Retired call girl Maggie McNeill says everyone's rights are jeopardized when the government targets sex workers

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Maggie McNeill calls herself the "honest courtesan".

      On her website by the same name, the prolific writer and self-described "retired call girl" offers frank commentary on the sex trade.

      McNeill, who's based in Seattle, was in Vancouver for today's third annual Red Umbrella march for sex workers' rights.

      In a short speech to the crowd, she began by saying it was "heartening" to see this event taking place. She said that's because it wouldn't be possible where she comes from.

      Then she got down to serious business. First, she claimed that when authorities say they only want to target clients, they invariably pick on everyone, including sex workers, just like they did before.

      According to McNeill, the key is to convince those who are not sellers or buyers of sex that legislation targeting the sex trade will eventually affect everyone's human rights.

      "The war on sex workers is basically the new drug war," McNeill maintained.

      She spent a minute explaining how the legal landscape around drugs is changing. In Washington state, for example, recreational marijuana use is legal.  She pointed out that Texas may even make pot legal without even holding a referendum.

      "It seems like the drug war is going to start collapsing in the next few years," she said.

      McNeill predicted that the "prison-industrial complex" would respond to the end of the war on drugs by trying to have consenting adults arrested for having sex in a financial exchange. That's because this will be necessary to keep the government money flowing to keep the authorities employed.

      "I think one of the biggest things we have to do as sex workers right now is to get people to recognize this is not just our struggle," she said. "This is their struggle, too. Just like the drug war undermined civil rights for everyone, even people who were absolute teetotallers, so the war on sex workers is going to undermine rights for everybody, even people who are absolutely celibate."



      Rick Jefferson

      Jun 18, 2015 at 11:53am

      Excellent observations. The war on sex workers, just like the war on unlicensed drug users, is a war against Americans and their freedoms.