Peeressay

byEmma Schaefer-Whittall-(She/Her/Hers)Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 1:31 PM“Sex Work: Paradigms and Policies” and “The Social Construction of Sex Trafficking: Ideology and Institutionalization of a Moral Crusade” by Weitzer illustrate the complex distinction behind sex work and sex trafficking and their misapplication to fit a moral, evangelical agenda. In “Sex Work: Paradigms and Policies”, Weitzer defines the empowerment and oppression paradigm as one-dimensional, essentialist reductions to fit sex work as either exploiting or freeing. Weitzer went further on Bernstein’s idea of “bounded authenticity” by noting the difference between street and indoor workers. He denotes the counseling and befriending of clients as a subject of indoor workers and goes as far as describing their encounters as often including “…a semblance of romance, dating, friendship, or companionship—what has become known as a ‘girlfriend experience’” (Weitzer 2010: 11). I found the psychological adaptation that call girls developed described by Weitzer as a “sensitivity to detecting potential danger in the caller’s attitudes, manners, tone of voice, or nature of the conversation” an essential survival technique indicative of the mental strain and strategy inherent in sex work (Weitzer 2010: 11). Lastly, 59% of the British public deemed prostitution a perfectly reason choice a woman should be free to make. However, 74% considered it unacceptable for a female family member. This possessive paradox reestablishes sex work as always crime-ridden, drug-associated, and not a worthy occupation to think of your daughter, wife, aunt, cousin, etc. to be involved in. So what women do 59% of the public believe should be sex workers?In “The Social Construction of Sex Trafficking: Ideology and Institutionalization of a Moral Crusade”, Weitzer conveys to the reader the broad-scale discrepancies of number of trafficked women used by moral crusaders as a result of the “clandestine and stigmatized nature of the sex trade” (Weitzer 2007: 455). In addition, moral crusaders and abolitionist feminists reject the distinction between coercive trafficking and voluntary migration for sex work further proving this “ballpark estimate” used to scare the public, lobbyists, and NGOs into persecuting indoor agencies and street prostitutes. Finally, I was shocked to learn that funding for NGOs involved in AIDS relief and legitimate sex trafficking is only given if the organization “explicitly opposes prostitution and sex trafficking” (Weitzer 2007: 464). As Weitzer puts, the model fabricated by these policy changes is the abolitionist claim that prostitution endorsed by legislature encourages illegal sex trafficking.