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The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost (Read 1586 times)
mothra
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The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:31pm
 
The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost


Stigma is a mark of disgrace, a social discrediting, or a spoiled identity. For sex workers, legal, cultural and social discourse is characterised by “prurience, titillation, outrage and disgust”.

Narratives of sex work as undesirable and sex workers as disposable victims are heavily steeped in our cultural imagination.

We need only think of the differential media treatment of the murders of Jill Meagher and Tracy Connelly to learn that sex workers’ lives are deemed less valuable. Or the Courier Mail’s reporting on the horrific murder and dismembering of Mayang Prasyeto (ruled “offensive” and “gratuitous” by the Press Council), and Mia Freedman’s infamous comments on ABC’s Q&A that:

No little girl grows up wanting to be a sex worker, thank heavens.

Examining the individual and institutional treatment of sex workers reveals how sexuality is organised and stratified, and how certain kinds of intimacies are rewarded or punished. It exposes the ways in which the state “has a sexual agenda” and demands mechanisms for accountability and redress.

Systemic discrimination

Research has uncovered discrimination against sex workers in access to goods and services, housing and accommodation, employment opportunities and justice.

Sex workers report having their Airbnb accounts suspended, their PayPal accounts closed down, and being banned from advertising.

Both the Salvation Army and Family Protection Society have publicly apologised to sex workers for further stigmatising sex work in their fundraising campaigns.

Stigma is compounded for sex workers who work for survival, use illicit drugs, are trans or gender-diverse, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, migrants or culturally and linguistically diverse, are parents, or work on the street. These communities experience disproportionate levels of policing, harassment and criminalisation.

Sex workers living with HIV have been incarcerated, despite no evidence they have transmitted HIV or engaged in unsafe practices.

Discrimination is not an isolated experience. A New Zealand teacher who posed for Australian Penthouse was deregistered. In the US, a woman was charged with conduct “unbecoming a teacher” for merely writing about her prior sex work experience.

Not only do anti-discrimination protections for sex workers remain inconsistent and inadequate, but in 2012, Queensland anti-discrimination legislation was amended to deliberately permit discrimination against sex workers in providing accommodation.

Legally complicit

Stigma manifests in policy and regulatory frameworks that criminalise or licence sex work, require sex workers to have mandatory medical testing or permanent registration on police or government databases, prohibit sex work from being visible from churches and hospitals, and local council policies that treat brothels as “outlaws”.

Stigma puts sex workers at risk. Criminal and licensing laws create opportunities for violence where sex workers have to choose between safety and legality.

Mere knowledge of someone’s sex work can be used against them by abusive partners, as blackmail or suggesting they are unfit parents in custody cases.

Stigma is socially isolating. It reduces the options for sex workers to turn to for support and is recognised as a critical barrier to accessing health care, human rights, and justice.

Global support for destigmatising sex work

Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says discrimination against sex workers “must change”. And former Australian High Court judge Michael Kirby says human rights for sex workers are a matter of “public morality”. The UN Program on HIV/AIDS and the UN Population Fund insist upon universal rights and access to justice for sex workers.

Eliminating the negative impact of stigma and discrimination against sex workers remains an objective of Australia’s national strategies tackling HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections. Protecting sex workers from discrimination falls within Australia’s international human rights obligations.

Despite this, there is no national system in place to assess and monitor experiences of stigma among sex workers in Australia. Without these mechanisms, we cannot effectively implement strategies to reduce stigma.

Stigma reduction

Reducing stigma requires not only legal and policy change, but cultural change.

There are obvious first steps: decriminalisation of sex work, anti-discrimination protections, and funding for peer-driven rights-based sex worker organisations. But these steps alone are not enough.

Researching and monitoring the prevalence, manifestations and implications of stigma is crucial to developing strategies to reduce its impact.

UNSW’s Centre for Social Research in Health in partnership with Scarlet Alliance, is currently conducting qualitative focus groups on sex work stigma in Australia. This pilot project will inform the future development of a national quantitative survey instrument that can be used annually to measure sex work stigma in Australia.

The development of national stigma indicators will allow for concrete targets to be set to reduce stigma. This data can be used as a foundation for stigma reduction interventions, such as media audit tools or regulatory guidelines.

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mothra
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #1 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:32pm
 
Emotional costs of stigma

Sex workers continue to mobilise, engage and fight against stigma. The hashtags #rightsnotrescue and #facesofprostitution are examples of the diverse human faces behind sex work.

But one of the most insidious consequences of stigma is its ability to curtail the capacity of sex workers to fight for basic human rights.

Both external and internalised stigma impacts the mental health and emotional resilience of sex workers to engage in advocacy, organising and activism. Stigma feels heavy. Stigma is exhausting. Stigma is grieving the death of another community member and friend.

The sheer weight of stigma is an intergenerational burden passed on and held by sex workers. The greatest travesty is that stigma directs sex workers’ energies to the reactive work of responding to sensationalist headlines or political expediency and diverts it from peer education, community building and world-making – the very generative work that allows us to survive and thrive.

https://theconversation.com/the-stigma-of-sex-work-comes-with-a-high-cost-79657
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Gordon
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #2 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:37pm
 
What do you do for a crust, Moths?
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Wokka Wokka Wokka
 
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John Smith
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #3 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:47pm
 
I don't have a problem with those that do it because they want to, at least they're out their trying to get ahead  .... my only problem is the ones who do it because of drug addiction
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greggerypeccary
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #4 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:47pm
 
Gordon wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:37pm:
What do you do for a crust, Moths?


