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Revision as of 01:52, 9 September 2019
I'm super excited to work with y'all! Let's keep our discussions here so it's not only easier for us to keep track but for others to join in if they'd like.
Copy/paste from email thread 6/3/19:
[Topic proposal] What library workers can learn about privacy from sex workers in the wake of SESTA/FOSTA
Here [Maggie Mayhem] is at Defcon giving a talk called "Sex Work After SESTA/FOSTA": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6ymZsyKqbU
...What I love about her talk is how she not only knows specifically about the sex worker threat model, but also how she connects this issue to a broader erosion of privacy rights. Like when she talks about the way that DHS targets "sex trafficking" -- it's really about criminalizing any kind of behavior that's considered aberrant. Or how one of the first things they do is call ICE on people suspected of sex work. Or how it's all in the name of "protection", while actually causing serious harm to the sex worker.
These are themes that appear again and again in surveillance issues. It's in the name of safety and order, but it's actually about power and control, and marginalized people are the most impacted again and again. I would love to see your group project explore these themes and think about how they fit into a library setting. Super exciting.
(TJ) I think we can make a quick 8-page zine that covers what SESTA/FOSTA actually are and mean. Like a primer on the topic before we dive deeper in. Thoughts? Here's a link to the template: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1edNnVqNKZ0JD79YSJALX6wGW0CA4W1gm12FID4c5WpU/edit?usp=sharing
It's a .docx format so feel free to play around add/delete content, jazz it up!
(Andrea!) Hi all, I spoke with Ashley this afternoon and I am excited about the potential of this group! A few thoughts: while there is a lot of interest in working on SESTA/FOSTA, I am curious if we are open to using this topic to expand into other challenges? I have an interest in how algorithms are shifting and shaping our thought, experience and creating narratives that are based on an unhealthy mix of "personalized content" that's largely determined by engagement, ad interests, and attention. I think that SESTA/FOSTA could be an interesting place to start looking at some of this, but my interest/goal is to take "lessons learned from SESTA/FOSTA" and how it applies more generally. I am interested/open in instruction, particularly with respect to library worker training on technology issues, so this would be fun for me. What sayeth the group? Further!: Is there any interest in using Signal app for fast communication about what's going on? It might help me engage faster than by email for group communications but I know that all of you work a little differently. Thoughts?
(TJ) Yes to the Signal. I'll email you all my number, I think that's the quickest and easiest way to communicate. Andrea, I like your idea, I just worry it might be too much or get us a little off track with the SESTA/FOSTA stuff. I like the SESTA/FOSTA idea because it's narrow and important, so we can build a lot off of it, that being said, I think your connection to a bigger idea is great. I'm willing to talk about it further, but I want to hear what the rest of the group has to say.
(Ashley) Notes from the meeting 6/28/2019 We worked on creating the project outline to turn into Alison. We discussed SESTA/FOSTA, Libraries as Safe Harbors and the responsibility of librarians to create this space, and the rights of marginalized groups targeted by legislation as well as the overall erosion of rights.
Key Deliverables for November
1. Interviews with Sex Workers on Privacy- We discussed the need to take great care with these interviews, but reaching out to experts is important.
2. Zine on the basics of SESTA/FOSTA and Zine on Libraries as Safe Harbor (Ashley will be responsible for the Zines)
3. Staff training on the responsibility of librarians to create safe harbor and the dangers of SESTA/FOSTA in eroding rights. (Andrea has an interest on this; and would like to split this with someone)
4. Infographic on Safe Harbors (Steph has agreed to be responsible for the Infographic.)
5. Class on Backchannel Communication tools (TJ has agreed to be responsible for the class.)
6. Letter to Legislators
Since all members of the group were not present, changes can be made and assignment responsibility may shift.
(Ashley) https://survivorsagainstsesta.org/media/ On this page I found, a guide for journalists covering sex work. I thought this could provide some useful information as we write about SESTA/FOSTA and sex work. On the website it is a link to a word document.
Sex Work and Human Rights: A 101 Guide for Journalists (excerpted from The Sex Workers Project’s media guide)
Sex workers have face stigma, prejudice, indifference to their humanity and widespread misinformation about their lives throughout history. These fallacies are used to further marginalize and criminalize sex workers as well as justify violence against them and policing that infringes on their human rights. Therefore, it is particularly important that sex workers be represented accurately in media. This 101 seeks to dispel common misconceptions so that future reporting can be rooted in the reality of sex work.
