Sex industry advocates say,”Listen to sex workers,” but when have their voices (until now, when the term “sex worker” was adopted) ever mattered in continuing the existence of the industry? It hasn’t, because prostituted women are not paid attention to unless they can be considered under the guise of respectability by calling them “sex workers” and other such weasel words. The recommendation to “listen to sex workers” implies that those who do will necessarily agree with them. And they are being paid to only speak good things about the industry, or they are worried that if they don’t they will lose business. Why not listen to the exited women and trafficking survivors?
The persistent pro argument is that “prostituton has always existed” (appeal to tradition) and institutionalized practices require support on a mass scale; individuals – and their personhood – don’t matter in the face of something considered inevitable and absolute. More importantly, such practices keep men in power. Everytime “sex workers” talk about how they “chose” prostitution, they are covering up the real issues of women’s oppression – poverty and homelessness, the gender-wage gap, racism, homophobia, pedophilia, lack of support and maternity leave for mothers, sexual abuse, drug addiction, ED, and self-harming.
Here is an ask I sent to gynocraticgrrl and her reply.