#FacesofProstitution, Pretty Woman (Starring Julia Roberts) & Sex Work
I want you to consider this. What is the difference between sex trafficking and sex work?
Why do people of various backgrounds, races, varying education, life experiences, gender, economic situations CHOOSE to be sex workers?
What images come to mind when you see the word or phrases – prostitute, sex worker, sex slave, hooker, whore, trafficking victim? Do they all mean the same thing to you or do they each have a different meaning or image?
After seeing the hash tag #facesofprostitution and the reactions from those who work in the industry by choice via Twitter and reading the article on Mamamia in which this hash tag was created – The tragic reality behind the inspiration for ‘Pretty Woman’ By Laila Mickelwait (which was later removed from the Mamamia website – But you can read it here on Madision Missinas website) – it gets you thinking about some of these questions. They are things we need to consider.
Some of these thoughts are things I have touched on in previous blog posts (which ill reference at the end of this blog). But consider this. Pretty Woman, while doesn’t have a realistic portrayal of the sex industry for everyone who works within it, lets look at it objectively, it is a romantic comedy, a movie, fiction written using a writers imagination. It is for entertainment..
Yes, people may gain opinions on sex work that are incorrect by watching it. But you also have to consider that many watch it purely because they enjoy it as a movie and know its just fiction.
There may be some who decide to go into sex work based on what they see in this movie, but personally from my interactions with a range of sex workers in Australia I haven’t met one who has said they chose this industry based purely on watching that movie. Many have made the choice based on such varied reasons.. Such as it fits with their lifestyle, its something they have been interested in, because financially it has its benefits for many, they are interested in sexuality, maybe its because it fits in with their uni schedule there are so many reasons people CHOOSE to work in the sex industry.
So I have to question the percentage of people who chose this line of work based purely on what they see in Pretty Woman..
Now I want you to understand I by no means want to trivialise anyone’s experience in this industry.. There are many good things to it. But there are bad sides as well. Yes, there are those who are forced/trafficked in this industry.. Yes there are those who choose and don’t choose to do sex work who have been raped or assaulted or even murdered…. Yes there are those who haven’t had positive experiences..
But people need to start listening, start taking note of the fact that there are many out there, just check out Twitter for example, who also have fantastic experiences. Who choose to do sex work, who enjoy what they do, who find empowerment from it. Who believe that Sex Work is a choice for many, who believe SEX WORK IS WORK.
While my knowledge isn’t as extensive as others in this industry and would encourage their input on this post. There are so many “rescue” organisations around the world. But the ones I have seen discussed seem to have the belief that all people who CHOOSE to work in this industry as well as those who don’t choose to are all victims and are all in need of rescuing. And they seem to get alot of funding on this basis. But how many of those that they say they have “rescued” wanted to be and how many didn’t?
Now consider this.. My name is Krissy. I am an Australian Based Sex worker. I don’t do drugs. I was not abused as a child. My parents have been together since they were 19. My dad is a teacher, my mums a nurse. I never went without. I have had a varied career and education outside sex work. I chose this work because its something I wanted to do. My experiences as a sex worker have 94% of the time have been good, the other 6% have been negative experiences but I have had good and bad times within other careers I have had over my lifetime… Now the person advertised under me on an escort directory their experience is going to be completely different from mine and its not my place to tell their story. But I can tell you its up to them to tell you, don’t make assumptions about their choices or their experiences.
Thanks for reading
#FacesOfProstitution has mobilised Australia’s proud sex workers – Daily Life
What do I mean when I say “sex worker”? Why I’m against an overly-broad definition – feminist.com
As a sex worker, being told I’m a victim is offensive – Madison Missina
A Feminist’s Argument On How Sex Work Can Benefit Women – Student Pulse
#FacesOfProstitution selfies challenge the public perception of sex work – Sarah Duncan – Sheknows
Issues & Terminology – Scarlet Alliance
Links to Research – Including papers on Trafficking – Scarlet Alliance
Human Trafficking – World Health Organisation
Sex Trafficking Acts, Means and Purpose – United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Sex Workers – World Health Organisation
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