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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Column: Year’s End 2014

The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. – Edward Powell As has been my custom for five years, New Year’s Eve is the occasion for a retrospective of the year’s news. But while in previous years I mostly reported on the things other people did, the biggest story this

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Column: A Year Later

Almost a year ago (December 20th, 2013), the Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized prostitution in every part of the country with its ruling in Bedford vs. Canada, which struck down the criminal laws (very similar to those in the UK) which attempted to “control” and “discourage” the sale of sex by making it more difficult

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Welcome to the Future

As long-time readers know, I’m very fond of science fiction and fantasy; the difference between the two is that the latter describes a world which (by our understanding of the laws of the universe) could not actually exist, while the former describes a world which could but does not (at least yet).  As some have

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Eternal Vigilance

The Irish politician John Philpot Curran once said, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”  Later orators repeated the aphorism and rephrased it into its current, less cumbersome form, but the main point is still the same:  that governments and other would-be rulers are driven by the pathological need

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How Many Will It Take?

According to the popular narrative, sex workers are “bad” or “defective” or otherwise abnormal; we are not to be trusted even to run our own lives, so when “good” women who claim to want what’s best for us say that we need to be criminalized for our own good – that our statements should be

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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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All About the Men

Probably the most common stereotype of anti-sex worker feminists is that they’re all misandrists, and on the surface that certainly seems true.  But a closer examination of the issue reveals a deeper motivation which more closely resembles an obsessive concern with men at the expense of women.  Feminists are willing to deny models income in order

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Habitable Room

The Vestal Virgins were among the most important people in classical Roman society; they were charged with keeping the sacred fires burning, and accorded numerous privileges in return.  One of the greatest of these was that their persons were sacrosanct; in other words, no person could touch them without their permission, upon penalty of death. 

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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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Columns: Back and Forth

While the struggle for civil rights for some minorities has been largely unidirectional, moving steadily forward toward the goal, the war for sex worker rights has been a chaotic melee waged on many fronts.  This is not to say that there were not setbacks in the struggle for women’s rights, racial minority rights, gay rights,

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Columns: Long Spoon

The casual modern observer can be forgiven for perceiving the issue of “human trafficking” as nothing but a moral panic conjured up as a disguise for anti-sex work efforts, inextricably bound up with “end demand” rhetoric and supported by dodgy statistics, grandiose claims and bombastic rhetoric, because that is what it has become.  But it

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Public Property

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy; because she inherited a faulty gene from her mother she has a much higher chance than other women of eventually developing breast (87%) and ovarian (50%) cancer, and decided to have the breast tissue removed so as to prevent it before it could start. 

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