SWAAY - sex work activists, allies, and you.

by Kate. August 21, 2011.

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Beautiful Agony

SWAAY.org is an amazing site.  If you've ever hated on sex workers, been confused about what sex work is, had questions, or felt confused about why people do it, you should check it out. 

The site is an amazing resource, broken down into three main sections:  Understand sex work; Respect sex workers; Change things.  From there, you can select what kind of person you are - a friend or family member of a sex worker, a random person, or a client, for example, or just learn more about the types of sex work out there, and how to change public perception that the sex industry is just a lazy, gross, moral-free zone.  Sex work is real work, and the lovely folks at SWAAY are there to tell you all about why that is.

The site is extremely well-written and is part of a whole movement that is so incredibly necessary for the sex industry - education.  The perspective is also LGBTQ*, not assuming that all sex workers are women, because they are not. 

This group has really made me glad lately, especially considering my education on sex work.  While in university, I remember one of my feminist-interest profs being all about the concept of sex work as work.  I wrote a paper on the topic, which was well received, and everything went great.  One day in class it came up that it was my birthday.  The prof asked what I'd be doing, and I plainly replied that a group of friends and I would be going to a strip club.  It was amazing to me then that after two weeks concentrating on sex work as work, that classmates and the prof alike seemed offended.  Conversation stopped, and the prof made an underhanded "well, you have fun with that then".  Is it somehow great to support sex workers morally, but not advocate actually supporting them financially?  Needless to say, the prof and I no longer saw eye-to-eye on many issues. That's fine, she just complained about her ex-husband all the time anyway.  But still, this kind of behaviour coming out of a university professor is abysmal.  It's just like our justice system - we feel bad for murdered prostitutes, but we make damn sure it's nearly impossible for them to practice in a safe environment.

This group advocates proper treatment of sex workers, respect, understanding, and ensuring the well-being of everyone involved. 

I can tell you stories 'til the cows come home, but the best thing to do is just check out the site and learn for yourself!


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