This wave of exhaustion comes over me whenever I accidentally stumble on like some anti-sex work post by someone I like/follow. My brain shudders to a halt, the tired desire to just peace out and never talk to them again warring with stuttering thoughts like
“But you don’t actually know what you’re talking about?”
“You have no personal experience to draw on here, you clearly don’t count many sex workers amongst your acquaintance, I would venture to say you haven’t spent much time researchingwhat you’re saying—but you think it’s oppressive and wrong and must be stopped. Not all opinions are equally valid here, bro.”
Sexual abuse happens in many jobs across the board, I’ve been assaulted by friends and family and threatened with rape by white business men on the street; this notion that the addition of money into the equation somehow makes… I mean what, makes rape more likely? That’s what they’re saying and that’s so funny to me. It’s not the lack of legal protections, it’s not that we live in a misogynist patriarchal racist society, it’s not that women’s bodies are already seen as disposable and not worthy of protection, it’s the money. Trading sex/ualized services for money is the problem here.
What makes sexual abuse MORE LIKELY is being an invisible and criminalized population, being known as a population that people think are basically unrapeable—which is not unrelated to the feminist argument that once money enters the picture rape is inevitable, like they’re both sides of the same fallacious stupid ass coin—and having this backed up by the lack of legal protections, by the way cops laugh at and abuse sex workers and get away with it. And so the answer is to make it more illegal or stigmatized. Of course of course, how could I have been so foolish? (bc I’m a stupid sex worker)
The assumption that trading money for services is somehow more corrosive and coercive when the services are sexual is so offensive. Do we look like Walter White to you, that once money enters the equation all scale, personal preference, and personal ethics get thrown out the window? Do you feel the same concern for the banker whose pay check requires her to foreclose on people’s homes?
Sex workers are willing and able to make judgment calls about what they will and won’t do for money, and what would actually be useful in protecting sex workers from harm is if we weren’t seen as a disposable population that no one gives a shit about, forced underground so that we have no recourse when people violate us.
Plus again with the notion that sex is some deeply private thing that money violates. Like, it’s not? not for everyone anyway. Oh my god I go to work and I flirt with men and I play with their hair and I get paid and then I go home and day dream about making out with my crush like my emotions are not the finite resource here.