I posted some of this as a response to this post at Bound, not Gagged here’s the first few lines (of the original post, that is):
One thing I’ve noticed again and again is that when men make online comments in any way supporting sex workers (like on news articles or major blogs), they always hasten to add that they have never seen a sex worker and have no need of it. Obviously, they believe client-stereotypes (e.g. all clients are ugly losers) and feel a strange need to pretend they’re not clients.
I wonder why they even think the disclaimer is relevant — can’t they, as arguably intelligent people — support sex workers with or without vested interest?
but I started rambling and posted an extended version here:
During the Bush administration, in order for charities, or NGO’s, to receive funding for HIV/Aids education and prevention, they were required to sign a pledge that they did not “support” prostitution. This meant that if they counseled prostitutes or gave condoms to prostitutes, it may be seen as “support” and the charity could lose funding, losing the inability to help anyone. Some NGO’s refused to sign the pledge, some signed it and then lost funding when they helped too many prostitutes. The pledge has been ruled unconstitutional in the US, but around the world, the pledge still stands today.
Check this out, I found it on Democracy Now the other day, it’s about a year old. This, I think, is good ammunition to use against those who push the “Swedish Model” for ending demand of “commercial sex”. People who aren’t really informed about the “swedish model” probably don’t realize that the Sweden today isn’t the same swingin’ cool Sweden we saw depicted in late 70′s softcore porn. It’s the Sweden that loves Bush and Rove. I mean I’ve got a category called “the ASTM and the NeoCons” because if anyone bothers to look it’s sort of obvious – but this little interview from democracy now really sums it up better than my long rambling posts do: (and oh yeah, I made a blog thing on salon, and posted about this interview and some other general sex workers’ rights vs. moralizing prick type stuff if you want to check it out, i just figured that maybe some people would see it there and start noticing the swedish model problem) (– also, yeah, some stuff in this interview might be of interest to non-prostitutes’-rights-obsessed people too) and there is video of the interview thru the headline link:
I’m livid. That’s almost my highest anger level, by the way. It’s pretty rare. Surpassed only by “absolutely livid”.
This is how they do it. I’m not good at explaining these things, I can write from my heart with no problem, but when it comes to presenting information, I can’t focus long enough to finish it. I have pages and pages and pages of almost finished diatribes and screeds, all jumbled up. It’s my ADD, there’s no doubt about that. So please bear with me – short version – The F Word published a review of a book about HIV/Aids in marginalized groups: sex workers, transgender, drug users, the review was written by a contributer from WeNews and it’s worse than it sounds – I’ll explain in a second. And, Womens eNews didn’t publish a sex worker supportive article in the prostitution section, and it’s worse than it sounds – I’ll explain in a second.
Seriously – Here’s a discussion from BBC radio I think (do they even have radios over there? : P ) and it says it’s only available online for a few more days, so listen while you can.
1) They have a panel discussion of 3 anti-prostitution moral crusader types – (who say things like it’s good to stigmatize prostitution, so good girls won’t stray) – and just one “former prostitute”/journalist/mother of 6 kids who also -kicker!: went to jail for making false rape allegations -which of COURSE bothers the hell out of me and that shit ought to bother the hell out of everyone but here’s the thing that all y’all haters better understand – really fucking understand – that’s why they chose her – to discredit the prostitute’s rights movement. If you think they did the right thing by trying to discredit the prostitution rights movement you’re an asshole. It’s fair and balanced don’t ya know, because they have the sacrificial lying dirty whore there to represent all the rest of us lying dirty whores. Wonderful.
- Someone at the forum I found this on, which I will endeavor to find the link to in a moment (ah-ha) observed something about one of the moral crusaders that was really key -
Really? Are you fucking kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me? Has this woman never heard about PEPFAR watch? Are you fucking kidding me? DOES SHE FUCKING HAVE GOOGLE? I guess maybe she can’t bothered to research anything, what with all the pearl-clutching and fainting she’ll have to do.
