The Underbelli Podcast #2 – The Monsters You Make of Us: On Sex Work and Stigma

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The Belli Research Institute returns for their second podcast, this time focusing on sex work and the State’s attempts to repress it.

Over the last year, there has been an increase in police operations conducted to regulate the sex industry and in spaces associated with it like strip clubs in cities around the USA. We’ve also seen the passing of FOSTA and SESTA, which will further regulate the digital spaces of the sex industry. How does sex work relate to other forms of work? How does stigma affect the way in which the sex industry is viewed and treated?

Welcome to Episode 2 of The Underbelli, where we approach such questions and more. In this episode Erma VIP pulls listeners through a web of texts pertaining to how sex work is stigmatized and policed in the present moment. Their spinnerets take us from personal meditations on doing sex work to the rescue industry of the Twin Cities to strippers organizing in New Orleans and to worker struggles nationwide against the dangerous effects of FOSTA/SESTA.

Please do get in touch with any recommendations or feedback of any kind! Special thanks to our friends who mix spit with us on the microphone and who inspire us. You can also now subscribe to The Underbelli on all the major podcast things.

Texts Read in this Episode:

Against Stigma, Not Sex Work by Erma VIP

The Fragrance of Citizenship//The Acridity of Others: Towards Health Skepticism by Sasha Durakov (excerpt)

5 findings from Super Bowl Minneapolis on anti-trafficking operations by BRI (excerpt)

Leave us Alone, No Pigs in Our Clubs by Anonymous Strippers of New Orleans

City Pages is Cancelled by Erma VIP

Also check out the Belli reader The Myths of Sex Trafficking for more critiques of the language of sex trafficking

Featured Music:

Original theme by Fizz

“Normal” by The Petticoats

Audio clips from the film Klute (1971)


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Belli Research Institute
The Belli Research Institute for Critical Thots is an experimental platform for thotties and babblers writing during wartime. Belli, Latin for both 'of the war' and 'in the war', alludes to the totality of civil war in which everyone is a partisan and no existing conditions are exempt. The critical thots at BRI explore difference, contradiction, and fissure in political frameworks as fruitful sites for learning and experimentation. Nothing short of the total abolition of this world.