When it comes to debates about sex work, feminists often raise the concept that it’s a “job like any other,” as journalist and former sex worker Melissa Gira Grant has explained. Yet the exchange of sex for pay remains a curiously radical notion for many around the world. While it’s certainly true that sex work is a real career born of both necessity and ambition for many, it also comes laden with social anxiety and culture-war taboo.
|By: Michelle Chen Sunday March 9, 2014 5:20 pm|
|By: DSWright Wednesday January 1, 2014 12:23 pm|
While prostitution scandals in Colombia are associated with the Secret Service the DEA was also getting in on the action. Documents received by Foreign Policy from the Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that multiple DEA agents were investigated for widespread and continual use of prostitutes while stationed in Colombia as well as an attempt to cover up their activity.
|By: Lisa Derrick Saturday December 14, 2013 8:00 pm|
Last Sunday’s LA Times let the cat of the bag: If you read to the end in the awesome profile of the magazine-publisher-turned-successful-gallery-owner Mat Gleason, you’ll see that I’m an artist and I’m curating an art show that opens January 11, 2014 at Coagula Curatorial.
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday December 14, 2013 3:59 pm|
These days, French political culture appears to be retreating from its stereotypical liberalism on one of its best-known “vice” industries: the sex trade. Controversial new legislation in the country would criminalize paid sex—and sex workers see the proposed law as an assault on their dignity and safety.
The legislation—which just passed a vote in the Assemblée Nationale and is slated for a Senate vote soon—does not explicitly outlaw the act of selling sex, but it penalizes its purchase:
|By: Michelle Chen Monday July 22, 2013 5:45 am|
Anu Mokal wasn’t breaking the law when she was out walking with her friend last year, yet to the police, her very existence was criminal. As a sex worker in the Indian state of Maharashtra, she lives under various laws aimed at criminalizing the sex trade, supposedly to protect women from exploitation. But it was the law that became her assailant that day when a police officer viciously attacked her, hurling insults and beating her severely.
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday July 21, 2012 6:00 pm|
If you worked a dangerous job, you’d expect the law to help protect you from workplace hazards. But for many workers in the sex trade, protecting their health on the job could land them in jail.
A new report by Human Rights Watch reveals how the criminalization of sex work in U.S. cities undermines civil rights and puts lives at risk.
|By: Phoenix Woman Saturday June 30, 2012 6:45 am|
Has Sheldon “Thug Life” Adelson finally found himself in a situation he can’t bully or buy his way out of? Time will tell.
|By: Michelle Chen Friday June 29, 2012 6:08 pm|
Two quintessential cliches of New York City street life are heading into more trouble with the law: yellow cabs and prostitutes. To combat the sex trade, the city is pursuing pimps via taxi. But some civil rights advocates fear the measure targets the wrong kind of traffic.
|By: RH Reality Check Monday April 30, 2012 3:30 pm|
Apparently, New York Police officers use possession of condoms (especially more than one condom) as one of the factors in determining whether there is probable cause to arrest someone for prostitution or loitering for the purposes of prostitution. It’s a foolish policy for health reasons, but the state legislature has so far declined to stop it.
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday November 12, 2011 6:15 pm|
In a perfectly “free” labor market, everyone theoretically has the right to exchange work for commensurate compensation. But a free market is not necessarily a just one. And when the commodity is sex, how free is too free?
Sex work, and its attendant culture wars, have moved over time from traditional brothels of urban lore to online marketplaces, raising new questions about private and public freedom. In the digital world, how should trust and power be negotiated between provider and client, both encircled by systemic gender and economic inequities?