Operation Cross Country internet extravaganza!


I fucking knew that blogging about Operation Cross Country was going to piss me off. I’ve been cruising the internet, reading other people’s takes, and of course the comments. God, I feel like I should be paying someone to take this kind of abuse.

Let me elucidate (I just learned this word. It’s big. You like?) several key trends occurring in internet-land on this topic.

First you have the comments in response to news stories. These are about 10%-20% “oh the poor dears!” or “fuck the whores!” and the other portion “thanks for wasting tax dollars” or “why is adult sex work illegal?”. This is only slightly encouraging to me. I feel like it indicates people might, just might, be receptive to decriminalization.

Then you have the feminist blogs. Dear god, am I sick of feminists and feminist bloggers. I’m glad my niche is sex work bloggers most of the time, or ally bloggers. On one had, you have the rabidly “sex positive” bloggers who will say things like “dude sex is great! more sex workers!”. Their hearts are in the right place, but I think they do more harm than good. There’s a difference between crying out the virtues of sex work for all women and taking a sex positive, let’s not shame women’s sexuality approach.

Of course, there are the “no sex work is ever consensual” people who think it’s great these women were “saved”, though they may (or may not) question whether federal charges are really all that wonderful. But hey, at least they’re off the streets! (Because all sex workers are on the fucking streets.)

These are frequently the people who will start talking shit about how anyone who says otherwise is privileged or knows privileged sex workers. Let me lay this out for you again. Some sex workers match your feminist wet dream of sex work: they are on the streets, running from traffickers and pimps, trading sex for drugs or whatever. Some sex workers are high rolling hipster call girls  in Manhattan commanding $5,000 an hour. There are the ends of extremes. Think of the tails.

And then, everywhere in between, are people whose experiences match neither. These are people caught up in the forces of multiple oppressions, a matrix, some of which have larger effects than others. People like me. You don’t get to pick which oppression you think “wins” or in what way it wins.

Take studies of street-based sex workers. Often, the alternative for them is minimum wage jobs. Yes, they don’t really have a lot of choices, but because they went into sex work and not McDonald’s, that’s a choice.

I’m really fucking sick of these type of feminists thinking that they have a monopoly on choice. If sex workers can’t choose anything they do within the business freely, then you can’t fucking choose to burn your bra, go to college, wear pants, and work full-time. It doesn’t work like that.

I don’t think sex work is a “free” choice, nor do I think it’s a reconstitution of the patriarchy. I think it’s something in between.

Then you have the people, some of them feminists, who don’t give a shit about the sex workers arrested, since some kids were saved. I’m just as happy as you are that those kids were saved. I’m very happy. But why the fuck do we have to throw adult sex workers under the bus to save them? Real compassionate, if you ask me.

Finally, you have the well-meaning feminists who somehow become incensed when their little conversation about the horror of trafficking is co-opted by people who want to talk about consensual sex workers. Quit linking the issues, and that won’t happen. Quit citing your statistics about sex workers that are based on trafficking studies (rates of PTSD, drug use, age at entry, etc). Quit using trafficking as an agenda to come down on sex workers. They are two separate issues.

I’m sure my post will piss off a lot of people. That’s fine. Just take a minute and think about why I’m so angry.


5 Responses to “Operation Cross Country internet extravaganza!”

  1. I fucking knew that blogging about Operation Cross Country was going to piss me off. I’ve been cruising the internet, reading other people’s takes, and of course the comments. God, I feel like I should be paying someone to take this kind of abuse.

    I hear you. I hate, hate, HATE that shit. I try to avoid reading places that I know aren’t sex worker supportive, but part of me also feels compelled to educate people. But, that usually ends up biting me in the ass. Bringing the argument around to consent and who makes a free choice to do sex work just makes me want to bang my head against a freakin’ brick wall. I have no response other than to gape in astonishment while my mind screams, “Seriously?? THIS is what you think is relevant?? OMG HOW FAR UP YOUR ASS IS YOUR HEAD???”

    • Seriously. I want to educate about the myths and whatnot, but when you are attacked for trying to call someone out for perpetuating ignorance, it’s futile. These people need to realize it’s a two way street. Okay, fine, call me out for not acknowledging my privilege or whatever. Okay, now I’m going to call you out for your whorephobia and the fact that you’re reciting facts that aren’t fucking facts. I really wish people would quit quoting statistics and facts if they don’t know where they come from. For gods sake, even Wikipedia might help you a little.

  2. Ooh, read the response I gave to this asshole who commented on our How To Be An Ally To Sex Workers list over at the SWOP-Chicago blog. GAH! I totally forgot to add the fact that while he was ripping on our list under the guise of being concerned for those poor, lowly prostitutes, he didn’t make ANY comment on our post about the arrests this weekend. Typical!

  1. 1 Being Amber Rhea » Blog Archive » Adult sex workers arrested in child prostitution sting
  2. 2 Blog #15 « Amandajoy21's Blog

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