TRB, Sex Worker Solidarity, and a Call to Action

“If there’s one thing we can learn from history, it’s that if a sufficient number of men call you a crazy whore, you’re on the right track.” -Unknown

 

Many of you may have wondered where I have been for the past 56 hours. I have seem to drop off the face of social media. Well that is because I, and a group of amazing ladies from the Sex Workers Outreach Project, have been focusing our energy on more traditional media!

Here is the article with my statement!

And here is the most honestly written article I have seen so far.

At 1:00pm on January 6th the Bellevue Police Department, with the help of the FBI, King County Sheriff’s Department, and the King County prosecutor’s office shut down the site TheReviewBoard.net. This site was not only an advertising resource for Seattle escorts, it was a way to connect with the community as a whole. It was used to screen clients and keep the ladies safe.

I, along with representatives from SWOP, showed up at the press conference held at Seattle City Hall. We were barred from entering but we stuck around outside to talk to media. We were given copies of the official statements while we waited.

As of last night there have been 11 arrests of clients who were associated with websites known as “The League” and “kgirldelights”. The Review Board got shut down by association, due to some crossover of key members. The Police Department is claiming they are not arresting the Korean women involved in this debacle, yet no word from these ladies has emerged. I, for one, am hesitant to believe anything in the official statement without hearing from these women myself. If these women are trafficking victims, or if they are victims of the conflation of foreign women participating in sex work and xenophobic trafficking laws, hearing their stories will help us work towards making sex work safer for everyone.

This conflation of trafficking and immigration has infected our justice system. Last December a K-pop band was detained at LAX for 15 hours because they were suspected to be trafficking victims. These trafficking laws are harming minorities attempting to migrate here, not protecting trafficking victims.

Additionally, whether or not this sting “saved” any women, it did harm to 100s of others. Shutting down Seattle’s largest outlet for Sex Workers to communicate and advertise is cutting off the livelihood and safety for them all. With this board coming down there are a lot of Sex Workers who are going to have trouble paying rent this month. Many of these Sex Workers are going to end up on the street. Without a way to advertise, and with clients getting spooked these women may loose their livelihood.

It is sad this has all happened so soon after Amnesty International came out in support of decimalization of sex work. Our movement is gaining powerful allies, now we must work together to continue the momentum.

When giving interviews yesterday I only identified myself as someone in the sex industry. I refused to draw a line between escorting, porn, dancing, camming, and anything else in this expansive world. We are all Sex Workers. This is not the time to draw arbitrary lines between us. This stigma, this criminalization is affecting us all. We need to band together as one large sexy community to take a stand. We cannot let our brothers and sisters lose their livelihoods because of our “evil sex rays”. Whether we are standing in solidarity for porn stars facing unbelievable prejudice when seeking an education, or reaching out to help a Sex Worker who saved countless lives by taking down a serial killer  we all need to realize we are interconnected.   We are not fighting dozens of little battles; we are fighting a war. Against stigma, criminalization, and suppression of women’s rights to sexual agency.

So join me, whether you are a escort, dancer, or maybe just someone who supports women and their ownership over their own sexuality. Find your local SWOP chapter, take to social media, even to the dreaded comment sections of the Internet. Let our declarations be heard. Let them know they can no longer drown out our voices with the sound of sirens.

If you’re a Seattle local I urge you to stay calm. The sting is over and those who the police can get to have already been brought in. This tragedy has shaken us all up, but please understand the impact your actions will have from here on out. We need to stand together and show a united front in the face of persecution.

There is not a single social justice movement throughout history that was easy. It may take years, generations even, to achieve safety for all aspects of our industry but it will happen, because we will fight to make it so.

 

Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’

doesn’t make sense any more.”

― Rumi

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Day in My Life

I thought you all deserved the reason why my blog has been neglected. Here is a day in my life.

It’s 5am and the screeching of my alarm clock is shattering my dreams. My arm reaches out blindly searching of the off button without finding it. I crack my eyes open and silence the evil machine with more accuracy.

I roll over and hear a stack of books fall to the ground.   I deduce I’d fallen asleep in the middle of my homework. Squinting at the mess on the ground I groan and resolve to deal with it when I got home tonight.

It takes me about 45 minutes to shower, grab my pre-packed suitcase and get out the door. 9:40am has me opening my eyes in San Francisco. Without a second to rest I am swept into a dressing room and in no time I am standing in front of a camera ready to be Sexually Broken.

Lunch break had me sitting going over note cards back stage. When it is time to shoot again I throw off my robe (quite epically) and enthusiastically put on my sexy face.

7pm has me back at the airport. This time I spend the flight going over notes for the midterm I have the next day.

I am back to my house by 10pm. I immediately set my alarm for 6am and crawl back into bed.

In conclusion, I hope to get another blog post up before too long. In the mean time here’s a picture of my boobs!

endza2_038

You can see scene this picture came from here!

Until Next Time,

Endza

Of course I am a Nanny!

If I have learned anything in college it is that that no one will inquire further about your job if you respond with a story of a screaming baby vomiting on you. This is an important life skill to have.

            My hobbies?

                             Books, and no, I can’t go out this weekend. I’m studying,… the whole time.

I have mastered the art of being unremarkable.  I carefully lie to hide who I truly am because I have seen how the academic word treats those in my industry.

If you have not heard of Belle Knox, you may have been living under a rock. She was a freshman at Duke University when she was outed as a porn star. She trusted one classmate with her secret and within a couple of weeks the whole nation knew.

The whole nation also had an opinion on it: she received everything from encouragement to death threats.  Even with people defending her, I imagine it is nearly impossible to hear the praise when you can’t walk through campus without fearing someone will make good on their violent threats.

After her personal information and the personal information of her parents were posted online she went to the police to help. She was met with slut shaming and implications that she could be at fault for the harassment.

I admire Ms. Knox for the bravery, strength, and intelligence it took for her to not only get through this gross invasion of her life, but to do so with her head held high. She turned this tragedy into a platform to discuss the stigma associated with sex work and the sexuality of women.

I had yet to enter the industry when this occurred, but I followed the media coverage with rapt attention. It was beyond my comprehension how strangers could get so personally insulted by her decisions about her own body. As I followed the events I started to understand how deeply personally people take women’s sexuality. Our society seems to think everyone but the individual has control over a woman’s decision in this regard.

It makes me worried to imagine how many people think they can claim ownership over my sexuality. Our society, and specifically college culture, is guilty of perpetuating the Virgin/Whore Dichotomy.   Women are expected to be as pure and modest as a virgin, but be able to have sex like a whore.   If she has sex she is labeled a slut, but if she refrains from it she is a prude.

The decision to have sex should be each individual woman’s decision, not open for public comment. Sadly, we are not there yet. Until we are, I will continue to join the conversation in ways that protect my privacy.

Every time someone on campus asks me what I do, I think of Belle Knox and I lie. I realize this damages my ability to create any real connections in college, but it is a sacrifice I make to keep my loved ones and myself safe.