Norma Jean Almodovar: The AGs vs. Backpage

Veteran sex worker rights activist Norma Jean Almodovar has written a passionate essay on the hypocrisy of the stance taken by 45 state attorneys general in demanding that Backpage discontinue all adult advertising, and I’m pleased to announce that she’s done me the honor of allowing me to publish it as a two-part guest blog on The Honest Courtesan:

Part One (September 16th, 2011)

Part Two (September 17th, 2011)

Both columns contain numerous links supporting Norma Jean’s position that if the “authorities” really want to protect “children” from sexual exploitation, that aim would be best served by forgetting about Backpage and cleaning up their own “disorderly house”.

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>

Sex 2.0 is April 12th!

Come join us in Atlanta!

Sexing Up Social Change & Social MediaMelissa Gira and Stacey Swimme

The non-profit web, it’s so hot right now. But what of us sex activist outlaws — working queer politics, throwing feminist actions, laboring for sex worker rights, and promoting sexual health uprisings? Many of our community members are super web savvy, from gay teen YouTube celebs to third waving bloggers to podcasting porn stars, so doing outreach, advocacy, and organizing online makes complete sense (especially in frequently cash-strapped organizations). Then what does it take to do social change with social media strategically? How do you know when you’re doing effective work vs. just messing around on MySpace? And is there funding out there for online activism? Drawing on examples from international campaigns and peer-led trainings I’ve supported, I’ll run down free tools we can use now, brainstorm how we involve our communities in peer-based advocacy online, and facilitate discussion on how to launch a campaign.

Full Schedule

sex20-badge-150x100-im-coming-black-bg-pink-logo.jpg

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,,

Audacia Ray

On Brian Lehrer

Today, Tuesday 3/11/08

11:40am EST

Listen online here

From Melissa at Valleywag.com

Three things you can learn from Client 9

Let’s be clear: Today’s takedown has nothing to do with stopping prostitution. It’s about bringing down the governor of New York. There are three things you need to know before tonight’s cocktail-party chatter. Most people will get them wrong — and that’s the way the media wants it.

  • “Christin” won’t be found online. Don’t bother trolling the Internet Archive for her photo. The way high-end agencies work is the pics on the website aren’t the actual girls. Potential clients go in person to a madam after they make a deposit towards the first appointment. They then get to look at a photo book and decide who to hire from there.
  • There’s no such thing as a “$5,500/hour escort.” Agency-based prostitutes who command these rates don’t turn hourly tricks. These are evening, overnight, and weekend appointments. Spitzer wasn’t just “paying her to leave” after a blowjob, he was time-sharing a mistress.
  • Could it happen to YOU? No. You’ll never see a headline, “Prostitution Bust Nets 8 Alpha Geeks.” Federal prosecutors, who almost never make prostitution arrests, are using the Emperors Club to take down high-profile clients, just as Spitzer once did himself. Busting a bunch of techies gets nobody nothing. They’d sooner nab the newspaper editors and TV producers who’ll rush this story out today before going to their own appointments. If Jimmy Wales had hired, he’d have saved himself a lot of bad publicity.

Sex Work, Trafficking, and Human Rights: A Public Forum

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Elizabeth Wood
Phone: provided upon request
Email: elizabeth (at) sexinthepublicsquare (dot) org
Co-founder, SexInThePublicSquare.org
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Nassau Community College

Sex In The Public Square Presents:
Sex Work, Trafficking, and Human Rights: A Public Forum

New York, February 20, 2008 – Ten prominent sex worker advocates, writers, researchers will be publicly discussing the issues of sex work and trafficking from a human rights and harm reduction perspective, February 25 – March 3, on SexInThePublicSquare.org. The week-long online conversation will conclude with a summary statement on March 3, International Sex Worker Rights Day.

Sex work and trafficking are two issues that must be discussed as distinct yet intersecting, and we’ve invited some of the smartest sex worker advocates we know to help sort out the complexities. “This forum is not about debating whether or not we should be using a harm reduction and human rights approach instead of the more mainstream abolitionist and prohibitionist approach to sex work,” explains Elizabeth Wood, co-founder of Sex In The Public Square and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nassau Community College. “Instead our goal is to create a space for nuanced exploration of the human rights and harm reduction approach so that we can use it more persuasively.”

Wood explains: “The human rights and harm reduction approach seeks to reduce the dangers that sex workers face and to stop human rights abuses involved in the movement of labor across borders, a movement which occurs in the service of so many industries. We want people to be able to learn about this perspective, and to develop and refine it, without having to dilute that conversation by debating the legitimacy of sex work.”

Questions and themes include:

Defining our terms: Is the way that we define “porn” clear? “Prostitution”? “Sex work” in general? What happens when we say “porn” and mean all sexually explicit imagery made for the purpose of generating arousal and others hear “porn” as indicating just the “bad stuff” while reserving “erotica” for everything they find acceptable? When we say sex work is it clear what kinds of jobs we’re including?

Understanding our differences: How do inequalities of race, class and gender affect the sex worker rights movement? Are we effective in organizing across those differences?

