Monday, 13 June 2011

The First Ever London Sex Worker Film Fest

Buzzing over The First Ever London Sex Worker Film Fest yesterday at the Rio Cinema in Dalston, which featured films by and about sex workers (female, male and trans) from around the world, panel discussions from sex workers, academics and allies, and a very sweet after-party (LL Cool J's Doin' It - the perfect striptease song).

Here are some points I found the event and its participants affirmed/expanded:

  • Sex workers are not always the criminals/victims that we imagine them to be, but are often autonomous, intelligent and empowered. 
  • When it comes to 'protective' legislation, sex workers are often the last people to be consulted, if at all.
  • After the state, its often well-meaning, left-leaning white feminists who continue to make sex work dangerous for workers. By trying to 'protect' (force) women/workers out of sex work, it is pushed under ground, where it cannot be regulated. This creates a culture where women/workers *are* exploited and abused. 
  • If we continue to vilify/pity sex workers and outlaw a profession that offers crucial, mutually rewarding services to society, we will never create safe spaces, and sex workers will continue to work under needlessly difficult and dangerous working conditions.
  • According to one of the film makers, studies and statistics on victims of sex trafficking actually reveal the problem is nowhere near as large-scale as governments/states would have us believe, and that the people classed by the government as victims of trafficking are often migrant sex workers who are simply traveling to find better wages and working conditions. 
  • The fight against sex trafficking often undermines true sex workers. Laws that are meant to protect victims of trafficking are often misused to vilify/threaten/abuse migrant sex workers, who should have the right to travel and work safely.

Support, networking, activism for sex workers, activists and allies:

English classes for migrated sex workers: 
FB event page:

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