This is the logline (aka the subject line) of our film: In the United States, sex workers are fighting for their lives as ongoing criminalization limits their civil rights and personal safety. Under The Red Umbrella explores how criminalization endangers sex workers and other marginalized communities—and how the most vulnerable among us continue to organize and resist injustice.
In the United States, sex workers are fighting to survive as ongoing criminalization further limits their civil rights and personal safety. Under The Red Umbrella (UTRU) explores the last fifty years of the sex work movement with an emphasis on human rights, the health and safety of underserved populations, and the criminalization of poverty.
We will take a close look at how recent legislation endangers sex workers and threatens the future of free speech—and how the most vulnerable among us continue to organize and resist injustice. Prior to the passage of FOSTA-SESTA, the majority of the people speaking out in concern were sex workers. Despite this being an all-encompassing bill with dire implications for everyone, it passed Congress by majority vote, with little discussion. FOSTA-SESTA’s effects were immediate. Online resources for workers disappeared, more workers had to hit the streets and violence toward workers was on the rise. Stripped of their few safeties and with their livelihoods threatened, sex workers are organizing across the country to fight for their own future and for the future of free speech online for everyone.
The more we examine sex work, the more we realized that the intersectional nature of sex workers’ struggle. The stigma and underground nature of sex work magnifies the ways racism, classism, migration, gender identity, and criminalization intersect with each other. By focusing on these issues, this film will open the door to conversations across communities and generations to discuss the reality of sex work and its place in society today.