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Critical thinking about consensual sex work
Mary W
Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network)
Amy is a skilled worker, migrating to Canada
independently;
She became a single mother shortly after landing in
Canada; we...
She inquired a massage job and was told she can
make extra money for services, so she decided
to have it a try...
She made...
She works in the grey area among professions: no
distinction like between black and white, good and evil...
There is multi...
Consensual sex work vs. Some other work
Exotic! -
Interviewer: ”mysterious”, ”more
attractive”, “come by and work
tomorrow...
Myth Alternative Reality
Immorality &
Nonmainstream
Abstinence Doubt it’s against human nature.
Mainstream professionals a...
 Healthy people are pretty and sexy ones
 They like sex, no doubt
 Sex work is helpful, and sexy
 Universal market rul...
 Facing the reality that sex workers are
members of the society who deserve the
tolerance and respect just like the diver...
 Butterfly network organization for Asian and
migrant sex workers
 Elene Lam – my mentor
SWAN: the Hidden Harms of Anti-Trafficking, Mary W.
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SWAN: the Hidden Harms of Anti-Trafficking, Mary W.

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SWAN: the Hidden Harms of Anti-Trafficking, Mary W.

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SWAN: the Hidden Harms of Anti-Trafficking, Mary W.

  1. 1. Critical thinking about consensual sex work Mary W Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network)
  2. 2. Amy is a skilled worker, migrating to Canada independently; She became a single mother shortly after landing in Canada; went back to a Canadian University, in order to work back into her profession; She encountered racism and sexism; blind dates and dating rapes; stressed out with sickness; felt isolated and desperate without help; stridden in despair and poverty; She has worked two jobs, irrelevant to her field, not getting paid by a bad boss, and got sick again...
  3. 3. She inquired a massage job and was told she can make extra money for services, so she decided to have it a try... She made more money with less time spent; she gave those lost souls her empathetic therapies; she found her life is not totally meaningless; she is rewarded; she can afford good life with her child ... But she has to silence all her struggles, survival, however, effort and life achievement…
  4. 4. She works in the grey area among professions: no distinction like between black and white, good and evil... There is multi-culture which is tolerated in Canada, she has customers from diverse racially, culturally and religiously mosaic: some are respectful, but some are violating her rights as a human being… so she has to be discrete… There is social stigma against it. There is legislation punishing it, but not protecting it. She and her friends have been threatened by police… some of her friends have to work underground, and endangered themselves into some crimes: fraud, murders, etc. and they are re-victimized when suing to the court.
  5. 5. Consensual sex work vs. Some other work Exotic! - Interviewer: ”mysterious”, ”more attractive”, “come by and work tomorrow”… Racism! - ‘No local experience’, ‘foreign accent in English’, ‘your resume is filed for 6-month consideration’… Admired! - ‘you are my goddess!’, ‘I worship you’… Sexism! - ‘currently we don’t need a female worker’… Financial independence (relatively better income, relaxation, and fun sometimes) Poverty (too hard to do labor, or impoverished with low income) Sexual desire in control Desperation-avoid blind dating Entertaining/being artistic/being creative Too overwhelmed from work/dull/boring to partner Multi-role playing i.e. French maid, Snow White, Wonder woman, etc. Singular-role playing i.e. housewife
  6. 6. Myth Alternative Reality Immorality & Nonmainstream Abstinence Doubt it’s against human nature. Mainstream professionals amid the clients. Danger, & discrimination Safety Is blind dating more justified? Is date rape safer? Sex workers don’t discriminate anyone. Exploitation Income from other jobs On newspapers, boss was sued to Ministry of labor for not paying their employees, in other businesses. Stealing husbands, boyfriends Reliable relationship *Who can heal those lonely and sometimes broken hearts more effectively and efficiently? Dirty and sick Psychotherapies Sexy and healthy, and therapeutic sometimes. To avoid mental illness, sex is better than drugs.
  7. 7.  Healthy people are pretty and sexy ones  They like sex, no doubt  Sex work is helpful, and sexy  Universal market rule: where there is demand, there must be supply  The rule must have persisted in sex industry – the universally oldest one, up to now and ever, even under pressure of controversy
  8. 8.  Facing the reality that sex workers are members of the society who deserve the tolerance and respect just like the diversity of cultures and other workers.  Legislation of focusing on protecting sex workers’ rights leads to not only everyone’s survival, but also EQUALITY!  We also need a structure to support the capacity for some sex workers who wish to leave the industry.
  9. 9.  Butterfly network organization for Asian and migrant sex workers  Elene Lam – my mentor

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