MAN! I was just angsting about work and my life and how I want to crawl back into bed and not work and then I read abt how minimum wage workers are striking for a pitiful living wage and I got SO PUMPED FOR STRIPPING! Yeah bitch! The sex industry! Let’s DO THIS
Instead of catering to mainstream rhetoric, Griffin could be using her platform to talk about the dire lack of social services for sex workers outside of prison, due to criminalisation and social stigma – and use her spotlight to bring the public a far more nuanced look at the sex trade.
There are many unhappy workers in the sex industry, just as there are many unhappy workers in many other kinds of work, and criminalisation only serves to exacerbate the level of exploitation and violence in this market; nevertheless, sex workers demand the same human rights and labour rights as all other people. Moral reform lectures, delivered to prison inmates, are not the best use of state resources when many other preventative social services are direly needed.
Ok, sex work exists because men are willing to pay for sex and sexxii services. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be a sex industry. I mean sure, you might have the odd escort here or there, but in general women don’t have the disposable income for it. I’m not sure when anyone claimed otherwise.
And because your moral and ethical system sets more of a value on sex-as-intimate-and-integral-to-self than on food service doesn’t mean that all women share your views, and it doesn’t make either view wrong.
But we do live in a world where ideals need to coexist with life, and I’m not sure where you get off saying that someone who decides to work fifteen hours a week because night childcare is cheaper and easier to come by, and it frees up her days and gives her money for food and rent—where you get off saying that this person is a clueless tool of the patriarchy. Compromise is inevitable, unless you have a lot of money, and if you do, did it come from a morally unimpeachable source?
Do you think you and your friends are the only people who know about classism and feminism? Activism is great but to focus on it exclusively is a surefire way to burnout, and more importantly, people have concrete and immediate needs. No, sex workers don’t have more agency than waitresses, but we do often have more money and free time, which translates into a kind of economic power that can compensate for being marginalized and endangered. And if you think that sex workers don’t consider these things… you’re wrong.
Not all sex workers are as privileged as I am, many don’t like it (I don’t like it) but to write us all off as tools of the patriarchy is both shortsighted and unhelpful. Do you think sex workers don’t work to help each other and end sex trafficking? Does the fact that we sell sex mean that we have nothing of value to say—do you think sex workers don’t want to eliminate poverty and coercion and abuse? Are you really that shortsighted? Do you really live in a world where everything is so cut and dry, that selling sex makes us so stupid and useless that we have absolutely nothing of value to contribute to activism or even dialogue?
ONE OF the biggest myths about the United States is that it’s a mostly “middle class” society, with poverty confined to a minority of the population.
The reality is exactly the opposite: The vast majority of people in the United States will experience poverty and economic insecurity for a significant portion of their lives.
A recent Associated Press feature article—relying on data from an exhaustive survey to be published next year by Oxford University Press—has put this in stark terms: Around four out of every five people in the U.S. will endure unemployment, receive food stamps and other forms of government aid, and/or have an income below 150 percent of the official poverty line for at least one year of their lives before age 60.
That startling statistic shows the truth about a society where there are a lot more have-nots or have-littles than have-enoughs. But there are so many other myths and misconceptions about poverty in America. For example, the AP and Oxford statistics show that while people of color suffer economic difficulties at disproportionately high rates, large numbers of whites fall into the same category. Similarly, more whites benefit from social programs such as welfare and food stamps than any other group.
These facts contradict the racist stereotypes about who is poor or at risk of falling into poverty. And they underline the reality that the vast majority of Americans of all races are in the same boat—they scramble to get by, at best—while only a small minority of people live comfortably throughout their lives, and a tiny few are obscenely rich.
I wrote this days ago and then forgot to post it because I was running late to work.
In answer to any lackwit who’s ever asked any variation of “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”
It comes as no surprise to most people that a worker making minimum wage would have a difficult time being able to afford the rent. After all, minimum wage is, by definition, the lowest wage people in just about every profession can make. What makes this graphic shocking, however, is just how far out of reach the rent is in so many place. In Hawaii, a minimum wage worker must work 175 hours a week, 52 weeks a year to afford the rent. In Utah, it’s 77 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Even in the most affordable place on the map, Puerto Rico, a worker cannot afford rent and utilities on a modest apartment working less than 55 hours per week, 52 weeks a year.
It is tempting to brush away these figures by saying that minimum wage isn’t meant to be a living wage, or that not everyone should try to rent a two-bedroom apartment. But as we note in our report, recent analysis shows that 78% of minimum wage workers work at least 20 hours per week, and 80% are at least 20 years old. So when we’re talking about minimum wage workers, we’re not talking about high school kids in after-school jobs. And with the economy in the shape it’s in, we know that many of these minimum wage workers are people who would work better, higher-paying jobs if they could, but those jobs are just not available to them.