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Why Work? The Meaning Behind the Label “Sex Work” and Why It Saves Lives

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

by MOLLY SIMMONS

Yesterday the New York Times published an opinion article by Pamela Paul against the use of the terms “sex work” and “sex worker” in favor of its predecessor (and continued legal definition) of prostitution. She claims that these terms normalize Sex Work in a negative sense, that they paint it like any other job, and quotes various trafficking organizations and survivors as saying that sex work in any form is degrading and using these words “perpetuates a system of violence.” In order to truly help those that have suffered in the sex trade, we need to stop using language that obscures the realities of what’s occurring all around us.  


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