Sex Workers Unite Post

Sex Workers Unite discusses the history of sex work and how the stigma against it has affected its workers and the industry as a whole. The book pleads for recognition of sex work as actual work and deserving of all the employment benefits and respect that come with other industries. The real story of the 1969 Stonewall Riot is revealed for the participants were actually “sex workers, transgender people, hustlers, tricks, drug users, and drug sellers.” This contradicts the politically correct narrative that is given to the public which celebrates the ‘gays’ and the ‘lesbians’ but leaves out everyone else (9). “Whorephobia” creates this stigma around sex work that often excludes their roles in social activism and social works. Groups like COYOTE¬† and WHO began to advocate for sex workers’ rights. Sex workers do not like how they are created to be victims in need of rescuing. Feminists who sought to rescue sex workers “condemned sexual freedom for women and for men, and instead sought to perpetuate sexual shame” (39).

Later chapters discuss how technology changed the industry introducing the possibilities of the internet and video media. “Anti-public sex crusades, globalization, urban redevelopment and neoliberalism” also altered the industry (121). Brutality by police and the public against sex workers is also discussed. There is an extreme lack of concern for the welfare of sex workers, thus many murders, assaults, and rapes have gone without justice because of what work the victim engaged in. This lack of concern has allowed actual serial killers like Gary Ridgeway to keep killing for decades. In films about the industry, it’s noted ironically that “sex workers’ ‘marginality is not a function of their otherness but of their ordinariness. They’re too disturbingly like us to be acknowledged” (186). In other words, sex workers are just like everybody else and that is what scares society.


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