Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities
Resisting a Dangerous Order
"Our voices scrubbed out and forgotten. There are those who research and write about sex workers who often forget we are human."
Shawna Ferris gives a voice to sex workers who are often pushed to the background, even by those who fight for them. In the name of urban safety and orderliness, street sex workers face stigma, racism, and ignorance. Their human rights are ignored, and some even lose their lives. Ferris aims to reveal the cultural dimensions of this discrimination through literary and art-critical theory, legal and sociological research, and activist intervention.
Canadian cities are striving for high safety ratings by eliminating crime, which includes "cleaning" urban areas of the street sex industry. Ironically, sex workers also want to live and work in a safe environment. Ferris questions these sanitizing political agendas, reviews exclusionary legislative and police initiatives, and examines media representations of sex workers.
This book has much to offer to educators and activists, sex workers and anti-violence organizations, and academics studying women, cultural, gender, or indigenous issues.
About the Authors
Ferris presents compelling evidence of how the representations of and responses to sex-work in Canadian cities reflect a necropolitical global-capitalist agenda that contradicts the liberal democratic ideals that the Canadian nation-state purports to uphold. Likewise, she offers a nuanced and complex analysis of how the experiences of Canadian urban street sex-workers and the representations of them by others must be understood from the intersections of class, gender, and race.—Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, Left History