Identifying common ground: What are the areas of agreement between the abolitionist/prohibitionist perspective and the human rights/harm reduction perspective? For example, we all agree that forced labor is wrong. We all agree that nonconsensual sex is wrong. Is it a helpful strategic move to  by highlighting our areas of agreement and then demonstrating why a harm reduction/human rights perspective is better suited to addressing those shared concerns, or are we better served by distancing ourselves from the abolition/prohibition-oriented thinkers?

Evaluating research: What do we think of the actual research generated by prominent abolitionist/prohibitionist scholars like Melissa Farley, Gail Dines, and Robert Jensen? Can we comment on the methods they use to generate the data on which they base their analysis, and then can we comment on the logic of their conclusions based on the data they have?

Framing the issues: What are our biggest frustrations with the way that the human rights/harm reduction perspective is characterized by the abolitionist/prohibitionist folks? How can we effectively respond to or reframe this misrepresentations? What happens when “I oppose human trafficking” becomes a political shield that deflects focus away from issues of migration, labor and human rights?

Exploring broader economic questions: How does the demand for cheap labor undermine human rights-based solutions to exploitation in all industries, including the sex industry?

Confirmed participants include:

Melissa Gira is a co-founder of the sex worker blog Bound, Not Gagged, the editor of Sexerati.com, and reports on sex for Gawker Media’s Valleywag.
Chris Hall is co-founder of Sex In The Public Square and also writes the blog Literate Perversions.

Kerwin Kay has written about the history and present of male street prostitution, and about the politics of sex trafficking. He has been active in the sex workers rights movement for some 10 years. He also edited the anthology Male Lust: Pleasure, Power and Transformation (Haworth Press, 2000) and is finishing a Ph.D. in American Studies at NYU.

Anthony Kennerson blogs on race, class, gender, politics and culture at SmackDog Chronicles, and is a regular contributor to the Blog for Pro-Porn Activism.

Antonia Levy co-chaired the international “Sex Work Matters: Beyond Divides” conference in 2006 and the 2nd Annual Feminist Pedagogy Conference in 2007. She teaches at Brooklyn College, Queens College, and is finishing her Ph.D. at the Graduate Center at CUNY.

Audacia Ray is the author of Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads and Cashing In On Internet Sexploration (Seal Press, 2007), and the writer/producer/director of The Bi Apple. She blogs at WakingVixen.com hosts and edits Live Girl Review and was longtime executive editor of $pread Magazine.

Amber Rhea is a sex worker advocate, blogger, and organizer of the Sex 2.0 conference on feminism, sexuality and social media and co-founder of the Georgia Podcast Network. Her blog is Being Amber Rhea.

Ren is a sex worker advocate, a stripper, Internet porn performer, swinger, gonzo fan, BDSM tourist, blogger, history buff, feminist expatriate who blogs at Renegade Evolution. She is a founder of the Blog for Pro-porn Activism and a contributor to Bound, Not Gagged and Sex Worker Outreach Project – East.

Stacey Swimme has worked in the sex industry for 10 years. She is a vocal sex worker advocate and is a founding member of Desiree Alliance and Sex Workers Outreach Project USA.

Elizabeth Wood is co-founder of Sex In The Public Square, and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nassau Community College. She has written about gender, power and interaction in strip clubs, about labor organization at the Lusty Lady Theater, and she blogs regularly about sex and society.

To read or participate in the forum log on to http://sexinthepublicsquare.org

For more information contact Elizabeth Wood at elizabeth (at) sexinthepublicsquare (dot) org.

SWOP East Int. Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Two Part online event

**Please Distribute Widely**

 

For Immediate Release                              Media Contact: swopeast@gmail.com

December 13, 2007                                               

                                                             
Sex Workers Outreach Project East

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Two-Part Online Event

1) Repository for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Projects/Pictures/Events …and…

2) Live Online Vigil

Who: Sex Workers Outreach Project East Two-Part Online Event

What: Repository for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Projects and Live Online Vigil 

When: Repository begins Saturday, December 15th, 5:00 PM EST and continues through Monday;

Live Online Vigil Monday, December 17th, 5 – 11 PM Eastern (2-8 PM Pacific)

Where: http://www.swopeast.blogspot.com/

Beginning Saturday, December 15th, at 5:00 PM EST, the swopeast.blogspot.com will be available for posting pictures, events, comments, summaries, reactions, etc., to events related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Please post any comments or artifacts that you’d like to share and visit our blogspot to view happenings related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers from around the world.

On Monday, December 17th, beginning at 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM EST SWOP East will be holding a Live Online Vigil. Please join our virtual community to share your stories, mourn our sisters and brothers, and work toward a space where this violence is no longer tolerated.  

For questions or more information contact swopeast@gmail.com

 

SWOP East’s Growth and Expansion

I am happy to share some very good news about SWOP East. Just over a year ago, SWOP East was an independent harm reduction based project called the STORM Project, Sex Trade Opportunities for Risk Minimization. While we retain a harm reduction component, we made a radical decision as an organization to take on a sex worker rights position as the core belief and mission of our organization. I approached SWOP about bringing STORM under the SWOP banner as part of my hopes to switch to a sex worker rights position. At the time I was the only sex worker rights activist on the board of directors. SWOP-USA welcomed STORM into SWOP and we became SWOP East.

