Elizabeth's picture

International Sex Workers Rights Day

Today is International Sex Workers' Rights Day. Here are two events listed on the Bound, Not Gagged blog:

In North Carolina: SWOP East (Sex Worker Outreach Project East) will host a free movie night to celebrate International Sex Worker Rights Day on March 3rd. Join the Triangle’s only sex workers’ rights organization, as we stand in solidarity with sex workers and allies around the world, to call for full recognition of the human rights of sex workers.

When: Monday March 3, 7:00 PM
Where: Bull City Headquarters (BCHQ), 723 N. Mangum St., Durham, NC

Celebrate Sex Worker Rights with subversive movies, delicious cupcakes, and spirited discussion about the films and our condom project Pledging Action!

Elizabeth's picture

Journalists who challenge moralism

A few days ago I suggested (in response to Roy Kay's suggestion about contacting supportive journalists to write stories from a human rights perspective) that we should have a forum where we can collect names and references for such journalists. At the end of the forum I'll put together some resource pages but for now we can collect the information here.

In the comments please leave the names of journalists you know who have demonstrated a willingness to challenge the dominant, moralistic approach to stories about trafficking and sex work. If possible, links or references for stories would be great! 

Amber Rhea's picture

Would sex work be so profitable if it weren't stigmatized or criminalized?

This is a question that's been bouncing around in my mind for a few days:

"Would sex work be so profitable if it weren't stigmatized or criminalized?"


Sex work is often an attractive option for single mothers, because they can earn more money and (sometimes) work fewer hours than they would at a retail or other service industry job, thereby allowing them greater economic stability and more time with their children. But to what extent is this attributable to the stigmatized – and, with prostitution specifically, criminalized – nature of sex work?

Amber Rhea's picture

Take Action Today! PEPFAR Reauthorization- End the Pledge!

I'm reposting this important alert from Bound, Not Gagged. I promise I'll have my own real, original post up here soon!

We need your help again! Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) will gather this Wednesday, February 27, to make amendments (”known as markup”) to the PEPFAR reauthorization draft bill prepared by Congressman Berman, Acting Chairman. We must urge committee members who support the Chairman’s bill to attend the entire markup and keep the pressure on all HCFA members to support the bill. Please call members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs TODAY.As you know, the Chairman’s draft bill makes several critical improvements to U.S.-funded HIV prevention policy in order to better address the real-life needs of women and girls. It strikes the ideologically-driven requirement that 33% of prevention funds be spent on abstinence-until-marriage programs, removes the anti-prostitution pledge, and emphasizes the integration of HIV and AIDS programs with family planning programs. However, these hard-fought, life-saving provisions are in jeopardy. A small yet vocal opposition is ready to make amendments during markup that would roll back the advancements in the Chairman’s bill. Your phone calls will help ensure that these vital improvements to prevention policy remain in the bill during committee markup.

Take action NOW!

RenegadeEvolution's picture

Monolithic Terminology

There seems to be one very simple (or not, as it were) problem standing in the way of uniting various groups who have sex work as an interest, and it is a problem of semantics and how often the sex industry, and the people in it, is dealt with in a monolithic fashion. For example:

Sex Worker/Prostitute/Prostituted Person/Provider/Performer

Erotica/Pornography Hobbiest/Client/Consumer/John

kerwynk's picture

Problems with anti-trafficking legislation

I originally posted this in response to Audacia's interview on WNYC, but (upon request) am also posting a modified version as a new topic. To wit:

One of the main concerns I have with the anti-trafficking legislation is that it encourages policing activities that are actually counter-productive for the overwhelming majority of sex workers. But understanding why this is true requires that one have a realistic understanding as to the diversity of working conditions within the sex biz. 

Smoke and Mirrors

Human trafficking is happening. Let’s just get that out of the way up front. This is not a debate as to whether trafficking actually exists. I am pro-choice in that all people should have autonomy over their own bodies. I am against slavery, violence, and exploitation in any form against any gender. Forced prostitution is not sex work. It is rape. I understand that sexual violence is just one way that human oppression manifests itself.

To end exploitation we have to consider the many factors that are contributing to this global problem including racism, sexism, poverty, nationalism and the culture of violence that is rewarded and reinforced around the world. One cannot address the full spectrum of issues associated with human trafficking in a single post. This is an analysis of the consumer-driven demand for cheap labor and a call to any human with a conscience to take personal action to end human trafficking.

Chris's picture

What Good is Sex Work?

Too often in discussions of sex work -- and sexuality in general -- it seems like we on the pro-sex side take on a defensive stance that inherently limits our success from the very beginning. One of the linchpins of many of our arguments is that using pornography or paying sex workers for their services doesn't hurt anyone, and is a private matter that's strictly between the people involved; so Gail Dines and Robert Jensen and Melissa Farley should just mind their own business and find some real battles to fight.  And that's true, as far as it goes.  But the flip side of that argument is that it concedes ground immediately because underneath the surface, there's the implication that these things should stay private because they are a little shady, and the best that can be said about them is that they don't hurt anyone else.  By accepting that argument as our starting point, the best that we can ever do is maintain the status quo and not slip even deeper into the morass of puritan self-loathing that already drives our national obsessions about sex.

Anthony_K's picture

Breaking the ice: A general reflection on attitudes on men who consume sex work

Before I begin my contribution, I'd like to thank Elizabeth for the honor of being a part of this long overdue discussion. At first, I was inclined to respectfully decline her offer, since my expertise involving sex work is restricted only to general interest in the professions as a sex-positive activist and a thinking sex radical and political Leftist who wants to integrate such values into a general Left/Progressive political program and theory. I have not solicited nor have otherwise been involved in sex work of any kind, though I am involved tangently through my cyberfriendships with many women who are active sex workers or sexual liberationists. However, Elizabeth convinced me that even I can make a positive contribution to the discussion, so I am here.

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