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Robyn Few: SWOP - Good Video of Her, sadly with terminal cancer And the 2010 fight fo
01-01-2010, 03:03 PM
Post: #1
Robyn Few: SWOP - Good Video of Her, sadly with terminal cancer And the 2010 fight fo
Robyn Few: SWOP - Good Video of Her, sadly with terminal cancer
And the 2010 fight for private sexworker rights status

From the New Year e-mail from Robin Few I am saddened about her cancer first diagnosed in 2007 which has prevented her from being very active but others are doing a good job it seems from the SWOP website carrying on.

She has a great interview video "When I got up on that stage, I came alive" a supporter built for her at It seems the top video rotates - but there is a long one of her sitting with bald head from treatment where she is very articulate about the fight for sex worker rights. Her presentation is actually good especially towards the end about sexworker empowerment. It was taped in August 2008 but with her illness just recently I believe available for viewing on the web on site titled "Robyn Few: sex worker rights freedom fighter" at

She developed a great organization, got voter initiatives on the ballet for decriminalization in Berkeley and San Francisco and had the potential to be a effective powerful force for decriminalization with local Chapters in many cities, including

Unfortunately the potential has been lost and every effort defeated due to their insistence that any decriminalization has to include public nuisance street hookers, even though her history is mostly in private sexwork of various types as she discusses in her video.

SWOP is in my view the best organized group that has worked the media well, done what no other group has been able to do getting voter initiative on ballets in two major cities etc. Sadly however in my view, SWOPS street hooker main issue has hurt the cause for private sexwork decriminalization. The public only sees and associates "prostitution" with street workers and SWOP has been sounded defeated in all their efforts because the public will not stand for the public nuisance of street workers. It has been tried with zones in Europe and been a total failure.

If only SWOP would be about in private sexwork and not trying to drag in the street worker issue it could be a powerful force we could support and help. But sadly that is not the case unless new leadership emerges. But I admire Robyn for her work and organization building, but sad it is doomed to continued failure due to its major goal of decriminization of the street worker vs only private prostitution which at least for private outcall is legal in almost all the world with no big issues, except in the U.S.

New Years Message From Robin Few

I am so sorry that I have not been able to keep up with all that everyone is up too. I miss being active in the movement and I miss all of you.

Being ill has been extremely hard on all of my family and friends and I appreciate everything that has been done for me. My doctor, Donald Abrams has been relentless at keeping me alive and I love him for it.

Please do not forget who you are and be proud of what you do everyday. I am going through alot of self searching at this time in my life and have found it extremely hard and liberating. I find myself contemplating life after death and what could be next. I pray (I have never used this term before, but I find myself doing it alot) that the year will be better for us all.

Hope you all had fun last night and that you have a speedy recovery today. If you get a chance check out the website my friend PJ Starr built for me at

I am sending as much love as I can to you all.
Robyn Few
Private sexwork rights groups:

Californians for Privacy group has faded away at least for now with their website down. They did some great work as I've written about in past years meeting with legislators, doing independent polls, etc. They had great potential but too limited support it seems.

I wrote the founder checking on them since their website has been gone for a long time. He replied on 12/26/09:

We are not exactly entirely gone, but our numbers shrank. I think most of us started to believe that the change we were looking for was simply not going to happen in today's government. We haven't decided exactly what we are going to do but the idea still exists in our hearts. We are hoping to have the website back up before too long, but don't hold your breath.

Sorry for the depressing news.

The only major group I see fighting for private sexwork rights is Woodhull Freedom Foundation. which I often written about and supported.

Victoria Woodhull, a former prostitute, was the first woman to run for president. She and her sister were the first female Wall Street stock brokers. They used their friendships with New York madams to garner inside information revealed by men in brothels. Woodhull was also a prominent feminist and suffragette.

Woodhull spread the notion that love, not marital status, should legitimate sexual relations. (In the Victorian Era marriage was unjust. A wife had no legal rights, could be beaten as long as death did not result, could not refuse sex, and could be recaptured if she ran away.) Woodhull said of the repressed Victorian women who gloried in their frigidity, "No sexual passion, say you. Say, rather, a sexual idiot, and confess that your life is a failure ...."

Woodhull exposed the hypocrisy of Victorian men who sought the services of prostitutes - who they publicly scorned - while demanding chastity from their wives. She took on the Billy Graham of her day by exposing his adultery and therefore was unfairly targeted for prosecution by the Victorian censorship zealot, Anthony Comstock. Her spectacular rise to become one of America's most colorful reformers and her eventual breaking by dastardly politicians are presented in the 1999 book, Other Powers by Barbara Goldsmith.

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports sexual freedom, is named in her honor. Victoria Woodhull (September 23, 1838 - June 9, 1927) Source: THE PROSTITUTION HALL OF FAME at

2010 Woodhulfoundation Letter
On behalf of all of us here at Woodhull, I want to thank you for your generosity and on-going support of our work. It's been an exciting year for us at Woodhull, and next year promises to be even more exciting!

There's no point in disguising this email. You know it's a year-end "ask." And we know that these are tough financial times. But I still am asking you to consider donating whatever you can - every $5 or $10 helps! - to Woodhull as we come to the end of the year.

And here's why....

Change is not always easily measured. Dramatic legislation and court decisions, like the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. TX (2003) that gives us the right to privacy in our sexual expression, regardless of how someone else feels about it, are few and far between. But there are small changes we can see - small changes to which we are able to point and say "we're making change!"

Your continued support makes our work possible!

When Woodhull began 6 years ago you almost never heard the phrase "sexual freedom." Now you can find that phrase in many, many articles, speeches and conference agendas. When we began, there was no "Sexual Freedom Institute" at Creating Change (the nation's largest LGBT conference for political change), and no sexual freedom track. Today the Sexual Freedom Institute and the Sexual Freedom Track are both secure as part of that annual conference agenda.

We have, this year, been able to help people who were in danger of losing children or jobs because of their private sexual expression. We were able to help by engaging a broad network of organizations aligned with the work of Woodhull.

Support sexual freedom as a fundamental human right!

This year, too, we testified in Washington, DC, supporting marriage for ALL, regardless of their sexual orientation, and to stop the removal of the domestic partner registry as an option for those who might not wish to marry but who do wish to live in a committed, caring relationship.

We had an over-whelming response to our sexual freedom questionnaire that will be the foundation for the first-ever State of Sexual Freedom Report that will be released (according to our plans!) around a first-ever Sexual Freedom Day in 2010.

I want to make 2010 a banner year for sexual freedom

Woodhull is working with the US Human Rights Network on the Campaign for a New Domestic Human Rights Agenda urging the new U.S. administration to establish a human rights agenda significantly different from the human rights policies of the previous administration. As part of our work with our allies, we have been successful in bringing the issues of gender and sexuality to the forefront of these discussions and ensuring that they are included in the campaign's mandate.

And we have continued our longest-running project, our daily Sexual Freedom eNews, a distribution of eight-to-twelve articles from a wide-range of media sources reflecting the wide diversity of the realm of sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.

So we'll end where I began. As you consider your year-end-giving, I am asking you to consider Woodhull. Your support helps us continue to do the work that we're doing, fulfilling our mission to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.

Thank you again!

PS: Monthly donations of as little as $5 a month help us in our planning for the coming year, providing us with on-going support for the projects outlined above. If you'd like to become a monthly donor, email me directly at

Promoting Intimacy and Positive Sexuality with honesty and integrity
Esalen massage - integrating with one another in love -"heartfelt touch"
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