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Abstract

This book is based on a case study about Stella, l’amie de Maimie a Montréal sex workers' rights organization, founded by and for sex workers. It explores how a group of ostracized female-identified sex workers transformed themselves into a collective to promote the health and well-being of women working in the sex industry. Weighed down by the old and tenacious whore symbol, the sex workers at Stella had to find a way to navigate the criminality of sex work and sex workers, in order to do advocacy and support work, and create safer spaces for sex workers to engage in such advocacy. This book focuses on sex workers, but the advocacy challenges and strategies it outlines can also apply to the lives of other marginalized groups who are often ignored, pitied, or reviled, but who are seldom seen as fully human.
By documenting the history of Stella, a sex worker-run health collective in
Montreal, Dr. Francine Tremblay offers a deeply researched and reflective study
of sex workers’ efforts to empower their peers and advocate for their rights under
conditions of constraint. In addition to providing a rich history of Montreal’s sex
industry and related policies and legal challenges in Canada, her book highlights
the inherent tensions activists navigate when they balance government funding
with the promotion of activist goals, and it illuminates how emotions and culture
shape broader struggles for labor rights, sexual freedom, and gender equality.”—
Samantha Majic, Associate Professor in Political Science, City University of
New York
“Organizing for Sex Workers’ Rights in Montréal is an innovative and distinctive
addition to our limited understanding of mobilizing sex workers in their
communities and beyond. Focused on the emergence and development of one of
Canada’s first modern sex workers’ rights organizations, Stella, the book engages
in an honest and earnest analysis of the struggle to recognize sex workers as equal
citizens, a struggle that cannot be untangled from structural factors, including
social class, stigma and discrimination. No one to date has offered such a
contribution, and this makes Tremblay’s book a ground-breaking addition to the
field.”— Cecilia Benoit, University of Victoria, Canada
Historically grounded in time and place, Tremblay uses social movement theory
and a mobilization framework, to guide us through the struggles of Stella, an association by and for sex workers. These struggles
include learning to live comfortably with people across diverse realities and managing years of intense public scrutiny regarding
HIV/AIDS, drug use, and violence. All while resisting the conflation of prostitution with human trafficking. The attentive reader
will learn much about grappling with the challenges of mobilizing sex workersand other similarly marginalized groupsin our
current socio-legal environment.”— Frances M. Shaver, Concordia University
ABOUT THIS BOOK
This book is based on a case study about Stella, l’amie de Maimie a Montréal sex workers' rights organization, founded by and for
sex workers. It explores how a group of ostracized female-identified sex workers transformed themselves into a collective to
promote the health and well-being of women working in the sex industry. Weighed down by the old and tenacious whore
symbol, the sex workers at Stella had to find a way to navigate the criminality of sex work and sex workers, in order to do
advocacy and support work, and create safer spaces for sex workers to engage in such advocacy. This book focuses on sex
workers, but the advocacy challenges and strategies it outlines can also apply to the lives of other marginalized groups who are
often ignored, pitied, or reviled, but who are seldom seen as fully human.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Francine Tremblay teaches at Concordia University.
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Hardback: ISBN 978-1-4985-6891-3 February 2020 Regular price: $90.00/£60.00 After discount: $63.00£42.00
ebook: ISBN 978-1-4985-6892-0 February 2020 Regular price: $85.50 /£60.00 After discount: $59.85/£42.00
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ORGANIZING FOR SEX WORKERS RIGHTS IN MONTRÉAL
RESISTANCE AND ADVOCACY
By Francine Tremblay
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