Sexworkers want our jobs DECRIMINALIZED, not LEGALIZED. Why? Legalization means sexwork STAYS a crime, but state creates loopholes *only for rich business owners*, not workers.
Decriminalization means: removal of all criminal penalties for one-to-one exchange of sex for money.
A handy graphic to help you understand why sex workers want decriminalization.
Want a longer, more in-depth explanation on why decriminalizing #sexwork
is the right thing, and how it’s not about sex trafficking? Read this excellent page from my favorite sex worker org, @swopbehindbars
Hey, here is an great one-page read about what sex worker rights terms like “decriminalization” and “Nordic Model” really mean, plus statistical resources and statements about trafficking. https://docs.google.com/document/d/19i5B-6sqT37OJMexzKa8HzY9NeLLAq60JPJDcj03Fvg/mobilebasic
Here is ANOTHER great graphic about decriminalization of sexwork versus "legalization". https://twitter.com/DecrimQLD/status/1142569889896398848
Just going to leave this here: Fox News describes the failure of Operation Cross Country, the annual Federal crackdown against sex workers. https://twitter.com/cfpdx/status/1155492590009102336?s=21
"Human Rights Watch supports the full decriminalization of consensual adult sex work." https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/08/07/why-sex-work-should-be-decriminalized
A deep dive but important reading: the use of anti-trafficking laws is profoundly racist, arrests traumatize independent adult sex workers and leave them worse off than they were before, and more importantly, cops hardly ever catch any traffickers. https://twitter.com/staceylovesweed/status/1159248140454600704?s=21
“The evidence clearly shows that criminalisation is associated with increased harm – including where some sex work is legalised but purchasing sex is banned.” #sexwork https://twitter.com/swear_wa/status/1161819986383527936?s=21
I’m adding this Twitter thread here, even though it’s not about decriminalization per se. I just think it refutes a lot of the ideas that people may have about what the relationships between clients and sex workers are like. https://twitter.com/ohfrankenstein/status/1163429477772419073?s=21
This story came out last year, but in Seattle, we’re still dealing with the ruthless devastation of our community here. https://twitter.com/swaiireland/status/1166752803479543808?s=21
A good overview of a sexwork decriminalization bill that’s been active in New York, and a good video with some faces from our community. #sexwork https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/09/241372/truth-told-sex-workers-my-body-my-work
Study indicates that bringing the Nordic Model to Northern Ireland has (unsurprisingly) increased violence against sex workers. https://twitter.com/lydiacaradonna/status/1174279909872738310?s=21
“There (is) mounting evidence that the Swedish model (aka Nordic Model) exacerbates the stigma against sex workers, forcing them to engage in more dangerous activities and increasing their risk to violence” #sexwork https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/rights-rescues-and-resistance-in-the-global-movement-for-sex-workers-rights-introducing-the-series/
From the article “The archives of the Anti-Trafficking Review contain many articles documenting the simplistic images & narratives used to describe migrant and trafficked women in the sex industry, and the lack of evidence behind many anti-trafficking policies and interventions”
To clarify for new readers: the Nordic Model or the Swedish Model is a European legal approach that purports to only arrest customers (mostly men) but not workers (mostly women). It’s a STUPID system. But: we’ll never have it in the US, because here, EVERYONE gets arrested. 1/2
2/2 And there is no blessed way the United States is going to embrace a system in which mostly men are punished for sexual behavior but mostly women are (suppposedly) not. That’s never going to happen, we’re too sexist. When reform comes, it’s going to have to be reform for all.
Also: sexworkers are treated HORRIBLY under the Nordic Model. They are thrown out of housing, deprived of child custody, even abandoned to murder by an ex-husband, like #petitejasmine
, simply because they are sex workers and therefore not...fully human, to the state.
