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Update to Fact Dump – Pornography and the Sex Industry

Posted by A birch tree on May 25, 2008

Just a note that a new statistic has been added to the April 14th, 2008’s “Fact Dump” post. Under “Prostitution: Working Environment”, I have added the following.

The workplace homicide rate for prostitutes as of 2004 was 201 per 100,000. Compare to the “Most Dangerous Profession” as of May 2008: Mining, with an occupational death rate of only 30.1 per 100,000.

And under “Prostitution: Effects on Prostitutes”, I have added

The average age of death for a woman in prostitution is 34 years old.

The primary sources are Mortality in a Long Term Open Cohort of Prostitute Women and NYT: Miners Found to Have Highest Death Rate On the Job (which, serendipitously enough, came out just today), but I’d like to give a hat tip to Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog for linking the study. You should check the place out; I’ve literally done nothing at all today beyond eat, smoke, make a blog post earlier this morning, and read that blog.

Something to keep in mind next time some dork dude pulls out the “Men work in all the most dangerous jobs!” canard… apparently, they (and the New York Times) don’t think of prostitution as a “job”.

Oh, and one thing I found interesting and scary and depressing all at the same time, but which doesn’t belong in the fact dump, was this quote from the NYT article:

Among female workers, 42 percent of all on-the-job deaths were because of homicide, compared with 11 percent for males.

Wow. Ok, guys? Seriously? I don’t ever want to hear any fucking nonsense about dangerous, demanding jobs in which lots of guys die, ever again Among all the other things we don’t have to worry about because we have a penis, we also don’t have to worry as much about being murdered on the job as women do. 42% of all on-the-job deaths for women are murders. What. The. Fuck.

I can’t get over how disturbed this has made me. When I started the Fact Dump, that’s, shamefully, all the were: bits of facts that were good debate points but which didn’t really manage to cross the dude-brain barrier. The more I read about feminism, the more they start to come out in living color as events, not statistics, that actually have an impact on real people every single day. Reducing women’s tragedy to a list of numbers is just as privileged as ignoring the tragedy altogether. It’s a lot easier to exercise male priviledge and dissassociate those numbers from the women they represent, than it is to actually think about the atrocities involved, and it’s wrong, and I apologise for engaging in that kind of avoidance-based thinking.

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