Okay, so check this…

Posted: October 16, 2009 in Sex Work

I am up early this morning, watching the Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon, sippin’ on a Red Bull and preparing to clean my house then crank some levels on CoH, then maybe do a post on that whole “real job” thing I have coming up, and then someone points me in this direction…

And perfectly enough, as I get down into the comments, there is a scene in the cartoon where Quicksilver (a rather villainous sort) and his crew have just saved Wolverine and Crews collective asses but it is not good enough, so Quicksilver rolls his eyes, mutters “heroes”, then he and his team proceed to wreck house. 

Yeah, so this is me, rolling my eyes and muttering “heroes”.

You see, I think it is awesome that R Mott got a standing O at her speaking event.  Well she should, really.  I have had a few in my day at speaking events as well- and I suspect we’ve both received them because people are interested in what we both- regardless of what we say- have to say about the sex industry because we both know about it from actual lived experience.  We’re not academics, or politicians, or whatever else…we get up and talk about what we know and what we have lived and well damn, that’s pretty real.  And sure, we are opposite sides of the coin and all, but still, we speak from what we know.  Which is good.  That is the kind of info on the sex industry that needs to be out there- all sides, both sides, from the people who know.  But then I continue on and I see a few of the usual suspects talking smack about the Harlot’s Parlourblog and how it is a front for pimps, a pimp blog, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah x1000…

Sigh.  Heroes.

There is one dude on that blog, one, who is involved with the running of an escort agency in the UK.  The rest of the people writing there are either feminists interested in sex workers rights or sex workers themselves.  Oh, the agency dude, also a sex worker himself.  And why yes, much whining about how no “unhappy hookers” were invited to write there, how this blog of international sexworkers is “silencing them”.  Rolls eyes.  

Like any of the people out there who are or claim to be formerly prostituted people or unhappy hookers ever would have accepted an invitation from Caroline to blog there.  She could have fucking begged you to do so, pleaded, stroked egos and acted humble and because she is Caroline, and because other people- me included I suspect- are involved with that blog, not a single such invitation would have been accepted.  Don’t even fucking lie or pretend otherwise. 

But see, now that blog is being read, and quoted, and looked at- just like Bound Not Gagged.  It is not flopping or being seen as unimportant so some folk just have to fucking whine because they are being “silenced”.  Never mind the free for all comment policy, never mind the big “Would you Like to Submit a Piece??” banner over there, oh noes, women are being silenced!

So yeah, why isn’t, why aren’t, people like R Mott being published over there?  Gee, probably because she has not submitted anything via the submission process just like everyone else over there does!  If she did, hell, I will personally guarantee it goes up, even if I have to use my legendary powers of threats and intimidation.  I promise she will get special consideration because gee, we would not want anyone (obvious submission policy and guidelines right there on the blog aside) to feel silenced!!!!

But see, no one, you know, amid all these so silenced and obviously in need of such special considerations people has ever submitted anything to HP- in fact, were it not something to whine on about,  I suspect no one ever would because HP is just filled with horrible horrible people who have no clue about the sex industry, right?  Even though many of the people involved in it are IN the sex industry! 

Pffft… Heroes.

  1. Now, this is too damn funny.

    Here we have the same folks who have been so busy purging “sex-pox” people from their blogs and essentially silencing and denying sex workers who don’t share their exact viewpoints from even getting to comment to their spaces….but they have the unmitigated gall to bitch and moan abut Harlot’s Parlour offering a safe space for sex worker advocates?? Even though anti-sex work advocates are even offered to comment and contribute?? That’s far more than they ever offer to their opponents.

    And of course, HP will only be “fair and balanced” to the haters when the hated “pimps” like Doug Fox (and I guess, the porn hounds like IACB and yours truly) are totally purged from their pages and folk like Shelley Lubben and Rebecca Mott are allowed free reign to smash and burn.

    In my view there is only one real response to this: “You have your space. We have ours. When you open your space tp us without fear of distortion and censorship, then we will offer you the same; but we will not allow you a one-sided gun to kill us with. Until then, BACK THE FUCK OFF.

    Better to be “a front for pimps” than to be a front for fascists, I say.


