley, we aren’t capable of thinking. We are too immersed in the mental illness we suffer to be able to think on our own, and thus why we have highly paid, government funded researchers to think for us, researchers allied with such anti trafficking experts as Elliot Spitzer and Randall Tobias. Thus why are either of you thinking at all when we have such esteemed people “on our side”.

    Let’s not forget what these poor researchers state the suffer. Noted anti trafficking guru Janice Raymond of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, which curiously does not accept or ally with current sex workers or those who were and don’t wish to be championed by such evolved types as Tobias, Spitzer, Hughes, Farley,,,, Look what these poor abolitionists state having to face. Just accepting an award for saving us is life threatening. Poor Janice. And being professor emeritus and not even being able to have your picture taken. Wow, there is a fear most average sex workers will never experience. See the details below.

    Special: Janice Raymond, Risking Her Life to Fight Sex Trafficking

    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND — Janice Raymond is about to receive a major award for her outstanding contribution to the war against people trafficking – but she is not a popular woman. Hate mail and death threats are part of her everyday life, and such is the uprising of sheer malevolence towards her from all parts of the world that she cannot give out her address or telephone number for fear it will appear on the internet. Even having her photograph taken is a risk.

    Nevertheless, this extraordinary woman is a shining light and an outstanding inspiration to thousands. Fighting to protect women and children from sexual exploitation is her life’s work, and she is not about to stop now. Dr Raymond is co-executive director of the Coalition Against the Trafficking of Women (CATW) and professor emeritus of Women’s Studies and Medical Ethics at the University of Massachusetts, and she is in Glasgow for the first time to receive, at Glasgow City Chambers tomorrow evening, the Zero Tolerance International Woman Award, one of a series of awards launched last year by the Scottish charity to recognise those women working to prevent violence against women.

    Raymond, who is half Irish, was pivotal in bringing about a new UN definition of trafficking that embraces the often ambiguous concept of consent in order to protect all victims of trafficking – including children, who are, she says, “becoming much more of a market”…

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE AThttp://www.theherald.co.uk/features/features/display.var.1408066.0.0.php

  9. Jill,

    As always, your powers of sarcasm awe me. I bow to you…

    Thank you for the bit about Janice Raymond. I was unaware of her issues due to her involvement with sex work activism (her own kind).

    XX

  10. Ironic, when I was the target of death threats from self professed Anti Trafficking types linked to Nikki Craft, Ms. Farley went public with the statement that I was suffering some form of multiplicity.

    Thus the moral of that story. If you get the death threats and you are an anti trafficking guru they are real. If you get the death threats because you were a trafficking victim that stopped agreeing with the anti trafficking gurus you must have a major personality disorder. At least in the world according to Farley and Nikki Craft, those noted experts out to rescue all of us, well, none of us unless their is a book deal in it or some photo op or press conference.

  11. *sigh*

    That is all I have at this point.

    Btw, a crap-ton of pingbacks will come thru to y’all this evening… I’ve been bookmarking stuff like it’s going out of style.

  12. “Kudos, to the NYTs, however, for allowing a crackpot like Farley to respond. Usually, NYTs is too concerned with respectability to have the lunatic fringe appear in its tony pages.”

    The also had an op-ed by Tracy Quan. I guess they saw Farley as “balance”.

  13. I was aware of the Farley piece first thing this morning and Tracy’s piece this afternoon. I don’t which was posted first.

    XX

  14. Ugh. I missed that Herald article when it was printed, although I wrote an anti-Raymond editorial in a Scottish magazine to coincide with her visit. The tone of that article is no big surprise though given Glasgow city council’s official stance that prostitution is violence against women.

  15. […] Farley Saves the Day! « Bound, Not Gagged “[Farley] blames the ‘buyers’ for the problems of sex work. No, it’s people like her who maintain the status quo of criminalizing sex workers.” Amanda has been WONDERFUL in her coverage of the Spitzer case!! (tags: Spitzer sexwork objectification news assholes bullshit stereotypes stigma law) […]

  16. befor I got out I thought everyone in the world had a crappy childhood too. its not true. some people actually got all the way through highschool without being raped by a member of their family. some people actually have self respect and don’t go into sex work. you can find this out when you leave which i hope you will soon.

  17. The c”rappy childhood” remark was a throwaway line based on reading women’s magazines where women bitch and moan about how their mother didn’t give them enough attention or they wanted to look like Barbie in high school. “Crappy” does not imply abuse, it implies crap.

    In other words, everyone had issues growing up. Well, ALMOST everyone. There.

    XX

  18. Amanda,

    I wasn’t trying to be an ass. There are probably several hundred thousand women who have stripped in clubs and have utterly boring, solid citizen lives. We don’t speak up for all the obvious reasons. I do find it both tiresome and amusing that Farley with her undistinguished academic credentials and–let’s be frank–mediocre professional career (consult her Wiki entry) can appear on the same pages of the NYTs where my husband’s otherwise highly praised was savaged.

    Further, my parents worked very hard to give me a well rounded education in my youth with several privileges my father, who grew up in a very unfortunate immigrant situation, could never have dreamed of. When I hear the canard that parents of sex workers are monsters, I lose any feeling of human empathy toward goons like Jensen and his harem.

    Two years ago, I came across Renegade Evolution’s site and thought, “Did someone find my diaries?” It was a huge break through for me to find someone who was actually a sex worker, not an academic or political pundit to express those ideas.

    So I do have issues: Issues that I am not allowed to discuss a fun and financially rewarding period of my life. Issues that the misogyny that fuels trolls like the one above gets to dictate my status. Issues that stripping, which is legal, undermines my credibility to pursue a serious political career.

    As for sex worker rights, the future of feminism and women’s freedom depends on it.

  19. “Two years ago, I came across Renegade Evolution’s site and thought, “Did someone find my diaries?” It was a huge break through for me to find someone who was actually a sex worker, not an academic or political pundit to express those ideas.

    So I do have issues: Issues that I am not allowed to discuss a fun and financially rewarding period of my life. Issues that the misogyny that fuels trolls like the one above gets to dictate my status. Issues that stripping, which is legal, undermines my credibility to pursue a serious political career.

    As for sex worker rights, the future of feminism and women’s freedom depends on it.”

    Agreed, on all points! Ren is my hero, strippers would be great politicians😉

  20. RD,

    I was an ass in not making clear my ire was directed at Whou — a feminist troll. Your comment about your childhood was perfectly reasonable and I had no response to it other than a giggle (you phrased things well).

    XX

  21. And Ren is the bomb. Run to her site if you haven’t been.

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