sex workers sharing experiences....

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susan davis
sex workers sharing experiences....

i put out an appeal for support in posting here re abolitionism and its effects and most workers expressed that it was not safe for them emotionally, they did not think could weather being attacked in the way we were in the thread yesterday and that it was wasted energy to engage with those who refuse to hear our voices...

i was sorry to receive the feedback but thought i would share their sentiments with people here so you understnad why they don't want to take part in discussions.

also, time bandit commented last night that i stated that all sex workers opinions were welcome but then seemed to demand references or other back up for statements made by some thread contributors....that only the voices of sex workers who had been project coordinators or done social justice work were valid.

i just would like to clarify and was attempting to when the thread was locked.

sex workers and formerly prostituted people should be allowed to share their personal experiences and have every right to express the experiences good or bad about being involved in the sex industry.

the problem comes when broad sweeping statements about the emotional injuries or status of all sex workers are being asserted with no back up info or project reports to prove the statement is true.

it is one thing to say "i was abused as a child, i experienced exploitation" but entirely another thing to say "most sex workers were abused as children" or "every sex worker experiences exploitation".

this may seem like splitting hairs but its not. experiences of people who endured exploitation and violence in the sex industry are extremely important if we are to work towards preventing those things in the future.

stating unsubstantiated claims of 100 sex workers all being rape victims and abused as children does not constitute "facts" and is not a personal experience. its seems to be a reference to the melissa farely data which claims 90% of all sex workers were abused as children and which we know to be unethical data collected in a way which does not reflect canada's federal policies on research involving human beings.

another example is the often used is "servicing 100's of men a day"...

a quick calculation shows that to service 100 men at 20 mins a guy requires 33.33 hours...or in clearer terms is impossible.

abolitionists often inflate numbers in order to bolster their position but as a sex worker reading their assertions, i can see through them and frankly it diminishes their arguements. why lie? why blow things out of proportion? it shows that they are not basing their assertions on fact but rather willing to say anything to achieve their goal of abolition including to distort statistics in a way that palys in to mainstream fears about sex work.

we all agree that exploitation of youth or any person is unacceptable. we all agree that people who take part in the exploitation should prosecuted.

why can't we agree on that but work with sex working people towards the best way to address this violence? we are open and willing. abolitionists however refuse to accept that for some people sex work is a choice and the best choice for them. they inflate numbers, belittle and dismiss sex workers voices and continue to undermine the work we are doing to bring stability and a better quality of life to our community.

so, while all sex workers shoudl be able to freely express their personal experiences and opinions, i will always challenge broad sweeping statements about our lives in particular when they are unsubstaniated and add to the stigma and judgement we face everyday.

susie

 

fortunate

Folks wanted some links.   Here are some links.  One poster in the other thread likes the UK Guardian stories, so here is another one.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/03/prostitution-humantr...

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/trafficking-numbers-women-exagg...

 

The first shows how researchers looking for funding deliberately go about presenting the funding friendly 'facts'.    And the second shows how some real estimated figures of sex trafficking went from an assumed 140 to 25,000, in order to support initiatives and funding for special interest groups.  

 

I could find more links and more stories debunking the mythology of the drug addict abused underage girls who are supposedly the majority of all entry level sex workers, but i would prefer to allow the non-sex worker allies to go and do their research and find this information for themselves.   That or instead of repeating the nonsense, then back up their claims with links to the research that was done to support the claims.  It is one thing to say you "know' these things to be facts, and another thing to prove that.   

 

At no time do I believe that anyone with any real research into this business can ever prove that "all' or even just 90% of all sex workers and former sex workers fit into that neat and tidy little exploited and vulnerable box that so many people want to force everyone into.   

 

I don't mind having a real exchange of information and ideas, but I think in a forum that specifically says it is for sex workers and their 'allies' that I don't expect to have to wade through the rhetoric and false and misleading comments that have no basis in anyone's true reality.   

 

 

 

fortunate

This is another article that may be of interest to someone without preconceived bias.

 

http://www.lauraagustin.com/sex-at-the-margins-reviewed-in-gender-develo...

 

 

There are a lot of assumptions made on the behalf of sex workers.   I have found on this site, and others, that certain types of people just 'don't want to hear' another POV.    And I see very little difference between an anti-sex work POV and a bitter and biased client of sex workers who posts on online review sites.    Both seem to have something to gain from bashing and trashing sex workers.    

And in some cases, both want to profit in some way by doing this.   And both seem to want to keep the sex workers themselves from telling their truth.   I think it is shameful that sex workers are marginalized not just by abolitionists and feminists, but also some clients, and then pile it on by the straight crowd and the media, who also seem to be afraid of just accepting our truth and our stories in our own works.     If not for the supportive clients and other sex workers, we'd likely would be suffering from this stigma and constant attacks, emotional ones, not physical ones.    Even now a sex worker who does have an issue with harrassment, can feel like she has a voice, and her words will be supported in different places.   And even now that same sex worker would be told, oh well, then just quit, and not just by anti sex work advocates but by bitter clients who seem to resent us for the very services we provide.  They'd just prefer to get the services for free.    And that is probably the extent of the 'violence' experienced by sex workers:    someone doesn't like them on the internet.    

