Melissa Farley sends someone to the Naked Anthropologist to rant

I am keeping up with the tendency to change language again, so that what people were calling prostitution and then trafficking now becomes, increasingly, slavery. The other day I critiqued a review of a film set in a 19th-century Paris brothel and wondered if there may be a desire for slavery to come back. Melissa Farley seems to have sent someone to rant at me just there, but perhaps the post was chosen at random. I wonder if anyone from here would like to reply to the commenter, who is called Stella Marr? Her comment includes

Ms. Agustin, you describe yourself as a feminist. I feel compelled to tell you how horrifying it is to me to read work like yours. Because, perhaps unintentionally, you are pumping for the pimps and massive organized criminal and economic interests that sexually exploit women.

You are making women like me invisible.

I can take care of myself regarding such accusations, but there is a lot more there to reply to: a real Farleyesque assortment, and as if I speak for all feminists and she for all sex workers.

She also quotes from an angry anti-prostitution book I was forced to reply to because the publisher did not fact-check and allowed many errors to be published: Note to anti-prostitutionists: Sex worker movements are nothing to sneer at. There is a long translation from the Swedish original, so perhaps that book is slated to be published in English, in which case the publisher had better do that fact-checking!

–Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist

Protest Against BackPage Harms Sex Workers AND Trafficking Victims

The coming November 16, 2011 protest against Backpage by CATW, NOW-NYC and Prostitution Research and Education is another example of harmful actions and campaigns by elitist feminist academics against both consenting sex workers and trafficking victims.  These alleged feminist activists claim they are fighting human trafficking by protesting Backpage  to force the closure of its adult advertising, but his is theatrical garbage activism that is toxic to the very people they purport to be trying to help.

 

I am a consenting sex worker.  I was, at one time, a human trafficking victim.  I am still doing sex work in my 40′s because I need the money to pay bills, including medical needs related to multiple blood clots in my lungs; without sex work I could not afford the medical care that I need to survive.  It is not the right of alleged feminists to take my income or that of so many of those like me.  We work to live and to pay our bills, just like you high and mighty CATW, PRE and NOW-NY activists…well, most of you anyway; many of your ranks are college students that know little about the issues faced by those of us who did not get high school or college options.

 

Backpage adult advertisers are nearly all independent sex workers who are neither pimped nor trafficked, and shutting down Backpage would eliminate a major advertising venue that we use to stay independent.  You would know this if you asked us rather than feigning expertise.  We need our jobs and will keep them, but the closure of advertising spaces makes us vulnerable to the very pimps and traffickers that this garbage activism claims to be fighting.  When our independence is taken away we become vulnerable to predators that will exploit our labor because we lack options.  When I was a teenage trafficking victim and advertising venues closed for whatever reason, I wasn’t freed from prostitution.  My sadist pimp didn’t suddenly end my captivity and free me; he just put me on the street instead, which was far more dangerous to my safety and exposed me to the harsh elements.  I would truly like to see these supposed experts work the street for weeks in the winter in a northern city and come back and tell me that I was better off because advertising failed and I was out in the cold.  Still a slave, just a much colder and much more vulnerable one getting into cars alone.

 

You high and mighty abolitionist activists disgust me; if you knew anything about this issue you wouldn’t be taking this rubbish approach.  Yes, you can trot out your “survivor” activists who were harmed in the sex industry to advance your position, but these survivors are allowing their pain to misguide them into promoting a criminalization model in order to ostensibly end harm to prostitutes by ending prostitution.   I, too worked to advance that garbage until I woke up and realized the harm I was causing as an abolitionist filled with the bullshit lies of abolitionist feminism, a movement led by vacuous intellectuals who were never prostitutes and choose to assuage their pain by tearing away the rights of those in the sex industry.

 

Let me tell you what your efforts to “eliminate” prostitution actually accomplish:  You team with law enforcement officers who disingenuously claim to care about trafficking victims but are actually seeking to arrest more prostitutes.  We suffer as a result of your alleged “concern”; the risk of arrest keeps us from having access to law enforcement when we are the victims of crime while doing our jobs.  Pimps and violent clients know that we can’t go to the police and won’t because we fear the police, getting arrested and all the consequences that come with arrest.  We can’t be honest with our doctors when we suffer brutal rapes and assaults because we can’t explain our injuries without exposing ourselves to legal risk.  You think that’s a positive?  Try having a violent LEO client brutally rape you, suffocate you with a trash bag and hit you in the head so many times that you are taken via ambulance to the ER, incoherent with a major concussion, and are not even able to honestly explain how you were injured.

 

You think it’s worthwhile abolitionists?  Try meeting with a “reputable” businessman who realizes you are legally defenseless and so feels safe in overpowering you, tying you to a bed and beating and sodomizing you with a bamboo cane while forcing you to count the strokes.  You take 493 violent blows all over your body as I did; the bastard shoved my underwear and fee into my mouth and left me blindfolded, bleeding and tied to a bed.  Please….  Come tell me feminist anti prostitution activists protesting Backpage how I benefit from your activism.  Tell the other sex workers who saw me immediately following these assaults if I was better off with your criminalization.  And now you wish to further criminalize prostitution AND close our advertising venues.  Great.  So I and others like me can be criminalized and shoved into the hands of pimps and traffickers.  You and your activism disgust me.

 

Tell me how your efforts helped me or the “submissive girlfriend” of a man who wished to beat her so hard before my eyes that I truly doubted that “girlfriend” actually consented.  I’ve seen these people first hand.  I’ve been harmed by them.  I’ve been absolutely vulnerable to them, and this man was one of them.  I could do nothing but reject his offer to hire me; I had no way to report my suspicions to the police without risking arrest myself, and as a prostitute I had zero social credibility even if I did go to the police.  Likewise, the “girlfriend” had no protection from being arrested if she was ever found.  I went to a friend who is also a police officer and asked for advice, and was told to leave it alone:  there wasn’t enough evidence and as a sex worker I wouldn’t be deemed credible enough for law enforcement to take action, yet I would expose myself without helping her.  Maybe she will get lucky like I did and get away through a fluke, but it sure as hell won’t be because Backpage was shut down or because we are all made criminals; instead, there will be far more like her.  Perhaps some who are independent escorts now will end up like her, brutally harmed because their options for safety were taken away by grandstanding activists and their clueless and self advancing politician and law enforcement allies.

 

Feminist anti-prostitution activists protesting Backpage:  you are harming both consenting sex workers and trafficking victims.  You can write all the pretty press releases about fighting trafficking, sexual slavery and pimps that you want to, but I have lived the reality of your “work”.  Someone has to expose your lies and self-serving career advancement tactics that harm the rest of us.  I have been hurt in the sex industry – a lot – and the hurt continued because I was and am a criminal, deprived of rights.  I can call you on your BS from the perspective of someone who has been harmed because of you, and I am happy to do it because you are toxic, harmful frauds.  Preach to your choir and get your support there because those of us that are hurt by you know who you are; we know what you are doing and we are paying the price for your toxic activism.  Now come tell me how I benefit from your “work”.

