In just less than a week now I will have my world premier. I have a ton of things going through my mind about the film. There were so many issues we could have focused on. There were issues with immigration laws, sex trade, discrimination, perceived human trafficking, civil rights, and media representation to name a few.
When you are filming for three years you become entangled in all the issues and it becomes hard to decide how to use each of the eighty minutes of the film, what issue should be the most important?
Yesterday I was visited by Maxine Doogan who is involved with the Erotic Service Provider’s Union. She worked on Prop K in California to decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco. (A proposition that ultimately lost) Maxine knew everyone involved in and everything about the history of prostitution in the US, but until my film had never heard about RI’s law. She was visiting Yale for a forum on sex work and took the trip to RI to search out all the legal briefs.
She is hoping to follow the success C.O.Y.O.T.E had in RI and bring the same strategy to other states. I always wondered if this is possible and why hasn’t anyone tried it before?
The one thing I did realize in making the film is that only the women are arrested in most cases. That is the reason why they had the class action suit that changed the law in RI, and not much has changed since 1980. You can see that in the famous cases like Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer got off and the madame got six months.
If there is one thing I would like to see (and if you told me that I would be saying this when I started this film I would have thought you were crazy) I would love for some lawyer and/or sex worker to see the film and start a class action suit in their state. How can you create or continue a law that is known to be applied unequally?