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Victoria Marinelli (
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 11:10:37 PDT

<<Re-send of message first sent 10/14/1998 -- welcome back, Jyothi! And

October 14, 1998

Dear list,

I am disappointed, but not surprised, in response to accusations that I
have "attacked" the listmanager, as well as others on the list. First of
all, maybe I'm wrong -- and I hope she can respond to this when she gets
back from her leave -- but I don't think Jyothi is of the opinion that I
have "attacked" her. Our posted and private email exchanges have been
civil, courteous, and genuine. These accusations have no basis, which
at least is not lost on those who have sent private email messages to me
in support of what I have been saying concerning traffickers. This is a
clear-cut reversal. It bores me.

The recent arguments began in this manner: I referred listserv members
to Carol Leigh's own statements in support of convicted pimp Rebecca
Rand. I am amused that this leads to accusations of slander -- how can
I slander someone by providing the URLS for their own writing? Ms.
Leigh attempted to discredit me by incorrectly associating me with the
likes of Evelina Giobbe. This false association was not all that hard
for me to refute, since I can hardly be seen as the comrade of someone
whose violent behavior has prompted me to file a 32-page complaint with
the board of directors of her now-defunct agency. In addition, Ms.
Leigh posits that Rand is not really a pimp. I counter that in Rand's
numerous public statements she refers to herself, with pride, as a pimp,
after discussing my personal knowledge of the case (that at least one of
the persons in Rand's brothels was not there by her consent, and that
she was a minor at the time). Notice that Ms. Leigh does not actually
respond to the substance of any of these statements. She searches, in
vain, for any leaks in my arguments, anything she thinks she can use to
discredit me with, so that she can get on with her business of appearing
to work against trafficking, while supporting certain traffickers in
measureable and unambiguous ways.

While all this is going on, I am getting private as well as posted
messages which further misrepresent my beliefs about systems of
prostitution. It seems that by upsetting the status quo -- by
confronting the actions of ONE pimp and discussing Ms. Leigh's very
public support of the same, a set of ideas (prostitution is always
forced, etc.) has been incorrectly attributed to me. And in this
atmosphere, I see that it is not useful for me discuss my actual
concerns and beliefs. It has become my role to respond to slanderous
attacks (including the accusation that I am somehow perpetrating
slanderous attacks); there has been no time to respond to anything else.
I have better things to do and I soon will. (But I honestly wish to
thank those of you who have promulgated these particular distortions;
this will be very useful to me in my continuing work.)

Finally, having exhausted the options of slander and misrepresentation
(and, to distract us from the fact that she has been busted in the act
of completely contradicting herself), Ms. Leigh invokes, of all things,
"identity" and "pride" politics. Perhaps I shouldn't have dignified her
peculiar arguments, but I did think it might be useful to respond from
my perspective as an organizer in the very queer communities whose
politics she is co-opting, in her increasingly desperate attempt to
discredit me, EVEN when doing so requires that she contradicts her own
statements. What a fine postmodern red herring she has offered us. Now
we are not discussing trafficking practices, which is ostensibly our
purpose in participating on this list. (And which, I believe, Jyothi is
facilitating as best she can, under the circumstances, and I appreciate
her sincerity in this effort.) Now we are immersed in Carol Leigh's
absurd argument, that if Rand is, in fact, proud of herself as a pimp
(remember that Ms. Leigh earlier denied that she was a pimp at all),
then this is a positive thing, and I am being slanderous to employ the
word "pimp" in a negative context.

Which, obviously, begs the question: just what ARE the positive
connotations of pimping/ trafficking? By attacking my use of the word
"pimp", some on the list have sought to define the word out of
existence, by any means necessary. I heard out, and responded to, the
arguments that anti-pimping laws can work against prostituted women.
When I offered my working definition of the term "pimp", I was treated
to spurious arguments that children of prostitutes were then also
"pimps", etc. I have yet to learn of any minor child prosecuted for
pimping his or her mother, yet the assertion that this COULD happen,
stated so emphatically, could almost persuade the reader that it is, in
fact, happening. And not just happening, but on an alarming scale! The
crime statistics of which I am aware, for both here in the United States
and elsewhere, paint a different picture entirely. Prostitutes are
constantly being arrested, prosecuted, fined, jailed. This is rarely
the case with pimps, much less dependent children falsely accused of
pimping their parents!

