[Article by Laura Agustin in response to a book written by Swedish anti-prostitution propagandist Kajsa Ekis Ekmans]
Ordinarily I avoid ideological debates, but this time I had to chime in, because the author of a nutty Swedish book actually lied about me in it. I don’t mean she distorted my ideas – that is conventional amongst feminists who feel they are engaged in a battle to the death about prostitution. No, this was a lie about me and my life: she described me as an employee of the Network for Sex Work Projects, and the company publishing her book didn’t get anyone to check her facts – even about living people, which is reprehensible. Since I am independent with a highly precarious income, and because my opinions are only my own, I could not allow the lie to go uncontested.
The book’s an attack on two activities: commercial sex and surrogate motherhood. The drivel about me is a very small part of the book, which also provides an egregiously selective and ideologically driven version of the history of sex worker rights movements. I decided to use the publishing opportunity to provide a more honest, if still very brief, version, complete with links to the evidence – probably the first such thing published in Sweden. The original book title can’t be translated exactly but means something like Being and Being a Product – the idea of commodification. Continue reading
Jo Weldon has been a fixture of New York nightlife for many years. Her latest project, The Burlesque Handbook from HarperCollins /ItBooks, is available as a pre-order on Amazon and due out June 1. She is the headmistress and founder of the New York School of Burlesque and has taught and performed around the world. She has toured with The Sex Workers Art Show, been on the road with hair bands and recently co-produced the first evening of “W.O.(e)R.D., Women of experience Read Downtown,” with Heather Litteer. She is a dedicated blogger, primarily about burlesque but information, advice and opinion about related topics, from pasties to politics, sneak into everything she writes. She is universally liked, globally respected and one of the world’s most skilled tassel twirlers. A conversation with Jo can begin on one subject and meander through dozens until you’ve lost half your day. Here, we present a few choice snippets on feminism, domestication, rock dudes and, of course, burlesque. Continue reading