It gets exhausting.
So, point by point, here, on Twitter - at the risk of shadowbanning for tweeting too much - I'm going to explain why this particular piece of writing bothered me so much.
Seatbelts on tweeters.
Also, as the author of this piece has just apologised to their followers for their being 'flooded' by a 'volatile thread of tweets' - I will link to their piece, but avoid tagging them until I'm done.
Lest their followers be exposed to me post caffeination.
"SEX WORK: A CHOICE, OR A LACK OF OPTIONS?"
(I'd recommend you have it open as you follow this thread because I'm kind of just going through it in order)
We're more than that.
"...hard to have a rational discussion with those kinds of posters..."
Often, in an effort to disempower or silence, #SexWorkers anger at being misrepresented is described as 'irrational.'
However, when this point is made to these writers - it's rarely heard.
We see daily how language can impact lives. Such as the conflation of trafficking with consensual sex work, resulting in legislation such as FOSTA/SESTA, that can have a devastating impact.
…..There are way more than 7 types of sex work/workers.
This should give an indication that, despite Lynne's references to & defence of the number of sources she has - her sample is quite limited.
Sex Workers are often seen as 'nameless & faceless' - dehumanisation in this manner perpetuates stigma. This is something people often don't consider.
2. Escort Agency Employee
3. Brothel Employee (where legal)
4. Window Worker (most commonly seen in Amsterdam)
5. Sex Worker based out of Bar/Hotel/Casino
6. Street Walker
7. Captive/Illegally Held Prisoner"
The 7 types of SW according to Lynne.
It's often done as a pretty insidious way to attack Sex Workers without outwardly making moves against them i.e. FOSTA/SESTA.
This kind of wilful misdirection makes activism even more difficult.
"...consent is always irrelevant to determining whether the crime of human trafficking has occurred."
Yay. Human Rights.
As with any industry, there are some jobs that may have heightened risk or different risks than others. But there's no ranking system.
Stigma is bad. Combine that with whorearchy and it only gets worse.
SOMETHING WE AGREE ON! (Except for the conflation bit)
Admittedly, I don't have accurate data regarding types of SW on hand - but we're a diverse lot.
"...Only 10% to 20% actually walk the streets.." Citation needed.
These give off the vibe of being broad statements about sex workers, not just those she claims to have interviewed.
Citation Needed, but yes, it's universally acknowledged that street based sex workers are unfairly targeted by law enforcement.
(Page 2 coming shortly)
It is true. But you're definitely misrepresenting/simplifying the issue here.
Within their training programs to 'identify trafficking', hotel chains are instructing staff to pay particular attention to women traveling alone.
That's a fact.
The impacts of this seem to vary by hotel.
Not saying this doesn't happen - but you make it sound SO MUCH EASIER than it actually is. Like we have some sort of flagging system that screams 'HOOKER.'
Eat some peanuts.
Scandalous, I know.
This happens when we travel too. God forbid a sex worker is a tourist, right?
You're a source Lynne! You could have included the ratios of different #sexworkers you claim to have interviewed.
From Twitter we can gather you spoke to at least one male SW.
Fuck right off Lynne.
No. Because if you did, you wouldn't have written it.
You don't get to make that call. You don't. And how freaking dare you think you can?
When you take choice away from us, you paint a target on our backs. Congratulations.
How. Dare. You.
I didn't believe you before. I sure as hell don't believe you now.
And if you HAVE in fact done so, then you purposely chose to speak only to workers that would support the narrative YOU wanted to perpetuate.
I have peers who chose sex work.
I have peers who didn't chose it to start with, but chose to continue.
I have peers who are here because it's the best option available to them - but they don't lack in skill or ability. They don't lack in intelligence.
They're not all alcoholics (but they're allowed to have a fucking drink Lynne.)
They support families, dreams, friends - not just 'habits' as you've tried very bloody hard to imply.
Some are here because of their health.
Some need the flexibility.
Some as a side hustle.
Some full time.
Some for a good time - some for a long time.
No Lynne. I don't think you're being very honest.
That's not their fault Lynne.
Minimum wage is a joke.
Benefits only benefit some & not much at all.
Anyone who isn't in PERFECT health has the work force made inaccessible to them.
On this Lynne & I agree! It ties in to one of my biggest criticisms of the 'rescue' industry too!
CAN I GET A STIGMA?
If these 'rescue' orgs wanted to actually help - they'd want to reduce the stigma surrounding sex work.
Unfortunately Lynne and my opinions take a sharp turn here.
This? This right here? This is to do with shitty laws, classism and education that few can access or afford.
- Sex Workers aren't educated.
- We all make the same lifestyle choices.
When the expenses that come along with your job go down, the amount you need to earn to survive also goes down, funnily enough.
AGAIN WITH THE EDUCATION!?
Many workers do sex work as a side hustle or for a limited time. This isn't particularly shocking.
"....most had dreams, and continuing to sell their bodies to strangers for cash was not part of their long term dreams."
IF YOU HAD STIGMATISING LANGUAGE ON YOUR BINGO CARD - MARK IT OFF NOW!
Or do we hand them in with our right to be seen as human beings when we start?
Many sex workers are in the industry to build TOWARDS those dreams. Many are living them now.
Many. Not all.
