Sequence of events:
- A brothel opens in an elegant area. Some neighbors protest, call it a public nuisance and have the ultimate weapon that they can get the government to forcibly shut it down.
- The brothel moves to a less-elegant area. The same scenario repeats itself. Some neighbors protest, call it a public nuisance etc.
- The brothel moves to a worse area yet. Some neighbors protest, etc.
- The brothel moves to a bad area. Some neighbors protest. This time, the brothel stays. It has nowhere else to viably go. Hostilities escalate. The neighbors do get the government to forcibly close the brothel.
- Brothel sex workers go indie (independent) using the Internet to advertise and screen clients. Some citizens complain, and pressure the government to forcibly shut down website after website as such.
- Brothel sex workers turn to escorting agencies, who specialize in advertising and screening clients. Some citizens complain, and pressure the government to classify these as sex traffickers, and get them shut down, with draconian punishments intended to make an example out of whomever they arrest as such.
- Indie sex workers involve people to act consensually as security guards. Government classifies these as pimps or as living off the earnings of a prostitute, and forcibly shuts that down, again with draconian punishments.
- Some violent criminals force or mislead some victims into sex slavery. Properly, this is universally considered abhorrent. and the proper domain of government going after such people to arrest them. Lobbyists then pressure governments to do a bait-and-switch, first getting public support and funding on the premise of going after sex slavery, and then unethically diverting those resources away from a focus on sex slavery (inherently non-consensual), focusing instead on shutting down sex workers (inherently consensual), the latter having been a major target of these unethical lobbyists all along. When someone points out how few sex slavery criminals get arrested yet how many sex workers, the arguments dismiss the rights of the sex workers as acceptable collateral damage, as in: they were involved in illegal activity anyway. This argument evades two key points:
- That this wasn’t what the resources were properly intended to be focused on
- That sex work being classified as illegal doesn’t mean it should be.
Nevertheless, the resultant cultural atmosphere becomes more poisoned yet toward sex workers, who now have to deal with the additional taint of a criminal record and being unfairly lumped in with sex slavery criminals, in articles by journalists who blur the issues that already are, at best, imprecise in the minds of much of the citizenry.
- Indie sex workers join forces, working together for improved safety. Government calls that running an illegal brothel, and forcibly shuts that down.
- Indie sex workers work solo, screening carefully and negotiating clearly in apartments and hotels. Some neighbors protest, call them a public nuisance and have the ultimate weapon that they can get the government to forcibly shut her (assuming the sex worker is female) down. Government uses stooges who pretend to be clients, and even though clear negotiations protect the safety of the sex worker, once a trade for sexual services has clearly been negotiated, the government agents do forcibly shut her down.
- Indie sex workers take to the streets, working there. Some neighbors protest and call them a public nuisance and have the ultimate weapon that they can get the government to forcibly arrest them.
- The indie sex worker moves to a less-elegant area. Some neighbors protest, etc.
- The indie sex worker moves to a worse area yet. Some neighbors protest, etc.
- The sex worker moves to such a bad area that there is viably no other place to move to, working alone and with few security measures.
- The further down this list a sex worker works, the greater the vulnerability for being a victim of physical violence, and the less likely it is that law enforcement will protect her. This attracts violent cowards who prey on the weak, often with inner demons as to their own sexual issues, that they project onto sex workers.As to how the rest of the story plays out, see the newspaper articles announcing that yet another sex workers has been found dead as a victim of violence. Those who played their part in driving the sex worker there, simply shrug without sympathy. They figure that, by choosing sex work; she should bear the consequences. They classifying themselves as blameless in the sequence of events.Though technology has helped improve safety, this basic sequence of events plays out in essentially the same way, over and over. To me, one thing is clear: fighting this battle is futile once the moral high ground has been ceded to our adversaries. From then on it’s a slippery slope to eventually standing alone in an alley in a bad area, with a dangerous shadowy figure approaching, intent on violence.
Sex work (with the “work” part denoting consensuality) whether it’s prostitution, pro Domme work, escorting, pole dancing, exotic dancing, modeling, x-rated movie starring, or any work having a sexual element as a material part of one’s marketability, e.g., a cocktail waitress or a singer whose appeal involves emphasis on sexual desirability) is a basic right just as much as is running a lemonade stand, a bakery or a law office. The proper role for government is to protect from violence those who earn a living with mutually consensual trade — but when it comes to sex workers, the proper role of the government sometimes gets corrupted and inverted, becoming an instrument of injustice, driving things ever further away from sexually themed activities.
Tactically, that is where I propose that we, as sex workers, can focus our efforts: on understanding and then dismantling the mechanism whereby citizens get to pressure governments to harass us. Few such meddling citizens have the integrity to be convinced that they’re in the wrong, so our focus should instead be on the mainstream of citizens, the general public consisting of fairly reasonable people, who might themselves be irritated by the stifling effects of such meddling citizens, corrupting the proper role of law enforcement agencies and harassing those who are criminals only because some lawmakers voted to classify them as such..
However, the battle fundamentally depends on where the moral high ground is.
The fight will take us into direct confrontation with forces that I consider modern reincarnations and variations of the mindset that enabled witch-burning, the Inquisition, the Dark Ages … the forces that have represented darkness through history. It will also take us into indirect confrontation with those who do not spearhead the issues yet empower those who do, by valuing the bland comfort zone of their own lives higher than the injustices that are done in perpetuation thereof.
We don’t have to go play video games, watch movies or read books to experience the visceral clarity and intensity of a life-or-death battle between good vs. evil. It’s right here, in modern life, and the person on the side of the good is the one wearing the fishnet stockings.
She’s isolated, but on her side she has three powerful weapons: right, reason and reality. She’s on the right side of history. I’m betting on her ultimately being victorious.
Whenever there’s a battle of ideas, I see a lot of people aiming their energy at opposing their adversaries, but by my standards I don’t see enough energy being directed at giving aid and comfort to my allies, yet the empowerment effect of such efforts can be huge. So, that’s what this document is intended to do.
My target audience:
1. My proteges and allies: sex workers in the context where our work is criminalized or might well again be, which means: everywhere on Earth.
This article is intended to say: “If you feel you’re being treated unfairly then I actually think you have good reason to be upset.”
2. Allies of sex workers.
This article is intended to say: “Thank you. The cause you’re supporting is just, and here’s a vivid reminder as to why.”
* * *
I’d consider it a bonus is this document reaches those who are open to approaching the issue only after putting dogmatic ideology pointedly aside.
As to anyone else, they can’t be reasoned with, by their own admission. Reasoning with unreasonable people is a mistake. It would grant them a moral high ground that they don’t deserve.
Someone dogmatically hostile to sex work would dismiss whatever I wrote anyway, whether it made sense or not. Dogmatic ideology has opposed reason for millennia, and that’s been its approach throughout its bloody history. My article won’t change that. A dogmatic ideology cannot be purified. It can at best be opposed — and I do — but that’s not the purpose of my article.