Consumer Behavior Religion & Politics

Destigmatizing & Decriminalizing Sex Work & Drugs

By Myra Sue St. Clair Baldwin

I realize that a lot of Asian women and women in general are against the hypersexualization of Asian women & other women. Understandably so. But the fact is, women of Asian descent, and other races as well, need income. If we want to discourage sex work, we need to provide for all our citizens and noncitizens. Everyone needs housing, food, and clean water, for themselves and their families. Some women (& men) can provide well for their families with sex work. Yes, they’re exploited, but so are Amazon workers and millions of other workers in the U.S. alone, thanks to a capitalist system that feeds off keeping us all desperate for jobs and overworked and underpaid. The vast majority of workers are exploited. We need to stop stigmatizing the jobs performed by others, including sex work. Of course, many women do sex work by force, which needs to be addressed. Some women and men due it due to drug addiction, which is an illness that needs to stop being criminalized. Some are “groomed” to be sex workers by others who want to get them hooked on drugs so they’ll perform sex work in exchange for drugs. That needs to be addressed. We should provide safely administered drugs for free to people suffering from addiction so they won’t feel forced to turn to the street to get their fix, and so they won’t use dirty needles either. Plus of course offer them free ongoing treatment that won’t interfere with their jobs and won’t put them at risk of homelessness. And lastly, all sex work should be decriminalized because it puts sex workers at risk for imprisonment and losing housing, and sex workers are disproportionately nonwhite due to our racist, capitalist system. The only thing that should be criminal is forcing people into sex work and grooming them to be sex workers.

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