Yeah, it’s a couple weeks old, but I try not to subject myself to things like this too frequently:
Feminist Law Professors‘ Ann Bartow:
And how much do rape, pornography and prostitution contribute to the spread of AIDS? Wish there was some data on that, but not holding my breath. From the HuffPo:
In its first study of women’s health around the globe, the World Health Organization said Monday that the AIDS virus is the leading cause of death and disease among women between the ages of 15 and 44.
Unsafe sex is the leading risk factor in developing countries for these women of childbearing age, with others including lack of access to contraceptives and iron deficiency, the WHO said. Throughout the world, one in five deaths among women in this age group is linked to unsafe sex, according to the U.N. agency.
“Women who do not know how to protect themselves from such infections, or who are unable to do so, face increased risks of death or illness,” WHO said in a 91-page report. “So do those who cannot protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy or control their fertility because of lack of access to contraception.” …
If prostitution actually was voluntary and consensual, if pornographers actually respected the wishes and bodily integrity of performers, if contraceptives actually were freely available, how different the world would be for women.
-right, she’s concerned with human rights, my fat ass.
Maybe she could check out this 259 page WHO pdf. full of suggestions on how to be a better researcher - (they spent a decade writing it so you know it’s good) – because she has certainly already mastered the CATW’s guidelines for the media on how to report on the issues of sex-workers: “How News-Men Can Better Shame Whores” – ‘course that’s just my little pet title for it.
The video isn’t embeddable you can watch it here (update: maybe you can watch it, the page is giving me trouble now, says it has errors) It’s 51:24 in duration, including introduction and question and answer portion. I’ve transcribed only Ms. Dworkin’s prepared speech, beginning at 3:30, below, and my thoughts on what she said follow:
(In part 1 I looked at Polaris Project CEO Mark Lagon’s career history) Here I am talking about a recent post by Lagon on the Polaris Project blog that shows how he shamelessly panders to feminists:
I submitted this post to Feministing.com’s community page, it was not approved.
I’ve decided to join the efforts to expose the motivations of the “anti-sex trafficking” movement which uses an “end the demand” approach to the sex-work industry. They say that as long as prostitution is seen as “acceptable” there will be women and children victimized by it. Because it’s too difficult (they say) to combat the actual abuses that may happen in a decriminalized or regulated industry, it’s more sensible to “end the demand” (which we all know has worked wonders for the Drug War). The practice of “ending demand” means shaming and imprisoning those who do not conform.
Today I’m writing about Linda Smith, former Republican Congresswoman, a social conservative who founded Shared Hope International, an “anti-sex trafficking” organization that now makes policy recommendations on how governments should legislate the sexuality of women. A couple weeks ago Ms. Smith spoke in front of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs pushing her “women are natural victims” and “nobody normal chooses to be a dirty whore” and “dirty women make men want to fuck kids” bullshit. The text of what she said is linked further down, but first you should read the bold parts of this excerpted description of her time in congress:
Kari Lerum Founder and Co-Editor of Contexts.org’s Sexuality & Society section wrote on Oct 21, 2009:
While the new abolitionists include some secular activists (e.g., Donna Hughes, University of Rhode Island), the movement is fundamentally driven by a new form of evangelical Christian activism; that which emphasizes global and social justice. Sociologist Elizabeth Bernstein, who has written extensively about the politics of commercialized sexuality, provides an in-depth ethnographic description of the new abolitionist movement her article, ”The Sexual Politics of the ‘New Abolitionism’”:
“A new group of highly educated and relatively affluent evangelicals have pursued some of the most active and passionate campaigning around sexual slavery and human trafficking. These evangelicals not only embrace the languages of women’s rights and social justice but have also taken deliberate steps to distinguish their work from the sexual politics of other conservative Christians. Richard Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals and a self-described evangelical “moderate,” has gone on record describing the efforts of his organization to reorient conservative Christians away from issues such as homosexuality and abortion and toward more “common denominator” concerns such as global warming, prison reform, human trafficking, and HIV/AIDS.” (Bernstein, 2007, p. 136).
In their calls to action, the new abolitionists echo (and/or replicate) the emphasis of the U.S. State Department (especially under President Bush) on sexual trafficking. Additionally, the new abolitionists tend to favor “demand-side” approaches to fighting trafficking.