Sex Work Is Real Work Essay

2148 Words Nov 21st, 2016 9 Pages
Sex Work Is Real Work Sex work has been dubbed by many “the oldest profession,” and with sex work being the oldest profession, one of the oldest social reform debates is whether or not it should be illegal. Sex work must be decriminalized in order to create a safer and healthier environment for sex workers. Many workers even enjoy their jobs so they deserve respect and safety in their work. The criminalization of sex work aggravates crimes against the workers themselves. As Liesl Gerntholtz, feminist and executive director of the women’s rights division of the Human Rights Watch, says, “Would I like to live in a world where no one has to do sex work? Absolutely. But that’s not the case. So I want to live in a world where women do it largely voluntarily, in a way that is safe,”(Quoted in Bazelon). Gerntholtz’s stance on sex work is shared by many. Sex work is not necessarily a good or bad practice; that is not what is being debated. It must be decriminalized in order for sex workers to be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. They are not criminals, so their profession should not be criminalized. When talking about the decriminalization of sex work there are many distinctions that need to be made. Decriminalization can mean many things, and decriminalization is different from legalization. Donna Houghes, a professor in Women’s Studies at University of Rhode Island argues that while legalization is the regulation of prostitution laws, decriminalization is…

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