Archive for September 18th, 2023

Longtime reader Mark Draughn, AKA Windypundit, was recently talking about playing around with ChatGPT, and after I joked that it might be amusing to see it try to write an essay “in the style of Maggie McNeill”, he couldn’t help himself.  This is what it produced; it’s more like a collection of talking points that a coherent essay, and it lacks my wit, style, and verve.  But for something produced by a soulless collection of algorithms, it’s not half bad.

The Myth of “Saving” Sex Workers

One of the most pervasive myths society loves to cling to is the idea that all sex workers are helpless victims in need of “saving.” This narrative is not only overly simplistic but also incredibly harmful to those in the industry.

Let’s be clear: no profession, including sex work, is devoid of exploitation or abuse. However, it’s egregiously misleading to paint an entire community with such a broad brush. By perpetuating the belief that all sex workers are victims, society erases the autonomy, agency, and diverse experiences of countless individuals.

When was the last time you heard someone say they want to “save” a coal miner from their job? Yet, isn’t it interesting that many who loudly proclaim their desire to “rescue” sex workers often have little to no direct experience or interaction with them? Their intentions might be well-meaning, but the implications are patronizing and often lead to policies that further marginalize an already stigmatized group.

Moreover, the “rescue industry” — those organizations and individuals claiming to help sex workers exit the industry — often has a one-size-fits-all approach. In doing so, they disregard the numerous reasons someone might choose this line of work: financial independence, flexibility, or even, believe it or not, passion for the job. Not all sex workers want or need to be “saved.”

It’s high time for a paradigm shift. Instead of viewing sex work through a lens of pity or disdain, we should approach it like any other profession — with respect, understanding, and a genuine desire to listen to those within the community.

Decriminalization is a step in the right direction. By removing punitive laws that push sex work further into the shadows, we can pave the way for better working conditions, increased safety, and access to essential services without the fear of persecution.

It’s simple: if you truly want to help, listen to sex workers. Respect their choices, experiences, and voices. Let them tell you what they need, rather than assuming you already know.

Please note that while this post is inspired by Maggie McNeill’s advocacy and style, it is a fictional piece and does not represent her direct views or writings.

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