Since whorephobes keep bringing up bullshit whorephobic, misogynist sources to “prove” how terrible the sex industry is while totally ignoring us, i’m compiling a list of resources by sex workers about sex work. Please feel free to add to it either by reblogging or msg me and I’ll edit it in.
Rest In Peace: Angelia Magnum and Tjhisha Ball
[content note: anti-Blackness and media violence, misogynoir, violence on sex workers] Angelia Magnum (18) and Tjhisha Ball (19) are young Black women from Tampa, sex workers, who were found brutally murdered in Jacksonville. It is devastating to me that the post-mortem media violence (i.e. most of the few media outlets that reported the story are using their old mugshots; but they were murdered; they are the victims in this case) continues for yet more Black people. As I’ve stated before, Black criminals are treated like monsters. Black victims are treated like criminals. This further complicates, in addition to the dehumanization and criminalization of Black bodies, because they are Black women. Black women regularly go missing and at times are killed; our stories are underreported or shaped as “criminal” even when we are victims. We are underreported in our own communities, let alone nationally. This even further complicates because they were sex workers. People are sickeningly complacent or worse, violently accepting/proactive about the violence sex workers face. I’ve seen comments ranging from victim blaming to “well that’s what they get” kinda comments. The criminalization of sex work itself remains a problem. The violence of misogynoir, and anti-Blackness itself is sickening. It is the media as much as it is society itself.
In Black Teen Girls Killed (But Do You Care)? by Jamilah Lemieux on Ebony, she mentioned that some family didn’t like that they were in sex work and feared the violence they’d face.
It isn’t unreasonable to expect for a grieving family to wish that their dead loved one hadn’t worked in the sex industry, one where women are often subject to increased abuse and harassment at the hands of clients, employers and law enforcement alike. Thus, there should be no judgment from any of us about Ball’s lament about her daughter’s work. But what I fear will happen here is a general sentiment among media makers and the public that because these women were sex workers, that their deaths are not cause for outrage and fear.
As she alluded to, I’m not interested in shaming their families while they grieve; whatever fear and/or ignorance about sex work they had, they’re dealing with the repercussions of terrible violence right now. The socialization that makes people engage in victim blaming is ubiquitous. Doesn’t mean they’re not accountable for those views; means I’m not going to write a criticism right now of grieving Black families. However, how people think about sex work, about Black women, about Black people always needs examination and deconstruction. People need to think about why these deaths don’t matter to so many. I am hurt (and terrified really) that these two Black women could not live and thrive as Black sex workers (as strippers, or any other work they did/wanted to do), as Black women, as Black people, without intersecting oppressions and unspeakable violence. They were young Black female sex workers and this does not make their lives any less valuable nor should’ve granted them what some see as a socially acceptable death sentence. I hope the truth—however painful—comes out about what happened to them. They deserved better than to be dumped under an overpass.
Some Handy Examples of How Non-Sex Working Feminists Can Aid in Critiquing the Sex Industry
- Your women's studies prof: Class, do you think pornography enables male entitlement?
- You: Well, according to this essay I read by someone who does porn, it doesn't make a lot of sense to just critique it as a piece of media + not a site + product of highly stigmatized labor. So, yes, it does, but that may largely be beside the point of where and how male violence occurs in relation to pornography.
- That lady at your local NOW chapter: It is WRONG for men to purchase sex, therefore we must make it illegal.
- You: I agree that capitalist conditions create coercive and abusive situations for those in the sex industry, but carceral solutions don't address that underlying issue.
- Your younger sister: *points at a Maxim magazine cover* Isn't it wrong that there are all these sexualized pictures of women everywhere?
- You: It's wrong that the male gaze is all-pervasive and our idea of the ideal woman is profoundly racist, sizeist, ableist, and cissexist. It's also wrong that these images exist within the context of a violent patriarchal culture, but the images themselves are not wrong.
- Some rando in your ask box: How do we end the abuse of people in the sex industries?
- You: Let me link you to this blog by sex workers advocating for workers' rights.
- Your boyfriend: Why is there so much bad sex in porn?
- You: Let me show you this essay on porn by a sex worker.
- Your girlfriend: Stripping is exploitative.