I have little sympathy for the fact you're being called out Lynne, because if you've done the research you claim to have done, then you would absolutely know the impact of language like that on #sexworkers.
We are not your next project. I'm sorry.
If you had COMMON STEREOTYPES on your Bingo card - mark that off too.
These are contributing factors to many situations & many people.
Not just sex work/sex workers.
A huge barrier to my ability to get adequate mental health care was the fact that doctors & mental health professionals with their own bias refused to examine my issues in their own right, as separate from my career in the sex industry.
That's not melodrama. I experienced significant trauma in my life prior to entering the industry & following that - very little of it associated with my work.
I went to seek care in crisis & was belittled & typecast by a doctor. I was offered no help.
Imagine being too scared to seek medical care.
Imagine being refused care.
Imagine never being viewed just as a person, but as a job description, a problem, a victim - imagine that.
As does the notion that our issues push us toward the industry or occur because of it. And if some of them do? So what? We're no less deserving of care or respect than someone in any other job.
We are more than the sum of societies stereotypes.
We have about a page or so to go everyone, so settle yourselves in!
"Generations are now starting to follow their parents onto the street."
I'm not going to say this isn't true because I don't know that. But this is the kind of thing that if not backed up by evidence - can be incredibly harmful.
If what Lynne says here IS true - then this would have been a good time to include words from those workers.
- If we give young people sex education, they'll have more sex.
- Violent video games = violence.
- Pills testing makes people take drugs.
And that's absolute garbage.
This is fairly self explanatory.
Another point Lynne & I agree on! This does suck & it absolutely can be a barrier to exiting the industry or pursuing further employment.
But bad laws - not SW are to blame here.
No, no it's not. I got interviewed about this subject on national radio Lynne. It's quite common.
I started in the industry whilst studying.
Just a reminder of what Lynne was hoping to achieve here.
2. Some #sexworkers like to pay for crazy shit. Like rent.
3. You probably don't want to know how many Doctors I've met who are drug users.
3. Sex Work isn't illegal globally.
Not just sex work.
Sorry to burst that stereotypical bubble for you.
1. The implication that illegal drugs are the big issue, when there's a freaking opioid epidemic. So, mum, dad, grandma, grandma & the cousins could have lovely sedate employment & be dealing with addiction.
Someone may not fund their education that way! They may do camming, stripping, massage, peep shows, sell panties, make content - the list is literally massive.
+1 Doubling down on the addiction stereotype.
Saving is really important if you can do it - but it can be tough.
Advertising, safe sex supplies, hotels -
I find it difficult to believe that out of 100+ workers interviewed, this wouldn't have come up in some way.
Lynne is perpetuating the same stereotypes that mainstream media often clings to.
But I don't think Lynne represents them fairly. Nor do I think they need her to.
A particularly toxic method that many SWERFs in particular use to undermine #sexworkers who speak for themselves.
The idea that we're such victims/puppets of the patriachy that we can't possibly understand what we're doing or know our own minds.
People take advantage of #sexworkers - this is a fact. But the way Lynne talks about the business/admin side of sex work highlights her ignorance.
They deserve respect, not judgement.
I'm not saying these systems are always ideal. I'm not saying I understand all of them because I only have my experiences to go off.
But to dismiss these ways of working as 'less than' just perpetuates STIGMA.
AGAIN WITH THIS.
Holy shit, I think I'm about to do it. Fuck. Ok -
Stereotype, upon stereotype, upon stereotype.
But what right does Lynne have to tell their stories? And what right does Lynne have to speak for workers at all?
Nothing reads like it's been researched. It reads like someone's done a cautionary google.
How could anyone who claims to want to be an ally, think that's ok?
"The sex worker loudly defends their job, calling it a choice."
Because for some it is. Because #sexworker experiences are diverse.
"They know what they can rake in financially.."
We can have goals, but nothing is certain.
"...get out on their own, not paying their profits to the house, they’d be alright.."
I don't think Lynne spoke to 100+ sex workers.
I definitely don't have trouble believing Lynne writes fiction.
Lynne you have no right to say this.
You claim to have done some research & at best you could say this was the case for some of those you spoke to.
You are simplifying #sexworkers & their experiences - that's wrong.
Just in case you needed a reminder that Lynne thinks we're all supporting addictions of some kind.
What denotes a 'proper' education exactly?
'People living below the poverty line definitely have less access to education - which is a problem. But implying that everyone below the poverty line is uneducated is also a problem.' @BridgetteBBW
If you had 'END DEMAND' or 'THE NORDIC MODEL' on your bingo card, make it off now.
Add 'identifying fake ID' to Lynne's list of skills.
You're happy to use their knowledge & stories to 'enhance' your fiction - fiction that people pay you for - whilst belittling them publicly.
And you decided the best way to help was to double down on that stigma.
"....roughly 50% admitted they had one or more incurable sexually transmitted diseases/infections."
Because it wouldn't be a SWERFy sort of article if they didn't bring up our myriad of health issues, right?
Decriminalisation and the reduction of stigma & misinformation about #sexworkers would absolutely help with this.
@LynneMartin47 this wasn't always as polite as I would have liked. And I'm sorry for that. But I hope you can see and understand how hurtful and harmful some of what you've written is.
I don't have high hopes. But I'd love to be proven wrong.