Norma Hotaling Dies

Since I didn’t see it mentioned here, thought I would post a link to the article. Norma Hotaling died last Tuesday.

12 Responses

  1. Here is what Kickson66 wrote in comments section of that article:

    “The woman’s name reminds me of an old rhyme after the 1906 Earth Quake that my grandfather taught to me: ‘If God was punishing the town for being over-frisky, Why did He burn the churches down and save HOTALING’s Whiskey?’ ”

    To me, that says it all.

  2. Hail to Dorothy, the wicked witch is dead!

    Wicked Witch of the West’s own castle guards.

  3. I met Norma on a few occasions. Exchanged a few emails over the years. Including one in which she was supportive and respectful of my decision to leave radical feminism and anti activism. I may have moved away from her ideological position and come to a place of strong disagreement with many of her political positions, alliances and methods for achieving her goals and that of her movement. I don’t feel her death is something to mock, to celebrate, to disrespect. She died of a terrible disease in a death that I don’t wish on anyone. We need to remember that we are all human and that tragedy can strike any of us and have respect for each other and even for those we disagree with. Norma had very different views from our movement and certainly opposed us. She was also a former prostitute who suffered in the unjust world that sex workers have to live in. She did what she believed was right to try to achieve social justice. I have little doubt that she suffered a great deal in her life in the sex industry and was doing what she felt to be right and just to try to make it a better place for those she could. Agree or disagree with her politically, even personally but I have say I don’t think there is anything constructive on disrespecting her in death. I personally am saddened by her death and wish that she didn’t have to lose her life at such a young age or by a terrible disease.

    And my thought to my allies in the sex worker rights movement that we consider our humanity and the humanity of everyone and respect her and her loved ones in what is obviously a very difficult time for them.

  4. yes, i feel similarly to jill. she was a fellow sex worker – and if what we are working for is a world in which everyone has the rights to health and wellness – i know i am – we needn’t be cheering the untimely death of a person who we might have disagreed with ideologically.

    i do my best not to let my politics trump my humanity. RIP Norma.

  5. Let me put it this way, Jill.

    When Carol Queen can go on the Oprah Winfrey Show and have Oprah declare her an “Angel” for helping prostitutes, then I’ll gladly go to Norma Hotaling’s grave and lay a big bouquet of flowers on it.

    I’m not in a charitable mood when Barack Obama plans to bring an anti-gay bigot to speak at his inaugural and pretend like it’s okay.

    I’m not in a charitable mood when one of my housemates has lost her job with an eight year old daughter to support here in New York when Wall Street got it’s 700 billion dollar bailout.

    So as you can see, my sympathy is rather thin. I don’t have enough of it to waste on a woman who made damn sure to get out of her sick-bed long enough to make sure that Proposition K was defeated.

    So I’ll make you a bet: If Oprah Winfrey consents to have Carol Queen and/or other sex worker activitists on her program to make their case for sex worker rights, then I’ll inform SAGE about my sympathies for the loss of their founder.

  6. My post wasn’t intended as criticism Susan. Just thinking out loud.

  7. Comments related to Norma’s death that are viewed in public forums should be kept political, on the issue and should be void of any comments that could be viewed as disrespectful. It is a political fight that did not begin with Norma and will not end with Norma’s passing.

  8. I agree that we should not mock Norma’s death and I do not wish for anybody to get cancer (which is what killed Norma). Yet, I also have a problem with honoring Norma as a heroic crusader of sex workers. Unfortunately, she promoted anti-prostitution laws that were resulting in sex workers being arrested and ran an organization that profitted off of this. She ran an organization that was involved in the coercion of sex workers, in which sex workers sex workers were coerced into SAGE by being threatened with jail time or prostitution on their permenant records if they refused to go through the program or defaulted on the program.
    If SAGE is seriously interested in helping sex workers who need and want their help, they can do this under a decriminalized system of prostitution. If prostitution were decriminalized, they could still provide noncoercive drop-in and outreach services. However, they fight to keep the monopoly they have under a criminalized system of prostitution at the expense of the rights, well-being, and safety of sex workers. By monopoly, I mean that they are the only program that the SF courts send sex workers and clients to who have been arrested under the criminalization of prostitution. Though I realize that SAGE profits off of this and they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, the rights, well-being, and safety of sex workers is more important to me.
    Rest in peace, Norma, and peace to sex workers also. Lisa is correct that our political fight does not end here and we need to continue it.

  9. The San Francisco Chronicle has gone so far as to write another editorial about her today. It looks as though they’re using her death as a means to disparage prostitutes. I’d post the link but then my posts are deleted on this forum.

  10. Why would the link be deleted? I guess i’ve missed something

  11. Maxine,

    Generally, links are held in moderation until the comment can be approved by a moderator (which is often well after the comment was made). Long comments without links are also held in moderation. These are anti-spam policies and WordPress applies them according to BnG’s settings. Nothing personal at all — plenty of comments get caught in the spam filter. Amber Rhea’s trackbacks usually get held in moderation for some reason.

    Very, very few comments have ever been completely deleted on BnG (aside from obvious spam).

    XX

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