Mx Justin Vivian Bond: RentBoy.com Raid Shows “Hypocrisy of Mainstream Patriarchal Culture”
Performance artist and all-around queer guru Mx Justin Vivian Bond, who has played Philly a number of times, just took to Facebook to share some thoughts on yesterday’s RentBoy.com raid, and as we’ve come to expect from the artist, there’s some interesting concepts to ponder.
“Sex workers in our culture need to be protected, respected and applauded not harassed and shamed,” Mx Bond wrote. “Because of this raid, 1,000s of independent workers worldwide will not be able to pay their rent this month and they are concerned about what this means for their safety and legal protection.”
Bond also compared the raid to “a throwback to when the police raided gay bars in the 50s and 60s,” and thought that “this invasion of a consensual hook-up site which is run for and by members of the LGBT community feels like a real slap in the face after gentrification, and the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations drove so many NYC gay bars out of business and forced people to meet online instead of in person.” Along the lines of government intervention, Bond made the argument that “years of undercover work and untold amounts of city and federal taxpayer dollars were spent on this this undercover sting operation and who was being harmed? Nobody.”
Bond went on to state that the RentBoy.com raid was “a perfect example of the hypocrisy of mainstream patriarchal culture and the government,” and stated the following:
“Queer people are now invited to join in the systems of oppression —i.e. the military and marriage— that straight people have supported and engaged in for years but when it comes to freedom of choice as to what to do with our bodies women and the LGBT Community are still being exploited by the government and power hungry individuals for the purposes of financial gain and career advancement. I mean, is this really a ‘Homeland Security Issue?’ I don’t think so.”
Yesterday, Federal agents, along with members of the Department of Homeland Security and the NYPD, raided the headquarters of RentBoy.com, charging employees of the website with “conspiring to violate the Travel Act promoting prostitution,” according to the United States Attorney’s Office.