Illustrations Brilliantly Shatter Assumptions About Sex Workers

July 21st 2016

Laura Donovan

Strippers are workers too, and a New York-based dancer is calling out stereotypes and challenges about the job in a series of humorous illustrations.

Jacq the Stripper, who is set to release a comic book collection of her drawings on August 2, told Cosmopolitan in a recent interview that many people are unfair to sex workers simply because of what they do for a living:

"It's so simple it's alarming: that we are people doing a job. It's frustrating and heartbreaking to feel so disrespected by the general public just for doing a job."

This message is loud in clear in her drawings, which poke fun at some of the rude assumptions and comments people make about strippers:

"I've been treated way shittier by civilians than clients," she wrote on Instagram.

Another image shows that some people unfairly underestimate the intelligence of strippers:

One illustration highlights the hypocrisy of people judging strippers, even though they happily go to strip clubs for pleasure themselves:

Another image confronts the reality of sex workers facing an increased risk of sexual violence on the job.

Up to 75 percent of sex workers endure sexual violence over the course of their career, according to research posted in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

"[I]f I'm lucky, [my comic] makes a viewer laugh and reminds him or her that strippers are human beings who showed up to work to graciously entertain you," she told Cosmopolitan.

Others have spoken out against the sexist challenges and stereotypes facing sex workers.

Activist Amber Rose has spoken many times about facing unfair treatment for having worked as a stripper, particularly as a woman. For example, earlier this year she told The Daily Beast that she felt actor Channing Tatum hasn't received nearly as much hostile attention for her former job as she has.

"No one gives a fuck that Channing Tatum was a stripper," she told the publication. "He’s an established actor who’s at the Vanity Fair parties and the Oscars, but for me, no matter how far I go in my life, I see these stories that keep referring to me as a ‘former stripper.’ No one says ‘former stripper’ about Channing Tatum, or ‘former McDonald’s worker’ about Brad Pitt. No one does that to men."

Several months prior to the Daily Best interview, she shared an Instagram post juxtaposing images of herself and Tatum to call out the double standard in the way they are treated:


A photo posted by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on

"Channing Tatum #LegendaryTeenStrippers," she wrote. "The Double Standards are real tho."

Brenna Bezanson, the communications director of PACE Society — a non-profit that advocates for sex workers' rights — previously told ATTN: that sex workers are often looked down upon by society, and may even be unfairly approached by Child Protective Services if they have kids.

“Sex workers are as varied as any industry,” Bezanson said. “We need to start looking at them as just people.”

[H/T Cosmopolitan]