Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why Clients of Sex Workers Should Not Be Criminalized

This past weekend we celebrated the International Day of Solidarity for Sex Workers. Many marched in the streets with red umbrellas. Here is a photo of Joyce Arthur from the Vancouver, BC, Canada event.

Activists in Canada are currently trying to overturn harmful new laws. Among the changes to the criminal code introduced in 2014 are laws that criminalize clients of sex industry workers.

Annie Temple addresses this topic on her new YouTube channel "Anarchist Stripper Mom."

She emphasizes the one main reason why clients of sex workers are not the enemy and how criminalizing them defies common sense and undermines any true attempt to abolish sex trafficking in Canada - the clients are the ones who see exploitation when it is happening. They will not report it if they fear being arrested.

There are many reasons why clients should not be criminalized, including...we need our customers so we can pay our bills; because we are hiding our customers, it puts us in more dangerous situations; clients fear giving their real names which makes it more difficult to screen out predators; predators are not customers...they are predators.

As you can see, common sense tells us that criminalizing clients is hazardous to our health. It also ignores the fact that many of our clients are good friends who care about us and we care about them.

Please, stop treating us like victims and stop treating our customers like predators. If you really care about trafficking and exploitation, recognize the difference between force and consent.

About the Author

Annie Temple has 17 years experience as a striptease artist and over 15 years as a sex worker rights activist, but she's been a rebel all her life. In 2000, she founded to support other entertainers by reducing isolation, educating about health and safety, sharing information about gigs, challenging stereotypes, teaching etiquette to customers, and organizing in-person events for charity and to promote ethical businesses in the industry. Annie is a mom of three, a lover of writing and dancing. Currently she continues to run and recently she embarked on spreading her messages on YouTube as AnarchistStripper-Mom!

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