My stance on whether or not I feel sex work should become legal is an issue I’ve thought a lot about in the past, prior to this week’s class. Even after the discussion, I still feel conflicted on the rights of women (and men) providing for their life through the means of sex work.
It is obvious, trying to live an ordinary life here in Toronto, or any city, is a huge financial burden on students, new employees, and those starting to build a family. Money is tight, and jobs are scarce. Hell, if you had the choice to live on the street or become a stripper, I have a pretty good idea which one many of you would choose. But what many movies don’t show, is the risks that come with all the “glitz and glam” that they portray. Some of those in this profession do it for a sense of pride, and feel as they are just playing a role, merely actors, however, that usually is not the case. Of course, there is the risk of getting caught by the law, but working in this kind of profession heightens your risk to rape, abuse, and mental health issues along the road. Assault can emerge from your clients, or employers if you have been subjected to procurers.
Laws need to be put in place to keep defenseless sex workers from harm, whether the act of sex work becomes legalized in the near future or not. I feel a woman has the right to do what she wants with her body under the safety of the law, just as anybody else does. Although, with that said, it does not mean that prostitutes and strippers aren’t selling themselves as meat to a patriarchal world.