In honor and solidarity with sex workers around the world, I should tell you that I am so tired of (mostly) male reporters ignoring the fact that not only were 6 Asian-American women killed by the armed fascist in Atlanta, but that these particular Asian-American women were sex workers who were hunted down and killed in their workplace by their regular customer, Robert Aaron Long. They allowed Mr. Long inside their establishment because he was a paying customer. That’s how that works. Sex workers are the most most murdered demographic in the world, especially BIPOC and trans sex workers and criminalizing sex work leaves them even more vulnerable—without effective security or protection from harm. It's not as if Mr. Long walked into a Burger King and murdered a group of Asian women randomly on March 16th. He targeted sex workers because they are vulnerable along race and class lines. He killed sex workers and then blamed them for his “sex addiction” which is total bullshit.
So happy Women’s History Month. If you are someone who is feels unrepresented in Women’s History Month, you’ve come to the right place. Sex workers, labor organizers, and women artists are necessary counterpoints to the whitewashed, Christian ideals of historically notable women, meaning those who personify “womanly goodness” as defined by patriarchal norms, valuing women only by their self-sacrifice. You won’t easily find early sex workers rights movements on many lists of notable women because sex workers were considered “fallen women” even though they’ve long been at the helm of cultural rebellions, rooted in bodily, economic and political autonomy. I found brothel owner Madam Annie Chambers, who notoriously helped women find housing and resources and was known for treating sex workers well in her brothel owning days (1870-1923).
Did you know that Women’s Day began with fierce factory workers who staged a protest and fought for better working conditions in NY on March 8th, 1857? And 52 years later, they obtained an actual Women’s Day that was celebrated for the first time ever on March 8th, 1909? I mean, women couldn’t vote legally until 1920 in the U.S. And it wasn’t until 1987, seventy-eight years after the first Woman’s Day, that Congress dedicated the whole month of March to acknowledge Women’s achievements as something considered historically significant.
I researched some ditties for you: Please go watch A Promising Young Woman, which I reviewed below. Also, I shared an article celebrating iconic trailblazers, recommended a dope podcast, shared some stats from the Census, raved about a fiction story by Melissa Febos and shared a unionizing effort you need to support and follow.
A Promising Young Woman (Amazon Prime), written and directed by Emerald Fennel deserves every award. If you are one of those people claiming to not be able to “sit through it,” or you read a sexist review calling it “airless,” but you sat through the Kavanaugh trial, both impeachments and the fascist insurrection, you can fuck all the way off. Seriously. Watch A Promising Woman twice (once for you and once for your daughter or friend who needs you to) and know that for every frat boy rapist there is a massive culture of enablers propping up patriarchy as promising young women drop out of med school, law school or life. Fennel borrows from “A Clockwork Orange” and possibly every horror film ever made for this rape revenge masterpiece. Carey Mulligan is fucking haunting. The camera perspective from the candied cupcakes from their position inside the glass bakery counter is the kind of sickly-sweet pain that doesn’t ever wash off. It’s not supposed to.
1. Here are Five Heroes in the Fight for Sex Worker Rights by The National Center for Transgender Equality on Medium.
2. Here are some current stats about women’s mortality, education and life span, according to the US Census.
3. I’m obsessed with this podcast by Selena the Stripper. Every single episode of Heaux in the Kneaux, a podcast for, by and about sw, has a Historical Heaux featured along with bold, fun interviews with the one and only, Heaux in the Kneaux.
4. My friend and one of my favorite writers, Melissa Febos wrote this rad, liberating fiction story about compulsory heterosexuality in The Cut. It interests me because Febos usually writes nonfiction and it’s usually very steamy, romantic and rough. But this fiction short story hits some different notes.
5. Here is something historic and specific to the labor rights of women (and all Amazon workers of every gender) Do support: a union effort in Alabama.