Wednesday, December 17, 2008

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

It's a mouthful, but it's also important.

Millions of women around the world make their living through sex work. Some do it by choice, some do it because they have no choice, and some are forced into it.

In any case, supporting laws that allow more harm to come to women whether they be trafficked or willing participants, does no good. A policy of harm reduction, outlined by Renegade Evolution at Feministe a while back, is a far better way to make sure that women are safe and supported.

I want for sex workers what I want for every woman and man on the planet--safe working conditions, fair wages, and the ability to choose what kind of work they will do to support themselves and their family. I don't believe that sex work is fundamentally dirty, wrong, or exploitative, but that just like working at Wal-Mart or a meatpacking plant or waiting tables, it damn well can be.

Whatever your stance, though, on sex work, I hope we can all agree that allowing violence against sex workers to continue, that a sentence of one day for murdering a "hooker" (yes, that's from an actual headline) and allowing the rape of sex workers to be written off as "theft of services" has to end.

Check Bound, Not Gagged for much more today. And thanks to Amber Rhea for reminding me to write about this.