on the fringes of Ladyfest in Edinburgh

So I went to Edinburgh, with the intention of working for a couple of days and then chilling out doing vacation-y things.

I stayed in a lovely flat that I’m quite pleased with, made some good money, and moved into my couchsurfing host’s flat feeling ready to be lazy. My host was running something called “A Dialogue on Sex Work”, and I was going to tag along and learn a little on how things around sex work were going within the feminist community in Scotland. They had broken off of the Ladyfest schedule, as the money raised from Ladyfest was going to Zero Tolerance, which seeks to eradicate sex work completely (including pornography) because it’s violence against women by nature.

Then, it turned out that the speaker from London hadn’t gotten a ticket yet- so they asked me to speak. With 3 hours to prepare, of course I said yes. ::laughs::

So I stood there, in my Lusty Lady t-shirt, speaking out about being a sex worker, a punter, a watcher of porn, and a feminist. Only one women seemed like she wanted to rip me apart- surprise surprise, she was from Zero Tolerance. She asked me if I felt that I, as a white middle class privileged woman, had a right to speak for sex workers. I pointed out that maybe she, as a white middle class privileged woman, didn’t have the right to speak for all feminists. I also suggested that perhaps minority women, particularly sex workers, didn’t come to these events since a) they never hear about them as the advertising isn’t anywhere near where they are and b) they’re WORKING GIRLS, and need to work hard to survive!

It was in some ways an excellent experience, in many ways a frustrating one. I see where things are at. I know that I’m just one girl. But I’m going to encourage my punters to be heard, as they’re some amazing, decent, intelligent, stereotype-bashing, genderfucking men and they deserve to be the face of punters too. I’m going to blog extensively about these issues, the ones I heard at the event and ones I’ve been reading about in “Not For Sale”, a book by feminsts against pornography and prostitution. I will write or edit my own if I have to, and will encourage men and women to read other aspects of sex work like “Working Sex” or “Sex Work”. I will make zines. I will be out, and proud. I will speak up.

So watch this space, ladies and gents. It’s on.