This is not a new story but, with the recent events surrounding a UNAIDS advisor being imprisoned for 15 years for pimping and sex trafficking, it is pertinent. Alejandra Gil was the founder of APROASE and Vice-President of NSWP, a group which advised UNAIDS. WHO acknowledges Gil as having assisted them in writing their recommendations. When Amnesty International was asked to name the groups with which it had consulted to reach its decision on decriminalisation, UNAIDS and WHO were the names it consistently trotted out—as did its supporters. As a side note, it’s interesting that the majority of sex worker rights organisations are staunchly defending the innocence of Gil. I have yet to see any of them defend the prostituted women who were brave enough to give evidence against Gil.
India, a country where conditions for prostitutes are wretched. Rural families with not enough to eat often give up their…
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“Without exiting programmes, without long-term counselling, without a safe place to live, without an real job or route to a job, without knowing prostituted women can keep their children – we are just abandoning those inside the sex trade.”
Dedicated to Chelsea Geddes, who I hope can understand.
I am often asked how I exited indoors prostitution, as if the answer will give the listener/reader a neat and happy ending.
When I exited, there was no exiting programmes, no real understanding that indoors prostitution could cause long-term damage – there was no interest in getting the prostituted freedom and full humanity.
I exited because I choose to live, I exited because I could be torture any more – but I exited by my sheer stubborn will to be a human that could matter.
I am fully behind the Nordic Approach, if there are long-term and holistic exiting programs in all countries that do that system.
It is not good enough to just fine punters – that is a small start, but do not make a finish.
Personally, I cannot understand the fear to imprison punters – are they not serial…
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“When someone is so convinced that you have literally no right to an opinion, that they will do anything to try and stop you expressing yourself productively, there is no negotiation, no compromise, no dialectic.”
This writing was first posted on January 25th 2015 on my tumblr.
When one looks into the language that pornographers and consumers of mainstream porn use to describe scenes, you can spot a pattern.
It seems there are two things that are often accentuated:
1. The difference in power between the male subject and his body (“big”, “monstercock”, “huge”, “daddy” etc.) and the female object and her body (“tiny”, “tight”, “petite”, “teen”, “cute” etc.).
2. The violence that the subject inflicts on the object (“gets fucked”, “gets a pounding”, “is banged”, “destroyed”, “abused”, “violated”, “has to”, “is forced to”, can’t take it” etc.).
This idea of a big, cruel subject harming a small, vulnerble object is what drives many men’s sexuality today. It’s the kind of sex men desire, what they fantasize about and dream of enacting themselves, as subject. People often claim that pornography is fiction and that fantasies…
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“Supporting prostitution and screaming “SWERF” at abolitionists isn’t feminism, it’s capitulating to male supremacy and writing marginalized women off as collateral damage.”
I love your Shit Liberal Feminists Say series so much! That’s exactly what liberals who call women SWERFs are, nothing more than school yard bullies, not to mention how privileged the people who say it usually are. They’ve co-opted feminism to do the exact opposite and serve patriarchal institutions.
Like many feminists, my interest in women’s rights began when I started noticing I was treated like I was less than the men around me. I didn’t analyze much deeper than that – I just needed confirmation that something wasn’t right, I wasn’t imagining it, and that that something wasn’t my fault. Now that my analysis has gone deeper, and is rooted firmly in an anti-oppression framework, it’s clear to me that when I first started learning and believing in feminism I was, in fact, a liberal feminist.
Liberal feminism is an individualistic view of women’s rights that holds equality with men as its end goal. Liberal feminism focuses on advancing women’s positions in existing institutions and believes that what women want out of life is what men want and have already secured for themselves.
Way back then, I understood feminism in relation to my life, my experiences and my…
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“It is as useless to compare prostitution with nursing or massage therapy as it is to compare burglary with furniture removals.”
““Sex worker” is not a word I’d associate with empowerment. It is not a word I’d use to describe a child being sexually abused. Do you think I felt empowered when a men took photos of me as a child?”
“I think it’s common knowledge that everytime a woman speaks up about her experience(s) she’s immediately attacked, discredited to maintain silence.”
I’m having a Google hangout on Saturday at 1pm Pacific time with a couple people on prostitution. You can check out our past hangout here.
I will focus on Germany and how the govt is regretting their decision to legalize and what they’re trying to do now to control the massive problems. I will also talk about Australia’s proposals to change their laws too.
I’ll put the link here and on Twitter just before the show goes live.
Here’s the LINK to the show. COme join us!
Also, stay tuned for the form to sign up for the Mancheeze Newsletter.
The show went for about 3 hours. I mainly talked about Germany’s problems since legalizing prostitution in 2002. I used a vast array of sources during the show. There is a list of links that will be available in the description box of the video. I just sent them…
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This is very good and honest piece about the life of being prostituted.. Why should anybody expect women and girls to be able to take being used for the sexual gratification of strange men on a routine basis?
“Getting raped full fucking stop is not easy. This is not an easy life. This is not the life any woman should have to experience or live!!”
