If you haven’t heard, two activists have come together with the help of DePaul University to create the first sex worker-run survey of sex work. This is an academically-reviewed study and they plan to publish the results in academic journals as well as mainstream media. Serpent Libertine and Crysta Heart are friends of mine as both activists and sex workers. I’m extremely pleased of their efforts against the anti-sex trafficking agenda. It’s not an easy feat to get a university behind a project run by sex workers. (Maybe one day they’ll tell us how they did it?)
The website — AdultIndustryTruth.com — is full of information about the survey, which runs through July 2014. The survey is open to anyone who works with sex in the US. The website and survey is engineered for anonymity and safety.
This particular survey concerns the issue of consent and coercion. This is truly the gap that separates sex work from sex trafficking (and something I’ve discussed in real life with others). Consent makes the difference to sex workers and their experiences; it should make the difference in policy but unfortunately, it currently does not. The AIT survey aims to help illustrate that difference.
As a sex worker who has chafed at the attention people like Melissa Farley get with their “research”, I’m thrilled to see sound research accomplished by sex workers. Nothing about us without us gaining a small foothold in the US.
Follow the button below to take the survey, feel free to repost this information anywhere you can. The larger the results, the more accurate the information will be.
You can follow AIT on Twitter or Facebook.
Robyn Few passed away Sep 13 after a long battle against cancer. Most of my readers probably don’t know her and I can’t say I knew her well. What I did know of her was great. She was one of the biggest points of light in the movement. She was the first activist who remembered my name from one meeting to the next (which were months apart). She loved every sex worker without reservation. That level of acceptance is hard to come by, even in the movement. She is an example to follow.
Beyond the lovefest that was Robyn’s trademark, she was a rabble-rouser. She was tireless as an activist, not afraid to get in anyone’s face over the issues. However, she didn’t seem to pull a stunt just because it was there to be pulled. Whatever she did had a point. I didn’t know her before her cancer diagnosis so perhaps that was the reason for her focus, or perhaps it was just her. I can say that she fought cancer and won several more years than the doctors predicted. Yes, she died younger than she would’ve without cancer. I don’t see her life as a tragedy, though. Her life was something to be proud of. She earned every day she had and I don’t feel she wasted them.
Arguably her biggest accomplishment was designating Dec 17 as the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Last June the Robyn Few Sex Workers’ Resource Center opened in Tuscon, AZ (no website listed yet). Her impact on the movement is profound because of who she was.
I can’t think of enough good things to say about Robyn. I knew when I hugged her bye at the end of the Desiree Alliance conference in 2010 that it would be the last time I would see her and it was. Unfortunately. Reading about her can’t explain the radiance she always carried or the love she freely gave to everyone who met her. She does have her own website if you’d like to know more. It’s very sad knowing she won’t be around anymore. She leaves behind a family and a global network of friends.