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celebratedrecluse wrote

This is an incredible piece, I think it really shows how there needs to be a more in depth opportunity for trans sex workers to be compensated for talking about this.


Fry wrote

There are so many things in this article that really upset me. The worst being that she wants a job in a field she has studied for (which we all want) and the fact that transphobia has led her to the conclusion that getting into the job market is a far fetched dream. I can see it becoming a self fulfilling prophecy especially if you've had lots of rejections. It must be horrible for a womans sense of self worth. As much as I'm pro decriminalizing sex work, I think the real solution is to own up responsibility as a society and start accepting these women properly.


celebratedrecluse wrote

the real solution

is to empower sex workers to be paid better & enjoy greater safety, but the first step is to respect their occupation like you would any other service industry job.


GaldraChevaliere wrote

Yeah, and they're not a monolith or representative of sex workers as a whole. The conditions that create a need for work in the first place need to be abolished, people turn to sex work at the same frequency they turn to daytaling and retail. We don't need some well intentioned 'feminists' legislating our source of income any more than they have.


celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

There are sex workers who believe it is less degrading to spend two hours stroking one man's ego and bruised pride, than eight hours breaking your body and soul in a restaurant or target, so long as you're paid the same for each. They write about it in articles which are posted in this very forum. You are just writing that off, on the basis of secondhand anecdotal evidence. Don't you think this argument of yours is being constructed from thesis to evidence, rather than from evidence to thesis? Is it even your argument, or are you repeating something that dominant society wants you to believe?

Honestly, it feels like some of you didn't even really read the article. The whole point is that this isn't tragic, or romantic, its neither of those monoliths. There is no easy metanarrative here, it's just people talking about the complexities of navigating gender, relationships, and work-- there's a little bit of everything there. So what you should have taken away from this, dead to rights, isn't "wow how sad this is, that people have condemned themselves to a last resort, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Listen to yourselves! How condescending and parochial.

I'm sure you wouldn't tolerate someone talking about your job this way. If someone who never had to work your job a day in their lives, but had the nerve to pity you for having to do it, you'd be fucking pissed off, regardless of how bad your boss treats you or how much you want to get out of the field.

Now think about if everyone, even supposed "allies", talked that way to you-- in between having to navigate your real life concerns and the actual dangers of your work, you have these pricks on the internet, at your local bars and movie theatres, even in your friend groups and for fucks sure in your family, all pitying you for your line of work at the moment, as if you are some hapless victim, or damaged goods, or enthralled to the patriarchy, or whatever other insults people dress up as "concern".

So just think of how pissed you'd be about that, and multiply it by an order of magnitude, and I think we might be getting close to how grating a lot of sex workers find this type of rhetoric.

It's not that I think that we shouldn't increase economic opportunities for trans women. By all means, give us money, social roles which allow us greater freedom and power than we currently do. But I don't like the attitude that people take towards sex work, whether its cis or trans people doing it. Strippers, pornstars, sex workers, they all do an incredible amount of emotional and therapeutic labor for people in this repressed modernity. Especially if we are going to devalue and demonetize even the rudimentary mental healthcare we have available now, it is real fucked up to talk down to the people on the ground picking up the pieces left behind from capitalism, and trying to survive within it too.

Put sex workers in the drivers seat, and you will find much greater success in improving the lives of sex workers than by trying to act or speak on their behalf.

edit: accidentally a syntax


Fry wrote (edited )

I am from a country where sex work is legal, trust me, its not as rosy as you make it seem. And in the article the woman clearly states she gave up on applying for jobs because of her being transgender. How is that not sad to you? I know there are different reasons for women to do sex work, however, hearing a woman say she initially wanted a job she studied for but then chose to do sex work because of a discriminative job market is sad as shit. If you can't see a self fulfilling prohpecy in that then thats on you. I think if she had just one positive employer who didnt't judge her and hired her for her capabilities things would have turned out the way she initially wanted.

Edit: Dont forget I was talking about the woman in the article specifically, not sex workers in general. Her story made me sad because it reminds me of what its like being black in certain field of work and trying to apply for those jobs. Try reading stuff properly instead of trying to feel offended.


celebratedrecluse wrote

How is that not sad to you?

There are tragic aspects of the stories told, but that is far from the only side of any of these stories. This was, in fact, the central thesis of the article. Here it is, restated once again:

My point with all of this is not to dilute the vital conversation around sex work among those struggling to consistently feed themselves or find a couch to crash on. Rather, the fight to decriminalize and legitimize sex work as labor—strenuous, demanding, and undercompensated, to be exact—requires that we recognize it, as a central part of many women's experiences, is so many other things, too; a context in which women are surviving—and living.

