Tag Archives: vancouver

A Response to Men’s Accountability Conference’s Anti-Sex Work(er) Politics

On March 3rd, 2018, #HowIWillChange: Men’s Accountability Conference, took place on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples – specifically the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) & Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations in what is colonially known as Vancouver, Canada.

The online description of this conference stated that one of many issues that facilitators and presenters would “deep dive into” included “showing links between rape culture and our use of pornography, pr*stitution and massage parlours“.

As supporters of sex workers’ rights to safe working conditions as well as for the decriminalization of sex work, this is our response to the organizers of this event, which took place on International Sex Workers’ Rights Day. A flyer was created and distributed at the conference on March 3rd. The Men’s Accountability Conference has yet to publicly address and apologize for their promotion of sex work abolition. Below is the text from our flyer…


INTERNATIONAL SEX WORKERS’ RIGHTS DAY

this document is crafted & distributed on the unceded, occupied territory of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically Musqueam, Squamish, & Tsleil-Waututh nations.

this day’s history goes back to 2001, when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a festival despite efforts from prohibitionist groups who tried to prevent it taking place by pressuring the government to revoke their permit. the event was organised by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group that has over 50,000 sex worker members, and members of their communities. Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3rd March as an annual, international event, as International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.

considering the significance of today’s date and the central focus of this gathering to be around men’s accountability, it is alarming to witness this conference publicly state, through promotional material, its intention in discussing “[the] links between rape culture and our use of pornography, pr*stitution and massage parlours”, thereby promoting anti-sex work/sex work abolition ideology.

cisgender men, especially those who are white, abled, middle/upper class, straight (& straight-assumed), conventionally attractive and/or a combination of the above, who seek to work in solidarity with an intersectional, anti-oppressive feminist movement must stop conflating all sex work with trafficking and listen to sex workers when they demand decriminalization and declare that sex work is work.

SEX WORK IS WORK

Sex workers’ rights includes:

  • the right to non-discrimination – sex workers experience a high degree of stigma and discrimination & often choose not to disclose their sex work to even their closest friends & family members
  • the right to life, liberty and security of the person – sex workers have many barriers to accessing police protection & reporting violence, & reports from sex workers are not always investigated
  • the right to working conditions that are safe and healthy – the criminalization of sex buyers forces sex workers to work in isolation & secrecy, and consequently limits their ability to work safely
  • the right to freedom of expression & association – Canadian law forces sex workers to work alone & limits their ability to communicate with clients & effectively negotiate the terms of service
  • the right to freedom from inhumane and degrading treatment – sex workers have up to a 75% lifetime risk of physical or sexual violence (CPHA, 2014), and are 60 to 120 times more likely to die by homicide than non-sex workers (Stats Canada, 2007)

ending violence against women starts with ending violence against sex workers      all oppression is connected

[image description: the first image is of an illustration of a sex worker pointing with her left hand and holding a whip in her right hand. to the right of her, it says IN TEXT: ending violence against women starts with ending violence against sex workers. end text. at the bottom it says PACE-SOCIETY.ORG. the second image is of a black and white image of road signs that say RACISM, SEXISM, HETEROSEXISM, CLASSISM, COLONIALISM, ABLEISM. in the middle it says INTERSECTIONALITY. above and below the signs it says ALL OPPRESSION IS CONNECTED. end description.]

Upholding sex workers’ human rights is key to ending violence, exploitation and discrimination against sex workers and people who sell or trade sexual services.

