Monday, 17 December 2012

Sex workers need Rights not Rescue!

Dec 17th is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. From a feminist and also a trade unionist perspective, I know supporting Sex Workers Rights is the logical thing to do.

Not all Sex Workers hate their jobs, not all Sex Workers are forced to be Sex Workers, Sex workers want RIGHTS not RESCUE. People should stop acting like knights in shining armor rushing to save ‘scarlet’ queens!

EVERY WORKER, whether a banker, micro biologist, intern, salesperson, street hawker, housewife, surrogate or sex worker should be protected from FORCED LABOUR. Yes, everyone’s body is being purchased for labour and sometimes for marriage too. I just wish people would know the difference between forced labour and one made out of choice. And the fact is that not many workers are 100% happy with their jobs and if they had a choice, many would gladly change jobs. I then wonder at those who scream that Sex workers do not like their job. I mean, can you truly say you love your job and wouldn't give it up even if you won a jackpot lottery?

It is not just people in low paying jobs that are not happy with their present jobs, this also include people in high, medium and low paying jobs i.e. bankers, doctors, lawyers, receptionists, nurses, soldiers etc. I just get pissed when the whole attention of "BUT THEY HATE THEIR JOB" is directed at sex workers.

There are many people especially immigrants with Masters Degrees and PhDs who now work in supermarket chain stores like Walmart, Sainsbury or Tesco as security men and cashiers. No they aren’t happy they went through the rigours and expenses of graduate school to end up with certificates that don’t pay their bills, they are therefore FORCED by economic, political and social situations to settle for jobs that would at least pay their bills and some settle for MARRIAGE to keep a roof over their heads, while some settle for commercial sex work.

Many people are choosing to be Interns and Volunteers because it fills the void before they finally find employment. Gone are the days when people do volunteer and internship work just to help out, now it is because they can't get a job and it also looks good on the CV, it is basically like doing good to earn ‘Paradise’ points on your card so you can make it to Heaven and live happily ever after with Sky daddy!

If some people decided that they'd rather jerk off in front of a webcam and be paid for it rather than take up a job as a Walmart assistant, or volunteer for a job they really should be paid for doing,  RESPECT THEIR CHOICE. For all you know, some could still win the lottery and decide they’d still rather be sex workers.

It is really none of our business what consenting adults do with their bodies, I still fail to see how my being a feminist means i have to hate sex work or try to save sex workers. I think it is about choice, respect and rights. And just like I’d say with my sexuality, your approval is not needed, and I think that is what sex workers are saying, they do not need feminists approval, what they want is RIGHTS like every other worker.

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