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What India’s Sex Workers Want: Power, Not Rescue

What India’s Sex Workers Want: Power, Not Rescue | Women: Relationships, alcohol, porn, lesbians, masturbation, swinging, fantasy, female sex predators and orgasm | Scoop.it

Anu Mokal wasn't breaking the law when she was out walking with her friend last year, yet to the police, her very existence was criminal. As a sex worker in the Indian state of Maharashtra, she lives under various laws aimed at criminalizing the sex trade, supposedly to protect women from exploitation. But it was the law that became her assailant that day when a police officer viciously attacked her, hurling insults and beating her severely.

 

Mokal pleaded that she was pregnant, but—according to Meena Seshu, founder and general secretary of SANGRAM, a sex workers’ rights and anti-HIV/AIDS organization—the officer accused her of lying and said sex workers had "no right to be mothers." A few weeks after the assault, she miscarried.

 

India has not outlawed sex work itself, but sex workers face various restrictions on related activities such as soliciting in public or pimping. The law had left her defenseless, however, against the violence of the state. Fortunately, another advocate stepped in on her behalf: SANGRAM and its affiliated sex worker activist collective, Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP). The activists demanded that Maharashtra politicians investigate the beating and institute reforms, including a grievance commission to address abuses of sex workers' human rights.


Via Gracie Passette
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A sex worker's response to columnist Mia Freedman's blog in which implied that she does not respect the right of women with mental illness to become sex workers.

A sex worker's response to columnist Mia Freedman's blog in which implied that she does not respect the right of women with mental illness to become sex workers. | Women: Relationships, alcohol, porn, lesbians, masturbation, swinging, fantasy, female sex predators and orgasm | Scoop.it

As a sex worker who has both mental illness(es) and a history of abuse Mia Freedman’s post perpetuates stereotypes and stigmas that harm me. Should my mental illness prevent me from having any agency? Didn’t we do away with locking the mentally ill up and throwing away the key (although this still does happen) because we (as a society) started to recognise the mentally ill as humans with rights? Or do we only have some rights? Like the right to work in a low paying, menial job or the right to exist (not live because let’s face it, it isn’t a living wage) on the disability support pension and that is if you even qualify for it, if you don’t you can always try and get by on unemployment “benefits” while you are made to apply for jobs you will never get. Surely I still have the right to have sex don’t I? I can’t see Mia Freedman advocating for enforced chastity belts for the mentally ill. So, if I have the right to work and the right to have sex, what is wrong with me having sex as my work?


Via Gracie Passette
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Being Arrested Made Me Believe So Much More In My Sex Work

Being Arrested Made Me Believe So Much More In My Sex Work | Women: Relationships, alcohol, porn, lesbians, masturbation, swinging, fantasy, female sex predators and orgasm | Scoop.it
This week, Cate gets arrested and thinks about life while waiting behind bars: it also renews her beliefs that sex work should be safe and legal for all.

Via Gracie Passette
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