SWOP East now has a sex worker rights based Board of Directors, we added some wonderful and talented activists and allies, Jessica Land joined us and has brought her energy and experience in the movement to become our new Board Chair, Amanda Brooks, joined in May and along with our Chilean counterpart Beatriz Mercado in Chile, they have been instrumental in the now launching Pledging Action global effort to get condoms to sex workers in Santiago, Chile that have lost access to resources due to USAid anti trafficking legislation which has devastated outreach programs worldwide. Lola Silvera of Toronto is my frequent adviser and is on our advisory board. Last month saw Jill McCracken of St. Petersburg, Florida to SWOP East as our new treasurer, Ren Ev. in DC has joined us as an awareness activist and we are close to having a supporter join us from Richmond, VA.

SWOP-USA’s welcoming of what was STORM and the great, vital energy of all of the new members, of which I am eternally grateful and thankful for all of their effort, work and enthusiasm, has developed SWOP East into an organization spanning two continents, three countries, and seven states.

Our growth is part of the emerging sex worker rights movement of which I am so proud of all it’s members and thrilled to be part of! This started three years ago when I was welcomed into the sex worker rights movement by so many activists that I love and respect dearly

We are always interested in hearing from others interested in working with SWOP East, SWOP-USA or any Sex Worker Rights Org or any sex worker or sex worker rights activist, ally or supporter that wants to join a growing movement for social justice for sex workers worldwide!

In Solidarity

Jill Brenneman

Chilean Sex Workers Protest the imposition of criminalization and fines

Thank you to Beatriz Mercado of SWOP East-Chile for translating this document into English!

Although this is not a breaking news item, Angela Lina protested a heavy fine to be imposed on Chilean street sex workers. I don’t know if the bill passed or not. Courtesy of a RedTraSex newsletter.

In English: More intents to fine sex workers

Last July, Las Condes major, Francisco de la Maza, moved forward in his intent to criminalize sex workers imposing a city ordinance to fine sex workers who work on the streets.

People from Independent Labor Union of Sex Workers Angela Lina, focal point in Chile of TraSex Network, along with Amanda Jofré Organization, made a protest in front of the city hall on July 4th.

This wasn’t his first try. In may, sex workers were able to stop fines from being imposed, with the support of several organizations in a meeting held at Christian Churches Social Aid Foundation.

“City major wants to profit from street sex workers, asking them to pay over $ 150.000 chilean pesos ($ 300 US dollars), an amount equivalent to what a regular worker gets for a month’s salary, as a fine applied both to the sex worker and her client” explained the leaders of the organization.

Executive Secretary of TraSex network sent a letter addressing this subject:
TraSex network wants to express their support to our friends form Labor Union Angela Lina in their fight to stop persecution and harassing against sex workers in Chile.

Once again authorities try to mistreat our fellow sex workers by taking unilateral decisions instead of calling them to reach appropriate solutions that won’t put sex workers at risk.

We demand sex workers opinions to be considered and also that authorities call sex workers to discuss issues that affect them.

as a region network
we will not stop denouncing any decision
that may violate human rights
of latin american and caribbean sex workers

The original piece: Mas intentos de multar a las trabajadoras sexuales
En el mes de julio, el alcalde de la municipalidad de Las Condes, Francisco de La Maza, avanzo en su intento de criminalizar a las trabajadoras sexuales con una ordenanza municipal que multa a las trabajadoras sexuales que trabajan en las calles.

Ante esta situacion, las companieras del Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Trabajadoras Sexuales Angela Lina, punto focal en Chile de la RedTraSex, en conjunto con la organizacion Amanda Jofre, realizaron un acto de repudio el miercoles 4 de julio frente al municipio.

Esta no fue la primera arremetida del alcalde. Ya en mayo, las companieras lograron detener la imposición de multas con el apoyo de diversas organizaciones en un encuentro realizado en la Fundación de Ayuda Social de Iglesias Cristianas.

“El alcalde quiere lucrar con las mujeres trabajadoras sexuales de las calles, a quienes quiere hacer cancelar más de $150.000 pesos chilenos, suma similar a lo que gana una persona asalariado en un mes de trabajo, traducido en una multa aplicada a la compañera y al cliente”, explicaron las dirigentes de la organizacion.

La Secretaria Ejecutiva de la RedTraSex envio una carta el respecto:

La REDTRASEX quiere hacer expreso su apoyo a las companieras del Sindicato Ángela Lina, en la lucha que están llevando adelante por la persecución y hostigamiento que están sufriendo las trabajadoras sexuales de ese país.

Porque una vez mas las autoridades se empeñan en maltratar a nuestras companieras con disposiciones unilaterales, en vez de convocarlas para llegar a soluciones adecuadas sin volver a ponernos en situación de desprotección.

Exigimos que la palabra de las trabajadoras sexuales sea tenida en cuenta, y establecer una convocatoria para discutir las distintas problemáticas que perjudican a nuestro sector.

En nuestro carácter de Red Regional Mas intentos de multar a las trabajadoras sexuales
En el mes de julio, el alcalde de la municipalidad de Las Condes, Francisco de La Maza, avanzo en su intento de criminalizar a las trabajadoras sexuales con una ordenanza municipal que multa a las trabajadoras sexuales que trabajan en las calles.

Ante esta situacion, las companieras del Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Trabajadoras Sexuales Angela Lina, punto focal en Chile de la RedTraSex, en conjunto con la organizacion Amanda Jofre, realizaron un acto de repudio el miercoles 4 de julio frente al municipio.

