Saturday, 7 February 2009

Quick hit: Prostitution for subsistence

From the Herald online today:
A Papatoetoe sex worker says forcing her off the street and out of business would mean she could not feed her children.

"I have tried other jobs but this is the lifestyle I have chosen," said the 30-year-old who did not want to be identified. "This is how I buy nappies. If I am off the street, I cannot feed my children."

Other South Auckland prostitutes who spoke to the Weekend Herald confirmed that disagreements flared up among those who earned their living selling sex.

There was a rule among sex workers that if someone did not have children to support, they did not belong on the street, they said.
The debate continues over the reform of prostitution law.


millsy said...

Probably pays better than being at a checkout all night too...

Deborah said...

I saw that story too, Julie. This paragraph is amazing:

Porcelain said her experience showed sex workers were not necessarily safer off the streets.

"I had four ribs broken, not on the street but in my own home. There is a larger issue of violence in this society which keeping women indoors will not resolve."

Anonymous said...

I would rather there was no prostitution on the streets but I feel that this is a starting point to re-criminalise prostitution.

Anna said...

That last paragraph you quote, Deborah, is really poignant - it suggests to me that the sex worker has a better analysis of the issues around violence than many.

Still, I'm not convinced that working on the streets is particularly safe, particularly after the deaths of two street workers in Chch. I think the response should be not to try to sweep these women off the streets 'for their own good', but do what we can as a society to make these women safer in their work - as well as providing meaningful, decently paid work options for those who aren't there by choice.