Sex work has the ability to render people visible and invisible at the same time. When the dancers in the film went on stage, they were highly visible. However, they don lots of make-up so they are unrecognizable. They are visible but have no identity.
This is the case with all sex work, not just the peep show workers shown in the video. Priscilla Alexander notes the history of sex workers, how the â€świse womenâ€? of Sumerian days were housed separately, how prostitutes in medieval France wore clothing distinguishing themselves from the â€śacceptableâ€? population. These measures make sex workers extremely visible to society, but they are also invisible in that no one knows who these women are. Their only identity is that of prostitute/whore.
Some sex workers/activists, like Jill Nagle, argue that they should be allowed to be seen. Carol Queen notes that a huge part of the feminist movement is being able to do with oneâ€™s body whatever one wants, including sex work. These women make themselves visible even in their line work, and they are fighting for equality and for respect.
By doing so, however, they are taking a huge risk. When Queen points out that â€śthe whore stigma attaches itself more viciously to women,â€? she draws attention to societyâ€™s fear/hatred of sexually assertive women who know how to use their bodies to benefit themselves. When these women make themselves visible, like Julia does when she â€ścomes outâ€? to her mother as a stripper, they risk losing respect.