Yes, murdering sex workers is common enough in fiction to have its own TV Tropes page. We're not saying those shows or games are the reason so many prostitutes wind up murdered; we're saying the real murders and our oddly glib attitude about the subject come from the same place: society doesn't see sex workers as human beings.
Mary (the brothel worker we spoke to) saw the same double standard even among actual criminals:
"Sitting next to a girl in a police truck (okay ... handcuffed to a girl), she said, 'Why can't you sit with those other girls? Are you all hookers? That's nasty.' Turns out this amazing woman was caught for animal cruelty ... she starved a Labrador, and I'm the nasty one."
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Meredith, meanwhile, started off in a strip club. Things like handjobs and allowing some light fingering were extremely common among her co-workers, yet they still considered full-on prostitution to be disgusting and shameful:
"I remember we had parking lot security to keep us safe, and to stop hookers from cruising around to pick up clients as they left the club. Well, one enterprising chick fliered the employee parking lot on accident with signs that said 'Looking for a good time? Call Yolanda.' So all my co-workers were just incensed, like, 'That's so disgusting,' and I'm like, dude -- a lot of the shit we do every day would be considered prostitution if we got busted by a cop."
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