Meg Lulofs (sexylibrarian) wrote in applied_liberty,
Meg Lulofs
sexylibrarian
applied_liberty

Liberty and the sex trade.

This just in: new anti-prostitution legislation will focus on johns and pimps instead of sex workers.

I am willing to bet that most of us here agree that it is any person's right to sell their own body in the same way that you would sell your time or other efforts. It's also perfectly legit to buy something for a market determined value.

That said, do we owe sex workers anything extra because of the nature of their work? Or, have their rights always been diminished and the idea of "owing them something more" really means "giving them their due?" The International Sex Workers Union has, I think,

  • Decriminalisation of all aspects of sex work involving consenting adults.
  • The right to form and join professional associations or unions.
  • The right to work on the same basis as other independent contractors and
    employers and to receive the same benefits as other self-employed or contracted
    workers.
  • No taxation without such rights and representation.
  • Zero tolerance of coercion, violence, sexual abuse, child labour, rape and
    racism.
  • Legal support for sex workers who want to sue those who exploit their
    labour.
  • The right to travel across national boundaries and obtain work permits
    wherever we live.
  • Clean and safe places to work.
  • The right to choose whether to work on our own or co-operatively with other
    sex workers.
  • The absolute right to say no.
  • Access to training - our jobs require very special skills and professional
    standards.
  • Access to health clinics where we do not feel stigmatised.
  • Re-training programmes for sex workers who want to leave the industry.
  • An end to social attitudes which stigmatise those who are or have been sex
    workers.
. Well, some of them at least. Here is their website.

What do we think? What would be an appropriate, liberty minded solution to the sex trade?
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  • 7 comments
An end to social attitudes which stigmatise those who are or have been sex workers.

That's pretty hard stuff, don't you think? You can change social attitudes educating people (and the best way to teach is with example), or imposing obedience through fear of reprisals, which is the favorite way of most people who support a statist system. They deserve they share, as self-employed people, the same rights (adn the same obligations), but we do not owe them more than that.

Having said that, demonizing "johns" is as bad a solution as demonizing sex workers. It will not improve the situation: on the contrary, it will add another stigma to an already stigma-filled economic field.
I'm with you that demonizing anyone involved in the sex trade isn't going to help destigmatize the industry.
I could see how An end to social attitudes... could be seen as the overall goal, but I'm with you, orlandobr, that social attitudes are not achieved through mandate. Rather, they are a product of institutional change, and typically take at least a generation to visibly see.

As for whether or not we owe them anything extra, I think this could be asked in the context of what other types of work receive "special" protections, and why? What kind of special treatment are we talking about here? Giving sex workers rights and recognition is only a start; I agree with most of the provisions on the above list such as equal representation, equal access to health care, equal access to safe work spaces, and so on.
Thank you. :^)

As for whether or not we owe them anything extra, I think this could be asked in the context of what other types of work receive "special" protections, and why? What kind of special treatment are we talking about here?

Exactly. Since they are exposed to (I am afraid this is an incomplete list) venereal diseases and violence (from clients, pimps and the State), the special protection should be related to these two topics. No more, no less.

And, despite the point about "changing social atitudes," I also agree with the rest of the provitions: they are demanding what other people in different fields already have, or, at least, have a right to.
I'm all for the same legal and Constitutional rights entitled to those outside of prostitution. As far as the demands for an end to social stigma, though: They're telling others how to think and feel, and what to believe. Not cool, as far as I'm concerned. And unionized labor is not exactly a cause I'm for. Also, they're not innately entitled to access to medical clinics full of pro-prostitution people who will all feel the same toward them. They're entitled to take the same privatized steps toward obtaining healthcare that the rest of us are, and nothing more.

Just as an observation (absolutely not a polemic): I noticed the spelling of words such as "programme" and "socialisation", which suggests a British or Commonwealth author. That would probably explain the influence of socialism on the list of demands. Just an observation, not an attack on anything...
I noticed the spelling of words such as "programme" and "socialisation", which suggests a British or Commonwealth author. That would probably explain the influence of socialism on the list of demands.

Nice catch, and you're very likely right.
"Decriminalisation of all aspects of sex work involving consenting adults.

The right to form and join professional associations or unions.

The right to work on the same basis as other independent contractors and employers and to receive the same benefits as other self-employed or contracted workers.

No taxation without such rights and representation.
Legal support for sex workers who want to sue those who exploit their
labour.

The right to travel across national boundaries and obtain work permits
wherever we live.

The right to choose whether to work on our own or co-operatively with other
sex workers.

The absolute right to say no.
"

These 7 are pretty good


"Zero tolerance of coercion, violence, sexual abuse, child labour, rape and racism.

Um, I can see everything but the Racisim. Does that mean I as a client have to take a provider with no choice of their race? What if I am not attracted to "Black", "Oriental", "Indian", etc. women. Seems problematic at best to impliment. I can understand no racisim when you are hiring a computer programmer but when the persons body itself is the product race kind of plays a necessary role. Saying no racisim here would be like saying Hollywood cannot discriminate and much hire a Jewish man to play Martin Luther King in a movie.


"Clean and safe places to work.

Access to training - our jobs require very special skills and professional standards.

Access to health clinics where we do not feel stigmatised.

Re-training programmes for sex workers who want to leave the industry. "


I'm sorry but I don't see these as being the governments job to provide for anyone. If they want it they can demand it in heir labor negotiations but it is not societies job to guarantee it.


"Access to health clinics where we do not feel stigmatised.

An end to social attitudes which stigmatise those who are or have been sex workers. "


With these, how can the government or anyone really guarantee that you will not "feel" stigmatized or that someone else won't actually stigmatize you? They can pass all the laws they like and it won't change how you feel or others think.