Like a lot of you, I marched this weekend.
It was amazing to be around so many women who have had enough. Who are committed to shaking some shit up so our voices are heard and MAYBE ACTUALLY LISTENED TO THIS TIME.
With a fat Sharpie I scrawled on a giant sheet of bristol board one one side: MY BODY IS MY BUSINESS and on the other SEX WORK IS WORK.
However, as I raised it over my head and into the air, I felt pangs of insecurity. I felt unpopular in my belief fostered by my personal experience that sex work is just that: work.
I'm a cis-gendered white woman, and my branch of sex work - stripping - is legal. As far as sex work goes, I'm swaddled in privilege. Unlike many sex workers, I won't be arrested just for showing up to work. I have a dressing room that's my clubhouse, and huge bouncers leering in every corner of my work environment. If shit gets whack, there's CCTV to back me up if I choose to go to the authorities. So many of my sisters don't have these privileges. I am out and proud. This is a privilege. For fear of losing their jobs, homes, having their children taken away, or worse, many sex workers cannot be. For those of us privileged enough to be out, we must fight for those who cannot.
There's been a lot of back and forth on the Women's March's mission statement about its inclusion of sex workers' rights. Gloria Steinem hates us, but thank goddess for Janet Mock and her determination to be part of a movement that includes the rights of all women to do whatever they want with their bodies.
I found this poster on Instagram, and reposted it with permission from a fellow sex worker who chose to remain anonymous:
And then my fellow Happy Slut Valerie Stunning said it so right that I must include it all here:
ATTENTION CAPTAIN SAVE-A-HO'S 🙋
No one here on Team Consenting Sex Worker is pretending the dark side doesn't exist.
What we're asking is that you acknowledge:
WE EXIST, we account for the majority and that respecting CONSENTING SEX WORK is integral to the advancement of the feminist agenda and human rights.
It's really getting old, this being passed over in the movement because you validate dangerous, misinformed stigmas.
I challenge you to engage in a conversation with us.
To listen to us. To try and understand us. To invite us to the table when you write your laws about us and our businesses. To discover what it is that will actually protect us and inevitably advance the cause.
Or is that too intimidating? 😶
I know. Us women have been systematically conditioned (for what seems like foreva eva) to condemn our pussies. We've let our deeply seeded resentment inform how we feel about, and, express our sexuality for way too long.
But please recognize, by refusing to acknowledge consensual sex work(ers)- you contribute to the very problem you wish to eradicate.
You keep us marginalized and diminish our voice. You, yes you, contribute to the problem.
Don't be part of the problem.
- Reposted with permission from the Instagram of Valerie Stunning
There is a lot of work to be done, sisters.