Where are the abolitionists to banish Craigslist help wanted ads

Since the abolitionists feel eliminating advertising venues is the only way to prevent a tiny percentage of crime. Why are they not calling for Craigslist to ban all help wanted advertising to avoid murder?  If the logic they use is so sound than one would think they would be calling for ending all employment ads to prevent this kind of crime.  Except they wouldn’t want that in this case because it would seem stupid (because the logic is stupid) and would affect them.  But when it is sex workers they have no problem implementing absurd thought processes that affect us.Terrible crime but one would never consider ending help wanted ads.  Yet, for our work they immediately jump to that point and a majority seem to flow with that idea as logical.  Perhaps this analogy will make sense?  http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-11-23/craigslist-killings-ohio/51376280/1?loc=interstitialskip

12 Responses

  1. Jill….
    As always your recent post provides us all with more grist form the mill to think about. It is interesting to us that those who attack sex work are attacking sex workers by wanting to eliminate a legimate avenue of income production for the workers. I harken back to when the western world captialist’s did not want unions during the last century to increase profits by exploitation of labor. Where are those abolitionists that must focus on elimination of the reason for sex work in the first place; capitalism, materialism, sexism and nationalism. As my favorite abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet stated back in the 1800’s regarding chattel slavery, “Let Resistance Be Our Motto.” Keep pushing the boundaries Jill. Amanda!!!!

  2. Andre,

    Thank you for your thoughtful and kind responses.

  3. I agree with Andre that this is another very insightful, thought-provoking post from you, Jill. There was a report by the International Labor Organization which found that domestic housekeeping is the most common industry that trafficking happens in, yet I don’t see the anti-sex work folks pushing to ban maids or housekeeping services from being able to advertise. I’m not saying that that should as I realize not all people in that industry are trafficking victims either, but hopefully people get the point…

  4. In response to Andre, I think it’s more accurate to say that capitalism, sexism, materialism, and nationalism affect sex work than to say they cause sex work. They shape not only sex work, but various institutions such as health care, politics, education, etc.

    I don’t agree with attributing the existence of sex work to only negative causes, though there’s certainly a horrible side to sex work. However, that’s not the only side. In a society with so much stress and negative energy, sex workers can provide relaxation, pleasure, and make people feel good. In this sense, sex workers do provide important services. This is overlooked when people attribute the existence of sex work to only negative causes. Thus, I believe sex work would still exist even in a society without capitalism, sexism, materialism, and nationalism, but the abuses, oppressive laws, and bad working conditions would decrease or disappear and nobody who didn’t want to be sex workers would have to do it anymore just to make ends meet because all people would be able to do work fulfilling and meaningful to us, whether that be sex work or something else.

  5. When we examine the nature and context of capitalism, we see the direct correlation to the exploitation of the worker by the profiteers to make a product, in this instance, sex worker at a cheaper price with little or no overhead. Could it be said that not all sex workers are victims of capitalism and the resultant sexism; ask the sex workers themselves. I’ll add context here. When we look at the family structure in westernized society, it is a structure built upon lies, deceit and exploitation. The base-line for any generation of a business entity is the family itself. At the turn of the last century for example, children and women, especially were exploitated to be workers of the new industrialized america as cheap labor. Death and maiming were the order of the day in those situations. And the persons were discarded for healthier bodies. We saw that many of the persons who were the exploited labor class began to exercise their anger in the form of organizing themselves as protective measures. Jump ahead to this century, them same old tactics of the ruling classes to make more profit is the same, just re-invented tactics. The context for those whom I know as sex workers, alhtough they would not class themselves with that term, understand precisely the correlation of capitalism to the creation of the negative slant on sex work and the workers themselves. Finally, who are these persons and institutions that want to abolish the avenues for the sex worker to earn their livings? And what is the real purpose for abolishing avenues of advertisement, marketing etc for the sex worker? evidence to answer these questions and others points to the fact that those who capitalize off the laborof the sex worker do not regulate and make profit from the work, then they want to eliminate sex worker earning potentials. What would happen if all the sex workers went on strike for 30-days in america if they could afford too? Amandala!!!

  6. Indeed. Keep up fighting the good fight!

  7. Andre wrote, “When we examine the nature and context of capitalism, we see the direct correlation to the exploitation of the worker by the profiteers to make a product, in this instance, sex worker at a cheaper price with little or no overhead.’

    Exactly. You mentioned workers, which shows how workers in various industries are exploited under capitalism, not only sex workers. Thus, if we’re going to say capitalism causes sex work, then we could say that capitalism also causes every other industry in which workers are exploloited. It’s not the work in and of itself, but the capitalist system, so if you take the same type of labor and put it in a different system, then the conditions would be different, whether that be sex work or another type of work. Also, sex work does exist in non-capitalistic societies and if we explore the history of sex work, we can see that it existed in pre-capitalistic societies.

