Sex Work, Migration and Trafficking Identity Matters: Non-Sex Workers Writing About Sex Work, review essay by Elena Jeffreys

A review of Red Lights, The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China by Tiantian Zheng, Patpong Sisters, An American Woman’s View of the Bangkok Sex World by Cleo Odzer, China, Sex and Prostitution by Elaine Jeffreys and Sex Trafficking by Siddharth Kara.

Red Lights, The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China by Tiantian Zheng

Academic writers self-identify particular personal experiences in their non-fictional writing, for the purposes of laying bare their social position as ethnographers, creating a distinction between themselves and the ethnographic subjects of a study, contrasting their own expectations or social experiences with an anecdote of their topic that is typically shocking to a Western non-sex work audience, and maintaining a distance between themselves and the study participants.

I am an Australian sex worker, writing about authors who are not sex workers. Sex work texts portray sex workers as living troubled, conflicted, torturous lives; disrupting social norms facing the consequences of social exclusion and victimhood. The biggest stigmas I face in my life stem from academic writing about my work. In this paper I discuss four texts written by non-sex workers about sex work. The authors share similar life experiences; they are paid to research and write about sex work and were funded by scholarships from academic institutions and/or their Governments to migrate from a Western country for the purpose of studying sex workers. I have not been funded to write this paper, I do so out of my own interest and in the interest of investigating the academic works of non-sex workers. Continue reading

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Vancouver: Exotic dancer denounces protest

VANCOUVER COURIER
Friday, February 26, 2010

Sandra Thomas

An exotic dancer who works in Vancouver says a group protesting the sex industry during the 2010 Olympic Games is putting dancers at risk and interfering with their ability to make a living.

Trina Ricketts, a Surrey resident, accused local group REED, “Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity,” of using the Games to draw attention to their anti-sex work and abolition campaigns.

“What they’re abolishing is dancers’ incomes,” said Ricketts, who recently returned to exotic dancing after taking several years off. “And people take risks when they’re financially desperate.” Continue reading

Pattaya Police clear Pattaya Beach of suspected Prostitutes

25th February 2010

Following orders from the new Pattaya Police Chief, Police Colonel Nantawoot, a team of Pattaya Police Officers assisted by civil volunteers, known in Thai as “O-Po-Po-Lor”, conducted a late night operation on Wednesday to clear Pattaya Beach of Prostitutes and others suspected of loitering with intent to engage in anti-social or criminal activity. A total of 60 people were rounded-up, including 20 transsexuals and 40 women. All were charged with offences relating to loitering with intent and prostitution and paid a small fine before being released back onto the Beach where they presumably continued with whatever they were doing prior to their arrest.

See original at Pattaya One news

The numbers of sex trafficking victims are exaggerated

Figures relating to sex work and trafficking have been fudged by mainstream media, conservative feminists and career politicians. The numbers of people who are victims of sex slavery and trafficking are far lower than what is generally reported, writes Elena Jeffreys.

A startling report by investigative journalist Nick Davies for The Guardian last October, Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution, has shocked English policy makers and created a new war of words over migration, sex work and exploitation. Numerous opinion pieces, first hand accounts and rampant moralising followed The Guardian’s coverage of the issue between October and November last year, but Davies’ articles remains an important contribution to understanding the figure-fudging in relation to sex work and trafficking.

Davies writes that politicians and the media have been exaggerating the numbers of sex workers who are victims of sex slavery and trafficking. He goes on to compare the exaggerated numbers of trafficked sex workers with other government lies including weapons of mass destruction, and the sexed up policy dossiers that rationalised UK’s hawkish actions in relation to Iraq. Continue reading

AZ: Man pleads guilty to hiring hit man in prostitution case

20 comments by Michael Ferraresi – Feb. 9, 2010 03:58 PM
The Arizona Republic

The founder of a Web site known for its reviews of prostitutes pleaded guilty to two felonies in a case in which he was accused of hiring an undercover Phoenix police officer to assault a business rival, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

David Elms, 38, the California founder of The Erotic Review, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, a Class 3 felony.

The charge stemmed from the Phoenix police investigation into Desert Divas, a sex syndicate that purportedly provided expensive prostitutes to high-profile clients.

Elms also pleaded guilty to illegal control of an enterprise, a Class 3 felony, a charge the county attorney’s office said was related to Elms allowing The Erotic Review to be used in promoting the Valley-based Desert Divas prostitution ring, officials said.

Desert Divas prostitutes earned as much as $375 per visit, including $750 for two girls, in some cases. The organization earned an estimated $18 million over six years, police said.

Based on an informant’s tip, Phoenix detectives arrested Elms in February in northeast Phoenix after arranging a meeting where they said Elms contracted an undercover officer as a hit man to assault a woman in California.

Elms’ sentencing is scheduled for March 8.

See original on AZ Central

Claim: Blackwater Billed US for ‘Morale Welfare Recreation’ Provided by Prostitute

Two former employees have accused Blackwater Worldwide of defrauding the government for years with phony billing, including charging for a prostitute, alcohol and spa trips.
February 11, 2010 |

The world’s oldest profession may have been subsidized by the US government during the war on terror.

“Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide have accused the private security contractor of defrauding the government for years with phony billing, including charging for a prostitute, alcohol and spa trips,” Carol D. Leonnig reports for the Washington Post.

The article continues, “In newly unsealed court records, a husband and wife who once worked for Blackwater said they had personal knowledge of the company falsifying invoices, double-billing federal agencies and charging the government Continue reading

‘Kill hookers’ Facebook boy dealt with: school

14:56 AEST Fri Feb 12 2010

A Facebook page which advocates killing prostitutes has been condemned by sex industry workers.

A Catholic school student has been “dealt with” after he set up a Facebook page that appeared to advocate killing prostitutes.

The page, called “Killing your hooker so you don’t have to pay her”, has now been removed by Facebook but not before almost 18,000 people joined the site.

The principal of St Laurence’s College in Queensland, Ian McDonald, confirmed a student from the school had been disciplined over the creation of the page.

“It has been sorted out and the boy has been dealt with,” Mr McDonald told AAP on Friday.

“The student told us, of course, he didn’t believe what was on there and he did something stupid. Continue reading