I have come to the conclusion that nobody is serious about wanting to stop trafficking.

Because if they were, they would listen to logic. They would see articles like the ones posted here on the matter, along with ones written elsewhere, like this excellent article by Marjan Wijers. (However, maybe I give too much credit to those responsible for such policy.)

Perhaps logic isn’t really what they are all about. Perhaps instead they are all about self-aggrandizement (ya think?). Perhaps they want to impress the anti folks (’cause that Farley is one sexy momma! Now there’s a research paper…the politico-erotic appeal of the antis. Honestly, in all of my years in the industry I have never read such sexist, disgusting, degrading crap as I have read in the works of those like Farley, Dworkin, Jeffreys, Mackinnon, etc. And these anti-leaning politicians tend to be Christian right extremists- all self-flagellators on some level- and probably take the anti literature to bed with them as masturbatory material. Or at least in the bathroom where their wives (or husbands) can’t see them). (Am I being naughty? Oops.)

We know politicians court the citizens they feel are highest in numbers to reelect them.

That’s why we need to use our votong power. How many sex workers and supporters are out there? How can we galvanize a voice? We need SWOP-PAC!! We need numbers to prove to them that we are an effective and significant voting population who will vote in our own best interests. We need to educate each other about the importance of paying attention to politicians and their policies. We need to write more letters, lobby Washington more, camp out on the doorsteps of our representatives. And garner more support among other Americans who are interested in bodily freedom and privacy rights.

How can we do this?

11 Responses

  1. Another great post, existentialhedonist. I’m also convinced that the anti’s main focus isn’t on fighting human trafficking, but on persecuting sex workers under the guise of fighting trafficking. They can say all they want that they aren’t trying to go after the sex workers, but rather they’re trying to stop the traffickers and customers (even though “end demand” tactics are ineffective in fighting human trafficking), but actions speak louder than words. If we look at the actions that are happening under legislation they promote, sex workers are being persecuted under so-called “anti-trafficking” legislation. I say so-called because I feel that anti-trafficking legislation should focus on stopping human trafficking rather than persecuting sex workers. This persecution of sex workers does nothing to stop human trafficking and wastes resources that could be used to fight trafficking.

  2. Ditto that. I know I’ve said in a couple posts on my blog and comments on others that far too many of their statements reek of personal vitriol toward sex workers. This is not to discount the genuine feelings of some abolitionists who dislike sex work in and of itself (that’s a different bag). But there is definitely an underlying emotion and it’s not empathy, sympathy or “sisterly” bonds. It’s hatred and resentment.

  3. The opponents of this proposition K are telling lies, and scare tactics to get people to vote against it. By lying and saying that all prostitutes are forced to do it against their will. Yet they can never find anyone who was a victim of this. Where are all these victims? Why aren’t they coming out and talking and showing themselves? It’s just a made up lie. It is very difficult to force anyone to do something against their will. They would need 24 hour guards, and be watched over like being in prison, with no chance to escape. Try getting someone to do something they don’t want to do and see how successful you are – you won’t be. Since this is a victimless crime, the opponents and racial feminists need to invent a victim in order to get support. They could have chosen the johns, the hookers or the city itself. They chose the hookers to be the victims even though it’s the hookers who want to decriminalize because they realize it’s the police, justice system and the government that hurts them, not the johns. Why is it that the ONLY people who are working for this to pass are the prostitutes themselves? Why would the victims themselves want this to pass? Maybe it is because they are victims of the police and justice system who abuse them and their customers. These are the real abusers. By the way, there is a federal law that says any foreigner who was a victim of prostitution in the USA if they go to the justice department and complain and help prosecute their pimp, then they can stay in the USA, get a green card and become a US citizen. So that means these women will then be encouraged to lie about it, in order to become citizens. So if you are a woman, just lie, pick a random guy to be your pimp and you can become a US citizen, and get money from the government. Easy – isn’t it?

    Having women make good money, sometimes even more than lawyers and doctors per hour elevates women. Woman know how to handle men in the bedroom. Women get men to pay lots of money for it. This is empowering to women. There are many jobs that you may consider demeaning, such as cleaning bathrooms, or putting up with bosses that put you down. While making minimum wage. Why don’t people talk about these low paying toilet cleaning jobs? You don’t think these jobs demeans women? How many unskilled women with no work experience and not much education can make hundreds, even thousands of dollars per hour? Would you rather have these women make five dollars per hour cleaning toilets? Prostitution if done correctly elevates women especially if they work for themselves.

  4. It’s important not to try to deny that human trafficking is occuring. I just don’t think that persecuting sex workers has anything to do with fighting human trafficking and I’m convinced that there are people who are promoting the persecution of sex workers under the guise of fighting human trafficking.

  5. Hi Christine! Welcome to BnG and thanks for your support.

    I think it is wise to buttress Holly’s comment above with this one from Jill B.

    We can’t deny that the scourge of trafficking exists in many sectors, including ours. Fortunately, there is less trafficking in our sector than in agriculture or the garment industry. But the situation, as illustrated by Jill’s story linked in the above referenced comment, is dire and requires our involvement.

    Criminalization, as illustrated in Jill’s story, was one of the tools the trafficker used to subdue her. This is why it is important to decriminalize.

  6. The anti’s stopped believing my story was true when I endorsed sex worker rights. They are fucking ridiculous. Trafficking became a buzz word for them when they realized they could co opt federal funding with it. Ten years ago it was prostituted womyn and girls. Now it’s all trafficking victims this, trafficking victims that.

