Sex work criminalization is highly misogynistic

TW: abuse, sex work, glass ceiling, sex trafficking, patriarchy, bad english haha

Being banned from crossing borders because your face is recognized is not protecting anyone from sex trafficking. Being stigmatized in public space because someone recognized you from Pornhub and being denied jobs because of that is not protecting anyone from sex trafficking. Being cut from family pictures because you’ve been outed as a sex worker doesn’t protect anyone from sex trafficking. Being unable to call 911 after being assaulted is not protecting anyone from sex trafficking.

Stop believing what politicians are telling you about sex trafficking and sex work. Criminalization of sex work is about controlling and punishing women who take control of their own bodies in protest to a patriarchal capitalism society. It is not about protecting anybody.

Sex trafficking is terrible and needs to be eliminated. As is slavery in any form. But do you see criminalization of other work fields to protect victims from slavery because MAYBE they are working against their will? No.

Sex work is at this day the easier way for women to break the glass ceiling and break the poverty wheel in which their family has been for generations. Like I did for myself. It can also be a space of miserable experiences, of pain and struggles. You know what? It’s the way we treat sex workers that make sex work dangerous. The first step is decriminalization. The first step is listening to sex workers about what they need instead of pushing conservative ideas on them. Sex workers who need help should be able to get help without suffering stigmatization, as should sex workers who don’t need help should be able to work in peace. Isn’t cruel to be a successful businesswoman, to owe your opportunity to the money sex work brought you and be afraid to be doxed and lose everything. Isn’t a good way to keep women from taking space that to keep them in this frightful place? That often the only way to get rich is by some kind of sex work for a woman because of patriarchy but that we make sure that this will be as shameful as possible by criminalizing it and putting it in a bad light? A dirty light? Why is selling sex bad but marrying for money is not that bad? What’s the difference?

When a woman is discovered to be a sex worker, she often suffers from different kinds of punishments from society. It can be a job loss, family turning their back to them or even being doxed online by incels (true story). But men, especially men with money, don’t see the issue in hiring a sex worker for entertaining. We don’t see an issue in seeing ‘’survivors’’ from sex work. We tolerate sex work when it suits our narrative and when it doesn’t jeopardize our ideals of what a woman’s place should be. If a sex worker is empowered by her sexuality, we see it as something menacing for the status quo and therefore, we punish her.

Think about why you don’t want sex workers to be. Think about where this is coming from.

Feminist sex worker based in Montreal. Writes about sex work, sexuality and related subjects.

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