Prop 35 — California

Posted on behalf of Maxine Doogan:
Our group’s ballot argument was picked to represent the no on California
Proposition 35. It will be printed in the voter information guide.
If prop 35 passes in our state, you can bet this bait and switch ballot
measure brought to us by the same old extremist who’s real goal is to
exterminate the sex industry at any cost.

Prop 35 uses the same old junk science to target our intimate, domestic
and economic relationship to now be called traffickers and have to
register as sex offenders with 70% of the fines going to the anti
prostitution non profits who now call themselves trafficked victims. The
other 30% goes to the cops. These failed policies of ballot box budgeting
has bankrupted our state.

Apparently, the California State Attorney Generals office has a report on
human trafficking that is being compiled via working groups with 100
people from law enforcement, state social service providers and non
profits. http://oag.ca.gov/human-trafficking

So why didn’t the proponents wait for the report before they paid 1.6
million dollars to bring this overreaching salacious ballot measure
before the voters?

Lots of these kinds of questions have to asked and answered in the public
sphere.

Your help is needed now! Inform your selves and speak out about the many
way prop 35 will further criminalize our industry, target the innocent and
completely erode any opportunities to help victims because it relies on
their failed practice of alienating the community most effected by their
abusive practices.
Stop prop 35

Continue reading

Join Us in Washington DC-July 24th March to End AIDS (and support sex worker rights!); July 21st-27th International AIDS Conference

Sex Workers at IAC 2012

July
2012, Washington DC*

(Read below US border laws prohibiting entry
of sex workers and drug users!)

Read and sign the:

Call To Action, a joint declaration,

demanding the end to criminalization of commercial sex, and
demanding that the U.S. enable sex workers to access safe
and healthy working environments and non-judgmental services.

Join the March We Can End AIDS on July 24th, Tuesday at Noon in DC!

See calendar of week’s events here

IAC 2012 – Kolkata: Sex Worker
Freedom Festival


Below are some of the crucial issues
that confront us regarding sex workers
and others in the context of HIV.
Please read these and understand how imperialistic
U.S. policies are adversely impacting people
around the world.


*Denied visa by US, sex workers to hold parallel meet at Kolkata

*2012 AIDS Conference: Criminalized Groups Need Not Apply

PEPFAR’s Violations of the Right to Health of Sex Workers

Medication Costs-Survival Only for The Wealthy-Obama’s Global Health Policy
Undercuts Reform At Home

July 9, 2012-Groundbreaking report
released by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law specifically recommends
the decriminalization of sex work (download pdf).

Help me Get to DC! Final PUSH for community LOVE and support of Sex Worker Music and Art

So maybe it won’t be a marching band, perhaps it will just be a pianist. So far, it isn’t even enough to cover the trip for me to get to DC! I need you, supportive community member, ally, fellow sex worker to CONTRIBUTE TODAY!! There are big jars of lube cream, some of my art, a dildo, even a wide and slick BUTT PLUG that you could get as a premium! WOWO!

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE INDIE GOGO CAMPAIGN http://bit.ly/NncBFu

Johanna Elby saw my earlier post and contributed as a result of my efforts! Thank you UNIVERSE! thank you Bound not Gagged! And now it’s YOUR TURN TO MATCH Johanna’s $20 contrbution! I know there is someone else out there reading this today that can help…

Yesterday I did the WHORRIFIC lemonade stand for the first time. It was fun. It’s a lot of work to do a lemonade stand. I gave it the immigrant try! But I didn’t make as much as they do doing it…so DONATE using the link above!

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!

Policy that Keeps Prostitutes From Carrying and Using Condoms. From First Person

I wanted to post a reply to the thread but for some reason I’m not getting an option to do that.  So.  I’m starting a new thread.

Geniuses that endorse this policy………  I’m putting it in first person so you can try to put a human face to a blanket policy.  I”m a sex worker.  That’s my job.   I need more than one condom with me because one condom doesn’t always work.  And while  a client stopped with multiple condoms will just be James Bond scoring with babes or considered an evolved man for using condoms.  I’m female.  If I do it than I’m a criminal.

So let’s do a bit of Sex Work for Dummies.  Pun intended.

Since I’m female and will risk arrest.  You leave me with two choices.  Take a legal risk or take a fatal risk.  Because………  If the first condom breaks as a sex worker I’m screwed.  And in a way that I don’t to become pregnant.  Because……  Without the back up condoms it becomes unprotected.  Unprotected sex risks pregnancy.  pregnancy isn’t the deal for either the client or the provider.  I don’t want to become pregnant by a client.  I can hear the geniuses.  “The don’t be a hooker”.  I’m an escort for a reason.  So save it.  I don’t want to become pregnant from a client.  I also don’t want to catch a disease from him.  Since I’m the sex worker it’s up to me to provide the condoms.  And beyond that I don’t want to trust my health or a pregnancy risk to a client.  Let’s face it.  Anyone who has been an escort for some time learns that many clients have no idea how to bathe.  They don’t know that the little towel, wash cloth, is for scrubbing to be clean.  They don’t know that standing in the shower and letting the water drain by their feet isn’t cleaning their feet.  Given this fact.  I don’t want to trust my safety or my pregnancy risk to them.  Thus I need condoms.  Otherwise, when I get pregnant, I will abort a child.  Because I’m not having a child with a client.  Nor does he want me to.  I prefer not to have an abortion if I don’t have to.

