Please Help With My Sex Worker Music DREAMS this summer!!

Are you going to be in Washington DC for the International AIDS conference in July?? I am! Check out this video and help me make my big thinking no limit WHORE REVOLUTIONARY dreams this summer. I have 24 days to raise money for my goal. Every element is about spreading sex worker activism through MUSIC. I am getting ready for a big show in Santa Monica with Madison Young and Nina Hartley on July 20th. Even after I have done activism in LA for the last 6 years, I still feel like the city barely knows what sex worker rights culture (and it is a culture everywhere else but here) IS. Help me change that! If you believe that that is worth $7 PLEASE DONATE! Click on the link below to get to the indiegogo campaign. Every donation HELPS! Thank you so much!

Sugar Babies=Sex Workers?

Excerpt from “Seeking Arrangement: College Students Using ‘Sugar Daddies’ To Pay Off Loan Debt” by Amanda Fairbanks

“When people think about sex work, they think of a poor, drug-addicted woman living in the street with a pimp, down on their luck,” says Barb Brents, [Professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas] who co-authored “The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex and Sin in the New American Heartland.” “In reality, the culture is exceedingly diverse and college students using these sites are but another example of this kind of diversity.”

With the exception of women who consider sex work their profession, Brents finds that nearly all the women she encounters in her research describe it as a temporary, part-time, stopgap kind of measure.

“These college women didn’t see themselves as sex workers, but women doing straight-up prostitution often don’t see themselves that way either,” says Brents. “Drawing that line and making that distinction may be necessary psychologically, but in material facts it’s quite a blurry line.”

Read the whole article at the Huffington Post HERE

Village Voice vs. Demi & Ashton

Late Tuesday evening ( June 28th) a story entitled “Real Men Get Their Facts Straight” by Martin Cizmar, Ellis Conklin and Kristen Hinman, appeared on the Village Voice media website; it uses the widely and justly ridiculed Ashton Kutcher/Demi Moore anti-prostitution ad campaign as a springboard for examining the fantastically exaggerated claims of “child sex trafficking” fetishists.

First, the story compares the widely-touted “100,000-300,000 trafficked children” myth I debunked back in January with the police arrest records of the 37 largest American cities and found that in the past decade there were only 8263 juveniles arrested for prostitution among them, an average of 827 per year (roughly 22 per city per year).  Even if one assumes that these cities together have only half of the underage prostitutes in the U.S., that still gives us fewer than 1700 per year.  Ask yourself:  Even considering the incompetence of police departments, which is more believable: that police catch roughly 5% of underage prostitutes per year (by my estimate), or that they catch only 0.27% per year?

The article then moves on to the 2001 Estes & Weiner study, the original source of the fabulous number; as I reported in my column of April 2nd, the study “guesstimated (by questionable methodology) that ‘as many as 100,000-300,000 children and youth [of both sexes] are at risk for sexual exploitation’ of one kind or another…this guess is for BOTH sexes, for ‘children and youth’ (not just children), and most importantly represents those at risk of some form of ‘exploitation’, not currently involved in one specific form (sex trafficking).”  That “questionable methodology” (such as including all runaways, female gang members, transgender youth and those living within a short drive of the Mexican or Canadian borders as automatically “at risk”) was criticized in the Village Voice article by the University of New Hampshire’s Dr. David Finkelhor, who said “As far as I’m concerned, [the University of Pennsylvania study] has no scientific credibility to it…That figure was in a report that was never really subjected to any kind of peer review.  It wasn’t published in any scientific journal…Initially, [Estes and Weiner] claimed that [100,000 to 300,000] was the number of children [engaged in prostitution].  It took quite a bit of pressure to get them to add the qualifier [at risk].”  Professor Steve Doig of Arizona State said the “study cannot be relied upon as authoritative…I do not see the evidence necessary to confirm that there are hundreds of thousands of [child prostitutes].”  He also said, “Many of the numbers and assumptions in these charts are based on earlier, smaller-scale studies done by other researchers, studies which have their own methodological limitations.  I won’t call it ‘garbage in, garbage out.’  But combining various approximations and guesstimates done under a variety of conditions doesn’t magically produce a solid number.  The resulting number is no better than the fuzziest part of the equation.”  And when pressed by the reporters, Estes himself admitted, “Kids who are kidnapped and sold into slavery—that number would be very small…We’re talking about a few hundred people.”

