Archives de Tag: Travailleuses du sexe

whorephobia and whore control

We are using the policeman’s eye when we can’t see a sex worker as anything but his or her work, as an object to control. It’s not just a carceral eye; it’s a sexual eye. If a sex worker is always working, always available, she (with this eye, almost always a she) is essentially sexual. It’s the eye of the hotel room surveillance video but applied to our neighborhoods, our community groups, and our policies. Even the most seemingly benign “rehabilitation” programs for sex workers are designed to isolate them from the rest of the population. They may be described as shelters, but the doors are locked, the phones are monitored, and guests are forbidden. When we construct help in this way we use the same eye with which we build and fill prisons. This isn’t compassion. This isn’t charity. This is control.
When we look at sex workers this way we produce conditions in which they are always being policed. “Criminalization” isn’t just a law on the books but a state of being and moving in the world, of forming relationships—of having them predetermined for you. This is why we demonize the customer’s perspective on the sex worker as one of absolute control, why we situate the real violence sex workers can face as the individual man’s responsibility, and why we imagine that all sex workers must be powerless to say no. We have no way of understanding how to relate to the prostitute we ’ve imagined but through control.

Melissa Gira Grant, Playing the Whore, Verso, 2014, p. 11-12

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Wherever possible we shall strive to set up our committees, committees of the Social-Democratic Labour Party. They will consist of peasants, paupers, intellectuals, prostitutes (a worker recently asked us in a letter why not carry on agitation among the prostitutes), soldiers, teachers, workers – in short, all Social-Democrats, and none but Social-Democrats … The urban and industrial proletariat will inevitably be the nucleus of our Social-Democratic Labour Party, but we must attract to it, enlighten, and organise all who labour and are exploited, as stated in our programme – all without exception: handicraftsmen, paupers, beggars, servants, tramps, prostitutes.

Lénine, Collected Works, vol. 9, pp. 237-8., trouvé ici : http://stalinsmoustache.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/lenin-and-prostitutes/

Despite the acceptance of “sluts,” the “prostitute” remains a deeply embedded symbolic marker between decency and disrespect. The “ethical slut” engages in sex of her or his own “free” will, while the “dirty whore” insists on getting paid for sex. Sex-positive feminists and other “sluts” believe there is nothing morally wrong with consensual sex between two (or more) people in private, or for adults, in a semi-public setting such as a sex club, dungeon or swingers’ retreat. But money changes everything.

Whorephobia remains pervasive in the social psyche, showing its ugliness even in sex-positive communities. The positive emphasis on sex work confuses “straights” into thinking that sex work is about sex, not work. That cognitive dissonance — the deep chasm filled with stereotypes and prejudices — interferes with the capacity of civilians to hear sex workers speak about their experiences. Stories that don’t conform to the “superhappyfunsexysexwork!” narrative tend to flummox pro-sex feminists; they can identify with privileged exotic dancers, porn performers and professional dominants (even fantasize about being one), but think “junkie whores” need to be rescued and should be prevented from working in their gentrifying neighborhoods. Such disrespectful treatment leads to silencing, ignoring, or rewriting what sex workers have to say.

Writing in the blogosphere recently, sex workers say they’re frustrated with the uncritical acceptance of sex-positive feminism. Furry Girl, the Seattle-based founder of SWAAY, is also the blogger behind Feminisnt because she “got tired of trying to shoehorn my life into a useless ideology like a pair of ill-fitting high heels.” The habit of always trying to put a “good” face on sex work leaves little room for those who have had not-so-good experiences. They fear talking about the bad stuff because “straight” audiences, whether pro-sex feminists, prohibitionists or the media, tend to stuff those stories into established morality tales about sex, violence and bodily integrity. But the truth is that by telling stories with all the gory details and delicious specifics, we can get to the revolution that sex workers are creating right now.