Esta no fue la primera arremetida del alcalde. Ya en mayo, las companieras lograron detener la imposición de multas con el apoyo de diversas organizaciones en un encuentro realizado en la Fundación de Ayuda Social de Iglesias Cristianas.

“El alcalde quiere lucrar con las mujeres trabajadoras sexuales de las calles, a quienes quiere hacer cancelar más de $150.000 pesos chilenos, suma similar a lo que gana una persona asalariado en un mes de trabajo, traducido en una multa aplicada a la compañera y al cliente”, explicaron las dirigentes de la organizacion.

La Secretaria Ejecutiva de la RedTraSex envio una carta el respecto:

La REDTRASEX quiere hacer expreso su apoyo a las companieras del Sindicato Ángela Lina, en la lucha que están llevando adelante por la persecución y hostigamiento que están sufriendo las trabajadoras sexuales de ese país.

Porque una vez mas las autoridades se empeñan en maltratar a nuestras companieras con disposiciones unilaterales, en vez de convocarlas para llegar a soluciones adecuadas sin volver a ponernos en situación de desprotección.

Exigimos que la palabra de las trabajadoras sexuales sea tenida en cuenta, y establecer una convocatoria para discutir las distintas problemáticas que perjudican a nuestro sector.

En nuestro carácter de Red Regional
NO CESAREMOS DE DENUNCIAR CUALQUIER DISPOSICION
QUE VIOLE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS
DE LAS TRABAJADORAS SEXUALES DE LATINOAMERICA Y EL CARIBE

The Post-Election Rapist-Judge Blues

Well, it’s disappointing but not surprising—Deni won her retention.

Here is a link to Jill Porter’s latest coverage on the issue.

I’m sure Deni feels vindicated by her triumph, but I know in my heart that no one who knew of her malevolence would ever vote for her. With less than three weeks to organize and zero budget, we just couldn’t reach enough voters in time. She won by the smallest margin of any of the judges up for retention but, nevertheless, she is still allowed to make her personal judgments the rule of law, forcing people of whom she disapproves to be victimized not once, but twice. We cannot let this happen. Just because we lost this battle, does not mean we can’t win the war.

What can we do now?

First, we can write to her supervisor in municipal court and demand that she be removed from any court in which she can exercise her personal biases to circumvent the law. I’m thinking traffic court for her. Her supervisor is the Honorable Judge Louis J. Presenza. His mailing address is: Honorable Louis J. Presenza, President Judge, 1303 Criminal Justice Center, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Attached below is a template that people can re-word to make their own if they wish.

Another aspect to this is Deni’s future political career. I got only one piece of hate mail over the course of the past few weeks. It came from one of Deni’s cronies who tipped her hand by mentioning to me that Deni wants to run for district attorney next year. While people might have been very lackluster about a judicial retention election, they will pay much more attention to a DA race. I shudder at the thought of her advancing her political career and it’s imperative that we keep a close eye on her throughout the next year. It’s important that we not let the memory of her recent actions die and that we maintain a careful watch over all her upcoming court activities. In the event that she does make moves towards another office, we have to be ready to mobilize a much larger campaign to defeat her.

Now that the election is over with, we might give some thought to organizing a public demonstration to help spread the word about Deni and her actions. There has been a great deal of interest from out-of-town people who would probably love to attend. We should send a message to her that we will not accept her behavior quietly and that we are still watching her. We should let all the people who unwittingly voted her into the courts for another six years have the opportunity to know who she really is.

I’d like to thank all the people who went above and beyond to try to defeat Deni in the election. I know it’s disappointing but we did reach a lot of people in a very short amount of time and we managed to send Deni the message that she cannot impart her will on other people’s lives without impunity. Anyone still interested in fighting the good fight to get rid of Deni should contact me at no.on.deni@gmail.com.

Matilda

 

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Dear Judge Presenza,

I am writing to address the decision by Judge Carr Deni to dismiss all rape charges in the case of Commonwealth v. Gindraw. The case involved a young woman who had consented to a paid sexual encounter with an individual but was instead held by this individual and three others against her will and at gunpoint who proceeded to subject her to non-consensual, unprotected sexual intercourse despite the fact that she withdrew her consent and begged to be released. Because of the initial agreement between the victim and the defendant, Judge Carr Deni felt justified in classifying this violent assault as consensual and therefore threw out all rape charges. By any reasonable and humane standard this incident qualifies as rape.

The case was against the defendant and was not intended to determine the criminal behavior of the victim. Despite this, Judge Carr Deni clearly felt compelled to punish the victim for her agreement to engage in the illicit exchange of sexual activity for money. Furthermore, Deni proceeded to make a statement to the press that this case “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”

Pennsylvania law clearly states that rape is defined as “a felony of the first degree when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant:

1.        By forcible compulsion.

2.        By threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution…”

and further that “[e]vidence of specific instances of the alleged victim’s past sexual conduct, opinion evidence of the alleged victim’s past sexual conduct, and reputation evidence of the alleged victim’s past sexual conduct shall not be admissible in prosecutions under this chapter except evidence of the alleged victim’s past sexual conduct with the defendant where consent of the alleged victim is at issue and such evidence is otherwise admissible pursuant to the rules of evidence.”

