Originally, I was at a loss of what I could possibly do for my activist project, but then I remembered my grandmother-in-law. Unfortunately, due to complications between my grandmother-in-law, her two sisters, and the Federal Government, I cannot mention their names nor the photographs of the interviews. They were very conservative about this documentary being on the Internet, or any social media sites – which was my original intent.
For my activists histories assignment, I researched prostitution and an organization called C.O.Y.O.T.E, which is a backronym for Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics. This organization was America’s first prostitutes’ rights organization founded in San Francisco in 1973 by Margo St. James, who was a former prostitute herself. Their ultimate goal was to decriminalize, not legalize, prostitution laws and end the social stigma associated with sex work, which is primarily due to male-imposed standards of ethics. The difference between decriminalization and legalization is that: decriminalization would allow prostitutes to work as if it were any other socially acceptable occupation, while legalization would make prostitutes register, get a license, submit themselves for health examinations, all while still being stigmatized now as “known prostitutes”. Continue reading