January 27th, 2008
In The Telegraph there’s a report on Annie and Heather – aka Hookers for Jesus.
Both ‘holy hotties’ are born again Christians who visit porn conventions and other sex industry events to spread the word of God.
While Christians have long been involved in ‘saving’ fallen women, Annie and Heather are slightly different in they claim not to be judgemental and look more like porn stars than the frumpy do-gooders you might expect.
JC’s girls (as they call themselves) also blog about their work and have a series of podcasts – ‘Saving Sex City’ (you can see episode one below).
Annie and Heather claim their work is accepted and welcomed by other sex workers – although what other sex workers really feel is less clear.
I’m all in favour of people offering support to sex workers, although I do have concerns where religion is used to blame, attack or bully prostitutes. Those who have a shared background with sex workers can offer a unique insight into prostitution and often can enable sex workers to access help services because of this. However, having turned their back on prostitution – whether it’s for religious or political reasons – can also mean folk lack the sensitivity to appreciate others are not ready to exit sex work, or may not ever wish to do so.
It is interesting how the media still like to run with the ‘saving fallen women’ angle, as there are plenty of sex workers who are religious (but continue to work as prostitutes). These voices are not heard. Nor are the voices of prostitutes who do not wish to leave sex work. What we are consistently given is a limited view of prostitution – where sex workers are all presented through the language of disease, drugs, danger and trafficking – people in need of rescue or salvation.
I’m sure Heather and Annie are working from the best of motives, but just occasionally it would be also good to hear some different stories of prostitution. Blogs, podcasts and turning up at sex conventions are certainly news to straight society. But if you’re really after something radical how about talking to the people at the conventions who celebrate what they are doing?
After all, the whole time we have a media that focuses just on the saviours it means they’re subtly (and not so subtly) reinforcing the idea that those who remain in sex work are the sinners.Tweet