I am truly dismayed that the decriminalization of sex workers has still not occurred in our country—what are we waiting for?
When I was in Amsterdam in January, 2014 I saw it is part of their daily life and simply, not a big deal. There is a certain district in Amsterdam known as the red light district. The girls show their stuff in different windows displayed out onto the street and then you go in and choose who you want. What I saw really struck me as no big deal.
The media sensationalizes stories related to women who choose to become sex workers to pay their way through college. Fast, easy cash. Almost glamourizing the industry. It is a break from hearing about the dark, under belly of the sex industry. Is it wrong if the girls love what they are doing? It is their bodies remember.
Many people are under the assumption that many sex workers don’t enjoy what they are doing and yes, there is a side to every sex workers journey and it may sadly be abuse, manipulation and cruelty that leads these women to no choice.
My opinion has been altered by friends who have been sex workers and genuinely enjoyed their work. I have a friend from Brazil who was a sex worker in the United States. She loved what she did because she was able to pick her own clients and she made a hearty amount of money. Her clients not only came to her for sex but also for companionship and conversation.
Many sex workers will not come out and say what they do for fear of being wrongly judged by society as “whores” and fear of being arrested. In 2012, 800,000 American citizens were arrested for soliciting sex. It doesn’t only put the sex workers at fault but also the men and women paying for their services. They fuel the industry. Eliminate the want and sex workers are out of business. Basic supply and demand principles.
But at the core of the discussion, these are my ten reasons why I think sex workers should be decriminalized:
l. Provide a safer environment for sex workers, through regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
2. Less sex trafficking because people would have a choice and young men and women would be at less of a risk.
3. There is always a need for sex. Why make it dirty? No need to get down in illicit places.
4. If sex workers need to earn money to go to college, they can do so stigma free. Debt free.
5. It’s not a big deal. It would be part of our day to day life.
6. The government could no longer arrest them, therefore keeping them and people who smoke marijuana safe from our jails and prisons.
7. Men and Women who need that outlet would have a safe place to go.
8. It would add more money to the economy.
9. Sex workers who choose to raise children, can do so with their income.
10. No more secrets. There could be a new found respect for them and their work.
You know my feelings about decriminalizing sex workers. I want to know how you feel?
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Editorial Assistant: Heather Hendry/Editor: Bryonie Wise