Stripping: the golden mask and the harsh reality
Lily Chen

Your articles on pole-dancing are eye-opening. For a long time, I’ve always taken an avid interest in the lives of sex workers, individuals trafficked into sex slavery, exotic dancers, strippers, etc. because I’ve always questioned the way that they are stigmatized. To be honest, I feel that people are a lot, lot more than what they do; they are feelings and experiences and deep thoughts that no one can ever know. I don’t even know how the stigmatization of workers in the erotic entertainment and sex industries have even come about. What is there to look down on anyway? The people who ridicule, mock, think poorly of those in the sex and erotic entertainment industries are the ones who are immoral for not finding out why these workers are doing what they are doing in the first place; they are the ones who bad for not offering help, or for not wondering about or not insisting on knowing what has brought these particular workers to their trade. I’ve always felt empathy for these workers from the start because I’m not convinced that most of those workers have seriously always dreamed about being in the position that they find themselves in now as I’ve imagined myself doing what they do and I feel sad about even deeply imagining myself in their shoes; the thought of being treated like an object that pleases men hurts me. Those workers are every bit as human as office workers, people working in big business, doctors, etc. It’s about time that more people recognize the humanity in these workers. To stigmatize anyone is just being lazy, inconsiderate, and even inhumane. It causes a great unnecessary prejudice that accomplishes nothing at all. Sex workers ought to be treated with respect, to be assured that they are safe. I have to say it again because I feel so much for those in the sex industry; it’s those who exploit these workers, who are disgusted by them, who abuse them, who harm them, who harass them, who believe they are inferior who are evil and who need to change, who need to be educated, who need to understand what a moral foundation is. Thank you for listening.

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