Claudette Osborne: More Than A Sex Trade Worker

image Claudette has been missing for two weeks and the police have no leads.  According to the CBC she is 21 years old and  is the mother of four children.  To find out those pertinent details you have to read through the entire article because the title of the news story is “Family pleads for help finding missing Winnipeg sex trade worker.” I suppose that the CBC feels progressive for even devoting time to this story because the media routinely ignores crimes against sex trade workers, however this report can hardly challenge the media’s construction of these women as spoiled identities when the title signifies that her main identity is that of a sex trade worker.

Claudette is a mother, sister and daughter but the CBC wants to make sure that you remember that she is a sex trade worker. The title of this piece is not at all accidental. By identifying Claudette as a sex trade worker instead of one of the various roles in which she participates the CBC is in effect slut shaming.  Somehow if you work in the sex trade nothing else about you matters. This approach is constantly taken whenever the mainstream media deigns to report on women like Claudette.

The reduction of women to sexual objects  is part of our social discourse.  Daily we reduce women through the patriarchal lens to less than.  When we moralize sex and legitimate some acts as good, and some acts as deviant the taint very rarely attach’s itself to men.  It’s always the dirty whore, the dirty slut or the dirty prostitute, while very little is said about those who procure their services. When we speak of prostitutes it is always assumed that we are speaking of a woman even though males engage in this behaviour.  Social discipline of sex, and sex acts is something that is specifically geared towards woman.  This is why the CBC can let the world know that a sex trade worker is missing  and then add in a by the way commentary that she just happened to be a mother of four as well. Claudette Osborne is missing and she is a person, she matters.

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