    • Ren says:

      AK: Eh, I am not like those people…I value debate and various voices. Off Topic, later today or tomorrow, hit the LJ, I am doing a silly CoH fiction bit and I think you might like one of the characters I am writing about. Let’s put it this way- as far as physical looks and attitude go, I am totally stretching my imagination with wrt a character I am playing these days…heh.

  2. Douglas fox says:

    Well like the post but please pretty pretty please I am still a sex worker honest… I do all sort of tricks idfyou treat me nice and give me cash….Ok I may be one of the oldest rent boys on the block but hey after ten years a lot of regulars have kind of gotten used to my wrinkles.

    John my partner runs the agency I just do the talking because I have a big mouth and lots to say while he just gets on with it.

    Re the F Word well obviously only the right kind of sex worker is relevant ie the victim. Happy hookers not welcome because you don’t fit the political and ideological stereotype. It would be nice to hear other voices on Harlots and to discuss different experiences but that is not what they want is it.

    The battle is to engage the public and keep them amused and informed with real experiences both good and bad and that way we will win despite all the crap thrown at us.


  3. hello ren, since we run side by side a lot would you put Border Thinking on your blogroll maybe? x Laura

  4. TrinityVA says:

    So yeah, why isn’t, why aren’t, people like R Mott being published over there? Gee, probably because she has not submitted anything via the submission process just like everyone else over there does! So yeah, why isn’t, why aren’t, people like R Mott being published over there? Gee, probably because she has not submitted anything via the submission process just like everyone else over there does!

    Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that many of these people would complain about that the submissions policy doesn’t take into account their specialness? I could be simply being bitter today, but augh…

  5. Ernest Greene says:

    Time for some heresy. I agree that Rebecca Mott should be heard. I would be apalled at any attempt to silence her. But our side is constantly being called to account for the impact our behavior might have on all women, whether we as sex workers like what we do or not. Indeed, by the very telling of our personal stories, we’re accused as we are in this thread of silencing women like Rebecca Mott.

    But if Rebecca Mott genuinely cares for sex workers other than Rebecca Mott, why doesn’t she ever stick up for the right of those whose experiences and perceptions of sex work based on their experience differ from hers? Why doesn’t she insist, as you do, that her story is not universal and that others might also be true? And why does she choose for allies those whose actions have already harmed other sex workers, particularly in places like Sweden, the U.K. and here in the U.S. during the battle over Prop. K in San Francisco. Why is she so willing an accomplice to the odious behavior of self-idenitifed feminists who work to keep other women sex workers in constant fear of the law? Is she not responsible for the consequencs of her own choices as others insist that we must be? Has she ever been called upon to “examine” the implications of what she says and does as we always are? In short, is she protected by some kind of victim privilege because she identifies as a prostituted woman instead of a sex worker?

    What about this woman’s story:


    This woman was serving a two-year term for prostitution. That’s more time than many offenders get for manslaughter. She died of heat stroke in a cage. This is a direct result of the criminalization of prostittution and nothing else. Those who favor some scheme for preserving that prohibition under the rubric of nonsense like the so-called Nordic Solution, even if they claim to favor decriminalizing the behavior of prostitutes themselves, contribute to the climate of opinion in which this woman’s life became expendable to prove a point about society’s objection to prostitution.

    Doesn’t Rebecca Mott owe this victim something? If we had our way, this woman would never have been in jail. If Rebecca Mott’s allies have thier way, whatever they may claim to the contrary, more women will die in jail as this one did.

    Where is the accoutability for that? We always acknowledge that there are more sides to the story than ours. The other side never does, unless to dismiss all conflicting accounts as self-serving lies. Does this never trouble the conscience of Rebecca Mott?

    I got some serious shit on your old blog, up to being called an MRA no less, for pointing out the harms of victim culture and the celebration of victimhood as some proof of credibility. Fuck that. I don’t care at all what anyone thinks about what I say, so I dare to ask the unaskable question:

    What is Rebecca Mott’s responsibility to quit being used as a poster girl for sex work bashers and stick up for those sex workers who disagree with her as those here have stuck up for her?

    No one is above moral reproach, whatever past sufferings that person may have endured, be the name Roman Polanski or Rebecca Mott.

