Spurious Divide?: Sex Work Communities and Respectable Society in Kolkata
Presented by Professor Heather Dell, University of Illinois Springfield. Is there a divide between sex worker communities and respectable society in Kolkata? For male sex worker clients, this perception of difference seems to allow for the confirmation of a dominant masculinity, enactment of non-marital masculinities or the performance of a masculine abject. Yet, for sex workers, crossing the invisible divide out of the red light district into supposedly respectable society seems to confirm a system of a gendered and sexualized apartheid, where they frequently must pass or face violence. Sex worker activists having been challenging this "divide" for decades, as citizens of a shared location who are working for social change.