“Once, a man found out that I was underage, freaked out for about 30 seconds, then got told “well, she’s all we have, so like it or lump it” and he went ahead and raped me. Age doesn’t matter. These men don’t care. Because for them it’s like “the younger the better.” ”
You are a human being and deserve every ounce of respect as much as anyone else. You were never the reason these men chose to abuse you, it has nothing to do with your flaws, and everything to do with their own. People will hear you, and they will see. For the time being, I hope you can learn to love yourself, to find and embrace your true self, that is separate from all the harm caused to you, the part of yourself that they can not touch and destroy in you, so you can persevere despite the men and women who are working against you. Solidarity & love to you sister.
“Don’t be fooled, that iota of entitlement contains the unstated reality – men believe they deserve to use our bodies. The contempt is implicit in the belief and in the act. “
Choices rarely happen in a vacuum. The post-modern way of thinking that all things are relative and valid depending on one’s point of view troubles me greatly. Like anyone I live with contradiction and paradox in what I think and feel. But I would not leave legislation to ambivalence, more importantly I would not leave legislation to those who are impacted by it least. My experiences in fully decriminalised, legal and illegal prostitution are held up constantly as anecdotal and dismissed as nothing more. If my experiences were that of a minority, that would be fair enough, but they aren’t. My experiences are reflected in varying degrees of cruelty, torture and coercive circumstances, in the majority of currently and formerly prostituted women
Due to the preponderance of ‘sex worker rights are human rights’ chants being reflected in the media it is understandable that many people outside of the sex trade…
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“In the language of liberal feminism – there is no structure or organisation of the sex trade – just individual prostituted women having a good or bad experience of sex trade.”
This is about where liberal feminists have chosen to betrayed the prostituted class – and in that betrayal are allowing the constant male violence to engulf the prostituted.
Liberal feminism considered itself to be the fourth wave of women’s fight for equality.
It is not a radical movement, it does not fight for liberation for women – no it fight for individual wants of often privileged women.
Liberal feminism was made for white Western women who are often middle-class.
Hell, if I had experienced childhood abuse and being prostituted – I would have a perfect candidate for liberal feminism.
But there the rub – liberal feminism excludes the prostituted, excludes women of colour, excludes working-class women, excludes women outside the West, exclude past generations of feminists – heck, liberal feminism excludes the vast majority of females.
Liberal feminism follows the philosophy that the individual women can improves her life, and is…
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“Women’s spaces have been few and far between and bitterly gained. The erosion of our voices, spaces and our specific needs are considered ‘transmisogyny’ by those who haven’t lived a day of our experience.”
I took some time today to view the petition to fire/no-platform Meghan Murphy. I was interested in what these people who are calling for the burning of the witch had to say. Their petition tantrum has about 900 signatures.
I’m signing because as a sex worker, I am disgusted that Rabble publishes her garbage. I refuse to even read Rabble anymore because of it.
Meghan Murphy publishes intensely transphobic and sex-worker phobic material that has no place in a feminist publication. You have to do better, Rabble.
Sex work is real work!
Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
less terfs more surf
Meghan Murphy’s effect on culture is detrimental to my well-being.
Meghan Murphy and all the other TERFs need to go… this is not what a real feminist looks like.
Meghan Murphy is an embarrassment; a anti-black, transphobic embarrassment.
I’m signing because I am a feminist…
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“This is just another example of the twanz and pro-exploitation lobby attempting to no-platform and unemploy a radical feminist.”
Counter Petition HERE. PLEASE SIGN!
Today I woke up to find a bunch of neoliberal asshats started a petition to get Meghan Murphy removed from Rabble, where she is an editor. This is just another example of the twanz and pro-exploitation lobby attempting to no-platform and unemploy a radical feminist.
Here’s their ‘argument’ with my responses
Open Letter to the Editors of Rabble.ca,
We are feminists, grassroots community groups and organizations that support intersectional feminism. We are concerned about your ongoing relationship with Meghan Murphy as one of your editors. Murphy has been publishing material that dehumanizes and disrespects women with different experiences and perspectives than hers for many years, in particular Black women, women in the sex industry and trans women. By allowing Murphy to continue as an editor at Rabble.ca you are giving a platform to her hate and we are writing to demand that you end…
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“I find the arts know our silences are full of screaming, our calmness is a desire to stop feeling and thinking, our ability to survive is grow from deep fury and remembering all our prostituted friends who never reach an exit.
In the arts, there is more space than research or what is called facts.”
How do we make prostitution real to the non-prostituted?
How do words fit our hell, our exhaustion, our everyday terrors, our pain in all our bodies?
How do you say or write with a clear mind and speak true to that void?
I feel I write this blog exploring that, and always feeling always the essence of what it is to be prostituted is out of reach.
Words mean nothing when speaking to the heart of torture, heart of isolation, heart of knowing what it is to made sub-human.
I know I write and speak out – I know I have to repeat over and over and over words that may touch that heart of darkness.
I also know the more words I use, the more distance I make between my memories of hell and my role as an exited woman now.
