Sex workers – second class citizens with no rights?

Obedient Wives ClubThe New York Post discredited the maid Strauss-Kahn allegedly raped with the headline “DSK Maid Hooker”. As usual in a rape investigation, the press – and sadly often investigating police as well – open the witch hunt to discredit the victim, rather than making the rapist face up to his crimes without excuses.

Even if the maid had been a hooker (something she and her solicitor strongly deny, so much so that they are suing The Post and five journalists for libel) – does this mean she could not have been raped?

Do prostitutes not have the right to say “No”? Can a prostitute not be raped simply because she sometimes choses to sell sex? Surely a “no” means “no” – no matter what profession a woman has? Can the press and law representatives not see the difference between a consensual paid or unpaid sexual act that is beneficial to both and the non-consensual, enforced, violent act of sex used by one person to humiliate and dominate another?

But even though sex workers provide a relevant social service to society they are seen as cold and calculating individuals who have no emotions and do not provide more than a physical service.

Obedient Wives Club

The Muslim “Obedient Wives Club” recently hit the headlines by promoting to train wives to be as skilled as prostitutes in the bedroom, “so that men do not have to go and see hookers”. The clubs representatives then quickly explained that of course rough “hookers” are in a different category than sacred “wives”.

Fauziah Ariffin, the Malaysian OWC chapter’s national director, told the Malay Mail: ” We are not putting wives on the same level with prostitutes. We are talking about first-class elite types, not street hooker types … Ordinary prostitutes can only provide good sex, but not love and affection, which only a wife can provide.”

What about the prostitutes that listen hour after hour to those punters that want to chat as much as having sex? What about the wives and mothers that earn a living as prostitutes? It is all two sides of the same coin.

No matter how hard the press or religious organisations try – the enforced dichotomy between “normal woman” vs. “prostitute”, aka second class citizen does simply not work. To hell with the stereotypes of the sacred Madonna and the dirty whore. I am a woman. They are women. We are both citizens with the same hopes, fears and feelings and human rights. A woman is a woman. “No” means “No”. Fullstop.

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