When a victim is begging to be released to return to her infant daughter and is being held at gunpoint by four men, there should be no room to question whether or not this is “forcible compulsion”. Additionally, as the victim in this case clearly withdrew her consent, there is no legal basis for Judge Carr Deni to have based her ruling upon the victim’s past sexual conduct or reputation. While I understand the importance of an independent judiciary it is clear from her behavior both in court and in speaking to the press, that Judge Carr Deni allowed her own personal biases to determine her ruling.

Due to her obvious prejudice and disregard for the human rights of those who engage in sex work or are suspected of engaging in sex work, I respectfully request you to consider transferring Judge Carr Deni from her position in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia. Your Honor, I feel that it is clear that Judge Carr Deni is unable to maintain the impartiality required of a member of our judicial system and therefore should not preside over court proceedings that might involve women who engage in sex work.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

 

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From Matilda at the Deny Deni! Campaign in Philadelphia

By now everyone has heard of the horrific case of Judge Teresa Carr Deni dismissing all rape charges against a young woman who was held at gunpoint and violently sexually assaulted by four men. I’m sure everyone also knows that Deni’s reasoning was based on the fact that the 20-year-old single mom who was assaulted had initially arranged for a paid sexual encounter with one of the men.

I am appalled that anyone would view this as anything other than rape and to classify the incident as consensual is a deliberate attempt to dehumanize people who engage in sex work. I don’t see Deni’s take on the situation to be much different from the argument that women who wear tight, short skirts are begging for it. Rape is about power, not sex, and I’m horrified that anyone would argue otherwise. There is that old feminist slogan, “If I hit you over the head with a frying pan, you don’t call that cooking.” That keeps springing to my mind here. 

As I’ve worked on the campaign to get Deni voted out of office on November 6th, the evidence of her contempt for sex workers has become more and more apparent. In the first place, one of her statements to Jill Porter, the reporter who originally broke the story, (which you can find here) was that the victim had taken another client before reporting the incident.

Not only is this in no way relevant—even if she had, people who experience trauma often go on with their plans before they begin to process what has happened to them and, more to the point, she still needed to make money to support herself and her child—but it actually turns out that was an outright lie on Deni’s part. Clearly she thought this would bolster her stance in other people’s eyes but it is nowhere in the court transcripts and participants who were there that day say that no such thing ever came up. 

There have also been two different court records leaked of cases involving sex workers she has presided over in which she also dismissed rape charges. It has been repeatedly been stated to me that Deni has been a pretty good judge when some women have ended up in front of her. Apparently she is considered lenient and fair in these cases. What is also readily apparent, however, is that she has a deep-seated and irrational hatred of women who engage in sex work. She clearly feels that she is justified in punishing them for their choice of employment no matter what the reason they have come before her in court.

Furthermore, she dared speak on behalf of rape survivors by stating that this case minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.” I know of no rape survivors who feel anything other than complete empathy for the woman assaulted in this case, it’s absolutely disgusting that Deni would attribute such a view to other women who had experienced such a monstrous thing. 

Additionally, she also completely flouted Pennsylvania law regarding rape and consent. The law clearly states that consent can be withdrawn. Even the Philadelphia Bar Association, a very staid and apolitical organization, was offended. You can read Chancellor Jane Dalton’s statement here.

There is absolutely no excuse for this behavior. No other information about her actions make this okay. There is absolutely no justification for having her act as the guardian over a court of law. On November 6th, those of us who vote in Philadelphia have the opportunity to oust Deni by voting against her retention in the court system. We hope to be successful. If we are not—as one city official said to me a couple of days ago, “You basically have to kill your mother not to win a retention vote”—be prepared, the fight is not over and we have a lot more work to do.

Right Then

I get out of bed in the morning like everyone else. I shower, brush my teeth, put my jeans on one leg at a time like anyone else. I pay taxes, bitch about gas prices, shop in stores, do dishes, keep an eye on politics, just like countless other people worldwide. I mow my lawn; I like action movies, NFL football and the Discovery Channel. I drink Coca-Cola and even put up a flag on the 4th of July. I vote, I read, I enjoy a good family BBQ, like a whole lot of other people. I also work, and I work so my loved ones and me will maybe have things I didn’t. I work because like a lot of people, I have to. I also work because I want to. This year I will be able to buy something for my brother, who is having a rough time of it as of late, that he really wants and will enjoy for Hanukkah. I like being able to do this. I like not having to worry about whether or not the power will be on tonight, I like knowing that I can buy groceries. I like the idea that because I am working, maybe people I care about won’t have to work or worry so hard.

 

Just like a whole lot of other people. Looking at it that way, I am general Citizen Americanus in almost every way…

 

…but it just so happens that I am a sex worker. By choice. And I have been since I was 19 or so. For over a decade I’ve been a sex worker, in the sex biz, whatever you want to say, along with being and doing all those other things. And that makes me different. Different in the eyes of the law, in the eyes of the medical field, in the eyes of society as a whole. Despite all that other average Citizen Americanus stuff, I’m a sex worker, which makes me different, other, and yes, as Judge Deni proved so brilliantly with her decision to label the rape of a prostitute a mere theft of services, lesser and not deserving of the full protection of the law. She made it plainly clear that no sex worker is. Funny how if you happen to get naked and/or perform sexual acts for living, your value as a human being suddenly drops to that of somewhat sentient livestock. You become lesser than, even though you breathe, sweat, work, feel, think, and do just like every other human being out there.