 

Funny thing is, that I can come here and find non-clients who don't like me posting about what they think they know about me, on the internet.    With no interest whatsoever in hearing what I have to say about it.   So thank god for the majority of sane and sincere men and women who are my clients and supporters and allies.    Because without them this work would feel pretty lonely, and isolated.    Not because clients are all violent rapists, but because the ones who pretend to care so much they want to save me don't really care enough to find out that I have no need of salvation.

MegB

Thank you for reopening this debate. I'm not going to participate, apart from moderating. I'm here to read and learn and ensure the discussion meets the needs of the participants, as stated by the participants.

Cheers,

RW

ryanw

yeah there was a couple articles making the rounds a month or so ago re: Atlanta, Georgia and exaggerations for funding there

Large world events like World Cup or Olympic hosting seem to have a large potential for feeding the perception of others about what is actually taking place

 

 

nina76

http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/WhyIMade.html

 

posting this link again, because it is very valuable to this discussion. as everyone knows, farley is a "respected" researcher, and her work is often cited by people like murphy, and other abolotionists. i know sex workers are judged and stigmatized because of their occupational choices. i understand the right wing hates us based on their morality (albeit a misguided one), i understand society hates us because we are seen as "bad" or "damaged" (based on false stereotypes).

what i don't understand is the vile behvaior and hate feminists give us. please read that link i posted. and then tell me feminists don't judge me or don't hate me. tell me after reading that link that feminists respect me, and my choices. tell me feminists care about what i have to say. tell me why i should trust farley, or why i should trust any feminist who posts her research? farley's little joke (assuming it was a joke) is victim blaming and slut shaming to the max. daniel tosh and seth mcfarlane probably had a homoerotic masturbation session after reading the hilarious misogyny on her page. but if, macfarlane or tosh had posted that bullshit, it would have been deemed misogyny, and made headlines. when a "feminist" does it, it's standard operating procedure, and nobody says anything.

and after that piece on an academic professional website, you want me to believe farley is on my side? you want me to believe feminism is on my side? you want me to believe there is no war on sex workers? i expect lies and hate from the patriarchy. i have seen it, lived it all my life. but that couldn't prepare me for the tears and pain caused by feminists. feminists who tell me i am a traitor to women. feminists who tell me i cater to the patriarchy, that i deserve to be raped and beaten. feminists who tell me i can't choose sex work, because i perpetuate rape culture or am too stupid to know i am brainwashed. feminists who insist that the only choices are pro sex work or anti sex work, team feminism or team patriarchy, and choosing sex work makes me team patriarchy in an instant.

why should sex workers trust feminists? why should trust people who are supposedly trying to help us? besides, feminism doesn't need my story. it had fakers like stella marr to make a better image. and it has people like farley to shame me. really, i guess, feminism doesn't need me, and i am not sure i need feminism.

Paladin1

nina76 wrote:

http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/WhyIMade.html

 

posting this link again, because it is very valuable to this discussion. as everyone knows, farley is a "respected" researcher, and her work is often cited by people like murphy, and other abolotionists. i know sex workers are judged and stigmatized because of their occupational choices. i understand the right wing hates us based on their morality (albeit a misguided one), i understand society hates us because we are seen as "bad" or "damaged" (based on false stereotypes).

 

I don't understand the context behind the comments on the link you posted Nina but at first glace they seem hateful and oppresive.  I wouldn't consider anyone who wrote that as open minded or an ally.

susan davis

thanks nina, yes, melissa farley has done wide spread damage to the fight for rights and equality for sex workers. the fact that media outlets allow articles using her biased data to be published at all is yet another failing and shows how entrenched bias against us is.

there are supposed to be ethics in journalism. journalists are supposed to check their facts. perpetuating myhts about the lives of sex workers by allowing this kind of hatred to be the foundation of belief is confusing the issue for many canadians and as i said before, in particular in this time of our emmancipation.

journalists who use the farely data are no better than tabloid writers playing into mainstream fears about sex workers and sex work. if this remains the norm and editors/media outlets allow this continue it will be(well, it already is) a disaster for our community.

one has to wonder, how is it that the supreme court have called this data out for what it is, the APA are hearing a complaint about unethical research practices against farley but still her work permeates the discussion where ever i go? how can those people/journalists who claim to have our best interests at heart continue to allow it to define peoples perceptions of sex work?

no one checks, no one looks at research methods, no one cares to be sure that the information they are putting out is actually correct. they only care about one thing, achieving their goal of abolition, no matter the cost in humilation and lives.

not one of the posters in the other thread cared to answer my questions about the harms being caused by proliferation of these lies on the prairies. is it because we get what we deserve? it seems to me that that's what it comes down to. i have even been told directly by abolitionists that i should do something else, choose not to be s sex worker, for the "betterment of all women".

well, what should i do? laura augistine tells me that its because they(abolitionists- generally women of privelege) want us to be their maids. is that it i should clean your toilettes and be greatful for the job? should take solice in my poverty that at least i am "bettering all women"?

i have news for you abolitionists! it's against the international charter of human rights to comprimise the rights of one group in favour of another!!!

