For the “Choosy- Choicers” and allies- this is what you sound like when you go on about “sex work” and “choice”
Chelsea Geddes, a woman currently in prostitution, nails it here:
“There is a difference between sweatshop workers who are forced to work long hours in a factory for 1 dollar a day, and those who freely choose to work in a sweatshop earning 1 dollar a day. It is denying these consenting sweatshop workers agency and dehumanising them to say they are helpless victims of capitalism and racism. Some radical socialists have taken it upon themselves to assert that sweatshop work cannot possibly be consensual and we are basically slaves. Because of racism and capitalism, we are forced into the sweatshop factories, therefore it is not a free choice.
The danger with this approach, besides the unwelcome paternalistic attitude, is that it creates a roadblock for any further progress. How can you fight for laws to legalize sweatshops, and for better workplace conditions and gain equal treatment and dignity for sweatshop workers, if you only see us as submissive and helpless victims of capitalism/racism? Fighting for sweatshop workers rights would only be oppressing us further, right? They choose it because they are different to you and me, things you and I would never choose to do, are part of free expression for sweatshop factory workers. It’s not at all that they only choose to work in a sweatshop for $1 a day because they were never given the option to work as a doctor or lawyer and earn a good salary, the truth is they just love sewing shoes all day long! And they love the simple bowl of rice they buy with their $1.
Some people might say that if they love sewing shoes so much, why don’t they just sew shoes when they come home from their full paying, legal working hours and healthy working conditions job that leaves them with lots of spare time to sew the shoes they enjoy so much? Then they can sew those shoes in the ways they really want to. But they would be missing the point that it is the conditions under which the sewing of shoes happens in a sweatshop that the workers find so enjoyable! Criminalizing the people who run the sweatshops selling the items sweatshop workers produce, would only further oppress those sweatshop workers who make a consensual empowerfulized choosiful choice to work in a sweatshop.
Radical socialists and exited commercial shoe-makers might try to tell you that these sort of articles are carefully constructed in the interests of the rich and powerful who own the big brands which source products from cheap sweatshop labour, and are only interested in continuing and indeed furthering the exploitation of workers – consenting and otherwise, by manipulating their audience and the wider public. But it would appear as though this is a red herring thrown by moralistic and old fashioned anti-shoe extremists who hate the woman in the sweat shop here and want to deprive her and the entire world of the wondrous joy that is shoes! Don’t be swayed by these conniving anti-shoe socialists, the well-being of feet is at stake! Did I say feet? I meant the well being of that woman in the sweat shop and all her happy sweatshop friends.:) ”