August 13, 2009

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Anindita Sengupta Diflucan Used For, RECENTLY, OVER AT at Feministe, guest blogger Ren did some frank speak about being a sex worker:

Well, personally, I am fond of the money and the way it allows me to set my own hours.  I generally like most of my coworkers.  I do dig my work attire way more than business casual (except the spiky heels, I do not like spiky heels, more of a platform gal myself). I absolutely admit without fear or guilt that I love making my own porn, you know, stuff that is depictions of what I like sexually and is a creative process for me and all.  I like not having to deal with the whole corporate world thing.  I love not being at a desk, in a cubicle, in a building with no windows.  In fact, the whole idea of that sort of a working life is enough to make me want to put a gun to my head....We’re all different, so why would we ever be expected to like the same things?

Her post busts a number of myths and you should definitely read it. It also reminded me of the time I met a couple of street sex workers at Vimochana, a women's rights organisation based in Bangalore, 250mg Diflucan Used For. They talked about how things get difficult for them when they're shunted out of their work zones, in this case, Cubbon Road and MG Road. The fact that sex work has not been legalised in India means they are easy prey for cops who often extort free sex from them as a sort of 'hafta'. But despite haftas, certain streets frequented by  'respectable people' are still off limits, Diflucan Used For. This hits them where it hurts -- right on the belly -- because ironically the same respectable people are a huge client base. One of the women got quite heated and what she said, vehemently, angrily, 10mg Diflucan Used For, sticks in my mind: "What is your problem if two consenting adults decide to have sex. What is it that disgusts you. What is it that offends you?"

Of course, she meant the 'you' as a general form of address since I had not indicated that I was offended in the least but the strength of her bitterness struck me like a cleaver. Diflucan Used For, Because the context of sex work in India is different from that of the west, their situation was even more tangled. From an Infochange article:

Demographic studies indicate that sex workers are usually women who are already subsumed by other elements of social marginalisation. They are predominantly illiterate, have limited economic opportunities and lower social status....The minute they enter sex work however, they are further marginalised along three other axes: the informality of their labour, the dubious legal status of prostitution, and notions of women and immorality.

I don't want to get into the issue of legalisation but you can read this this essay by Prabha Kotiswaran for an overview of arguments for and against, Diflucan Used For us. What I want to talk about is our personal, even involuntary reactions to sex workers. Largely undetermined by legal nits, they come from some murky, underground place of childhood when it was drilled into us that good girls don't have sex and bad girls do, and good girls don't talk to bad girls. Of course, we've all grown up and know this is hogwash, but mama's voice is hard to get rid of, isn't it, Diflucan Used For.

Sex workers live on the periphery of our lives. They inhabit the same streets, 50mg Diflucan Used For, hang around outside or in the same bars, often sleep with the same men. Yet, there is a certain discomfort, isn't there, when it comes to sharing public space or common facilities. A restaurant, a salon, a train compartment. Diflucan Used For, It's partly why many establishments 'reserve the right' of admission. I saw this right exercised at an expensive salon in Bombay, Diflucan Used For canada. I was getting a haircut when a woman walked in and asked for a manicure. They politely told her there was nobody free. She looked around the place doubtfully, at the empty salon, at the stylists standing around, clearly free. A look of understanding, and she left, Diflucan Used For.

I was fourteen at the time, too young to fully understand what was happening. Diflucan Used For ebay, But what if it happened today. Would I have the gumption to say anything to the salon owners. Most likely, I would sit by just as dumbly. Diflucan Used For, How do you tell people how to run their business. And it's not they who have a problem but their clients. People like 'us'.

So when we choose public and social spaces for food, leisure or entertainment, what criteria do we apply. What role does class and morality play, 250mg Diflucan Used For. How willing  are we to tolerate not only people from different economic and social backgrounds, but also people with disparate moral or lifestyle choices in the same space, Diflucan Used For. I've often heard someone say: 'Such-and-such place is very upmarket. You know, no riffraff.' Upmarket. Riffraff. What do these terms mean. Diflucan Used For, Much of it is hinged on outward appearance. So we have a problem with those visibly different from us. Through race and class, yes. 10mg Diflucan Used For, But also the drag queen. The eunuch. The sex worker who hasn't disguised it well enough, Diflucan Used For. (For example, one might argue that we don't want to be in the company of 'criminal elements' but for all you know, the wealthy man next to you on the flight is a drug smuggler. So that argument falls apart.)

What is usually at work is fear, the fear of people whose choices we don't understand or whose morals we do not agree with, the fear of  moral 'contamination', the irrational panic that merely being in the company of someone with different choices will besmirch us in some mysterious, unfathomable way, Diflucan Used For usa. Hatred is a result of fear. And we erect membership laws, rules, social codes to reserve our right of admission, to reserve our right to this fear and hatred. Diflucan Used For, Ironically, the very antidote to both is knowledge. The more you know about something, or somebody, the less alien they seem, Diflucan Used For us, the more time you have to discover the commonalities. As long as we uphold a society strictly bound up in strictures and structures, fixed positions of being and interacting, there can be no shared space, no knowledge and no understanding.

Perhaps, we need to loosen the ties a bit, stretch those social muscles in unusual ways, let restaurants and salons and train compartments profit from the refreshing mix of choice and difference. Perhaps we need to ask this question more often and more insistently: why must the right to admission be reserved, and against whom.

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