The Myth Of The Happy Hooker (Or, All Sex Worker Activists Are Angry)

Gracie's picture

There's always been a lot of talk about sex worker happiness, or a lack thereof, and lately the attacks have turned to the sex worker community and its own media bias with accusations that we are so busy romanticizing or defending our happiness that we do not cover "enough" of the "unhappy sex worker" stories. To get to the root of this one must examine two things: the basics of sex work and the nature of activism.

 

Activists are not going to stand still, be quiet, or otherwise be apathetic regarding the very issues they want changed. One of the best ways to counter-act the mythology of any issue is to show the truth; so sex workers, at great personal cost and risk, expose the truth of their lives to educate others. Especially when it comes to issues the mainstream media ignores or grossly reports. If we dare to report our happy, well-adjusted lives (or at least as far as our lives pertain to our work) rather than serve the stereotypical BS the media would rather eat up, don't confuse that with a blind-eye towards the bad stuff; we're the ones out here advocating change on many issues ~ fundamental human rights issues at that. Our "happy hooker" stories aren't about lying or denying; just offering a wider view on the spectrum of the sex worker experience than the mainstream is willing to admit to.

 

Of course, when we do gripe about the unfair, inaccurate & exploitative coverage we are often criticized for what we do and don't say. As plentiful as we sex workers may seem to be, we can't possibly cover every news story, blog post or editorial ~ not only that, we might even opt not to speak.

 

Most of us speak/write from our own experiences and when we have no personal experiences on which to draw from we might choose to say nothing at all. For example, I personally can only repeat over & over again my litany on trafficking: Trafficking isn't about sex work, it's about slavery, and slavery of any sort must be stopped. What else can I add to that conversation?

 

Sometimes we are just told to sit down and shut up. But why on earth would sex workers seeking change, be it in law & criminal matters or the social stigmas and related issues of media, remain silent on the sex worker myths, inaccurate portrayals & continuing betrayals of sex work and sex workers themselves? If that makes us angry, then let us join the angry abolitionists & the sore suffragists.

 

The accusations and criticisms will continue until we make the changes needed to afford sex worker basic labor and human rights. Until then, it's a "no win" situation; one most activists are aware of & exhausted by, but continue to deal with anyway.

 

Even though we know that those complaining are behaving like the current administration and just trying to deflect attention elsewhere, away from the real issue(s), we continue to work towards justice and the human rights of those within our community to the best of our abilities.

Share/Save