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Letters and Politics - November 18, 2013 at 10:00am

Letters and Politics, for November 18, 2013 - 10:00am

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Letters and Politics

William Black, former lead investigator of the S & L scandal.

Rachel West & Ms R of the US Prostitutes Collective.


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@marie Brown, its

@marie Brown, its paternalistic of you to characterize these brave women who are speaking out about discrimination at the State Victims Compensation Fund against prostitutes who are raped as 'fantasy'. Your just excising your right to free speech because you are not at risk for being arrested for being a currently working prostitute. Good for you. But as such, you don't get to have say over the current workers' work conditions, because you don't really know the state of the prostitute nation. Streetbased workers only make up 10% of the prostitution workforce. And FYI, Louis Lee of Children of the Night, opposed Proposition 35: She called Prop. 35 do-gooder legislation that may do more harm than expected.

"The state law is good enough," Lee said. "Proposition 35 looks good on the surface, but anyone supporting this proposition does not understand and does not work with children of sex trafficking."
And the other place you mentioned relies on the criminalization of our labor to traffic us through the criminal court system into these charities where we're expected to genuflect to their god for the right to gain access to eat and have shelter. Not to mention all on the tax payer expense. Stop arresting us.

I have been a sex worker for

I have been a sex worker for over 30 years and a sex worker activist since 2009. The US has arrested over 24 million people for prostitution and disorderly conduct in the past 20 years and only 1% were minors, so 99% were consenting adults. This anti trafficking narrative is promoting violence and hate crimes against sex workers and does little to find the few real victims of trafficking. Criminalization does nothing to stop or even reduce prostitution. In 30 years I have never been harmed by a client, but I have been stalked, raped, and arrested by law enforcement, and I didn't get PTSD until a swat team kicked in my door because I had a craigslist ad up, and I did not feel like I was being rescued when the judge told me I had to pay a 3720 fine within a year or he would issue a warrant for my arrest, and this was after I explained that I was a single mom and had been unemployed for years and lost my home in foreclosure.

If a sex worker hires a driver, bodyguard or booker/manager, they are classified as pimps by US law, yet when Walmart hires help they are called employees.

I am a grown women who can consent, I am not a child that cant give consent so what right does the government have in my private affairs?

Almost all the money (hundreds of millions each year) that goes to the anti trafficking movement is spend on "raising awareness" by publishing myths and misconceptions, they are not using the money to create long term services such as affordable housing, and jobs that pay wages we can live on. The few services that are available are only available if a women is willing to exit sex work, so teaching us to work at Walmart for 8 bucks a hour isn't going to change our situation.

If you do not support the rights of sex workers you are promoting violence against them. Criminalization has created the perfect playground for predators and bad cops to rob, rape, threaten, exploit and murder sex workers.

If you want to hear from the mouths of 11 US sex workers, many that have been in the sex industry for decades please see the 2013 award winning film American Courtesans (available on amazon)

Also more proof that the anti trafficking groups are lying can be found here Google "Police Prostitution + Politics" as it won't allow me to post a link.

Its time to change the social perception that she wasn't a person, she was a "prostitute". No one wants to feel a sense of community or sameness with her. She was something other than us and therefore we don’t need to feel fear or grief at the fact or the manner of her death."

Statistics pertaining to

Statistics pertaining to prostitution are always fraught with difficulties due to the illegal nature of the work in most portions of the US. Additionally, there is a temptation to generalize one's own experiences, believing them to be indicative of the majority of sex workers. That is pure fantasy. Until we have access to trustworthy data which is subjected to the same standards as all other research, specifically obtaining results from randomized samples, current "data" cannot be assumed to be valid. Most "research" about prostitution pertains to narrow populations which tend to obtain resources and assistance from government and NGO, leaving the rest of the sex worker population which has substantial economic resources outside of the surveys. Attempting to make sweeping statements about prostitution, whether negative or positive, is not only unscientific but tantamount to making sweeping statements about marriage. Human relationships are complex and not easily broken down by demographics. Having volunteered for a domestic violence shelter during my college years, I might have been inclined to conclude that all heterosexual marriages were based upon abusive patterns including violence. But there are happily married couples and we are not attempting to pass laws against marriage. Nor do we invalidate those married person's perspectives which report marital bliss anymore than those who report domestic violence. Similarly, we must eliminate our personal prejudices in favor of validating the personal realities of those people involved. If prostitution is a negative for one person and a positive for another, we must accord the same respect for those individual's perceptions and experiences regardless of our personal preferences.

Although I enjoy listening to

Although I enjoy listening to "Letters And Politics" via KPFK in Los Angeles, I was both disappointed and perturbed by your second segment on this morning's broadcast, in which you interviewed two women claiming to be advocates of prostitutes' rights. I was astounded when one of these women claimed that pimps are almost non-existent, and that most women who are prostitutes don't work for pimps. That's as far from the truth as possible. I should know; for many years, I worked as a street prostitute in Los Angeles, and the vast majority of girls and women hooking on the street alongside me worked for pimps; I myself very briefly worked for one of these guys. Additionally, I am familiar with volunteers at The Mary Magdalene Project - a Los Angeles non-profit organization dedicated to helping adult women transition out of prostitution - who have told me the situation is just the same as when I was a prostitute - that the majority of women and girls who are prostitutes today do indeed work for pimps, most of whom are violently abusive.

Unfortunately, there are some people on the "sex workers' rights" lecture circuit who are more interested in self-aggrandizing publicity by promulgating the happy hooker myth, weaving fantasy stories that all women who are prostitutes are just blissfully happy all the time, and that prostitution is somehow "empowering", rather than discussing uncomfortable truths about the life - that it's dangerous (for call girls as well as street walkers) and ultimately demeaning for women. Most women involved with prostitution had been abused as children - often sexually. To deny this is to live in a fantasy bubble.

I would like to direct you to the websites of two highly-respected non-profit organizations which sincerely and successfully help women and underage girls leave prostitution. One is for the above-mentioned Mary Magdalene Project: And here is the website for Children Of The Night, a well-known organization dedicated to rescuing underage children from prostitution: It would be worth your while to interview Dr. Lois Lee, founder and president of Children Of The Night; she would be able to give you tremendous insight into the tragedy of child prostitution.

Finally, I want to thank you for taking to time to read this e-mail. I realize it's a bit lengthy; however, I really felt I had to dispel the very damaging fantasy stories told by your two female guests on this morning's "Letters And Politics" regarding the very harsh life of prostitution.

Miss Marie Brown

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