If she's paid to make you look like an idiot, she won't have to work for much longer.

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Sir Bobby
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #5 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:49pm
 
Greggy & Smithy -

there is no need to feel guilty about what you do.
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mothra
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #6 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:50pm
 
John Smith wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:47pm:
I don't have a problem with those that do it because they want to, at least they're out their trying to get ahead  .... my only problem is the ones who do it because of drug addiction


What's your problem there? And how would you like to see it addressed?
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greggerypeccary
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #7 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:53pm
 
Sir Bobby wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:49pm:
Greggy & Smithy -

there is no need to feel guilty about what you do.


I don't.

Do you?

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Gordon
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #8 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:58pm
 
greggerypeccary wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:53pm:
Sir Bobby wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:49pm:
Greggy & Smithy -

there is no need to feel guilty about what you do.


I don't.

Do you?



Did you manage to find the nut juice you were looking for?  Perhaps a male sexworker could help you out.
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JaSinner
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #9 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:40pm
 
I think Liz Hurley and Mariah Carey are prostitutes.

They obviously only date men 'for the money'.

Liz divorced her wealthy Indian husband after a short time.
Got a huge pay-out.
The drained the gullible Shane Warne dry.
Didn't he chase her around like a lost puppy.
But hey, he deserved it - he's a sleaze.

So it is sad, when a woman (and even men) sell their bodies to support 'negative' influences in their lives.
But many do so out of choice.
Many Uni students do it to support themselves.
Personally, is getting a degree really worth that?
But many women are just sluts and get paid well for being so.

Of course - you have the USA version of the Media and we all know how 'sexually depraved and addicted' that is.

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"All those ...moments, will be lost, like - tears in rain. Time ...to die."
 
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greggerypeccary
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #10 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:45pm
 
JaSinner wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:40pm:
I think Liz Hurley and Mariah Carey are prostitutes.

They obviously only date men 'for the money'.



Mariah's more of an escort.

I don't think Packer ever had sex with her.

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mothra
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #11 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:50pm
 
JaSinner wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:40pm:
I think Liz Hurley and Mariah Carey are prostitutes.

They obviously only date men 'for the money'.

Liz divorced her wealthy Indian husband after a short time.
Got a huge pay-out.
The drained the gullible Shane Warne dry.
Didn't he chase her around like a lost puppy.
But hey, he deserved it - he's a sleaze.

So it is sad, when a woman (and even men) sell their bodies to support 'negative' influences in their lives.
But many do so out of choice.
Many Uni students do it to support themselves.
Personally, is getting a degree really worth that?
But many women are just sluts and get paid well for being so.

Of course - you have the USA version of the Media and we all know how 'sexually depraved and addicted' that is.



So, where is your emphasis? That the only things of value in those women is their ability to provide sexual services for men stupid enough to actually commit to marry them for it?..

..or that those men are so shallow that they are bought and sold by their dicks?
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John Smith
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #12 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:51pm
 
mothra wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:50pm:
John Smith wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:47pm:
I don't have a problem with those that do it because they want to, at least they're out their trying to get ahead  .... my only problem is the ones who do it because of drug addiction


What's your problem there? And how would you like to see it addressed?


my problem is that they're not doing it out of their own choosing. It's their craving for the drugs, or the drug pusher, who is making them do it. If you ask would they do it if not for drugs, and the answer is no, they shouldn't be doing it ever.

See it addressed? I'm not sure it can be. I don't see the drug problem ever stopping
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REPORTER: The condition of the budget will not be an excuse for breaking promises?

TONY ABBOTT: Exactly right. We will keep the commitments that we make.
 
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John Smith
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #13 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:52pm
 
Sir Bobby wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:49pm:
Greggy & Smithy -

there is no need to feel guilty about what you do.



trolling again booby? Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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REPORTER: The condition of the budget will not be an excuse for breaking promises?

TONY ABBOTT: Exactly right. We will keep the commitments that we make.
 
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mothra
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Re: The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost
Reply #14 - Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:55pm
 
John Smith wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 3:51pm:
mothra wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:50pm:
John Smith wrote on Aug 10th, 2017 at 2:47pm:
I don't have a problem with those that do it because they want to, at least they're out their trying to get ahead  .... my only problem is the ones who do it because of drug addiction


What's your problem there? And how would you like to see it addressed?


my problem is that they're not doing it out of their own choosing. It's their craving for the drugs, or the drug pusher, who is making them do it. If you ask would they do it if not for drugs, and the answer is no, they shouldn't be doing it ever.

See it addressed? I'm not sure it can be. I don't see the drug problem ever stopping


Yeah but how else are they going to get the money for their drugs?

And a way of addressing it would be to legalise drugs and treat addiction as a medical issue.

Also, increasing the numbers of counsellors and support workers .. instead of slashing every bloody agency like they've been doing.
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