by The Council of Disobedient Women
There are over 40 million women in prostitution in the world, and we’ve got some questions for people who say the sex industry is a liberating work environment and that prostitution is just like any other job.
Where are the workers’ rights?
What other job has the inside of the worker’s body as the workplace? Why is the inside of a woman’s body considered both a service provider and the product?
Why don’t prostitutes’ unions have collective agreements that stipulate the tasks of the job? How many times in an 8-hour shift can the mouth, vagina, anus of the worker be penetrated? Is there a safe limit?
Why do pro-sex trade advocates talk of harm minimisation and at the same time claim that the sex industry is not harmful? Why is the rate of PTSD higher in prostituted women than returned soldiers?
Ninety-nine percent of prostituted women have been victims of violence and they are injured more often than workers in the most dangerous occupations. Why is there is zero concern about workplace deaths in the sex trade and Worksafe in NZ completely ignore it?
Does ACC* cover time off work for a bruised body, a torn vagina, a bleeding anus? If prostitution is a job like any other, where are the unions advocating for safety gear? Why are women in prostitution not issued stab vests, boots, helmets, face shields? What other industry’s union suggests workers leave DNA evidence at work in case of their murder? (See the NZPC advice booklet).
Consent or coercion
Why is the unwanted sex in prostitution treated as consensual sex? Elsewhere in society this is recognised as rape. Does the exchange of money negate or lessen an act of abuse? If a sex offender pays money to his rape victim did the abuse not happen? Why is it acceptable for women’s bodies to be purchased for male pleasure, where only one party wants the sex?
It is universally recognised that women in prostitution dissociate to cope with the unwanted sex. As a result drug and alcohol abuse is common. Why in this job is it accepted that the workers will use alcohol and drugs, routinely in fact, at work? Why is being stoned or drunk during sex considered non-consensual sex in society but a norm and consensual for the sex trade?
Powerful jobs are dominated by males. Yet over 90 percent of prostitutes are female and 99 percent of the customers male.
In what other industry or service does the customer demand to be lied to? What other job has all the workers using aliases?
If prostitution is an expression of self-determination why do so many prostitutes want to exit the industry? Why are there no services or funding for women who want to leave the industry when so many want out?
Slavery was abolished so why do we still have prostitution
Why do people say prostitution is the oldest profession when it is well known that farming was? Why do some people say there will always be a sex trade? Why do they say it cannot be stopped when slavery was banned, and dangerous jobs like working with asbestos have been deemed too dangerous to allow? Child abuse and murder are not accepted despite also being prevalent and showing no signs of abating and they are not accepted as something we have to normalise.
Is trafficked prostitution very different to local prostitution? Is economic coercion into prostitution very different from physical coercion into the sex trade? Can they be separated given that women who are trafficked are also in economic strife? Is it not revealing that the punters do not distinguish between trafficked and ‘non-trafficked’ prostituted women?
Why is it that in Scandanavia – where women have the least inequality – buying sex is illegal? This Nordic Model penalises the punters, not the women in prostitution.
Is being subjected to unwanted sex a job? Is it cool and liberating? Are some women cut out for this work while it’s too tough for other women? Are there really two types of women? Or is there just a truckload of misogyny being wheeled about?
On International Working Women’s Day 2020 we say no more lies, end the barbaric practice of men purchasing women for sex.