Sunday, June 26, 2011

More Sex Workers Arrested, Charged with "Crimes Against Nature"

Less than a month after Women With A Vision won a victory for sex workers by getting a repeal of the Solicitation of Crimes Against Nature (SCAN) law through the Lousiana legislature, a law which labels sex workers with Sex Offender status meant for sexual assault perpetrators, NOPD continues it's racist, P.R. motivated sweeps of minor offenders by arresting 9 women and charging them with the soon-to-be-repealed SCAN law.

The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 or 14 years old. Most of these 13 or 14 year old girls were recruited or coerced into prostitution. Others were "traditional wives" without job skills who escaped from or were abandoned by abusive husbands and went into prostitution to support themselves and their children.[1] The fact that New Orleans cops firstly failed to protect these women when they were children from the violence of patriarchy and class society, and then have the gall to ATTACK THE VICTIMS when they use a means of survival that is a visible reminder of this system's failures is a despicable attempt at obliterating any activities which remind them of where their massive degree of power, control and wealth in our society came from, while simultaneously re-producing and furthering that inequality as these women are forced to pay money to the courts for fines and fees, as their bodies in cells mean daily money to pay the Sheriff to house them, and as they lose the money from Johns to the whiter, more privileged sex workers ("escorts") not targeted by NOPD. NOPD's action simultaneously attacks society's victims, takes away more power from the oppressed and gives it to the more privileged, and blames sex workers instead of Johns for prostitution when most wealth is controlled by men in our society, re-enforcing the system of patriarchy.

The insults against the dignity of the people who live in this city just keep on coming fast and furious. 

Solidarity with the mainly women of color sex workers charged with SCAN crimes is imperative for any believable claim by those with greater privileges to really be fighting the systems that give them such privileges, whether that be male privilege, white privilege, or the class privilege to not have to do sex work to pay the bills.

Where are all the activists who speak so passionately about ending racism, sexism, classism, or violence? What are they doing? Eracism? Silence is Violence? NOW? Unions? The People's Institute? These women don't have the luxury of waiting for the next round of grant funding to come in, or waiting for minor legal reforms, of waiting for the next book to come out that explains intersectionality to suburban college students, of waiting until more people have degrees in Sociology or Non-Profit management, of waiting until enough people have gone through the People's Institute training that privilege somehow magically vanishes.  They are being attacked right now.

This system must be attacked for the humiliation, suffering, indignity, and hardship it puts the most vulnerable members of our communities through on a regular basis. Solidarity means risking your privilege to fight this system. This is a call to put your privileges on the line in the fight against oppression. Let's get these women free from the nightmare of 15 years of restrictions that will come from being on the Sex Offender Registry. Let's demand they are never targeted as criminals for being sex workers ever again without a fight.

Solidarity means attack. [2]

K'naan "Fatima" about his friend sold into forced sex work, something many sex workers experienced as children


  1. Crimes against nature charges are bogus. However, according to this story:

    Johns were arrested. Story could be wrong. Could be right.

  2. Thanks. I just read the LJI article. Even if Johns were arrested, it still doesn't excuse the arrest of women who just need the money the Johns have in order to survive. And it definitely doesn't excuse the SCAN charges!

  3. Can we make spraying our common heritage with petroleum products and synthetic dye immoral?

    It's stealing from the future, no better than BP.


    5th District pig busted buying sex. Typical.