I want to find some language that fits those memories…
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Amnesty International recently recommended the decriminalisation of all aspects of the sex industry. This is not the Nordic model, which decriminalises those selling sex; Amnesty recommends pimps and johns proceed with their exploitation of women and girls, with a stamp of human rights compliance. Amnesty has the enthusiastic support of many people who claim that full decriminalisation will benefit those working as prostitutes. But it has less friends among sex trade survivors and feminists these days, since addressing this abusive industry with a policy that is defeatist, at best.
Women talked about the abuse and people didn’t listen.
When prostitutes and survivors document the horrific violence, abuse and degradation they suffered, they are quickly silenced by those championing sexual autonomy, the supposedly liberating opportunity to reclaim prostitution as a safe, enriching and empowering occupation.
But there are a number of reasons why prostitution is none of those things and why it will never be conducive to women’s liberation or to equality.
I realised this…
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CaptainAndy from Youtube wants women to live lives of sexual slavery. He is the typical liberal male who will rail against racism but thinks it’s totally ok that Asian, Black, and Aboriginal little girls are groomed, pimped, and trafficked for men’s sexual violence. Women are like objects. He thinks women are like drugs (property). I had to correct him. The remarks in quotes are mine.
NOTALLMENZ! Did you notice how suddenly this ‘male feminist’ claims not all prostituted women are actually women? Of course the solution is to argue something that means absolutely nothing because we KNOW the majority of prostituted and trafficked are WOMEN and children and the majority of buyers are MALE. CaptainAndy doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good argument for enslaving women. He’s such a ‘feminist.’
CaptainAndy thinks if he gives you a couple dollars or a hamburger it’s totally ok to use…
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On Thursday 12th March 2015, 64 year old Alejandra Gil was convicted in Mexico City of trafficking and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Gil reportedly controlled a pimping operation that exploited around 200 women. Known as the “Madam of Sullivan”, she was one of the most powerful pimps of Sullivan Street, an area of Mexico City notorious for prostitution. Gil and her son were connected with trafficking networks in Tlaxcala state – site of Mexico’s “epicenter for sex trafficking.”
Madai, a twenty-four year old woman who was trafficked to Mexico City, was one of those who gave evidence against Gil. Speaking to a reporter in Mexico she said, “[Gil’s] job was to watch us from the car. Her son or her took us to hotels and charged us fees. She kept records. She had a list where she kept records of everything. She even wrote down how long you…
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How did you become involved in supporting the abolition of prostitution?
I first started campaigning for abolition of prostitution after the murders of several prostitutes in Ipswich. That was very triggering for me, but at the time, I was unclear why. I was very angry, incessant with rage, for it seemed that the media is, and was, only interested in the murders of the prostituted when it is in connection with the sensation of a serial killer. When I started my blog, it was with unclear memories and feelings, and of knowing that most murdered prostituted women and girls are never recorded – they just vanish from existence. It is to those disappeared that my motivation to fight for abolition is founded on. I am sick of the vast majority of the prostituted being made into sub-human in life, and in death, being made to vanish.
I also became…
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“The Nordic model? It won’t work. You can’t decriminalize women and girls but criminalize the men who buy sexual access to them. It drives prostitution underground and puts them at risk of violence. Decriminalize ALL aspects of the sex trade to protect women and girls against violence and exploitation.”
Human rights group Amnesty International is currently risking everything it stands for to endorse The Argument. But if The Argument is true, why do violent and exploitative men want decriminalization?
‘LikeRedHeads’ is the name used by a man on the Toronto Escort Review Boards (TERB). He has written over 1000 posts on the site, including reviews of the women he pays for.
If the Nordic model would just facilitate him doing this to women, and full decriminalization would stop him – he must support the Nordic model. Right?
1. He petitioned against…
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CATW International, July 23, 2015
Global Advocates to Amnesty International: Vote No on Policy to Legalize Pimps, Brothel Owners and ‘Johns’
Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler, Meryl Streep Join Survivors of the Sex Trade on Campaign to Stand on Side of Human Rights and Women’s Equality
New York, July 23, 2015 – More than 400 national and international women’s rights groups, including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), human rights advocates, medical doctors, actors and directors, fashion designers, faith-based organizations and concerned individuals from over 30 countries signed an open letter to Amnesty International expressing their dismay at its policy proposal calling for the decriminalization of the sex industry. If passed at Amnesty’s International Council Meeting in Dublin from Aug. 7–11, this policy would in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.
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Amnesty International’s recent history of fast-tracking the decriminalisation of pimps and ‘johns’ has earned it’s reputation as devious, corrupt and sex trade infiltrated.
Last year, members drew attention to the appallingly bad consultation process that was used to garner support for the draft policy which was co-drafted by the pimp Douglas Fox.
At the 2014 National Annual General Meeting, both survivors of the sex trade and human rights activists, were treated equally appallingly when protesting their democratic right to present alternative resolutions to the policy .
Two board members of Amnesty International Australia in particular have drawn our attention and proved themselves allies of both the Scarlet Alliance and the Australian Sex Party (on paper the ASP is currently deregistered , but most certainly not defunct.)
Nothing has changed in Amnesty International’s behaviour as evidenced by this years NAGM outcome as you can see here:
To get to…
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