Sex WorkDecember 14, 2008
I found myself at the Oyster Bar last night, talking to young man and the conversation somehow steered to sex work. He found this an odd turn of events since I first introduced myself as a boring accounting person, then mentioned sex toys which led to this discussion of sex workers and the very basic rights that they as workers, as human beings, deserve but do not get.
As I spoke, I realized how much I had learned about sex work since getting involved with the calendar project. In my tunnel vision, I had really only considered the sex workers I know. All of whom are educated, smart, middle to upper class women doing what they do because they enjoy doing it. It’s a choice and one, because of their relatively comfortable life styles, support systems and education, they can leave at anytime. Of course, I knew that there were others in different and dire circumstances, but until doing my research it didn’t seem to effect me.
But it does. The way we treat sex workers affects us all. As thinking, caring and compassionate human beings we need to realize that when we marginalize anyone, we marginalize ourselves.
The fact that the US ties HIV prevention funds to the signing of an “anti-prostitution” pledge has had a profound effect on the poorest people on this planet, those with the least resources have seen what little they had to rely on simply vanish. For some, the world’s neediest nations, a bed to sleep in, a place to bathe and use a toilet, medical attention and condoms, as well as places to feel a sense of community, these all have gone away due to lack of funding. Watch the video “Taking the Pledge” to learn more about the impact of that policy.
There is a lot to learn about sex work and sex workers and I suggest you do what I did, educate yourselves by going to the following sources.
The Sex Workers Project
And, you can do more to help. If you’re in New York, you can join us in Washington Square Park on Wednesday, December 17th, from 7PM to 8PM for a vigil to end violence against sex workers. Wear red. Go here to find where you can participate in your own city.
Of course, you can buy our awesome calendar. Every cent of profit goes directly to Sex Work Awareness.
You can help us in our efforts to make December Sex Work Awareness month by asking two friends to write something that enlightens us about the realities of sex work and the issues sex workers face. Let’s spread the word, we have a voice here on the internet and we can use it for more than sex toy reviews and erotica writing. We can use our voices to make a difference, to spread hope and love and enlightenment.