sex tech

Eyebeam Assembly | Hacking//Hustling: A Platform for Sex Workers in a Post-SESTA World by OSD.

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

I will be speaking on a panel called Hacking//Hustling: A Platform for Sex Workers in a Post-SESTA World, hosted by Melissa Gira Grant and Mistress Blunt @ Eyebeam Assembly in Brooklyn, NY. I was invited to speak as a sex worker & technologist on my experiences navigating fintech development as a sex worker & activist + the ways I’ve been specifically targeted for being successful in those efforts.

The event is full, but you can watch a livestream or add yourself to the waitlist. Info below.


Watch the livestream here

 

A new federal law called SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) has endangered sex workers and resulted in their erasure from online platforms that once provided work, community and safety.

 

Organized in collaboration with Melissa Gira Grant and Danielle Blunt, Hacking//Hustling: A Platform for Sex Workers in a Post-SESTA World is a two-day program of conversations and tactical skill sharing led by sex workers to generate knowledge that has been erased in the wake of SESTA. Hacking//Hustling is a space for digital rights advocates, journalists, and allied communities to come learn from sex workers and better understand the developing effects of SESTA on internet freedom for all. This program was organized with the belief that sex workers are the experts of their own experience and an internet that is safe for sex workers, is an internet that is safe for almost everyone.

 

A panel organized and moderated by Melissa Gira Grant and Danielle Blunt, will feature presentations from sex workers and sex worker rights advocates with a discussion on censorship, discrimination and policing in the wake of SESTA.

 

Following the panel, a half-day workshop (in collaboration with t4tech) will take place Saturday, September 22. Sex workers and digital rights advocates will work together to address the harms of SESTA legislation with a collaborative approach grounded in principles of harm reduction. We will learn how to to protect data, have safer communications, and build stronger online communities.  

 

More information about SESTA:

Sex workers and survivors of trafficking oppose SESTA

Congress passes SESTA, despite opposition from sex workers and survivors of trafficking

Crackdowns on sex workers begin before SESTA is signed into law

SESTA supporters say sex work can never be safe

Sex workers protest SESTA nationwide

A constitutional challenge to SESTA is filed

 

About the panelists and moderators:

 

Melissa Gira Grant is a senior staff reporter covering criminal justice at The Appeal and the author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso). She has been a contributing writer at the Village Voice and Pacific Standard, and her work has also appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, the New York Review of Books, and the Nation, among others. Her essays are collected in Best Sex WritingThe Feminist Utopia Project, and Where Freedom Starts: Sex Power Violence #MeToo. She lives in New York.

@melissagira

 

Danielle Blunt (she/her) is a NYC-based Dominatrix, a full-spectrum doula and sex worker rights activist. She studies power dynamics through kinesthetic modalities and researches the intersection of public health, sex work and equitable access to tech. Her work has appeared in Kink & Code, Tits & Sass and Psychology Today. She enjoys watching her community thrive and making men cry.   

@mistressblunt

 

Kiara St. James, has been a community organizer and public speaker for over 20 years. She has been instrumental in changing shelter policies that were discriminatory towards the Trans community. Kiara is the Founder and current Executive director of the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG inc), A grassroots  501c-3 non-profit organization, that is Trans-led and intent on creating new opportunities for the Trans community, through various partnerships and innovative initiatives.

@kiaraditmas

 

Bardot Smith is the alias of an analyst, producer, and demimondaine living on the East Coast. She focuses her time on private consulting, erotic media production, and writing on economics and sex under capitalism. She enjoys pissing on men. She is currently studying for her Series 65.

@ICONOCLASTIAE

 

Lorelei Lee is a writer, sex worker, and activist. She began doing sex work in 2000 and has worked both on and offline. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in Salon, The Rumpus, WIRED, Denver Quarterly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Buzzfeed, The Establishment, and $pread Magazine, as well as in the anthologies Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys, Off the Set, The Feminist Porn Book, and Coming Out Like A Porn Star.  

@MissLoreleiLee

 

Ashley Paige is an International Travel Companion & Connoisseur of Kink

@AshleyPaigeNYC

 

 

“Whores Will Rise: Protest Art & Resistance Ephemera Against FOSTA/SESTA”

There will also be a community art show, curated by Brit Schulte, highlighting protest art/resistance ephemera from recent demonstrations against SESTA/FOSTA and calling for decriminalization, and labor rights for all sex working/trading people.

