By Audacia Ray, RH Reality Check.
Posted January 12, 2010.
Painting a portrait of people in the sex industry as victims without voices only perpetuates their disempowerment.
Since becoming a part of the U.S. sex worker rights movement five years ago, talking about contentious issues concerning bodies, labor, money, and rights has very much become my calling. In the past year alone, I’ve been quoted on CNN about the value of virginity, talked about South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford on WNYC’s The Takeaway, and admonished the Boston Herald for its slurs toward sex workers. Suffice to say, I give my opinion freely and often loudly.
I thought I knew a lot about sex work, rights, and organizing when, in September, I set off for two weeks in India with my colleague Khushbu Srivastava, Program Officer for Asia at the International Women’s Health Coalition. But as much as I am accustomed to being an “expert,” I quickly realized that I knew next to nothing about the nuances of Indian culture and the dynamics of the local struggle for sexual rights and reproductive health. While there are many things that I learned Continue reading
From Canadian Women’s Issues
Friday, July 3, 2009
The July 3 Globe and Mail has a story by Kirk Makin saying “An Ontario judge has turned down a request from two religious groups and a conservative women’s group to take part in a constitutional challenge of the country’s prostitution laws.” According to this story, the judge, Ted Matlow of the Ontario Superior Court, “said that the groups would be liable to turn the trial into a soapbox for spiritual views, which would be out of place in a strictly legal proceeding.”
Besides REAL Women, the groups were the Christian Legal Fellowship and the Catholic Civil Rights League. They argued the court should hear a broad range of voices on the issue. Continue reading
Jessica Yee talks about sexuality, race, youth engagement – and how they all fit together
“One thing I can say about Catholic school is that it makes really great activists,” quips Jessica Yee, sitting at a downtown Subway restaurant a few hours before her flight back to Toronto.
The self-described “Indigenous feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter” says she found her calling at the age of 10, thanks to an anti-choice presentation during one of her elementary school classes. Continue reading