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Why Your Feminism Should Include Sex Workers

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

The word “feminism” holds a heavier connotation these days than it actually should. To be quite honest, feminism at its core simply means equality for the sexes. However, there have been different waves of feminism and unfortunately, the movement has evolved in an aggressive way, so much so that the original goal of the movement seems to be forgotten. Now there is debate on if men should be allowed in the movement, what a “feminist” really is, and of course, there are still the people who claim to want equality but turn their noses down at those who choose to use their bodies to make money.

I hate to say it, but it is no secret men openly look down on sex workers while happily consuming their product. It is a pattern that has been around forever. However, the issue that I am examining is the fact that so many modern feminists also look down on sex workers. “They shouldn’t cater to men” or “there are so many other jobs” or, “they think their only value is their bodies.” This way of thinking is just so six years ago. 

If you call yourself a feminist and want to fight for equality, then it is under your “job description” to fight for equality for EVERYONE, including sex workers. Gloria Steinem was the first to really do this, and we as journalists should follow in her footsteps. It is not the Dark Ages anymore. Plenty of sex workers choose to be sex workers because that is the career they desire. Others do it because of personal situations, and the flexible hours or ability to work from home vastly improve their lives. Others are doing it until something different comes up. But honestly, it does not matter. The feminist movement is meant to protect women, and have everyone treated, paid, and living equally. EQUALITY. And so that includes sex workers. If you call yourself a feminist but look down with disdain at sex workers, it might be prudent to check your own feminism and what you’re really saying. 

Let’s continue this fight, and remember to include EVERYONE! Because at the end of the day, we are all working together to reach the same goal.

Sascha Rifkin

Emerson '23

I'm a Writing, Lit, and Publishing major at Emerson College! Fashionista, book worm, and total romantic at heart.
Emerson contributor