Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What's your problem with street-walking?

It's ridiculously dangerous and the compensation is ridiculously low. It's a lower caste of sex work with higher risk and less pay that seems practically invented for women who society thinks of as somehow "undesirable" due to their being transsexual, an ethnic minority, poor or working-class. A woman who insists that she enjoys street-walking and that I should not presume to infringe on her rights by interfering is

1) insisting that she likes a high risk of STIs, murder, rape, beatings, arrest, police abuse, and being forced into sexual slavery by any pimp who decides that she isn't doing well enough on her own. This is mental illness and emotional disturbance, not free choice.

2) desperately trying to make herself feel better about trauma by pretending she enjoys it.

3) the vast minority.

I am very tired of privileged sex workers trying to refute my claims of inherent class and race bias in the sex industry by telling me that they know of one or a few women who claim to be okay as street walkers. This is exactly the same thing as a man claiming that sexism does not exist because he or his friends are nice people or a white person claiming racism doesn't exist because they as an individual are not racist. The fact that you can point to a few self-proclaimed happy hookers doesn't mean as much when I can track down a few hundred thousand who are not.

You can also point out to me that you know of an individual black woman in the upper crust of the sex industry (usually compensating for her color by acting or being as upper-class as possible), but the exceptions prove the rule of a racist classist industry- they certainly don't suddenly dispel all charges of bigotry. They just add the charge of tokenism.

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