Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Thai massage therapists are being asked for ‘happy endings’

Man getting massage with hot stone
Image: iStock

CW: sexual harrassment, including descriptions. If this is a triggering topic for you, feel free to skip this post.

Massage therapists are being asked to give male clients ‘happy endings’.

According to SBS News, Susan* has been working as a massage therapist in Australia for a decade. The Thai – born visa holder did massage therapy in Sydney to comply with the conditions of her visa.

Massage is easy for a non – English speaking visa holder to get into. Unfortunateky, these workers are easy for people to take advantage of.

Clients ask for ‘happy endings’.

Susan told SBS News:

Ninety-five percent are good clients. When you are given good feedback, it feels really good… I love my work.

Yet, some of the five percent are… well sleazy. Men have asked Susan to give them ‘happy endings’, i.e. to masturbate them to orgasm.

Susan also says that clients have tried to touch her while she was performing the massage.

University studies sexual harrassment victimisation among migrant communities

Needless to say, this is sexual harrassment, pure and simple. Unforrtunately, Susan is not the only one who has been harassed.

Monash University has partnered with Harmony Alliance and Women’s Alliance to get a glimpse into sexual violence suffered by migrants and refugees. According to Associate Professor Marie Segrave, migrants and refugees are often overlooked in sexual violence studies in Australia.

When the SBS article was published last week, 1,000 people had responded to Segrave’s questionnaire. More people were expected to respond.

How Susan protects herself

It’s disgusting that this is happening. However, experienced therapists are able to deal with potentially sleazy clients. They often have to read between the lines.

Susan told SBS News:

My experience, when the guy asking about full body, I have aware what is meaning [sic]

Massage isn’t sex work

Let me start with a statement. If someone wants to do sex work, erotic massage, etc, that’s their perogative.

If someone wants to give clients ‘happy endings’ or sexual services, that’s their perogative.

This is NOT what massage therapists are about. In fact, massage therapists vehemently reject the idea that they are sex work services. If you look up massage and sex work on Google, you will see link after link with the same arguments.

This message should go out far and wide. Because what is happening to many massage therapists is sexual harassment, pure and simple.

The race aspect

We obviously need to talk about race, too. Many massage therapists that face sexual harrassment and indecent assault are often migrants or visa holders from non – English speaking backgrounds.

Why aren’t those with a working visa in Australia being offered transalation services? Aren’t they being told what their rights are? What the laws are?

Are migrant workers being told who to turn to if they are being harassed or indecently assaulted? If migrants and work visa holders aren’t being told this, then there’s huge flaws in our migration system. Then again, I guess it isn’t surprising, given how many migrant workers often get financially exploited.

This shouldn’t be happening. No one, regardless of where they come from, should be abused, harassed or exploited at work.

Anyone facing harassment at work can contact the Fair Work Commission: 1300 799 675

To get more information, you can go to the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

*Not real name

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Roe vs Wade has been overturned

US Supreme Court
Image: iStock

It’s happened. The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe vs Wade on Saturday (Friday in the US).

The ruling means states have a right to restrict or outlaw abortion. Kentucky, Louisiana and South Dakota have ‘trigger laws’ that came into effect straight after the ruling.

A further twenty -three states are expected to outright ban or severely restrict abortion within a month.

Public reaction

The ruling has caused celebration and outrage.

Conservatives like actor, Kevin Sorbo and commentator Matt Walsh see this as a victory:

However, it’s also caused a lot of outrage. TikTok content creators in particular have been vocally outraged about the ruling. People are worried that this is only the start (more on that later). They have also pointed out pro – lifers’ hypocrisy.

Protests have taken place in Detroit, Michigan and Washington D.C. Protests erupted outside the Supreme Court straight after the ruling

Pro – lifers have celebrated.

Former president, Donald Trump told Illinois pro- life rally attendees:

The Court handed down a victory for the Constitution, a victory for the rule of law, an$ above all, a victory for life.

Donald Trump at Illinois rally

What else is at risk?

People are still fearing the fate of interracial and same – sex marriage. My stance hasn’t changed.

I believe that interracial marriage will always be safe. If SCOTUS tried to overturn it, they would become an unfunny joke around the world. Plus, there are African – American justices that are in interracial marriages.

However, like I said in an earlier post, I think Obgerfell vs Hodges may be on shaky ground. There’s even some fears that anti – sodomy laws will come back.