Complaint Filed Against Melissa Farley

Dr. Callum Bennachie, from the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, filed a complaint with the American Psychology Association asking that they rescind the membership of Melissa Farley.

In the introduction to the complaint, Dr. Bennachie writes:

Over the years, Dr Farley has published a number of papers and documents about sex work, making claims that all sex work is a form of violence against women.  She has used several of her studies to back this up.

In 2008 Dr Farley published the paper What Really Happened in New Zealand after Prostitution was Decriminalized in 2003? on her website critiquing the Report of the Prostitution Law Review Committee.  This critique contains several errors of fact that appear to be deliberately designed to mislead people.  Many of the false allegations made by Dr. Farley in this paper have been repeated by her in her efforts to stigmatise sex workers and keep them criminal.  Dr. Farley appears to have read the complete report, but has only reported or critiqued those parts that match her ideology.  In investigating her comments on this paper further, it was discovered that Dr Farley had completed research in New Zealand in 2003 without seeking ethical approval from the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS).  It was also discovered that during the course of this research, she claimed to be able to diagnose sex workers as having post-traumatic stress disorder, despite using a flawed questionnaire, and not doing in depth interviews.

It is noted that Dr Farley has also completed other studies overseas, and investigations this year indicate that she never sought ethical approval, and sought to deliberately deceive the groups who facilitated the research for her.  She has also been cited as an expert witness, yet the testimony given is false or misleading.  Finally, the Canadian courts have found Dr Farley to be a less than reliable witness, finding her evidence “to be problematic”.  For the reasons in the text below, I believe her work is unethical, unbecoming of a psychologist, and is in breach of at least sections 5.01 and 8.10 of the APA’s Code of Ethics, perhaps more.  I believe that because of these breaches, Dr Farley should be removed from the membership of the APA.

You can read the full text of the complaint here.

I applaud Dr. Bennachie for taking this action. I hope something comes from his complaint, and that other medical professionals are finally ready to open their eyes to the sham research Melissa Farley has paraded around for far too long. Furthermore, please let the impressionable future scholars who look up to her see that she offers a solid lesson in what not to do, and does not represent a figure that any respectable academic should aspire to become.

Newsweek Article Bashing Sex Work Clients

I’m surprised this hasn’t been brought up on BNG yet, but many of you may be aware of the Newsweek article titled “The John Next Door” bashing our clients and focused on Melissa Farley’s input.
Though several pages of comments were posted (many of which very critical of the article), only the most recent page of comments now appears, so many excellent comments are no longer visible.
Considering that, I provided a forum on my blog where people can comment along with at link to the article: http://veganvixen1.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/newsweek-article-bashing-sex-work-clients/ .

CraigsList: Future Thinking

Assuming that CraigsList Adult Services stay down, where will everyone go? Granted, the majority of those in the business in the US aren’t advertising on CL anymore. But now civilians are enjoying the thrill of discovering what’s been online for the past 10-15 years and are publicly speculating what sites advertisers will flock to.

On the one hand, other advertising sites have been obvious all this time if you know how to use Google. The current public attention might help some girls get a little extra business in what I know is a sagging economy and a seasonally slow time of year (beginning of school). On the other hand, I’m very worried by the attention thrown at other sites. The motivation for this current state of affairs goes far beyond the usual cat-and-mouse game played by local cops. The anti-trafficking Nazis have one possible victory with CraigsList and probably feel ready to go stomping on any other site adult sex workers use.

Because it’s about ending prostitution. It’s not about helping victims.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

Prohibitionists and Consequences

Do the prohibitionists realize, or care, that their campaign to “end prostitution” actually ends rights?  A recent very poor experience with a client could have had a different ending.   Or perhaps not happened at all had there been sex worker human rights.    With sex worker rights and full decriminalization, I could have gone to the police and charged him with physical assault, sexual assault, probably a couple of other things.

Does handcuffing an unwilling participant and putting a trash bag over my head to use as leverage for negotiation count as a crime?  Or making me  eat a used condom?  How about forced anal sex while I was focused on asphyxiation?  Perhaps if we had sex worker rights and full decriminalization, he wouldn’t have done what he did at all.   Does the concussion count?   How do I explain how this happened to the doctor?  To my non sex work employer?  Oh, and why am I doing sex work?  Because I can’t live on the wages of my “straight job”, and they won’t post the schedule until 24 hours before it is valid.  Making most straight jobs impossible.

Thanks prohibitionists, you’re doing such a great job saving us………..

Citizens Against Trafficking, the brainchild of Donna M. Hughes and Melanie Shapiro state on their website:   CAT (Citizens Against Trafficking)  believes decriminalized prostitution in Rhode Island enabled the expansion of the sex industry, an industry vulnerable to trafficking.  Decriminalized prostitution meant that we were unable to identify and assist victims of trafficking.  We were unable to use some federal laws or participate in federal initiatives to combat trafficking.

So what trafficking victims were assisted Ms. Hughes and Ms. Shapiro?  North Carolina is a state where prostitution is fully criminalized.  Yet it is still here.   Where are the trafficking victims being saved here in North Carolina?

Back to the original point.  Federal initiatives?  The perpetrator was a federal law enforcement employee.  And please don’t tell me I have “rights”.  I’ve seen that process before.   You can not take on the federal government.

Thank you Donna M. Hughes, Melanie Shapiro, you made a difficult situation so much better with your “work”  Either of you ever been bagged and shagged?   Or are you safe at URI making decisions for others?

It’s wrong to pay for sex–NYC Debate April 21

http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/Event.aspx?Event=41

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Moderator: John Donvan

Speaking for the motion: Melissa Farley, Catharine A. MacKinnon and Wendy Shalit

Speaking against the motion: Sydney Barrows, Tyler Cowen and Lionel Tiger

Caspary Auditorium Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue New York City, NY 10065 (66th Street & York Avenue)
tickets $40

There’s also an online poll – VOTE NOW!

Tyler Cowen blogs here

This is a replay of
http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events.php?event=EVT0171
November 11, 2008
It’s wrong to pay for sex
Speakers for the motion:
Professor Raymond Tallis Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester
Joan Smith Feminist novelist, critic and columnist.
Jeremy O’Grady Editor-in-Chief of The Week magazine and co-founder of Intelligence Squared.

Speakers against the motion:
Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon Reader in Psychology and Social Policy, Birkbeck College.
Professor Germaine Greer Australian author and academic, widely regarded as one of the most significant feminists of the 20th Century.
Rod Liddle Associate Editor of The Spectator, columnist for The Sunday Times and former Editor of the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4.

