I haven’t been completely honest all these years. I mean, I’ve been generally known to be in the anti-pornstitution camp of internet feminism. I’ve spent a fair bit of time railing against the evils of prostitution, the sex industry in general. But all this time I’ve never talked about the source of these opinions.
I hate sex work.
I never thought I would have to say this, I thought it was one of those things that was generally understood. I was wrong though. There are people out there who think I’m driven by a desire to make the industry better. Oh no. I want it ABOLISHED. I have met and interacted with many self-identified “sex workers” and none of them has convinced me of the virtues of this thing they call “sex work” nor of the justice of fully decriminalizing it. To make matters even worse I’ve continued to listen to and support the voices of “butthurt ex sex workers” that call themselves survivors, exited and prostituted women. I do this despite some of them using anonymous internet identities which they claim is done to protect themselves from the abuse they view “out” survivors as experiencing.
Seeing as this is unlikely to change I thought I would leave you with some of the reasons why I hate sex work so you can try to understand and help work with me through these clearly irrational feelings.
Every friend and woman I have known who worked in the sex industry for any period of time has had irreversible psychological and physical damage to her body.
Clients and managers targeted me for harassment and solicitation from the age of 8 ears old.
Clients leave used pornography on the sidewalk of my neighborhood.
I have witnessed empowered sex workers have to get out of moving cars which just can’t be safe.
Read some bad-date lists, those will give you a sense of revulsion for sex work pretty quick.
Read reviews clients have given of their experiences renting another human being’s body for sexual gratification.
Living in a culture where women are all considered to be for sale.
Being subjected to intercourse with men who watch pornography.
Having to live in a society where all women are considered willing if you just break them down enough.
Knowing the number one request for women leaving prostitution is to have dentures.
Reading statistics about the number of women who want out of the industry NOW.
Reading statistics about the number of women in the industry who were put there as children.
Knowing that the average age of entry is 14 years old because that is what clients want.
Reading escort ads where prostituted women lie about their age in order to be more appealing.
The levels of PTSD prostituted women have.
The disproportionate number of indigenous and black women represented in prostitution.
Reading about the conditions of working in legal brothels.
I could go on but I haven’t had my morning coffee yet. I guess I feel better admitting all this. I’m a sex work hater the way I’m a hater of all forms of male violence against women. I hate sanitized words that obscure the reality of what is really happening. For the majority of women in the industry this isn’t sex and it isn’t work. Its living hell. It’s torture. It’s unthinkable in any civil society that respects human rights.
If you hate sex work as well please sign this petition to get amnesty international to rethink it’s dangerous proposal to decriminalize all aspects of the sex trade and listen to survivor voices. You can also use the twitter hashtag #questionsforamnesty to ask them why they are supporting the torture and abuse of women worldwide.