Nobody Asked

  I answered this reader’s question on my own blog a year ago, but since it addresses issues that arise periodically I felt it would be worthwhile to revisit it here: I’m passionately against sex-trafficking, and on the whole I do not support sex work.  If the existence of the sex industry hides trafficked victims,

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Eros and Phobos

Camille Paglia once wrote, “You have to accept the fact that part of the sizzle of sex comes from the danger of sex.”  Because of that, second-wave feminists were fighting a losing battle in trying to paint sex as a wholly good, positive, non-scary, sunshine-and-rainbows thing in order to make it palatable to the naïve

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Crippling Thought

The danger of crippling thought, the danger of obstructing the formation of the public mind by specially suppressing…representations is far greater than any real danger…from such representations. –  George Bernard Shaw Today is the first day of Banned Books Week, an occasion which interests me as a librarian, as a sex worker and as a steadfast supporter

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Let Me Help

Last November a reader asked me to explain my view on “sex trafficking”.  She wrote, “I…understand your disdain for people who assert that no educated person could ever choose the life of a prostitute, and I understand that most people who work for anti-human trafficking orgs assert that every single sex worker needs to be saved from herself,

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Business As Usual

After generations of ignoring the violence against sex workers which is directly or indirectly caused by either full (as in the US) or partial (as in the UK) criminalization, the public is slowly beginning to wake up to the reality: most of it is perpetrated by the police.  Prohibitionists and “authorities” want everyone to believe the opposite, that clients

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A Day for Whores

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  –  Mahatma Gandhi Tomorrow is International Whores’ Day, the 39th anniversary of a protest in which… …over 100 French prostitutes occupied the Church of St. Nizier in Lyon.  In a very real sense, today is the birthday of the

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Blood on the Sand

In cinema and television, the goodies and baddies are usually distinctly different and in opposition to one another; the enemy of the baddie is a goodie, and anything done to bring down the baddie is automatically good.  But real life is rarely like that; in the real world, the enemy of a baddie is nearly

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Whither Canada?

As you probably know unless you’ve been living in a cave, two months ago the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the laws which made the legal activity of selling sex much more difficult and dangerous, just as similar laws in the UK, India, parts of Australia and many other countries do.  As I wrote in

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Honoring Our Dead

I know who held the knife, but they might as well have put it in his hands.  –  the mother of murdered sex worker Petite Jasmine Several days a year sex workers and our allies get together, either in person or in spirit, to observe certain occasions.  On March 3rd, we agitate for our rights and

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Remembrance

Four things greater than all things are, — Women and Horses and Power and War.  –  Rudyard Kipling, “The King’s Jest” Ninety-five years ago tomorrow, at eleven o’clock in the morning, the armistice that ended the First World War went into effect; the anniversary was immediately established as Armistice Day among all the Allied nations. 

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Catastrophic Consequences

Nearly three years ago I wrote an essay entitled “Social Autoimmune Disorder”, in which I compared modern society’s persecution of sex workers to a disease “in which the body’s protective systems turn from attacking pathogens and other invaders to attack some portion of its own tissues instead”: The bodies of societies sometimes also develop such

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Columns: Straining at Gnats

Sex worker rights activists hear a lot of arguments against decriminalizing our profession, absolutely none of them sound or reasonable (no matter what those who use them may believe).  Most of them are based in one religion or another, and by religion I mean any belief system which is unsupported by (and may even fly

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