Sex Workers Declare They’re #NotYourRescueProject with New Twitter Campaign

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"When you treat the profession as degrading, you degrade those in it."

Dr. Laura Agustín, The Naked Anthropologist, blogs a lot about misconceptions about what she calls "The Rescue Industry". That is, the feminists, social workers, politicians, police, and other organizations that seek to "rescue" women out of the sex worker profession. One of her largest arguments is that the Rescue Industry discredits, "what adult women say about their experiences of selling sex, thus disqualifying them as subjects in a discussion about their own fates." 

That discussion is well open today as hundreds of sex workers took to Twitter to express their thoughts about their victimization by organizations and individuals looking to help them. It all started when a sex worker, Pasta, tweeted, "I feel like SWs are always being put into boxes by no-SWs in a way that flattens complexity." The hashtag has rocketed into popularity since, with poignant, surprising, even humorous remarks accompanying the tweets from sex workers and supporters.

This protest is interesting in light of recent anti-prostitution laws that passed in France last month, which will fine a prostitute's clients up to $2,100 if they're caught. While some claim this will help curb the trafficking of the Easten European, African, South American, and Chinese women that are brought to France every year, some declare it will only drive the industry dangerously underground, making sex workers unlikely to report victimization and crimes. Even if it's not what Agustín meant in her description of empowering sex workers, the power of social media platforms like Twitter and grassroots driven movements like the Sex Workers Outreach Project and the Red Umbrella Project give actual sex workers what they deserve in the highly complex rescue conversation: a voice.

[h/t Straight.com]

Image via Flickr.