 

Brit Schulte (they/them) is a community organizer and under-employed sex working art historian currently splitting time between Chicago and New York City. They are a member of the Support Ho(s)e collective, Survived & Punished NYC and are the lead coordinator for the Justice for Alisha Walker Defense Campaign. Brit’s current organizing efforts center criminalized survivors, prison abolition and the decriminalization of all sex work/trade.

 

 

Eyebeam respects your safety. If you are interested in RSVPing and do not feel comfortable putting in your personal address, phone number, etc. please input the following information (Eyebeam’s contact information).

Street address: 199 Cook St.

City: Brooklyn

State: NY

Country: US

Phone: 347 378 9163

 

JULY 2 UPDATE: @BARDOTSMITH is now @ICONOCLASTIAE by OSD.

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Darlings. 

It's finally happened. We've all seen this coming for a while, given the state of technofascism under which we currently exist. But the impotent cowards at twitter have finally banned my account @BARDOTSMITH. The specific reason is not important (I told some rapey bitch hobbyist account to seppuku, if you must know), but the technique of inconsistently enforcing their TOS to ban radicals, queers, activists, and whores is apparent daily now. 

We've been watching as sites that built their platform on the backs of adult producers, cow to the demands of their "investors." (Investors, by the way, who FREQUENTLY patronize sex workers). These platforms would not have had the traction that they had in order to secure investment in the first place without us. They are cowards, and traitors to their own generation. 

Their blood must not be spared in this revolution.

With the internet being nearly HALF adult content and search traffic...The HYPOCRISY of contorting the web's development in ways that make it more difficult for individual producers to monetize their content while loudly screaming about INNOVATION and THE NEW ECONOMY is STUNNING.

Beyond that, it is THEFT. 

These companies are able to use our traffic flows to monetize their products and services, while we are expected to starve for the privilege. 

In 2015, I wrote about tech & finance's looming interoperability for the now-defunct MODEL VIEW CULTURE. NOW, As adult content creators are pushed off of financial technology, we lose access to the very SYSTEM of financial services that allow us to function in society. 

This is a modern form of redlining, and you BEST BELIEVE that it is the model for marginalization of other populations. 

This isn't even about sex work fundamentally. It is about whether or not a centralized, privately owned technology company has the right to decide whether you are "allowed" to charge and accept money for anything that you do or make. The amazing fuckery of the situation can be evidenced in the failure of free-market enthusiasts to spend a breath on this issue. Capitalism commoditizes everything about us, especially our time and bodies. Defaulting suddenly to a moralistic argument when (predominantly) women/queer/poc stand to benefit in ways that society deems them unworthy of benefit should tell you all you need to know about what's happening here. 

STAY VIGILANT.

In response to GIVE YOUR MONEY TO WOMEN, so many misguided responses involve schadenfreude / envy over the fact that its creators were getting money "for nothing," and many people lashed out defensively saying they would use fintech to accept payments for their "real" work but that demanding reparations/tribute/ or paywalling access to ourselves  was "greedy." You have all missed the point, and, as I said then, you would catch up eventually. We are poised on the the brink of war over our right to survive. 

Without having the same access to technology that every single civilian has, we are further marginalized. I fought for every person's right to paywall and monetize content, only to be met with sophomoric analysis and the variety of poorly sublimated-envy I've been working against my entire life. It's time to move beyond your experience of ME and deal with the information that I present. I've proven my forecasting abilities again and again. I'll not defend them anymore. I know what I'm saying, I can see where most cant. I'm never going to be sorry about.

I'm never going to shut up.

My new twitter account is @ICONOCLASTIAE, and shortly my tweet archive from @bardotsmith will be mirrored in html FOREVER. I know I have influenced many people to demand more for themselves, and if that alone renders me an outlaw, so be it. I was born a revolutionary, every abuse I've defeated has brought me to this point. I accept this. Come what may.

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh, Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

When I began writing under @bardotsmith at the end of 2013, I knew that the world would always be able to dismiss any individual woman's perspective...but that in creating virality out of my ideas...by letting them live outside of me and beyond me, they would auto-propagate, and take hold in others. They would outlive me. 

This has never been about a name.
The last thing they want is for us to realize how powerful we are.
I want you to understand this, too.
 

#ONWARD,
xx, Ms Smith



UPDATES: 

  • I WILL BE IN LOS ANGELES FROM JULY 14-20. I have limited time for appointments, good boys can also offer to take care of errands and tasks for me while I'm there. 
     
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  • Lauren Chief Elk and I will also be teaching the 4th installment of INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, called INTERLOCKING SYSTEMS. Stay tuned to twitter or this space for an announcement.