Words are important. More than 300 human rights organizations and anti-trafficking advocates from 40 nations sent an open letter asking the Associated Press to avoid terminology that legitimizes prostitution as a form of work. Many groups with whom we work (like Coalition Against Trafficking in Women) are trying to end the use of the term “sex work” because it conceals the violent and exploitative nature of the commercial sex trade. They asked the editor of the AP Stylebook to adopt alternative vocabulary that reflects the life realities of individuals bought and sold in prostitution. Studies and testimony of survivors demonstrate that the sex industry is predicated on dehumanization, degradation, and gender violence that cause life-long physical and psychological harm. Between 65 and 96 percent of people in prostitution have been sexually assaulted as children; 60 to 75 percent have been raped by pimps and sex purchasers; and between 70 and 95 percent have been physically assaulted in prostitution. One survivor said “prostitution is not ‘sex’ and it is not ‘work’ – it is a harmful practice steeped in gender and economic inequalities that leaves a devastating impact on the survivors.” It also renders invisible the traffickers, pimps, and brothel owners, and the buyers who prey on vulnerable people.
Given the world situations right now, this may bring you some hope.
Philip Chircop, sj posts short selections most days of poems, quotes, visual art, music etc. often accompanied by a couple of questions inviting further reflection. He calls the site A-MUSED noting a quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, sj: "Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see." You can access site at www.philipchircop.com