Last Night Was Good for Obama, Bad for California’s Sex Workers

11/07/2012 12:39 PM |


Along with all of the major victories for Democrats, two measures passed last night that will make life a little tougher on some of California’s sex workers: Prop. 35 and Measure B.

Prop. 35 is an anti-human trafficking law. Like much of the law enforcement-based approaches to ending trafficking, it doesn’t do much for victims while further criminalizing legitimate sex work.

Second, Prop. 35 would also significantly compromise the rights of adults working in the sex industry. Sex workers, who are always marginalized and silenced during discussions “sex trafficking,” oppose this initiative as it would further their marginalization and would make them even more vulnerable to violence and harassment by law enforcement. Even people who do not agree with their positions must realize that Prop. 35 covers activities that do not amount to actual “sexual slavery,” such as the distribution of obscene materials depicting minors, even when the person doing so has no actual contact with the minors. There is growing evidence worldwide that these kinds of “tough-on-crime” anti-trafficking policies end up causing more harm than good, especially hurting the people they purport to help. Any anti-trafficking policy must be informed by the lived experience of sex workers. [SJSU Justice Studies]

Measure B was the “condoms in porn” mandate that lots of adult performers opposed. Unfortunately, it passed. Now male performers in LA are required to wear a condom when shooting porn. Many think this will drive the industry out, but more importantly, it’s unfair.

On November 6, the voters of Los Angeles County are going to be asked to decide a ballot measure about the sexual rights of a small inclusive community within its borders, a community that is often misunderstood and rarely given a voice, a community that is publicly shunned but privately enjoyed, a community that has fought for its right to exist through years of struggles, court battles and legislation. Those that make up this community only want one thing: The right to choose for themselves how to live and work. [Michael Fattorosi,]

Hey everybody, if we can legalize pot, we can probably legalize sex work, too! Let’s get on that for next time.

2 Comment

  • Eh. The main opponent of this proposition was Maxine Doogan (a former ‘escort service’ owner and convicted pimp). Amongst the main proponents of this proposition were victims of human trafficking and actual sexual slavery. If you read through the complete text of Prop’ 35, you’ll find that much of the hullabaloo about it is fabricated nonsense. For one, contrary to many blogs and tumblr posts, you will not be penalized for housing a sex worker. That’s neither in the proposition itself or the Attorney General’s analysis of it. It solely targets Pimps and Human Traffickers. How the state of California chooses to define Pimps and Human Traffickers is a separate issue. All in all, 35 seems like a big step forward in preventing human traffickers and pimps from making a livelihood at the expense of women and children’s freedoms, rights and well-being. Kudos to the people of California for passing prop 35 and not giving in to the disingenuous arguments of self-styled ‘sex workers rights advocates’, who think they can speak for real victims of forced prostitution and human trafficking (who, in California at-least, seem to have overwhelmingly supported this proposition).

  • P.S. Why anyone would have a problem with defining producers and distributors of CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, literally the scum of the earth, as Human Traffickers, is beyond me.