sex work

Elizabeth's picture

Remembering women killed in the Niagra Falls area

Much gratitude to Renee of Womanist Musings , blogging also at Feministe on June 23rd to remind us all about the killing of women in the Niagra Falls region:

When you think of the Niagara region immediately the mind turns to the majestic falls. Some who have spent more than an afternoon here will think of places like the Welland Canal, The Skylon Tower, Fallsview Casino, Clifton Hill, and maybe even the dearth of reasonably priced hotels, and restaurants. The aforementioned sites are the Niagara region you are supposed to think about. It is what you will find printed in all of those handy little pamphlets, that the tour guides like to give out. Yes the safe family destination, where everything is bright and sunny.What you will not hear about are the women that have been killed here since 1996. What if I were to whisper these names in your ear?

The names she whispers are these:

Elizabeth's picture

Sex Worker Activism: Grind the Vote!

What are the political issues that matter to sex workers?

Quite often the ones that matter to most people: Affordable housing, health care, labor rights, immigrant rights, day care, reproductive rights, violence against women, and protection of privacy and civil liberties.

It's no surprise then that sex workers are taking on the "Rock the vote" model and putting on their own voter registration and mobilization efforts, and we applaud and support that grass roots work. Want more information?

From $pread Magazine:

grind the vote info

From Sin City to the Big Apple, sex workers are organizing for political and economic justice. It's time to organize our sex worker electorate ito a political force and "Grind the Vote"!

Gracie's picture

XXBN: Cult of Gracie Radio with Dr. Michael Goodyear

Tomorrow, June 11 (at 9 p.m. central), Cult of Gracie Radio has Dr. Michael Goodyear, MD, PhD, as the guest.

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Canada's Dalhousie University, his main focus there is in responsible human research governance, particularly the ethical aspects of research. His active interest in issues of women's health have lead him to a longstanding involvement in women's health and studies (including family planning, social justice and ethics), and the problems associated with those on the margins of society.

No wonder then that he would become interested in the issues & myths surrounding sex work.

Well-versed in the research, as well as the ethics and methodology of research, Michael's put his skills and knowledge to use in identifying social determinants of marginalization and speaking out both for decriminalization and against the myths of sex work.

Elizabeth's picture

If you are in NYC on Thursday, please show your support for sex workers in Cambodia.

From the SWANK and SWOP-NYC Listserv and from Melissa Hope Ditmore, Ph.D at Network for Sex Work Projects:





The Cambodian Government under the influence of the US has passed a law against sex work. Since March, sex workers have been rounded up in raids, arrested, detained, denied medical services, beaten and raped by police. At least three sex workers have died in police custody. Others are being denied life-saving medicines. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!

Gracie's picture

The Myth Of The Happy Hooker (Or, All Sex Worker Activists Are Angry)

There's always been a lot of talk about sex worker happiness, or a lack thereof, and lately the attacks have turned to the sex worker community and its own media bias with accusations that we are so busy romanticizing or defending our happiness that we do not cover "enough" of the "unhappy sex worker" stories. To get to the root of this one must examine two things: the basics of sex work and the nature of activism.


Michael's picture

Decriminalisation of sex work in New Zealand: Review shows no evidence of predicted social harms

Opponents of the decriminalisation of sex work initially hailed the review of the first five years, published on May 23, as a vindication of their position that New Zealand's Prostitution Reform Act has been a failure in terms of its objectives and that sex work should be eradicated because decriminalisation has little impact on violence in sex work. This is disingenuous at best, but is likely to be something we will continue to hear about.

Elizabeth's picture

Sex Workers Tribute Video by Renegade Evolution

I've been so behind with my blog reading of late that I just came across a very powerful video at Bound, Not Gagged. It was put together and posted by the indomitable Renegade Evolution. A week late or not, I had to share it here.



Brilliant work, Ren!


Chris's picture

A Goodbye to Deborah Jeane Palfrey

As is true of a lot of people in the sex-positive community, I've been thinking a lot about Deborah Jean Palfrey's death this past week. I didn't know her personally, and never met her in person, so I can't speak of her death in terms of personal tragedy or grief. But grief and anger are what I'm feeling, because Deborah Jeane Palfrey's fate could have been written onto the lives of so many women and men. And the anger comes from the fact that it has, and it will be.

The real tragedy of her death, from where I'm standing, is not anything extraordinary about her story, but how common and familiar it is, to the point of being cliché. If the story of Deborah Jean Palfrey had been laid out in a novel or play or screenplay, I would be angry at having my time wasted by a writer who was unable or unwilling to rise above cheap hackery that was old and worn out in the days of the Victorian penny dreadfuls. But Palfrey was a real person, and it makes me sick and angry to think how often the lives of people who should live peaceful, untroubled lives are forced into old patterns.

Elizabeth's picture

A Labor Day Call To Johns: No More Apologies!

red umbrella only rights can stop the wrongs Yesterday I'd intended to write a Labor Day post. It was going to be about the importance of workers organizing across all types of work, recognizing that we are all workers, and it was going to be the beginning of a conversation I want to have about why established unions need to support the organizing efforts of sex workers.

And then I read about Deborah Jeane Palfrey's death and all that went out the window for a while.

This morning I went back and looked for last year's May 1 post. I couldn't remember what I'd written about. My breath caught in my throat when I found that I'd written this, also about Deborah Jeane and about my speculation that perhaps the exposing of high profile clients would help in the effort to reduce the stigma attached to sex work.

Elizabeth's picture

Gone: Deborah Jeane Palfrey

Deborah Jeane Palfrey is dead, apparently by her own hand. She had been convicted on April 20, after a years-long investigation, of counts including racketeering related to her D. C. area escort service.

I am stunned, and too saddened to say very much right now, but I echo Amanda Brooks when she asks whether the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers counts those who kill themselves after prolonged harassment and persecution.

In solidarity,

Technorati Tags: Deborah Jeane Palfrey, prostitution, sex, sex work

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