This is our truth, tell us yours
Sometimes I wake up, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and I think, perhaps we pay too much attention to the extremists. The average person cannot see why sex work is criminalized and wants people to be safe and able to access services.
Then a clusterfuck so vile appears out of the interweb that all those positives fly out of the window and the dark clouds of why do we fucking bother roll across the sky. Sexwork4U first appeared on Monday, a site looking to recruit underage sex workers with a bright jokey theme and lots of pictures of young girls (PSA; This counts as child pornography and I hope the creators get arrested and charged with uploading it. Child porn doesn’t have to show sexual content, simply sexualize children under the law)
The site was set up by Stop Traffic, who apparently lost their dictionary when it comes to words like parody, satire or human decency. They are a group who think all sex work is trafficked, thus shouting over the voices of both sex workers and genuine victims of trafficking, Their website (the real one, not the rape of children is totes funny, shall we parody it you guys) is full of wonderful gems like this;
How dare a young person have confidence! THAT MUST BE DEALT WITH IMMEDIATELY! Nice quick bit of slut shaming to, clearly Miley Cyrus is a victim of trafficking, what with all the twerking, gold bikinis and huge amounts of self belief.
Damn it, all slimming world members are trafficked! Has anyone contacted the authorities?
And all people with jobs!
You think it’s a bad thing your child has confidence, is concerned about their appearance and has a job, what do you think the chances are of them introducing their boy friend to you!
The list goes on, a few genuine causes for concern thrown in with such general, is your child a teenager. questions that they are no use to anyone. Assuming someone using drugs or in an abusive relationship is being forced into sex work (Which is not the definition of trafficking anyway, but Stop Traffic know a good moral panic when they see one) doesn’t help them at all. Approaching any vulnerable person with a pre set notion of why they are vulnerable and what help they need is just about the quickest way to ensure they get no help.
If someone you know is a victim of violence deciding they need rescue and deciding what from. goes against everything we have learnt over the years about domestic and other forms of violence. Trust, relationships and listening helps, Stop Traffic prefer their hysterical screams drown out the voices of the victims though.
Why, why set up an organization that supposedly cares then show you actually couldn’t give less of a shit if you were a tory with constipation thinking about food banks? Well if you dig you find that Stop Traffic is a founded by a Salvation Army member (They invented the white slavery myth as a fund-raiser in the 19th century, and nothing has changed), She has books to sell and bills to pay! The other founder is even more shocking, Jacqueline Linder, a therapist who claims to work with survivors of trafficking, yet cannot it seems see Sexwork4U as the obscene appropriation it is.
That a therapist and professor at Edmonton City University also thought a site mocking underage sex workers and promoting the rape of child was acceptable is something I think she needs to explain to her employers, and sorry highlighting an issue didn’t work for Pete Waterman, and should not work for her.
In case you are wondering about the link, SexworkforU leads to Stop Traffick who are part of the Chrysalis net work who were co-founded by Danielle Strickland (salvation army) and Jackie Linder, who appears here.
One further point, Canadian sex workers are fighting to over turn laws that make their lives more dangerous, what could be described as decrim by the High Court. The name of SexWorkforU as very carefully chosen, organisations like Stop Traffick and the chrysalis network constantly conflate consensual sex with rape and trafficking, they refuse to believe that women have agency and autonomy and can choose to sell sexual services, They hate the term sex worker with the passion of all fanatics. The site name was chosen to discredit the sex workers rights movement and make a link in the minds of the public between adult sex work and the rape of children. Which shows there is nothing they will not exploit in their war against harm reduction and sex workers rights.
Jennifer Linder is apparently a member of various professional bodies, they should be informed that she supports a site promoting underage sex work, which would have been exceptionally triggering for many survivors.
You can complain here http://www.psychologistsassociation.ab.ca/site/contact_us or
or to the University of Alberta here http://www.disclosure.ualberta.ca/en/I_am_looking_to/Disclose_an_alleged_complaint_of_misconduct.aspx
Danielle Strickland will have to answer to a higher authority who will look into her heart and know if she followed the command to love others and not judge.