Writing Our Triple-X Constitution
In November 2011, Sex Workers and Friends Potluck group fundraised and brought Laura Agustín to the Vancouver Public Library to give a talk. Laura was travelling in Canada on a tour. After Laura's talk, CUP members met with Laura for gin at the Yew Lounge at the Four Seasons Downtown.
Laura's book, Sex at the Margins was an inspiration for the aims of Triple-X.
From Laura's book p. 126 (Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry, Zed Books, London & New York, © 2007):
In the testimonies of social agents, one rarely encounters the actual words of working-class women, yet those could be compelling.
"I was a servant gal away down in Birmingham. I got tired of workin' and slavin' to make a living, and getting a bad one at that; what o' five pun' a year and yer grub, I'd sooner starve, I would. After a bit I went to Coventry, cut brummagem, as we calls it in those parts, and took up with soldiers as was quartered there. I soon got tired of them. Soldiers is good soldiers is to walk with and that, but they don't pay 'cos why they ain't got no money; so I says to myself, I'll go to Lunnon and I did. I soon found my level there." 148
This voice demonstrates several points. First, that pay and working conditions of respectable domestic service were considered insulting. Second, that women made their own decisions about how to improve their lives. Third, that selling sex was not seen as different from other jobs. Fourth, that money was important. Fifth, that personal enjoyment was important. Sixth, that risks were taken to find one's personal 'level'. The issue of remuneration was supremely important.
148: 'Swindlin' Sal', quoted in Bracebridge Hemyng, 'Prostitution in London', London Labour and the London Poor, Mayhew  1968: 23 Also quoted in Walkowitz 1980.
From Laura's brilliant analysis of the Swindlin' Sal quote, Will determined 5 Key Points:
Sex workers make their own decisions about how to improve their lives.
Selling sex is not seen as different from other jobs.
Money is important.
Personal enjoyment is important.
Better jobs in sex work.
Left to Right: Anna Smith, Will Pritchard, Laura Agustín and Andy Sorfleet at Yew lounge at the Four Seasons, downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, November 29, 2011.
Photo by Yew staff.
Will translated these Key Points "awkwardly" to fit into the forms of the BC Society Act:
The purposes of the society are:
- To enable triple-x workers to make decisions about how to improve
- To combat stigma faced by triple-x workers.
- To increase remuneration for triple-x workers.
- To enhance job satisfaction for triple-x workers.
- To advocate for better jobs in the triple-x industry.
In creating the first set of Triple-X Bylaws, we adapted membership criteria from Maggie's Operations Manual, Section 4 Principles and Beliefs, Section 5 Aims and Objectives and Section 6 Membership.
We also examined the ACTRA Constitution (Section 311 Inactive Membership) and the Bylaws Section IV Conflict of Names and Section VIII Inactive Membership. As well, the membership criteria for the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance. This we combined with the model bylaws provided by the BC Society Act.
Here set forth, in numbered clauses, are the consolidated bylaws of Triple-X Workers Solidarity Association of British Columbia providing for the matters referred to in the Society Act of British Columbia. Registered February 21, 2012. Revised March 11, 2014; April 25, 2014; May 21, 2014; June 16, 2016.