Spitzer: some better ideas for the lapsed abolitionist

The New York Times runs “all-sex-workers-are-victims” op-eds. The sex workers, blogging in force at Bound, Not Gagged and elsewhere, beg to differ. They also provide some practical policy guidance. Here, for example, is a list of policy goals from Jill Brenneman of Sex Worker’s Outreach Project East.

• Decriminalization of all aspects of sex work involving consenting adults.
• The right to form and join professional associations or unions.
• The right to work on the same basis as other independent contractors and employers and to receive the same benefits as other self-employed or contracted workers.
• No taxation without such rights and representation.
• Advocating sex worker rights to be free from coercion, violence, sexual abuse, child labor, rape and racism.
• Legal support for sex workers who want to sue those who exploit their labor.
• The right to travel across national boundaries and obtain work permits wherever we live.
• Clean and safe places to work.
• The right to choose whether to work on our own or co-operatively with other sex workers.
• The absolute right to say no.
• Access to health clinics where we do not feel stigmatized.
• Re-training programs for sex workers who want to leave the industry.
• An end to social attitudes which stigmatize those who are or have been sex workers.
• Working to end child sexual tourism

I’m struggling to figure out which of these provisions the abolitionists (even apparently lapsed ones such as Eliot Spitzer) could possibly object to.

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This post was published on 12/03/08 in The sex trade.

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