delve a little deeper....
This weekend was Nottingham Womans Conference. One of the topics was sex work. They invited no sex work relevant organisations along- at least not ones that were anti criminalisation, made up of current sex workers or those who don't feel sex work is 'bad'. This link from the blog of SWOU (Sex Worker Open University) details the issues many sex workers have with the conference.
Three women from SWOU went along to the conference to try and gain entry to the conference and to try and put across their views. If you read the last two blogs from SWOU you'll see other organisations offered the SWOU women a place but this was refused by the organisers.
It's not my story to tell, but the women from SWOU spent the day talking to people from the car park. Last night Eithne Crow tweeted some of the things said to her:
The woman from POW Nottingham yesterday asked me if I use condoms after ten minutes of discussing my various qualifications.
"What should I do once my clients are criminalised?"
"You'll find something else."
"Sex can't be work, it's too intimate."
Me: "But my physio put her fingers in my vagina last week."
"Yeah but she didn't come."
Me: "Because of my health, and the debts that I have, I can't currently do anything else than sex work."
3 other women: "We think you can."
"Do you get condoms and get yourself tested?" A left-field and exceptionally inappropriate enquiry during unrelated discussion.
People are very keen to tell sex workers they are wrong, to ask invasive questions and what we do isn't work, isn't acceptable and so on.
On Friday these tweets from @allovrr amused me and make a great point:
Good tip: every time you say something with SW in, substitute "postman". If it sounds weird, it's probably wrong/ whorephobic.
"Does your partner mind you're a "postman?" "You can't be a postman forever." "So what do you do other than being a postman?"
Further to that, I got embroiled this morning in a series of satirical tweets reversing the notion of paid for sex and 'free' sex.
The ridiculousness of these statements highlight how annoying and offensive some of the assumptions and questions are to sex workers.
So there you go.
Have a think before you ask sex workers questions or try to save them and how you might be offended if the same thing was asked of you.
Thank you to all those who took part in the #banfreebies hashtag. There are more if you care to look!