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The word prostitute, protested Lake Macquarie councillor Hannah Gissane, was derogatory and had negative connotations, and so she wanted the word in a committee recommendation changed to sex worker.
The other councillors agreed unanimously, and so prostitutes in "an increase in prostitutes operating illegally in the streets surrounding the brothel" became street workers a few weeks ago. But as I argue in my column today, the rescue from negative connotations of women who sell sex has not been achieved with the term sex worker.
When we hear that we think prostitute. Cr Gissane needs a fun word if she's to change the community's mental image of prostitution, and for inspiration I've gone to the word gay. Homosexuals were furtive toilet loiterers until they were rebranded as gays, and ever since they've been frolicking adornments celebrated and embraced by the community.
I came up with a shortlist of fun terms for the pejorative prostitute, and it includes joy, kitten, glee, cock-a-hoop and rapture. You know, as in the new Toronto brothel will have three new kittens next week. Or three new glees. Or joys are demanding government-supplied condoms. Is Cr Hannah Gissane on the right track? And by the way, as deference to Cr Gissane's Greens membership I've suggested that she seek to change the word development to pillaging.
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