Wow, if over-protective moms got their panties in a wad over Schweddy Balls, imagine how they will react when they see ads for a health care clinic that caters to prostitutes running on the side of buses throughout San Francisco. The new ad campaign features smiling faces of local sex workers (which include those who make a living through prostitution, escort services, phone sex, Internet webcam sex, erotic dancing or pornography), their families and health care providers from St. James Infirmary whose message is that these professionals have a right to health care just like the rest of us. Which is fine, but I just don’t think it should be advertised in public.
I will agree that everyone deserves to have access to proper health care in our country, including prostitutes or porn stars. But, I don’t agree that we need to have public ads running on the sides of buses, or elsewhere, telling us this. It’s bad enough that children and adults are constantly exposed to over 2,000 advertising messages a day, and sexual references are everywhere-including 92% of the top billboard songs that are about sex, but do we really need to see messages about the discrimination of sex workers when it comes to their health care? Not to mention the fact that some–not all–of these workers are engaging in illegal occupations. Where do we draw the line?
Apparently we don’t, according to the clinic’s executive director, Naomi Akers (who is a former sex worker herself) who says these folks are no different than the rest of us:
This is about humanizing us. We’re not just the stereotype of sexual deviant. We’re everyday people.
True, we should not stereotype all of these sex workers as criminals, because not all of them are. And yes, they deserve health care too–even the ones who are engaging in illegal behavior.
Clinic volunteer and creative director for the ad campaign, Rachel Schreiber agrees and added:
Sex workers are deserving of rights and of health care and of housing and anything that any of us believes that anybody in our society deserves.
I’m not saying they don’t have rights and shouldn’t have access to proper health care. I just don’t believe it needs to be publicly promoted on the sides of buses–or any other public venue, because, to me, that’s almost like telling our kids that prostitution and pornography are an acceptable part of our society.
By the way, the ads were rejected twice this year from other billboard companies because “sex workers” is not a family friendly term.
What do you think?