Kristyn Komarnicki is the editor of PRISMmagazine.org. She provides an excellent comment under Amy Ernst’s March 1 opinion piece for The New York Times, “Notes From a Young American in Congo: Sex Workers”. Here’s an excerpt:
…I really struggle with calling these women ‘sex workers.’ Work implies a level of dignity and choice that is completely absent from these women’s lives.
If you had to choose between eating rotten, maggoty food and starving to death, would you call that food a meal?
If you had to choose between sleeping under a plastic sheet on a rainy night and sleeping exposed to the rain, would you call that sheet a home?
If you had to choose between marrying your rapist and being stoned to death (as in some traditional Muslim cultures), would you call that rapist a husband?
Can we honestly call any of these acts–eating rotten food, sleeping under a sheet, marrying your attacker–“choices” in the sense that this word is commonly understood?
Read the full comment
Escort Prostitution: A Response to Tom Vannah, Editor of the Valley Advocate
While a few women may choose a life of prostitution in a truly voluntary fashion, the reality for most is a history of sexual and/or child abuse, separation from their family and/or country, and poverty. Addictions to drugs or alcohol are common. They are routinely lied to, coerced, abused, threatened, and blackmailed (e.g. ‘I’ll hurt your family back in the Ukraine if you don’t cooperate’).