“Erotic Services” Denied: Craigslist and Attorneys General Are Putting Sex Workers At Risk

This is a collaborative press release – please distribute and repost widely!

Contact:
Dylan Wolfe – Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK), swank@riseup.net
Will Rockwell – $pread Magazine, will@spreadmagazine.org
Audacia Ray – Sex Work Awareness (SWA), aray@sexworkawareness.org
Susan Blake – Prostitutes of New York (PONY), pony@panix.com
Michael Bottoms – Sex Workers Outreach Project – New York City (SWOP-NYC), info@swop-nyc.org

With Craigslist’s recent announcement that its Erotic Services category will be discontinued within the week, hundreds of thousands of erotic service providers will become more vulnerable to dangerous predators. Eliminating erotic listings as Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and others propose will only drive us further underground.

Policing the masseuses, phone workers, pro-dominants, and escorts using Craigslist fails to protect those of us who are coerced into the sex industry. Preventing the use of Craigslist advertisements also eliminates the advantage of screening clients online, which makes for a safer work experience by filtering out potentially dangerous individuals. Furthermore, keeping us offline hinders police investigations of violent crime. In the Boston murder of Julissa Brisman, it was online tracking that enabled the police to identify the suspect. One has to wonder: are the Attorneys General examining the evidence or simply enforcing their moral values?

“Removing the erotic services category from Craigslist does not help prevent violence against escorts and other sex workers. It only pushes me and people like me out of the places where advertising is available,” said Jessica Bloom, a sex worker from Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK). In the face of increasing criminalization, we insist upon respect. As mothers, daughters, brothers, and members of your community, we claim that sex work is real work, work that we are entitled to conduct in safety. As such, we must be accorded the human right of full protection under the law.

8 Responses

  1. HEY, SO WHERE SHOULD EROTIC SERVICE PROVIDERS BE TRYING TO FIND WORK???

  2. I’d say — the rest of the Internet.

    XX

  3. “In the face of increasing criminalization, we insist upon respect. As mothers, daughters, brothers, and members of your community, we claim that sex work is real work, work that we are entitled to conduct in safety. As such, we must be accorded the human right of full protection under the law.”

    1. Respect is earned. Work-wise, I reserve mine for doctors, nurses, carers, sanitation workers, cleaners, teachers, miners and the host of others who work at (often) thankless jobs without adequate remuneration. I do not respect bankers, pimps, pornographers or other parasites.

    I may or may not respect an individual prostitute, depending on the specific context. By and large, I see people who do this out of choice as essentially unresourceful – I reserve my compassion for those who are unresourced.

    2, In claiming that prostitution is legitimate ‘work’ , you also make the case for public and private funding for pimps and pornographers, as well as entitling johns to consumer ‘protection’ – including the ‘right’ to abuse. Over my dead body.

    3. As women, you have exactly the same protections and chance of legal redress in the face of crime, sexual or otherwise, as non-prostitutes. You are not entitled to use the taxes of non-prostitutes for additional protections that are not available to non-prostitutes. Why should you be?

  4. Freed, why don’t you check out some of the great books lauraborders posted about as reviewed in Qualitative Sociology?

  5. Well thanks for clarifying who you respect and who you don’t respect Freed. I”m going to alter my job search to one of the professions you list as respectable. Having the respect of Freedfromideology is certainly a plus for anyone underpaid and under appreciated. With your vast benevolence, compassion and superior understanding of social issues, where do you foresee your next philanthropic journey to bestow your vast virtues on the under represented?

  6. Jill,

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Jill,

    I’m also pretty sure that with the respect of FreedFromIdeology and $4 you can get a latte at Starbucks.

    XX

  8. You both must be underestimating FreedfromIdeology’s prolific stature. Someone with that high an opinion of their place in society must be very highly stationed, with stellar morals, compassion and intelligence.

    I’m certain she would tell you she is outstanding at being modest also!

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