- You: Let me show you this academic article written by a stripper.
- Your aunt: Dominatrices probably think they're empowered but really--
- You: Here's a thing written by a sex worker.
- Your grandpa: Prostitution--
- You: Here's a thing written by a sex worker.
- Your cat:
- You: Good point, let me read you this issue of Prose & Lore out loud.
- You: *signal boosts our words + shows up at rallies + emails legislators + gives orgs like Abeni + Sex Workers Project all your damn money*
actual conversation with a portland stripper
- Portland Stripper: Dear girls, DO NOT go to work sick!!! Especially if you work in a club with tons of girls and tons of customers. Don't spread that shit just because YOU need money! A cold is one thing, but anything worse, take a day off! Your wallet will survive and you won't spread it to others.
- PS: Apparently I dodged some nasty bullets not being able to cover that shift yesterday. I feel bad for she who caught it. Get well soon, lady!
- Me: I agree with the sentiment except that without paid sick leave many CANT take time off. A lot of strippers are only a few shitty shifts from being behind on bills and rent; I've been there when I got pregnant.
- They shouldn't go to work bc communicable disease but what about money? What if they need it?
- PS: Everyone needs it. Is it really okay to expose everyone to your nasty germs just because YOU need money? This affects their money as well, not to mention your customers and THEIR money!
- Me: Babe, I know that. I understand. I had to take ten days off this summer because I got pink eye from the club. But not everyone has the savings to do that. I'm not disagreeing with you I'm just sayin that the structure of the club makes disregarding your request an inevitable reality for some workers and rather than calling them nasty you should look elsewhere for both blame and solution.
- PS: And...a lot of strippers don't have health insurance, so imagine what it does to their money when you bring them an illness that requires medical attention/antibiotics. Just suck it up and stay home!
- Me: Girl can you read? Neither do the workers who get sick!
- Me: Sick strippers aren't some foreign body, they could be YOU if you get unlucky
- Me: And what are you going to do when you're broke, need nine hundred dollars, & your own moralism requires you to stay home? You got a daddy or a boyf with money?
- Me: I'm not disagreeing with you, I was pissed as hell about having to take time off. But the problem is NOT with strippers and the solution is not with them either. We're treated like shit and we deserve paid sick days and health insurance
- PS: I'm not calling anyone nasty, I'm calling the germies nasty. I'm not stripper blaming. It just REALLY bothers me when girls come in and spread illness when taking the night off is probably gonna do them better in the long run anyway.
- Another PS: This is a good time to mention that prevention is the best for everyone. That means taking care of yourself like a grown ass lady. Lol. Take your vitamins, get enough rest, wash your hands religiously at work, don't overdrink, and try to pay your bills before buying any novelties during flu season. For most this is common sense but a good reminder nonetheless
My grandma hates me camming so much that when she asked how much I make and I said, “$15-20 an hour.” She responded with, “Oh, that’s not a lot.”
Yet she fully supports me drawing, where I make less than minimum wage, and keeps pressuring me to find a different job, where I’ll make less than $9/hr for sure.
A few years ago I worked as a psychotherapist in a governmental institution in Mexico that treated survivors of sexual violence. One day it was announced to us that we would have to participate in “operations” – raids of homes or hotels that aimed to “rescue” victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
I resisted taking part in these “operations” because I wasn’t sure what they were all about. For several months I managed to avoid the call to participate in the raids. Psychologists that did go along told me they were taken to a hotel. They had to speak to the women there to “calm them down” and explain to them that they would be taken to make a statement.
Eventually I could avoid the calls no longer. I took part in my first and only “operation”. I saw how the rights of the women found in the hotel were trampled on. I witnessed the physical maltreatment of sex workers found in the vicinity. This single experience made me resign my job.
The raid made me rethink several issues. Was setting out to rescue victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation the correct strategy for dealing with the problem? Was the problem really as serious as people made out, or was it being sensationalised?
Above all I started to think about real victims of the raids: women engaged in prostitution for whom mistreatment at the hands of the police was by no means a novelty. The only aspect of the “operation” that would perhaps have been new to them was seeing the role of people like myself – psychologists and social workers who were acting as undercover cops, sent in to win the confidence of the women and then use this information in an unethical way.