    Great if they were focused on actual trafficking victims but they are focused on keeping the criminalized status quo to keep the TVPRA funding to themselves. If K passes they fear they will have to look for work rather than the sex workers the court mandated into FOPP type programs. Sucks to be on the other side of the job application. Somehow fighting trafficking got wrapped into all things sex industry when TVPRA came around. There are surely anti’s that work authentically and constructively against trafficking and exploitation. However retaining the status quo of criminalization isn’t part of that process. They are opposing social change in opposing Proposition K. They aren’t coming up with solutions just obstructions.

    If FOPP and the current system worked so well there would be a huge dent in trafficking. Given that they have said there are more slaves that at any time in human history, and they have had all the funding for many years under TVPRA, and they oppose social change. Exactly what are the proposing other than opposition to change? And why such vehement opposition? Perhaps because they fear they will lose their money and power if others gain rights?

    Perhaps they should ask McCain/Palin for endorsement?

    For anti trafficking activists, it is truly astonishing how I as a trafficking victim went from being posterbabe for all that happens in the sex industry to censored, mocked, invalidated and blatantly called a liar by anti trafficking activists. One would think if supporters of Proposition K were “pro trafficking”: as the anti’s would want others to believe, the dynamic would be reversed. But it isn’t. And one needs to ask why before voting against K.

    3 questions for the anti’s. Same questions as over and over that never get answered.

    1. Since actual traffickers use criminalization as a weapon to keep trafficking victims by going to the police and trafficking victims that are prostitutes can’t go to the police for fear of being arrested, deported etc, how does the current system actually make it easier for victims?

    2. If the abolitionist movement is fighting for rights and advancing social change. Why are they opposing rights, opposing social change and offering the status quo as the alternative? A status quo that by their account is in place during the worst outbreak of slavery in human history. Their words not mine.

    3. What is the plan? It is easy to shit on others trying to bring about social change but hard to initiate change. Which proposition K offers a realistic plan for positive social change that in fact further protects trafficking victims and gives rights to an oppressed population.

    What is the plan? Fear mongering as they do is akin to the Obama is a marxist al Queda member. Oxymorons but nonetheless popular with conservative talk radio types.

    Which I heard a co worker with an astonishing reason for voting for McCain. He believes that Obama is a mind controlled stooge of Marxist Al Queda members and will attempt to sabotage the White House, be shot somehow by Al Queda supporting European type Al Queda members posing as Secret Service which will touch off a race war in which white people making over 100k a year will lose all their money. He couldn’t fathom why I didn’t see the logic.

    I don’t see the logic in the abolitionist opposition to Proposition K either. My colleague makes more sense and has a more credible theory than they do……….. That is a statement.

  7. Here is a link to the article:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-kelly13mar13,0,7422832.story

    Maxine also posted this on BNG several months ago. Fortunately, it’s still posted online.

  8. […] I have come to the conclusion that nobody is serious about wanting to stop trafficking. « Bound, No… "Honestly, in all of my years in the industry I have never read such sexist, disgusting, degrading crap as I have read in the works of those like Farley, Dworkin, Jeffreys, Mackinnon, etc." (tags: sexwork sexism feminism sexworkersrights propk) […]

  9. That’s why we need to use our votong power. How many sex workers and supporters are out there? How can we galvanize a voice? We need SWOP-PAC!! We need numbers to prove to them that we are an effective and significant voting population who will vote in our own best interests. We need to educate each other about the importance of paying attention to politicians and their policies. We need to write more letters, lobby Washington more, camp out on the doorsteps of our representatives. And garner more support among other Americans who are interested in bodily freedom and privacy rights.

    I absolutely agree with that. One of the reasons why sex work and, indeed, any initiative that is a sex-positive one, gets the short shrift in politics is because no one publicly advocates for them. It is politically and personally safe to advocate for something sex-negative, but not so for something that is a sex-positive. And that extends into far more than just sex work. It is safe to publicly advocate that porn or prostitution be outlawed, for example. But any politician who publicly advocated legalizing prostitution or advocated pro-porn positions would be politically castrated. Therefore, you won’t see them doing that in any significant numbers until it becomes “safe” for them to do so. A SWOP-PAC would go a long way towards making that possible.

    If there were an organized, intelligent, rational PAC to advocate on behalf of sex workers, that came out against trafficking, and coercive sex work, and all of the other negatives associated with prostitution, and showed that we weren’t ashamed to do what we do, then it might begin to take down the Farleys, MacKinnons and all of the other people who’ve long misrepresented the work and who’ve have had the ears of the politicians at all levels of government for all of these years.

    I also think that, if Prop K passes and the results are used as a launching pad to make SF an example of how decriminalization can work and can be a positive thing for the workers and the community at large, it could easily become a model for other cities to use to go down that road as well. This, combined with the PAC might be an excellent path to pursue, especially given the likely political realities of the coming 4-8 years.

  10. Jill said: “The anti’s stopped believing my story was true when I endorsed sex worker rights.”

    See, that is exactly what I was referring to with my comment. You break away from their ideology and all of a sudden the horrors you went through aren’t true? That was personal what they did to Jill and other women who have done the same thing. That is the problem with their arguments, personal anecdotes are only true and acceptable if you’re their friend and they agree with you.

  11. If you break away from them, you are at best invalidated through exclusion and censorship or worse mocked as a liar, delusional, plagiarizing someone else’s experiences and targeted for threats of emotional and physical violence in an effort to ensure silence and a price to be paid for no longer seeing their light.

    Who am I talking about? Traffickers? Pimps? No. A significant amount of the anti prostitution feminists. That is what happens to trafficking victims that think outside the feminist anti trafficking box.

    In this and many other cases the reason for attempting to make apostate trafficking victims invalid and invisible has to do with feminist anti trafficking activists and academics that want to keep their funding and have no problem denying others rights to do it. Traffickers aren’t the only ones that want many trfafficking victims either under control or silent with the threat or use of violence to achieve it.

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