I had thought the purpose of a listserv is to offer an online community
of peers, who can help to educate one another about particular topics.
John Davies has replied in response to my earlier working definition of
pimps and pimping, saying, "You have either got to go with this and say
I was a pimp and other children dependent or otherwise are pimps or we
have to say that this definition is
inadequate... " Is this an ultimatum or what? If I should take genuine
insight from another listserv member's contributions, am I then "not
allowed" to be educated by it, to amend my own definitions? Wouldn't
such a prohibition completely defeat the ostensible purposes of the
list? My perspectives are not inflexible. So it seems I am pilloried
both when I disagree with some listserv members AND when I agree with
them. How useful is that?


Get Your Private, Free Email at
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news: Austria, Japan, ILO & Bangladesh

Austria to Recall Ambassador to China Amid Scandal, DPA Says

Vienna, Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Austrian Ambassador to China Gerhard
Ziegler will be recalled from his post at the end of the year, amid
accusations the diplomat is involved in sex and smuggling scandals and
tarnished the country's reputation abroad, the Deutsche Presse Agentur
reported. The Austrian government earlier denied allegations against the

ambassador, who has been accused of smuggling antiques out of China and
associating with prostitutes. Ziegler has also been criticized for
inappropriate remarks about Chinese women.

Austrian Freedom Party member Peter Rosenstingl is in custody in Brazil,

where he fled in May after being accused of swindling about 200 million
schillings ($17.77 million) from local banks and party funds.

(Deutsche Presse Agentur)

11:32:31 10/08/1998
(C) Copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P. BLOOMBERG, Bloomberg News, Bloomberg
Financial Markets, Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg News Radio are
trademarks, tradenames and service marks of Bloomberg L.P.

Tokyo court rejects Philippine suit on sexual slavery

.c Kyodo News Service

TOKYO, Oct. 9 (Kyodo) -- The Tokyo District Court dismissed Friday a
lawsuit filed by 46 Philippine women seeking a combined 920 million yen
compensation for allegedly having been forced to provide sex for
soldiers during World War II.

Presiding Judge Yoriaki Ichikawa ruled that international laws cited in
suit against the Japanese government ''do not allow personal demands for


It is the second court ruling on a spate of lawsuits filed in Japan by
former wartime sex slaves around Asia.

The Yamaguchi District Court ordered the government in April to pay a
of 900,000 yen to three South Korean women.

Up to 200,000 women, mostly from the Korea Peninsula, are said to have
taken to frontline brothels and forced to provide sex for Japanese

Such women, mostly recruited by the Japanese military, are known as
''comfort women'' in Japan.

In the Philippine case, 18 women initially filed the suit in April 1993,

and 28 others joined it six months later.

Seven of them died before the ruling, including Rosa Henson, who was 65
when the suit was filed and one of the first Philippine women to reveal
their experience in Japanese brothels.

The women, some of who were as young as 10 years old at the time,
that Japanese military confined and forced them to provide sex to
after it occupied the Philippines in 1942.

The suit argued that the Japanese government is obliged to compensate
women because sexual slavery violates the 1907 Hague treaty and
international rules that protect civilians in military-occupied

Japanese civil laws and Philippine domestic laws were also invoked in

The government argued that international laws stipulate rules among
countries and do not cover individuals demanding compensation.

It also insisted that local laws in Japan and the Philippines do not
to countries.

AP-NY-10-08-98 2342EDT

Copyright 1998 The Kyodo News Service.

Prostitution report wins ``Oscar'' at Book Fair

By Paul Majendie

FRANKFURT, Oct 6 (Reuters) - An international report on the plight of
in Asia's burgeoning sex industry has won this year's ``Woman's Oscar''
the world's biggest book fair, organisers said on Tuesday.

The harrowing report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said
to 1.5 percent of all the women in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines
Indonesia could be involved in the growing trade.

The sex industry already accounts for up to 14 percent of the four
countries' Gross Domestic Product and the report warned that Asia's
economic turmoil could force even more poor women into prostitution.

Lin Lim, the Malaysian author of the shock ILO report, is flying into
Frankfurt on Saturday to be given ``The International Oscar for Women's

``It is a serious and profound report that highlights the plight of
women,'' said a spokesman for the international committee that selected

The prize was launched in 1997 by feminist writer Shere Hite at the
Frankfurt Book Fair, which this year has attracted almost 6,800
from 107 countries.

