Don’t villainize sex work
Published on June 9, 2015
Re: Don’t glorify bad jobs (Metro, June 8) Jobs in the sex industry – including escorting, stripping, webcamming, prostitution, and more – are perfectly honorable professions. People working in the sex industry are contributing to society by providing services to people who want them, providing people with companionship, sexual release, and an outlet to explore their desires. So many jobs that are glorified by society actually have harmful consequences. For example, people working in the financial sector likely contribute to increasing wealth disparities, and those working in real estate often contribute to raising rent costs. What makes sex work “bad” compared to jobs that are considered more acceptable, despite the negative impact they have on society? Villainizing sex workers just contributes to taboos that keep sex work unregulated and result in unsafe working conditions. Rather than blaming sex workers for engaging in work that pays their bills, we should acknowledge the reality that sex work exists because many people pay sex workers for their services. We need to expand workplace protections to better help and support those working in the sex industry.
Criminals are people
Published on April 14, 2015
Re: ‘Harsh penalties, not death, for criminals’ (Metro, April 13) I agree that there should never be any death penalty, but the penalties suggested by letter writer J. Andrew Smith are unconstitutional and unethical. Our Constitution specifically protects against cruel and unusual punishment. Forced unpaid labor and conducting of medical experiments on humans is reminiscent of the torturous conditions in Nazi labor camps – and is, without a doubt, cruel and unusual. Many people are in prison for committing victimless crimes, including drug offenses, and they are clogging up the prison system, when they could instead be productive members of their communities at home. Wide-scale prison reform would save taxpayers’ money and help to repair communities that face unfairly high rates of incarceration. For more violent criminals, harsher penalties are not the answer.
Toys are symptom of larger disease of misogyny
Published on February 11, 2015
Re: ‘Toys for boys isn’t a real travesty’ (Feb. 9) One in five women in the United States have been sexually assaulted. Women are severely underrepresented in politics – only 20 women serve on the 100-person Senate.
Women far too often face violent crimes including sex trafficking, rape, and domestic violence. And transgender people face staggering rates of violence, attempted suicide, and poverty. All of these travesties are a part of a larger system of misogyny, a part of biases ingrained in our society that lead to very real and upsetting crimes.
The gender bias in toys is a part of this system, a way that young children are taught to follow the misogynistic and heteronormative norms that permeate our society. Until we pay attention tot he messages we’re sending children about gender identity and gender roles, we have no hope of seeing gender equality in the United States.
The misogyny right in front of us is real, and we have a responsibility to stop it.
Think before you get a pet
Published on December 12, 2013
The one thing worse than neglecting animals is supporting their abuse — which is what many people do when purchasing their pets from pet stores.
Pet store puppies often come from puppy mills — commercial dog-breeding facilities where puppies don’t get adequate veterinary care. There are so many loving dogs at shelters that need to be adopted.