To the editor:
Re: "Former prostitutes tell their story in Rainier documentary," Feb. 20.
I am writing about the article covering the Rainier film screening. It was a great event to bring awareness to recent funding cuts to the treatment centre, which are unconscionable in the wake the recommendations made by the Forsaken report. It is important the public is aware of these issues so thank you very much for your wonderful article.
I would like to address the headline, however: "Former prostitutes tell their story in Rainier documentary." I have been working with women in the Downtown Eastside for years now including at the Rainier, which was designed for women who have had to work in the survival sex trade out of necessity like many women currently in the area. While that may describe a significant number of the Rainier residents, not all of them have participated in the survival sex trade.
Furthermore, and more importantly, your use of the word prostitute is derogative and insensitive, contributing to a very harmful attitude. I am certain that was not your intent. However, I would ask you to consider this as well the barb it is for those women in recovery at the Rainier to read themselves described as such.
Lindsay Thompson, Vancouver