Not that any of this bothers Maggie Neilson, Ashton & Demi’s “celebrity charity consultant”; she told the reporter “I don’t frankly care if the number is 200,000, 500,000, or a million, or 100,000—it needs to be addressed.  While I absolutely agree there’s a need for better data, the people who want to spend all day bitching about the methodologies used I’m not very interested in.”  Presumably it would still “need to be addressed” if the number were 827, so why not just say 827?  Because, of course, that wouldn’t justify pouring millions down police department and NGO toilets instead of spending it on programs to help actual underage prostitutes (as opposed to phantom multitudes of “trafficked children”):  as the article explains, “…though Congress has spent hundreds of millions in tax-generated money to fight human trafficking, it has yet to spend a penny to shelter and counsel those boys and girls in America who are, in fact, underage prostitutes.  In March of this year…[two senators] introduced legislation to fund six shelters with $15 million in grants.  The shelters would provide beds, counseling, clothing, case work, and legal services.  If enacted, this legislation would be the first of its kind…[it] has yet to clear the Senate or the House.”

The article ends with a clear indictment of government attitudes in prohibitionist regimes and an equally-clear statement that sex work is work:  “The lack of shelter and counseling for underage prostitutes—while prohibitionists take in millions in government funding—is only one indication of the worldwide campaign of hostility directed at working women.”  Village Voice recently told a group of sex worker rights activists that they are behind us, and that this is only beginning of a campaign for decriminalization; this could at last be the public voice we’ve needed for so long, and I eagerly await the next salvo fired in defense of whores.

There ya go Donna Hughes. You’ve saved the Carolina Panthers Mascot from potential trafficking

Donna Hughes may finally have a victory she can cite.

The New England Patriot’s mascot was arrested in Rhode Island for hiring an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute on Craigslist. With the Carolina Panthers coming to town this week, one could only imagine what heinous perpetrations the New England Patriots mascot may have had in mind with the Carolina Panthers mascot. Which is ironically a ki….. umm cat.

Well, there ya go Donna, there would have been cross border traveling as I can personally attest that the Carolina Panthers play their home games in North Carolina, and I have no doubt the Panthers Mascot would have been brought across state lines via aircraft with many young women, ironically called the Carolina TopCats who are likely to be scantily clad at game time.

I’m certain Donna Hughes would argue, all the indicators of human trafficking are there,,,,,, There is cross border transportation, young women dressed as cheerleaders, even many men who will play with their balls on Sunday.

But thanks to her efforts, this may have been thwarted.
MSNBC

From MSNBC “Don’t know how to say this so I’m just going to say it; Pat the Patriot, beloved mascot of the New England Patriots and inspiration to Boston-area children since 1960, has been arrested in a prostitution sting. But it gets worse: Evidently Pat was caught answering a naughty ad on Craigslist. Placed by a policeman in Rhode Island.

Rumor has it that local prostitutes called Pat by his other nickname, “The Revolutionary Minuteman.” They did not mean it as a compliment”.

Read More

Sex Worker positive songs.

I’m always intrigued when I hear a sex worker positive (or mostly positive) song that becomes widely famous.  These artists are like sex worker rights activists, but aren’t part of the larger sex worker movement, which makes me sad.  I’d love to get people like Wyclef Jean to get even more down for our cause, and change minor little issues with their music.  Take this one for example:

For mainstream music, this is unbelievable right? Except the part where Hope says:

Take me away from here, so far
Where they ride horses, no cars
No more stripping in bars
Me and you ‘Clef, against the odds

Right there, it’s the pretty woman stereotype.  Sex worker rights activists clearly have an issue with this stereotype being pushed down our collective throats.  Certainly some of us want out of the business (whatever form of sex work), but we don’t need you in a white horse to come save us.  We are empowered human beings, capable of making our own destinies, even if we had our knight on a white horse fantasies as a little girl!

Do others have sex worker positive music?  Please share!  It would be great on March 3rd to have sex worker positive music at an event!

Yay for Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates

On a brighter note, we may have two celebrity spokespeople!

Legalise prostitution: Michelle Pfeiffer

24 Jun 2009, 1558 hrs IST, ANI

Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates want the U.S. Government to legalise prostitution.