In London, the motion was soundly defeated.

John Schools, Farley, Actions vs. words

Melissa Farley recently posted her thoughts on an LA Times article about John School.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/comments_blog/2009/02/sex-school.html

I have posted on the john school topic in the LA Times Blog but am not sure I will clear moderation with thoughts on Farley.  So I am bringing them here.

Melissa Farley writes in italics  ”

Thank you for asking if the crime of buying a human being for sex should be a misdemeanor. I think that buying sex should be a felony”,

That would make every man that hires a sex worker a felon.  Even from a logistical standpoint this would be an astonishing strain on the legal system that would divert enormous resources away from crimes that tend to be much more destructive such as rape, murder, ……   Great so prisons would be filled with men that are convicted felons just for hiring a prostitute.  Not for raping one, not for murdering one, not for,,,,,,,
So we incarcerate them as felons.  Brilliant.

although those who are bought by johns in prostitution should not be arrested.

Well, at the most basic level I agree with Melissa on this.  The sex worker shouldn’t be arrested.  Although Melissa needs to recognize her words and actions don’t equal each other.  When the time came that she could have supported and done something to keep women from being arrested via Proposition K,  Melissa was an outspoken opponent of decriminalizing the women she purports to want decrminialized.

It seems much more important than the women in prostitution she professes expertise of and advocacy for, she felt the women should remain the majority of arrests, persecuted by the legal system at a much greater rate then the men she wishes to be felons.   She voted and strongly advocated for the status quo in which women are a huge majority of the arrests in order to pursue her vision of making men felons for hiring a sex worker.   Not for raping one, not for assaulting one, but just for hiring one.  She was outspoken in her support of a system that makes the very women she claims to be an expert in, the very women that she claims advocacy for, to continue to suffer.  All so that she can have her vision of punishing men.  Not to mention, if it were decriminalized, her allied projects like John School would not have johns anymore and business for prohibitionists would suffer.

Also, while I tend to dislike splitting hairs on individual words.   Men buying women, buying is a very limited context situation.  Buying implies ownership.  Not hiring for a service.  Buying essentially is equal to buying a slave.  Sorry Melissa but despite the rhetoric, a huge majority of women in prostitution aren’t slaves.  They may have, in many cases, very poor working conditions but slavery is an extreme that should not be implied to mean all.  It is a huge disservice to conflate the slave with the woman hired for a sexual service.   Hired for a sexual service, perhaps even rented, but bought,,,, bought is a very poor choice of words that represents an enormous and unrealistic conflation.

Melissa Farley states “They should be offered housing, drug treatment, and other services.”

Well, they should be offered those anyway, if needed.  Everyone should.  Oops, sorry my socialistic tendencies are coming out in this.   But Melissa’s activism has demonstrated repeatedly she believes these services should be provided after the prostitute has been arrested/rescued, and under TVPRA only by limited providers.  Answers to this kind of issue for the women that are in the sex industry because of housing, drug treatment and other service related needs, those need to be addressed proactively not reactionary.   Getting arrested is not the right avenue to insert these services into the sex workers life.

No disrespect intended to anyone from the west coast or more progressive cities, but,  there is often a misunderstanding by people like Melissa, who have grown up in an academic setting and live in progressive west coast cities.  Services in many areas of the country are not easily accessed.  They take a long time to access and it is going to take a lot more than a few projects like SAGE in progressive US cities.  For the woman, that has immediate needs such as housing, chemical dependency, hunger, these issues need financial answers that are immediate.  Often that answer may have to come in the form of sex work.   Perhaps not a great option in many cases but then again neither is homelessness.

Perhaps a better solution than Melissa’s would be to take the money that would be spent on incarcerating all the men for felonies that Melissa wishes to be incarcerated, thus housed, fed, medical care, and instead offer those to the women being advocated for.  Given that Melissa is implying, and in many cases this is an accurate representation of needs, but given that she is implying this need into the equation, if the needs are met, many of the women that are in the sex industry that shouldn’t be.  Well, they wouldn’t be.

But once again, Melissa’s actions speak volumes to the fact she is prioritizing the importance of her macro level radical feminist viewpoint over the lives of the people she is the expert of and representing.

Melissa Farley states “Sweden put this abolitiionist law into effect in 2000. Since then, trafficking into Sweden has plummeted. It’s a law that works.”

Melissa again fails to match word with action.  She couches her statements in the framework that she is all about helping the women in prostitution and supporting their decriminalization.  Melissa could have advocated for compromise.  Proposition K would have done just that.   Proposition K would not have taken away prosecution of those who rape prostitutes, those who assault them, those who traffick them, those who have sex with anyone not consenting, those who are underage.  The same laws that protect them now would still have been in force.  The only change is that those hiring a woman strictly for sex, without the crimes referenced in the previous sentence would not have faced prosecution.  Neither would the prostitute.   But protecting the women wasn’t priority for Melissa.  Persecuting the men was.  And if the women suffer still at a hugely disproportiate rate then the men.  Well, sucks to be the women.

Then Melissa advocates for john schools for what she believes should be a felony.  Why would there be diversionary one day program sentencing for what she argues should be a felony?   Except that she and her allies are stakeholders in the current system and profit from it.

Melissa’s statement that the Swedish model is an abolitionist law.  It is not.  It isn’t abolishing anything and isn’t going to.  Prohibtionist yes, abolitionist no.  And where is the Melissa Farley activism on the Swedish model?  She politics for TVPRA and Bush Administration policies which are not even remotely close to Sweden’s model.

She needs men criminalized to continue her position as an expert, to continue the court mandated financial cow of court imposed john schools at 600 dollars per client.   Melissa is fine with the status quo in which the prostitutes are the huge majority that suffer not only to the oppression and crimes she discusses but also at the whim of the justice system and legal system that are supposed to be rescuing them.   Melissa is concerned about her speaking events, her position as an expert, advancing her theoretical feminist worldview over pragmatism.  But then again, it isn’t her suffering, it is the women she studies that are.

Melissa states “Since then, trafficking into Sweden has plummeted. It’s a law that works.”

Well that’s great Melissa.  Except for a few things.  One, trafficking and prostitution aren’t the same thing.  There are prostitutes trafficked as there are many others, migrant workers are another, there isn’t trafficking in every scenario of prostitution.   From personal experience being trafficked was not the greatest concern of being coerced into and to remain in prostitution many years ago.  The trafficking itself doesn’t change much.   One can be raped in their own home and suffer as much as being brought over a state or country line.

One does not have to be trafficked to have suffered in prostitution.  Nor should being trafficked be any type of vector to determine level of suffering.   Of course Melissa has never been trafficked, she has likely never been in prostitution, probably not ever in need of the services she discusses,   It’ s easy to have out of context perceptions when one has no real experience with any of the issues.



