A Massachusetts State Representative, Kay Kahn, recently filed two bills that seek to decriminalize selling sex – that is, from the side of sex workers, but not from the side of clients. One of our members recently spoke to a reporter at The Shoestring about these proposed bills and why MASWAN supports the full decriminalization of sex work.
But unfortunately,these bills leave in place statutes, language, funding, and institutional infrastructure which undermine the legislation’s goal of reducing criminalization, creating incentives to more aggressively pursue certain sex workers over others.
The Shoestring also spoke with Caty Simon, an organizer in Western Massachusetts and co-editor of Tits and Sass, who emphasized that “when clients are targeted the whole industry is driven underground. To avoid the risk of being caught, clients resist screening processes and opt for more isolated locations for sessions, exposing sex workers to more violence and reducing our access to harm reduction practices such as ID checks.”
Including sex workers in conversations about legislation that affects our communities is essential. Nothing about us without us!