Ashley Judd’s stance on sex-work does not mesh well with some sex-work activists.
The “Sisters” actress is on a quest to eradicate “the illegal commercial sex industry in the US” as a council member of the Demand Abolition organization.
Judd, 50, was the key speaker at a conversation at The Wing, a members-only women’s co-working space.
Sex-work activists rallied a silent protest outside of The Wing and anonymous activist @SXNOIR, as reported by The Daily Beast, head inside The Wing to speak with Judd.
Judd received criticism last month by arguing “prostitution is paid rape.” She followed up by tweeting, “I believe body invasion is indeed inherently harmful, and cash is the proof of coercion. Buying sexual access commodifies something that is beyond the realm of capitalism and entrepreneurship: girls and women’s orfices [sic].”
“I’m here today to call you in and to say that we’re ready to talk. We want to sit down with you, we want you to hear our stories,” @SXNOIR told Judd. “And I understand that you have your opinion and we have our opinion, but it’s not OK to not listen to all of the women who are affected by sex work, and there are a lot of women who do consensual sex work.”
@SXNOIR reportedly had a back-and-forth with another audience member before Judd finally chimed in.
“You are beautiful and eloquent,” she said. “I’m on your side. I’m not on the side of the pimps, the brothel keepers, and the pornographers.”
Clara Cline, a co-organizer of the protest, told The Daily Best Judd’s remark sounded insincere. “She’s probably going to go home, get on Twitter and write something like, wow, good for these people exercising their freedom of speech!” Cline argued. “She’s not going to change her stance, but we’re here to show her, and to show the people who are following her on social media that we are here, and she can’t talk over us.”
“We’re not out every day and so it’s hard for us to have a voice,” she said. “Especially when we are shadowbanned.”