Deconstructing The Anti-Sexwork Video From Upworthy – An Atheist Perspective
Recently a video found here has been making its way around the internet, this video depicts sex workers in the red light district doing a dance number, and at the end it shows an anti trafficking message stating how many women are “promised careers as dancers only to wind up here”.
Lets start with the obvious flaws .
First they attempt to conflate legalized sex work with trafficking. We know that sex work is not trafficking by its very nature and most trafficking isn’t even sex related. Most human trafficking is textile and agricultural in nature. While Amsterdam’s legalized model for sex work is not perfect assuming that all sex workers there are somehow victims is just not a fair assessment. I suggest you read this article here by @respectsexwork to add some context to what i’m about to say next. I’ll wait.
She makes a lot of really valid points about legalized sex work and how confusing it with human trafficking is dangerous to both trafficking victims and sex workers.
But here on queereka we are part of the skepchick network and have a bent toward skepticism and atheism so i dug into the organizations who created this video and found some rather surprising information.
75 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7HS, United Kingdom
When I googled this address i saw they have the same physical location as a faith based organization called oasis.
Oasis is a christian faith based group. We all know just how dangerous christian mythology can be when it comes to sex ,trafficking and rape. Christianity teaches that consensual sex outside of wedlock is somehow dirty, immoral, evil and dangerous and if you do have sex outside of marriage that you are somehow “damaged goods” Its an atmosphere in society where we are seen as “dirty” , not valuable and desperate.
I don’t know what talking points oasis uses or doesn’t, but if they had to form under the banner of a faith group and not a secular one its fairly obvious the intent is to gain more converts for their brand christianity and to make profits doing so in the guise of doing “good works”. Its also fairly obvious how they view legalized consensual sex work, through the twisted moral lense of a over two thousand year old patriarchal cult bent on keeping women servile and oppressed in the name of of an imaginary deity.
To their credit they do also talk about trafficking in agricultural and textile areas however their inability to separate sex trafficking from sex work is an obvious sign that their perspective is being twisted by their faith and that this is nothing more than an attempt to create a moral panic. Nobody would try to conflate a corn farmer in Iowa with a person who has been kidnapped and forced to work in fields at gunpoint. Nobody is trying to shut down farms and textile plants en mass and nobody is trying to criminalize these professions.
So why is it ok to do that to sex work? Give me one good reason.
I for one get the creeping horrors when i see christian missions that try to “rescue us” from our own choices. I view any group that tries to take choices away from women as dangerous.
Conflating sex work with trafficking criminalizes consensual sexual activity between adults and prevents real sexual trafficking victims from being seen and helped.
Most (but not all) sex workers are women so ask yourself why would a bunch of men who are part of a patriarchal cult seek to take choices away from women. Just sit and think about it.
Duvalguillaume on the other hand, is an organization that sets out to create artificial viral media intended to push whatever their clients happen to be paying them for. They don’t really have a horse in this race, they just got paid to make a video that would have an emotional impact on its viewers regardless of the facts. They play on existing misconception to cause a moral panic about legalized sex work without giving any real facts. They are memetic engineers for profit and nothing more. This is astroturfing and pretty obvious once you follow the ties.
This entire video is nothing more than argumentum ad metum with zero facts.
Links for some sex worker perspectives/sources on the matter. This is by no means comprehensive of all sex worker reactions, just the ones i have seen.