Friday, October 12, 2007

Olympic Games and Sex Work

In a WeNews article yesterday, correspondent Wency Leung reported on sex workers founding a brothel in Vancouver to help with the aid of “cleaning up the city” in time for the 2010 Olympic Games. Let’s try to put a dialogue of the politics of sex work aside (prostitution is legal in Canada but solicitation is not; while the co-op brothel if being founded by female sex worker advocates, the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter has voiced dissent on the subject along with escort agencies threatened by the potential competition). The tourist trade surrounding an international event must both represent the city/nation as being “civil” while offering an abundance of debauchery for actual visitors at night. Leung reminds us that an estimated 40,000 female sex workers traveled to Germany during this year’s soccer World Cup. National events like the Olympics become a spectacle, where gender, race, and social politics are perhaps forced to momentarily surface, which makes me wonder why sex workers in Vancouver are finding a safe place only when it’s fitting to national interest...

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