Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Abolition And "Saving" Of Sex Workers

The well-intentioned, misinformed, and even the righteous haters all proclaim to save us ~ sex workers and society itself ~ from the sin and abuses of sex work.

On one hand, there are the myths which blame the sex worker for taking ~ nay, making society run this path to ruin. Like the cliched woman who seduces a man away from his family & home, sex workers force uninterested citizens to fornicate. It would be silly if they weren't so loud & insistent in their claims to condemn the lives and livelihoods of those involved. The mere notion that "a sex worker is out there, somewhere" does not induce partaking of her services, nor even having sex in general.

It's the continual misrepresentation of the facts of sex work and the sex industry which perpetuate gross myths.

Just one of which is the matter of rape.

And as Jill and I discussed during my last XBN interview, the claims that sex workers cause & teach men to rape is ridiculous. It's frightening that such out-right lies (and they are out-right lies, not supported by any facts, studies or findings because rape has nothing to do with sex) are still touted as truth.

On the other hand, there's the myth that all sex workers are to be saved from their situations. Some sex workers are victims of trafficking; but that's not all of them. As discussed, some sex workers have drug issues; this can be found in any industry or occupation. And some sex workers have abuse in their pasts. As Jill and I also discussed in my last interview, abuse knows no limits ~ no economic limits, no professional limits. Like drugs, abuse cuts along all layers of society.

The stereotype that "all sex workers are," or have been abused, physically or otherwise, only further stigmatizes and victimizes survivors of abuse. It forces them to remain quiet on the issue; or, for those who admit such things (and by virtue of standing up, become the tallest nail to receive the hardest pounding), it adds to their past pain of reliving via telling the tale (again & again) as well as (and this is what kills me) acts as if the abuse victim had ability to make the choice to become a sex worker.

Now, you may think this sort of well-intentioned absolution is kind, but it's not. This thinking wipes away any notion that the survivor has any ability to think for herself, to evaluate and make choices. It's as if the abuse has now retarded, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, the victim, reducing her to nothing more than an unthinking, unresponsive statistic. How insulting. It would be insulting enough for anyone, but for a person who has survived and overcome? It's horrific.

This proves the need for more sex worker media. And the need for mainstream media to actually interview actual sex workers, in many areas of the industry, in order to begin to glimpse the magnificent differences and the honest realities in our profession. Free speech is supposed to protect all speech, even if it's on taboo topics; and one presumes that those viewing media want the real story.

Since the US is a nation of gluttons, who, feel both entitled to excess as well as duty bound to create laws which will protect them from themselves, the debates on "society" and "culture" should continue.

Even if I believe that we must first become a better parent to our children, monitoring, modeling, and then mentoring them on their way to becoming both educated consumers and tolerant of others, even to the inclusion of the rights of others to participate in things feared to result in damned souls. (Isn't that what god is for, to decide in the end?)

So, leave the judgements of things which do not harm another to your individual deity, please. Laws are to protect us in this world; the afterworld, should you believe there is one, may be what you live your life for, but souls are not what we legislate for or against.

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