it would be nice if the abolitionists just came out and said it, "we don't like your kind, we want you to to be gone, we don't care how"

i will never quit sex work. i love my job. the man whose penis was amputated to prevent the spread of cancer is not a rapist. we are a community and we will make our own choices about access to our bodies.

love susie

nina76

OathofStone wrote:

 

 

I don't understand the context behind the comments on the link you posted Nina but at first glace they seem hateful and oppresive.  I wouldn't consider anyone who wrote that as open minded or an ally.

that is exactly my point. that page is straight off of melisa farley's website. melissa farley,phd,  the sex work researcher, advocate to sex workers.  because she wrote that, i am offended that people use her research at all, and doubly offended that feminists claim there is no war on sex workers. how can anyone who uses farley as a reliable source suggest there is respect for sex workers? and yet feminists/abolitionists cite her studies all the time. just think about it, they cite the work of the person who wrote that piece, which you correctly identify as hateful and oppressive.   but i am supposed to think there is no war on sex workers? really?

theleftyinvestor

May I ask a clarification of terminology, "abolitionist" in this context... When I first started reading this thread I though it might have meant "one who wants to abolish laws criminalizing sex work" but I clearly misunderstood. 

Is this word being used because the pro-criminalization crowd sees all sex work as a form of slavery, and "abolitionist" is word that was historically used as being anti-slavery? I ask because I've heard a lot of discussions on sex work and this usage is new to me. 

Sorry for the intrusion - I thought it might be friendlier to ask here, because this usage appears mainly on web sites advocating that point of view, and not in any sort of neutral definition context. 

ennir

I found the link offensive.

susan davis

theleftyinvestor wrote:

May I ask a clarification of terminology, "abolitionist" in this context... When I first started reading this thread I though it might have meant "one who wants to abolish laws criminalizing sex work" but I clearly misunderstood. 

Is this word being used because the pro-criminalization crowd sees all sex work as a form of slavery, and "abolitionist" is word that was historically used as being anti-slavery? I ask because I've heard a lot of discussions on sex work and this usage is new to me. 

Sorry for the intrusion - I thought it might be friendlier to ask here, because this usage appears mainly on web sites advocating that point of view, and not in any sort of neutral definition context. 

abolitionist is this context means a person or organization who wish to abolish all sex work, that means porn, prostitution, exotic dancing, web cam.....no matter who they hurt to acheive their goal of no more sex as work. they veiw sex work as hurting all women and as causing violence against women.

abolitionist= whore hater, the point of all this is they do not care to save us, but rather only care about their goal, to be rid of us.

love susie

nina76

theleftyinvestor wrote:

 

Is this word being used because the pro-criminalization crowd sees all sex work as a form of slavery, and "abolitionist" is word that was historically used as being anti-slavery?

^this. their theory is that sex work hurts women, strengthens the patriarchy, and women cannot choose sex work. choosing sex work means a) a woman has been brainwashed by the patriarchy into thinking this is her empowering personal choice, or b) it's financial/social circumstances that lead to sex work, but other alternatives would be perferred by the sex worker in question.

the theory also suggests that sex work reinforces the idea that women are commodities that can be bought and sold, so this obviously hurts all women, and helps maintain sexism and gender roles.

hence sex work, porn, strip clubs, etc... should be eliminated.

theleftyinvestor

Thanks for the explanations.

onlinediscountanvils
lagatta

It has absolutely nothing to do with hating people in sex work. I know people in sex work, and some are friends. I certainly want to eliminate the production of private cars. I also have relatives and friends who are auto workers. Obviously the reasons are different, but it has nothing to do with "hating" any proletarian - just hating social outcomes such as pollution and urban sprawl, or the commodification of human beings.

I do hate the capitalists who control and promote such industries.

quizzical

well said

brian1966

An interesting column by David DesBaillets.

http://looniepolitics.com/harper-governments-antipathy-harm-reduction-wi...

Why do the Liberals have no real response to this ruling?  We cannot let this law-and-order government move the lives of these workers back in the shadows. Let's hope the opposition will be vocal in order to create a valid environment for these people.

susan davis

this thread was bumped for the sake of a link...did any of you follow it? did any of you hear the voices of sex workers?

for me, the increasing numbers of sex workers becoming vocal is telling...apparently i am not alone and the "exception" to the rule. apparently there are many sex workers from diverse backgrounds who share my position...shocker....

lagatta you are responding to a post i made last march...check the link.

fortunate

#notyourrescueproject

good twitter posts 

 

worth re bumping

Pondering

susan davis wrote:
abolitionist is this context means a person or organization who wish to abolish all sex work, that means porn, prostitution, exotic dancing, web cam.....no matter who they hurt to acheive their goal of no more sex as work. they veiw sex work as hurting all women and as causing violence against women.

abolitionist= whore hater, the point of all this is they do not care to save us, but rather only care about their goal, to be rid of us.

love susie

That is a nasty attack. Clearly I am not in the feminist forum.

I am an abolitionist and I can assure you that while I would love to see a day when sex is no longer work for anyone it will not be achieved through law and it is a lot like working towards world peace.  I'm not holding my breath, but it's a valid goal.