Legalizing Las Vegas Brothels

My knee-jerk reaction to this news is: so the state is suffering. They decide they want to make money off the backs of sex workers? How is this not exploitative? I also want to know exactly how they plan on taxing one business but not other businesses as Nevada is known for being a business-friendly state, tax-wise. (Corrections or elightenment on Nevada’s business-tax law are welcome.)

Caring about sex workers does not mean registering and regulating us to within an inch of our lives. I’ve tried to work in Vegas strip clubs recently – not good. All they care about is getting their house fee and selling alcohol (even if you don’t really want to drink). A Vegas, casino-sponsored brothel? I can’t imagine the situation being any better.

Of course I support decriminalization. But that doesn’t put money into the state coffers, nor directly into the pockets of casino owners – which is really the crux of the matter. They don’t care about the dangers criminalized street workers face, the exploitation of the local agency girls or the arrest-risk independent escorts have to handle. They simply see a way of making money – off the backs of female sex workers — and magically, somehow brothels are supposed to be good for women. (I can only assume that transgendered and male sex workers are not part of this discussion at all.)

Brothel-work does indeed work for many women. And I have no doubt a lot sex workers would welcome casino-sponsored brothels in Las Vegas. I do not want to close down that option for sex workers because it is an option. My concern is that these brothels will become the one and only answer for sex work in Vegas – leading to rampant arrest and abuse of all other unregulated sex workers. Brothel work or no work – that’s not a choice and smacks of coercion to me.

Incidentally, love how Melissa Farley manages not to offer any sort of answer to the problem of criminalizing prostitution other than maintaining the status quo. Way to protect the rights of sex workers, Farley.

More news reading:
original Las Vegas Sun piece
an editiorial piece

Symposium: “The Sexualization of Childhood”, Featuring Our Favorite Researcher

Point Park University Presents:
The Eighth Annual Childhood and Society Symposium

The Sexualization of Childhood, June 13 – 14, Pittsburgh 

Co-Sponsored by A Home Within 
Up to 8 Continuing Education Units for Psychologists 

Featuring Nationally Renowned Childhood Experts:                
              
Sharon Cooper               
Gail Dines               
Matt Ezzell               
Melissa Farley               
Diane Levin               
Susan Linn               
Sharna Olfman               
Sandra Steingraber               
Carolyn West

This symposium will address: 

• How boys' & girls' gender & sexual development is impacted by our sexualized culture
• Sexual exploitation of children through internet crimes and prostitution
• The dramatic rise in the production and consumption of child pornography
• The exploitation of black adolescent girls through rap music and hip hop culture
• The falling age of puberty in girls as a result of toxic chemical exposures
• What professionals, policy makers and parents can do to make a difference

Live on Blog Talk Radio XBN: Sex Worker Rights Broadcast Network 5PM Eastern Saturday 3.29.08

XBN Sex Worker Voices, Sex Worker Viewpoints, Sex Worker Rights

Please join XBN at www.blogtalkradio.com/swopeast

Listener Call in number 646.200.3136

Join sex workers and sex worker rights activists in media created and driven by us!

Upcoming Guests

Guest Carol Leigh! Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot Unrepentant Whore published by Last Gasp Carol Leigh,

3/31/2008
6:00 PM
60 Minutes [171865]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network

Guest to be determined

4/1/2008
8:00 PM
60 Minutes [171963]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network
Guest to be determined

4/2/2008
6:00 PM
60 Minutes [171963]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network

Guest: Renegade Evolution Profile of a Henchwoman: Often over generalized as a bit of a clockwork apocalypse, heartless capitalist and generally ruthless scum, the terrifying truth is RenEv is a stripper, Internet porn performer, sex workers rights


Everyone 4/3/2008
9:30 PM
60 Minutes [171948]
XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network
Guest: Melissa Gira Bio: http://www.melissagira.com
ht Unpacking the Wired story on tech & sex work: http://www.wired.comht — and adding more on how sex workers internationally use technology in advocacy for human rights. internet, jill brenneman XBN, Melissa Gira, sex work, sex workers, sex workers outreach project, swop, swopeast Politics Progressive
Mature 4/4/2008
3:00 PM
60 Minutes

All previous shows are available for playback or download at www.blogtalkradio.com/swopeast

Previous Guests include:

Veronica Monet

Constance Sisk

Stacey from Desiree Alliance

Maxine Doogan

Amanda Brooks

And a live call in show after a Presentation by Jill Brenneman at William & Mary, this program hosted by Amanda Brooks, features many live calls from the presentation audience from the Brenneman presentation who stayed and joined XBN’s live broadcast which was being simulcast over the auditorium. This presentation was in response to the significant protest and backlash against the organizers and supporters of the Sex Worker’s Art Show Appearance at William & Mary and protests against the Sex Workers Art Show themselves. As the show demonstrates there is a lot of support for the Sex Workers Art Show at William and Mary.

Many outstanding guests are being scheduled, please watch for updates! If you would like to be a guest on this revolutionary project bringing sex workers voices to the media please contact www.swopeast.org

If you are a sex worker or sex worker rights musician and would like to make your music available to XBN, please contact us as we are in need of both theme music and would love to feature and credit sex worker and sex worker rights musicians.

XBN: Sex Worker Voices, Sex Worker Viewpoints, Sex Worker Rights

Many Thanks to The Naked Heroes for letting us use their awesome music on XBN! Please check them out and support them!!! http://www.myspace.com/thenakedheroes

Add XBN: The SWOP East Broadcast Network to your blog or website by inserting this code. <a href=”http://www.blogtalkradio.com/swopeast”><img id=”btn180×60″ border=”0″ alt=”Listen to swopeast on internet talk radio” src=”http://www.blogtalkradio.com/img/180×60_wht.gif”/></a>

The Childhood Abuse Myth

According to this highly informal survey of women coming to this site (about Internet dating), more than half have been molested as a child. Does this mean they’re all sex workers? According to popular myth, they should be. I’m guessing most aren’t.

This survey only means that women — as a group — suffer childhood sexual abuse. Since the majority of sex workers seem to be women, it stands to reason that many have abuse in their past too, just like any other woman. But it doesn’t mean only sex workers have such a history. If this casual, anonymous survey is to be believed, a lot of non-sex workers share the same history.

Obviously abuse does not have to lead to sex work.

Melissa Farley Words v Actions: Ethics or Not?

Melissa Farley has taken a stand opposing Governor Spitzer’s hiring of the escort Kristen. Does she deserve to be congratulated for doing the right thing and criticizing Spitzer’s hypocrisy of spearheading a campaign against prostitution while hiring escorts despite the fact that until his arrest he was advocating similar political strategy as her? Was there any risk in her doing so? Not really. One would have to assume that she like many of her allies in the anti trafficking movement feel betrayed by Spitzer’s. Her other actions contradict her integrity.