 

I’d like to say I am shocked about this ruling, but I’m not. Outrage, pissed, annoyed, but shocked? No, not in the least. Hell, I watch the news. All this “I can’t believe a woman judge would do this?” All the stunned reactions? That, honestly, is what surprises me. Not her stupid ass ruling, but the fact that people are surprised by it. Sex workers get the short end from just about everyone; society, the law, the media, religion, women and men alike, so it’s not hard at all for me to believe that a judge (even a woman one!) would pass down such an obviously inhuman and downright asinine ruling. Though it does make me want to say “Murder is a job related risk of being a judge, so if it should happens to judges, it should be looked at as an occupational hazard and reduced to crime of passion/assault in those cases”?

 

It also makes me wonder where this clown went to law school. See, if I take my car to get repaired and I drive off without paying the mechanic, THAT is theft of services. If I pull a gun on the mechanic, beat him, force him to repair my friend’s cars, then it becomes robbery with a deadly weapon, assault and battery, and assault with a deadly weapon. Oh yeah, and if I force him to have sex with me, its RAPE…even if he was hittin’ on me earlier.

 

Oh yes, but I hear you know…but Ren, prostitutes sell sex, and doing so is, in most areas, an illegal activity! Well, yeah, so what? When it’s sold, it’s a business transaction (Which, for fucks sake, should not be illegal). When it’s taken forcibly and against her will, it’s rape. Even when the victim is a prostitute. How hard is that to grasp? Sex itself is not illegal, any woman can have sex anytime she wants (as long as she’s not selling it!) and if she were to get raped, well, it’s a crime… same goes for prostitutes, bonehead judge and bonehead supporters of the judge.

 

Sex against someone’s will is rape, plain and simple, no matter what services that person provides for a living.

 

And people wonder why people like me, who are pretty much Average Citizen Americanus in almost every other way would not ever consider going to the cops in this sort of a situation. It’s very true that on the job I could be beaten, raped, threatened with a gun, and if that happened, guess what? I would not go to the law. I’d like to think I could, that it would be worth it, but this case and every other one like it just shows me otherwise. There is no faith in the justice system here on this issue. If you sell sex, well, you’re just asking for it, right? That’s what they’re saying. They are saying it loud and clear, and unfortunately, not enough people, people who actually matter to them, are saying otherwise. You can get raped by the accused and then raped all over again by the justice system and the media as well, doesn’t that sound like fun? Your whole life, your whole history, all of your business splattered out there for the whole world to see and dissect, and then some asshat judge saying it was a “theft of services”, doesn’t that sound like a wonderful way to spend a few months? Because I am pretty sure you all know as well as I do, when a woman rape victim goes to trial, even if she isn’t a sex worker, she is the one on trial…and if she is a sex worker, it’s even worse. Put my faith in a system with that attitude?

 

I think not. Hell, even when sex workers get murdered, it some how ends up being their own fault. Any attack or assault upon our persons we bring on ourselves, because we sell nudity, sex and sexuality for a living. We somehow, well, deserved it. What did we expect after all, doing something so unseemly? What did she expect?

 

I guess she really shouldn’t have worn a short skirt.

 

I guess none of us should.

 

And this is not going to change until people, people above and beyond us, people above and beyond we sex workers with Internet connections start making some noise.

 

So yeah, I am begging you, anyone reading this, anyone who actually cares about sex workers and sees them as humans, who in most ways probably aren’t all that different than you are…bring the noise.

 

And keep bringing it until Judge Deni and all the other people out there like her realize their ears are bleeding. Because that’s the only way we’re going to get heard, and the only way some real justice is going to come our way.

 

And real justice is something we all, all us humans, do deserve.

kissing, the memory, and the aftermath

Another dirty and decidedly deleterious post in the eyes of the right from surgeon today.

It’s a diary day, por supesto.

To begin.

I’d like to talk about kissing. I enjoy kissing. Even with clients, when they have an aesthetic I can manage. I have often been told I’m a great kisser, which means nothing, but that I am a chameleon, a basset hound, and can judge taste and type with my lips. I am interested in the myriad of expressions one can find in a kiss. But I have one question. Why lead with the tongue? It happens far too often. Who really thinks it’s sexy to come at someone tongue first? Is it that the tongue represents the cock, and you feel called to demonstrate your manhood by emulating your erection with your tongue? It’s not hot. No, really. It’s not.

Second.

Yesterday, I have this call. Someone I’ve seen once before, who I cannot remember. I remember his voice, vaguely, but his name is common, and his words are nondescript. I am occasionally put in a position where I do not recall the type of session I had with someone. I remember them, perhaps, but not their proclivities. Which puts me on the spot. “Would you like to have a massage today? or…?” He responds with a, “yes, last time you gave me a massage, it was great!” Not enough details. Did I fuck this man, trample this man, tie this man up, tantric massage? Or what? I can’t figure it out. I hint, I suggest, I insinuate. Nothing. No clues, no answers, and then he arrives at my door.

