Ripper Museum

Once upon a time in London, planning permission was sought and granted for a museum celebrating the history and achievements of women in the East End over the past 150 years. What was then built was very different. Since then, people have been protesting against this gruesome tourist attraction dedicated to a man – or menwho killed sex workers.

Of course, the right-wing press have attacked those who oppose this. I’d recommend reading all articles hyperlinked in this post before passing judgement on anyone protesting, including this storify of (historian and Ripper Street series advisor) Fern Riddell’s trip to the museum.

In an age where sex workers are still put in danger every day as a result of social stigma and archaic legislation, it’s shameful that a place like this exists. Let’s hope it doesn’t for much longer.

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Justice for Jasmine and Dora, 19th July 2013

Sex worker rights are important, whether those of dominatrices, escorts, dancers or anyone else involved in an industry that has existed, and been stigmatised, for just about as long as human sexuality itself has existed. Current laws that endanger sex workers must be fought against. Just this week, the importance of fighting the stigma against sex workers has been made especially clear. Here’s a paragraph from jasmineanddora.wordpress.com:

“On July 19th, 2013, people are gathering across the globe to protest against violence against sex workers.
Following the murders of Dora Özer and Petite Jasmine on the 9th and 11 of July 2013, sex workers, their friends, families, and allies are coming together to demand an end to stigma, criminalisation, violence and murders. In the week since the two tragedies occurred, the feelings of anger, grief, sadness and injustice – for the loss of Dora and Jasmine, but also for the senseless and systemic murders and violence against sex workers worldwide – have brought together people in more than 31 cities from four continents who agreed to organise demos, vigils, and protests in front of Turkish and Swedish embassies or other symbolic places. JOIN US on Friday the 19th at 3 pm local time and stand in solidarity with sex workers and their loved ones around the world! Justice for Dora! Justice for Jasmine! Justice for all sex workers who are victims of violence!”

If you’re near London, Brighton, or any of the towns and cities across the world that are mentioned on the website, join the protests tomorrow. Click here to find out more.

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War on Whores

Here’s a small piece of a Vice.com article by Molly Crabapple on the law that allows New York sex workers to be jailed for carrying condoms, and how a war on whores is ultimately a war on all women:

“…LGBT civil rights and sex worker advocacy groups are fighting against the use of condoms as evidence. Mainstream feminism is not. A movement that rightly and vociferously fought pharmacists who refused to fill birth control prescriptions has remained largely silent about women being jailed for carrying another contraceptive.  

Mainstream feminism might remember that the war on women always starts with the war on whores. Then, that category expands to include everyone but the white virgin tying her knees together in church. Until 1996, Ireland locked up unmarried moms and rape victims in Magdalene Laundries, where nuns worked them to death to cleanse their imaginary sins. The nuns built those Magdalene Laundries to imprison sex workers. Tens of thousands of women died within their walls, of every walk of life except the very wealthiest.

A bill to end the use of condoms as evidence was introduced in 1999. Health and civil rights organizations have been fighting to pass it ever since. Audacia Ray, founder of the sex workers activist organization the Red Umbrella Project says that while many politicians are supportive of the bill in private, they’re afraid to champion it publicly. They don’t want to be seen as pro-prostitution…”

More here.

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