(I did not know there has apparently been a film made about the injustice around the murder of #PetiteJasmine
The Human Rights Campaign is in favor of not arresting people for doing sex work. Along with many justice organizations, like Amnesty International. https://twitter.com/hrc/status/1184934359318646808?s=21
Follow this thread backwards to see how the math plays out in regards to sexwork decriminalization. https://twitter.com/katedadamo/status/1186274121967198208?s=21
Another great account to follow, @WilsonKM2
unpacks and explains studies on sex work in a very helpful manner https://twitter.com/wilsonkm2/status/1191166645919797250?s=21
This whole excellent thread on why “the Swedish Model” is victim-blaming: https://twitter.com/rosealliance/status/1191852090051760129?s=21
More evidence that the "swedish model/nordic model" harms sex workers. Sex workers want FULL DECRIM, not legalization and not "partial decriminalization". https://twitter.com/MissLoreleiLee/status/1197657499450650625
Celebrities like to use sex work to boost their own celebrity, but the problem is they’re always wrong about it. https://twitter.com/enbrown/status/1199337612109991936?s=21 https://twitter.com/ENBrown/status/1199337612109991936
A very BIG region of Australia has decriminalized sexwork, this is such good news, and I can only hope this kind of success spreads! https://twitter.com/scarletalliance/status/1199824640438235136?s=21 https://twitter.com/scarletalliance/status/1199824640438235136
Super deep academic reading on the impact of FOSTA/SESTA https://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/portfolio-item/fosta/
Not a pretty story, and not strictly analogous to current situation in the US, for obvious reasons.
But it a striking example of why it’s WRONG to say “sexwork could be legal but they should REGULATE the HELL out of it.” No. THIS is what that looks like. https://newrepublic.com/article/155707/united-states-military-prostitution-south-korea-monkey-house
As a little year-end housekeeping: I’m going to re-post some stories here that I talked about earlier in the year, that I think are important reading for overall discussion of the decriminalization of sex work. https://twitter.com/mistressmatisse/status/1136114971257872384
FOSTA/SESTA harms sex workers, it does NOT stop sex trafficking from happening, and its harms fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable people. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/sesta-fosta-sex-work-decriminalization-ro-khanna-921043/
Some history, on the sex workers movement for decriminalization https://twitter.com/redcanarysong/status/1203443432234143747
Here’s a Tweet-Longer explanation of The difference between legalization and decriminalization. Feel free to cut and paste it, as you require! https://twitter.com/mistressmatisse/status/487706345257177088?s=21 https://twitter.com/mistressmatisse/status/487706345257177088
"Federal documents confirm agents received sexual favors from human trafficking victims" and then: arrested them. "Our understanding of (Homeland Security) policy is that their investigators are allowed to participate in sex acts while working undercover” https://www.havasunews.com/news/details-emerge-in-failed-havasu-sex-trafficking-case/article_0b905e98-22f0-11ea-828e-ff2824fed350.html
An incomplete list of all the ways that sex workers are discriminated against: https://liaraslist.org/
hat tip to @_AshLake_
for compiling it!
Read the WHOLE thread. It sounds easy to say “go after the traffickers” but the fact is, the people most likely to be arrested as “traffickers” are: just regular sex workers, who are working/living together for increased safety, or just flat-out survival. https://twitter.com/uppittynegress/status/1211123806988906496?s=21 https://twitter.com/uppittynegress/status/1211123806988906496
US strippers are “legalized sex work” and it’s really not a good situation for them. They are subject to illegal rules and often financially exploited by THE CLUBS, because the entire system is rigged to screw over dancers and take money away from them. https://twitter.com/seattlestrips/status/1211758462461304832?s=21 https://twitter.com/SeattleStrips/status/1211758462461304832
This whole thread on how "the Swedish Model " aka "the Nordic Model" aka "the Equality Model" are all BAD SYSTEMS that sex workers DO NOT WANT and which WILL NOT HELP anyone being harmed. https://twitter.com/RoseAlliance/status/1215132924883951617
Police bust sex workers working together for safety. Because they don't want us safe and working together. This is why sex work MUST BE decriminalized. https://twitter.com/adamspong/status/1215148447575109632
So-called "Human Trafficking Intervention Court" fails to address real issues for sexworkers. "People engaged in prostitution...have complained that the counseling sessions amount to little more than unproductive conversations with well-meaning strangers." https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/nyregion/ny-prostitution-courts.html
: “The women were threatened with multiple felony charges unless they cooperated with police. Officers assured the public they’d broken up an international human trafficking cartel. Nothing could be further from the truth” #sexworkiswork https://www.ocregister.com/its-time-to-decriminalize-sex-work-and-focus-on-actual-crimes
"Instead of preventing sex trafficking, SESTA/FOSTA made it harder for sex workers to access critical health and safety resources. We need the full picture.” Sex workers need the repeal of SESTA/FOSTA and for our work to be decriminalized. #sexworkiswork https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/17/progressives-unveil-new-bill-investigate-how-anti-trafficking-law-has-demonized-and
