Guest post: Sex workers clap back with #banfreebies

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from a member of the Feministing family who wishes to remain anonymous. I’ll let her introduce herself:

Hi! My name is – well, that’s not important. What’s important is what I do! I write and I’m a feminist, obviously; but I’m also a sex worker. Here at Feministing.com we believe in engaging in critical analysis that prioritizes the voices of people living at important intersections, and that includes people like me who get paid to help people get their jollies off! To protect my identity, I’ll be posting under the alias Resident Hooker. Enjoy!

Signed,
Feministing’s Resident Hooker

The timeline on my professional sex worker Twitter account has been on funny fire for the past few days! Every once in a while, us working girls take a break from ‘twitpic’ing our cleavage and our food, to engage in sassy dialogue about the context of our work. Who knew?

This time #banfreebies gave us the opportunity to push back on the social stigma around sex and the institutions and individuals that strip us of our autonomy and ignore our voices and lived experience (e.g. the general public and anti-sex work feminists).

Using sarcasm and ingenious wit, sex workers used anti-sex work rhetoric and language and instead applied it to sex that involves no exchange of money or valuables. Then they (satirically) made an audacious demand: #banfreebies!

If you give it away no other man will want you. How will you ever meet a nice man who wants to pay you? #banfreebies
Women who give it away are going nowhere in life and are likely drug addled, diseased, lazy do-nothings. #banfreebies
My sister was groomed by a man & "chose" to give him freebies. Then she was reduced to financial & emotional dependence on him, #BanFreebies
"We don't say 'stop giving freebies' We just say 'you don't have to give freebies if you don't want to'" -Director of Outreach: #banfreebies
Freebies think being a freebie is empowering or it's their choice. But that's just false consciousness. #banfreebies

Funny how a lot of the rhetoric sounds a lot like old fashioned sexism. As ridiculous as the idea of banning free sex, it’s just as ridiculous to call for a ban on all prostitution. Sex work is real work and sex workers deserve to make a living as well!

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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