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Sex workers in US have been accused of evading taxes, on Snapchat

Sex workers are the last people one would expect to suffer due to a political war between the Right and Left but since it has escalated into a culture war, they are suffering the brunt of it as well.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

In one of the most extraordinary series of events in recent times, ‘right-wing tax squads’ in the United States of America are reporting sex workers with premium accounts on Snapchat to the government for tax evasion. And from the initial reaction by the sex workers, it appears at least some of them are guilty of the charge.

The events were set in motion allegedly by a Facebook user called David Wu who started the hashtag #ThotAudit and was then popularized by highly controversial pick-up artist Roosh Valizadeh. ‘Thot’ is an internet derogatory slang for sexually promiscuous women. Roosh tweeted, “Online thots are finding out that all income generated from their breasts and vagina is taxable.”

Sex workers and their supporters are furious that they are being reported for tax evasion and claims it’s malice driven by hate towards women. Self-proclaimed ‘Thot leader’ and writer, Bridget Phetasy claimed that those reporting sex workers to the IRS for tax evasion had small penises.

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A ‘Camgirl’ and ‘nudemodel’ claimed people who are reporting sex workers to the IRS feel entitled to women’s bodies.

Ford Fischer, a filmmaker according to his bio on Twitter, is blaming it on the sexual frustration of the men doing the reporting.

The general sentiment on the liberal side towards the phenomenon was captured by a Twitter user Repzilla who called it a ‘witch-hunt’ and ‘terrible disrespect of women’.

The right-wing, meanwhile, is having a field day. As per the right-wing, everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, especially those whose political affiliations are with the left-wing. They claim it’s hypocritical to demand free healthcare and college education for everyone which would translate to higher taxes for the ordinary citizen while not paying taxes themselves.

There appears to be significant support in favour of reporting sex workers to the IRS as well. In a Twitter poll run by Conservative and One News Network host Jack Posobiec, 73% of more than nine thousand users voted in favour of it.

The memes are flying thick and fast as well.

To make matters worse for sex workers on Snapchat, there’s a financial incentive as well for those reporting them to the IRS. As some have pointed out, the person will be rewarded with 30% of the tax recovered by the IRS if their information is correct.

There’s certainly a lot of schadenfreude flying around.

It might appear that it’s merely an instance where ‘trolls’ are reporting sex workers for tax evasion but it goes much deeper than that. It is another manifestation of the culture war that has ensured in the USA. Roosh, one of the central figures in the entire series of events, certainly perceives it as such.

The other side has embraced violent rhetoric in response. The tweet in the screenshot appears to have been deleted.

As per one website, there are over 33,000 such accounts on Snapchat. As per the law in the USA, sex workers are obliged to pay their fair share of taxes. Although they claim they are being targeted for being a woman, they are indeed in violation of the law if they are not paying taxes on their income.

It certainly appears to be true that they are being reported out of malice but it’s not something those doing the reporting have denied. What’s unclear is whether they are being reported because the ‘Right-Wing Tax Squads’ hate women in general or because they hate ‘thots’. It certainly has turned into a carnival on fringes of the right who are celebrating the meltdown on the Left and with the added incentive of possible monetary reward, there’s nothing to lose here for the ‘trolls’ and plenty to gain.

It also goes on the show the extent of politicization of discourse in the United States and that the political battle has transformed into a full-blown culture war. Sex workers are the last people one would expect to suffer due to a political war between the Right and Left but since it has escalated into a culture war, they are suffering the brunt of it as well. That a lot of sex workers are believed by the right-wing to support the democratic party agenda of free healthcare and college education which translates into higher taxes for everyone also certainly contributed to it.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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