Melinda CHATEAUVERT : Ethical Sluts and “Dirty Whores” : Straight Talk About Sex Work 

Tout comme le travail domestique et les autres formes de care, le travail du sexe a connu une restructuration majeure depuis les années 1970, que les mouvements féministes et de travailleurs du sexe commencent seulement à analyser et à intégrer à leur mobilisation. Toutefois, nous pouvons dire avec certitude qu’un aspect de cette restructuration a été la multiplication des travailleurs du sexe et la diversification des types de services commerciaux disponibles, ainsi que l’internationalisation de la main-d’œuvre du sexe. Ces développements s’expliquent par plusieurs facteurs, notamment la réorgani- sation du travail, des rapports de genre et de la sexualité produite par les politiques néolibérales. Il est clair que davantage de recherches doivent être menées sur ces développements. Mais il est certain qu’aujourd’hui la majorité des travailleurs du sexe sont des femmes migrantes ainsi que des hommes et des transsexuels originaires d’Afrique, d’Amérique du Sud et d’Europe de l’Est.
Les statistiques sur le nombre de travailleurs du sexe sont controversées dans tous les pays et régions, en raison de la nature clandestine du travail du sexe et de la stigmatisation dont il est l’objet. Cependant, si l’on considère que l’industrie du sexe inclut non seulement les personnes travaillant dans la prostitution, mais aussi les danseurs et danseuses, les modèles et acteurs ou actrices de films pornographiques, les employées de peep-shows et de bar de striptease, les opératrices de téléphone rose et les cyber-stripteaseuses, les réceptionnistes, les gardiens, les chauffeurs, le nombre de femmes, de trans- sexuels et d’hommes employés mondialement dans l’«industrie du divertissement pour adultes » est sidérant. […]
Dans l’ensemble, les conditions du travail du sexe se sont dégradées en comparaison avec celles des débuts du mouvement des travailleurs du sexe à la fin des années 1970. En raison de la détérioration du contexte économique et de l’intensification de la concurrence dans l’industrie du sexe, il est devenu plus difficile pour les travailleurs de ce secteur d’exercer le type de contrôle que les prostituées avaient établi auparavant sur leurs conditions de travail. De nombreux travailleurs du sexe migrants sont en situation irrégulière et, en raison du durcissement du contrôle des frontières et des politiques d’immigration en Europe, ont dû compter sur des intermédiaires criminels pour financer et organiser leur voyage à l’étranger; par conséquent, la violence et la coercition à l’encontre des travailleurs du sexe se sont aggravées. En fait, les travailleurs du sexe, en particulier celles et ceux qui travaillent dans la prostitution, sont aujourd’hui pénalisés à trois niveaux: en tant que travailleurs du sexe, en tant que travailleurs sans papiers et en tant que victimes de la servitude pour dette et de l’exploitation. Depuis les années 1980, la question du « trafic sexuel » divise l’analyse féministe de la prostitution en deux camps opposés et marque une ligne de fracture importante parmi les féministes. D’un côté, les personnes convaincues que la prostitution est une activité non volontaire qu’aucune femme ne peut choisir librement proposent de définir tous les cas de prostitution comme des violences à l’encontre des femmes. De l’autre, celles qui affirment qu’en considérant la prostitution, sous quelque forme qu’elle soit, comme intrinsèquement violente, on menace la sécurité des travailleurs du sexe, et qu’en outre cette position infantilisante et moraliste nie la violence inhérente aux autres perspectives d’emploi qui s’offrent aux travailleurs du sexe, et généralement aux femmes, notamment s’ils et elles sont originaires de pays qui ont subi des formes drastiques de libéralisation économique. […]
Il n’est pas possible de transformer la situation des travailleurs du sexe en se concentrant exclusivement sur la domination et l’esclavage sexuels, et en différenciant les travailleurs du sexe des autres travailleurs, de la même façon que nous ne pouvons pas aborder la question du travail reproductif en nous concentrant sur le travail du care. Précisément parce que le travail du sexe est souvent du travail non libre, le travailleur du sexe devient le paradigme du travailleur de l’économie mondiale, de la même façon que la main-d’œuvre féminine sous-payée, précaire et « informelle » devient le paradigme de toute forme d’exploitation. Comme dans les années 1970, la question est aujourd’hui de savoir si cette prise de conscience sera à la base d’une recomposition parmi les différents secteurs de la main-d’œuvre féminine. Car le travail du sexe, à l’instar du travail domestique et du care, pose l’un des défis les plus importants aux féminismes actuels.

