Destigmatize It! Breaking Down Sex Work Myths

Feb 11, 2022

Welcome to Old Pro News!

This week on Old Pro News, we’re debunking Super Bowl myths, reporting on late night in Dallas, TX, and updating you on some exciting policy reform in New York City. We’re joined by Mandie Landry, State Representative from Louisiana and the first lawmaker in the Deep South to present a bill to decriminalize sex work statewide. Finally, Old Pro News host, Lakeesha Harris, shares exactly how she feels about Maya Angelou appearing on the U.S. Treasury’s new quarter.

Super Bowl Trafficking Myths Debunked

Let’s start with the Super Bowl. For many years, myths have spread that this and other major sporting events attract an increase in human trafficking. Police and policy makers use this myth as a justification for aggressive ad campaigns, as well as high-profile raids and arrests of consensual sex workers. However, researchers at the University of Texas, Austin and the University of Minnesota recently found that the evidence, “did not support a causal or correlative link between Super Bowls and sex trafficking.” Read more »

Dallas City Counsel Sets a 2am Closing Time

Meanwhile, in Dallas, Texas, the City Council voted unanimously to set a 2am closing time for sexually oriented businesses, including strip clubs, cabarets, and adult book stores. The ordinance was supported by ​​the Dallas Police Department as a “crime fighting measure.” This curfew for adults is just the latest example of the way that local laws marginalize sex workers, who often make the majority of their money between 2 and 6am. Read more »

New York DA De-Prioritizes Prosecution of Some Forms of Sex Work

But there is also some good news! In New York City, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg released a policy statement on January 3, 2022 de-prioritizing prosecution of some forms of sex work. Prostitution, and Patronizing a Person for Prostitution, are listed among the crimes the DA’s office will no longer prosecute. Read more »

Interview with Rep. Mandie Landry, Proposing the Decriminalization of Sex Work in Louisiana

Representative Mandie Landry was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2019. She is a first generation college student and was a first time candidate. Mandie has been a lawyer and advocate for others for over 15 years. She focuses on advocating for women, children, students, reproductive rights, housing, voting, and criminal justice reform. Mandie is the author of Louisiana House Bill 67, the first ever bill to propose statewide decriminalization in the United States. mandielandry.comDeep South Decrim Toolkit | Read more »

Maya Angelou Appearing on the new U.S. Quarter

Lakeesha Harris, host of Old Pro News, shares this: What I most want to lift up to our audience is that before she was Dr. Maya Angelou, she was Maya the Sex Worker, a fact that she established in her memoir Gather Together in My Name. She navigated spaces of stigma and shame and criminalization for her survival. As the U.S. Treasury and others in political power chose to support a portion of her narrative, while invisibilizing the other, Sex Workers are being disenfranchised by banks and digital spaces where we can safely earn a living in a global pandemic. Read more »