#putitinmyMIND The Canadian Hotel Association is targeting female presenting sex workers
Unfortunately throughout history, “THEM” have been a variety of different peeps. In the United States from 1865 when slavery was abolished, until 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was passed (and for many years after) “THEM” often meant POC. Not that racism has been eradicated in our current timeline, but there has been great progress in the mindset of society, about how we treat people based on their skin color.
In 1892, The gross indecency law became part of Canada’s first Criminal Code, which made it easier to charge suspected sodomites. Despite the 1969 amendment, many continued to view “THEM” as immoral and corrupt, therefore, deserving of punishment. Unfortunately, it was not until 1987 that the Criminal Code repealed the offense of gross indecency. We know the progress that has happened since, as we now celebrate LGBQT+ rights for a whole month in June called LGBT Pride Month.
Even our current Prime Minister’s daddy knew…
Respect for some, but not “THEM”
It seems ironic, that in today’s current timeline, society has embraced the fact that people should have freedom surrounding their sexuality, all but “THEM” sex workers. Local businesses and national brands have embraced and even profit from the demographic of the LGBQT+ community. They put rainbow stickers in their business windows, and tag themselves as “LGBQT+ friendly” on their advertising and social media. Some businesses do this to be ethical and supportive to a marginalized community, but for many, this is posturing for the sake of smart business. After all, sexuality reaches every demographic there is in society and that is big business.
How does the Canadian government treat PROS?
Imagine, you are a business owner in Canada. You run a legal business, pay your taxes, pay your business license and provide a valued service to your community. You employ people and hire professionals to help you manage, promote and make your business and brand successful. Now imagine despite running a legal business in Canada, you are told every one of your clients is a criminal, you are restricted in where you can advertise, and anyone you hire, well they are just as much of a criminal as your client base. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? Well, it is, and that is why change is coming. In Canada, and why bill C36 is going to be stricken down before we know it.
Do businesses see the benefit of the sex worker demographic?
One of the main ideas behind PROS network is to start educating businesses’ that it would be a benefit to have the attention of our community’s Mouths, Eyes, Ears, Minds, and Bags. We are striving to educate people that we have always been part of the community, and valued members at that. Through this initiative, we are learning very quickly what local businesses think of us, what their current policies are, and who are open to creating meaningful change. I will say whether it’s been a local victoria bc orthodontist or a great place to #putitinmyMOUTH we have been tickled pink by the response and appreciation for our ability to pimp these businesses to our community.
Some though, are stuck in the 60s mindset, and in Canada, the worst offenders we have found are the majority of hotels. You may not know that most major hotels make it a policy to educate their staff on how to identify a sex worker by watching derogatory videos. They do this under the guise of we are doing this to keep our guests safe from “human trafficking”, but fail to support those who may actually be in duress, with the official response being “Make THEM feel uncomfortable”
How Make THEM feel uncomfortable looks IRL
PROS working out of a hotel or Airbnb know they have to be very secretive, and stress discretion to their clients, for fear of being asked to leave or be banned from the property. They bring in their own linens when possible, remove their garbage, and they have a strict procedure for their clients to maintain extreme levels of discretion so as to not “get outed.”
We are learning of many more aggressive actions that sex workers have experienced at hotels and accommodations, in fact, I have a few personal stories, but the one below is as recent as last week, so it’s the one I will share…
One of the professional service providers we work with went to a well-known downtown Victoria hotel to visit a long-time regular. As she was leaving her appointment, she was confronted by the hotel manager. He had locked off the elevator on the guest’s floor and waited for her. The manager proceeded to enact what is obviously their version of the “make them feel uncomfortable” policy. She was interrogated and treated with disdain all while being locked in a small space with a man who obviously had no respect for her as a human being and local member of the community.
The next day the client had another appointment planned. When he checked in to confirm, I informed him about how yesterday’s provider was treated. I also mentioned this might affect how other pros feel about visiting him there, due to this very unsettling behavior of the hotel manager. The client was upset and asked me if I knew of a better property he could stay at, as he didn’t want his guests (professional or not) ever to be harassed or made to feel unwelcome at his chosen accommodations. Luckily I did, and now I know he will never be spending another dime at that property for the way they treated this professional woman.
But why do hotels do this?
Much like the current laws of the land, it doesn’t make much sense. We know peeps have sex in hotel rooms, we also know that sales reps and business people and PROS of all sorts hold meetings in their rooms. So what does it matter if a legal professional is using their room to hold meetings that may or may not include sex? IMHO it would be smart business to welcome this demographic with warm welcome arms, and provide an “angel shot” program for the VERY SMALL 5% of sex workers who are being trafficked. It’s time for a change, all the colors of the sexual rainbow are held up by a pole, IMHO those are the PROS in our neighbourhood. Through activism, we are working hard at making this change a reality with our friends at PEERS and other Canadian sex workers.
We live in a time of inclusivity, it’s taught to our children in school, it’s preached to us from the pulpit and it’s part of every level of business interaction. We live in a contemporary society, thankfully we have come a long way in how we treat “THEM“, but we are not done learning, and changing for the better, there is still more work to do and so much more information to share.
THERE IS STILL MORE TO DO…
Canada’s current laws, although recently ruled unconstitutional, make ALL clients of sex workers criminals. There is still courts choosing to claw back women’s rights just across our borders, at home we see huge business associations profiling ALL female-presenting Canadians by spending millions to produce videos and brochures on “how to identify a female sex worker” and “what to do when you do.” The current status quo of “make them feel uncomfortable” is outdated, discriminatory, and causes more harm than good by targeting ANY female citizens.
As valued members of our communities, and Country we have the collective power to help change things for the better. Let’s start with those in most need of our services, Through PROS.NEWS and PROS.WIKI we are starting to collect information, how to’s. We have our own experiences, but we want to hear about yours.