“Sex Work” Hides Exploitation of Women

cni-not-for-sale-photoThe term ‘sex work’ obscures the reality of exploitation and violence in prostitution and the sex industry as a whole.

Behind the libertarian rhetoric of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’, many sex work advocates seem truly focused on eroticizing domination and the profits to be gained therein – not the reality of a racist, misogynistic enterprise.

Seattle was the scene of a recent series of events by a group of “sex worker activists”, one whom we will quote here:

“As somebody very leery of using the criminal-justice system to curb human behavior when it comes to sex, I find this very disconcerting that we want to punish men for having sex, especially when the women are consenting and wanting money,” said Melinda Chateauvert, a retired history professor and the author of “Sex Workers Unite!”

Asked about women who turn their earnings over to a pimp, Chateauvert, who will be speaking at a couple of the Seattle events, said: “What she does with the money once she earns it is her choice.”

That last paragraph is particularly outrageous.

The argument that prostituted women ‘consent’ to sex is built on a fallacy. Nearly 90% of women in prostitution say that they want out immediately. Prostituted women are often handled by pimps or madames, who take a portion (or all) of their earnings via coercion or violence. Choice is meaningless in a circumstance like this.

Choice does not also designate justice. Regardless of the fact that some people may choose to go into prostitution, it is a unjust industry. Would any anti-capitalist accept the argument that because some people choose to work in particularly exploitative jobs, that capitalism should not be criticized?

More than 80% of prostituted women are raped, with nearly 75% reporting they have been raped more than five times. This is just a brief writing on a large subject, so we invite you to learn more from these powerful feminist voices:

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