Yes this is late. Did you really expect otherwise?
Going through the wreckage that was the “behind the scenes” stuff of this blog, had me realize I had left the previous administration a rather daunting task when she took over this blog last year. It was in far worse shape than I realized, and from the dates on most of the mess, it clearly was not anything done by her. She is owed the most humble of apologizes.
Fortunately, with the improvements to organization and layout that have come with WordPress 2.3, cleaning out the crap, and updating the site, while somewhat time consuming (mostly because of the sheer number of links), recovering from this disaster is possible. More on that next Monday, for now some wandering words on websites of worth.
What brings about the plethora of Award shows in the Winter really is not clear. Perhaps those in the Artistic fields, suffering from a bad case of cabin fever and a need to justify their winter wardrobe, felt New Years was too brief, and the Easter Parade lacking in opportunity for a good party. Regardless of how much sense it makes, the on-line world seems to have kept a similar schedule. And while the czars of fashion fail to be excited by such awards, a Second Life virtual red-carpet appearance as yet not being a clothing trend-setter, for many who write for the on-line world, being able to attach a badge of recognition for a job well done keeps them going when it seems the hit count just is not worth it.
While the Webbies are now pay to play, and the Bloggies closed for nominations back in January, the Blogger’s Choice Awards remain open for nomination. And while there are many bloggers and websites in the Sex Work World which deserve attention and to be added to your feed reader and daily list, the two highlighted today stand out for what they bring to their readers and the Sex Work Community, and perhaps your consideration and nomination email for the BCA’s or other awards.
Bound, Not Gagged, the activist group blog of the Desiree Alliance, has over the past year become the hub of on-line Sex Worker Advocacy in the United States. Demure and deferential it is not. Posts on Bound, Not Gagged (often referred to as “BnG”) are passionate, strong, and at times, unapologetically angry peals against abuse, injustice and ignorance about Sex Work and Sex Workers. This is a blog by people demanding and working to create change, and not willing to wait another generation for it to come about. Discussion and debate are lively on BnG, and honestly, not always thoughtful about the full impact and import of the positions staked out, a fault of many idealists and advocates and some very famous and influential people. BnG though is not a one-dimensional rant limited to politics and news of the latest outrage, it often carries notices and invitations to events and conferences such as the Desiree Alliance’s “Pulling Back the Sheets: Sex, Work and Social Justice” Conference scheduled for July in Chicago. While BnG is USA-centric in much of its writing and point of view, it has repeatedly highlighted and brought attention to the actions and activism of Sex Workers in other countries, and has not shied away from reporting on the abuse and difficulties they face as well. For anyone with an interest in Sex Work, it has become a must read. Informally, the Twitter posts of many of the contributors to BnG often act as a shadow blog to BnG, carrying on many of the discussions in a near real-time format that can be equally engaging.
Of course Bound, Not Gagged and Sex Worker organizations could not accomplish much with out good information, and one of the best news hounds of this community has turned out to be Amanda Brooks. Posting News Bits on the off-the-main-site-SWOP-East blog, Amanda serves up a daily digest of the news of note culled from her own web searches and Google Alerts. But this is not just dry headlines – her summaries are often targeted commentary on the hypocrisy, absurdity, and sheer idiocy of those that report on and act against sex workers with out doing any research or looking beyond what reinforces their own biases and assumptions. This lady will not go quietly into the night. Indeed, much like Napoleon conquered Europe on four hours of sleep a night, noting the time stamp on her News Bits has me wondering if General Brooks is training some stiletto-heeled Valkyries she will unleash as the Vanguard of the Sex Work Revolution & Empire. Don’t forget she is a Texan, and while their speech may have a slow musical drawl to it, they are not really known for their patience, as that fellow in the White House has clearly taught us. Regardless of any future need to prepare your own personal bomb-shelter, SWOP-East is not limited to what Amanda shares, and there is interesting and valuable commentary and updates on the main SWOP-East Blog from their extraordinarily literate and prolific staff and other contributors. Along with many of the other sites and blogs of organizations and individuals in Sex Work, these blogs are an excellent way to keep updated on news and issues that are relevant to the lives and actions of Sex Workers and other interested individuals.
To make it easier for you to keep up with Bound, Not Gagged and the above mentioned off -the-main site-SWOP-East blog, the RSS feeds from those blogs, plus the feeds from SWIRL – The Sex Work Internet Radio Lounge – and $pread Magazine’s $pread Blog, have been added to the left side bar of this site. As the link list is corrected, adjusted and updated, this should make The Courtesan Connection once again of use for keeping up with the many sites and blogs of value.
With this commentary, The Courtesan Connection begins once again to move toward its original purpose – to highlight for its readers what is going on with Sex Worker Blogs and the community they are a part of. There are many blogs and other on-line sites and productions created by and that are of use to the Sex Work community. With some hope, and quite a bit of work, this site may help in making these blogs, resources and organizations more easily found and accessed by those looking for the support and information they provide.