On this fifth annual "International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers," we remind you to tip -- but not to kill -- your service providers. According to The Toronto Sun
, Anastasia Kuzyk of the Sex Workers' Alliance of Toronto believes that games like Grand Theft Auto
feed into the "subculture of allowing the violence to continue," and that violence "against sex workers should not be normalized, but it is." Although she doesn't mention GTA
by name in the quote, it's the only well-known game we can think of that lets you "run down prostitutes and kill them and beat them up and take their money."
Kuzyk has cause for concern, as 171 female sex workers (no stats on men given) were killed between '91 and '04 in Toronto. This is also not the first time in recent memory that GTA
has received flak from sex worker advocates
, though there's no word yet on whether GTA IV
will allow for the ironically health-enhancing activity of picking up a prostitute like in other installments in the series. So, Happy International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers everyone! Boy, that's a mouthful.