Archives de Tag: Sida

It is necessary to make it very clear at the outset that the widespread images that many people have of Sweden as a kind of sexually liberated wonderland are utterly misguided and wrong. Sweden has some of the harshest sex laws in the world. It is the only European country, for example, where during the early years of the AIDS epidemic, a national law was passed abolishing existing gay bathhouses and prohibiting the establishment of new ones. It is also one of the few countries in the world where persons with HIV can still be forcibly incarcerated without a criminal trial, simply because doctors believe that they will not follow instructions to inform their sexual partners that they are HIV+. Sweden is also one of the few countries in Europe – perhaps the only one – where it is impossible to remain anonymous as a person with HIV: if you test positive at any state funded or private clinic, your physician is legally obliged to report your identity to the health authorities, and you are then legally obliged to report to a doctor regularly with information about your sexual encounters and relationships.

Don KULICK, “Sex in the New Europe, The Criminalization of Clients and Swedish Fear of Penetration, Anthropological Theory 2003 3: 199


The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare specifies sex workers and their clients as target groups for HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives. In spite of this, provision of condoms to sex workers is not seen to be the Stockholm Unit’s or the state’s responsibility. Social workers at the Unit oppose condom distribution and the National Coordinator Against Trafficking and Prostitution – previously with the Stockholm Unit – agreed, noting in interview (2009):

“If they make so much money maybe they could buy their own condoms.”

The Stockholm Unit do not provide condoms during outreach. Though condoms are provided at the Stockholm Unit’s offices, these are closed at night when street sex work levels are highest, and are inconveniently located at least a half hour walk from street sex work areas. Where the Stockholm Unit fails to provide condoms
on the street, sex worker respondents reported having to provide one another with condoms, with additional reports of shoplifting for condoms around Stockholm’s street sex work area.

Jay LEVY, Swedish Abolitionism as Violence Agains Women p. 4

One of things I recall very clearly from my incarceration in New York twenty-seven years ago was that large numbers of sex workers were continually arrested. During my six weeks at the New York Women’s House of Detention, I was struck by the fact that judges were much more likely to release white prostitutes on their own recognizance than Black or Puerto Rican prostitutes. Nearly ninety percent of the prisoners in this jail—-some of whom were awaiting trial like myself and some of whom were serving sentences—-were women of color. The women talked a great deal about the various ways racism was manifested in the criminal justice system. They talked about the way race determined who went to jail and who stayed in jail and who did not. During the short time I was there, I saw a significant number of white women come in on charges of prostitution. Most of the time they would be released within a matter of hours.
Because of the problems many women faced in attempting to raise bail, we decided to work with women in the ‘free world’ who were organizing a women’s bail fund. The women on the outside set up the structure and raised the money and we organized women inside. Those who joined the campaign agreed to continue working with the bail fund on the outside once their bail was paid by funds raised by the organization. Quite a number of sex workers became involved in this campaign.
The continued criminalization of the sex industry is in part responsible for the expanding numbers of women entering jails and prisons. This phenomenon of exponential expansion of incarcerated populations is a part of the emergent prison industrial complex. Not only are jail and prison populations increasing at an incredible rate, capitalist corporations now have a greater stake in the punishment industry. More prisons are being constructed, more companies are using prison labor, more prisons are privatized. At the same time more women are going to prison, more spaces are being created for women and, as a result, ever-greater numbers of women will be going to prison in the future.
In my opinion, the continued criminalization of prostitution and the sex industry in general will feed into the further development of this prison industrial complex. The dismantling of the welfare system under the so-called welfare reform law will probably lead to a further expansion of the sex industry as well as the underground drug economy. The criminalization of the sex industry will therefore help to draw more and more women into the prison industrial complex. There is a racist dimension to this process, since a disproportionate number of these women will be women of color.
In the age of HIV and AIDS, it makes no sense to continue to construct social circumstances that increasingly put women at risk. The work that C.O.Y.O.T.E. has done over the years has been extremely important. In this respect, Margo St. James is a pioneer. I have read about the work that you have done at the Lusty Lady in organizing with SEIU, Local 790. Hopefully, the work you are doing will become a statewide and national trend. Certainly if unions such as yours continue to organize and if the women’s movement and other progressive movements take up the demand for decriminalilzation, there will be some hope.

SB: Do you recall what kind of discussion was going on around the time of the feminist movement in the 70s regarding sex workers?
AD: During the earliest period of the women’s liberation movement, the most dramatic issues were sexual violence and reproductive rights—-in other words rape and abortion. Issues relating to the sex industry were raised in the context of the discussions around sexual violence. For example, there was the debate regarding the Minneapolis statute outlawing pornography, which tended to divide many feminists into opposing camps for and against pornography.
That polaization was a rather unfortunate development. But at the same time these debates led to very interesting questions about what counts as pornography, which opened up new ways of thinking and talking about sex and erotic practices. The definition of pornography as assaultive, objectifying and violative of women’s autonomy and self-determination was strategically important, because it allowed for a distinction between what was exploitative and violative on the one hand, and what was an expression of agency on the other. These discussions laid the ground-work for moving feminist discourse on the sex industry outside of the vexed framework of morality.

extraits d’une Interview d’Angela Davis par Siobhan Brooks, à lire en intégralité ici

Anti trafic, adj.
Voir Trafic humain, Abolitionnistes
Contre la libre circulation des femmes des pays pauvres vers les pays riches et, plus particulièrement, contre la libre circulation des femmes qui exercent le travail du sexe
Client, n.
Nos clients sont les mêmes que ceux d’une travailleuse sociale, d’un médecin ou d’une guide touristique. La plupart ne se perçoivent pas come des clients, mais comme des professeurs d’université, des PDG, des fonctionnaires, des banquiers, des ouvriers de la construction, etc.
Expert, n.
Personne qui a acquis la capacité de transformer les leçons apprises par expérience en une théorie ou un ensemble de connaissances qu’elle peut enseigner, partager avec autrui et utiliser pour faire des améliorations, résoudre des problèmes ou réagir à des situations. Les travailleuses du sexe sont des expertes.

Exploitation, n.
Situation où notre gouvernement accepte les profits de l’industrie du sexe, mais refuse de nous donner les mêmes avantages sociaux et les mêmes prestations qu’aux autres travailleurs; situation où les policiers nous extorquent de l’argent; situation où les employeurs réduisent notre salaire; situation où la société n’accepte pas notre travail, mais accepte qu’on nous exploite.
Sida, n.
Maladie qu’on nous accuse de répandre et qu’on nous charge de prévenir.

Trafic, n.
Voir Trafic humain
La migration est un déplacement temporaire. Les gens peuvent migrer avec ou sans papiers. Une personne qui migre avec des papiers s’appelle un “vacancier”, un “chercheur”, un “jeune qui fait un échange étudiant” ou un “congressiste”. Une personne qui migre sans papiers s’appelle “travailleur illégal”, “immigrant clandestin”, “criminel” ou “terroriste”. Avec ou sans papiers, une travailleuse du sexe qui migre est une “victime”, une “prostituée exploitée”, une “esclave sexuelle” ou “victime du trafic humain”.

Liz Cameron, Pornpit Puckmai et Chantawa Apisuk, Bad Girls Dictionary, extraits traduits de l’anglais par Sylvie Dupont, in Luttes XXX – inspirations du mouvement des travailleuses du sexe, Maria Nengeh Mensah, Claire Thiboutot et Louise Toupin, éd. du remue-ménage, 2011, p. 411-413