A friend turned me on this Irish sex worker organization, Turn Off the Blue Light, and their great poster campaign. Prostitution is currently legal in Ireland, but an opposing campaign called Turn Off the Red Light has been picking up momentum in their push for criminalization—ya know, to “end sex trafficking.”
You’d think by now people would come up with a better way to end human trafficking, ideally in every industry where it occurs, than by declaring all commercial sex exploitative and illegal. Prostitution has been illegal nearly everywhere in the U.S. for decades, but it hasn’t stopped politicians, the media, and Demi Moore from being totally obsessed with sex trafficking as an ongoing major problem within our own country. Hopefully Ireland won’t follow suit in this misguided attempt to “help” people by driving their profession further underground.
Turn Off the Red Light spews out a lot of the same clichés we’ve seen on every other anti-sex work site, about how nearly everyone in the business is coerced and underage when they start and incapable of doing anything else with their lives. They say also that the work leads to “extreme isolation and a sense of shame;” interestingly though, their main tactic to combat this is to criminalize the industry.
Turn Off the Blue Light is a direct response to this, and the poster campaign gives a fuller, more intelligent view of the real women involved in Ireland’s commercial sex trade.
This may not do much to change the minds of people blindly obsessed with human trafficking, but the posters do show beautiful, positive and realistic images of people working consensually to make a living.