The two stars, who play historical hookers in Stephen Frears’ new period movie Cheri, are wondering why the ”world’s oldest profession” has been banned throughout most of their native America.

“There is an argument to be made for providing some protection for prostitutes. It would solve a lot of problems for them. They”re going to do it anyway,” Contactmusic quoted Pfeiffer as saying.

Her co-star Bates agrees: “For health reasons, it would be better for people to enjoy those pleasures.”

Original on Times of India

Heat Index: Erotic Photography Exhibit

Heat Index: an exhibition of erotic photography

Heat Index: an exhibition of erotic photography

HEAT INDEX

featuring

Eric Kroll

Richard Steele

Cherrie Stabs

Matthew Yates

Rick Soloway

Opening night, features a live art/bondage static performance.

Rocket Gallery

270 E Congress

Opening reception

June 6th 2009, 7pm

come on down!

Runs through June.

Mariko Passion sings “Decriminalize Me” in PSA for Sex Worker Fest

It plays when you come to the site, http://www.sexworkerfest.com/

You can download it here! http://www.sexworkerfest.com/PSASexWorkerFest2009.mp3

Sex industry cultures: Photos on facebook

phone_box_prostitute_calling_cards_1

escort ads London

I finally joined facebook and have started a photo album called Sex Industry. This is a public link, you don’t have to be a member of facebook to see the photos. Sometimes I worry that cultural interests, rather than overtly, campaigning, political ones are not so interesting to people here, but then I think that I must be wrong. And anyway, cultural work is just another kind of politics.

Here are a few other cultural landmarks in the past month or so:

Do you know whether or not you are a prostitute? which I published on Susie Bright’s Journal first.

Will a famous prostitute be allowed to rest beside Calvin in Geneva?

I’m a girlfriend, they’re my friends

I am also partial to satire when it comes to miserable topics. Here’s a marvellous piece on Norway’s new dreadful law

If anyone has photos to add to my collection, let me know!

Best, Laura

Tina Fey on Strippers (we need to protest her)

I found this on one of my google alerts. I am disgusted by it. I think we need to act on this somehow. Letter to Vanity Fair? Protest? Blogging here?

But I love Sasha’s response.

Randy roundup 2008

From Love Bites, EYE Weekly

BY Sasha   December 23, 2008 21:12

“I love to play strippers and to imitate them,” says America’s newly crowned sweetheart Tina Fey in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. “I love using that idea for comedy, but the idea of actually going there? I feel like we all need to be better than that. That industry needs to die, by all of us being a little better than that.”

Tina, you assclown, what is it that you think whores do? If you’re not sure, you know, because you’ve never actually had a reasonable conversation with one or set foot in their workplace because you’ve been too busy mocking them in the squeaky clean world of television, let me make it perfectly clear for you: they act like whores for money — so, like, what you do when you play one on television. Well, OK, maybe not exactly. See, what you’re doing more specifically is profiting off the dodgy status of sex workers while simultaneously stigmatizing real ones, which is even more despicable than actually being one, if you ask me. To quote one of Hollywood’s most excellent silver-screen strippers, Nomi Malone from Showgirls, “Fucker. Fuck off.”

http://www.eyeweekly.com/lovebites/article/48322

Boy George Guilty of Imprisoning Escort

LONDON – Pop singer Boy George was convicted of falsely imprisoning a male escort on Friday.

A jury at a court in London returned the verdict on Friday against the singer, tried under his real name of George O’Dowd.  Norwegian Audun Carlsen said he was restrained with handcuffs by the musician. Carlsen also accused O’Dowd of beating him with a metal chain as he tried to escape from the singer’s flat after a naked photo shoot.  O’Dowd admitted that he handcuffed Carlsen while he investigated alleged tampering with his home computer. But he denied assaulting Carlsen or swinging a chain at him.

Shame on Diane Sawyer

As sex workers, allies, and activists, we are deeply concerned about the “Prostitution in America” report that aired on “20/20″ hosted by Diane Sawyer.

Although prostitutes are the people most strongly affected and harmed by existing prohibitionist policies against prostitution, the report did not feature prostitutes’ perspectives on the legal status of prostitution. The only person interviewed whose perspective was featured on this issue was a reporter for the New York Times who promoted the Swedish model, even though Swedish prostitutes have denounced this legislation. Yet, their perspectives were not represented either.

