Should there then be a sex workers union and do you believe a union would help society to accept the sex industry?
In New Zealand we have the Prostitutes Collective who advocate on behalf of sex workers when they have grievances with operators or clients, they provide free advice, safe sex supplies and confidential medical check-ups or counseling when needed, along with other services such as support through court hearings, mediation between operators and workers or operators and operators all of what they provide is invaluable. However the funding they receive and the amount of things they are expected to do means that they have to choose their battles carefully and many sex workers feel let down by this as they feel the Collective should be fighting every battle for them. We are very lucky to have them, they are an amazing resource for sex workers.
A union would have no effect on how the general public feel about the sex industry, if decriminalization made no difference to the haters and disbelievers then a union would not make any difference.
Coming up to the reform many people I spoke to said they thought it would be a good thing if the sex industry was decriminalized as at least then we would have to pay tax!!! Ahahahaha the sex industry has always paid tax, how would an enormous part of society get away without paying it. When I started as a Madam 19 years ago the IRD had printed leaflets about how to pay your tax and what sex workers could claim on, and certainly brothels have always had to pay tax.
It is my belief the IRD don’t care what you do they just want their share, if you are a drug dealer they will no doubt have leaflets and information about what you can claim on, and if you pay your tax they won’t tell the police you are a drug dealer, they will only come down hard on you if you are found to be earning money without paying tax on it.
Another common misconception was that if sex work became decriminalized that women could finally tell people what they did for a living, to which I would answer with this question “Do you have a daughter, sister, mother, aunty? If they came home and told you they just got a job as a prostitute would you feel differently because it is a legal occupation”?
And another very popular comment was “Oh my God if they make it legal everyone will be doing it” Well the statistics prove that there are still about the same number of sex workers in New Zealand as there were before reform. If you can’t do it when it is illegal, making it legal won’t make that change in your attitude.
So will a sex worker union make the sex industry more acceptable to society, my thought is definitely NO!