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Sex Work & Feminism

Tilly Lawless, Jules Kim & Chantell Martin

Sex workers are tired of being spoken for. You're invited to listen to these voices from the sex worker community and consider why feminism needs to develop a more nuanced view of the oldest profession.

Hosted by Yumi Stynes.

In the Drama Theatre & Livestreamed |  View Seat Map | Talks & Ideas

Keeping you safe

  • The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government.
  • Please bring and wear a mask. Patrons are required to wear a mask at all times while inside our foyers and theatres, including during the performance. Children 12 years and under are exempt.
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 meters whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.
  • Within venues, always take your allocated seat.
  • There are new COVID-specific conditions of entry for audiences attending performances, including the digital check in of every person for contact tracing purposes. This includes the circumstances under which you must not attend the Opera House, and what’s required of you when you visit. Please read about them here.

“Sex workers are human like everyone else and deserve to have their living and working conditions fought for.”

Tilly Lawless

Beyond the binary of exploited or empowered

Sex work and feminism have long had a troubled relationship. Historically, many feminists claimed sex workers were either empowered or exploited, often reproducing wider culture's dehumanised caricatures of glamorous high-rolling strippers in heels or unnamed victims of crime warranting our pity or ‘rescue’. Sex workers have been calling for more nuanced understandings that acknowledge everything in between, so isn’t it time that happens? Join this essential event to discuss the complexities of a frequently misunderstood industry and its place within the feminist movement. From emotional and physical labour, economic realities, and the fight to protect sex workers' rights in the age of COVID and digital erasure, sex workers speak on the issues that impact them.

Supported by the Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association.

Beyond ‘exploitation’ and ‘empowerment‘ in sex work

Sex worker and All About Women speaker Tilly Lawless writes about rejecting the preconceptions of her work

More about...

Tilly Lawless is a queer, Sydney-based sex worker who is passionate about horses, sex worker rights and feminism. She utilises her online platform to speak about personal experiences within the sex industry, in an attempt to shine a light on the every day stigma that sex workers come up against. You can read her writing in various publications, but it’s best going straight to the source and reading it directly from her Instagram, @tilly_lawless.

Jules Kim is a Korean/Australian sex worker and the CEO of Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, the peak national organisation that has been representing sex workers and sex worker organisations, collectives and projects throughout Australia since 1989.

Chantell Martin is an active trans sex worker who works as the Transgender Outreach Officer at SWOP. And she is one of the founding members of the only Transgender Housing Co-operative in NSW which was established in 2011 and has been operating as a legal entity since 2016.

Yumi Stynes is a broadcaster and author. She fronts 'Ladies, We Need to Talk', the popular and award-winning podcast with ABC Audio Studios and was the host of the award-winning documentary Is Australia Sexist? on SBS television.

Session supported by 

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Venue Information

Our venues are currently operating at reduced capacity (75%) with a minimum of one empty seat between groups along a row.

Tickets for All About Women are being sold in a single seat chequerboard pattern with every other seat remaining vacant. At all times, we will do our best to support your needs, but please bear in mind that this will be subject to the restrictions in place at that time.

Please help us to maintain safety by wearing your mask at all times inside the venue, remaining in your allocated seat and facing the stage. Please be aware that guests seated in your row may need to walk past you to get to their seat.

Our foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars, and should be consumed while seated in specific foyer spaces to maintain physical distancing. Drinks purchased at our theatre bars can also be taken into venues for most performances. Please note that unless advised otherwise, theatre bars will not be open during intervals. Drinking water is available at all times.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice).  
  • The Sydney Opera House Wilson car park is open and available to use. Wilson Parking is currently offering a $10 discounted rate if you book ahead, please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

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