‘Working Women’

Via my Facebook acquaintance SM and the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya (the Unstoppable Women’s Association):

Roma Debnath, a member of the Binodini Sramik Union (a sex workers’ collective) has been selected to be the joint convener of the Working Women’s Council, West Bengal. This is the first time that a prostitute — euphemistically termed ‘working girls’ for decades — will represent all employed women, and address harassment and discrimination at the work place, and matters related to it.

Binodini Sramik Union (loosely, Entertainment Workers Union) is part of the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), which is the first of its kind to recognise prostitution as a profession and are, apparently, trying to ensure and protect the rights of its workers.

An excellent move, I think, and I hope it isn’t a purely symbolic one.

Incidentally, if you’re bothered by the use of the word ‘prostitute’ and want to jump up and say, “Say ‘sex worker’! Show some respect!”, then I suggest you stop awhile and reflect upon why you think ‘prostitute’ is belittling, while sex worker overflows with progressive glory.



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