Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What about woman-run agencies?

I would never ever have been stupid enough to work for an agency run by anybody but a female former or current prostitute myself. Certainly, there are all sorts of horror stories out there about pimps who lure women in by posing as the owners of agencies and then essentially kidnap them, and I've always suspected male owners of escort agencies as wanting nothing more than to sample the goods all day long.

That said, just because you're working for somebody who probably won't rape or hit you does not suddenly mean your agency is the greatest thing in the world. Women who run agencies are still doing it for the money, and as with any employer, that precludes having the personal safety and well-being of an employee as a number-one priority, no matter what they say.

Also, the women running these agencies may very well be operating with the same blind spots that affect any number of pro-sex work feminists and pro-feminist sex-workers, not to mention sex-worker "supportive" communities. That is, they can and do actively deny that they are participating in a system that causes harm to anybody. They can and do actively deny that prostitution hurts anybody ever.

When presented with evidence that their employees and friends are being harmed by prostitution, these women ignore in order to protect their worldview, resulting in further harm to and lack of justice for those working under them. When pressed, they are just as likely to lash out and blame the victims of prostitution (prostitutes) for anything that goes wrong as any "sex-positive" feminist. It's akin to a man blaming a woman for getting raped rather than risk considering the patriarchal system in which we live.

Certainly, a woman who actively promotes sex work in an attempt to make herself feel better about her own choices and enforce a worldview which allows her to keep calling herself a "sex positive sex worker" is often going to be an active recruiter of more confused young women. A woman who makes all or most of her income by prostituting other women is going to have a strong incentive to recruit as well. And recruiting women to sex work, which is personally, emotionally, and mentally destructive, is evil regardless of the gender of the perpetrator.

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