SPEAK WITH SEX WORKERS NOT FOR THEM


(the text above describes the images of our flyers at the bottom of this post.)

some resources to learn more about the sex worker-led movement for decriminalization:

  1. Criminalizing Sex-Work Has Not Saved Indigenous Women” by Naomi Sayers
  2. Speak with sex workers, not for them” by Pivot Legal Society
  3. How To Be An Ally to Sex Workers” by Sex Workers Outreach Project-Chicago (SWOP)
  4. Sex work is work: renewed push to decriminalise profession in Victoria” by Neelima Choahan
  5. Decriminalising sex work is the only way to protect women – and New Zealand has proved that it works” by Lynzi Armstrong
  6. For Anti-Sex Work Writers, Sex Sells” by Noah Berlatsky

below are the flyers we created and distributed at #HowIWillChange: Men’s Accountability Conference.

a text document titled International Sex Workers' Rights Day

a text document entitled Sex Work is Work

When Toxic Radical “Feminism” and (Christian) Fundamentalism Converge

we ask of everyone to take the time to watch this committee debate on Bill C-16 (which aims to protect trans and gender nonconforming people from discrimination in Canada) – in parts or in full.
 
let the record show the world the dangerous belief system, attitude and behaviour of out-of-touch cis supremacists like Hilla Kerner (Vancouver Rape Relief), Meaghan Murphy (“Feminist”Current), and Paul Dirks (New West Community Church) and their gross ignorance in regards to sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression.
 
who else would show up to debate the existence of and violence faced by trans women and gender nonconforming people other than the people most likely to be charged once this legislation is passed?
 
these handful of bigots, who have exhumed resources to stand in the way of forward movement for feminism, are a reflection of the greater population of canada, and the western world. it is no accident that Trans Exclusionary Radical “Feminists” (TERFs) are sitting and working alongside a Christian pastor as the recognition of multiple gender identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations by a number of Indigenous nations across canada has historically been violently erased and minimized through Residential Schools administered by Christian churches.
 
(incidentally, Bill S-3, which seeks to amend the Indian Act regarding gender discrimination, is also currently before the Senate: https://twitter.com/kwetoday/status/863249467646070784)
 
our local communities must do better to hold each other accountable and protect trans and gender nonconforming people. trans folks are also disabled, people of colour, women of colour, youth, elders, poor, low-income, homeless, addicts, sex workers, students, children, black, indigenous, undocumented, working class, fat, nonbinary, neurodivergent, mad, sick, etc. harm to trans people is harm to all – that harm is multiplied and intensified when trans folks are a combination of any and all of the above (and beyond).
 
Support Bill C16 by:
  • calling and writing to the Senators (http://sds.utoronto.ca/news/support-bill-c-16/)
  • publicly expressing support for Bill C-16 in all your social media platforms (#C16, #SupportBillC16, #TurftheTERFs, #NoTERFsNoSWERFs)
  • demanding the development of trans-inclusive policies within your workplace and the organizations whose services you directly access
  • supporting the boycott of businesses and organizations that discriminate trans people (http://bctf.ca/publications/BCTFnews.aspx?id=44438&printPage=true#6)
  • seeking resources, information, and hirstory on sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression
  • engaging more family members, friends, lovers, strangers, and coworkers in conversations around Bill C-16, sex, gender, gender identity and gender expression
  • investigating what sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression mean personally for you
thank you.

SUPPORT BILL C-16 / FIGHT BIGOTRY

this is a response to recent trans misogynist and trans antagonist flyers posted in the West End along Davie Street in Vancouver, BC and in parts of New Westminster, BC. this misguided campaign is financially supported by Paul Dirks and the New West Community Church.

Bill C-16 is currently before the Canadian Senate, a bill which seeks to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.

bigots such as Paul Dirks and the New West Community Church, alongside Trans Exclusionary “Radical Feminists” (TERFs), continue to reduce gender to our body parts, chromosomes, and genetics (biology), perpetuate narrow, out-dated ideas around the roles and responsibilities of men and women within society, and conflate issues faced by cisgender women with issues faced by trans and gender nonconforming people. Bill C-16 is put forward on the foundational understanding that gender is a spectrum, fluid and self-defined and that protecting people from discrimination on the basis of gender means explicitly ensuring people of ALL genders are included and protected under the law.

this reality contradicts the belief systems of cis supremacists, like Paul Dirks and TERFs, who fear defining gender beyond the binary (and the existence of trans and gender nonconforming people in general) targets cisgender women with violence, despite lack of material evidence. this is the textbook definition of prejudice.

