Anti-porn is anti-sex worker

Apr 25, 2014
Anti-Porn
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Anti-porn is anti-sex worker

An op-ed from sexual health educator and activist Jean Ketterling —

Throughout the history of sex worker activism, those who support rights and safety for sex workers have had to push back against feminists who seek to make their careers off of sex workers’s backs.

Anti-porn academic Gail Dines is in Halifax this week, speaking at a conference – Emergent Learning – that you, too, can attend for $300. The cost of the conference is extremely restrictive to most, let alone the survival sex workers in Halifax who should have access to a space where their lives are being debated, discussed and analyzed.

Anti-porn is anti-sex worker

Gail Dines

Anti-porn is anti-sex worker

This is a pivotal moment in Canada for sex worker activism. The laws that have made prostitution de facto illegal were struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada because they denied sex workers their rights to safety and security. In Halifax, spaces like Dines’ presentation are unsafe for sex workers who may want to have their voices heard. If they are able to pay the registration fee, they would have to take a tremendous risk to speak up and against Dines, a prolific academic whose authority has been validated by the organizers.

I face risks when I speak against anti-sex work and anti-pornography activists. I risk being excluded from jobs working with children and youth, losing job opportunities at feminist organizations that take the position that sex work is inherently violent. But as a non-sex-worker, the risks I take are minuscule in comparison to the risks faced by sex workers who speak out. They face violence, ostracization and persecution by outing themselves as participatants in the sex trade.

We must reject the notion that safety and security are only given to those who demonstrate “morally correct” behaviour, and recognize that sex workers’ rights are human rights. In her book Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to Slutwalk, Melinda Chateauvert writes, “Human rights activism empowers the disenfranchised to create the conditions in which marginalized people can speak their truths and craft their own solutions to the problems they identify.” Emergent Learning disenfranchises sex workers by giving Dines an unchecked soapbox from which to preach, and allowing her to dictate solutions that she champions from her self-perceived moral high ground.

Jean Ketterling: anti-porn is anti-sex worker

Jean Ketterling

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[…] I face risks when I speak against anti-sex work and anti-pornography activists. I risk being excluded from jobs working with children …read more     […]

Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
6 years ago

Dines can charge $300 to spout the same recycled lies yet again.

But of course, as she screamed in my face “I’ve been silenced, you understand!” Completely silenced?

She sure is noisy, and well-paid, for someone who’s been completely silenced.

It would appear from the way she restricts attendance at her tent-show revivals that it’s other people who are silenced.

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