As we all know, sex work is about making money, so for anyone who is a sex worker because school is so goddamned expensive, the threat of job loss would effectively bar them from researching their own occupations. Or would special ethics restrictions only apply to students who get into sex work forresearch — the already-sullied are good to go, but the Research Ethics Board must defend the chastity of the non-whoring students? Would they “protect” other feminists and labour scholars from conducting autoethnographic research?
I’m writing a paper right this second using an autoethnographic approach to sex work research. It’s scary enough to write about sex, work, sexual assault, disability, stigmatization, fear, shame, coercion and the host of other issues that have cropped up, without subjecting myself to regulation and discipline by an institution that is fundamentally uninterested in sex workers’ rights. The kind of pressure Bindel suggests putting on sex workers — and the kind of pressure the PAR-L poster does put on sex workers by highlighting “students direct involvement with the sex industry” in an attempt to generate moral panic — would have a chilling effect on sex worker-led research and a negative impact on sex workers’ access to education.