In a recent Vice article, artist, journalist, and human rights advocate Molly Crabapple exposes the hypocrisy of sex worker “rescue.”
Prostitutes might be called victims, but they’re still arrested, still handcuffed, and still held in cages. The only difference is that they’re now in a system that doesn’t distinguish between workers and trafficked people. To the courts, anyone who’s been arrested for sex work is raw material, incapable of making his or her own choices.
As porn performers, messages that other sex workers aren’t capable of making their own choices sound familiar: they echo the ones that we’ve “fallen into” the business or have been “brainwashed.” This is a view too often held by viewers of porn, legislators, and more. When Crabapple spoke to a New York judge and asked how she (Judge Michels) distinguished between sex workers and people sold into slavery (aka “human trafficking”),
…she accused me of asking a loaded question. “No little girl dreams of being a sex worker,” she pronounced, loud enough for defendants to overhear. She then added that most sex workers had been molested.
Whether you’re exclusively a porn performer or doing additional work as an escort, laws that encroach on our ability to do what we want with our own bodies affect all of us. Read the entire article here.