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Sex Workers Protest ‘Feminist’ Attacks

October 5th, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Robyn Few 1-877-776-2004

Event: Sex Workers Protest ‘Feminist’ Attacks
Date: Friday, October 5th
Time: 6 PM
Location: in front of the Glitter Gulch, 20 Fremont Street
City: Las Vegas
Website: http://www.swop-usa.org, http://www.boundnotgagged.com

Sex Worker Showdown in the Streets of Las Vegas

On Friday, October 5, 2007 sex workers from Nevada and California will meet in the streets of Las Vegas to gather signatures for support of prostitutes rights in Nevada. Sex workers, advocates and allies will gather at 6pm in front of the Glitter Gulch, 20 Freemont Street to counter-protest the self-proclaimed, ‘radical feminist’ “Day of No Prostitution March.”

“Prostitution is a legal industry and the workers should be supported, not subjected to discrimination and stigma from so called feminist fringe groups,” says Robyn Few, co founder Sex Workers Outreach Project USA. “We are here to say, NO SEX WORKER PHOBIA WILL BE TOLERATED TODAY.”

“Anti-prostitution zealot, Melissa Farley has descended upon Las Vegas with manipulative statistics and rhetoric, claiming to help prostitutes by criminalizing their industry. Of course that forces it further underground. Fundamentalist feminists like her are harming, not helping prostitutes,” says Carol Leigh of Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network.

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Rebel Yell, A victimless crime? Sex workers defend legal prostitution

News

A victimless crime?

Sex workers defend legal prostitution

Published on September 20, 2007

“Criminalization of sex work and sex workers that are legal adults and consenting solves nothing,” said Jill Brenneman of Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) East, an advocacy group for sex worker rights, at an online press conference Monday night.

The conference was held by workers and advocates of the sex industry as a rebuttal to the New York Times article written by columnist Bob Herbert, and a recent book-length report by Dr. Melissa Farley, a psychologist and researcher stressing that the sex industry in Las Vegas is responsible for the degradation of women and for sex trafficking.

Bound Not Gagged is a sex worker outreach project with a blog where participants include prostitutes, escorts, exotic dancers and pornography performers, and was developed by Desiree Alliance as an online resource for sex workers to respond publicly to those such as Farley and Herbert.

Farley’s book, Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connection, was published earlier this month through her organization, Prostitution Research and Education, and can only be purchased on her website. Farley was asked to study the consequences of the Nevada sex trade by John Miller, who was the former head of the U.S. State Department committee to fight human trafficking around the world.

The book details Farley’s findings of the working of the illegal sex industry within Las Vegas. Farley suggests that Nevada is the hub of North American prostitution and sex trafficking. She also suggests that those within the industry are exploited and the industry itself is harmful and dangerous to women.

“Women’s experiences working in the sex industry are far more complex and varied than [Farley’s] research or [Herbert’s] column suggest,” said Lynn Comella, UNLV assistant professor of Woman’s Studies. Many of the participants at Monday’s conference claim that Farley’s research lacks accountability because the research methods used by Farley discredits and misrepresents women working within the sex industry. She has been accused of “ignoring those who do not agree with her views.”

“I have never been able to fathom how [Farley] could claim such commitment to the protection of women without listening to the voices of the very women they claim to protect,” said Jessica Land, a sex worker, during the conference.

Sex workers’ rights was a highlighted topic, with many bloggers stressing for an end of criminalization involving consenting adults, entitled protection from coercion, violence, sexual abuse and child labor related to the sex industry.

In a statement written by SWOP East’s Brenneman, “critics will state that youth should not be in the sex industry, they are correct. However, this requires more than press releases, position statements and pusillanimous policies of government.” The statement goes on to say, “This is a social issue that has to be addressed at the source.”

Not all participants were proponents of the sex industry. A blogger by the name of “Josie” stated, “You do not have a right to do anything you want with your body in this country. There are other people involved and impacted by these decisions.”

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Where are the answers to three vital questions from anti sex industry activitists

Question 1. Both Ren Ev and I have repeatedly asked radical feminist anti prostitution activists three questions and never get answers to them. Question 1 is if you advocate abolishing the sex industry what is your plan to do this, how will you achieve it, what happens to the sex workers that are currently in the sex industry and when will it be accomplished? To be this dedicated to the concept of abolition someone must have a strategic plan. What is it?

Question 2, I have made repeated requests to radical feminists that we try to drop the acrimony and work on issues we both can agree on. Is it so awful to work with actual sex workers that you can’t work with us? Wouldn’t it be more prudent and helpful to all if you found out what we really advocate rather than obsessing on Larry Flynt, Nevada Brothels and abusive pimps, issues that the vast majority of swr activists are actually working on? Why fight us when there are actual abusers and abuses we could ally with each other to combat.

Question 3. Why does everything have to be analyzed for faults if relayed by sex worker rights activists? I discussed the very anti prostitution org in Minneapolis called Women’s Recovery Center as one I have worked with in the projects development and support and send referrals even now. And all that came was condemnation of this program from radical feminists with factual misrepresentations of WRC not offering psychological assistance to exiting sex workers. Which is perhaps a weakness in their website because they do offer it. Why are they considered a poor resource even though the project is radical feminist? Is it just because they don’t hate SWOP East and still work with us thus they are collaborators with the enemy? If this is the case it is a very sad statement. That some/many rad fems are far more interested in politics and war with sex worker rights activists than actual work. This is 2007, not 1967. Militancy had a very important place in the sixties and seventies. Without it feminism wouldn’t have been successful. But this is 2007. Times have changed. Methods need to also.

