I’m now mostly blogging here http://howlinabox.tumblr.com/ please follow if you want to keep up with my posts! :)



As I am now back in Scotland I’ve decided to change this blog over to my primary as it’s too annoying having to come to this secondary one all the time. You can follow my primary blog here: http://howlinabox.tumblr.com/



What with moving and Christmas and New Year I’ve neglected this a little.

And everything in my drafts is all a few months old now.

I’m working on it again now I promise!



CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: the first Scottish Sex Worker Open University!

I’m excited! The very first Scottish Sex Worker Open University will be held this April! There’s also a Glasgow sex worker film festival in April too! Although it sucks I’m going to be missing SWOP’s event on December 17th for international Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. I don’t get back until the 20th and I would have LOVED to meet some new people! *sigh*



A rape crisis center thinks that women are a commodity. Are you angry yet?

Sex workers feeling excluded by an organisation that in theory should be a source of support.



Things I am not going to miss about Cambodia:

  1. Cold showers,
  2. Mosquitoes,
  3. Oreos being the only available biscuits that don’t taste like chemicals/have a pitiful amount of filling/coat your mouth with this weird like, oil or something,
  4. Internally screaming while on any form of transport,
  5. Cakes made with Milo,
  6. Mars bars being the only available chocolate bar,
  7. Dust,
  8. Breaking a sweat getting up and walking across a room,
  9. All my clothes smelling like damp and my watch strap growing mould,
  10. Getting sick… a lot.


FEMALE VOLUNTEER NEEDED IN CAMBODIA!

One of the long term volunteers at Banteay Srey Project will be leaving early as her family back in the USA are in difficult times. We need someone urgently to fill her role here! She has been teaching, Life Skills, English, and Computer but we are open to whatever you have to teach! If you would like to join us or know anyone who might then please check out the volunteer page on the website and contact us!



I’ve been so so bad at posting recently!

It’s been so busy now that we have trainees here!

We’ve been working out a few problems with schedules and now we’re all settling into a routine.

We now have 3 trainees here and it’s been really interesting figuring out how to cater to their varying abilities, particularly as one of the women is blind!

We’ve been doing yoga, massage and spa skills training, Khmer literacy, English, life skills, computer training, gardening and boundary work.

So far the trainees seem to be enjoying the program! It’s just a shame I’ll be leaving so soon!



Clean sweep for ASEAN

The Cambodian government plans to round up all the child sellers and beggars in Phnom Penh and put them in Prey Speu social affairs centre. The government claims that the children would be provided with training in the centre and would be free to go when they pleased but people who have previously stayed at the centre report the use of forced labor, psychological and moral re-education, and shackling, caning, and beating.

These centres are a place where all the “undesirables” from the city like sex workers, homeless people, people with drug addictions, mental health issues and disabilities are rounded up and detained.

This is now being done to children in order to keep them out of sight of visiting leaders attending the ASEAN Summit being held in Phnom Penh. These leaders include US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

More than 100 families living in slum housing near the airport are under threat of eviction, also in the name of “cleaning up the city” to make a good impression on visiting leaders.

Foreign leaders need to recognise the impact their presence has on the lives of the poorest people in Cambodia and they need to speak up about the injustices being committed in their names.



All cats are tigers.

My next problem with Rhoda and the consoltation comes on page 6 where Rhoda claims:

75% of women in prostitution in the UK became involved when they were children.

All credit goes to A Glasgow Sex Worker blog for this:

That 75% figure comes from a study done called ‘Ties That Bind‘, by Margaret Melrose… Ties That Bind is a study that focuses on how and why children and young people become involved in the sex industry. To that end, it interviews women (and some children) who became involved in the sex industry as children. It is not a study of the sex industry as a whole. It is a study of a sub-section (those who entered the industry as children) of a sub-section (women who work on the street). Belinda Brooks-Gorden estimates that people who work on the street constitute between eight and ten percent of the UK sex industry.

To cite this study as evidence that 75% of all sex workers entered the industry as children is akin to taking a study on how tigers feel about their identity as cats – by interviewing forty-seven tigers, talking about their relationship to the ‘cat’ label, and then citing that study as evidence that 100% of cats are, in fact, tigers. (But maybe some of them have complicated feelings about being cats.) A different way of highlighting the absurdity of this stat as cited in the consultation is to wonder why it is cited as “75%” and not 100%. After all, all the women interviewed started in the sex industry as children – that’s the point of the study! Rhoda’s got 75% because … not all the women interviewed are still selling sex: 25% of them aren’t. So Rhoda thinks that 100% of women in the sex industry started as children, but, y’know, some of them quit. That’s the premise her 75% stat is based on, having fabulously distorted the findings of the paper she’s “citing”. All cats are tigers, or former tigers.

How are we expected to take any of this consultation seriously when this is the quality of her “background information”? Complete and utter distortion of the findings for her own agenda.