Sex workers as a demographic have a high proportion of marginalised people. In particular, prostitution is heavily raced and classed.
Those in society who are the most vulnerable are the ones who are most likely to enter prostitution. The prostitution industry perpetuates race- and class-based inequalities. The involvement in so many disadvantaged people in prostitution obscures the exploitation and lack of choice involved in many marginalised people’s involvement in prostitution. With regards to race, people of colour who enter into prostitution are often heavily fetishised and stereotyped, separating them further from any sense of personhood. By allowing a system in which white men are able to buy and abuse women of colour, we are perpetuating a paradigm of racism.
While those who are marginalised are most likely to enter prostitution, they should be offered support rather than marginalised further by the law. Their work should be decriminalised so that they can safely advocate for their own rights. The answer to a lack of choice for marginalised women is not taking a certain choice away or making it more dangerous, rather the emphasis should be on opening other choices for these women.
[P1] The most marginalised people in society are often the ones who enter prostitution. [P2] In particular for women of colour, prostitution can also serve to reinforce harmful racial dynamics. [P3] The state should not decriminalise and therefore condone the perpetuation of these dynamics
[Rejecting P3] By making prostitution illegal, the state is simply increasing the vulnerability of people in prostitution rather than helping those who are marginalised.