Sex worker rights are human rights, and there can never be too many voices speaking up for them, nor too many occasions on which to speak. – “Never Too Many”
It’s that day again: Friday the 13th, the day on which I ask non-sex workers to speak up for us. As I’ve explained many times before, there is no possible way we can ever hope to win our rights without the help of allies; since only about 0.3% of the female population are whores at any given time (about 1% over their lifetimes), we simply don’t constitute a large enough voting bloc for politicians to give a damn about us, especially at a time when the popular fad is to pretend that we’re passive victims in need of “rescue” from our own choices. As I explained two years ago,
…the gay rights movement didn’t really take off until the friends and families of gay people got involved, and…we’re going to need [similar] help to make our voices heard. We need all the sex workers (such as strippers, dominatrices and porn actresses) whose fields aren’t currently criminalized, and the sugar babies and [others] who have informally or indirectly taken money for sex…We need all of the men who hire us at least occasionally…[and] all of the women who recognize that…laws which can be used to arrest us will also work to arrest you. We need all of those who love porn, polyamory, BDSM or kink, because even though policing of sex usually starts with harlots, it never stops with us. We need all of the public health and human rights experts who understand the necessity of decriminalization…all of the libertarians who recognize that governmental prohibition of consensual behavior is both indefensible and dangerous to individual liberty, and all of the feminists who recognize that a woman’s right to control her own body and make her own sexual and economic choices is the primary feminist issue. And we need all of the decent human beings who don’t fall into any of those categories, but are simply disgusted by the idea of armed thugs arresting, humiliating and ruining people for the “crime” of consensual sex…
Over the past few years, the number of voices supporting us has grown by leaps and bounds; decriminalization is now supported by every major human rights organization (including Amnesty International), every major health organization (including the WHO), several UN organizations (including UNAIDS), and literally hundreds of other groups concerned with law, labor, women’s rights, individual liberty and many other subjects. Every academic who has made a methodologically sound and ideology-free study of the subject has reached the same or very similar conclusions, and after the ill-considered raid on the gay escort site Rentboy, even most gay rights organizations and activists have come over to the side of individual rights and self-ownership. But that’s still not enough; stupidity, ignorance, prudishness, statism, control-freakishness and bigotry run deep in human society, and it will take vast resources and millions of voices to beat those back into the outer darkness where they belong. We need everyone to speak up for us, not just today but every day; however, today is a start. Please say something in favor of decriminalization today, either in person or online; if it’s online, link it in a comment below and call it to my attention on Twitter so I can signal boost it. And if you can do a little more than talk, such as by making a donation to my work or that of a local, national or international sex worker rights organization, today would be a great day to do it! And when the day at last comes that we win our right to live and work free from state violence, you will know that you helped that happen.