I met an old friend for lunch today. As is the new polite norm for such lunches, he took a moment to deal with messages on his phone before putting turning it off & putting it back in his pocket. Since he’s been around long enough to know about me & my previous work as an escort, I used that time to check in on Twitter. It is, after all, International Sex Worker Rights Day (similar to International Whores’ Day, International Sex Worker Rights Day is held on March 3rd, the anniversary of the 2001 festival held by 25,000 Indian sex workers). Because this is such an important day, my friend finished his phone check before I ~ prompting him to take a peek at my phone.
Him, with a wink and a whine: I like it better when your timeline is full of boobs.
Me, with playful exasperation: You want more Trump? More sex worker “rescue”?
Him, terrified at my response, using small words & precise language so that I can comprehend: No! Real breasts. Implants are fine too.
He punctuates his thoughts with an eyebrow wiggle.
I arch an eyebrow as a warning.
Him, a bit alarmed: What?
Me, after a sigh: All those boobs you want to see, well, they are attached to women–
Him, interrupting: Yes, but they are choosing to bare them–
Me, interrupting: Yes, yes they are. But every woman who opts to flash some cleavage or completely bare herself has to fight for that right. Whether she’s a cam girl, a porn star or indie porn maker, an escort promoting herself, or “just” (I did use air quotes) a woman who wants to show them off for whatever reason of the moment ~ any woman who does so faces consequences.
This is not just about being ogled or objectified ~ not even about being denigrated or slut-shamed for it. Aside from the cultural reactions, social consequences, there are legal constraints as well. If a woman cannot even expose her breasts to feed a baby, what do you think happens when she flashes them on Twitter? Not to mention that Twitter is one of the few social media sites which even allow such things…
But if a woman cannot, under the law, freely choose to sell sex services, then how much does any woman control her own body? If sex workers cannot actually consent to how we opt to display or use our bodies, how can we expect any woman to be able to control her own genitals, her reproductive rights?
We see the erosion of all sorts of rights ~ every day there’s new legislation, another story of violence, more proof of how unsafe it is to be a sexually autonomous woman. This is why sex worker rights are women’s rights. It is all about feminism. It is about LGBTQ rights. It’s about sexual autonomy, the right to control our bodies, no matter our religion, color, race, whatever you think divides us. Sexual autonomy for all is about equality for all.
Him, silent and clearly sorry he brought it up. Perhaps wondering just why he wanted to lunch with his opinionated female friend…
I let it all sink in for a minute.
Me, calming down from my rant, trying to be more concise: All those breasts you want to see? They are attached to women who are fighting for so many rights. So, yeah, my timeline has lots of “angry” stuff too. To me, those stupid people and ideas are the real “boobs.” Because all of that bullshit affects women’s lives. Every. Day. And all of that affects whether or not pics of breasts are even taken to be shown on Twitter.
Him, nodding: I get it.
Me, arching my eyebrow again: So really, you should be thanking me for posting and sharing all that other stuff too. Because it supports the women who show off their breasts to you. And you should be supporting that stuff too.
He smiles, a bit sheepishly.
Me, admonishing him gently while tossing him a kinder bone to chew on: Oh, and by the way, you’d better be paying for your porn too. Just as you will this lunch.
Of course he did.
Along with coverage of sex work & sex workers here, here, and here, please read the following:
#SexWorkerRightsDay on Twitter
Breasts Are Complicated
Pay For Your Porn
Image Credits: The spectacular rack of one of my fav cam girls, Ms Kaylee Pond. Via her Tumblr ~ and to pay for your porn, see her on cam here!