There has been a large outcry against the public outing of Kristen by the media. Rightfully so. Her outing was an abysmal example of the lack of integrity of many media outlets. The media’s outing of Kristen is disgusting. Their blatant misuse of the pictures from her myspace page are jaw dropping in their lack of integrity. Especially given many of the media outlets were supposed to be ones that operated at a higher standard. That professed themselves to be above the level of tabloid shit like the National Enquirer.

Those that stand behind Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft need to consider that the actions of these two anti trafficking, abolitionist activists are as an egregious breach of the rights of a sex worker or worse, if the pictures depicted on their websites are as they described, victims of human trafficking and coerced torture as they are presented by Farley and Craft. Both Farley’s Prostitution Research and Education http://www.prostitutionresearch.com “trafficking jamming” blog and Nikki Craft’s ACLU, “Always Causing Legal Unrest” show porn pics of women in bondage. Pictures that it can easily be speculated are without the consent of the women being photographed as neither Farley nor Craft have ever responded to requests to prove consent to use the image or even if the women are of legal age. While lack of response is not inherently guilt, it is hard to fathom a reason why either “anti trafficking activist” would not be outspoken if they had acquired consent of the women depicted. Farley’s is more graphic and after outspoken criticism from sex worker rights activists and from Farley’s statement apparently survivors of rape, she put a disclaimer rather than having any viewer including those under 18 be ambushed by a picture of which any pornography site would be held accountable under law to have warnings about adult content, illegality of underage viewing and full consent of the actresses depicted. Farley’s explanation of placing the disclaimer on what had been a blatant image as soon as one hit the blog page ”

In response to comments by survivors of torture and other sexual abuse, we have placed a warning and additional link to the photograph of kink.com torture. Traffick Jamming visitors can now choose if and when they look at the photographs.

Her disclaimer reads ”

WARNING If you open the red torture photo link directly below this paragraph, you will see two photographs of people being tortured. One is the widely-circulated photograph of a hooded figure with electrical wires of man being tortured at Abu Ghraib. At the same link, you will also see a photograph of a woman being tortured. This photograph of torture is from the website kink.com. The woman’s face is masked and unrecognizable and she has on a thong that covers her genitals. Her breasts are concealed here. She is shackled by the ankles and hung with her arms tied to the wall over her head. The woman is being electrically tortured by someone off-camera with what looks like a cattle prod. All you can see is his arm with the cattle prod. There is also what appears to be an electrical outlet or battery in front of her. Click Here to view photo. I have not enabled the link from here to the pictures. This blog is taking extensive traffic and given these pictures are in very high probability without consent, they are as exploitative as the news media. Showing a naked woman being tortured with captions describing the action without the consent of the woman in the picture…………. Sorry, if you want to find this you can look yourself. My goal is to make a point, not to direct a high traffic load to pictures that I believe are being used in a manner that is a horrendously egregious breach of privacy and law that is being overlooked because it is done by the alleged freedom fighters for trafficking victims as Farley and Craft self portray.

Outspoken self proclaimed radical feminist “Pony” in response to the disclaimer states

Please DO look at the photographs, which are not owned by the people depicted, but by the torturers. As long as the only people who see these and others like them are the torturers and torture and pornography consumers, women haters, abusers and traffickers win, because ordinary people will not see what pornography is really about.

Whether Pony is speaking for herself or on behalf of inside knowledge of Farley apparently not having consent to use the photo of the women being tortured. She advocates that one look at the photos. Pony who in other posts advises that she does not “frequent pro porn blogs” has no problem viewing the kind of porn she condemns if it is on an anti porn site and encourages others to follow despite her opposition to these very types of images. Despite by her belief Farley does not even have consent to use the picture which if this were on a non anti porn website one would very likely see very outspoken criticism from Farley, Craft, Pony.   If the pictures are owned by torturers, not the people depicted, this even by Pony’s admission and her ally Farley is using pics owned by torturers and Pony is advocating one look at these pics.  Hmmmm,  seems like an odd contradiction.  Farley and Pony come from a school of thought which considers giving condoms to working sex workers collaborating with traffickers and pimps.  Thus what does that make a feminist using stolen pictures without the consent of the persons depicted, taken by photographers identified by Farley and Pony as torturers without even a safeguard to protect minors or compliance with 2257 which deems the pictures legally assumed to be without consent and of minors.  That is feminist?  By what standard?

So, back to the hypocrisy issue. Farley jumped on the bandwagon with her betrayed colleagues. Sex worker rights activists have condemned the hypocrisy of a leader in a fight, Spitzer, against sex work by consenting adults with clients hiring escorts while hiring the very people he is persecuting. Sex worker rights activists also oppose human trafficking and coercion. That is not a stance owned by just the “anti trafficking movement”. The suggestion that a sex worker rights movement would be pro trafficking is absurd. The idea behind a movement for the rights of a population is exactly that. Rights. Right to consent among other things.

Including the right to consent to the use of your pictures. Farley in her blog opines about the porn actresses who later wished to have their images removed and had to go to litigation and attempt to force these images to be removed via legal action after various website owners would not grant the wishes of the actresses. As a sex worker rights activist, as Executive Director of SWOP East, I can state firmly that we advocate strongly for the right of consent to the use of images and the right to terminate consent both of which being held by the actress portrayed at all times. If the actress wishes the pictures to be removed they should be removed. An empowered sex worker rights movement would have a much greater chance of having this kind of protection built into contracts with website owners and legal remedy for damages in the event of contractual breach. Farley wants this right except when it applies to websites owned by Farley and Craft. Then she wants what Spitzer wanted. To be above the law.

So my questions are to anti trafficking/radical feminist/abolitionist activists. If you oppose the outing of Kristen and the blatant misuse of her pictures without her consent, one would assume then that you would also want these protections for the actresses in the pictures of websites owned by Farley and Craft. Otherwise, once again we have a hypocrisy issue.

If Farley wants credit for condemning Spitzer perhaps her actions should speak more loudly than her words and the pics should be removed. Not to mention perhaps a mea culpa. If her allies want her condemnation of Spitzer to be more than words perhaps they should consider the step of condemning two of their own engaging in their own ethical transgressions.

The media, gender, and representation

Yegads!

I was recently reading the comments on a post here, and noticed one that Amanda made:

“Someone needs to dig up some of Spitzer’s childhood friends.”

And then it hit me: in this entire media circus, not once has anyone ever brought up Spitzer’s childhood.

But that seems to be all they can manage to talk about when it comes to Kristen. They all talk about how she came from a broken home, had substance issues, and so on. They tsk tsk about how she “fell into the wrong line of work,” how she must have been abused as a child, and that perhaps if she had been able to properly attend to the various psychological issues her childhood had wrought upon her, she may not have been a prostitute today. And that once she attends to them, she should be just fine- she’ll become enlightened and can finally get out of this line of work (because loads of us are eager to leave a job that pays $4300 an hour to have sex with powerful men). They wonder where it all went wrong. (Again- what’s wrong with a job that pays $4300 an hour to have sex with powerful men??)

