From Japan, friend and translator Nami Nanami brought Asia Art Tours’ attention to how Tokyo organizers are demanding justice and solidarity for Tokyo’s Sex Workers. You can read the organizers demands below and if you’re in Japan, participate August 1st!
On the 1st of June 2021, a sexworker was killed in a love hotel in Tachikawa, Tokyo.
Every time a sex worker dies, people say things like “Who cares if a prostitute lives or dies?” – “Whore deserves anything anyway” or even “Whores just shouldn’t live on this planet spreading throughout the whole society both by mass media and everyday people on the internet, and even by the killer .
The suspect of this case also said “I thought it’s better that sex workers don’t exist anyway” and “Female sexworkers are a cause of aging and declining population of Japan.
Right after the incident, the mass media reported the victim’s real name. But tell me, why would you even like to know her real name?
You! Yes, exactly you! You, who you wanted to know the victim’s real name – didn’t you simply flinch a moment while the scary truth of how she was brutally murdered? And then, didn’t you simply return to your everyday life? Aren’t you the one who is just a consumer of the sheer existence of us sex-workers? Aren’t you the one who didn’t do a damn thing against all the prejudices and discrimination we sex-workers are facing day in day out?
We want to work cheerfully, with health and safety, without being insulted and getting hurt. We are not your free pornography.
Thankfully, some of you may pity on us and want to save us.The “anti-poverty activist” Takanori Fujita claims that the sex industry as such should be eliminated and is advocating for the the complete abolition of sex industry. Business owners of sex industry should not be included in the COVID-19 compensation payment , he says. But dude, go fuck yourself, we say. She didn’t get killed because sex industry exists. She was killed because discriminatory claims like “The sex industry as such should be eliminated”exist.
To say it simply: There’s no shortage of clients like you. Clients who want to hear sad miserable stories about our lives full of poverty and violence. If you’re willing to pay the right price or offer some kind of oh-so splendid “help,” we might be able to tell you some “Oh, you poor girl”-style personal stories that might be to your liking.
But you know, things like this are part of our job. We are not your “poor girls”. Don’t exploit our lives! If you really want to “help” those “poor girls” grudgingly working in bad circumstances, then please think again about what you really desire. If you think that women who undress and spread their legs outside by their own volition outside of romantic relationship or marriage are something that simply can’t exist, if you see women who do this simply as “poor brainwashed girls”, if you want us to be just weak and unhappy, then you should think again about what it really is that you’re trying to protect.
Although one does not need a quolification nor specialised knowledge to start with sex work, that doesn’t mean sex work is for everyone. We are not “selling our bodies”. Sex workers are specialists to fulfill the fantasies of the clients, ultimate emotional labourers, and also care workers. Disrespecing and exploiting sex work is almost like being complicit in a discourse that seeks to keep domestic labour unpaid or extremely underpiad job. All we want is the same kind of respect and safe working conditions that clinical counselors, spa workers and other health professionals enjoy.
As always, nobody is grieving about the death of a sex worker. Nobody is celebrating the life of a sex worker. We are only being watched by curious eyes, we are the target of insults and they are being consumed. That’s why we want to grieve her death. We want to show the society that there are people who grieve the death of every sex worker who died. And we want to expose this patriarchal society. All of your prejudices like “Who cares when a woman dies who spreads their legs for money” have killed her. They are killing us, too. We will never ever accept such a society.
On Sunday, August 1, at 1:00 p.m., we will hold a memorial for the sex worker, the victim in front of Tachikawa Station and some of the bigger Tokyo train stations that have red light district nearby.
We will spend half a day going around Tokyo, standing at several stations for about an hour each, and finally make an appeal in front of Tachikawa Station before breaking up. We will not do it in a hotel area or any other place where it would interfere with the business of stores.
1:00pm Ueno -> Ikebukuro -> Shinjuku -> 7:00pm Tachikawa
We will be collecting eulogies from everyone, posting them on our blog, and reading them on our behalf during the day’s activities. Anonymous messages are welcome. Please write in Japanese or English.
For the original post of the organizers see here: https://swtsuitou.tumblr.com/post/657819626376396800/1st-of-august-2021-memorial-action-for-a-sex/amp?__twitter_impression=true