US

Women's March: Pro-life groups not allowed, but 'sex workers' welcome?

A group of women gather at Knitty City in New York Tuesday to make their pink Pussyhats in preparation for protests in Washington and New York for women's rights following the election of Donald Trump. (William Edwards/AFP/Getty Images)

Shortly after denying partnerships to several pro-life groups, the Women’s March on Washington angered some liberal activists for editing its position on sex workers’ rights.

Mic reported that the phrase "in solidarity with the sex workers' rights movement" were replaced in the march’s platform with a statement of support for "those exploited for labor and sex." The change was met with outrage by some activists, who said the words portrayed sex workers as victims. In the face of controversy, the initial statement was restored.

According to Roll Call, Kate McGrew, coordinator for Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, noticed the removal first. She told the publication that she was "flooded with relief" when the initial statement was restored.

"I actually cried for all of us sex workers,” she said. “The feminist movement has been splintered for so long over this, I thought finally we are being recognized for what we are: women working according to our personal circumstances, often with very few resources."

Transgender rights activist Janet Mock wrote on her blog Tuesday that she wrote the initial statement in the platform and was happy to see it restored.

“I cannot speak to the internal conflicts at the Women’s March that have led to the erasure of the line I wrote for our collective vision but I have been assured that the line will remain in OUR document,” Mock wrote, adding that she hopes sex workers will participate in the march in order to hold the effort “accountable to our vast, diverse, complicated realities.”

Mock added that “I know sex work to be work”:

My work and my feminism rejects respectability politics, whorephobia, slut-shaming and the misconception that sex workers, or folks engaged in the sex trades by choice or circumstance, need to be saved, that they are colluding with the patriarchy by “selling their bodies.” I reject the continual erasure of sex workers from our feminisms because we continue to conflate sex work with the brutal reality of coercion and trafficking. I reject the policing within and outside women’s movements that shames, scapegoats, rejects, erases and shuns sex workers.

In a statement, the March defended their "living, breathing document" and said the organization is "committed to being bridge-builders."

The Women’s March has recently made headlines for denying partnerships to several pro-life organizations, including New Wave Feminists and And Then There Were None.

One last thing…
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