Prostitution has been called the world’s oldest profession. And until fairly recently, prostitutes enjoyed a much more visible profile in centuries past as major contributors to society. As today’s guest Kaytlin Bailey, former sex worker turned writer, comedian and sex worker rights’ advocate explains, with their healthy wages, they even helped to settle the American West. It wasn’t until the early 20th-century that the U.S. began aggressively criminalizing prostitution at the federal level in 1910.
There have been many instances of moral panic in our country’s history, Kaytlin explains, whereby people have been stripped of their civil liberties under the guise of eradicating a problem that doesn’t actually exist. For example, in 2018, former president Trump passed the FOSTA Act into law in an attempt to fight human trafficking. Kaytlin explains that as a result, instead of protecting women from violence and exploitation, services provided to and by consenting adults were eradicated or pushed further underground, ironically leaving sex workers more vulnerable to harm.
It was the FOSTA law that inspired Kaytlin to bring her personal story–which she had been telling in op-eds and stand up routines–to the political arena. She shares other peoples’ stories, too, profiling sex workers from throughout history on her podcast “The Oldest Profession.” The podcast is part of Old Pro Productions, a nonprofit media organization dedicated to creating conditions which change the status of sex workers in society.
Kaytlin’s handwriting demonstrates a mix of openness, pride and stubbornness. As long as she avoids the pitfalls of being too proud and too honest, she will remain a formidable champion of women’s rights.
#sexwork #womensrights #comedian
“Well-behaved women don't make history.” (0:59 | Kaytlin)
“We are very susceptible to moral panics.” (2:44 | Kaytlin)
“We tend to pass laws stripping all of us of civil liberties to go after a problem that isn't really happening.” (2:48 | Kaytlin)
“Of all the jobs that I've done, the erotic exchange felt like the most straightforward, the most transparent…I do political fundraising, which is way worse than prostitution.” (5:03 | Kaytlin)
“We criminalized alcohol, abortion and prostitution all at the same time and for the same reasons.” (6:42 | Kaytlin)
“If you have too much desire for status, you become arrogant. If you can keep that arrogance at bay, and just want pride and respect that's always really good. It's a fine line, though.” (12:33 | Bart)
Connect with Kaytlin Bailey:
Old Pros: https://oldprosonline.com
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