Well, SESTA* passed the Senate. It’s not that I’m surprised or even disappointed, because I know exactly the whorephobic era in which we live. I’m just tired. But, and I’m trying to agree with the optimism here, a lot of activists who mobilized the sex worker community and kept us all up to date believe some good will ultimately result from this bill despite it passing 97-2. More and more mainstream media voices gave sex worker rights orgs attention and articulated, to varying degrees of accuracy, the global sex worker-led fight for rights.
I’m naturally a pessimist so you’ll have to bear with me here. I saw on Twitter, in several comments from some allies and sex workers alike, the opinion that some of these politicians and prohibitionists who agitated for FOSTA-SESTA were/are acting in “ignorance” of the effects their legislation would have. No. They know damn well what the effects of this law will be on the population they are purporting to “save”. They’re not ignorant, they’re malicious. Anyone in a position of power and exercising that power over you by way of law or law enforcement does not act in ignorance. They have more access to research and analyses than you can imagine; if they don’t “hear” certain voices, it is by design, not by a flaw. Giving anyone the benefit of the doubt is a privilege to be earned and the average politician, law enforcement agency and its officers, and media talking head have not earned that privilege, especially not from a marginalized community.
As it has been pointed out by sex worker activists, this is a resilient community. Our enemies underestimating us will ultimately be their downfall and FOSTA-SESTA will hopefully be the epitaph on the gravestone of their malicious ignorance.
Edit (21:23, 3/22/18): I’ve been informed that the Senate passed FOSTA, which was the House bill. In any event, it’s still a monstrosity to be struck down.
Posted in Allies & Activism, Demimondaines, Essentially Claudia, Ethical Practices, Society, Twitter
Tagged Discretion, Ethics-Principles, FOSTA-SESTA, History, pet peeves, philosophy, Safety, sex workers' rights
According to what Lorelei Lee posted on Twitter, SESTA is being voted on tomorrow! Call, email your senators to ask that they vote NO. As Lorelei states in her Tweet, even though it is a strong possibility that SESTA will pass, your senators should still hear your opinion. You are a constitutent and a voter, don’t forget to mention these things along with any other statuses that will be negatively affected by this bill. As I pointed out in my previous posts, FOSTA-SESTA casts a ridiculously wide net and will be a form of Internet censorship and major First Amendment violations. Voice an objection on that basis if nothing else.
I’m not sure what time the Senate convenes on Monday, but there is still time to call or email your senators to ask them to vote NO on S. 1693, the FOSTA-SESTA monstrosity masquerading as compassionate legislation. I’ve called and emailed my senators, Tammi Duckworth and Richard J. Durbin (who are among the co-sponsors of the bill), twice this week. I’m going to get up early on Monday morning to call their offices again. Please call your senators this weekend and leave a voicemail if possible or if not, then email. If you have time early Monday morning to call when their offices first open for the day, do that.
Thank you for your active allyship!
Here is the very quick way to find your state senators: Senators of the 115th Congress. On that site, you can choose your state in the dropbox so you don’t have to scroll to search for your senators. Their office phone numbers and email addresses are provided. Calls are always preferable for activism undertaken for any reason, not just this one. If you’re hesitant to talk to a person in real time, you can always call after hours to leave a message. If you are still hesitant to do that (I get it, not everyone likes using the phone) but you still want to voice your opinion, then please send an email.
Again, the vote happens on March 12, 2018
EDIT: You can use the Resist.bot to send a text to your senators about FOSTA-SESTA if you don’t want to talk on the phone but you want something more immediate and direct than email.
