It’s that time of year again – Sex Workers’ Rights Day is almost here! There are two days each year designed to address sex workers’ second-class status in most of society: on December 17th we mark the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, and on March 3rd we mark Sex Workers’ Rights Day.
I’m glad there are two days because what sometimes gets glossed over in the typically-polarized and regularly pointless debates that go on about sex work is that sex workers have needs other than just not being the objects of violence. And when I say debating is pointless, I don’t mean everything about the positions and ideas brought up in debate is pointless, but rather that the debate structure is pointless and most often we get nothing out of “winning.” (To the extent that one even can win against prohibitionist and pro-criminalization allegations of neoliberal sentiment and pimping. I think mostly we just get sucked into giving attention to a lot of assholes, who gleefully waste our time and energy.)
Anyway, I’ve given some thought over the last few years about what rights I would like to see better protected and what protection would count as meaningful. And ima just keep harping on this till the cows come home, because, even with the substantial progress we’ve seen towards decriminalization of prostitution, I don’t think we’ve really seen any action from the state on prostitutes’ rights. (Not all sex workers are prostitutes, so, while much of this applies equally to other forms of sex work, take any of those kinds of abstractions with a grain of salt. I only know what I know.) Continue reading