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The Huntress vs. The Headline: “Criminalisation Harms Sex Workers”

April 8, 2011

I must confess that I found the news very uninspring yesterday and was also distracted romancing a certain attractive, white haired, warrior elf on Dragon Age 2 (Fenris!). I want to start on a Dragon Age 2 (Fenris!) spiel but I shan’t – this business of falling head over heels with fictional characters has really got to stop. After Fenris (!) of course.

Now, where was I?

(Fenris!)

There have been some cracking headlines in todays news that have effectively acted as a brief cold shower for me. Fantastic headlines include News.com.au’s “F.B.I.: UFO’s, 9/11, B.I.G.”, The Courier Mail’s “Special K Dished Up Dog’s breakfast” and PerthNow’s “5000-Year-Old Gay Caveman ‘Outed'”.

It’s never going to end is it?

As I missed out on a headline yesterday (Fenris!) and actually found this excellent opinion piece from the ABC today I am skipping dumb down Friday. I know, you’re devastated, you want more penises and Suri Cruise. However this piece is not entirely unrelated as Elena Jefferys discusses decriminalisation of the sex industry. Ms. Jeffreys believes that by decriminalising the sex industry we can better protect sex workers health and decrease the illegal trafficking of women for sex work purposes. I must say it seems like a win/win situation to me.

It’s true that I have been long in favour of decriminalising the sex industry as I too believe it will help to protect the health of sex workers. As Ms. Jefferys has pointed out in the article, self regulation within the industry has been very successful with a less than 1% rate of HIV infection and consistently low rates of sexually transmitted infections. But as also pointed out in her piece sex workers so often don’t have a voice – why are sex workers not being consulted in relation to regulating the industry? Are they not in the best position to understand what is required to safely and effectively regulate the industry? Is it possible for people to understand that not all sex workers are victims? Hey, we all have bills to pay and I know for a fact that a sex worker gets paid many times more than what I do and I have to clean up bodily fluids too.

Time for a career change perhaps.

While not all sex workers are Belle de Jour they’re not all downtrodden women with nowhere else to turn either. As Ms. Jeffreys states they are a real community with real issues that deserve to be heard. Sex work is still work and sex workers should enjoy the same protections as any other employed person. Criminalising sex work achieves nothing except to marginalise and continue exploitation of trafficked women within the sector.

So now I am going to go and  spend a bit of time with Fenris (!). Other than my hopeless crush I am very much enjoying Dragon Age 2.

Yeah, I don’t have any problems at all…

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