In addition, sex workers themselves have disputed the dichotomous nature of abolitionism and nonabolitionism, advocating instead a focus on sex workers' rights. In , the Network of Sex Worker Projects claimed that "Historically, anti-trafficking measures have been more concerned with protecting 'innocent' women from becoming prostitutes than with ensuring the human rights of those in the sex industry.
In addition, Jo Doezema has written that the dichotomy of the voluntary and forced approaches to sex work has served to deny sex workers agency. Sex workers are unlikely to disclose their work to healthcare providers. This can be due to embarrassment, fear of disapproval, or a disbelief that sex work can have effects on their health. There are very few legal protections for sex workers due to criminalization; thus, in many cases, a sex worker reporting violence to a healthcare provider may not be able to take legal action against their aggressor.
Health risks of sex work relate primarily to sexually transmitted infections and to drug use. The reason transgender women are at higher risk for developing HIV is their combination of risk factors. They face biological, personal, relational, and structural risks that all increase their chances of getting HIV.
Biological factors include incorrect condom usage because of erectile disfunction from hormones taken to become more feminine and receptive anal intercourse without a condom which is a high risk for developing HIV. Personal factors include mental health issues that lead to increased sexual risk, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse provoked through lack of support, violence, etc.
Structural risks include involvement in sex work being linked to poverty, substance abuse, and other factors that are more prevalent in transgender women based on their tendency to be socially marginalized and not accepted for challenging gender norms.
The largest risk for HIV is unprotected sex with male partners, and studies have been emerging that show men who have sex with transgender women are more likely to use drugs than men that do not.
Condom use is one way to mitigate the risk of contracting an STI. However, negotiating condom use with one's clients and partners is often an obstacle to practicing safer sex. While there is not much data on rates of violence against sex workers, many sex workers do not use condoms due to the fear of resistance and violence from clients.
Some countries also have laws prohibiting condom possession; this reduces the likelihood that sex workers will use condoms. Brothels with strong workplace health practices, including the availability of condoms, have also increased condom use among their workers. Health Concerns of Exotic Dancers Mental Health and Stigma In order to protect themselves from the stigma of sex work, many dancers resort to othering themselves.
This practice creates a lot of stress for the dancers, in turn leading many to resort to using drugs and alcohol to cope. Since it is so widespread, the use of drugs has become normalized in the exotic dance scene. Despite this normalization, passing as nonusers, or covering as users of less maligned drugs, is necessary. This is because strippers concurrently attribute a strong moral constitution to those that resist the drug atmosphere; it is a testament to personal strength and will power.
Stigma causes strippers to hide their lifestyles from friends and family alienating themselves from a support system. Further, the stress of trying to hide their lifestyles from others due to fear of scrutiny affects the mental health of dancers.
Stigma is a difficult area to address because it is more abstract, but it would be helpful to work toward normalizing sex work as a valid way of making a living. This normalization of sex work would relieve the stress many dancers experience increasing the likelihood that they will be open about their work. Being open will allow them access to a viable support system and reduce the othering and drug use so rampant in the sex industry. Forced sex work is when an individual enters into any sex trade due to coercion rather than by choice.
Sex workers may also experience strong resistance to condom use by their clients, which may extend into a lack of consent by the worker to any sexual act performed in the encounter; this risk is magnified when sex workers are trafficked or forced into sex work.
Forced sex work often involves deception - workers are told that they can make a living and are then not allowed to leave. This deception can cause ill effects on the mental health of many sex workers. Sex worker's rights advocates argue that sex workers should have the same basic human and labor rights as other working people.
Advocates also want to see changes in legal practices involving sex work, the Red Umbrella Project has pushed for the decriminalization of condoms and changes to New York's sex workers diversion program. Each year in London The Sexual Freedom Awards is held to honor the most notable advocates and pioneers of sexual freedom and sex workers' rights in the UK, where sex work is essentially legal.
The unionization of sex workers is a recent development. The IUSW advocates for the rights of all sex workers, whether they chose freely or were coerced to enter the trade, and promotes policies that benefit the interests of sex workers both in the UK and abroad. In unionizing, many sex workers face issues relating to communication and to the legality of sex work.
Because sex work is illegal in many places where they wish to organize, it is difficult to communicate with other sex workers in order to organize. There is also concern with the legitimacy of sex work as a career and an activity that merits formal organizing, largely because of the sexism often present in sex work and the devaluation of sex work as not comparable to other paid labor and employment.
A factor affecting the unionization of sex work is that many sex workers belong to populations that historically have not had a strong representation in labor unions. While this unionization can be viewed as a way of empowering sex workers and granting them agency within their profession, it is also criticized as implicitly lending its approval to sexism and power imbalances already present in sex work.
Unionization also implies a submission to or operation within the systems of capitalism, which is of concern to some feminists. Independent contractor vs Employee Performers in general are problematic to categorize because they often exercise a high level of control over their work product, one characteristic of an independent contractor.
Additionally, their work can be artistic in nature and often done on a freelance basis. Often, the work of performers does not possess the obvious attributes of employees such as regular working hours, places or duties. Consequently, employers misclassify them because they are unsure of their workers' status, or they purposely misclassify them to take advantage of independent contractors' low costs.
Exotic dance clubs are one such employer that purposely misclassify their performers as independent contractors.
There are additional hurdles in terms of self-esteem and commitment to unionize. On the most basic level, dancers themselves must have the desire to unionize for collective action.
For those who wish not to conform to group activity or want to remain independent, a union may seem as controlling as club management since joining a union would obligate them to pay dues and abide by decisions made through majority vote, with or without their personal approval. In the Lusty Lady case study, this strip club was the first all woman managed club to successfully unionize in Some of the working conditions they were able to address included "protest[ing] racist hiring practices, customers being allowed to videotape dancers without their consent via one-way mirrors, inconsistent disciplinary policies, lack of health benefits, and an overall dearth of job security".
Unionizing exotic dancers can certainly bring better work conditions and fair pay, but it is difficult to do at times because of their dubious employee categorization. Also, as is the case with many other unions, dancers are often reluctant to join them. This reluctance can be due to many factors, ranging from the cost of joining a union to the dancers believing they do not need union support because they will not be exotic dancers for a long enough period of time to justify joining a union.
While some NGOs have increased their programming to improve conditions within the context of sex work, these programs are criticized at times due to their failure to dismantle the oppressive structures of prostitution, particularly forced trafficking. Some scholars believe that advocating for rights within the institution of prostitution is not enough; rather, programs that seek to empower sex workers must empower them to leave sex work as well as improve their rights within the context of sex work.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Pornography legal under some restrictions. Sexual slavery and Sex trafficking. What we must not know in order to keep the business of sexual exploitation running smoothly" by Melissa Farley, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 18 1: Just as torture can be named enhanced interrogation, and logging of old-growth forests is named the Healthy Forest Initiative, words that lie about prostitution leave people confused about the nature of prostitution and trafficking.
Retrieved 24 April The Globe and Mail. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Sex Work and the City. Archived from the original on 31 March Retrieved 31 March Poverty forcing girls into risky sex work Archived at the Wayback Machine.
International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. Retrieved 13 November The New York Times. Journal of Trauma Practice. Retrieved 11 November From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business. The Failure of a Movement". Archived from the original PDF on Journal of Infectious Diseases.
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