Can we just disagree to agree. Seriously. When speaking about all the different organizations of sex worker rights and issues and advocacy, there is still dissension within certain groups and between different associations overall. Many things we can all agree to, such as legitimacy and harm reduction and individual rights. When discussions arise about how we go about it and whether or not there should be regulation and what regulations – well best thing to do is just duck until the fireworks subside.
This actually happens between women who are experienced sex-workers, prostitutes, escorts, et al. Don’t get me started on women who have never been paid for sex but who have ‘talked’ to hookers and therefore think they are experts. Regardless of those people, women who have experience in prostitution are not really experts on prostitution because quite simply, there are different levels and very very rarely is there a woman who has experienced all levels. For example, being a streetwalker in one city for six months 25 years ago does not make me all knowing about issues faced by streetwalkers nor would I feel comfortable trying to go about the best way to meet their needs. I’ve never been a high dollar hottie either (the level that can command and often receives up towards $5000 for an hour of their services). I don’t even know if they have issues or problems. Yet, some organizations try to lump all levels into one neat category of prostitution and it just can’t happen which causes the dissension amongst ourselves. Being that most of my experience has been in the internet escort variety and most of my peers are internet escorts, I think it’s fairly safe to say that many of the issues that I have or see happening to others can be related to by internet escorts. Guess what? Even my peers and I disagree about many things.
But for right now it doesn’t matter. We have hurdles to leap before we start figuring out the best way to handle things. Only then can we really sit down and calmly (hopefully) discuss pro’s and con’s and relevancy or needs for any type of services etc.
Here’s an article that rubs me the wrong way, naturally it is written by some woman who has never been a hooker but is part of some coalition gang against trafficking. This is in regards to a re-assessment of Australia prostitution laws. Please note how we (prostitutes in general) are being accused of spouting rhetoric now:
The ACT government is reviewing its 1992 Prostitution Act, and has called for public submissions. Not surprisingly, the sex industry has been quick to submit its wish-list on prostitution, and Phillip Thomson’s article in The Canberra Times nicely summarizes the demands the industry is making of the ACT government. These include:
- Normalize prostitution as a legitimate business activity by removing zoning restrictions on brothels that are currently relegated to industrialized areas
- Open up more opportunities for organized escort prostitution networks by lifting the one-person ‘sole-operator’ restriction for prostitution businesses operating outside of industrial areas
- Remove official registration requirements for one-person ‘sole-operator’ prostitution businesses
Through lobby organizations like the EROS Foundation and ACT SWOP in Canberra, the sex industry pursues its demands under the rhetoric of ‘safety for sex workers’. This rhetoric runs along the following lines:
- Women risk danger if they must commute to brothels in industrial areas, because these areas are ‘dark’ and unpopulated at night
- Women risk danger if they must operate prostitution businesses as one-person ‘sole-operators’ from home, because they can’t employ drivers to act as security guards
- Women risk exposure and social discrimination if they must register with government as ‘sex workers’
While the sex industry pursues its business aims under the rhetorical guise of ‘safety for sex workers’, its profits are derived from the sexual degradation and exploitation of society’s most vulnerable people.
After reading that last sentence, I don’t know why I even bothered reading the rest. But unfortunately I did which ended up being a bunch of accusations against “poor vulnerable women” with the equivalence of peanuts for brain matter. What really pisses me off is this:
So, it’s unlikely the industry gives a damn about the personal security, integrity and individual growth of the women it sells as live sex dolls.
…The industry’s real agenda is obscured by its ‘safety for sex workers’ rhetoric…
WHOA! WHAT? Anybody else pissed off now? They are saying that organizations like SWOP, Desiree Alliance, et al have hidden agendas that have nothing to do with caring about what happens to each other. The rest of this crap is pretty much a run down of what the author BELIEVES to be the real reason behind our so called hidden agenda. Yep, bunch of shit if you ask me. Read it if you want.
No one, NO ONE, has done more to harm women in the industry than our so called saviors from damnation Farley-ites. Not rapists, not serial killers. So they are trying to convince women not to get into it because it is a form of paid rape. So, what you are telling these men are that if they pay a woman then they are allowed to rape her? They are telling these men that these women are already victims so whatever you do to them doesn’t matter. I mean how can you victimize a victim? Ooh these women are weak and vulnerable. Give me a break. You are indicating that we won’t fight back, that we won’t tell anyone, that we won’t protect ourselves. Geez thanks. And you wonder why our profession is dangerous.
What Farleys want us to be:
Downtrodden, defeated wimps
Who we really are:
Women who will kick your ass unless you behave.
So which version do you want to be?