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Why I'm striking on 8 March

Posted at 18:35 on 5 Mar 2019 by Pandora / Blake

Womens Strike - international strike 8 March

For me, International Women's Day is grounded in its labour rights roots. In 1857, garment factory workers in New York City went on strike to protest appalling working conditions, long hours and low pay. The protest led to the formation of the first women's labour unions, and labour organisers in Copenhagan created International Women's Day in 1910.

In 2019, women still do the majority of childcare work and housework. Jobs disproportionately done by women continue to be exploitative, with zero hour contracts, long shifts and low pay. Discrimination and harassment are rife, and women are not believed when they report sexual abuse. Abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland, and austerity policies hit women the hardest. 

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Tags: #strike4decrim, #whywomenstrike, #womenstrike, decriminalisation, international women's day, sex work, sex worker's rights, women's strike

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Bristol University research into sex work in the UK

Posted at 16:00 on 20 Feb 2019 by Pandora / Blake

I'm participating in a regional meeting for the Bristol University research on sex work in the UK tomorrow. I responded to this consultation in July last year; I haven’t shared my response here because it goes into detail about the way I work as a sex worker, which is too private to share in this forum, but I did send a response talking not only about the work I do, but about the ways that criminalising sex work harms more marginalised workers. Backlash also sent a response, advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work as a harm reduction measure. 

The researchers are holding a number of regional consultation meetings across England on Thursday, and I’m attending the London regional meeting as a representative of Backlash. It will involve a presentation by the research team on their draft findings, followed by a group discussion on the findings, then an opportunity for presentations and a plenary discussion. My colleague Rosie Hodsdon will be attending the Leeds meeting; she is an academic at the University of Northumbria who has been very active and vocal on issues around porn and sex work law, and is also a volunteer for Backlash.

Here's an overview of the research:

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Tags: decriminalisation, ECP, Nordic model, sex work, sex worker's rights, SWARM

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Welcome to the Mystic Hole

Posted at 11:02 on 4 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I'm honoured to have been asked to chair a panel after Queenie Bon Bon's next London performance, Welcome to the Mystic Hole.

Part comedy, part lecture, part consciousness-raising story-telling, 'Welcome to the Mystic Hole' is an exploration of one sex worker’s lived experience with the world of the body. How do we navigate the world when we feel our body is failing us? What do we store in the body and what do we release? How do we clean it off the rug? What shame do we hold when trying to give a nice rim job while one’s sweet hound watches? And why can’t we all be adult about adult industries? Inspiring, intriguing, tender and true, Queenie Bon Bon is your curious guide on an exploration of embodiment, and will take you deep within the wondrous wonders of the unique vessels we travel in.

Queenie is a dear friend, and her work is amazing - so fresh, real and fierce. I've seen her perform twice before and each time she makes me laugh, cry and rage against whorephobia. Her last performance in London introduced me to the English Collective of Prostitutes - one of their members stood up to speak about the need for decriminalisation, and distribute #pledgedecrim flyers. 

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Tags: English Collective of Prostitutes, events, panels, public speaking, Queenie Bon Bon, sex work, sex worker's rights, talks

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Radio AvA's 26th show: today, Fri 3rd August @ 6pm on www.radioava.org

Posted at 10:19 on 3 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Radio AvA: Sex Workers Radio

A show full of spritz from tropical London, with dispatches from Amsterdam and Bogotá.

On our bubbly list:

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Tags: politics, Radio AvA, sex work, sex worker's rights

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Women's Strike this Thursday - see you on the streets!

Posted at 21:00 on 6 Mar 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Womens Strike 8 March London Programme

This Thursday a Global Women's Strike is being held, to coincide with International Women's Day. 

From the Women's Strike website:

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Tags: gender politics, International Women's Day, patriarchy, sex worker's rights, Women's Strike

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