Perhaps there is some projection going on as this respected and experienced sex work activist admits:

http://web.archive.org/web/20120402154806/http://blog.audaciaray.com/post/20228032642/why-the-sex-positive-movement-is-bad-for-sex-workers

However, the promotion of pleasure and sex positivity within the sex industry and as an element of sex worker rights activism, is proprietary to a small but very vocal group of people, namely: white, cisgender women who are conventionally attractive, able-bodied, and have some degree of class and educational privilege. People like this – people like me – are central figures in the American sex worker rights movement, and often claim sex positivity as a key vehicle for claiming rights and making progress. ….

I am a former sex worker. My several years of work experience in the business included escorting, sensual massage, porn, fetish work, and working as a phone girl at a dungeon. During much of the time I was working, I also engaged in activism in support of sex workers’ rights. In particular, I was an editor at $pread magazine for three years, and I organized art shows, performances, and other public events to raise funds for the magazine. Over the last few years, as I have dug deeper into providing peer support and trainings in media, storytelling, and legislative advocacy for people in the sex industry via my work at the Red Umbrella Project, I have been critically examining the ways that the sex worker rights community talks about what we do and what we want to see change. I have been looking hard and close at who this “we” of the sex worker rights community is, and I have been listening hard to people who feel excluded by that “we.” Some of the points I make in this essay might be a bitter pill to swallow, or may make you feel defensive, or like I am pointing fingers. But it’s important for you to know that I am very much culpable in this, too.…..

Emphasizing sex and pleasure harms the sex workers who aren’t firmly in the self-defined population of being sex positive and sexually educated, by unintentionally shaming them for not being enthusiastic participants in the sex they have at work. When engaging in the trade or sale of sex is helping an individual to meet their basic physiological needs, they often do not have the personal resources to channel energy into making the experience of transactional sex perfectly pleasurable for either themselves or their client. Not every sexual experience, whether paid or not, has to be perfectly erotic. This is an unreasonable expectation, and one that makes it more difficult for people who have negative experiences to speak openly about their truths with sex work or sexuality more generally.

Pasted from <http://web.archive.org/web/20120402154806/http://blog.audaciaray.com/post/20228032642/why-the-sex-positive-movement-is-bad-for-sex-workers>

Even she does not appear particularly interested in the experiences of these women:

After Alissa testified against her pimps, six of them went to prison for up to 25 years. Yet these days, she reserves her greatest anger not at pimps but at companies that enable them. She is particularly scathing about Backpage.com, a classified advertising Web site that is used to sell auto parts, furniture, boats — and girls. Alissa says pimps routinely peddled her on Backpage.

“You can’t buy a child at Wal-Mart, can you?” she asked me. “No, but you can go to Backpage and buy me on Backpage.”

Backpage accounts for about 70 percent of prostitution advertising among five Web sites that carry such ads in the United States, earning more than $22 million annually from prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a media research and consulting company. It is now the premier Web site for human trafficking in the United States, according to the National Association of Attorneys General. And it’s not a fly-by-night operation. Backpage is owned by Village Voice Media, which also owns the estimable Village Voice newspaper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/kristof-where-pimps-peddle-their-goods.html?_r=2&hp&>

Contrast that with this:

Magdalene And Thistle Farms Offer Prostitutes A Chance For Regrowth

One woman, Tara, who was a prostitute from the age of 17 to the age of 33, explains how she ended up on the street:

"I met this guy that was a pimp, and he took me under his wing, he took real good care of me, fed me with dope, and gave me clothes, a place to live and I thought I was just in heaven," she says. "And then one day he told me, 'hit the block.'"

Another woman, Sheila, looks back on her past with disbelief.

"Could you imagine walkin' alone out here by yourself, getting in a car with a stranger that you don't even know and having sex with him... I think about that stuff now, I'm like, I was crazy."

(I don't think making the above legal would be helpful even though Tara and Sheila were both willing sex workers)

…………..

While at Magdalene, women learn how to make products that promote healing -- bath and body oils and candles -- by hand. Their nonprofit business, called Thistle Farms, sells the products, and the proceeds support the Farm and Magdalene. Magdalene receives no government funding; instead, it relies on private grants, individual donations and the sale of Thistle Farms products.

By working at Thistle Farms, the women gain job skills and learn responsibility and cooperation. The business has been used as a model by groups throughout the world, and eagerly shares its strategies with interested individuals and organizations through education workshops. Visitors and volunteers are also welcome at the Farm.

Thistle Farms got its name because the thistle flower is the women's emblem, and what they use to create the products. Stevens explained to HuffPost, "Thistles, they're weeds that are just out there that people despise, we take them and make something beautiful."

The same could be said of the prostitutes, who often get blamed by society for their situation. But, as Stevens told NPR, "I have never met a woman coming off the streets of Nashville, Tenn., who chose prostitution as their preferred career at the age of 6, 7, 8 and 9."

Stevens explained to HuffPost that all of the women who come to Magdalene have been raped; many were molested between the ages of 7 and 11. They're all addicted to drugs and have been arrested multiple times. But Magdalene is working to change those statistics.

