i put out an appeal for support in posting here re abolitionism and its effects and most workers expressed that it was not safe for them emotionally, they did not think could weather being attacked in the way we were in the thread yesterday and that it was wasted energy to engage with those who refuse to hear our voices...
i was sorry to receive the feedback but thought i would share their sentiments with people here so you understnad why they don't want to take part in discussions.
also, time bandit commented last night that i stated that all sex workers opinions were welcome but then seemed to demand references or other back up for statements made by some thread contributors....that only the voices of sex workers who had been project coordinators or done social justice work were valid.
i just would like to clarify and was attempting to when the thread was locked.
sex workers and formerly prostituted people should be allowed to share their personal experiences and have every right to express the experiences good or bad about being involved in the sex industry.
the problem comes when broad sweeping statements about the emotional injuries or status of all sex workers are being asserted with no back up info or project reports to prove the statement is true.
it is one thing to say "i was abused as a child, i experienced exploitation" but entirely another thing to say "most sex workers were abused as children" or "every sex worker experiences exploitation".
this may seem like splitting hairs but its not. experiences of people who endured exploitation and violence in the sex industry are extremely important if we are to work towards preventing those things in the future.
stating unsubstantiated claims of 100 sex workers all being rape victims and abused as children does not constitute "facts" and is not a personal experience. its seems to be a reference to the melissa farely data which claims 90% of all sex workers were abused as children and which we know to be unethical data collected in a way which does not reflect canada's federal policies on research involving human beings.
another example is the often used is "servicing 100's of men a day"...
a quick calculation shows that to service 100 men at 20 mins a guy requires 33.33 hours...or in clearer terms is impossible.
abolitionists often inflate numbers in order to bolster their position but as a sex worker reading their assertions, i can see through them and frankly it diminishes their arguements. why lie? why blow things out of proportion? it shows that they are not basing their assertions on fact but rather willing to say anything to achieve their goal of abolition including to distort statistics in a way that palys in to mainstream fears about sex work.
we all agree that exploitation of youth or any person is unacceptable. we all agree that people who take part in the exploitation should prosecuted.
why can't we agree on that but work with sex working people towards the best way to address this violence? we are open and willing. abolitionists however refuse to accept that for some people sex work is a choice and the best choice for them. they inflate numbers, belittle and dismiss sex workers voices and continue to undermine the work we are doing to bring stability and a better quality of life to our community.
so, while all sex workers shoudl be able to freely express their personal experiences and opinions, i will always challenge broad sweeping statements about our lives in particular when they are unsubstaniated and add to the stigma and judgement we face everyday.