A female Senator in Vermont, supported by several others, has introduced a bill to repeal the state law against consenting adult full contact sex work. Both the client and the provider face no criminal penalties, as long as the provider is over the age of 18 and there has been no use of fraud, force, coercion, etc in getting them there. House Bill 569 repeals all the accumulated prostitution laws in Vermont and replaces them with this two page document designed to allow consenting adults to safely and legally engage in full contact sex work while still leaving penalties in place in the cases of abuse. Crucially, it does not criminalize support staff working willingly and equally with sex workers, though the clause including “asserting control over the finances of another person” under the umbrella of coercion does create a gray area for agencies or other management who might overreach.
This bill will likely not pass. It is currently under review in the Committee on Judiciary and, if it makes it to the voting stage, may not pass. But it’s a beautifully concise document that gives an easily copied format for other states. Between Vermont’s current bill and D.C.’s currently stalled, complicated but promising decriminalization bill, plus the current state of things in Nevada, we have several models from which to work here in Washington.
The Naked Philanthropist
A young woman and nude model was upset at the extent of the Australian bush fires and offered to send nude photos of herself to anyone who donated 10$ or more to relief efforts. She raised more than 500,000$, received the praise of hundreds of strangers… then her instagram account was shut down. She wasn’t even doing the giveaway through instagram.
In any case, she has not only raised money for a cause, she has raised the profile of sex workers everywhere. Thank you, Naked Philanthropist, for sacrificing your social life and putting your face out there to show the world that sex workers are as capable of compassion, humor, and charity as everyone else.
A Death in the Family
In news sad, infuriating, and tragically preventable, a young woman in Quebec was murdered by a client, a man with a history of violence, out on parole. Though the model of criminalization in Canada is sometimes called the equality model, it is clear that it shifts the balance of power from the provider to the client. Since being a client is illegal in Canada but being a provider isn’t, clients more often refuse to share potentially life saving screening information and providers have less power to demand it.
We hope our work on this side of the border can help create safer, more informed populations all over the world. We stand with Canadian sex worker’s group Stella in their work toward safety and decriminalization in Canada, and we hope Marylene’s friends and family find strength and comfort.