How You Can Help

Go to Thistle Farms' online store and order their products. The money directly benefits the women at Magdalene. Says Stevens, "By buying our products, [customers] are helping women stay off the streets." Even better, grab some of your friends and host a satellite party, or what Thistle Farms has dubbed "Tupperware-with-a-conscience parties." If you contact the Farm, they can send you videos or arrange to Skype in and give you information about the business, Magdalene and why it's important for the community to support these women. You and your friends can discuss ways to help while browsing the Farm's products.

Pasted from <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/26/magdalene-and-thistle-farms_n_854130.html>

It seems at least some women would rather make lotions and potions even if it doesn't pay as well.

Abolitionists are not evil women forcing salvation on unwilling prostitutes living a joyous life. Sex work promoters are not all altruistically motivated.

This abolitionist: http://ruthjacobs.co.uk/2013/01/12/in-the-booth-with-ruth-dublin-call-girl-interview/ is not evil.

susan davis

nasty attack? talk about the pot calling the kettle....

the feelings of sex workers who experienced violence and exploitation are important, i never said they weren't. but the abolitionist approach of ignoring those of us who choose and do not want strangers defining access to our bodies helps no one.

the exploitation experienced is not inherent to the industry.

unless of course 9 supreme court justices are liars and in league with pimps...

contrarianna

Pondering wrote:

That is a nasty attack. Clearly I am not in the feminist forum....

I'm not sure why this anti-sex worker abolitonist spammer is allowed to intrude in this supposedly protected forum:

"A place for sex workers and their allies to discuss issues around, and advocacy of, sex workers' rights."
Perhaps she-he claims exemption by virtue a being a particular version of "feminist"

To make the neo-Puritan ablotionist argument plausable here, and elsewhere, they struggle hard to lump together those women who are coerced or trapped in prostitution with those who prefer it to other work.

The abolitionist is too circumspect to actually use the word "whore" for those women who fail to pass their ideological test, but their rhetoric is nevertheless dripping with paternalistic pity or contempt whenever they actually admit many such women exist.

It is a bizarre form of "feminism" which wants to deny agency and choice and insist on the "victim" designation for women who fail comply with their ideological world view.
As de facto punishment for that dissent, abolitionists are quite content to make life much more dangerous for sex workers.

Pondering

susan davis wrote:
abolitionist= whore hater, the point of all this is they do not care to save us, but rather only care about their goal, to be rid of us.

susan davis wrote:
nasty attack? talk about the pot calling the kettle....

Yes Susan, that is a nasty attack.

susan davis wrote:
the feelings of sex workers who experienced violence and exploitation are important, i never said they weren't.

Calling them whore haters doesn't seem very supportive to me.

susan davis wrote:
but the abolitionist approach of ignoring those of us who choose and do not want strangers defining access to our bodies helps no one.

Nobody is ignoring you. We hear you loud and clear. We just don't agree with you.

susan davis wrote:
the exploitation experienced is not inherent to the industry.

unless of course 9 supreme court justices are liars and in league with pimps...

That is not what the judges said. I do believe they pointed out that the violence originated with pimps and johns. The laws did not create the dangers. The judge took care to point out that they were not making a judgement on whether or not prostitution should be legal. Their decision was entirely based on prostitution being legal, and the purpose of the laws being to curtail public nuisance. All Harper has to do is change the reason and design of the law to be for the protection of women, which will be easy to do given that there is an existing model gaining popularity in Europe.

That is why Alan Young made that comment about "playing the cards you draw".  He knows what is about to happen. That's just my opinion of course. Maybe it means something else. Maybe I am wrong and Harper will let it slide.

susan davis

pondering, i knew you would disect my post...line by line as always....thankyou.

Pondering

contrarianna wrote:
I'm not sure why this anti-sex worker abolitonist spammer is allowed to intrude in this supposedly protected forum:

I am not anti-sex worker and I am not a spammer. Most of my posts are in response to posts that were directed at me. There are a lot more of you than there are of me. If anyone is being swamped it's me. Many sex-workers are abolitionists. Not all sex-workers believe sex work should be legal.

Abolitionists have been attacked in this forum and I think there is a right of self-defence .  I think I have shown plenty of restraint.

contrarianna wrote:
To make the neo-Puritan ablotionist argument plausable here, and elsewhere, they struggle hard to lump together those women who are coerced or trapped in prostitution with those who prefer it to other work.

I don't lump them together. I fully acknowledge that there are women who prefer prostitution to any other form of work and indeed many who consider themselves sexual therapists and are very proud of what they accomplish professionally.

contrarianna wrote:
The abolitionist is too circumspect to actually use the word "whore" for those women who fail to pass their ideological test, but their rhetoric is nevertheless dripping with paternalistic pity or contempt whenever they actually admit many such women exist.

You turn to character assassination because you know your arguments are full of holes and your fairy tale version of prostitution is a small minority.  You and Susan are the one's using the term "whore" while trying to pin it on abolitionists. Maybe you use the term so easily because you think it refers to women lower on the ladder than yourselves so you look down on them.

contrarianna wrote:
It is a bizarre form of "feminism" which wants to deny agency and choice and insist on the "victim" designation for women who fail comply with their ideological world view.