    Further, I am a sex worker and a democratic socialist, so I am very critical of capitalism. My arugment was never that sex workers aren’t being victimized under capitalism, but rather workers in various industries are. Yet, we aren’t saying those industries are inherently capitalistic or trivializing the important work that people in those indutries are. I’ve had jobs in various industries and have been more victimized by capitalism in certain other industries than in sex work, the capitalism certainly permeates into sex work. I say that because I’ve worked various other jobs for long hours and low wages with no benefitsand a lack of internal gratification. In sex work, on the other had, I find I don’t have to work as many hours and am better compensated (though that varies a lot considering that I don’t have a set wage as a sex worker, but only get paid through clients), plus it is internally menaingful for me. I don’t get benefits as a sex worker, but i haven’t had benefits in most other jobs I’ve had under this capitalistic system either. I say this because you suggested asking sex workers if we’re victims of capitalism and sexism, so as a sex worker, I’m responding.
    Also, I have experienced sexism in sex work which led me to sex worker advocacy. However, that’s not something inherent in sex work, but in the broader society that permeates into sex work. Yet, I’ve experienced egalitarian relationships within sex work as well. For example, if a client pays me for my time and services and respects my boundary, and I provide them with mutually agreed upon services, that’s not exploitative. We’re both respecting each other and getting something out of the relationship while giving something to each other. By the way, I’ve also noticed plenty of sexism outside of sex work.

    It’s disturbing that people in this society are so controlled by negative energy that they put negative spins onto even the positive aspects of sex work. Negative energy breeds more negativity, and does nothing to stop the abuses and exploitation that occur within the sex industry and various other industries.

    There’s a part of me that just wants to get through my day, be able to make a living, and not have to worry about getting into these detached, intellectual elist disputes about whether sex work is patriarchal, capitalist, etc. If workers in other industries don’t have to spend their time and energy getting into these disputes, then neither should we. These disputes aren’t paying my bills and living expenses and I get really sick of having to defend the work I do. When anybody says sex work is inherently patriarchal or inherently sexist, they’re not respecting sex workers or the important work we do. I hope that someday, people will learn to respect sex work as a skill and a talent because as somebody with experience working in the legal Nevada brothel system, erotic webcam, and exotic dancing, I can tell you that it is. If we want labor rights and human rights, than we need to stop treating sex work like just a symptom of patriarchy or capitalism which is basically like saying sex work is just a social ill, and start respecting sex work as an occupation.

  8. We are in agreement then. I would offer however that workers in other industries do have conversations regarding their rights, obligations and remedies. As always the ruling classes of western society creates major upset when they do not profit from the workers toil. Marijuana is illegal, why, because the feds can’t make money and control the trafficking of it while instigating said trafficking. I stand with all sex workers who simply want to earn their living and go home after a day’s work. However, my voice will never be silenced when there is exploitation among the cadres of sex workers throughout this world who don’t have a voice. We are not free until we are all truly free. And that is not a cliche for me.” I thank you all who do sex work and those that speak out on their behalf and those that have the balls to protect them whether the sex worker wants protection or not. Amandala!!!

  9. Yes, we’re in agreement, as we’re both concerned with stopping exploitation and promoting the human rights of sex workers. Like you, I will not be silenced either, though I have felt silenced as a sex worker before. There are many sex workers who do have voices, but are being silenced due to oppressive laws, paternalistic attitudes and hatred against sex workers. Thus, my focus is on creating a society in which all sex workers have the freedom to our own voices (even if we speak from different voices), rather than speaking for all sex workers. I hope this is all of our goal. You’re right when you say that sex work is a legitimate income avenue for many people.

  10. One last thought on this topic… I agree that workers in other industries do have conversations regarding their rights, remedies, and obligations, and we’re both arguing that sex workers deserve the same rights. This wasn’t what I was referring to when I wrote about being sick of having to constantly defend my work. It was more about defending my work from claims that sex work is just a symptom of capitalism and sexism rather than respecting it as a legitimate occupation, when the same claims aren’t made against “square” jobs that also exist under capitalistic systems… at least not to the same extent from what I’ve noticed. Just clarifying….

  11. I’m glad to see this discussion. There are diverse opinions expressed here by people on the same page. We can all learn from each other, our diverse experiences and the perspectives that lead each of us to our own views. I appreciate what I have consistently seen in sex worker rights activism is that people can and do rationally and respectfully discuss issues and disagree without it devolving into flames.

  12. The haters have already demonstrated extreme positions that are completely irrational and unworkable and they always will.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: