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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Vernal Equinox 2020

The apparent path of the sun crossed the equator moving northward at 3:49 UTC today, signaling the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern.  Enjoy the milder weather to come, and Blessed Be!

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It’s only been three months since the last Friday the Thirteenth, so absolutely everything I said in that essay is every bit as true as it was in December (and September, and July of ’18, and…) so you really should go and reread one or all of those if you need a refresher on what this day is about (especially paying attention to the excerpt from “Straight Talk“).  Since the last two were so recent, I don’t think I need to rehash them already; instead, I’d like to share something I wrote on request a few weeks ago about how sex worker rights is not an isolated issue:

Though many people conceive of sex worker rights as a “special case”, in truth it intersects with many other movements.  Because sex workers are of every ethnic and national group, sex worker rights intersects racial justice, migrants’ rights, and even religious freedom (goddess-centric pagan groups are often targeted by US police).  Because the majority of sex workers are female, sex worker rights is a feminist issue, and because male police use deception to gain sexual access to sex workers, that should anger those fighting against rape.  Because many if not most sex workers are LGBT (most male sex workers are gay, many female sex workers are lesbian or bisexual, and roughly 30% of trans women have done sex work), sex worker rights is an LGBT issue.  Because disabled people are often unable to obtain physical intimacy by other means, and because many suffering from chronic illness or mental health issues find sex work a flexible and accessible means of support, sex worker rights intersects with the rights of the disabled.  Because criminalization of sex work is nothing less than the criminalization of a motive (sex for any reason other than profit is not banned), it should be of great concern to those interested in intellectual freedom issues.  Because “fighting prostitution” has been used an excuse for internet censorship, internet freedom groups should be very worried, and because the same excuse has been used to dramatically expand mass surveillance (facial recognition systems and social media spying software were first tested on sex workers), privacy rights groups should be as well.  Because people are arrested and subjected to penalties for consensual acts, thus feeding more nonviolent people into the carceral system, sex worker rights is of major importance to libertarians, anti-carceral groups, criminal justice reformers, and those fighting police violence.  Because sex work is a form of work and most sex workers are self-employed, both labor rights activists and small business associations need to pay attention.  And even fiscal conservatives should be angry about the incredible waste of tax dollars going to pay police to spy on, brutalize and incarcerate people for nothing more than adult consensual sex.

In short, this isn’t just about us; to paraphrase Donne, the bell of tyranny is tolling for you as well.

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What we need now more than ever is for those of you who aren’t sex workers to amplify our voices and support our cause.  –  “More Than Ever

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know that in the past two years, the tide of sex worker rights has completely turned.  The government’s violent suppression of sex workers has, instead of winning more support for bigotry, instead turned a majority of Americans against the prohibitionists for the first time since such polls have been a thing; a few politicians (even at the presidential election level) have begun to recognize that sex workers and or clients are voters, and that among younger voters support for sex worker rights is as normal as support for LGBT rights was among that age cohort a generation ago.  Even “sex trafficking” hysteria has begun to backfire; the wildly-exaggerated wanking fantasies spread by cops and “rescue” profiteers are so at odds with common sense and with what people can see of sex workers on social media, that even the believers are beginning to support decriminalization as a way of directing police resources toward the imaginary “trafficking gangs” rather than toward wrecking the lives of consenting adults.  Sex workers of all business models and socioeconomic levels are organizing and speaking out, and most people who aren’t dyed-in-the-wool racists are finally being forced to recognize how much more severely the consequences of criminalization fall upon people of color, trans women, migrants, and other marginalized groups.  Even mainstream feminism, which has been trying to destroy sex workers since the late ’80s, is beginning to fragment as more and more chapters of old-guard feminist organizations forsake the pearl-clutching harridans who pretend to speak for everyone with a vagina. The younger activists, those in their twenties and thirties, have got this, and they are more than capable of carrying it; it’s time for older activists like me to move into a more advisory role, working behind the scenes, writing articles, and going one-on-one with movers and shakers who are closer to us in age and need things expressed to them in terms more intelligible to those of previous generations.  So with that in mind, I’m going to be spending more of my energy in reaching out to those outside the demimonde in order to win their aid and support for our cause, and in trying to help them see that it isn’t just ours after all, but rather a vital part of the rights of all individuals to control their own voices, bodies, and lives without the interference of violent busybodies.

