SEX WORK AND HETERONORMATIVITY
Sex work threatens hetero-normative ideologies as individuals in society (specifically women) are supposed to follow traditional roles such as getting married, having kids, and caring for the house and their children. Sex workers contradict narratives that women are virginal and pure. They are often depicted as immoral and are also often assumed to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. Additionally, many sex workers are mistaken for human trafficking victims, which is a huge misconception as the most significant difference between these groups is a lack of consent.
When it comes to the stigma associated with sex work and trans sex workers, the article we chose offers a first-hand glimpse into the violence trans workers have to face daily. Trans-misogyny is incredibly relevant in today’s society and continues to oppress trans women due to institutionalized patriarchy and sexism. Often trans women are accused of ‘tricking’ straight men into having sexual relations with them, but this is far from the truth. The assailant then started to engage in hateful homophobic and transphobic language and proceeded to stalk her and eventually violently assault her. Violence against these workers is justified through victim-blaming and transphobia.
POLITICAL CONTEXT OF SEX WORK
The laws surrounding sex work outline how it is legal to sell sex but illegal to purchase or advertise sexual services and make it illegal to live on the financial and material benefits that may have come from sex work. These laws don’t outright criminalize the act of sex work but make it incredibly difficult to safely engage in the industry without the fear of violence from possible clients, strangers, or even the police. Sex workers are stripped of their rights and are reduced to a statistic; this often causes the police and sex workers to end up on opposing forces as workers live in fear of imprisonment for the nature of their job.
The laws put into place that criminalizes sex work are incredibly harmful to sex workers as they have no rights in society and, as a result, no protection. The decriminalization of sex work is necessary to ensure the safety of all marginalized groups as sex workers have the right to work without the fear of imprisonment, violence, and health concerns.
ONLY FANS AND EXPLOITATION OF YOUNG WOMEN AND GIRLS
Countless young girls are being groomed to join a website known as OnlyFans. OnlyFans is an online website where creators can “use it to offer videos, photos, and even chances to chat one-on-one for a price. It is popular in the adult entertainment industry.” Across social media, it has become mainstream to become OnlyFans creators, especially among minors. Most teenage girls under the age of eighteen are being groomed by supporters and current creators to make millions by simply uploading explicit content up on the website. They are allured by the possibility of living lavishly through this site and are inspired by influencers like Bella Thorne who made literally millions of dollars from making an account.
However, this fails to consider that not every teenage girl, fresh out of high school has a platform of devoted fans who will buy their content. Girls are being conditioned to believe that they too can live this life through simply uploading a bikini picture or a faceless picture. This is not the case, and they are being taught that it’s not creepy for adults to prey on them until they turn eighteen then ask for sexual content, that is pure exploitation and grooming. If it was unacceptable yesterday when they were seventeen and 364 days old, it’s just as creepy when someone is eighteen- and 1-day-old.