ON THE ISSUES MAGAZINE featuring Juhu Thukral, Ann Jordan, Carol Leigh, Erin Whitfield, Rita Brock and others

Their press release..

ON THE ISSUES: The Progressive Woman’s Magazine

Works Hard For Her Money: Feminists and Prostitutes

http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/july08/index.php

A print publication from 1983-1999, ON THE ISSUES MAGAZINE ONLINE
offers full archives and all content for free as a committed public
service to upgrade the level of feminist conversation. Visit
http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com

“NEW YORK: Prostitution penetrated the news in a major way in recent
months — from ex-governor Eliot Spitzer of New York and his paid
binges with women to the suicide of DC madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey
and the Showtime fluff of “Secret Diary of A Call Girl”

But the media, politicians and feminists have not grappled with the
real complexities of prostitution. In its new Online edition, “Works
Hard for Her Money: Feminists and Prostitutes” ON THE ISSUES
MAGAZINE releases compelling original content — diverse articles,
art and poetry that challenge current notions and urge new thinking.

“The issue of prostitution has divided feminists for years,” writes
publisher and editor-in-chief Merle Hoffman in “Divide, Conquer and
Sell”

“Is the prostitute herself a victim of an oppressive patriarchal
system, or a free agent choosing sex work as a rational career
choice in difficult circumstances?” Since sex is “a continually
renewable resource — unlike other body resources (sales of
kidneys), it does not self-exhaust; it can just keep giving ∑. We
ask who owns that resource, who has the power to use, abuse, buy and
sell it,” writes Hoffman.

Angela Bonavoglia’s “Of Victims and Vixens” describes the feminist
abolitionists who link prostitution to violence against women and
their clash in worldview with women who run sex-for-pay services and
see it as empowering. Juhu Thukral explains how differing
interpretations of human rights by feminists has become a flashpoint
in new anti-trafficking legislation in “Feminist Divisions Cause
Real-World Repercussions”

Major thinkers and artists offer other perspectives. In “Pimping:
The World’s Oldest Profession” Kathleen Barry frames in vivid terms
why some feminists see prostitution as bondage. Carol Leigh,
aka “The Scarlot Harlot,” describes the frustration of erotic
laborers who are denied basic rights. Artist Suzanne Lacy, featured
by art editor Linda Stein, narrates a display of her travels with a
prostitute.

To these provocative topics, Shere Hite, known for her work on
female sexuality, calls for a redefinition of women’s pleasure
in “Female Orgasm Today”

The range of the voices on the topic also includes Alexis Greene on
a gripping play by Lynn Nottage about war, rape and prostitution in
Africa; Sonia Ossorio of NYC-NOW on stricter anti-trafficking laws;
Ann Jordan on hardships caused by brothel crackdowns in Cambodia;
poets Minne Bruce Pratt and Erin Whitfield with two views on the
aftereffects of prostitution. Other works are by: Bernadette Barton,
Rita Nakashima Brock, Ariel Dougherty, Mahin Hassibi, Norma Ramos,
Jane Roberts, Nicole Witte Solomon and artists Audrey Anastasi and
Tiana Markova-Gold. Several videos are mounted, including “Turning
The Corner” by BeyondMedia.

2 Responses

  1. I feel somewhat embarrassed? distressed? that my poems were not put in context. I take responsibility for it tho; I wasn’t on my game when I agreed to let them be published. I had discussed with the editor that these poems represented a time in my life when I was just emerging from a 20+ year history of shame, confusion and guilt for being a ho in the 70s. We weren’t fortunate enough back then to have mentors, role models and networks like we have now. The poems were my way to examine what was true for me when I first worked on the streets before taking a 20+ year absence from hooking. They gained some notoriety, and then I came full circle through activism and escorting.

    The problem is, the poems were printed with the intro, “the lingering after effects of prostitution” which sort of sounds like I’m not very pro-sex work. Shit.

    I just want to set the record straight. When I ho’d in the 70s, it was really fucking hard and really fucking dangerous and not appropriate for me at that time in my life. There’s a reason I don’t perform the poems (or ho’ems, as I liked to call them) anymore. They are simply no longer an accurate reflection of my experience as a sex worker. They’re historically accurate, yes, but … well, I guess I’m just worried about being judged for how down I am. So there’s that.

    Thanks for allowing me a moment of self-indulgence. And if you have no idea wtf I’m talking about, that’s okay too (lol).

  2. There is also an article by Bonavoglia in the New York
    Daily News.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/07/26/2008-07-26_in_prostitution_raids_lets_remember_men_-2.html

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