Please, I would like answers to my questions. Ren would too.

Brenneman

The Morning After

I got up this morning intending to catch up on all of the posts and comments that I didn’t get to last night. To my surprise I came across Melissa Farley’s letter to us in my mailbox. I received it in a strange sort of round about way, I’m not sure why it wasn’t just sent directly to me or to the blog administrators. Anyway, I was bummed that I didn’t receive it last night so that it could be posted for our live bloggers to see, so I posted it this morning in hopes that maybe there would be some folks awake early enough on the East Coast to post some responses.

To my delight, we had some heavy-hitters from the West Coast all over it practically the moment that it was live. You’ve got to love it when you see RF, MD and SH finding common cause!

September 17th-18th our blog had more traffic than it’s ever had. It’s thrilling to see that sex worker’s voices are being heard by a growing audience. We owe so much of this growth to our contributing authors and all the bloggers who linked to us and encouraged their readers to “listen to sex workers.” Thanks to everybody who contributed their time and energy!

The debate around legal prostitution and trafficking in Nevada was still getting coverage in Las Vegas  as late as Monday, September 17th.

We sent out a press release  about the live blog event, but we eren’t that surprised that we didn’t get any mainstream media coverage, considering that the release went out pretty last minute.

Meanwhile, another politician announces resignation after being caught in a prostitution scandal.

Barb Brents reviewed Melissa Farley’s new book and Iamcuriousblue provided some discussion about her methodology.

We got some great comments from sex workers in different places.

Stephanie comments:

I believe that Melissa Farley is motivated by compassion towards sex workers, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s played a pivotal role in hurting many of us around the globe. I even wrote her a somewhat lengthy e-mail several years ago (before I realized that she was irrational and too blinded by anger to truly care about our well being). I started the letter by praising her for her efforts in helping women who want out, to escape their bad situations. I have always believed it was a noble cause to assist women needing help to improve their lives. It is unfortunate that she got so caught up in her anger towards all sex work that she lost sight of what she started out doing- helping women.

We were joined by two of Farley’s supporters, Jody Williams and Josie. They kept the debate interesting and we thank them for their participation. I hope that these conversations will evolve into cooperative problem-solving. I strongly encourage readers to check out all of the comments sections.

We also inspired the creation of a new blog! (Or is it just coincidence that the blog was created yesterday?) I came across it while checking out SkyBabe’s blog.

This morning we were mentioned over at Reno and Its Discontents as well as at the $pread Magazine Blog

And finally, Renegade Evolution breaks it down feminist expat style.

Thanks again to everybody who participated! More live blogging to come!

In solidarity,

Stacey

Outstanding!!!!

Our live blog was wonderful!!!! Thank you everyone who participated. It is important that all of our opinions be heard! Thank you for your efforts in raising awareness for social justice for sex workers!

Jill Brenneman

Review of Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada, Making the Connections

By Barbara Brents

I read Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada, Making the Connections by Melissa Farley this weekend. From the statements of others on the back cover, this report is being read as an academic study on the extent of trafficking in Nevada. However, I have to conclude that Dr. Farley must not have intended this particular report to be the main presentation of scientific research findings. She presents none of the elements contained in social scientific peer reviewed research. There is no systematic explanation of research methods, a rather unclear set of research questions, and it is difficult to generalize from the data presented here to the findings. For example, the report offers no empirical evidence to support the existence of sex trafficking in Nevada outside of that provided in newspaper articles. Instead she broadly defines trafficking as any movement of prostitutes across borders, and starts with the assumption that prostitutes do not consent. With that definition, all prostitution is trafficking.

She has conducted 45 interviews with women in legal brothels, but for the most part she discounts their comments saying, “I knew that they would minimize how bad it was” (p. 22) and “Most of our data offer a conservative perspective on the dangers of prostitution” (p. 23). She explains that her data did not fully support her conclusions for several reasons: managers were listening through devices to interviews, women are likely “ignore bad things or they pretended that unpleasantness will go away, or they call the degrading abuse of prostitution by another name that sounds better” (p. 22). Most researchers would then turn to other research methods if they determine their interviews were so flawed. The goal of scientific research is to make sure there is no evidence out there that might disprove one’s hypothesis. Instead, in the chapter on Nevada brothels, she reports findings from interviews in tables without systematically stating what the survey questions were, or how surveys were administered. And she runs regression with an N of 45. There is no statement of the sampling techniques. And for most of that chapter on brothels, she selectively uses quotes that do support her belief that prostitution is degrading while ignoring those that don’t support it.

She also relies very heavily on secondary sources to support her arguments. In a careful reading of many of her footnotes in the chapter on legal brothels, I found that she takes quotes out of context, without stating the overall conclusions of the sources. For example, of the seven of 10 or so sources that I was able to find where she drew quotes on Nevada specifically, five concluded their research with recommendations against an abolitionist approach to prostitution and with qualified support for legalization. The two who did not included a book written in the mid 1980s by a journalist and a documentary. She also draws several times on an unpublished paper written by a student at UNLV’s law school. I have not seen that paper yet.

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