  6. hexy says:

    What a nauseating thread. I was glad to see Laura acknowledge the whole “you’re a bunch of non-sex workers trying to decide the best course of action based on everything other than what sex workers say they want” thing, but dismayed when she then closed the thread leaving the anti-sex work words with the previously offered opportunity for sex workers to speak up against them apparently revoked.

    Also, fuck Stuart. Right in the ear. What an asshole.

    Since I can’t there, I may as well reply to this bit here:

    What sort of genuine trade union I would like to ask makes no distinction between workers and bosses, not only that but is in fact run by the bosses? A real union for those involved in the sex industry would set itself in opposition to the pimps, pornographers, strip-club owners etc. who abuse and exploit women and it would actively expose and challenge the appalling conditions which so many are subjected to. The IUSW has never done this and therefore has no right to call itself a ‘union’ of any sort.

    These organisations exist. There are many of them. Organisations, union or otherwise, that are run entirely by and for sex workers, and that specifically and explicitly exclude brothel owners, “pimps”, business owners, etc etc etc. Even people who have a sex work history but are NOW business owners are excluded. Membership, staff, executive… EVERYONE in certain sex worker organisations is a sex worker, no exceptions.

    Guess what? They’re STILL NOT FUCKING LISTENED TO by these anti-sex work advocates. Their words are STILL dismissed. I am so fucking sick of Douglas Fox being used to discredit everything coming from the IUSW. Fine, anti-SW types,fuck the IUSW. Dismiss them on that basis. But at least demonstrate that your genuine concern is the involvement of business owners by showing some respect to those organisations that share your alleged concerns on that front!

    I’m interested in the voices of the 90% who want out, in hearing what victims of trafficking, enslavement, rape and physical violence have to say of their own experiences in the industry.

    Because if women don’t agree with you, they should be silenced.

    Also? Not all the women referred to in the latter part of that sentence fit into the first part.

    My big recommendation for Stuart is that he go and see a sex worker. No, seriously. Walk into your average brothel, select a woman you find attractive, negotiate a service and head into the room with her. You don’t have to fuck her… your “feminist” principles should condone giving her money without engaging in sex. But if you’re going to promote the bullshit idea that a client pays to “own” or “rent” the body of the worker, and that the client is in complete control of the booking and what goes on in it, you should do your research.

    I’m pretty sure the first ten minutes of a half hour booking with most sex workers would disavow him of that idea pretty quickly. Less if she just laughs in his face.

  7. There’s one thing I really wonder about when the issue of “silencing” comes up in the blogosphere – Isn’t that actually pretty much impossible to do?

    Look at me, I got one practically by accident. (It wasn’t entirely obvious that when I signed up for Gravatar, it was a wordpress account at the same time…) And getting linked to from various places probably wouldn’t be difficult when it comes to this sort of thing.

    It’s actually something that’s been bothering me for a while. Pro-sex work sex workers seem to have no trouble getting blogs and putting their words out for themselves. Yet I’ve been told things that seem to amount to that anti-sex work sex workers cannot get blogs, and so their words must be filtered by people who are not themselves sex workers. There’s something rather disturbing about that.

    • hexy says:

      You’ve actually been told that? Wow. Where?

      • Not in those words, but that’s the idea I was getting. Could be I’m reading something into it that wasn’t there, but… the way it was said really bugged me.

        I can probably dig out a reference tomorrow.

        • hexy says:

          I’ve certainly gotten that impression before… and I’ve noted it’s often the “lawyers support me in email” types who present it.

      • Okay, what really made me start thinking about this was this comment by Nine Deuce here, and possibly something in this thread here that sort of follows up on the idea. It was something I’d been trying to figure out how to comment on when my internet went out, and by the time it came back (which took a few days), the thread had gone all strange.

        What bothers me is that it never feels like ND is passing on things that she’s been told by actual sex workers. No “aaa says ‘I’m in bbb and cccc happens'” (if it’s someone who’s okay being directly quoted) or “people who do bbb have told me that cccc”. It usually seems to amount to “cccc”, full stop. And the implication that there are people whose only way of being heard is to email ND doesn’t seem quite on to me.

        Perhaps I put things a bit too harshly in my first reply here, but still… Why can they not speak for themselves?

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