Furthermore, we also found it highly offensive when Sawyer denied the perspectives of an independent, indoor sex worker just because her perspectives differed from Sawyer’s. Sawyer invalidated this woman’s perspective based on her own bias against sex workers. This is a violation to the women that she interviewed and to sex workers of all different backgrounds. Similarly, there was no legitimate reason for Sawyer to ask if the sex worker had any mental or emotional problems. Sex workers have the right to define our experiences for ourselves.

Just like any labor force, sex workers are a diversity of people with a variety of experiences and perspectives on our work. When reporting on sex work, it is important to respect this diversity as well as the sex workers. It is also essential to allow sex worker voices on public policies such as the legal status of prostitution, which affect not only our livelihood but our safety, dignity and human rights.
“Diane wrapped-up the program with another mention of the Christian holiday and a quote from the bible; the one about being the first to cast a stone.

I guess the irony of a sinning journalist stoning another profession was lost on ABC.

But not us.

The stigma of sex, especially as it is in this country, clouds the thinking of most people; we just didn’t expect the clouds to render Diane Sawyer free of her journalistic integrity; indeed, of any rational thought.” Gracie Passette via Sex In The Public Square

Reaching the media, Sex Workers Against Rape

We’ve briefly touched on this as a topic in various forums but never really gone forward with it.   This is a hard topic but one I honestly believe we have to put forward.  The media couches our movement, our efforts at social justice behind the myth that we are a very small fringe of all sex workers that both have not suffered violence but also are rich, affluent, spoiled brats making way too much money or in denial about what we have and do deal with and suffer.

We advocate fighting oppression, fighting violence, fighting discrimination, fighting coercion, yet this is missed by the media and very well played by the prohibitionists as exclusively their domain.  We are repeatedly blown off with these ridiculous terms as “pro trafficking”.  No one is pro trafficking other than traffickers and I don’t know anyone who is pro trafficking.  Is there anyone in our movement that wants someone coerced into the sex industry?  Is there anyone in our movement that wants to see a sex worker raped, assaulted, or harmed?  No.  Those are the very issues we are fighting against.  While our reasons for fighting for social justice for sex workers are many, I have never been part of a more inclusive, more united, more willing to be respectful of diversity group of people in my life than the sex worker rights movement.

Thus my thoughts whether popular or unpopular within our movement here they are.

We have to speak out against violence that we suffer, that we have suffered.  Obviously no one should be expected, forced, anticipated or even remotely pushed into outing their past suffering.  But those that are able and willing to do so.  We need to.  It is easy for reporters to slot audiences against us when they are able to portray us in the light of the never victimized high priced escort.  And yes there are many of them and yes their voices are just as important as anyone’s.   I’m not denying the importance of the voices of sex workers that were never harmed.  We all have very important voices.  But some of us are victim/survivor, however one self defines of various forms of harm.  We need to present this part of our movement too.  When a victim/survivor of trauma from our movement comes forward and says yes, I suffered this in the sex industry, or as a child, or both, we become much more accessible to people who would otherwise miss us and flock to those put forward by the prohibitionists.  That some of us come forward and say yes, these things that were very wrong happened to me in the sex industry which is why I advocate for sex worker rights, these things that were very wrong happened to me in the sex industry, as a child, whatever, BUT prohibitionist/end demand ideologies only make things worse, people have a much harder time dismissing us.  Or putting us into the slots that the prohibitionists so want us to be in.

I am the one in six childhood abuse survivors, I suffered violence in the sex industry, BUT, I advocate sex worker rights.  I do it by choice, I am aware of the various other ideologies, I’m not brainwashed by some monolithic pro porn movement as critics charge,  I’m not rich, I live paycheck to paycheck, worry about bills, am happy when I come home from work and the dog hasn’t gone potty on the floor,  in other words I’m human.  Just like 20/20’s viewers.  I don’t want to be glamorized, pitied, studied, or rescued.  I left the sex industry in 1995 because I chose to.  Not because I was running from it, not to beat an addiction, but because I wanted to do something else.  The same reason I have left many other jobs.  The same reason others leave their jobs.