"Getting anti-trafficking advocates on board with decriminalised sex work: Sex workers rights’ advocates and anti-trafficking professionals have more in common than they think." https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/getting-anti-trafficking-advocates-board-decriminalised-sex-work/ #sexwork #decriminalize #sexworkiswork
Lawmakers cautiously consider the idea that actually,
SEXWORKERS were right on all the bad things that we warned FOSTA would bring about https://twitter.com/_ashlake_/status/1219434076186333186?s=21 https://twitter.com/_AshLake_/status/1219434076186333186
A moral panic that’s lead to poverty, misery, and violence to adult sexworkers who only want to be allowed to exist in peace and safety. #sexworkiswork https://twitter.com/davidminpdx/status/1220499865748197376?s=21 https://twitter.com/davidminpdx/status/1220499865748197376
Under so-called "End Demand" policies, police surveillance of sex workers only increases. Even if selling sex is no longer criminal, police still arrest sexworkers, since activities adjacent to it, like living with other sexworkers, continue to be illegal https://twitter.com/nyclawgrrrl/status/1222295336934428679
Every Year: The Superbowl is not “a hub” (or an epicenter or anything else) of sex trafficking. This myth is simply false and always has been. https://twitter.com/swopbehindbars/status/1223040449725812736?s=21 https://twitter.com/swopbehindbars/status/1223040449725812736
“A potent combination of puritanism, racism, and political opportunism is putting Asian masseuses and the people who support them in needless danger.” #sexwork https://reason.com/2020/02/02/massage-parlor-panic/
Massive “sex trafficking” panic around the Super Bowl continues to not be a real thing ever. But it’s very harmful to consenting adult sex workers. https://frontpageconfidential.com/miami-super-bowl-sex-trafficking-madness-lies-racial-stereotypes-fear/
The thing about statistics like this: they make you understand there are over 8000 women in Florida who told the police someone had raped them. But: no huge awareness campaigns for those victims! Instead, cops were hunting for women who had sex, but said they were NOT victims.
19 adults busted in North Carolina. "The sheriff said he believed the prostitutes were at risk of being kidnapped into human trafficking without law enforcement intervention." And so to SAVE THESE WOMEN FROM THIS FATE, they ARRESTED THEM. https://www.courier-tribune.com/news/20200204/19-charged-in-alamance-county-prostitution-sting
Though the myth of Superbowl sex trafficking has been extensively debunked, law enforcement continues to use the story of "a massive WAVE of sex trafficking" as an excuse to execute stings, which almost exclusively ensnare consenting adult sex workers. https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/nfl-super-bowl-sex-trafficking-panic
This WHOLE THREAD on the complete lack of a HUGE WAVE OF SEX TRAFFICKING happening at the 2020 Super Bowl, including actual arrest numbers.
But any sex worker could have exactly predicted this. If they’d only listened. https://twitter.com/swopbehindbars/status/1226562877382893568?s=21 https://twitter.com/swopbehindbars/status/1226562877382893568
"Luo suspects decriminalization would pass much faster in a watered-down, "shitty" form. She prefers the longer, more difficult route." https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/labor/should-sex-workers-still-end-handcuffs.html #sexwork
And yet they do. Endlessly.
"The Queens lawmaker added, “We cannot argue that it’s my body and my choice when it comes to abortion, but not sex work.”
Oh man THIS you should read. This is why I don’t call myself a feminist. (If you do, that’s 100% fine with me. That’s you. But I will never ally myself with THE MOST influential brand of modern feminism, who is actively trying to bring about an end to me.) https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-national-organization-for-women-is-tearing-itself-apart-over-sex-work
"Weeks noted that the NOW members pushing for decriminalization are “primarily black and brown women” in the New York and DC chapters. “I just find it very patronizing, in a very patriarchal way, to be telling young women what’s best for them” Weeks said"
"Over the last two decades, human trafficking has become one of the most prominent social issues in America... There’s just one problem. None of the lawmakers or nonprofits behind these campaigns (are) doing anything to address it." https://twitter.com/BrainOnPorn/status/1229616076985520129
Bad things happening, legal crackdowns on webcam models and porn performers - draconian and intrusive “ licensing” proposal put forward that included getting fingerprinted by the cops in order to get a “license” to cam? https://twitter.com/APAGunion/status/1230360233513385984 https://twitter.com/APAGunion/status/1230360233513385984
Here is Reason’s look at the matter, it seems like a confusing situation- apparently now that this is received negative feedback, no one wants to be the ones responsible for having created it! #sexwork https://reason.com/2020/02/20/california-bill-would-require-occupational-licenses-for-porn-actors-strippers-cam-girls/
So these proposed rules are OUTRAGEOUS. Sexwork is a blue collar job, often casual/occasional labor, and no other such industry is subject to hyperintrusive rules like spot license checks in yr own home, and having to pay to listen to mandatory faith based propagands against you.