I think it is way better than disappearing the victims because they don't fit with the pretty woman version sex trade promoters want everyone to focus on.  They resent you trying to stamp out the word "prostitute". I assure you I do not see either you or Susan as victims. Have no fear of that.

contrarianna wrote:
As de facto punishment for that dissent, abolitionists are quite content to make life much more dangerous for sex workers.

I don't want strippers to be forced to become prostitutes or lose their jobs the way they were forced to become lap dancers.  Do you care about those sex workers?  Do you care about the wages being driven down by competition? Do you care about the increase in child prostitution? Or do you just care about the opportunity to grow the sex industry?

You do not have a monopoly on caring about prostituted women whether they are there by choice or not.

cco

Pondering wrote:

I don't want strippers to be forced to become prostitutes or lose their jobs the way they were forced to become lap dancers.

Why do I have a hunch you don't think stripping should be legal, either? Maybe that's "next year's fight". It'll go nicely with the porn block.

MegB

contrarianna wrote:

Pondering wrote:

That is a nasty attack. Clearly I am not in the feminist forum....

I'm not sure why this anti-sex worker abolitonist spammer is allowed to intrude in this supposedly protected forum:

"A place for sex workers and their allies to discuss issues around, and advocacy of, sex workers' rights."
Perhaps she-he claims exemption by virtue a being a particular version of "feminist"

To make the neo-Puritan ablotionist argument plausable here, and elsewhere, they struggle hard to lump together those women who are coerced or trapped in prostitution with those who prefer it to other work.

The abolitionist is too circumspect to actually use the word "whore" for those women who fail to pass their ideological test, but their rhetoric is nevertheless dripping with paternalistic pity or contempt whenever they actually admit many such women exist.

It is a bizarre form of "feminism" which wants to deny agency and choice and insist on the "victim" designation for women who fail comply with their ideological world view.
As de facto punishment for that dissent, abolitionists are quite content to make life much more dangerous for sex workers.

Pondering has been informed that she/he is not welcome in this forum.

Caissa

I'm not disagreeing with your decision, Rebecca, and maybe this is a question better suited for Reactions. What is the best way and forum for a debate to take place between abolitionists and others on the issue of prostitution on this Board? I have no interest in participating in the debate but I would assume the debate would be educational for me , and perhaps others, as well.

MegB

There is a thread in the Feminist Forum that presents a variety of positions on sex work. This forum is intended as a safe space for sex workers and others to discuss sex work without fear of being attacked for their position.

http://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/progressives-abandon-class-analysis-pro...

Caissa

Thanks, Rebecca. I'll focus my reading there.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Perhaps there would be less temptation for those holding to the abolition side of the argument to respond if the thread actually lived up to its title (women talking about their experiences) instead of a space to call the other side names. 

In other words, I understand why you've told Pondering not to post here - for the most part, I don't, either - but I also understand why she chose to respond to susan's vitriol, straw man arguments and extrapolations. 

susan davis

i see i have become the focus of everyone's rage. i have always posted in opposition. i will always stand up for my community. i take the abolitionist side very seriously as i understnad the complexities of how it harms us.

i don't mind being lied about, undermined and diminished. nothing i have ever posted is an extrapolation, straw man or "vitriol". and guess what the supreme court of canada unanimously agreed. you can try to own this a victory as some of you have, you can say how great it is that now you can once again ignore the facts and recriminalize us.

it changes nothing. this was a victory fought for and won by sex workers. prohibionists aligned themselves with churches showing their true character and lost the battle ....

i think i will take a break from you all today, thanks so much for this not so enlightening conversation.

well hell, maybe you managed to silence some sex workers in the process, mission accomplished.

theleftyinvestor

brian1966 wrote:

An interesting column by David DesBaillets.

http://looniepolitics.com/harper-governments-antipathy-harm-reduction-wi...

Why do the Liberals have no real response to this ruling?  We cannot let this law-and-order government move the lives of these workers back in the shadows. Let's hope the opposition will be vocal in order to create a valid environment for these people.

I cross posted this to the Supreme Court thread to add my comments, as a discussion of the politicians may detract from the actual topic of this thread.

mark_alfred

There's a great Ideas episode from CBC Radio entitled Madeleine Blair: Nobody's Victim, based upon the book by Madeleine Blair.  Highly recommended for those who are concerned with sex workers' rights.

mark_alfred

Interesting blog entry by a sex trade worker in Sweden (translated).

fortunate

Caissa wrote:

I'm not disagreeing with your decision, Rebecca, and maybe this is a question better suited for Reactions. What is the best way and forum for a debate to take place between abolitionists and others on the issue of prostitution on this Board? I have no interest in participating in the debate but I would assume the debate would be educational for me , and perhaps others, as well.

 

 

I don't mind a debate, but i prefer my opponent to come armed with facts not repetition of false statistics.    There is no 'increase' in underage prostitution, there seems to be better policing efforts to track it down.    There is no 'increase' in socalled trafficking, there seems to be better information for law enforcement to find it.  

