Yet again I’ve been trying to avoid making my own opinions about sex work on this site because I feel utterly unqualified to talk on the subject. HOWEVER, today feminaust received a media release from the Scarlet Alliance which indicated they were after some media and I guess I can’t help but respond because let’s be honest. When have I ever not loved a bit of controversy?.
Some of you will be familiar with the involvement feminaust has had with the sex work debate over the last few months starting here, followed by this, responded to by this and finally put to rest by this…or so I thought. If you’re following us on twitter you might have noticed a bit of a tete a tete with @randydollars a few weeks ago (which resulted in me having a major think about the way I use language to disempower) and now Four Corners and The Age are getting in the mix with their “investigation”.
I wasn’t going to respond to it because honestly, I didn’t watch it and am fairly sure I won’t agree with anything they report on but the pressure is mounting and with #FUCsex currently trending on twitter and awesome responses like this one from ryy popping up I guess I thought I should weigh in (although after half a bottle of good red, I’m not sure how much sense I’m going to make).
So what do I think? My opinion is actually pretty simple really.
- Talk to sex workers
- Stop using emotive and disempowering language like “selling their bodies” and “trade in flesh”.
- Start looking at sex work as a legitimate industry and demand legislative and policing changes accordingly (I don’t get STI screened every month just because I work with young people or interrogated to check whether I REALLY want to be running a website)
- Remember the people who care the most about people exploited by the sex industry are the people who want the sex industry to be the most legitimate. SO START TALKING TO THEM!
feminaust believes in the rights for women to work to live, live to work, exist free from discrimination, disempowerment, negative social stereotypes and in particular to be safe from being “rescued” by anyone who thinks they know better. Whether that is because they’re gay, a sex worker, a circus clown or a CEO.
Finally, in respect of the men and women who actually know what they’re talking about, work together, volunteer, support and mentor and lobby and fight for sex worker rights I will respond to the Four Corners program not in my own words but in the words of someone far better qualified and knowledgeable than I; Elena Jeffereys from the Scarlet Alliance;
“Prevention includes better access to visas, improved methods of migration, removing barriers to independent travel and migration, and providing information about the laws and human rights in Australia,”
“Access to visas will prevent trafficking-like situations. A witch hunt will not.”
feminaust will try to include as many legitimate responses to this debate on our Welcome to Monday roundup next week. In the meantime check these ones out;