$1 Million to Kristen to Pose in Hustler (If she accepts)

I think she should ask for more personally. $1 million seems so 1990’s. Come on Larry, airline tickets are getting pricey with the cost of oil these days. Apparently Penthouse wants her as well. I hope she’s got a reputable and reliable talent agent handling this for her. She deserves way more than they are offering. Kristen- CALL US FIRST! We got your back girl.

She’s not thrilled that her topless photos are being used without her permission. I hope she’s got good lawyers. In general, I just hope that she’s got positive, supportive people around her who are encouraging her to think clearly and make smart decisions right now. There are many people clamoring to use her to their advantage and it’s socially acceptable because she’s just a whore.

Kristen,

I say let your Whore Flag Fly, honey! You have been the most interesting thing that most people in this country have looked at since Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl. YOU ARE WORTH WAY MORE THAN $1 MILLION

How much did Jennifer Lopez get for pics of her babies in People? $4-6 million? For BABIES. Has Jennifer Lopez ever been the hottest single topic of discussion in political, social and entertainment circles the way that you have this week? No!

You’re talking about having photos taken so that every guy who’s been jerking off to the teaser photos of you floating around the web this week will run out and buy the magazines.

You are worth big bucks woman! Nothing sells better than sex- nothing. But making them wait for it is definitely smart, and you can probably give some pretty valuable interviews without having to take your clothes off and maximize the total number of media outlets paying for your time.

OWN IT! Be proud. What is there left to lose? There are a great many of us who admire you and sympathize with what you’re going through. We’re concerned that you’re in a vulnerable situation because of the nature of this publicity. But we know that you can come through this ahead and we’re cheering for you!

We know lots of smart and successful women in the adult entertainment industry who can lend advice and support should you need it. BoundNotGagged.com is the way to find us

Warmly,
Karly and All of Us at BnG

Have You Been Spitzed Today?

spitzermask.jpg

HAVE YOU BEEN SPITZED TODAY? CALL TO BLOGGERS!

via SWOP-Tucson

If your readers are still jerking off to Spitzergate, use this button to direct them back to BnG for sex worker coverage of the story.

(Thanks MizViv!)

The Most Rapidly Remixed Prostitution Scandal Ever

Snoop’s “Sensual Seduction” mixed with what we can only hope will be a new whore pride anthem, Kristen’s “What We Want.” With just a few photos of her from MySpace, an mp3, and a lot of media circusry, here we are.

Sex Workers on Spitzer, the Video Roundup

Apologies that these aren’t all embedded videos — imagine, the mainstream media outlets don’t all support easy video embedding into blogs!

Tracy Quan on the CBS Early Show

Audacia Ray for the AP

More to come. Dacia also did CNN, and Fox News has been calling a few of us today, too.

ELIOT SPITZER SCANDAL HIGHLIGHTS THAT CURRENT POLICIES AROUND SEX WORK AND TRAFFICKING ARE NOT EFFECTIVE

STATEMENT

For Immediate Release: Contact: Sapna Patel, SWP, 646/602.5626, spatel@urbanjustice.org

Friday, March 14, 2008 Juhu Thukral, SWP, 646/602.5690, jthukral@urbanjustice.org

ELIOT SPITZER SCANDAL HIGHLIGHTS THAT CURRENT POLICIES AROUND SEX WORK AND TRAFFICKING ARE NOT EFFECTIVE

(New York City, March 14, 2008) – Eliot Spitzer resigned from his position as Governor of New York after being implicated in a prostitution scandal. The irony is that Mr. Spitzer’s office helped pass Anti-Trafficking Legislation in New York and specifically pushed through controversial provisions that we opposed, one enhancing penalties for clients of all prostitutes, and another that made trafficking into all sectors other than prostitution a lesser crime. As advocates for the protection, safety and human rights of sex workers and trafficked persons, we are not interested in Eliot Spitzer’s personal life. However, his resignation provides an opportunity to reflect on the counterproductive and moralistic policies that he supported as Governor.

To focus solely on the salacious scandal created by Mr. Spitzer’s alleged actions without attention to the realities and needs of sex workers does nothing to provide solutions for sex workers. Sex workers are individuals whose reasons for engaging in sex work – and leaving it – are personal, economic and social – as complex as anyone’s reasons for involvement in any type of work. The current scandal brings to light the variety of sex work people engage in and the reality that, although many may find themselves in the industry due to lack of economic opportunity, not all are forced or coerced.

