Is “Kristen” a Bad Girl? Red Light District Chicago Hits the Streets to Find Out

kittenINFINITE and SerpentLibertine of SWOP-Chicago hit the streets of Chicago this time to get people’s opinions about “Kristen”, the escort involved in the Eliot Spitzer scandal, as well as their views on prostitution, sex trafficking, and how much it would take to get them to pose for Hustler.

View of of Swop-Chicago’s sex worker made media, including podcasts and video on our new website, RedLightDistrictChicago.com.

“20/20” Report on Prostitution

What are people’s thoughts on the 2 hour report about prostitution that aired on March 21?  I thought Diane Sawyer spent way too much time trying to pathologize sex workers and delving into their personal lives, and not enough time focusing on the rights and well-being of sex workers and the perspectives of sex workers on issues affecting them, such as the criminalization of prostitution and the working conditions they would like.  Though I would had been interested in what the workers thought the legal status of prostitution should be, the only person who spoke about this on the program was a reporter for the New York Times who promoted the Swedish model, even though prostitutes in Sweden have denounced this model.  Of course, their perspectives weren’t represented either.  Please share your thoughts.

When your stomach is full……….

Beatriz Mercado, SWOP East’s Latin American member and Pledging Action Chilean contact, made a quote a long time a go in my personal blog in response to academic radical feminists that because their bellies are full they have time to worry about patriarchal misogyny.   Of course she is dismissed as not being Chilean, not being female, just being some fabrication of the alleged pro porn, pro trafficking lobby.  Sorry conspiracy theorists, but others have met her.  Jessica Land has seen her via Skype.  Katherine DePasquale has talked to her.  She exists.  As does her willingness to bring condoms to sex workers in Chile.  One of SWOP’s “pro patriarchy” acts.

It seems Beatriz, Amanda, Jessica, Stacey, and a significant number of Chileans are part of some vast underworld according to the powers that be of radical feminism according to Farley, Craft, Tobias, Genderburg, Dufresne, among others.  But than none of them are risking death by having unprotected sex with clients because they can’t get condoms because TVPRA removed the funding to purchase them.  What concerns do Hughes, Farley, Raymond and other academic rad fems have aside from worrying about losing their various high paying positions?

They accuse sex worker rights activists of colluding with the patriarchy by advocating for our human rights.  How are fighting violence and advocating for the right to unionize, the right to end discrimination, the right for equal representation, the right for legal and civil recourse against clients that rape, pimps that cheat, etc.

I would argue these academic radical feminists are helping patriarchy.  They block sex worker rights initiatives, they align with the Bush Administration to block funding for projects that save lives.  They ban us from their conferences, censor us from their blogs.  All in the name of fighting patriarchy.  A caller on a KMUD interview that Amanda Brooks and I recently did called in blathering on about how offended she was that KMUD brought us on, and God forbid let us speak, how we were causing women to be viewed as holes and colluding with patriarchal oppression.  How?   By advocating for our rights?  By bringing a human face to sex workers.  Clearly she did no active listening to what Amanda and I spoke of, instead she had her diatribe ready, launched it and hung up on all of us with the eloquent comment “God Bless KMUD”.  Articulate.

They claim to want to rescue us.  They spend all this time talking about us, inventing studies and stats about us.  Average age of entry into prostitution 13.  How?  90 plus percent of sex workers want out of the sex industry now.  How does one arrive at these numbers?  Saddam won the presidency of Iraq with 104 percent of the vote in the 1990’s too but that doesn’t make it a realistic number.

While there are exceptions.  Radical feminists that are authentic and are trying to fight for social justice.  They are the minority.  To the rest our views should be censored, repressed, blocked, deleted, and “reframed” without any recourse to address blatant factual misrepresentations.  They ask us what we are doing for prostituted women?  We are advocating for their rights, we are spending our own money as we don’t have the US Government funding us to send condoms to Chile in the hopes those condoms arrive and save lives.  What are Hughes, Farley, Raymond, Sam Berg, doing?  When they go into brothels to study the women like laboratory rats.  Are they bringing out those that wished to be rescued?  Or just using them as propaganda to maintain the TVPRA funding stream.

When your belly is full you don’t have to worry about things as simple as s condom to give to a client who wants bareback sex.  When you are the academic researcher you can sit in your big office at URI and talk about the evil clients.  Does this matter to Chilean sex workers?  Do they even know?  Do they care or are their needs much more day to day?  End the sex industry and you end their ability to pay bills, to feed their children.  And replace it with what?

Hypocrites

Shameless self promotion, Brenneman on Rock 102 WAQY

I confess. It’s shameless self promotion. But we need to be heard.

My interview on Rock 102 Springfield
Category: News and Politics

It’s edited, they misquote my role in SWOP, cut part of the interview out, add pieces to it and move things around, but it compared to other media events, this one they didn’t do a bad job with.. Brenneman on Rock 102 WAQY Springfield

I was able to get out key phrases like sex worker rights, SWOP, what sex worker rights were, how we could be victims of rape and how sex worker rights were part of social change. Bax and O’brien weren’t perfect, they each played their stereotypical roles and I and O’brien don’t know each other as he implies. But……….. Nonetheless I achieved what I felt was important. I never said I was co founder of SWOP. They misunderstood that.

 

The Childhood Abuse Myth

According to this highly informal survey of women coming to this site (about Internet dating), more than half have been molested as a child. Does this mean they’re all sex workers? According to popular myth, they should be. I’m guessing most aren’t.

This survey only means that women — as a group — suffer childhood sexual abuse. Since the majority of sex workers seem to be women, it stands to reason that many have abuse in their past too, just like any other woman. But it doesn’t mean only sex workers have such a history. If this casual, anonymous survey is to be believed, a lot of non-sex workers share the same history.

Obviously abuse does not have to lead to sex work.