Since I am an escort.  Since it’s my body.  Since I’m doing it out of need.  Since I’m adult woman.  I”m grown up enough to make my own choices.  I choose to not be pregnant and not have a disease.  Geniuses who pass these laws.  Does this make sense?

You’ll say it fights trafficking to do this.  Umm.  How?  Trafficking victims don’t get pregnant or diseases?  Oh, well, if the escort can’t use a condom she’ll go become an accountant or manage a retail store……….  Umm,… No.  Not real world.

Actually geniuses who endorse this legislation.  Here’s the actual deal.  You’re clueless.  You don’t know what you are talking about.  Maybe you’re well intentioned.  Maybe you’re just a jerk.  Either way you are uniformed.   You are legislators.  As such you can pass laws.  You can keep prostitution illegal.  Nothing we can do about that.  But don’t put our safety on the line to make it easier for the police to make an arrest.  If you want police to arrest for prostitution than them earn it by proving prostitution rather than using a condom as cheap shot on the arrest goal.  Because that kills us.  And since most who write these puritanical laws tend to be pro life.  Here is reality.  If we get pregnant by a client.  We are going to very likely abort the child.  Even if you outlaw that.  If you are so pro life than don’t force scenarios that ensure an abortion.  If you don’t want unborn babies to be killed.  Then don’t create a dynamic in which they are created when they aren’t desired.  Maybe you don’t like this.  Maybe it’s distasteful.  Maybe you want to throw your cliché rhetoric.  But this real world.  It is how life really works.

You would know this if you asked us…………

Lazy law enforcement empowered by clueless puritanical legislators.  Gee.  That sounds like a great path for social change to me………  Pathetic.

The Policy That Keeps Prostitutes From Carrying and Using Condoms

Julie Turkewitz

Julie Turkewitz is a New York-based freelance journalist. She spent two years writing about AIDS and homelessness for Housing Works. Her work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and elsewhere.

 

New York isn’t the only place where cops can use condom possession to justify arrest, but sex worker advocates there are pushing a new bill.

 

…Condom possession in itself is not illegal in New York, nor in any other state. Rather, the fact that condoms can be used in court as evidence of prostitution means that police will sometimes confiscate condoms, interrogate those carrying several, and use them as part of the basis for arrest. A law like the one in New York would clarify that possession is permitted, quelling fears among those who want to use them. “If there is no way an item will ever be used as evidence, then there’s no excuse to ever take it or put it in an arrest sheet,” said Baskin….

 

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE IN THE ATLANTIC HERE

 

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

The prostitute is the scapegoat for everyone’s sins, and few people care whether she is justly treated or not.  Good people have spent thousands of pounds in efforts to reform her, poets have written about her, essayists and orators have made her the subject of some of their most striking rhetoric; perhaps no class of people has been so much abused, and alternatively sentimentalized over as prostitutes have been but one thing they have never yet had, and that is simple legal justice.  –  Alison Neilans

Today is International Sex Workers’ Rights Day, which started in 2001 as a huge sex worker festival (with an estimated 25,000 attendees) organized in Calcutta by the Indian sex worker rights group Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee.  Prohibitionist groups tried to pressure the government to revoke their permit, but DMSC prevailed and the following year decided to celebrate their victory by establishing the event as an annual one.  As I wrote in my column of one year ago today,

Perhaps its Asian origin has slowed the day’s “catching on” in Europe and the Americas, but in the light of the current trafficking hysteria and the growing problem of American “rescue” organizations in Asia, I think it’s time to remedy that.  Whores and regular readers of this column are acutely aware of the paternalistic attitude taken toward prostitutes by governments, soi-disant feminists and many others, and it’s no secret that many Westerners still have very colonial, “white man’s burden” ideas about Asia; imagine then the incredible paternalism to which Asian sex workers are subjected by American busybodies!  I therefore think it’s a FANTASTIC idea to popularize a sex worker rights day which began in India; its very existence is a repudiation of much of the propaganda which trafficking fetishists foist upon the ignorant public.

As I’ve written in the past, American cultural imperialism in Asia is still very much a fact; despite our loathsome record on civil rights the US State Department presumes to judge other countries on their response to so-called “human trafficking”, based on secret criteria which obviously include classifying all foreign sex workers in a given country as “trafficked persons”.  The annual “Trafficking in Persons Report” results in cuts in foreign aid to countries which don’t suppress their prostitutes brutally enough to please their American overlords, and therefore provokes mass arrests and mass deportations in the countries so targeted.  Nor are these operations instigated only by governments; wealthy NGOs, enabled by money from big corporations looking for a tax dodge, from empty-headed celebrities in search of good publicity, and from clueless Americans desperate to “do something”, invade Asian countries and abduct prostitutes, forcing them into “rehabilitation”  which consists largely of imprisonment under inhumane conditions and brainwashing them to perform menial labor for grueling 72-hour weeks at one-tenth of their former income.  When the women escape from “rescue centers” or protest, they are said to be suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome” and their children are abducted and given away.