The inaccurate conflation of prostitution and trafficking encourage policy makers to create laws that in reality provide no real solutions for safety and protection for sex workers or that comprehensively address the issue of human trafficking. Mr. Spitzer’s alleged involvement in this scandal further evidences that “end demand” policies that emphasize criminal punishment of the clients and shaming simply do not work. As seen in this situation, seemingly no efforts have been made to address the needs of the sex worker involved in this scandal. A narrow focus on demand in the context of sex work represents a dangerous move toward policies which, under the guise of protecting sex workers, is another way of undermining sex workers’ independence and causing more harm to them. Enhancing penalties for clients of sex workers will not “eliminate the demand” and end trafficking but instead makes sex workers more afraid, more stigmatized and less safe. The fact that someone with as much to lose as Eliot Spitzer would still visit sex workers speaks volumes about the efficacy of such strategies.

Sex workers’ voices are largely absent from discussions of the policies that affect them. Laws and regulations on sex workers’ health and safety are generally made without their input and often overlook or even deny their human rights. It is ironic that sex workers’ human rights are often jeopardized by the very policies intended to help them. Policies based on the assumption that sex work is inherently dehumanizing can never recognize or improve the reality of sex workers’ lives.

Policymakers must revisit perceptions and policies towards sex work in the U.S. and instead of narrowly focusing on ineffective criminal justice strategies to protect sex workers and eliminate trafficking, they must redirect resources to social services that provide real solutions, realistic economic opportunities, and protections against violence and exploitation. Addressing basic human needs for education, equal opportunity and a realistic array of economic options would help to ensure that no one who enters sex work does so because of trickery or coercion.

The Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center provides legal services, legal training, documentation, and policy advocacy for sex workers in New York City. For more information, please visit our website at: http://www.sexworkersproject.org

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The media, gender, and representation

Yegads!

I was recently reading the comments on a post here, and noticed one that Amanda made:

“Someone needs to dig up some of Spitzer’s childhood friends.”

And then it hit me: in this entire media circus, not once has anyone ever brought up Spitzer’s childhood.

But that seems to be all they can manage to talk about when it comes to Kristen. They all talk about how she came from a broken home, had substance issues, and so on. They tsk tsk about how she “fell into the wrong line of work,” how she must have been abused as a child, and that perhaps if she had been able to properly attend to the various psychological issues her childhood had wrought upon her, she may not have been a prostitute today. And that once she attends to them, she should be just fine- she’ll become enlightened and can finally get out of this line of work (because loads of us are eager to leave a job that pays $4300 an hour to have sex with powerful men). They wonder where it all went wrong. (Again- what’s wrong with a job that pays $4300 an hour to have sex with powerful men??)

But what about Spitzer? Why is his childhood and homelife not of interest to the media? Perhaps he had some “childhood abuse issues” which led him into the “wrong line of work.” Perhaps there was something in his childhood that created some disconnect whereby as an adult he came to see no wrong in busting escort agencies with one hand while taking advantage of their services with the other. I mean, this stuff has to come from childhood issues around self-righteousness, propriety, and entitlement.

I think the media’s obsession with Kristen’s childhood ties directly into the prohibitionists’ habit of using the term “girls” when referring to sex workers who are between 18 and 28. It seems to be a form of infantilizing women when they exercise their sexual and economic autonomy. It reminds me of the Swedish model, and it makes me want to wretch.

How about talking about her strength in overcoming a challenging youth to grow up and land a job that paid her for one hour more than most of her critics will see in a month? How about talking about her strength in the face of this onslaught of media attention and scrutiny? How she hasn’t cowered off into some corner- how she has kept her myspace page up, and how so many of the comments there are full of love and support in the face of this?

Kristen deserves to be seen for the amazing and strong woman she is. The obsession with her childhood is simply a cheap ploy to diminish the inherent fortitude of a person who faces challenges head on and rises above and beyond to become a creative entrepreneur beholden to nobody but herself. This is the hallmark of successful sex workers everywhere, and something that must be quashed by society lest more of us become such entrepreneurs.

I think it is important for the media and people like Farley to portray us as broken and weak people. It is ironic that some of them actually do this in the name of “feminism.” The truth is that the “abused girl” thing has to be played up to create a smokescreen to hide the reality: sex workers like Kristen don’t need you or anyone else to validate them. That is power. And that is dangerous.

Sex workers continue to be the strongest, wisest, and most resourceful humans I know. They have no bosses but themselves, and they are truer to their convictions than anyone in any other profession I have ever met.

Sex Workers Rule!