Lin Lim warned in her report that the sex industry showed no signs of
slowing down in Asia's current recession. It could even be boosted by
plummeting currencies which made Asia an even more attractive
for western ``sex tourists.''

The problem is that literally millions of people rely on the profits to
gained from the industry.

In Thailand, for example, almost $300 million is sent annually to
in the country by women working in Bangkok and other cities as

``Sex work is often the only viable alternative for women in communities

coping with poverty, unemployment, failed marriages and family
obligations,'' the report said.

Some are coerced into conditions of virtual slavery, others prefer
prostitution because it is more profitable than any other job they could


One Malaysian prostitute was quoted in the report as saying: ``I can
enough to look after my two young children. Here I only come when I need

the money and it's easy to find a babysitter for one day.''

The report stressed that ``child prostitution differs from -- and should
considered a much more serious problem than -- adult prostitution.''

Its concern was mirrored at a special conference in London on Tuesday
Britain said European and Asian nations had to work more closely to
the booming sex trade. It is drawing up a major new plan to protect
children at risk.

Children's charities say that in Asia alone, more than 650,000 children
under the age of 16 work as prostitutes and that one million children
the global sex market every year.

10:45 10-06-98

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Bangladesh police save children from traffickers

DHAKA, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Bangladesh police have rescued 39 children from

traffickers in raids this week, police said on Tuesday.

They said 18 children were saved during one raid in a Dhaka hotel on
Monday. A similar raid on Sunday rescued another 21 children.

Police said Sunday's group included boys and girls from Myanmar, but the

later group included both Myanmar and Bangladeshi children.

Police arrested 14 suspected traffickers, including four women, during
raids. They were being interrogated, one police officer said.

The rescued children, aged between 6 and 12 years old, were collected
the districts of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Noakhali in southeastern
Bangladesh. They were apparently destined for India and the Middle East,

where most would end up in brothels or as jockeys in camel races, police


Police said some 15,000 women and children are smuggled out of
every year. Thousands more lured away by traffickers with promises of
remain unaccounted for, they said.

The Centre for Women and Children Studies, a non-government
said in a newspaper report on Tuesday it had recorded 2,600 children who

had gone missing over the past seven years. Only 228 had been rescued,
centre said.

Nearly 250,000 Myanmar Moslems, known as Rohingyas, fled to southeastern

Bangladesh in early 1992 to escape alleged military persecution in their


All but some 21,000 of them returned home under the supervision of the
High Commissioner for Refugees before the repatriation process suddenly
stopped in mid-1997.

03:38 10-06-98

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


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To: stop-traffic@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU
From: Carol Leigh <>
Subject: Pimping laws, anti-trafficking strategies

VM writes:

> Pimps are not prostitutes.

Almost all the prostitutes I worked with could legally be charged with
pimping based on sharing clients. What I found in my research is that
black women were more often charged as pimps than white women. It seems
that you want to claim the word as a definite pejorative because of your
experience, but some people within this community do not want it used that
way because of the way the laws are used.

>While I am troubled by this, Carol, I am not unmoved by your arguments
>that anti-pimping laws sometimes work against prostituted women. Almost
>all laws work against prostituted women -- this is a feature which is
>endemic to all societies reliant upon a prostitute-caste. But I also
>know that anti-pimping laws have been very helpful for many prostituted

I think the laws could be changed so that they don't hurt, and they still
help the women. That's my point! Why not look at reform since so many
women (including you) have suffered from this?

Obviously, we who are working in earnest against trafficking,
>are going to have to get creative in response to these challenges. Call
>me crazy, but I DON'T think that rallying to attack anti-pimping
>legislation, as the organizations with which you are affiliated have
>done, is a credible answer.

One has to reform the anti-pimping laws to make labor regulations
relevant... as the ILO recommends. I'm not affiliated with the ILO but
that's what my point around pimping is. GAATW also makes recommendations
along these lines. Gabriella Network has begun to recommend regulation of
the 'mail order bride' industry rather than abolition which, they are
concerned, results in more criminalization of women.

The discourse gets polarized and misrepresented as "rallying to attack
anti-pimping legislation" as you wrote... but I am basically discussing
reform in line with recommendations that are made with the above groups
which aren't in league with the devil...

Carol Leigh
Prostitutes' Education Network

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