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Archive for March, 2010

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International Sex Workers Right’s Day

via SerpentLibertine
Sex Worker, Activist, Antagonistic Sympathizer http://www.sexpros.net/

Today is International Sex Worker Rights Day

Did you know that? Well now you do.

Here’s a brief background-
The day originated in 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a sex worker festival. The organizers, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group whose membership consists of somewhere upwards of 50,000 sex workers and members of their communities. Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3 March as International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.

Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee: “We felt strongly that that we should have a day what need to be observed by the sex workers community globally. Keeping in view the large mobilization of all types of global sex workers [Female,Male,Transgender], we proposed to observe 3rd March as THE SEX WORKERS RIGHTS DAY.

It’s a great reminder of how well-organized many of the sex worker advocacy groups are around the world and how here in the US, we are struggling every day. I know we try hard, but I will say that it’s such a difficult fight here in the states. I couldn’t even imagine being able to get 25,000 sex workers to come together for one event here (unless maybe it was happening on Facebook). Perhaps we have “US privilege” and people think that everything is just fine and dandy here, but we are living under some of the strictest laws against prostitution here. Not to mention the most negative attitudes towards sex work.

I became active in sex worker advocacy and organizing about 3 years ago when I attended a party, in honor of International Sex Worker Rights Day, and started talking to the two fabulous ladies that founded the SWOP-Chicago chapter, kittenINFINITE and Betty Devoe. I’d been an activist for quite some time, but hadn’t done anything in regards to sex worker rights at that point, even though I’d desperately wanted to. I guess I wasn’t googling to right organizations otherwise I would have found a world of resources, many of the available on my links sidebar. Still, in relation to how many years I’ve actually been a sex worker, 3 years isn’t very long. I’d had a longstanding desire to improve the conditions for myself and others working in the industry, but didn’t have the proper knowledge or support to do it. It’s been a pretty amazing ride over the past three years and I definitely think we’ve made a lot of progress, at least here in Chicago, but every day I think about how we can really take this to another level, how we can really get the public opinion to change (ever so gradually), and what more I myself can do as an activist. Then I realize I can’t do everything…and I shouldn’t try.

It’s been tough for me in the past year in terms of putting myself out there as a leader in this movement, having to make controversial decisions, knowing that people judge my words and actions. I’m only one voice here and don’t claim to speak for anyone else. I’m a big believer in encouraging people to take a stand and speak for themselves. I know it’s difficult for many sex workers, but it’s what I believe is the cornerstone of what this whole sex worker rights/advocacy movement is all about. Real change doesn’t begin with an organization, a rally, or groups. It starts with the individual. I think the only way real change can occur is when we, as individuals, change the way we view ourselves, the industry we work in, and how others perceive us.

You don’t need to be an activist to create real change. Your words, your actions, your attitude can all contribute to the progression of our movement. All I’ve done is the past three years was to try to be a positive example. it’s still a work in progress. But it’s all that I would encourage others to do as well.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 at 3:57 am and is filed under sex worker rights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.-SerpentLibertine

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