While I think the latter is absurd, I think LGBTQ+ Americans’ rights are at risk. It wouldn’t surprise me if Obgerfel vs Hodges is reversed. Next of kin laws, family laws (adoption, etc) will be vulnerable.

And what about trans and non – binary people who seek gender – affirming treatment? Given the endless debate on trans issues, it wouldn’t surprise me if their rights end up beibg infringed upon.

If SCOTUS is pro – life, how about rethinking the Second Amendment?

Text reads Second Amendment
Image: iStock

The overturning of Roe vs Wade was about control, not lives. If it was about lives, how about sensible gun regulations? How about preventing primary (elementary) school children from being massacred?

How about buying back AR15s and other semi and automatics? I’m sorry, but abolishing Roe vs Wade and doing nothing about endless gun violence doesn’t make sense to me.

What about health care, social safety net, etc?

The covid pandemic hit the US hard. More than one million covid deaths have been recorded. Approximately 300,000 have been directly linked to covid.

Furthermore, thousands die each year due to not having access to healthcare. So, what about universal healthcare? I mean, it’ll save lives. So, taxes should fund universal healthcare, right? 45,000 a year die from a lack of healthcare, (I think. Don’t quote me on that).

We’ll have to wait and see the full impact of this ruling. But to me, it’s clear, this is largely about control, not preserving life.

Categories
News Opinion/Commentary

Roe vs Wade was always at risk

US Supreme Court, Washington D.C
Image: iStock

Quick note: This post isn‘t about my views on abortion. Instead, I want to focus on the possible repercussions.

This week, Politico revealed leaked documents that confirmed SCOTUS judges’ plans to overturn Roe v Wade. Next month, SCOTUS will make the final ruling.

This will take abortion legislation away from Federal law and back to the States.

At least twenty States will criminalise abortion outright if Roe v Wade is overturned. It’s speculated that Texas will push forward snap legislation to outlaw abortion in most circumstances.

1973 ruling

In January 1973, a large majority of Supreme Court judges (7 – 2) ruled to restrict states’ ability to outlaw abortion.

This was in response to a 1970 court case, ‘Jane Roe’ (real name, Norma McCorvey) and Dallas district attorney, Henry Wade.

The Supreme Court disagreed with McCorvey’s demand to exclusive abortion rights, but agreed that a woman’s right to choose, to a degree, was in line with the Fourteenth Amendment. At the time, Justice Harry A Blackmun wrote:

We… conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.

Justice Harry A Blackmun

Dobbs vs Jackson: the trigger

Last year, Dobbs vs Jackson challenged. Mississippi’s strong abortion restrictions.

Jackson Women’s Health Organisation argued the unconstitutionality of the Gestational Age Act. The 2018 Act criminalised abortions after fifteen weeks. Medical emergencies and foetal abnormalities were the only exceptions.

This contrasted from Roe vs Wade‘s stance that abortions can be performed for up to twenty – four weeks without State interference.

The US District Court ruled in Jackson Women’s Health Organisation’s favour. The law was ruled unconstitutional and had to cease.

Pro choice protest where a protester holds sign: “Keep abortion legal”
Image: iStock

What other rights are at risk?

If Roe vs Wade is overturned, then what else can be overturned?

Commentators have speculated that same – sex marriage and even interracial marriage could be up for scrutiny.

Personally, I highly doubt that interracial marriage will be attacked. I mean it’s 2022. People realise that people can marry each other regardless of race, yeah?

In contrast, I think Obgerfell vs Hodges is vulnerable.

I remember when news came out that SCOTUS granted same – sex marriage across all fifty states. People, (including me), put a rainbow filter on Facebook profile pictures.

However, not everyone was celebrating. Conservative commentators slammed the ruling, arguing that marriage was not a constitutional right. Not surprisingly, the same commentators hyperventilated when Australia was in the full throws of debate too. But I digress.

Same – sex marriage has also clashed with religious freedom. The one case that comes to mind was Kim Davis, a marriage clerk who was jailed after refusing marriage licenses to same – sex couples.

Owners of wedding cake businesses claimed that they faced hefty fines after refusing to make a wedding cake that a same – sex couple requested.

Given that SCOTUS has a conservative majority, it may be a nervous wait and see. From Australia, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for LGBTQ+ Americans that Obgerfell vs Hodges isn’t overturned.

Only time will tell what will happen in the US. Things can massively change for a lot of people.

What do you think? Do you think Roe v Wade will have repercussions on other rights? Let me know your thoughts.