You can thank the internet and backpage ads for that, actually.   Advertising and the legality of this business makes it easier for clients who find these underagers by accident to report them.   Advertising and the legality of this business is for those 18 and older, and there is incentive for everyone to report anyone even suspected of being underage.   Or working under duress.    Or even the foreign workers who travel here specifically to do sex work, knowing full well that being here without a proper work visa is putting them in real danger, not of exploitation or violence, but deportation and possible embarrassment of being caught before they make their financial goals.

 

Other country culture do not have the same anti sex or even anti sex worker that a North American culture has.   If the workers themselves don't have a problem doing the work, then why should I, or you, or someone who is getting paid by the government to make sure everyone believe human trafficking and child exploitation is running rampant in our streets, tell them any differently.  

 

I would prefer they enter the country with a proper work visa and i would prefer that they charged competitive rates, not undercutting rates, and i would prefer that they didn't flood the advertising sites with misleading ads because it leads to buyer beware attitudes, but nevertheless, if they want to work, why is someone in their ivory tower stopping them?     

 

One thing that always misleads the public is this claim that the 'privileged' class of escorts and sex workers are not the majority.  Privileged meaning anyone that works independently, or willingly, or accepts the conditions of employment (lower wages) by working at an agency or massage parlour or maybe here illegally working at an illegal brothel, or basically anyone who doesn't do street work and take chances by jumping into cars with strangers.     Apparently the minority who work under hazardous conditions are supposed to dictate to the rest of us how and where and if we can do our business.     Apparently they believe that if they can just 'fix' us, and shut us up, then all the street workers who work because they really have no options, are sick, ill or suffer from drug dependencies, the rest of us should be forced out of work to somehow satisfy this need to 'save' everyone.

They tell us all clients are dangerous, and if they aren't just dangerous, they are predators and evil.   Really?  Are all men dangerous and predatory, because if not, then how can all clients of sex workers be that way?   There is a very good chance you can ask 1000 sex worker how many truly bad dates they have had, and all 1000 will tell you 'none'.   I would be one of those sex workers.   I have never had anyone harm me.   I have seen thousands of different men, and yet not one of them even started to harm me, but i am to believe that they are 'all' like that.  

I've seen men cry, smile, laugh, say thank you a hundred times within a half an hour, i've seen them shy, embarrassed, appreciative, and a hundred other things.   I haven't seen them rude, aggressive or demeaning.   I have seen a lot of  'society' do all that.    

I have had some callers who haven't seen me be rude to me, but you can thank society's attitude towards sex workers for that, you can't blame all men for that one.    I've seen some pretty nasty words from women about sex workers too.    

I am not your rescue project.     

 

Would anyone else working in any other sort of business, as independent self employed self actualizing individuals, appreciate a group coming in to save them?   From what, short working days and a more than decent income?    The ability to live debt free?  The opportunity to be able to spend more time with family, take a vacation at any time of the year, or just work 7 days a week if you want to work 7 days a week?

 

What exactly am I supposed to be saved from, and if my voice and my choices are not important to the abolitionist, then who exactly are they talking to and listening to, because it can't be actual working sex workers.    Those people need and/or want to be working.   We all have bills to pay.   Stop trying to take my home from me, my things, my family, my opportunities.   

 

fortunate

Une film   (extent of my French, btw)    This one is for those who do speak French, i do not think the flim has subtitles.    

Les Criminelles, a documentary about sex workers etc in Montreal.   

http://lescriminelles.com/project/film/#!prettyPhoto[widget]/0/

 

 

lagatta

UN film. Made by a guy who thinks sex work is dandy..

And Christ, you could at least have checked the gender of "film" in French! How insulting.

fortunate

lagatta wrote:

UN film. Made by a guy who thinks sex work is dandy..

And Christ, you could at least have checked the gender of "film" in French! How insulting.

 

I was actually copying from a news article on the internet lol.     It was on the internet it must be true.   

 

One article mentioned that the film is supposedly about nudity, and the film maker is in much of the film asking various people in all sorts of occupations and lifestyles about that.     

I am not sure it is necessary to dismiss something simply because you think sex work isn't dandy.    I think most sex workers would agree that it is not only the fact that the general public know little about the day to day of sex work, but that when they are presented with the information, they dismiss, degrade, and/or simply ignore it.    

It is interesting that in some cases we are also talking about people who love to read, see documentaries, like history, like to  learn, like research, studies, opinion pieces, would consider themselves open minded, enjoy a good debate, have a better grasp of people than others, etc etc.   There seems to be blinders on with certain topics.   There must be a real struggle with the contradictions that are said, and the illogical conclusions that are posed.    Fascinating really.    

 

I was reading an article about Trudeau's Liberals, in which a comment he made stood out among the others (they are trying to get him to say something specific about the party's stance on prostitution).     He mentions something about the Liberal party is going to focus on the 'middle class',   which kind of needs a definition, imo.   Who are the middle class the Liberals want to target, and why are they so important to them, and oh, by the way, why does he think that the majority of sex workers will not be considered 'middle class"?      