But what about Spitzer? Why is his childhood and homelife not of interest to the media? Perhaps he had some “childhood abuse issues” which led him into the “wrong line of work.” Perhaps there was something in his childhood that created some disconnect whereby as an adult he came to see no wrong in busting escort agencies with one hand while taking advantage of their services with the other. I mean, this stuff has to come from childhood issues around self-righteousness, propriety, and entitlement.

I think the media’s obsession with Kristen’s childhood ties directly into the prohibitionists’ habit of using the term “girls” when referring to sex workers who are between 18 and 28. It seems to be a form of infantilizing women when they exercise their sexual and economic autonomy. It reminds me of the Swedish model, and it makes me want to wretch.

How about talking about her strength in overcoming a challenging youth to grow up and land a job that paid her for one hour more than most of her critics will see in a month? How about talking about her strength in the face of this onslaught of media attention and scrutiny? How she hasn’t cowered off into some corner- how she has kept her myspace page up, and how so many of the comments there are full of love and support in the face of this?

Kristen deserves to be seen for the amazing and strong woman she is. The obsession with her childhood is simply a cheap ploy to diminish the inherent fortitude of a person who faces challenges head on and rises above and beyond to become a creative entrepreneur beholden to nobody but herself. This is the hallmark of successful sex workers everywhere, and something that must be quashed by society lest more of us become such entrepreneurs.

I think it is important for the media and people like Farley to portray us as broken and weak people. It is ironic that some of them actually do this in the name of “feminism.” The truth is that the “abused girl” thing has to be played up to create a smokescreen to hide the reality: sex workers like Kristen don’t need you or anyone else to validate them. That is power. And that is dangerous.

Sex workers continue to be the strongest, wisest, and most resourceful humans I know. They have no bosses but themselves, and they are truer to their convictions than anyone in any other profession I have ever met.

Sex Workers Rule!

If only I would cooperate and what happens if I don’t.

It seems today I am evil.  No surprise this happens with some consistency and despite ever changing abolitionist feminists remarkably similar.  So today a few sporadic emails to SWOP East and myspace which reference my BnG post. Most of which is the usual rhetoric that I have heard many times. So I am responding to the troll named Whou indirectly, and to Jeffery Blumethal directly as his personal email contained a thinly veiled threat.

Dear Miss Brenneman

Miss Brenneman you are suffering from a mental illness that is not your fault. But you must realize the danger you cause to women and girls because of Stockholm Syndrome definition

This is the mental illness which you suffer. Again, you are not at fault for this. The Stockholm Syndrome (SS) is a psychological involuntary state in which victims of kidnapping or abuse begin to feel sympathy, emotional bonding, and solidarity for those who are abusing them or keeping them captive in oppressive situations.

The Stockholm Syndrome was named in 1973 by psychologist Nils Bejerot after the hostage victims of a Stockholm, Sweden robbery and six-day kidnapping resisted being rescued, defended their captors, and refused to testify against them. Two of the women hostages eventually became engaged to the captors.

When victims are under tremendous emotional and physical duress, they may begin to identify with their abusers or captors as a defensive mechanism. The victim develops a strategy of staying alive by keeping the captor happy and eventually sympathizes with the captor. Small acts of kindness on the part of the abuser increases the emotional bond.

Stockholm Syndrome is a common survival mechanism of

captured brides
battered women
physically and/or emotionally abused children
incest victims
prostitutes
cult members
concentration camp prisoners
prisoners of war
those in controlling and/or intimidating relationships
hijacked victims
hostages..

that is what which you are suffering. It is not you’re fault as I believe you are telling the truth about being tortured by pimps and tricks. That is what they do and what they like. But you are affected by this so severely that you are a danger. You can not keep writing because the media likes salacious stories and will talk to you. But because you suffer from acute Stockholm Syndrome you are now a recruiter for others to prostituted and tortured as you were. You may not realize it but you want others to tortured because you were and because it arouses you because it is how you learned to be loved. It has happened to many in the past so you can be forgiven but you can not continue talking publicly until after many years of therapy. For the safety of others I am telling you to stop as you can and will not be allowed to cause harm to thousands of women and girls for the sake of your unfortunate battle with Stockholm Syndrome. Raleigh, NC is not so hard to make the price too high for you to continue. Your illness is understandable as is your pain but it has turned you into a sexploitation recruiter making your torture porn and prostitution seem glamorous. Please stop yourself so that others do not have to help you get there.

Jeffery Blumenthal MSW

 

No Jeffery, I am not suffering Stockholm Syndrome and personally I find it annoying that you enclosed the definition in your letter as you apparently feel this would be a revelation to me. What impresses me is your effort to impose your clinical diagnosis of me in an effort to advance a political agenda. I don’t owe you or anyone a detailed response to an unfounded and baseless diagnosis. You do however leave openings for discussion.

I am not the perfect victim Jeffery. I am not your stereotype sex worker that either has to be saved from herself or rendered evil and a danger to society. I digress for a moment because your post brings to mind the Genesis song “Mama” but various posts all day have brought musical references to mind. Shrug. Back to topic. Yes, I have the classic history of childhood abuse that likely fills your stereotype. Yes, I was tortured. Yes I was a sex worker. So in your belief and that of others such as “Whou”, I have a duty to open my soul to the world. You create a dynamic in which I have a duty to re-live over and over the trauma I suffered in some of my experiences in sex work and that those should be public experiences to be debated for their veracity, for their effect on me, for their value in “warning others” and in the case of the neo abolitionist anti trafficking types of the Spitzer, Melissa Farley, Donna Hughes ilk, for value in using my experiences as the template for all sex workers. Veracity being determined by virtue of whether I am speaking from the abolitionist perspective. Effect on me as a cookie cutter mold to impose upon all sex workers. Duty as a mandated survivor to warn all those who may be at risk regardless of whether or not I continue to be torn apart in that process as by virtue of suffering I should become a martyr. The answer to that is no. My value as an activist, as a woman, as a human being, does not go up if I become a martyr for the cause. Feminism does not gain when women are destroyed for a macro level war to protect all women. And much to the likely surprise of many who oppose the idea of a survivor of sexual abuse, rape and torture, I am capable not only of finding healing without patronizing correspondence of a stranger but further, I am capable of being able to determine the propriety of my activism and of my life. As to your psych assessment of me. Remind me again. Who are you? We’ve never met……………… perhaps MSW type since you don’t know me, that means you don’t know me and thus you are projecting upon me your fantasies of victims of sexual violence and how they should respond.

