Tuesday, April 03 2018
Many of our most pressing social problems--sexual exploitation, homelessness, poverty, substance abuse--are compounded by their highly stigmatized perception by outsiders. These issues are incredibly charged; our society has a strong tendency to frame them as personal and moral failings, which leads to strongly-held negative assumptions. Stigma is one of the most demoralizing elements of sex work, and it can make transitioning out of the life frustrating and even dangerous. Our clients have recounted numerous stories about how they have been treated when their past or current involvement in sex work has been discovered by friends, loved ones, and employers or coworkers. They have experienced ostracism, abuse, discrimination, and sexual assault or harassment. Regardless of how an individual feels about their past sex work, coping with the fallout of stigma is emotionally taxing, with serious psychological and physical consequences. Click on the title to continue reading.
Friday, August 07 2015
Today, we’ll learn about the second trope in this series: The Happy Hooker. It may seem that this trope is a positive depiction of sex work. The women are highly paid, live a glamorous life in beautiful surroundings, and ply their trade safely, without harassment or threats of violence from johns. They do not contract STDs, are not subjected to social stigma, and enjoy a carefree, independent lifestyle. In media, we see elements of The Happy Hooker in films such as The Girlfriend Experience, American Pimp, and older movies like Belle de Jour, Variety, and of course, The Happy Hooker. Click on title to continue reading.
Friday, June 12 2015
Last week Congress passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. This follows a series of laws that have been passed to align the penalties for trafficking human beings with the brutality of the crime. In a nutshell, this legislation provides greater benefits to U.S. citizens and permanent resident who are victims of severe forms of trafficking, expands programs that assist law enforcement with recovering child victims, and provides for enhanced services. Nationally, we are chugging along in the right direction. However, it is important to remember that anti-trafficking legislation is not a panacea for commercial sexual exploitation. It is a tool that our community will use to help victims and hold pimps and traffickers accountable, but it cannot carry the burden of preventing the exploitation of young or vulnerable members of our community. Click on the title to continue reading.