Since its tax time, I’ll give my yearly tax talk.
Many folks say, “They should tax and regulate prostitutes” instead of arresting us.
Well, taxing and regulating prostitution won’t bring us equal protection under the law.
Many folks in the sex industry pay taxes, local, state and federal taxes already. We pay sales taxes, hotel taxes, property taxes, gas taxes…same kinds of taxes everybody else pays. Except we don’t have access to the constitutional rights like everybody has. We don’t have access to equal protection under the law for example. If I’m assaulted on or off my job, I have to seriously consider how reporting that crime and its substantive investigation will effect my ability to work. Even legal sector sex industry workers don’t have equal protection under the law. They are not protected from discrimination and harassment in housing, education, employment, child custody nor are they guaranteed access to financial institutions. Legal sector workers who pay taxes cannot keep religious zealots from invading their work spaces. Got cupcakes? Free mascara? Nail polish anyone?
FYI, the US doesn’t allot rights based on your ability to pay taxes. If that were true, then why are the big corporations being exempt from paying taxes? Why is one of the richest men in the world paying a less tax rate than his secretary? Yes money gives more access to legislators to make laws that favor your capital but our capital is outlawed and it doesn’t matter how much tax I pay my legislator won’t propose laws to change my status.
We’re severally economically disadvantaged because the anti prostitution laws that have systematically, over a 100 year period, banned our ability to negotiate for our labor and own safe work conditions. So I would say that the US government ought to mandate that our class not pay ANY taxes until such time we have been completely enfranchised to the point where all the negative stigma and discrimination against our class has disappeared!
That is my position and that should be your position. Don’t let them off the hook for how they’ve treated us all these years! Make them pay some consequences and restitution to us for violating our human, labor and civil rights. Don’t just sit back and let us activist do the heavy lifting of changing the laws and then agree to be taxed and regulated. We’re not like any other business. What other business has been so violated to the degree that ours has? Therefore the antidotes to the poison that criminalization has caused all of humanity must be cured and gaining tax exempt status is a good first start.