In case you haven’t heard, the US House of Representatives just passed a particularly noxious piece of legislation called FOSTA last week. The Senate will vote on the bill next week. FOSTA stands for Allow States & Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and it will destroy free speech online, which includes every single way sex workers communicate and exchange information online to stay safe and organize our activism. Advocates for trafficking victims also voiced strenuous objections about how this bill will actively harm their work to protect the victims this legislation is
hiding behind claiming to help. The DoJ, although too late for the House vote, published a letter objecting to FOSTA (link opens a PDF). Passing FOSTA also means we will be run off of social media platforms, including blogs like mine. If you’ve heard any of the mainstream media talking about FOSTA, it is couched in typical sex trafficking hysteria rhetoric…in other words, absolute bullshit. Rewire News has a fantastic article on FOSTA and its equally obnoxious friend SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking online Act) complete with links to the original bills and other pertinent information and The Daily Dot published an article with quotes from sex workers’ rights activists on the legislation. Do not take this as hyperbole: FOSTA will cost lives. Full stop.
I wrote a guest column on Maggie McNeill’s blog a few weeks ago. In it, I wrote about the need for sex worker rights activists to be careful about the allies we let in, particularly a certain flavor of feminist who often don’t really have sex workers’ best interest at heart despite the thin veneer of support they show. Some allies, I realize, aren’t sure how to best support sex workers or need a way to do so that doesn’t require showing their own faces. Fair enough. Writing to your senators about FOSTA and your objection to it is a much needed form of support right now. You can identify however you want in relation to sex workers. Hell, there are plenty of valid reasons disconnected from sex work, such as the fact that FOSTA is a convenient vehicle for internet censorship.
If you’re not sure what to say about the need for sex workers to use online platforms to work safely and independently offline, or if you know what you want to say but aren’t quite sure how to compose your words, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects has a consensus statement that reflects the international demands from sex worker rights groups and advocates. If you’re connected to Twitter in any way, check out the Survivors Against FOSTA hashtag, where activists explain in great detail the harm that FOSTA poses for actual trafficking survivors. Put this in a letter or bring it up in calls to your senators before March 12, 2018, which is when the Senate votes on FOSTA. Be an ally we can be proud of!
Yes, I’m still alive and kickin’!
I’ve been taking a break from the demimonde, one that will continue into next year. I have to take care of some rather annoying business in the mainstream world that really won’t give me the piece of mind* that I need to provide Companionship with the standards of professionalism and serenity that I require of myself. No, that mainstream annoyance is not related to the demimonde at all, but the behemoth of a legal fight I probably have coming up is going to consume most of my time, patience, and other intangible yet invaluable resources (and probably some financial ones as well) and this is on top of caring for an aging, disabled (and stubborn as hell) parent.
That said, I’m hoping to blog more, if for no other reason than to keep my name out there and re-establish some consistency of a presence in our little world. Hopefully, 2018 will be a positive year. See you around!
*I tried to be patient with this particular matter concerning labor issues within this organization but it’s clear that I’m going to have to, ahem, be an epic shit-kicker.
If you’ve been following me at all on Twitter, even on my sidebar here, then you will have seen an occasional announcement of offering a Cash Point Meet or a Cash Point Drop for those with the Financial Domination fetish. These are my preliminary ventures into a much more in depth and complex engagement of that fetish. Need I mention that my way of engaging with payeurs as FinDomme (even down to how I’ll address you all as a group) will be my very exacting and particular take on the fetish? What I will be providing, starting next year, will be, I suppose, bespoke Financial Domination. At that point, I probably will phase out providing CPMs/CPDs- consider these a chance to whet your appetite and to find out whether or not you really are a Financial Submissive, or a merely a little boy playing with something far beyond your intellectual, emotional, and financial percipience.
On that note, I will be offering a Cash Point Drop this coming Friday on my visit to New York City. One day and one day only, unless I can be convinced to offer an additional day.
Cash Point Meets
Posted in Art of the Courtesan, Essentially Claudia, Ethical Practices, Financial Domination, Pleasurable pursuits, Sensuality, The Demimonde, The Erotic
Tagged erotic arts, Ethics-Principles, fetishes, marketing, philosophy, pleasure, sexy