This thing that you have Jeffery and others about my alleged recruiting of others into the sex industry. Anything to back up those assertions? Even my “pro prostitution, pro porn” friends and allies would likely advise you that I am not an outspoken proponent of sex work. I’m an advocate of sex worker human and labor rights and of harm reduction. That is a far cry from recruiting others into coerced participation in BDSM. Which for the record, neither I, nor any sex worker or sex worker rights activist that I have ever known has advocated coerced participation in sex work. We are actually strongly opposed to coercion. We do however do something as evil as say get together to send condoms to sex workers in Chile

Perhaps Jeffery, Whou, others,, you can’t get off on the fantasy of me advocating sex worker rights rather than hearing the story of my exploitation and thus I am not fulfilling your needs and given you obviously view me as a cookie cutter whore apparently if I can’t fulfill your expectations I better shut up and get out? It seems that I like my sex worker and sex worker rights allies am not some iconic idol, I’m just a woman, just an individual, one who happens to believe in human rights for sex workers despite my past making me the potential posterchild for the CATW magazine’s year end issue. Despite having been a sex worker, I can think for myself, choose to do so and advocate for others to have the same rights.

As far as the sublime threat about my speaking to the media and the use of where I live as part of the subliminal threat. Nice try but it’s been done. It’s on my myspace profile that I live in Raleigh. It isn’t exactly a secret. So Magnum MSW, Whou and others, you will have to find someone else to sell your pitch about being the perfect victim and the duties that go along with it. If I want to march to the beat of a drummer I can listen to Mick Fleetwood or Jim Dispirito. But it is never again going to be to the likes of Farley, Hughes or their true believers Blumenthal or someone as creative as to use the name Whou. Doesn’t Ric Flair have a copyright on that? No wait, I think Ric Flair is Wooooo,,

Melissa Farley Get a Life!

I mostly don’t care what Melissa Farley thinks, I know that her position is weak and illogical. But her opinion piece opens with a question that I’d very much like to address:

WHAT do we know about the woman Gov. Eliot Spitzer allegedly hired as a prostitute? She was the one person he ignored in his apology. What is she going through now? Is she in danger from organized crime because of what she knows? Is anyone offering her legal counsel or alternatives to prostitution?

What we know about Kristen is that she was able to walk into a room with a man, take over 4K from him and STILL INSIST ON SAFE SEX. Hmmm, Kristen must be a very confident, intelligent woman who respects herself. Kristen is a hero. She understands that the quality of an intimate sexual experience does not have to be compromised by safe sex. KRISTEN could probably give young women some good ideas about setting sexual boundaries and communicating about them.

She doesn’t need an apology from him- not in the sense that Farley is suggesting. He needs to have some balls and say that he made a decision to employ the services of a woman with whom he enjoys spending time and he’s sorry for all involved that they’re in the public eye. He ought to thank, not apologize to her.

Her purpose, as a man who knew patiently explained, is “renting” out an organ for 10 minutes.

How does she justify objectifying language like this? We are not fractured and damaged beings as she repeatedly claims. Since when is ‘a man who knew’ a legitimate source of information?

Whose theory is it that prostitution is victimless? It’s the men who buy prostitutes who spew the myths that women choose prostitution, that they get rich, that it’s glamorous and that it turns women on.

Um, to many of the women who do it, that’s not just a theory. Do their voices matter at all? Unlike you, Ms. Farley, we actually have some experience to base our perspective on and we understand the realities of the sex industry better than you ever will because your perspective is limited to theory- ours is reality.

Do you actually believe that women are so incapable and ignorant that men have programmed us into announcing to the world that we like what we do and we don’t want jail and we don’t want diversion programs. We do want access to health and education resources so that all sex workers have the agency to make informed decisions without risk of economic coercion. Yeah, the men brainwashed that into us.

But most women in prostitution, including those working for escort services, have been sexually abused as children, studies show. Incest sets young women up for prostitution — by letting them know what they’re worth and what’s expected of them. Other forces that channel women into escort prostitution are economic hardship and racism.

I would really be thrilled to read any of your research or research supporting your argument that has been peer-reviewed and has sound investigation methods. Still waiting…

Economic and race issues are always relevant when discussing the sex industry. The Eliot Spitzer story does not play into the traditional stereotypes. Which is good in most ways and has some major downsides…. exclusion and a glossing over of the issues involved with the practical enforcement of prostitution laws, etc. This case did not surface because of a traditional prostitution bust. This was about him specifically. Keeping prostitution illegal will always create a tool for political maneuvering. However, this has given the public an opportunity to look at a new angle of the industry that it was pretty much completely ignored before. And if all of us, in all levels of the industry, don’t start saying something, the media and Farley will continue to speak for us. So perhaps this is a critical point for the industry, can this be a situation that sparks new alliances and awareness among a more economically diverse group of sex workers?

The Emperor’s Club often required that the women provide sex twice an hour. One woman who was wiretapped indicated that she couldn’t handle that pressure.

As often noted by sex workers, myself included, this work isn’t for everybody. Some women enjoy stripping but would never do prostitution, some women enjoy prostitution but are too shy to get on stage in dance clubs. The point is- we need to be free to select the situations that we choose to work in, to have a legal environment that does not criminalize our right to COMMUNICATE (because, after all, that IS the only difference between the pro’s- pre-nups included- and non-pro’s) about those boundaries. If you can’t do it twice in an hour, that isn’t the right agency for you- find another one. Or better yet- work for yourself.

Telephone operators at the Emperor’s Club criticized one of the women for cutting sessions with buyers short so that she could pick up her children at school. “As a general rule,” one said, “girls with children tend to have a little more baggage going on.”

Again, this is an issue of choice. A professional is responsible for her schedule. If the schedule is not flexible enough for her, she needs to be able to work elsewhere (or for herself!)- not get out of prostitution. Sex work enables many mothers to afford their monthly expenses while still spending as much time as possible with their children. She needs to have choices within sex work. Limiting the public perspective on sex work to these extremes- either the rarest high-end situation or the saddest of poverty-stricken situations- prevents people from understanding the true nature of the work and associated circumstances that can limit one’s ability to choose.

Whether the woman is in a hotel room or on a side street in someone’s car, whether she’s trafficked from New York to Washington or from Mexico to Florida or from the city to the suburbs, the experience of being prostituted causes her immense psychological and physical harm. And it all starts with the buyer.

*Yawn* Okay, yeah, it’s all because of the natural biological human sex drive which women are expected to suppress and men are supposed to lie about. It makes perfect sense, it’s like how breathing creates air pollution.

Farley Saves the Day!

Melissa Farley weighs in in the NY Times. We need someone to get an article in there (and not Bob Herbert).

