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Archive for March 13th, 2020

It’s only been three months since the last Friday the Thirteenth, so absolutely everything I said in that essay is every bit as true as it was in December (and September, and July of ’18, and…) so you really should go and reread one or all of those if you need a refresher on what this day is about (especially paying attention to the excerpt from “Straight Talk“).  Since the last two were so recent, I don’t think I need to rehash them already; instead, I’d like to share something I wrote on request a few weeks ago about how sex worker rights is not an isolated issue:

Though many people conceive of sex worker rights as a “special case”, in truth it intersects with many other movements.  Because sex workers are of every ethnic and national group, sex worker rights intersects racial justice, migrants’ rights, and even religious freedom (goddess-centric pagan groups are often targeted by US police).  Because the majority of sex workers are female, sex worker rights is a feminist issue, and because male police use deception to gain sexual access to sex workers, that should anger those fighting against rape.  Because many if not most sex workers are LGBT (most male sex workers are gay, many female sex workers are lesbian or bisexual, and roughly 30% of trans women have done sex work), sex worker rights is an LGBT issue.  Because disabled people are often unable to obtain physical intimacy by other means, and because many suffering from chronic illness or mental health issues find sex work a flexible and accessible means of support, sex worker rights intersects with the rights of the disabled.  Because criminalization of sex work is nothing less than the criminalization of a motive (sex for any reason other than profit is not banned), it should be of great concern to those interested in intellectual freedom issues.  Because “fighting prostitution” has been used an excuse for internet censorship, internet freedom groups should be very worried, and because the same excuse has been used to dramatically expand mass surveillance (facial recognition systems and social media spying software were first tested on sex workers), privacy rights groups should be as well.  Because people are arrested and subjected to penalties for consensual acts, thus feeding more nonviolent people into the carceral system, sex worker rights is of major importance to libertarians, anti-carceral groups, criminal justice reformers, and those fighting police violence.  Because sex work is a form of work and most sex workers are self-employed, both labor rights activists and small business associations need to pay attention.  And even fiscal conservatives should be angry about the incredible waste of tax dollars going to pay police to spy on, brutalize and incarcerate people for nothing more than adult consensual sex.

In short, this isn’t just about us; to paraphrase Donne, the bell of tyranny is tolling for you as well.

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