we support the passing of this bill. oppression is complicated, and we believe ending it requires a radical transformation of society as we know it. at the same time, we recognize that part of the solution requires amending existing structures (policies and practices), problematic as they are, to create space for marginalized people to stay alive, survive, and thrive.

the passing of this bill provides the potential for trans people to be protected from discrimination and bring into existence legal tools for trans people to use should they face violence for their gender identity and/or gender expression. it also creates a potential platform to work off of in supporting conversations with people living within the colony of Canada on how we view and define femininity, masculinity, sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression.

please print and distribute the flyer (put it up in storefronts, flyer your apartment, school, workplace, wheatpaste onto lightpoles, etc.):
11 x 17: https://theantioppressionnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/supportbillc16-11×17.pdf
8.5 x 11: https://theantioppressionnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/supportbillc16-8×11.pdf

please contact members of the Senate to support this bill (get your friends, coworkers, and family to do the same): http://sds.utoronto.ca/news/support-bill-c-16/

supportbillc16

[image description: a black and white text poster. it says:
FEMINISM INCLUDES ALL GENDERS
(if it doesn’t, it’s not feminism)

SUPPORT BILL C-16:
amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression!

FIGHT GENDER ESSENTIALISM
(the idea that there are only two genders: women and men; that women and men have specific, separate and rigid roles within society which they cannot deviate from)
& FIGHT BIOLOGICAL DETERMINISM
(the idea that gender is determined based solely on our body parts, chromosomes and genetics (biology); thatidentifying either as only male or only female is the default

THESE BELIEFS ARE HARMFULTO PEOPLE OF ALL GENDERS

#PassBillC16 #SupportBillC16 #ProtectTransKids
http://sds.utoronto.ca/news/support-bill-c-16/
https//theantioppressionnetwork.wordpress.com

BECAUSE IT’S 2017 end description.]

Women’s March on Washington – Vancouver: CALL TO ACTIONS

this flyer is intended for distribution at the Women’s March on Washington solidarity march in vancouver, canada and beyond the march itself. we urge you to print copies, translate them into other languages, and distribute them far and wide.

this was created to express solidarity and point to the efforts for mass organizing rooted in intersectional, anti-oppressive feminism for the Women’s March on Washington in Washington, USA / on (from our knowledge) the occupied territory of Piscataway people.

we put this forward to join in on critical conversations around the gaps missed in their Guiding Vision & Definitions of Principles. most importantly, we do so to call our community to action in integrating anti-oppression, anti-kyriarchy, and intersectionality into ALL ASPECTS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE WORK.

the time is NOW for us to:

  • develop policies within groups and organizations which prioritize the safety, inclusion, and leadership of individuals and communities who face the most forms of violence and who are with the least social agency and resources (i.e. conflict resolution processes, safer space guidelines, decision making processes, annual anti-oppression training, etc.)
  • create spaces and invest in resources for youth, girls, women, disabled folks, poor folks, seniors, elders, and marginalized folks in general to build our own capacity and leadership within groups, organizations and communities. (i.e. training, rotation of roles, mentorship, peer support, etc.)
  • build visions for our work to prioritize indigenous sovereignty and autonomy and which create and support alternative economies to capitalism. eradicating oppression is counter-intuitive without us recognizing that colonization, capitalism, and imperialism are at its root.
  • demand social justice spaces and beyond to prioritize disability & economic justice; inquire about accessibility policies at events and within organizations; organize accessible events or don’t organize at all!
  • challenge those in our personal lives with oppressive beliefs, practices and ideologies; intervene and interrupt at the dinner table, at work, at home, on the street and within ourselves!

