Speakers Series

Date: 
04/05/2019 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Location: 
18th Floor, Patterson Office Tower
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Lori Watson, "Why Sex Work Cannot be Considered Just Another Form of Work”
Abstract: 
Watson critically engages with the often-repeated argument that “sex work is work like any other form of work.”  Advocates of this argument rely upon it as a basis for either decriminalization or legalization.   Watson dismantles this claim by showing that where sex is the “service” occupational health and safety standards applicable to every other form of work cannot be met.  Further, the various ways in which persons in prostitution may be thought of as “workers” is explored and arguments given that relevant legal standards in the context of discrimination laws and employment law cannot be met in the context of “sex work.”  Thus, the burden of argument falls on advocates of decriminalization to legalization to argue for a series of exemptions from generally applicable laws.  However, such exemptions are unwarranted, do not achieve their aims, and would require institutionalizing inequality for persons in prostitution.
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