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This is only the third leap year since I’ve started the blog; since it doesn’t come around often, I don’t really have any set pattern for what it should look like.  But when I looked back at the last one, I found some guidance:

Where will I be on February 29th, 2020?  Will I still be posting every day, or will I have wound down somewhat?  How many new books will I have written?  Will I still be living in Seattle?  What will my income be like?  What new experiences will I have had?  How well-known will I be?  Will the “sex trafficking” hysteria be over, as I predicted just before that last Leap Day?  Will I even be alive?  There’s no way to know, or even to guess; the only way to find out is to wait.

There’s been a lot of change since then, but fortunately not as much as over the four years before (though I’m traveling more than ever).  Obviously I’m still posting every day, but aside from news columns the average length is shorter and Fridays are sometimes quite short. My fourth book will be out soon, and I have plans for two more this year and three next year, including a third collection of short stories; I also have a documentary, The War on Whores, that was still in the talking-about stages last leap day.  I’m still spending most of my time in Seattle, though of course now I have my farm, Sunset; on the last leap day I hadn’t even decided to relocate yet (that didn’t happen until December of that year).  I’m making about the same as I did four years ago, but expending a lot less effort to do so; in fact, I don’t do traditional escort advertising any more except for my personal website and free ad sites, and I plan to mostly stop taking new clients at the end of this year unless they have impeccable references.  I’m still alive, but unfortunately so is “sex trafficking” hysteria; however, it has backfired on its creators and promoters in a way I didn’t quite predict, with over half of Americans now supporting decriminalization (many of them because of the hysteria rather than in spite of it), and strong pro-decriminalization momentum in a number of US states.  And as I head toward the tenth anniversary of this blog, I’m seeing a slow shift in the way I live my life (for the better, I think).  Will I be around to answer these same questions on February 29th, 2024?  Only time will tell.  But as I look at all I’ve done over the past decade, I can say that I’m reasonably satisfied with my life and accomplishments.  And as that’s not something I’ve ever really been able to say at the end of any prior decade, I think it’s enough.

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Mardi Gras 2020


Maybe the places where many of y’all live don’t observe it, but I still do. So Happy Mardi Gras, dear readers!

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Valentine’s Day 2020

As longtime readers know, Valentine’s Day is my least favorite of holidays, and I’m not particularly fond of the typical iconography associated with it, either (which is often weird or violent or creepy as hell).  So every year I try to share an exception, like this batch of cute kittens; the heart imagery is fairly subtle, and even the pun isn’t bad.

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Last week was one in which a number of things fell quietly into place.  I was able to get all my courtesy copies (and several autographed sale copies) of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I sent out, and got it added to my store as well; I also got most of the editing done for Volume II, and this week I plan to add The War on Whores DVD to the store.  I made backup plans for Florida should the Tampa event fall through, got out to Sunset to celebrate Imbolc by making a big pot of gumbo, and helped Grace do a lot of the trim for my bookcases.  Also, she had a good discussion last week with a young man who’s going to be doing a lot of the actual crawling-under-the-house part of the floor leveling project, and they’re both ready to start that as soon as the ground is drier (we recently had several weeks of really heavy rain out there).  Readers who’ve been following that saga know it’s been put off several times over the past two years, so it’s nice that it’ll be happening at last.  Then the day before I left for Sunset last week, I received another book in the Shaver Mystery set from a reader whom I believe prefers to remain anonymous.  I was already familiar with a lot of the Amazing Stories Shaver covers because I enjoy that sort of thing, but was rather pleased to see this reproduction of one I’ve never seen before on the back cover (because one can never have too many Snake Mama pictures).  Oh, and I have a new article in the current issue of Reason.  Is that everything worthy of public note?  I think so, but if not I can always mention it next week.

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