Everyday whorephobia is a collective, any current or former sex worker who agrees with harm reduction, decriminlization and our core beliefs (detailed here) can represent us. This representation can be on twitter, writing for the blog or at events. It has to be this way for we believe no one is representative and every sex worker’s voice matters. To avoid various hierarchies, including whorearchy we have evolved to be a space where sex workers across the world see us as their account, this is how it should be.
You may have noticed that Everyday Whorephobia twitter account was deactivated, and the emails ect have been silent for most of October, there is a very good reason for this. Two black women in the US (and the use of blackness here is specific, more of this later) used the Everyday Whorephobia name to promote a fundraiser for two murdered black sex workers. Their brutal murders had gone almost unremarked on, and the familes, living in poverty were unable to pay for their funerals.
This is exactly the kind of collective action that Everyday Whorephobia exists for, it belongs to everyone and no one. That EW could be used to signal boost, and in some way legitimise the fundraiser seemed exactly the sort of thing we existed for. It is worth pointing out here that the term admin was used to describe the women involved, but an EW admin is not a defined role, for that way lies bureaucracy and hierarchy. It can mean you access the email, blog, and twitter account, or it can mean you are someone whose ideas and thinking are respected, and any points inbetween. The need for some way to draw attention to the murders of Angelia and Tjhisha was very clear however, as these two pieces make clear.
More than Silence by @_Peech http://titsandsass.com/more-than-silence-tjhisha-ball-angelia-mangum-and-the-erasure-of-black-sex-workers/
Black Women, Sex work and Stigma by @blasianbytch
What happened next was unexpected to those of us unused to antiblackness or who believed in the idea of solidarity. Despite their having been a number of high profile fundraisers by (white) sex workers which the sex worker community rallied around without criticism the reaction for this was very different.
- Sex workers claimed the fundraiser was fake
- Sex workers claimed the fundraiser was set up to dox sex workers
- Sex workers contacted the grieving families to tell them no money would be forthcoming
- Sex workers abused the black women who had set up the fundraiser on twitter
- Sex workers claimed that Everyday Whorephobia could not be trusted, something that had never happened before the project became associated with blackness.
A decision had to be made, previous tweeters for the account were used to discredit the current people involved, despite the fact we are a collective, open to all without performing deep, intrusive background checks. It became clear that some people wanted to improve their social media profile by creating drama.
So the project was put into hibernation, for the length of the fundraiser. The only way to cut the drama, which distracted from the campaign to raise funds to bury two teenagers. To do anything else would have continued the drama, and distraction.
The fundraiser it now closed, after amazing work it failed to reach its goal, but will still provide much-needed funds for the families. It is impossible to know if racism and antiblackness had not raised their ugly heads whether it would have succeeded in reaching its total.
The fight against stigma, whorephobia and criminalization is as important as ever. We will not be stopped, or silenced. We will need people to step forward however, as the previous admins are burnt out by the past months events. Admins, as discussed earlier can take as active, or passive a role as they wish, but they are vital. One thing is for sure, with the news from Canada and Ireland, we are not going away, and we are not giving up.
If you think you could help with the EW project, in any capacity, please get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org meassage us on twitter, or leave a comment under this post.