Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Please, bring back prostitution before it's too late

I am referring to the word prostitutution, not the trade of prostitution. The ex-prostitute (a Rebecca Cannon of Fitzroy) who penned the words below should know better.

As a former sex worker who made an objective choice to join the industry, I did not suffer in any way from having worked in it, enjoyed the profession as a creative and social pursuit, and have no shame in discussing my employment in it. However, receiving due respect for this skilled profession is extremely difficult when the media reaffirm the stereotype that sex workers are victimised drug addicts in the industry as a result of ignorance and desperation.

From my experience most women in the sex industry are headstrong, self-motivated professionals exploiting the sexual needs of others to achieve an attractive rate of pay that assists them in achieving their own needs, such as paying for a tertiary education or fast-tracking a mortgage.

Biased, negative reporting only further complicates the already difficult task of educating others about the skill set involved in sex work, which ranges from the performance of sexual acts through to social work and counselling of clients.

The fact that Rebecca uses the euphemism "former sex worker" to describe herself rather than the time-honoured and unambiguous usage "former prostitute" is an indication that (contrary to her claims) she is ashamed of her former trade. (Unlike Rebecca, I wouldn't call prostitution a profession as the entry level qualification is not a pass degree - pun intended).

I have no objection to Rebecca hawking her fork. What I object to is her weasel usage of "sex worker" rather than the perfectly respectable word prostitute.