We’re not ‘women for sale’, says Jules Kim after festival failed to invite sex workers to join a panel discussing their profession
Three Sydney sex workers have staged a protest at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas over the representation of their profession in a panel discussion on the global sex industry called Women For Sale.
During a session that also discussed pornography, IVF and surrogacy, they handed out pamphlets to festival goers and posed with an A3 sign that read: “I am a sex worker. I am not for sale”.
Festival of Dangerous Ideas
This year’s festival has been beset with controversy, including the cancellation of a talk on “honor” killings and calls for a boycott over links to the government’s asylum seeker policy.
“This is a festival of dangerous ideology,” one of the workers, Jules Kim, told Guardian Australia. “Sex workers are not ‘women for sale’. The panel discusses sex workers, but the festival did not invite sex workers to be on the panel even though they are the experts in this field.”
Kim, who is the acting chief executive of the Australian sex workers’ organization Scarlet Alliance, applied to festival organizers St James Ethics Centre to be included on the panel which featured four writers and journalists, but had her request denied.