After fifteen years the primary question to my senior study is clearly answered: sex worker rights are not women’s rights or feminist rights – they are human rights deserving of protection and policy. – M DANTE 1/2017
Re/Post from SWOP USA on lack of solid sex work inclusion at women’s march
Women’s March DC Flip-Flops on Sex Work: Early last week, the Women’s March on DC released a series of unity principles, including “solidarity with the sex worker rights movement.” We cried, we smiled, we jumped for joy at being included by a mainstream feminist entity. A few days later, “solidarity with sex worker rights” was replaced with a statement conflating sex work and trafficking. We [sex worker twitter], righteously and collectively flipped a sh*t [making the top 3/4 of @womensmarch-related tweets about sex work].
Within a couple hours of Sex Workers Alliance Ireland Coordinator, Kate McGrew, noticing the change, Janet Mock had got on the phone and got the sex worker rights solidarity back in.
Re/Post of Resurgent Post: As thousands are marching on Washington today, it’s important to note what a busy week it’s been for the “Pro-Prostitution, Pro-Choice, Anti-Gender Norms, Pro-Illegal Immigration, Anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington.” (I’m sorry – were you under the impression this was an event for women? That “all-inclusive” group has a very specific target audience.)In a mere three days, the March has gone from kicking out pro-life women to dropping and then reinstating their encouragement of sex workers to participate.
A freelance writer covering the Women’s March noticed that their statement regarding sex workers had changed. Originally, the statement read “in solidarity with the sex workers’ rights movement,” but was replaced with a general statement of support for “those exploited for labor and sex.”
The change insinuated that sex workers are not a part of the group, and the word “exploited” portrays them as weak – both very unwelcome revisions to the sex workers.
The coordinator for Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, Kate McGrew, reportedly noticed the replacement first.
(She cried tears of joy for the sex workers’ inclusion when she saw the original statement, so obviously this replacement was probably a trigger for her.)
Needless to say, she was “flooded with relief” when the statement was reinstated. After all, the so-called “women’s rights” group hasn’t always welcomed the sex workers with open arms in the past.
Janet Mock, a transgender rights activist, claimed the original statement that ended up being reinstated was hers. On her Tumblr account, she wrote:
“I cannot speak to the internal conflicts at the Women’s March that have led to the erasure of the line I wrote for our collective vision but I have been assured that the line will remain in OUR document.”
“I know that underground economies are essential parts of the lived realities of women and folk. I know sex work to be work. It’s not something I need to tiptoe around. It’s not a radical statement. It’s a fact.”
It’s also a fact that prostitution is illegal in this country, with the exception of a few counties in Nevada. As a true feminist, I want something better for women. Yes – that’s right – I’m insinuating that sex work isn’t an ideal career. Assuming there are others that share the views expressed in Mock’s post – these activists see this as being a career that’s preferred by some women and was to encourage them – despite the fact that it’s illegal in almost every part of the country.
The group claims their unity statement is a “living, breathing document” – and it has to be to keep up with their very specific target audience. They also note their organization is “committed to being bridge-builders” – however, given their actions with the pro-life women, that statement does not apply to all groups.