When I did need help, when I was facing violence and coercion in the sex industry, none of the current anti trafficking measures would have applied or helped, I couldn’t go the cops or the justice system because in the US being a prostitute is illegal,  the clients getting arrested,,, so what???  Great so the whole thing which was underground in the first place just moves farther underground.  Not to mention I went into the sex industry for a reason.  To make money to survive.  I didn’t need the clients arrested because they were clients, I was there to make money to eat, to live, there was a need for the clients.   I needed the ones arrested that beat the shit out of me, or raped me, or forced me to do things without my consent.  I needed them arrested for rape, for assault, not on some minor misdemeanor that they could wash away with a visit to “John School” in some lame ass plea bargain.  I needed labor and human rights so that an abusive, sadistic pimp, didn’t have criminalization to use against me to keep under control.  As long as the whole thing is illegal the cops were more his allies than they ever could have been mine as I was more afraid of being arrested, or worse, being blown off because I was a prostitute and sent back to him to face a very angry pimp.  I needed human rights.  Not more than the rest of the world should get, but not less either.  Perhaps what people don’t like about the sex worker rights movement is that we want to determine our own course.  We don’t want to be rescued, or be research guinea pigs, or stereotyped.  We are individuals and human beings.  We are hugely diverse.

But we are fighting for social justice, we are fighting against oppression, we are fighting for human, civil and labor rights for reasons and those are often being missed by the media or the messages are being hijacked by the prohibitionists and their misguided conflagrations and stereotypes.  Prohibitionist researchers who were never sex workers and know little about them other than their 2 hour interviews with loaded questions slanted for desired results.  I’ve been to the big prohibitionist conferences and the biggest topics tend to be the number of stars of the hotel rating, how disappointing the eggs were at the continental breakfast or that their hotel suites had bad color schemes.  I’ve been to their conferences and been given the list of prohibited words, phrases and ideologies that will be stricken from the record if used and/or lead to expulsion from the conference.  These are some of the reasons I left that movement in 2002.  I’ve never seen that kind of garbage at sex worker rights meetings conferences, events, even if those same events are nothing more than a meeting at an unheated, poorly lit space that some other org is letting us borrow, with no meal service other than what we bring for ourselves, but we are there because we are working on issues, social change and fighting oppression.  Not because we are being funded by the USDOJ to stay in Washington DC Hotels after having to suffer the “indignity” of flying in coach because the Government wouldn’t agree to pay first class as some of the suffering prohibitionists did in 2002.

I’ve never known a more passionate, tolerant, empathetic, and authentic group of people than I have met in the sex worker rights movement.  There is a great amount of humanity in our movement.  Let’s make sure media sees that.   Yes I suffered in the sex industry and as a child.  But I want to choose my own path, my own career choices, and determine the propriety of my own experiences not have them reframed as some prohibitionist based projects would do for me.  We don’t need to be rescued, we need fucking rights and the people who best know this are the sex workers themselves, not the politicians, not the researchers, not the media.  But we have to be heard and people have to see us as three dimensional human beings and sometimes that means risking exposing our vulnerabilities.  For those who can do so we should.  Let Diane Sawyer argue with the sex worker who says yes I was harmed in the sex industry BUT I don’t want SAGE to rescue me, I want the same rights as Diane has as my path to not being harmed by my industry just as she shouldn’t be harmed in hers.

 

Kristen’s Mom

kristins-mom.jpg

…she wasn’t worried about her daughter after news erupted that she was the prostitute Spitzer slept with, causing his fall from power. “She is a very bright girl who can handle someone like the governor,” she said.

NY Post 

Has anybody been able to find interviews with Spitzer’s parents?

The Music Biz and The Moral High Ground

Jay Smooth. Intelligent and cute!

Did the DC Madam get DC residents to rethink prostitution?

Prostitution 2.0

A very interesting article on a techie website describes for laymen how to find an escort online:

A Girlfriend Experience Is Just A Click Away

The controversy surrounding New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has shed light (a red light) on a number of underground activities. Besides government corruption and the sex trade in general, Spitzer’s use of the Internet to connect with prostitutes is exposing a huge industry with which people may not be familiar.

Or even know exists.

The online escort/call girl/”model”/prostitute scene isn’t so hard to find, though. Just use Google. If the organic results don’t fit what you’re looking for, AdWords can help, too.

The truth is, investigating this scene is much like investigating the adult entertainment scene. The breadth, depth, and scope of prostitution available via online booking is staggering, indicating that just like the online porn industry, sex trade is not just a huge industry, but one that employs cutting edge marketing techniques, and one that apparently is thriving.

……………….