PRINT THE FLYERS HERE: https://theantioppressionnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/womens-march-call-to-action.pdf


the text for the flyers below:

a flyer titled THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL

weed-out-the-swterfs

THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL
LE PRIVE EST POLITIQUE

this document is crafted & distributed on the unceded, occupied territory of the Coast Salish people, specifically Musqueam, Squamish, & Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

this is a local, colony-wide, & global CALL TO ACTION to address oppressive forces which directly affect our lives. we must combat, resist, and transform all forms of oppression in personal, organizational, & institutional levels of human society, at home and abroad.

we firmly uphold that the most sustainable pathways for justice involve acknowledging, embracing, & unpacking the complexities of ALL our struggles. we challenge all those in the collective fight for social justice to find creative & meaningful ways to weave anti-oppression & intersectionality into our existing work in all aspects of our lives.

this means naming: colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, cis hetero patriarchy, ableism, ageism, anti-blackness, classism, sexism, sizeism, & more…

CALL TO ACTION: STOP TERFS & SWERFS

TERF = trans exclusionary radical feminism or feminist
SWERF = sex worker exclusionary radical feminism/t

for far too long, TERFs/SWERFs hijack feminist movements to spread hate and oppression within. this is a
call for the community to take a more active role in challenging and eradicating oppressive narratives within the fight for gender liberation and beyond. it is imperative to notperpetuate & endorse stigma, hatred, violence, & hostility towards trans people, trans women (in particular), & sex workers within ALL movements.

their efforts have subjected people in our own community to emotional, physical, & psychological abuse and we have failed in protecting those most suceptible to violence & displacement. WE CAN & MUST DO BETTER.


PRINT THE FLYERS HERE: https://theantioppressionnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/womens-march-call-to-action.pdf

Decolonize & Anti-Oppression Community Workshop at Gallery Gachet (Vancouver)

a poster with details on the workshop at Gallery Gachet in Vancouver
colour poster for community workshop at Gallery Gachet, February 7th, 2015

Taking place on unceded Coast Salish territory – Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, & Musqueam nations.

Hosted by Gallery Gachet.
In solidarity with the grassroots community actions of Idle No More.

Tami Starlight – 2-Spirit Nehiyawak (also known as Cree) elder from the Peguis Nation (Manitoba)
vanessa bui – first-generation Vietnamese youth born on traditional Lekwungen & WSANEC territory (Victoria, BC)
– both currently reside on unceded Coast Salish territory (Vancouver, BC)

Donation page for those who cannot make it. Please donate and pass it on. (every bit helps)
https://theantioppressionnetwork.wordpress.com/donate-now/

WHEN/WHERE

Cost: by donation (no one turned away due to lack of funds)
Location: Gallery Gachet, 88 East Cordova Street, Vancouver BC
Date: Saturday, February 7th, 2015
Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm

WHAT

– discussion about colonization from an indigenous context within Canada
– anti-oppression terminology investigation & circle discussion
– grassroots community organizing, meaningful solidarity building, & horizontal group/community structures

ACCESSIBILITY INFO

– the building, workshop space, and nearby washrooms are wheelchair accessible.
– ASL interpretation has been secured for this event.
– Please leave your scents/perfumes at home, this is a scent-free/scent-reduced event. For more information on Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: http://dualpowerproductions.com/2011/03/14/multiple-chemical-sensitivities-mcs-accessibility-basics/
– This space is also safer space = anti-oppressive.

CONTACT INFO

For more information or accessibility requests please email: [email protected] / [email protected]

POSTERS

PLEASE HELP PRINT & DISTRIBUTE!
– 11×17 colour poster: http://tinyurl.com/pxercl3
– 11×17 B&W poster: http://tinyurl.com/n9lmjog
– 8.5×11 B&W flyers: http://tinyurl.com/odksfoa

Decolonize & Anti-Oppression Community Workshop in Vancouver / on unceded Coast Salish territory

poster for Decolonize & Anti-Oppression workshop in Vancouver, July 26th, 2014
another Decolonize & Anti-Oppression community workshop! it is set for Saturday, July 26th in Vancouver / unceded Coast Salish territory!

Taking place on unceded Coast Salish territory – Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, and Squamish nations.