What is our preferred terminology? Sex workers were the first to use the terms “sex work” and “sex worker.” We prefer these terms because they are neutral and descriptive. They recognizes sex work as a reality, whatever the speaker’s opinion about the work itself; they does not distinguish by gender, race, ethnicity or creed; they affirm the worker’s dignity and ability to make decisions; they asserts the humanity of the person.
Why would someone choose to become a sex worker? Like in any other industry, sex workers labor for reasons that exist on the spectrum of choice, circumstance and coercion. Poverty, gender inequality, LGBTQ discrimination, and lack of access to economic alternatives can contribute to people entering the sex trade, but these conditions are rarely mentioned in the public policy debate on sex work. Additionally, criminalization itself is a major barrier to exiting the industry, sex workers say their arrest records often inhibit them from finding other jobs when they want to exit.
What’s the difference between sex work and sex trafficking? All sex work activists denounce human sex trafficking as a grave infringement of human rights that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As a population affected by trafficking, part of our daily work is fighting it. Trafficking, as defined by the United Nations, requires the recruitment, harbor or transport of persons for forced labor or sexual exploitation by improper means such as force, fraud, abduction or coercion. A commercial sexual exchange between consenting adults is not sex trafficking. Confusing sex workers with trafficked persons erases the voices of sex workers, worsens their working conditions in ways that may actually lead to more trafficking, and impedes discussions on addressing root causes of trafficking. Most trafficking is labor trafficking, including into agriculture and domestic labor industries, and the misrepresentation of all trafficking as sex trafficking means we are not raising enough awareness and doing enough to fight human rights violations in all its forms.
Statistics related to the number of people being trafficked at any one time are unreliable because of the invisibility of trafficking and trafficking victims’ fear of officials (and as a result, reporting to such officials or institutions). Therefore, any data related to trafficking must be approached with critical research and questioning.
What are our current policies on the sex trade? How can they improve? Studies of sex workers worldwide show they suffer high rates of violence, often at the hands of law enforcement and authorities. Sex workers’ voices are largely absent from discussions of the policies that affect them. Efforts to abolish sex work almost always focus on the perceived moral failings of sex workers or on their victimhood, dismissing the powerful economic factors that draw people into the industry. “Rescuers” and politicians genuinely concerned for sex workers’ welfare tend to offer them limited alternatives: arrest, 12-step programs, moral exhortations and other “conversion” attempts. None of these meets sex workers’ needs.
Sex workers generally need what all people need to build better lives for themselves and their families. A realistic and effective policy model on sex work would include: (a) enforcement of laws against assault, extortion and other human rights abuses committed against sex workers; (b) access to healthcare, affordable housing, job training, education, and living wage-economic alternatives; (c) training to help sex workers identify and aid victims of human trafficking; (d) reduction in the social stigma and criminalization records that often prohibit sex workers from moving into other forms of labor if they want to do so.
What is the global anti-prostitution pledge? The US currently requires all organizations currently receiving US assistance for programs combating trafficking to formally pledge their opposition to sex work. Another restriction bars the use of federal monies toward activities that “promote or support the legalization or practice of prostitution.” The organizations with the most anti-trafficking programs build their efforts on a sophisticated understanding of the social and personal dynamics faced by marginalized populations and start by building trust and credibility among these populations. They recognize that it is necessary to provide social, legal and health services to men and women in sex work without judging them and to partner with sex workers to identify, extract and support sex trafficking victims. The pledge undermines effective practices in fighting human trafficking. A similar pledge was required of organizations working against the spread of HIV/AIDS, but it was struck down for its infringement of free speech in 2015.
https://stopsesta.org/ This is from EFF.
Trauma-Informed Practices for Library Workers
Issues we should address in creating trauma-informed practices for staff:
Combating compassion/service fatigue - already so common in our profession, this is another dimension to it.
http://www.ala.org/pla/education/onlinelearning/webinars/traumainformed (webinar on 9/24 by PLA)
Making it better : activities for children living in a stressful world / Barbara Oehlberg
The body keeps the score : brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma / Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.
KATZ, SARAH1, and DEEYA2 HALDAR. “The Pedagogy of Trauma-Informed Lawyering.” Clinical Law Review, vol. 22, no. 2, Spring 2016, pp. 359–393. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ofs&AN=114505629&site=ehost-live.