Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

“Scarlet Road”

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Scarlet Road offered a really interesting and rare look into the life of Rachel, a female sex worker. This documentary looks at a side of prostitution that most people never hear, or talk about. It raises the question, should individuals be allowed to do this line of work if they choose it? And how much good can it be doing? I will be honest in saying that I have only ever seen prostitution cast in a very negative light. It is always portrayed this way in the media, and you never really think about people choosing to do this as a career. Rachel is completely different though. She advocates her work, saying she willing became a sex worker. She goes to school, has a boyfriend, loves to travel, she lives a very normal life, except that she is a sex worker.

Rachel also does a really good job at explaining the hardships one can face in the trade. Those who choose this line of work face scrutiny from many, but they also can face many problems from the Law. One example was when Rachel contemplated moving to where her boyfriend lived, she researched the laws surrounding prostitution. Since it was considered illegal, it was impossible for her to move there. She described this saying that sometimes it makes her feel like “a second class citizen”. In the documentary Rachel’s cliental included several disabled men. This was something else that had never been brought to my attention before. I had never considered how sex work could play a large role in the lives of the disabled. Rachel helps these men experience their desires. One of her customers described it as something that helped him feel like he was normal, even if it was only for a night.

You could tell that Rachel really does believe in what she does, so she works hard to try and break down the barriers surrounding it. I thought this was a good documentary just because it gave me a whole new perspective on sex work and it made me look at situations I had never considered before. 


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