Will at Paradigm Shift: “Sex Work and Human Rights: Feminist Advocacy Strategies”

From Paradigm Shift‘s blog, addressing the question of “What would an ideal world for sex workers look like?” Thank you to Melissa Gira Grant for moderating.

Will Rockwell is a youth advocate and editor of $pread magazine:

’Ideally’ is such a huge question, and I like how Audacia framed [her answer] in terms of how the sex industry would necessarily have to be a part of larger structural changes in the world around economic, racial, and gender justice.

In addition, we need to incorporate a youth perspective into the vision too, not to assume that every young person is sexually exploited, but that perhaps it’s a more complicated story and until there are those options […] to choose more empowering paths or different paths as opposed to the limited choices many of us who started young were left with, which is to say a ‘choice among limited choices.’ Still, every choice under post-industrial capitalism is a choice among limited choices, and those options would have to include, in this ‘utopian’ universe, a place to sleep, regular pay, non-minimum wage job, an end to racist, sexist, and transphobic occupational discrimination.

Definitely, I think a practical step to take right now is to incorporate more into the movement a vision of what we’re doing to help young people who work, too, and to address their self-determined needs, whether it is improved working conditions, an end to criminalization, or a safe exit from the industry.


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