In response to a message that I was asked not to publish, I’d like to clarify some things about this mess of a post. My poor phrasing raised some concerns about what I was implying… so allow me to offer this reassurance:
- I do not believe that criticizing the sex industry amounts to classism.
- I do believe that large chunks of the sex industry are predatory and exploitative.
- I believe that part of what allows the sex industry to be so exploitative is the stigma against the women (+ various others) directly involved in it, since that kind of prior work experience can damage their standing with potential employers in other industries.
- I’m not interested in touting full decriminalization as a simple answer to these issues, since I regard these problems as being irrevocably tied to a capitalist economic structure, something that legal decriminalization will not alter.
And while I’m on the subject… I’ll state that my views on all this are in large part shaped by my relationship with the copilot, who’s been working as a stripper since my sophomore year of college. I’m not going to try and speak for her views on the issue, but through her I’ve had second-hand exposure to the ways that stigma and legal interference have made her life harder, and the treatment she has to deal with at work that makes me wish she could leave and never look back, and how much she needs that fast money in order to keep up with all her debt (+ obligatory reminder that you can donate to her paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org to help!).
So, no, I don’t think of it as “just a job.” And I don’t want anyone else to think of it that way, either.