Singapore, the US, CraigsList, Sex Trafficking and WTF

(This was originally posted at SWOP-East’s blog here.)

Singapore is a tiny country in SE Asia one day ahead of the US. The US is a big country known the world over for many things. The two countries actually have an ongoing and amiable relationship. Their militaries, finance sectors and tourism are intertwined. Each country also has relationships with other countries, of course. It’s just one relationship among many for both countries.

The US is well-known for criminalizing prostitution nation-wide (the exceptions being the 30ish legal brothels in Nevada — not much of an exception). While prostitution itself is criminalized at the local and state levels, there are plenty of federal laws regarding prostitution: when the arrangements cross state lines, when a minor is involved, when money crosses state lines and a few variations on these themes.

Singapore has a more tolerant view of prostitution. It has a licensed red-light district (Geylang and a street in Chinatown) and local hotspots known for easy pickings if you’re looking for a sex worker. To be honest, the entire island is a prostitution hotspot. The predominant Chinese culture and other Asian cultures in Singapore all have a wide-open view of prostitution. Prostitution is ingrained in the male Asian culture. Singapore is not really a sex-tourism destination because it’s considered way too expensive. The vast majority of the business is supported by locals, not tourists. (Which is why the vast majority of the business occurs in non-tourist areas.) Recently it was discovered that online prostitution exists in Singapore too!

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Desiree Alliance Conference Presentations Now Online

All of the keynote speaker presentations for this year’s Desiree Alliance Conference are now live and available for viewing on the Desiree website. Included are Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Women with a Vision’s Deon Haywood, ISWFACE’s Norma Jean Almodovar, Kirk Read, SWOP-USA’s Robyn Few, Tim Barnett, and Nina Hartley.

2010 Keynote Speeches

Sex-trafficking opponents fight Craigslist’s ‘adult services’ ads

Posted on behalf of Maxine Doogan

To the Washington Post in response to this Article published | 08/07/2010
Sex-trafficking opponents fight Craigslist’s ‘adult services’ ads  <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080606376.html>

Washington Post would do better to concentrate on reporting instead of urging free speech oppression.

The Washington Post would do well to inform itself,  to catch up to  what the rest of us already know; that online classifieds like Craigslist have taken a huge chunk of revenue out of news papers like theirs and the SF Chronicle.  It’s clear to see that in reporting or in this case, repeating on Craigslist, your paper has motivation to not report facts.

Craigslist has taken the profit out of the print presses’  classified sections and that threatens yours sustainability.   Then media repeaters like CNN,  who have traditionally relied on your type of publications to come up with all the facts, have no ability to fill these kinds gaps since they’ve never had to do so before.  The best they can do is create media sensation out of themselves and then report on it http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-20012671-501465.html and get you to repeat it.

The fact is that the press must have a whipping post and the adult industry has always been that, so now it’s Craigslist by extension.  The photos of women the obligatory in high heels…short skirts. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/08/AR2010080801654.html Sex sells, even for your publication.

This leads me to question the credibility of  two girls’ stories featured in the paid ad San Francisco Chronicle.   http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/20/MN2K1DHDV9.DTL Upon pain of death they violated Craigslist’s terms of use http://www.craigslist.org/about/terms.of.use by saying they were of age and then again by posting for illegal services.  Then allowed their stories being cooped by the poverty pimps who’ve paid themselves how much to blame Craigslist, in a ½ page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle? A phone call got a quote of $16,000 for that ad.

And then repeating that paid piece of press is supposed to be an excuse upon which to oppress our free speech to force the rest of us adult advertisers out of work?

Media outlets like the Washington Post, as well as politicians already know that adult advertisers don’t cause child abuse, sexual assault or forced child labor.

Craigslist has come a long way in educating themselves and reaching out to community members, like no other classified ever has before, why not follow the new industry’s standard.

Repeating paid ads in the WP to urge politicians to violate everyone’s free speech  must be like signing a media outlet like your’s death warrant.  I want to see reporting on how these groups are funding their free speech.  Many of these groups get their funding through various US government agencies http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/fs/2009/121358.htm who have over estimated the actual http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-825
victims to justify over funding these anti trafficking groups.  I call on  Mr. Eric Holder investigate that and media outlets like the WP should too.

I urge all media outlets to stop sensationalizing sex by any means necessary and stop trying tos hold the wrong person(s) responsible harm because in the mean time,  somebody is getting away with a very violent crime.

Maxine Doogan
Erotic Service Providers Union
San Francisco California
8/11/10

Recent Discussion of PEPFAR’s Anti-Prostitution Clause

Melissa Ditmore discussing the ramifications of PEPFAR’s anti-prostitution policy on sex workers over at the Global Health Magazine blog.

Since we’re on the subject, especially in light of the amazing protests at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna last month, this is not a bad time to suggest you review the amazing short film “Taking The Pledge”