I was scrolling through my timeline on social media and saw a thread about the effects of FOFSA/SESTA on survival sex workers. The original poster (OP) talked about the tragedy of sex workers being forced to work on the streets and being subject to violence and murder. Also she talked about the misinformation of the legislation being spread by "high end" sex workers and that they don't care about the plight of survival sex workers, whom she says many of their main advertising platforms and online resources for staying safe were gone. She went on a rant about their so called opulent lifestyle and they don't know the hardships of survival sex workers. She essentially put blame on "high end" sex workers for the deaths of sex workers. Yes, it was an absolute horrible tragedy for anybody to be killed and the many others that have been displaced and assaulted since the legislation, but blame should be placed on the perpetrators and the lawmakers who made this possible.
SN: For clarification, before I start, I am not considered a "high end" provider for my area and I have dealt with my share of issues since the legislation passed, but I'm not bitter or "woe is me." I just keep it moving.
Well, first, there is A LOT of misinformation about FOFSA/SESTA from ALL fronts, especially when most of the communication about this was online via social media, blogs, and other sex worker forums. As you know, you cannot believe everything you read on the internet. I'll be honest, I was confused about it at first and fed into the panic that happened shortly after the legislation was passed. But, I took time to read the actual wording and read credible resources to see exactly what the deal was. I found out that my world in sex work will change as I have known it, but it was no need to panic. I just had to work smarter. Yeah, a few of my advertising venues were lost and I wasn't as profitable as I would like this past year, but like any adversity that I have faced in life, I just regrouped myself, became persistent and innovative in my business. Isn't that what you do when faced with an obstacle, right?
Second, blaming others who are not directly involved with you for the horrible things that have happened to you is very childish and ignorant. Unless, that provider pulled the trigger on the gun to kill the other provider or physically assaulted you, you can not blame them. That falls on the perpetrator and the lawmakers who pass laws to criminalize sex work. Then to go in and attack their lifestyle, such as having nice things, a certain look, or even having a certain name, is just screaming with jealousy, envy, and misogyny. If having nice things, being successful, and jet setting around the world is how you are as a sex worker, then so be it! Congrats to you! If you are doing survival work to make ends meet to take care of yourself, get through school, etc. That's amazing, too! By the way, I clap for bitches doing the damn thing no matter what. You do you in world that puts limitations on you at birth, and you are out there overcoming those, brillant! You shouldn't have to carry the burden of how other sex workers are doing their business. That's the beauty of what we do, there are so many ways to to build a business that works best for you and your situation.
Granted, there are some sex workers out there who don't know and could care less. They are going do they want to do. It is what it is. We can only be responsible for ourselves. For those who do care and truly want to survive despite the law, can we stop shitting on others? Can get we work to get over this jealousy and internalized misogyny and be a more united front?
You see, with this division and strife within the sex worker community, we are doing exactly what the legislators want. They see us fighting among ourselves and think that sex work does not deserve to be decriminalized at all. That's what they thought about the civil rights movement in the 1950's and late 1960's when there was division on what was to be accomplished and how it was going to be accomplished. The Civil Rights Bill was on the table for many years before it was signed, because lawmakers saw the division and even tried to further the division themselves to show that black people did not deserve equal rights. If you look at past major social change movements, you will see one of the main reasons why social change happened, is because there was a clear, united front. I'm sure there were some internal differences and disagreements, but overall the message was clear, and they were united. As the old saying goes, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall."
Back to the Twitter post at hand, someone did confront the OP about the thread. From what I read, they couldn't see eye to eye. I agreed with the person who responded to the OP. I wanted to respond there, but I had a lot to say for 240 characters. So I just put my thoughts here.
My hope is that we will get our shit together and fight against the real enemy, the criminalization of sex work and all that it encompasses.