In “Sex workers get help to give up their night jobs“, The Age discusses the challenges facing those in prostitution who want to quit the profession and move into a more mainstream acceptable position:
RITA could never explain the large gap on her resume when she applied for jobs. She’d say she was a stay-at-home mother. But she’d really spent her adult life working as a prostitute to support three children.
”You can’t really tell them what you were doing,” she said. ”Otherwise, if you do, you’re going to be judged.” As her children became teenagers, Rita worried they might discover her secret, perhaps see her working the streets of St Kilda.
The problem I have with this entire process is simple: why should this matter? This is the 21st century. If someone worked for a week, a month, or ten years as a prostitute, why should that impair their ability to then apply for other work?
“24601” – it’s the recurring motif from Les Miserables – the prisoner number assigned to Jean Valjean. It haunts him his entire life. A significant part of the premise of his story is that his history as a criminal taints his entire life moving forward, despite having done his time.
Yet prostitutes typically aren’t even doing anything criminal – or it shouldn’t be seen as that. Sex is sex. If some people pay for it, who are we, in society, to judge either the person who pays or the person who provides the service?
In short, it’s incredibly saddening that this is even an issue. It shouldn’t be.