 

msn defines it here, US figures, but what the heck

http://money.msn.com/how-to-invest/9-ways-to-know-if-youre-middle-class

 

1.  You make between $40.000 and $100,000 a year.     (Yep)

2.    You shop at Target (as in you do not shop at Walmart)       (Yep)

3.  You are saving for college.    (kind of past that, but i do know sex workers who have put themselves through school or paying for their kid's educations.   By definition, btw, these kids are 'living off the avails' and would be definied by the media as the sex worker's pimps, since most kids take most parent's money lol)

4.   You go on vacation.   (Yep)

5.   You own your own home.   (I've never wanted to buy, but many have a home or homes, and pay rent on a work space.)

6.   You have a secure job.   (Yep, as secure as any other.  My brothers worked in one place for 25 years, it closed.   No job is secure 100%)    

7.   You have health insurance.  (Yep, but it is a US list so this is important.   In BC, we self employeds have to pay for our insurance, a small monthly fee which is higher for families of course.  It is not 100% free like other provinces, so  I can say there is a correlation here for the answer "yes")

8. You lean Democratic, but not all the time.   (Not sure what D equivalent is, but guessing it isn't Conservative or Liberal).  

9.  YOu invest for retirement.  (Yep.  In my case, it is savings plus investment into another business.)

 

 

 

 

cco

fortunate wrote:

8. You lean Democratic, but not all the time.   (Not sure what D equivalent is, but guessing it isn't Conservative or Liberal).  

Domestic policy-wise, the Canadian equivalent of the left wing of the American Democratic Party would be the Harper Conservatives.

theleftyinvestor

cco wrote:
fortunate wrote:

8. You lean Democratic, but not all the time.   (Not sure what D equivalent is, but guessing it isn't Conservative or Liberal).  

Domestic policy-wise, the Canadian equivalent of the left wing of the American Democratic Party would be the Harper Conservatives.

I would say if you created an unwieldy, unworkable massive coalition of NDP, Liberal, Red Tory and half of the Reform/Alliance/Wildrose types, this would roughly resemble the Democratic Party. Then everything to the right of *all* of that is Republican.

Incidentally there is also a discussion of political parties and the Supreme Court decision here:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/how-will-parties-approach-lega...

fortunate

theleftyinvestor wrote:

cco wrote:
fortunate wrote:

8. You lean Democratic, but not all the time.   (Not sure what D equivalent is, but guessing it isn't Conservative or Liberal).  

Domestic policy-wise, the Canadian equivalent of the left wing of the American Democratic Party would be the Harper Conservatives.

I would say if you created an unwieldy, unworkable massive coalition of NDP, Liberal, Red Tory and half of the Reform/Alliance/Wildrose types, this would roughly resemble the Democratic Party. Then everything to the right of *all* of that is Republican.

Incidentally there is also a discussion of political parties and the Supreme Court decision here:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/how-will-parties-approach-lega...

 

 

lol, i might vote for that party, but what would they call themselves?   Or would they be able to agree on a consensus of what their name would be or just send it off to a subcommitee review?

 

i assume from the article tho that they consider Democrats extreme left of centre?     It's too bad, because I think the US is capable of creating some really bizarre party with some bizarre party policies.   

theleftyinvestor

fortunate wrote:

i assume from the article tho that they consider Democrats extreme left of centre?     It's too bad, because I think the US is capable of creating some really bizarre party with some bizarre party policies.   

Well it's fair to say that most left of centre people in the USA - if they vote - will vote for Democrats. But it's such a big tent that you cannot assume Democrats are left-wing.

It's just that in the USA, nobody really strays from the two-party system. If you're in a state where a Democrat always wins, the real election is the primary. That's where party members decide if the Dems will put forward a leftie, a centrist, a moderate conservative or whatever else. When constituents are angry that a Democrat is too right-wing, they don't opt for a third party - they try and challenge the next nomination. Similar deal for Tea Partiers vs. moderate conservatives in the Republican nominations.

onlinediscountanvils
onlinediscountanvils

Noah Berlatsky: [url=http://www.salon.com/2014/05/13/how_sex_workers_are_using_twitter_to_tel... sex workers are using Twitter to tell their own stories[/url]

“Since the beginning of social interest in ‘prostitution’ as a subject in the early Victorian Era, moralists, feminists, do-gooders, politicians and soi-disant ’experts’ have taken it upon themselves to speak ‘for’ whores, with the results you see all around you.  Social media have allowed ordinary people to hear sex workers’ voices for themselves, and that will eventually have the same effect gay people’s coming out did in the ‘70s to ‘90s. It’s much harder to usurp someone’s voice when she’s out there saying you’re wrong.”

In addition to individual writers like McNeill, the anonymity of social media, and the ease of communication and organizing, have paved the way for collective projects like [url=http://everydaywhorephobia.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/who-is-everyday-whor... Whorephobia[/url], a group of current and former sex workers who tweet about the stigma sex workers face and about their own experiences. One of their founders was partially responsible for the hashtag [url=https://storify.com/WassailingGirl/notyourrescueproject]#notyourrescuepr..., which highlighted the ways in which feminist efforts to save sex workers can end up further stigmatizing and criminalizing them. As the group told me, “It has always been so hard for sex workers to speak about their lives and so the vacuum has been filled by those who either see us as victims or happy hookers. So much of the claims against us, that we don’t talk about the bad stuff or paint an unrepresentative picture, is based on what third parties say about us. Social media has given us a voice.”

onlinediscountanvils