Discussions of sex work often get mired in a couple basic questions: is it "good" or "bad"? Are sex workers empowered or not? But sex workers are a diverse group—their experiences aren't all good or bad. On this show, we try to reframe the issue by exploring the legal and financial realities of sex work.
For example: How does a dominatrix do her taxes? What kinds of healthcare do sex workers need? How would decriminalizing sex work change peoples’ lives?
It's upsetting when an activist group winds up alienating the very people they're supposed to be supporting. That's exactly what happened to long-time social justice activist Emi Koyama two weeks ago at the Forging Justice conference in Detroit, which was sponsored by the National Organization of Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) and Michigan domestic violence and sexual assault agency HAVEN. During Koyama's talk, the NOMAS organizers turned off the conference livestream, so people watching online were unable to follow along. Koyama wrote a long, detailed piece on Shakesville about how some organizers continued to treat her in a way that was so upsetting that she had to leave the conference before it was over.
I talked with Koyama on Friday about took away from the experience and what's next for her.