by Savannah Sly and Lisa Taylor
Washingtonians are deeply concerned about sex trafficking but struggle with acknowledging the existence, let alone the needs, of sex workers. Legislators are reluctant to differentiate between sexual labor and commercial sexual exploitation, because many incorrectly view all prostitution as inherently violent. Phrases such as “prostituted people’’ are frequently used to describe all providers of sexual services, suggesting a lack of agency across the board. If sex workers are acknowledged at all in discussions about sex trafficking, they are typically presumed to be exceedingly rare or to be “not representative” of people who sell sex.
The sex trafficking narrative dominating Washington State policymaking is overly simplistic, and it creates an artificial divide between sex workers and survivors. All people in the sex trade are vulnerable to violence because of criminalization and the extreme stigma associated with the work. In addition, many face overlapping issues of discrimination related to race, gender, class, nationality, and disability. Left alone by society to fend for ourselves, many of us have encountered commercial abuse or violence at some point in our lives.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Continue reading OPINION: Washingtonians Struggle to Acknowledge Sex Worker Agency and Labor Issues
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Morning Update Show — Monday, Sept. 20
60,000 Seattle-Area Renters Behind on Rent | Mayor Announces $50M in New Affordable Housing Funds | King County Moves to Repeal Bike Helmet Law | Outstanding Prostitution Warrants to Be Cleared | #SupportBlackBusiness | The Liink Project
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 9/20/21
by Paul Faruq Kiefer
(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 18, a Seattle Municipal Court judge approved a motion by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes to quash all outstanding warrants for misdemeanor prostitution, including some issued well over a decade ago.
Continue reading Court Approves City Attorney’s Motion To Clear Outstanding Prostitution Warrants