We can add Elizabeth Warren to the list of candidates who support decriminalization, but also to the list of candidates where we don't know how they're defining decriminalization. Within 48 hours of Warren's announcement Bernie also said he would consider supporting decriminalization. Maybe they can also sway their states?
Talking Sex Work
At the Point Source Youth Symposium, Cecilia Gentili, Jessica Raven and Keifer Patterson did a great panel on economic justice, youth and sex work. Watch it here:
And not to be outdone in finally talking candidly about tough issues, Norwegian sex worker's rights organization PION hosted a conversation on male sex workers and chemsex, offering harm reduction tips for those who engage in it in the context of their work.
(Harm reduction info on using substances when you're working can be really hard to find, but Ask Ms. Harm Reduction over at Tits & Sass is a great place to start - that's where I first found this conversation!)
Loved and Hated by the Right People
Add TeenVogue to the list of amazing publications talking decrim! They just published a piece written by a physician on why sex work is real work. They've been doing incredible journalism over the last few years, and you can subscribe to their online work. And in a reminder that decrim is clearly the right thing to support, Don Jr. has come out against the article. In response, we should all come out against his new beard.
Last week saw the tragic loss of Layleen Polanco, a prominent member of the House of Xtravanganza whose passing highlighting the huge number of problems with the criminal legal system. This week New York responded, and the women's solitary unit where Layleen was held as cleared out. The state is also looking at a bill which would end long-term (15 consecutive days) solitary confinement (23 hours a day in isolation), and activists have gone on a hunger strike to push the legislation. (Follow them on Twitter at #HaltSolitary).
Big Tech. Still Not Your Friend.
The world of cryptocurrency also saw some movement this week. In Vancouver, they're looking at banning Bitcoin ATMs, a move that sex workers say would impact their access to financial mechanisms. Noted one journalist, "Make no mistake, the issue of Bitcoin ATMs is one of social class. Sex workers use cryptocurrency to buy ads or run websites because credit card issuers often refuse to work with the platforms and hosting services that cater to their industry."
This is also happening just as Facebook has announced the launch of its Cryptocurrency Libra. And if you're skeptical that the company who brought you the "Real Name" debacle and helped proliferate the massacre in Myanmar is going to struggle to maintain ethics and values while controlling an entire system of money - don't worry! Other investors include PayPal and Uber.
WHO wants to know
The World Health Organization is surveying female-identified sex workers' access to and feelings on contraception. If you're keen to give some thoughts, fill out the survey.
Backpage: Gone but not forgotten
And Wired just released an incredible, in-depth piece on Backpage and its CEOs. It hits on a lot of the collective memories and weaves them together to tell us all something we've known for a long time: none of this policing is new, and there are a lot of people on the wrong side of the fight. But it also provides a strong reminder that damn, this industry is built on fighters.
And back to the grind.