Sex workers and their allies promote hashtag #NotYourRescueProject
A researcher and writer known as the Naked Anthropologist, Laura Agustin, is a long-time critic of what she calls the "rescue industry".
In an interview with the Georgia Straight in 2011, she maintained that nongovernmental organizations trying to "save" women in the sex trade don't spend nearly enough attention on what these rescued souls will do after their income has been cut off.
Agustin pointed out at the time that prior to the rise of the European bourgeoisie, sex workers were not considered "victims".
And she has criticized those like New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof who've called for greater restrictions on the sale of sex.
Agustin's provocative argument hasn't attracted much attention in the mainstream media.
Today, sex workers and their allies decided to amplify this message over Twitter by using the hashtag #NotYourRescueProject.
It appears to have started here:
That came after self-described intersectional feminist and sex worker Pasta tweeted: "I feel like SWs are always being put into boxes by no-SWs in a way that flattens complexity."
Below, you can see how quickly it caught on.
A well-known dominatrix, Mistress Matisse, tweeted: "#notyourrescueproject because my career has taught me self-reliance, creativity, compassion, and how to have excellent personal boundaries."
Molli Desi Devadasi, who was one of the originators, sent out several messages, including this one: "NotYourRescueProject today I had sex with three men for 1 hr each and with that money I paid for one school for one month in my country."
Another of the originators, N'jaila Rhee, declared: "I reject your attempts to use my body as a woman of color for your tragedy porn. #notyourrescueproject"
Another named Kitty stated: "#notyourrescueproject Because, despite all my options, I choose to do what makes me the most happy, not what will make society happy."
El Feministo tweeted: "#NotYourRescueProject Because 'Rescue' too-often = 'Repatriation Without Consent' followed by 'Please Donate!' – in other words: #WhosAPimp?"
KatrinaElisseCaudle urged "Canadian babes" to tweet #notyourrescueproject to federal party leaders Elizabeth May, Justin Trudeau, and Thomas Mulcair.
Sabrina Morgan's message was more personal: "When you treat the profession as degrading, you degrade those in it. I take pride in my work & the services I provide. #notyourrescueproject"
Melissa Gira Grant's tweet addressed broader issues: "#notyourrescueproject because sex workers need to direct their own lives, not prop up your gritty documentary/TED talk/thesis/grant proposal"
Darby Hickey, a policy analyst who studies the sex trade, had this to say: "Because the laws in Sweden are not a model, they are a disaster. #NotYourRescueProject"
You can see a couple more tweets below.