Re: Question: Web Sites on Trafficking ?-Sex Worker Rights Issues

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Victoria Marinelli (
Wed, 30 Sep 1998 18:24:35 PDT

<<<This message was first posted to stop-traffic 2 days ago, but as far
as I can tell never showed up on the listserv...>>


Ms. Leigh writes:

"...As a survivor of STATE ABUSE in the form of criminalization, and as
a survivor of conditions of stigma and discrimination against sex
workers in most contexts, I am aware diverse perspectives of those who
have experienced abuse from various quarters...

"...Ms. Rand was not forcing women into prostitution, and if she is a
'pimp,' and the target of your organization, then sex workers'
consensual activities are also the targets. In fact, in the Minneapolis
Star Tribune June 27, 1997 P. B 2, the anti-prostitution activist,
WHISPER Founder, Evelina Giobbe, (who primarily targeted Rebecca and
called her a pimp) was ultimately charged with sexual harassment and
sexual abuse by a former client and survivor at WHISPER."

Okay Carol: Concerning Rand -- she has not only been referred to as a
pimp, she has referred to herself as a pimp, frequently and with pride.
Even if this were not the case, she was well aware of the fact that a
majority of the women in her brothels had pimps who took all of the
money from the women which Rand herself did not get. One of them, a
former stable sister of my ex lover whom I was with for more than four
years, was 16 years old when she was in the Rand brothels, whose pimp
worked quite cooperatively with Rand in ensuring the child's cooperation
for both pimps' benefit. I believe that the state pimps women, for
example, when they fine them and criminalize them when they are
prostituted. This is pimping, and what Rebecca does is pimping, too.
You could invent a new terminology for it: secondary pimping, vicarious
pimping, whatever -- but it's still pimping, plain and simple. The
tragedy is that many prostituted women, after years of being in the life
and (because of criminalization) having their options whittled down to
absolutely nothing, end up turning other women out as a survival
strategy. That doesn't make it okay, but it does give it a context.

Which brings me to dear old Evelina Giobbe. I'm well aware of the
lawsuit filed against her -- as a matter of fact, where the article
mentions that two former clients besides Kelly Holsopple had filed
grievances with WHISPER's Board about her behavior -- I am one of those
former clients. Holsopple's lawsuit was settled, but she had to sign a
confidentiality agreement in the process. Fortunately, neither I nor
the other client have signed any such agreement. Our complaint was
32-pages long, documenting Giobbe's abusive behavior and its
consequences over a period of more than three years. When the facts
contained therein are made known, it must be for reasons other than
wreak further divisions between women working against trafficking. You
cite the Star Tribune article as if Evelina being abusive might absolve
Rebecca of being a pimp. Neither woman is absolved. Rebecca pimped.
Evelina got grant money (and still is, through her new agency formed
after WHISPER's collapse: Commercial Sexual Exploitation Resource
Institute). Both women have harmed prostituted women I know and love.

I want to reply in more detail to the rest of your correspondence at
some point very soon. What you identify as state abuse is exactly that.
I grieve for any woman's experience of abuse, and for the relentlessly
destructive effects of that abuse. If I grieve for you in this regard,
in spite of finding your politics less than compelling, it is not some
political ploy; it is, in fact, honest. Horizontal hostility is the
enforced reaction of any people working within the constraints of
oppression. It destroys communities. My reaction to your work which is
in fact in support of pimps is a strong one. My earlier message was not
mean-spirited; it was simply blunt. I do not render you, in my own
imagination, as inhuman because of my strong feelings concerning your

There is -- need I even declare it? -- an enormous divide between your
political stance and mine. We will find ways to communicate across it.
We have to; the survival of political movements and individual women
depend on it. I look forward to talking with you more in the future.


Victoria Marinelli

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From: Jyothi Kanics---Global Survival Network <>
Subject: UNIFEM Internet Working Group to End Violence Against Women

UNIFEM's Internet Working Group to End Violence Against Women

List members may be interested in a new discussion list which has been
formed to address issues related to ending violence against women.


[Si vous desirez recevoir ce message en francais, merci de contacter

[Si desea recibir este mensaje en espanol, por favor contactar:



On 24 November 1998, the United Nations Development Fund for Women
(UNIFEM), in collaboration with other UN agencies, will host a
landmark event on the most effective strategies being used at local
and national levels to end violence against women. The event - a
global Videoconference - will link advocates in the field with
co-sponsoring UN Funds and Programmes and delegates from UN member
states. Human rights advocates, government representatives,
parliamentarians, academics, media representatives and others will
meet with UN decision-makers via live, two-way video to discuss
critical policy directions, steps that must be taken, and successful
experiences in eradicating violence against women.

UNIFEM is committed to ensuring that the Videoconference furthers
the agenda of advocates working to end gender-based violence around
the globe. The event will:

* showcase success stories and future challenges to achieving
women's human rights and eradicating violence against women
* share effective strategies to end gender-based violence * honor
human rights defenders who have made significant contributions to
eradicating violence against women
* help to build a global partnership to end violence against women *
challenge the international community to commit increased resources
to end violence against women

In preparation for the Videoconference, the World Bank, the Global
Knowledge Partnership, and UNIFEM are sponsoring a "Virtual Working
Group," <end-violence>. The Working Group, which will begin 7
October 1998, will discuss:

* Policies, legislation, strategies, and partnerships that will help
end violence against women around the world
* Case studies, best practices, and other examples representing
successful government and civil society efforts to overcome
challenges and help to eliminate violence against women
* Ways in which new information/communications technologies can be
used to support efforts to end violence against women

The results will feed into the Videoconference, become part of the
1999 review of the International Conference on Population and
Development, and be a permanent, publicly available reference.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY, as they commemorate the 50 anniversary of the
Univeral Declaration on Human Rights!

UNIFEM extends a special invitation to those in the South, and
especially to grant recipients from UNIFEM's Trust Fund in Support
of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women -- we hope
you will share your experience and express your needs!

who contributes the most striking example of an action or strategy
that has helped to prevent and/or eradicate violence against women.
The member who is selected will be invited to attend UNIFEM's
Videoconference in one of the participating sites (New York,
Brussels, Washington, DC, and a site in Africa, Asia and Latin
America). All travel expenses for the selected member will be
covered by UNIFEM.


Anyone who has electronic mail with Internet access can subscribe to
the <end-violence> Working Group. To join, please send an e-mail to
the LISTSERV host:

Do *not* enter a subject. In the body of the message, type the

     SUBSCRIBE end-violence

Do *not* put anything after <end-violence>. You will receive a
Welcome Letter to the Working Group.


The Global Knowledge for Development Web site
<> provides information about the
<end-violence> Working Group, as well as archives of <end-violence>
messages. The WomenWatch Web site <>
provides the <end-violence> archives and information about the
videoconference. Also UNIFEM Web site <>
links to the <end-violence> Working Group and gives a wide range of
information on efforts to end violence against women and related
activities. In addition, the Development Forum, a global discussion
space opening early October 1998, on the World Bank's Web site
<>, will provide access to the
<end-violence> archives as well as related material and


This Working Group is administered and moderated by Education
Development Center, a nonprofit organization. EDC is working
collaboratively with UNIFEM and is directly supported by the World
Bank, the Global Knowledge Partnership, and UNIFEM
for the activities in this project.


For further information about <end-violence>, please contact:

Janice Brodman


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