Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities

“Our voices scrubbed out and forgotten. There are those who research and write about sex workers who often forget we are human.”
—Amy Lebovitch

Shawna Ferris gives a voice to sex workers who are often pushed to the background, even by those who fight for them. In the name of urban safety and orderliness, street sex workers face stigma, racism, and ignorance. Their human rights are ignored, and some even lose their lives. Ferris aims to reveal the cultural dimensions of this discrimination through literary and art-critical theory, legal and sociological research, and activist intervention.

Canadian cities are striving for high safety ratings by eliminating crime, which includes “cleaning” urban areas of the street sex industry. Ironically, sex workers also want to live and work in a safe environment. Ferris questions these sanitizing political agendas, reviews exclusionary legislative and police initiatives, and examines media representations of sex workers.

This book has much to offer to educators and activists, sex workers and anti-violence organizations, and academics studying women, cultural, gender, or indigenous issues.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Front Cover 1
Title Page 4
Copyright page 5
Dedication 6
Contents 8
Foreword by Amy Lebovitch 10
Acknowledgements 14
Introduction 16
1 City/Whore Synecdoche and the Case of Vancouver's Missing Women 36
2 Anti-Prostituion Reporting, Policing, and Activism in Canada's Global Cities 78
3 Technologies of Resistance 118
4 Agency and Aboriginality in Street-Involved or Survival Sex Work in Canada 170
Conclusion 206
Appendices 218
Notes 228
Works Cited 250
Index 268
About the Author 273
Other Titles from The University of Alberta Press 274