Anti-Sex Work Feminism and the Lived Reality of Criminalization and State Violence
Anti-Sex Work Feminists have a (deadly) listening problem: a problem listening to the people whose lives and livelihoods have been made economically and socially precarious by the state and made subject to daily violence by its carceral arm. In this conversation, we hear from incisive thinkers, advocates, and practitioners writing about and working in the sex work industry on the existential threat posed by this movement and the embrace of anti-sex work rhetoric by lawmakers and progressive movements alike.
From the Christian Right institutions intent on dehumanizing Trans people to the exclusionary and anti-democratic radical feminists touting a narrow and violent definition of who feminism is for to mainstream women’s and feminist organizations that differentiate between sex work and other forms of labor under extractive capitalism and, finally, to the Republican and Democratic lawmakers systematically depriving sex workers of safe access to their livelihoods; we delve into the harms posed by these actors and the strategies of resistance rooted in safety, empowerment, and structural alternatives to policing.
This webinar is the third of four in PRA’s ongoing series Subverting State Violence.
Watch the recording here.
For this roundtable discussion, we were joined by:
Heron Greenesmith: Heron is a policy attorney with over a decade of LGBTQ advocacy experience. Currently monitoring anti-LGBTQ advocacy, movements, and leaders as Senior Research Analyst with PRA, Heron is also an adjunct Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law, an Antibigotry Fellow with the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, and an Editorial Board Member at the Bulletin of Applied Trans Studies.
Melissa Gira Grant: Melissa is a journalist, author, and filmmaker. She is a staff writer at The New Republic and author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso), and A Woman Is Against the Law: Sex, Race, and the Limits of Justice of America, forthcoming from Little, Brown (US) and Verso (UK).
Oni Hadiya: Oni is an exotic dancer, community organizer, and single mother living in the DMV area. She is also the founder and Director of On Muvas, a growing grassroots organization dedicated to radical political education for community, creating safe spaces and providing career development for sex workers, while cultivating community and radical self care for young mothers.
Tina Horn: Tina hosts and produces the long-running kink podcast Why Are People Into That?!. She is also the creator and writer of the sci-fi sex-rebel comic book series SfSx (Safe Sex). Her reporting on sexual subcultures and politics has appeared in Rolling Stone, Playboy, Hazlitt, Glamour, Jezebel and elsewhere.
TS Candii: TS is a leader in the social justice movement for Black and Brown Trans Civil Rights. As a former sex worker, TS Candii uses her first hand experience with racial and transgender profiling as well as employment and housing discrimination to expose the roots of transphobia and white supremacy. In 2020 TS Candii founded Black Trans Nation(BTN) and Black Trans Nation NY (BTNNY).
Moderated by Koki Mendis.
Read the full transcript here.