Besides the usual blather, she states “Her [Kristen’s] purpose, as a man who knew patiently explained, is “renting” out an organ for 10 minutes.” Thank you, Farley, for repeating that. We all want everyone to understand that’s what sex work is. To Farley, we’re all simply female organs — much like the men she accuses of victimizing sex workers with this attitude. Fuck you, Farley, because I am much more than a walking vagina. Really. Believe it or not, my clients saw me that way. Why can’t you?

Farley also trots out the tired “all sex workers are abused as children” thing. Give it a rest, will ya? Everyone had a crappy childhood. That’s why therapists are in demand — arguably more than sex workers. (Though I have to wonder if she was abused as a child, which is why she has such a problem with sex work.)

Does she not realize how much this victimizing of sex workers hurts us? That it makes us less than human in the public eye — not more sympathetic? Does she not realize how patronizing it is to decide what’s right and wrong for every sex worker in the US — regardless of each individual’s experiences and feelings? Does she not realize how much money she makes off our backs — anyone here who has gotten an op-ed in the NY Times raise your hand.

She blames the “buyers” for the problems of sex work. No, it’s people like her who maintain the status quo of criminalizing sex workers. The criminalization of sex work is shown to cause great harm. She far more dangerous than a whole roomful of politican-clients who want a good time hidden from their wives.

Image that?

Las Vegas is not what Farley would like people to think it is…

This is just so fucking…typical.

I mean really, how many times are we going to see this same fucking bullshit played out by Farley and her ilk over, and over, and over again?

Using other peoples shit out of context and without real consent? Hum, typical?

Refusing to engage critics? Typical?

Sketchy research and backers? Typical?

Profiting off the backs of the sex workers she exploits for her own reason and gain? Typical?

Ah, Melissa, you are a goddamn credit to your kind.

(h/t to IACB)

Anti Prostitution Group Commits Violence On Sex Worker At UC Berkeley Performance

East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Labor & Workers | Womyn

 

Anti Prostitution Group Commits Violence On Sex Worker At UC Berkeley Performance

by Maxine Doogan
Sunday Nov 11th, 2007 10:29 PM

“My Real Name” was a One New Earth Production performance by Students and Artist Fighting to End Human Slavery. Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Ethics Studies and promoted by the SAGE Project violent scene after violent scene was played out against streetbased prostitutes. This play actually turned out to be a propaganda piece conflating incest, rape, domestic violence, economic disparity, homelessness, drug addiction with the occupation of prostitution by depicting graphic sexually violent images and reenactments.

<!–

–> Anti Prostitution Group Commits Violence On Sex Worker At UC Berkeley Performance
By Maxine Doogan

11/09/07

An altercation involving Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers Union, followed a performance sponsored by U C Berkeley Ethic Department at UC Berkeley Worth Ryder Gallery on Nov. 9th 2007 which resulted in the U C Berkeley Police issuing a 7 day stay away order to Ms Doogan, Lisa Roelillg one other companion.

“My Real Name” was a One New Earth Production performance by Students and Artist Fighting to End Human Slavery. Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Ethics Studies and promoted by the SAGE Project violent scene after violent scene was played out against streetbased prostitutes. This play actually turned out to be a propaganda piece conflating incest, rape, domestic violence, economic disparity, homelessness, drug addiction with the occupation of prostitution by depicting graphic sexually violent images and reenactments.

The producer had stated that this performance was meant to be interactive and invited audience members to interact with the people depicting the violence during the performance. It was unclear if the people relating the violence were actors or the actual people who had experienced the violence originally. The producer also said a discussion about trafficking in the sex industry would follow the performance.
Many people walked out before the end as did Doogan, who returned at the conclusion expecting to find a discussion under way but instead found her comrade, Lisa Roellig, a former streetbased worker surrounded by anti prostitution activist, like researcher Melissa Farley, who recently called for the closing of the legal brothels in Nevada.

Roellig, an ex-streetbased worker and Doogan attempted to converse with the producer about her relationship to the issues raised in the performance. The producer responded by yelled and waved her arms saying she didn’t believe in the comodification of women and that no discussion was going to take place. However a loud discussion ensued between all parties with the producer stating that Doogan ‘sucked the dicks of corporate America’ and was ‘a white and privileged’. Another anti prostitutionist, also a former streetbased worker, stated that all prostitutes are dogs, and used physical intimidation to push Doogan out the door while evoking the name of blood of Jesus Christ. Doogan responded by leaving the building and calling the anti prostitution group “poverty pimps”. Annie Fukushima, U C Berkeley Doctorial Candidate, threatened to call the cops and Doogan encouraged her to do so.

Doogan, Roellig and the third person made statements to the police that Doogan had been physically assaulted. UC Berkeley Campus Officer Sanchez only wanted to know if the women who called the police were women of color. All three women were issued 7 day stay away orders.

Said Roellig, “While they were privileged enough to call in the cops because two women show up to question their view of our lives, I was not ever privileged enough to call the cops when I was raped, assaulted or robbed on the street because I was a criminalized worker. These women are outspoken on their abolitionists views and are advocates of the continuation of the States oppressive laws that control our bodies, our economies and most important make us easy targets for police abuse and corruption”

Please call, write or email the Berkeley Police Department and tell them to receive the report of battery on Maxine Doogan. And the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Department because it failed in its commitment to be understanding of the deep multiple meanings of racial diversity in the Americas in the area of prostitution when they sponsored the performance and facilitated racial violence against sex industry workers.

Office Of The Chief Of Police

Victoria Harrison, Associate Vice Chancellor/Chief
(510) 642-1133
vlh [at] berkeley.edu
Mitch Celaya, Assistant Chief
(510) 643-9597
mjc [at] berkeley.edu
Jennifer Woods, Executive Assistant
(510) 643-7500
jwoods [at] berkeley.edu
Adan Tejada, Administrative Lt.
(510) 642-3679

Andrew Tucker, Administrative Sgt.
(510) 642-1157
atucker [at] berkeley.edu
Jennifer Sakai, Training Officer
(510) 642-1135
jvargas [at] berkeley.edu

Department of Ethnic Studies 506 Barrows Hall #2570, Berkeley, CA 94720-2570. (510) 643-0796 (510) 642-6456 [Fax] Email: ethnicst [at] berkeley.edu
Beatriz Manz Chair and Professor

Graduate Group Staff
Ethnic Studies Graduate Group Staff
Name Position Phone Number E-mail Address
Francisca Cazares Student Affairs Officer (510) 642-6643 fcazares [at] berkeley.edu

Ethnic Studies Graduate Group Advisors
Ethnic Studies Graduate Group Advisors
Name Position Phone Number E-mail Address
Laura Perez
Graduate Advisor (510) 643-1584 leperez [at] berkeley.edu
Sau-ling Wong
Advisor for GSI Affairs (510) 642-6195 slwong [at] berkeley.edu
Francisca Cázares Student Affairs Officer (510) 642-6643 fcazares [at] berkeley.edu