A links round-up of links I really, really, really like a lot.
Sex Work, Criminalization, and HIV: Lessons from Advocacy History, by Anna Forbes. (Link takes you to a ‘download PDF here’ button’.) On tackling (or failing to tackle) HIV risk among drug-injecting populations, and analogies to sex workers.
Greek Brothel Arrests, by Matthew Weait. “It is appalling, but it is entirely to be expected. There is a long and ignoble tradition of locating the source of STIs in women in general, and female sex workers in particular. In the context of HIV criminalization this tradition has reached a new peak (or, perhaps better, a new trough). Put simply, HIV criminalization has compounded, and added a new and frightening dimension to, the longstanding idea that female sex workers are a source of pollution threatening the cleanliness of men.”
Just Don’t Call It Slut-Shaming: A Feminist Guide To Silencing Sex Workers, by Nine. I can’t extract a quote from this that does justice to it’s utter aceness; if you read just one thing from this link-farm … (Also: man, I totally wish SCASE could see this. That would be trolling though, right? right?)
Belle de Jour is The New Pretty Woman, by Nine. “Pick any political debate or news article about prostitution, and there’s a high probability there’ll be a quote along the lines of “It’s a far cry from Pretty Woman.” As if that’s going to come as a surprise. As if everyone doesn’t already bloody know that.”
The Irish Trade Union Movement Throws Sex Workers Under The Bus, by Wendy Lyon. “I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a parallel to this extraordinary situation, and I’m honestly stymied. Even considering the obvious context – disapproval of prostitution as a matter of principle – I can’t think of another sector in which the “solution” would involve the wholesale rejection of labour rights for those involved. I cut my political teeth in anti-war and anti-nuclear campaigning, and I don’t recall anything remotely comparable to this. We may have wanted to decommission the bases and power plants but we never said labour law shouldn’t apply to people working at them.”
The Moral Significance of Sex Workers and People with Disabilities, by Tauriq Moosa. “I’ve never understood the inherent problem with sex work. As the wonderful Martha Nussbaum has famously argued, all kinds of careers – from plumbers to pop-stars – use their bodies to fulfil some demand made by another. Whether this is dancing in small clothes or fixing a leak, we use our bodies to bring comfort, fulfilment, etc. to others, in exchange for money.”