Male sex workers, as entertainment.
Reasons you can get a discount with me
- Military Service - Active or Retired - Also includes First Responders (Firefighters, Police, EMT)
- Booking your appointment ahead of time with a deposit
- Booking multiple hours
- Mentioning you saw me Online - Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Fetlife, etc.
Men who insult sex workers by calling us expensive and try to shame us into lowering our rates are so pathetic. “No one will pay that.” Okay, but explain how I pay my rent every month, then? Just cause you can’t afford it doesn’t mean everyone is broke.
Once a guy tried to get…
The ones that try to barter are the worst! Some photographer approached me once like “I can take great photos that’ll get you lots of business in exchange for a free session” and his hourly rate was HALF of mine. Not to mention, I HAVE a photographer and hundreds of photos, like, I am not in need. When I said I wasn’t looking for photos, he then insulted the ones I have, saying I need new ones and no one is gonna book me or find me attractive…. Even though he wanted to take photos of me (and fuck me) because he found me attractive…
Why Cuba Sends Doctors to Treat #Ebola in Liberia and the U.S. Deploys Military Troops
"There’s something just as bad as Ebola for Africa: capitalism and western exploiters and colonizers."
Re-Evaluating Anti-Trafficking: Cambodian Feminisms and Sex Work Realities (....and Somaly Mam) by Heidi Hoefinger - Heidi Hoefinger
After seeing these revelations [abt Somaly Mam] in print, I am left with two feminist questions: How is this kind of feminised exploitation for gain any different from the male ‘pimps’ and other third parties who profit from the labour of sex workers whom she so vehemently opposes in her abolitionist anti-trafficking work? What have been the consequences of these allegedly false and unethical abolitionist tactics for other sex workers in Cambodia?
The answer to the first question is simple: in many ways, it is no different. She has used poor women and fraudulent stories for her own gain and international prestige—which works only to create a credibility issue for real survivors of abuse. She is guilty of exploitation for profit, and the consequences of this, and the anti-trafficking gravy train it has influenced, have been detrimental for many other people in Cambodia who make their livings from trading sex.
The anti-trafficking movement that Somaly Mam helped spur (starting with her first public appearance in a French documentary in 1998 with a Cambodian girl who allegedly auditioned to tell fabricated stories of her own sexual slavery), gained momentum when the anti-trafficking agenda became a priority of the Bush Administration in the early 2000s. By 2003, the ‘Global AIDS Act’ and the ‘Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act’ were implemented, which created a series of conditions for organisations receiving US funding for HIV or anti-trafficking programming. One of these conditions was the ‘anti-prostitution pledge’, which required recipients of USAID grants to explicitly oppose sex work and trafficking. Sex worker advocacy groups that did not have these policies in place or that refused to sign the pledge, had important funding pulled. As a result, certain condom programmes ended, and certain drop-in centres for sex workers were closed (Busza 2006).
Grassroots community-led groups in Cambodia, such as Women’s Network for Unity (WNU)—the current sex worker union with approximately 6400 members—were directly affected. Most local and international NGOs working with WNU at the time were heavily dependent on US funding, and as a result of the new stipulations, they ended their support for fear that collaborations with WNU would jeopardise their funding (Sandy 2013). Already-marginalised sex workers and their supporters, including feminists of other kinds (namely liberal, Marxist, socialist, or sex radical feminists), were further pushed to the periphery as the abolitionist anti-trafficking bulldozer raged ahead.
By 2008, the abolitionist movement had gained so much power in Cambodia that under pressure from the US and UK, the Cambodian government passed the ‘Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation’. This anti-trafficking law formally criminalised ‘soliciting in public’ and according to WNU, its implementation was (and continues to be) devastating to sex workers: large police sweeps of parks began taking place, where the possession of condoms was used as evidence of prostitution (despite that in the late 1990s, Cambodia implemented the ‘100% Condom Use Programme’ whereby owners and managers of all entertainment establishments had to enforce condom use as a condition of commercial sex).
For me liking anime was an ugly metamorphosis into a sad fart that denies she existed from ages 10-14… and maybe 151/2
whispers desperately to myself “I am an adult”