This is so important to grasp.
The media glamorizes prostitution and presents the illusion that it’s sexually liberating for women, and sex industry lobbyists claim that it’s just regular work.
There’s nothing normal or empowering about prostitution. The fact is that prostitution intertwines with gendered violence, psychological trauma, rape, slavery and impoverishment. Even in countries where prostitution is legalized, the younger and more vulnerable and less experience you have, the more money you make.
The vast majority of sex workers experience abuse and want to find a way out.
“My experiences show that a woman doesn’t choose prostitution. She is choosing survival. Prostitution isn’t a choice. It is the absence of choice. Nobody makes the choice to be poor, low caste, or female. Society and individuals take advantage of this lack of choice.” – Ruchira Gupta
This is how women in the industry make it through. They tell themselves it’s okay and think of the money they are making. It’s what you do to make the best of a bad situation, and to stop feeling too awful about yourself.
In fact the worst and most vile personal attacks are usually reserved for survivors. why aren’t we putting more emphasis on demonizing the pimps rather than the victims of prostitution?
It’s not surprising that women in prostitution have a much higher mortality rate than other women and are more likely to be murdered.
Many feel that fighting against prostitution means demonizing or slut shame sex workers when it’s about demonizing pimps and protecting the actual sex workers. Making sex work legal without taking pimps out of the picture we aren’t making sex work any safer.
Even when prostitution is legal, women are commodities and not full human beings. Men expect to be allowed to do whatever they want. Racism is also blatant has women’s race and ethnicity was a selling point.
I am all for decriminalizing the victims of prostitution and putting in place help to get out of this line of work, but I am against making prostitution legal. I think we should be concentrating on getting the pimps out of the picture. Who ever is making money out of another person’s body should be punished.
“My pimp would tell me that prostitution was what I wanted to do, constantly for years. So when I hear that prostitution should be legalized because it’s what women want, that’s pimp shit. When I hear how “sex work is women’s rights”, that’s pimp shit” – Unknown
I find that many people hold on to an ideology about sex work being work so strongly that they need to silence sex workers survivors who hold different views, who have experience violence, abuse and exploitation. Who benefits from silencing survivors?
I too was wavering hearing the different point of view, but after listening to numerous accounts of women who are or were sex workers, it would be silly not to side with what they say. This entire debate is about them after all. We should be helping them have a stronger voice, not ignoring what they say to have a psychological debate about something we have no true experience with.
We must speak out against exploitation.