These Strange Times
I want to talk about shame & privilege, and I hope ya'll read every word of this. It's important.
With shelter in place orders and social distancing guidelines, everyone is trying to survive the best they can. I've come across very few people who are disregarding or downplaying the situation based solely on a lack of fucks to give. Most of the people I see still working are those who don't have much of a choice.
I can't look at twitter for more than a minute without seeing a handful of posts from sex workers shaming others who are still working. It's a sign of their privilege and how blinded they are by it. Most of the sex workers I've spoken to who are still working have expressed not having a safety net, any savings, having medical costs due to being chronically ill or disabled, or having kids to support. They have no way to survive without income.
Virtual work isn't accessible for everyone, and requires a completely different skill set than in-person work. It can be extremely difficult for those with children at home- just read about Finley Fawn's custody battle that stemmed from her camming while her child was asleep in his room on the other side of the house.
Most sex workers don't qualify for unemployment or small business relief based on restrictions on adult work, or the illegal nature of their jobs keeping them from filing taxes. So, what do we expect these workers to do in order to feed themselves (and sometimes their kids)? I've seen some suggesting they get work at one of the many grocery stores that are hiring, but that increases their exposure to and potential spread of COVID instead of reducing it. Grocery store workers certainly interact with more people daily than a sex worker. As fear builds about the traumatic situation the whole world is in, people are bound to lash out. When we feel stuck in a situation and those to blame (the government's delayed and botched handling of a COVID response) are out of our reach, we sometimes misdirect our anger and fear at others who are just trying to survive. We put those who are already in an impossible situation in an even more impossible one. They feel pressure to quit working so others will stop attacking them, when they likely don't even want to be working through the pandemic anyway, but they are unable to stop unless they're willing to go without food, a place to live, medications, and in some cases, their lives.
This is unacceptable. Empathy is the cornerstone of BDSM, and many other forms of sex work. If you aren't willing to financially support the sex worker you're about to shame, stop and think about what you would do in their position. If you're finding it difficult to keep your anger in check during these strange times, I highly recommend trying some DBT skills for emotion regulation and distress tolerance. Be kind to each other.