My relationship with my parents didn’t end because of my sex work — it ended because I wrote about it
TUESDAY, FEB 21, 2012
This article is the first in a series of oral histories by current and former sex workers, in which they describe the moment they came out to their families about their work.
Two years ago, I published a book about my life working in a harem in Brunei. Afterward, everything happened that I was afraid was going to happen. The very first piece of press came out and my mother couldn’t handle it. She called me and said she needed some space. I guess she needed a lot of space because she and my father stopped talking to me entirely.
Ottawa police refuse request for moratorium on sweeps while they probe possible predator
Six community groups are seeking legal advice after Ottawa police Chief Vern White last week refused their request for a moratorium on prostitution sweeps.
Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, said a consortium of local groups met with police Feb. 8 to argue that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into remote areas away from circles of support.(CBC)
“We asked Chief Vern White to prioritize women’s safety by putting the risk to the lives of sex workers over nuisance complaints during a time which he has identified poses heightened risk to sex workers,” said Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, in a press release. “We are effectively asking the police to take one operational tool out of their toolbox and we in turn offered to work with police and concerned citizens to effect longer-term solutions to their concerns.”
On Tuesday, Insp. Uday Jaswal told CBC News the police force can’t choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. Jaswal said prostitution sweeps will continue and he added that police remain committed to discussing the issue.
In a meeting with police on Feb. 8, Baxter said the group argued that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into more remote areas away from circles of support.
Their request came two months after White issued a warning that police had discovered a pattern in unsolved assaults and homicides on sex workers in Ottawa.
“We believe the Ottawa police owe a duty of care to sex workers which extends beyond merely warning them about the existence of a predator,” Baxter said. “It also involves proactively working to eliminate practices which increase the risk of harm to this group of women.”
The six groups include the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, POWER (Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau Work, Educate, Resist), the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (SASC), Families of Sisters in Spirit and the AIDS Committee of Ottawa.
It’s Princess Donna, Lorelei Lee, and Isis Love in the trailer for Public Sex, Private Lives.
Thank goodness that we live in the era that porn performers, dominatrixes and sex workers can now finally *actually* describe the work they do and what it means for them in their own words (as opposed to the past where others speak – often incorrectly – for these women). No more.
Via Violet Blue
Rabble.ca has a podcast on “Constructing change: Everything you wanted to know about organizing but were afraid to ask” which focuses on organizing for sex workers and includes info on community building, knowing your rights, preventing prostitution sweeps. It includes an interview from the Ottawa sex workers’ union POWER about how police patronize prostitutes with a serial killer on the loose. The podcast is by Stephanie Pinch. Click here to listen.
BY SARAH M. | FEBRUARY 3, 2012
In her August, October, and December rabble blog posts, Meghan Murphy asks why sex workers and our allies don’t want to engage in “genuine discourse” with her and other abolitionists. It might surprise her, but there is an answer to that question.
Let’s begin with the definition of the word “discourse.” Murphy appears to mean a productive conversation. But while sex workers and allies have provided ample feedback in comments both at rabble and on Murphy’s blog, the terms she’s set don’t allow that feedback to register as “genuine discourse.” I don’t want to engage in Murphy’s discourse because her limits to what can be known and said about sex work reflect neither my reality as a sex worker nor the freedom I advocate for. I can’t engage in Murphy’s discourse because I can’t speak within it. If the “debate” is between feminists and the “sex work lobby,” where is the position from which I can make a legible argument on my own behalf?
BY JOYCE ARTHUR FEBRUARY 3, 2012
An often-acrimonious divide exists between feminists who call for the abolition of sex work and feminists who favour its decriminalization. As a former exotic dancer who is strongly “pro-decrim” based on the evidence, feminist principles, and listening to sex workers, I’m disturbed by what I see as wrongheaded ideology from abolitionist feminists.