Friday, June 1, 2012
International Whores Day! Woohoo!
Being a Sex Worker, like most small groups of people in this big world, every day we are faced with stereotypes, with prejudice, sometimes hate, with contempt.. in some form or another.
Even within our own peers...
I guess this happens with all groups that live outside the boundaries of societies "normalities".. but its hard to accept when the "group" you are in is your every day life and to you feels so.. so... normal!
I am judged by men who could be potential boyfriends/dates.
"So Holly, what do you do for work?"
"I am a sex worker!"
The moment most guys hear me say this, it computes in their brain as "She will have sex with me tonight"
This is not the case.
If i said "Im a pastry chef!" no one would be expecting me to make pastries tonight.. yet the 'sex worker" tag automatically signals "FREE SEX"
A while ago, i made the front page of a small country paper. I had written to the editor about a story they had published and it pissed me off big time. they asked to do an interview, of course i agreed. That week the paper came out and i was so shocked but happy that my pic was the WHOLE front page, with the heading "SAFE SEX - Escort hits back at HIV claims" The pic was very tasteful, i had clothes on, not looking like a whore at all. I was sooooo excited and proud! I woke up and i ran in my PJ's to the local petrol station and bought 10 copies of the paper.. its not everyday you make the front page LOL.
The lady behind the counter smiled at me and said "OOO you must know someone in the paper today!"
I grinned at her, sooo happy "Yes, I made the front page!!"
She looked down, she looked at me, she looked again at the pic and heading.. "Oh.... um that will be $11".. she refused to make eye contact with me.
When she first saw me, she had smiles and was nice.. I looked like a normal girl! But the moment she clicked that i was a sex worker, she no longer had a happy face for me. I wonder what was going thru her head.. whatever it was, it was not positive.
The list goes on.. i could be here for days writing personal examples of how people treat sex workers.... it really is endless.
I am lucky to live in Australia where the laws are a little different to most countries in the world. I am lucky that i have a choice to do what i do safely. If i have a serious problem, i can call the police and they will come and help me - not arrest me. I am lucky that there are so many sex worker groups that support us and fight for our rights to do what we do.
But Australia's sex work laws and procedures are not perfect. They are far from it.
A recent study on the NSW Sex industry, promoted that NSW is the best place in the world for sex workers to work. I tend to agree on a general level... but there are things in NSW that still need to be looked at. And the rest of the states need to follow suit!
In NSW going by the NSW legislation, a single sex worker can work from their home without permission. This is a great thing!
But not all Councils in NSW allow this. How the hell does that work? Its legal in my state, but my local Council PROHIBITS it.
So what is a sex worker to do in my position?
Well, if you ask the council, they tell me that i must put in a brothel application. I must abide by the same rules and regulations.. must be in an industrial zone... must be well away from schools and churches...
All that is well and good...
Apart from there being no residential properties that would suit lil old me in the industrial zone... they are not the ideal place to be walking at night.. the streets are poorly lit... at night there is no one around... its a scary scary option.. not one that i feel good about at all.
It goes against what the NSW legislation says!
So for now, all of the sex workers in my area have 3 choices.
1. Escort. Which means going to mens homes or motel rooms. This is not ideal, as i am walking into someone elses space. I dont know if they have other men in the house, i dont know if there are drugs or weapons and who the hell is guna hear me scream if the client decides that he is going to get a little rough?
2. Work at the local brothel. If i wanted to feel like a process line, if i wanted to be told who to fuck and when then sure, this is a great option.. but i dont. I am an independent sex worker, I dont want to pay someone else to get me bookings and to use their rooms and for them to decide when i work and what i wear blah blah blah.
3. Work from home and everyday risk getting in trouble with council and possibly kicked out of home. Working from home to me is the SAFEST option. It means i have CONTROL. I can put up security cameras to ward off idiots. I can work when i want, how i want, in conditions that are better than any brothel could ever offer.
So now i must fight the council. Now i must take on another group of people who look down on people like me.. i have to fight for something which i personally feel should be my RIGHT to do in this state.
I think its discrimination in its finest!
There arent a billion sex workers in my area... but they are here... we may not make up large numbers, but dont people realise that we vote, we pay taxes, we eat shit and sleep just like everyone else. we are someones daughter, mother sister.. so dont we have the right to work safely?
Other industries have Occupational Health and Safety rules and regulations. Rules in place to protect the workers.... but whos protecting me?
June 2nd is International Whores Day.
On this day in 1975, in Lyon , France, a group of sex workers occupied a church in an act of protest against discrimination and failure by Police to investigate crimes against them. The police responded by threatening to take their children away if they did not vacate the church!
When this threat was made, the situation quickly changed - Women who were NOT sex workers were shocked and joined the sex workers in the church. The police, then unable to tell who was and who wasnt a sex worker!
The police eventually charged into the church with violence their only solution to the problem.. but the solidarity of sex workers and women combined empowered others to take a stand and other sex workers in France also made protest! In the end, the sex workers won their rights as people and full scale investigations of sex worker related crimes were launched!
This gave birth to the Sex Workers Rights Movement!
Its now 2012... and somewhere in this world, sex workers right now are being discriminated against, are being jailed for their occupation, are being tortured.. its 2012 people! Sex Workers have been around for thousands of years! When are we going to be treated like normal members of society?? When are we going to be accepted??? And when will the Governments look after us the same way they do all other occupations???
When will people start to listen to us and our needs? When will people STOP making decisions on our behalf?
Will we ever be seen in anything other than contempt from the masses?????
When will our voices be heard?????
Celebrate International Whores Day this year! Hug a whore! Tell them "YES SEX WORK IS WORK" and if you dont know any whores.. well.. what the hell are you doing? Enrich your own life! Make friends with a whore! Spread the word! We arent nasty disease infected animals! We are caring loving awesome people!
You never know, you might be sitting next to a whore.. RIGHT .... NOW!! lol