Camille BARBAGALLO et Silvia FEDERICI, “Travail domestique, du care, du sexe et migrations dans le contexte de la restructuration néo-libérale : de la politisation du travail reproductif. In Genre, migrations et globa- lisation de la reproduction sociale. Cahiers genre et développement. N° 9. (Dir.) C. Verschuur et C. Catarino. 421-430. Paris : L’Harmattan.” p.  427-429

However raids on Entertainment Places are traditionally carried out in the night and our research shows that raids in response to instances of suspected human trafficking in the sex industry are regularly carried out around 11pm or later. According to tradition usually large numbers
of armed police arrive at the Entertainment Place, enter and apprehend all women on the premises and any other workers present e.g. doorman, cashier, manager. Any women who attempt to run away, often from fear and confusion, are chased and controlled by force. It is not unusual for women to be injured in police raids while trying to escape.

Empower Fundation, The impact of anti trafficking policy and practice on Sex Worker’s human rights in Thailand

In 2003 the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand recognized that police entrapment often leads to serious human rights violations, especially against women in the sex industry and recommended it should only be used under a clear and precise system that prevents such human rights abuses. However instead of stopping the practice of entrapment or developing adequate safe guards, under the Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2008, use of entrapment by police and NGOs has increased and appears to be a routine practice that continues unmonitored regardless of the negative consequences for sex workers and entertainment place workers.
In our research, the use of entrapment has resulted in at least two incidents of minors deciding to sell sex for the first time then being detained and later deported.
Both of the girls were entrapped by police and falsely identified as being victims of trafficking on the basis of their immigration status, age and the fact that they were working in an Entertainment Place, where sex workers were also employed. Neither of them were working as sex workers; and they did not want to be assisted by the government welfare department nor rescued from their working or living situation.

« I came to Chiang Mai about 4 months beforehand. I was staying with my aunty and working in the karaoke bar. When I applied for the job no one asked my age and I never thought to mention it. I didn’t know it was important. I wasn’t ready to go with customers. I felt too shy. There was no pressure from anyone, it was up to me. It just meant I didn’t earn as much as the others. Then this guy came in three nights in a row. He said I looked very young and he wanted me to go with him. Even though he offered to pay a lot I refused for the first two nights. Then I don’t know why but on the third night I thought well, he seems nice and it would be good to have some more money. So I agreed to go with him. Big mistake. He turned out to be a policeman and I was arrested and locked up for 8 months. »
Tip, research partner, Chiang Mai

Empower Fundation, The impact of anti trafficking policy and practice on Sex Worker’s human rights in Thailand

It was important for feminists to see, for example, that much housework and child rearing is work of policing our children, so that they will conform to a particular work discipline. We thus began to see that by refusing broad areas of work, we not only could liberate ourselves but could also liberate our children. We saw that our struggle was not at the expense of the people we cared for, though we may skip preparing some meals or cleaning the floor. Actually our refusal opened the way for their refusal and the process of their liberation.
Once we saw that rather than reproducing life we were expanding capitalist accumulation and began to define reproductive labor as work for capital, we also opened the possibility of a process of re-composition among women.
Think for example of the prostitute movement, which we now call the “sex workers” movement. In Europe the origins of this movement must be traced back to 1975 when a number of sex workers in Paris occupied a church, in protest against a new zoning regulation which they saw as an attack on their safety. There was a clear connection between that struggle, which soon spread throughout Europe and the United States, and the feminist movement’s re-thinking and challenging of housework. The ability to say that sexuality for women has been work has lead to a whole new way of thinking about sexual relationships, including gay relations. Because of the feminist movement and the gay movement we have begun to think about the ways in which capitalism has exploited our sexuality, and made it “productive.”
In conclusion, it was a major breakthrough that women would begin to understand unpaid labor and the production that goes on in the home as well as outside of the home as the reproduction of the work force. This has allowed a re-thinking of every aspect of everyday life — child-raising, relationships between men and women, homosexual relationships, sexuality in general– in relation to capitalist exploitation and accumulation.

Silvia FEDERICI, “Precarious Labor : a Feminist Viewpoint” à lire ici