I am from a country where sex work is legal, trust me, its not as rosy as you make it seem.

I am from a country where retail is legal, trust me, its not as rosy as you make it seem.

Okay, that was annoying. lol. but thats the thing...Its banal, because you could say that about...any profession, because generally speaking work isn't what we want to do. It's alienated labor, in one way or another. and just because its legal...i mean, thats like the bare minimum of protection, that its legal for you to work. thats an awful and ridiculous standard for whether a particular labor situation can be harmful to the workers or not. you wouldn't apply that to any other kind of work. it might be legal to work 15 hour shifts as a nurse but that doesnt mean its healthy or safe, nor does it mean that the same work in 6-9 hour shifts would be the same degree of destructive to the worker who does the shift.

So let me be clear, that's not what I'm talking about. Sex work should be decriminalized, obviously I support that, but if you ask me there should also be free associations among the workers, which share resources as appropriate and help keep each other safe & the value of the labor high. That's a much bigger goal than simply asking the state to fuck off-- ultimately, its about autonomy for the workers in a much broader sense, which will fundamentally transform the experience of doing sex work, make it less catering to the normative, and abolish the most exploitative situations altogether.

But fuck what I think should happen. Fundamentally, this is about empowering the workers to determine all this for themselves, and for people who aren't sex workers that means building respect for sex workers, and that includes recognizing the value and dignity of the work that they do as much as it does improving opportunities and lowering barriers for sex workers in a diversity of fields. In fact, you're not going to be able to do one without engaging meaningfully in the latter, and vice versa.

Try reading stuff properly instead of trying to feel offended.

what the are so condescending. even when i point out the flaws in your argument, you just get defensive and dont reconsider anything. whatever, suit yourself


Fry wrote (edited )

Whatever dude. I was focussing on that specific girl in that specific situation, not generalizing it. You are trying to find faults where there are none to be found, trying to put words in my mouth. I dont disagree with the "general theme" of the article. I'm just disgusted and saddened by the fact that this particular girl never got to live out her dream because of transphobia. Which is what I was addressing. I bet you're a lovely person to know in real life

SUMMARY: The sad part may not be the only important part in this article, but it is a part of it that got to me the most, as I stated in my first comment.


GaldraChevaliere moderator wrote

Recluse isn't a dude. Dunno why you're crying about how hard life must be for trans women when you won't make basic concessions to others' identities because they told you, very patiently, that you're wrong. We neither want nor need your misplaced, affected pity.


celebratedrecluse wrote

Sure, and I'm saying that's reductive, and basically effaces the point of the article. by reiterating the dominant narrative about sex work in this specific case-- that this sex worker is (primarily or wholly) a victim-- you have to ignore a lot of the parts of her story, which I'm sure is not really the takeaway she intended. That's the only reason I'm pushing back on what you said-- it's not that I am trying to make you feel bad, or insult you, or that I'm looking to be offended. Which, I will say, is pretty insulting, to basically invalidate my point without engaging with it. Don't you think I've engaged with your perspective a bit more than you have with mine?

Why do you think there might be this discrepancy between us, on who feels they have to make more effort to empathize with the other?

Whatever dude. I bet you're a lovely person to know in real life

I don't know, I think I'm okay. lol


celebratedrecluse wrote

When did I say anything contrary to what you said in your comment?

I don't think you did, not literally. I am sorry that my criticism came across as a personal attack, that is never my intention with any comrades. I apologize for saying words that made you feel attacked.

What I was responding to were the parts that I felt were chosen to be focused on in the replies, which are not untrue in of themselves, but which only tell part of the story, because the article which was linked was very clearly intended to expand that story to a fuller and more complete scope. Specifically, the tragic aspects of the narratives becoming the dominant strain of the narratives that were being discussed ITT, which is not what the author would have wanted based on quotes I have pulled from the article.

it’s a meaningless debate.

No, I think there is a purpose to it. The things we choose to focus on, they create the entire basis for our perspective, and eventually our actions. There have been so many times when well-meaning people have chosen to focus on the wrong aspect of the problem they are trying to solve, and then it ruins the whole project. Revolutionary history is littered with such mistakes. So here I am, on the internet, trying to help steer this conversation in the direction the sex worker who wrote the article might think is at least somewhat useful. Because something we can both agree on is that sex workers are needlessly marginalized and vulnerable right now, and I sincerely feel that entering into dialectic and polylectic with well-meaning people is a (small) way to improve the lot of people i care about.