Sponsored by the Youth Philanthropy Council & the Britannia Community Services Centre
In solidarity with the grassroots community actions of Idle No More.

Tami Starlight – 2-Spirit Nehiyawak (also known as Cree) elder from the Peguis Nation (Manitoba)
vanessa bui – first-generation Vietnamese youth born on traditional Lekwungen & WSANEC territory (Victoria, BC)
– both currently reside on unceded Coast Salish territory (Vancouver, BC)

Donation page for those who cannot make it. Please donate and pass it on. (every bit helps)
https://theantioppressionnetwork.wordpress.com/donate-now/

-When/Where-

Cost: $5 – $50 sliding scale; no one turned away due to lack of funds
Location: Learning Resource Centre, Vancouver Public Library-Britannia Branch, Britannia Community Centre, 1661 Napier Street, Vancouver BC
Map: http://tinyurl.com/l8lt3ww
Date: Saturday, July 26th, 2014
Time: 1:00pm – 4:30pm

-What-

– discussion about colonization from an indigenous context within Canada
– anti-oppression terminology investigation & circle discussion
– grassroots community organizing, meaningful solidarity building, & horizontal group/community structures

-Accessibility-

– The building entrance, workshop space, and washrooms are wheelchair accessible.
– ASL interpretation has been secured for this event.
– Please leave your scents/perfumes at home, this is a scent-free/scent-reduced event. For more information on Multiple Chemical Sensitivities:http://dualpowerproductions.com/2011/03/14/multiple-chemical-sensitivities-mcs-accessibility-basics/
– This space is also safer space = anti-oppressive.

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Anti-Oppression-Network/214262228648923
tumblr: http://theantioppressionnetwork.tumblr.com/
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/theAOnetwork
youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/antioppressionnet

-Contact Information-

for more info or accessibility requests please email: [email protected]

Homebound: Last workshop of the 2014 tour!

poster for Decolonize & Anti-Oppression workshop in Vancouver, June 15th, 2014
the last Decolonize & Anti-Oppression community workshop of the tour! set for Sunday, June 15th in Vancouver / unceded Coast Salish territory!

Taking place on unceded Coast Salish Territory – Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, and Squamish nations.

In solidarity with the grassroots community actions of Idle No More.

**Report back from the spring 2014 tour!! **

Tami Starlight – Nehiyawak (also known as Cree) from the Peguis Nation is traveling from Vancouver / unceded Coast Salish territory to Montreal / Mohawk, Kanienkehaka, & Haudenosaunee territory.

Donation page for those who cannot make it. Please donate and pass it on. (every bit helps)
https://theantioppressionnetwork.wordpress.com/donate-now/

-When/Where-

Cost: $5 – $50 sliding scale; no one turned away due to lack of funds
Location: 1530 Canadian Pacific Lecture Room, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W Hastings Street, Vancouver BC
Date: Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Time: 2:00pm – 5:30pm

-What-

– discussion about colonization from an indigenous context within Canada
– Anti-Oppression terminology investigation & circle discussion
– Community organizing, meaningful solidarity building, conflict resolutions & horizontal group/community structures

-Accessibility-

– the building, workshop space, and washrooms are wheelchair accessible.
– ASL interpretation will not be available for this event. A second workshop in July will be organized to have ASL interpretation, please stay tuned. (email us if you would like to be notified of the event or leave a message down below.)
– Please leave your scents/perfumes at home, this is a scent-free/scent-reduced event. For more information on Multiple Chemical Sensitivities:http://dualpowerproductions.com/2011/03/14/multiple-chemical-sensitivities-mcs-accessibility-basics/
– This space is also safer space = anti-oppressive.

website: https://theantioppressionnetwork.wordpress.com/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Anti-Oppression-Network/214262228648923
tumblr: http://theantioppressionnetwork.tumblr.com/
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/theAOnetwork
youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/antioppressionnet

-Contact Information-
for more info or accessibility requests please email: [email protected]