Sex work can be complicated, but it is not, literally, brain surgery. A woman performing on cam in her own home, or a porn performer working on a professional porn site, cannot harm third parties through their behavior, and so do not need to be threateningly over-scrutinized.
OMG GOOD NEWS (it seems) for once! That extremely-terrible proposal, for truly draconian and unfair regulation of porn performers and cam girls is faltering, and MAY be withdrawn. Cross your fingers! https://twitter.com/eyecantina/status/1230558933976145922?s=21 https://twitter.com/GustavoTurnerX/status/1230558933976145922
The whole thread, but this right here is a perfect explanation of why people who claim they just want to “
rescue the victims
” actually HATE
women who are doing peaceful and consensual adult sex work. Because we show their lie. https://twitter.com/maggie_mcneill/status/1230954868510089216?s=21 https://twitter.com/Maggie_McNeill/status/1230954868510089216
A major goal of sex work decriminalization is that: sex workers can call the police and report crimes, without being threatened with arrest themselves, just for being a sex worker. https://twitter.com/swaiireland/status/1230600009051017216?s=21 https://twitter.com/SWAIIreland/status/1230600009051017216
People perceived to be sex workers are routinely denied the use of bank accounts, rideshare services, and the use of a wide variety of apps. Not because we’ve done something that violates the terms of service, but simply because we exist as sex workers. https://twitter.com/stripsemily/status/1231748067524661251?s=21 https://twitter.com/StripsEmily/status/1231748067524661251
People say “don’t be a sex worker, get a different job”, but when we do, we are hounded and stigmatized out of that job, too. Stop stigmatizing #sexworkers
to death! https://twitter.com/xbiz/status/1143293990952792064?s=21 https://twitter.com/XBIZ/status/1143293990952792064
Decriminalization means that laws like this won’t get (or stay) on the books. These laws are unfair and they make sex workers less safe. https://twitter.com/emeraldxmoon/status/1234609259268100096?s=21 https://twitter.com/emeraldxmoon/status/1234609259268100096
The whole thread. “Anti trafficking” measures invariably make life worse for consenting adult sex workers. And - they don’t help anybody who may be in trouble. https://twitter.com/katedadamo/status/1234965076500676608?s=21 https://twitter.com/KateDAdamo/status/1234965076500676608
Sex workers around the world want one thing, and that is to have our work be decriminalized, so we can be free of the harassment and abuse of police. https://twitter.com/eekiemout/status/1235817267729821701?s=21 https://twitter.com/eekiemout/status/1235817267729821701
If your article about sex work doesn’t have a single quote from someone who does sex work in it, @AaronKatersky
, then your article is a piece of *journalistic crap*. You talk about sex workers like we are objects. https://twitter.com/enbrown/status/1255225282061111306?s=21 https://twitter.com/ENBrown/status/1255225282061111306
This WHOLE WHOLE THREAD
Laws criminalizing being-sexy-for-money are designed to oppress, humiliate, and exclude women from the workplace and from society. We’re still putting Scarlet A’s on people in 2020, and it’s just incredibly harmful. https://twitter.com/advogabby/status/1255272268600573954?s=21 https://twitter.com/AdvoGabby/status/1255272268600573954
This brave writer has given us two excellent pieces about what it’s like to be someone who was sex trafficked, and who worked with anti-sex trafficking organizations. Read her story in her OWN WORDS. https://twitter.com/kelly81rnr/status/1262115434444345345?s=21 https://twitter.com/Kelly81rnr/status/1262115434444345345
This is not a story about sex work, but it’s about how money is taken away from social programs that could help lift people people in poverty UP - and that money is then put into arresting and imprisoning them, often for minor, non-violent offenses. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/04/us-spends-twice-much-law-order-it-does-social-welfare-data-show/
Sexwork is my chosen career, but many people who would choose other jobs, if they had opportunities to do so. But people of color are systematically denied better opportunities in our culture, and when they try to get ahead economically in alternative ways? We arrest them.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.