Nor is this sort of violence restricted to Asia; local US police agencies, often financed by wealthy prohibitionists like Swanee Hunt, routinely use prostitution as an excuse for mass arrests, robbery and grotesque intimidation tactics:

Tania Ouaknine is convinced the police are watching her.  She’s not paranoid — it says as much on the red sign painted along the side on the hulking armored truck that’s been parked in front of her eight-room Parisian Motel for several days:  “Warning:  You are under video surveillance”…From the front bumper of the menacing vehicle, another sign taunts:  “Whatcha gonna do when we come for you?”…[it’s loaded with] surveillance equipment…and [decorated]…with [Fort Lauderdale, Florida] police emblems…[which they] leave…parked in front of trouble spots…”They say I am running a whorehouse,” said the 60-year-old innkeeper…[who has] been the subject of an undercover operation targeting prostitution starting in September.  Ouaknine was arrested on Oct. 28 on three counts of renting rooms to prostitutes for $20 an hour…She says she’s doing nothing illegal.  “They’ve tried everything to shut me down and have failed,” she said.  “Now they bring this truck to intimidate me and my customers.”  Some neighbors surrounding the Parisian Motel say the truck is another form of constant police harassment.  On a recent afternoon, Leo Cooper watched as two undercover…[cops molested] a group of men gathered at the corner.  Within minutes, one of the men ran away.  A second man was charged with loitering.  “This is what happens here every day.  We can’t sit outside without being harassed,” said Cooper…

This is why sex worker rights should concern everyone, even those who aren’t prostitutes, don’t know any prostitutes, have never hired a prostitute and don’t give a damn about the human rights of strangers:  prostitution, especially as it’s viewed through the lens of “human trafficking” mythology and “end demand” propaganda, is simply the latest excuse employed by governments in their campaign to control everything and everyone.  The 2005 re-authorization of the so-called “Violence Against Women Act”…

…permitted the collection and indefinite retention of DNA from, as the Center for Constitutional Rights understood at the time, “anyone arrested for any crime whether or not they are convicted, any non-U.S. citizen detained or stopped by federal authorities for any reason, and everyone in federal prison.”

Using this, Swanee Hunt (through her “Demand Abolition” organization) is now pushing for collection and retention of DNA from every man cops can accuse of patronizing a sex worker…which given the low standards of “suspicion” favored by police, means essentially any male found by cops in certain neighborhoods or in the company of a woman to whom he isn’t married.  While fanaticism-blinded neofeminists cheer, the war on “violence against women” (and by extension prostitution, which is defined as exactly that by neofeminists) is used to justify the same kind of egregious civil rights violations as those resulting from the “wars” on drugs and terrorism.

I think I can safely speak for virtually all sex workers when I say that we don’t want to be passive tools used by governments and NGOs as the excuse for tyranny; we simply want to be left alone to live our lives like anyone else, with the same rights, privileges, duties and legal protections as people in every other profession.  We are not children, moral imbeciles or victims (except of governments, cops and NGOs), and we do not require “rescue”, “rehabilitation” or special laws to “protect” us from our clients, boyfriends, employers or families to a greater degree than other citizens.  And we certainly don’t need others to speak for us no matter how much they insist we do.  Almost a year ago, Elena Jeffreys published an article entitled “It’s Time to Fund Sex Worker NGOs” and I wholeheartedly agree; furthermore, I would argue that it’s long past time to defund “rescue” organizations and all the others who presume to speak for sex workers while excluding us from the discussion.  How can someone who hates a given group and opposes everything its members want be considered a valid representative of that group?  It would be like allowing MADD and Carrie Nation’s Anti-Saloon League to represent distilleries and bar owners.  The very idea is absurd; yet that’s exactly what governments do, even in some countries where our trade isn’t criminal.  Millions of people claim to care about the welfare of prostitutes, yet contribute to groups who advocate that we be marginalized, criminalized, censored, hounded, persecuted, registered, confined, stripped of our rights, robbed of our livelihoods and enslaved…all because they don’t like what we do for a living.  It’s a lot like contributing to the KKK because you claim to be concerned about minorities.

If you actually care about the rights of women, or want to look like you do; if you’re opposed to imperialism and police brutality; if you support the right of people to earn a living in the jobs of their choice, and to organize for better work conditions; or even if you just want to protect yourself from yet another head of the ever-growing hydra of government surveillance, you should consider supporting the cause of sex worker rights.  Fight prohibitionist propaganda, speak out for decriminalization, contribute to sex worker organizations, vote against candidates who espouse prohibitionist rhetoric, and oppose local efforts to increase criminal penalties against whores and/or our clients.  And if anyone asks why you care, please feel free to quote from this essay or just hand them a copy.  Sex worker rights are human rights, and laws or procedures that harm sex workers harm everyone.

(Cross-posted from The Honest Courtesan)