An Open Sex Market

It would be impossible to explore every website offering some kind of escort service, and many of them seem to have shut down since the revelation about Governor Eliot, including the Emperor’s Club website he used. But perusing some of them reveals details that would be mundane if talking about any other business.

When people think of prostitution, they generally think of street-walkers with cash-only policies. The 21st Century, though, brings change to the world’s oldest profession, too. Visitations can be booked with cash or credit. There is often a registration process for potential clients, or a requirement that the client participate in a screening process.

…………………

A Virtual Smorgasbord

Call Girls SmorgasbordGovernor Spitzer obviously had a certain taste: prostitutes he could take to Washington on important visits that didn’t look like a prostitute and could provide him confidence that she would exercise her right to remain silent. There are more expensive women than $4,300 for two hours, but he is a government employee at the end of the day.

If money is no object, a fat-walleted client can choose from a menu of women on sites similar to the Emperor’s Club, some with the same diamond-rating system. A seven-diamond lady, if paying by credit card, will run about $3,600 per hour. If paying by cash, a client can get a $600 per hour discount. If he wants to weed out the less expensive, less exclusive women, he can run a more specific search for [high class call girls] or [high class escorts] and Google will bring him back what he is looking for, thanks to some good SEO and SEM.

Interestingly, he notes that many sites have shut down since the scandal broke. I have been hearing through the grapevine that many women have taken their sites down until the dust settles. I tend to think they are wise in doing so, as there has been a veritable media feeding frenzy on working ladies.

I wonder what the projected implications are for the online advertisers?

Even more interesting than the article itself are the comments that follow.

Some choice bits:

From a guest

We use the internet as an alternative to walking the streets or turning over a huge percentage of our earnings to agencies and pimps. For the most part, it is safe. Every once in a while you hear of a girl getting hurt by a john, but not very often. A threat that is much more real is that of a pimp posing as a customer, making an appointment, then coming to rob and rape you. So most of us working girls (the smart ones anyway) refuse to see black guys….. seeing that this is the most reliable way of avoiding pimps. And yes, it works. Maybe we are losing out on the “good” black guys out there, but with such a disproportionate ratio of good vs bad, it’s an acceptable loss.

……………..

No girl grows up thinking she wants to be a prostitute. We end up here because we have no other (viable) way to earn a living. We have no education and no skills…. so what else are we going to do? We use our bodies instead of our minds. We all have secondary reasons as well. Some girls have kids to support, some have drug addictions, some are co-dependant on an abusive boyfriend. But NO girl does this because she likes it.

……………..

There is much much more to say about internet prostitution, but I could go on and on. In closing, I may be a prostitute…. but judge not lest ye be judged. Just as you are more than your job, I too am more than mine.

From the author of the article, Jason Lee Miller:

I saw on Discovery Channel a few years back researchers studying the brain via imaging and via the chemicals that were released. They concluded something kind of astonishing: creativity, sexuality, and spirituality all seemed to come from the same area of the brain…or that while one of these three things were active, the same area of the brain lit up.

……………………

All that, and my conspiratorial side doesn’t buy it that the feds targeted Spitzer by accident. Of all the dirty politicians and all the call-girls around Washington, why Spitzer? Probably b/c he was gumming up the works with all that justice…

But you didn’t hear that from me. 🙂 And I can’t prove a word of it. Just riffing, like I said.

Update 10:17 PM Funny I said that there at the end…read this before something mysterious and tragic happens to this guy:

http://www.gregpalast.com/elliot-spitzer-gets-nailed/  

Maybe there’s more to this than the press is letting us know.

[SWOP-LV’s comment: very interesting article by Greg Palast]

From another guest:

Keep it stigmatized.  Keep it illegal.  The whole mess is degrading to women as well as society as a whole.

The Most Rapidly Remixed Prostitution Scandal Ever

Snoop’s “Sensual Seduction” mixed with what we can only hope will be a new whore pride anthem, Kristen’s “What We Want.” With just a few photos of her from MySpace, an mp3, and a lot of media circusry, here we are.

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,,

Submissions: International Sex Workers Art Show

Submissions are still open for the International Sex Workers Art Show held this summer. Submission deadline is March 15. Art is multi-media, from 2 dimensional works to sculpture to audio/video (and maybe installations?). Sponsored by ESPU and Laborfest. All the details here.