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Critical Summary: Sex Worker's Manifesto

3 Pages 659 Words January 2019

Sex Workers' Manifesto - Meeting in India, written in 1997 by a group of sex workers from Calcutta, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, attempts to bring about a change in the social lens through which sex workers have always been belittled, by discussing and clarifying social, economic and most importantly, emotional issues and scenarios revolving around the lives of sex workers. This sex workers’ committee started by a group of female sex workers as an HIV/STD Control Project in the area of Sonagachhi in Calcutta in 1992 but eventually supported and represented by male sex workers too. However, they realized that to successfully execute the project, they need to dive deeper.
They argue that the profession of sex work does not receive its much-deserved legitimacy in society. To understand the reasons for the same, they discuss the existential roots of patriarchy. They observe how inequalities are embedded in our society by an intersection of capitalism and patriarchy. Just as in capitalism one class of people dominate the other with an intention to feel powerful, similarly in patriarchy the same happens with gender. They observe that Capitalist Patriarchy dominates women by defining the objective of sexual intercourse that women engage in, which is procreation of legitimate heirs for the inheritance of private property. Beyond this objective, any other kind of sexuality is denied social acceptance. Therefore, heterosexual relations and homosexual relations beyond the boundaries of marriage or reproductive purpose are deemed as morally incorrect.
The author complains that sex work is considered immoral by the society not only from a social perspective but denied legitimacy even as a profession, i.e., from an economic viewpoint, all because it caters to the sexual needs beyond the patriarchal objective. The author claims that sex work arises from reasons that any other profession stems out from like profit maximization and sex work als...

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