Former Stripper Running for Congress Writes About Losing a Job and Sex Work Stigma: ‘Shouldn’t Be Taboo’” the headline read, lit up on my Twitter feed. “A progressive Democrat who is running for Congress in Pennsylvania is reflecting on her past job as a stripper to pay for college, how it affected her other job as a girls’ soccer coach and the stigma around sex work,” Aaron Parsley writes forPeoplemagazine.

Parsley’s article goes on to paraphrase the “former stripper running for Congress,” and finally ends with the question: Should sex work be criminalized?

Sex Work Stigma

Politics aside, this eye-catching headline is problematic in a multitude of ways. The “former stripper running for Congress” is more than just her body or her past. She is not defined by stigma or others’ opinions of her.

Her name is Alexandra Hunt, and she is a woman to be reckoned with.

IfPeople’sgoal was to express support for the PA-03 Congressional candidate, then they (obviously) failed. If their goal was to express dislike for the PA-03 Congressional candidate, then they succeeded at the cost of their readers’ support. By distancing Hunt’s name from their headline, they added to thestigmathat surrounds sex work. They degraded her.

Alexandra Hunt is a person, just like you, me, and conservative government officials like Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Bill Lee.

DespitePeople’smassive fail, many Twitter users rallied around to support her, saying “She has a name.” Hunt herself quoted the tweet the same day, gaining thousands of likes and retweets within hours.

This isn’t the first time Hunt has used her critics to promote herself and gain supporters.

On February 19th, the New York Post posted their story, “Former stripper Alexandra Hunt running for Congress as soft-on-crime candidate” by Connor Skelding on their Twitter account. The headline is immediately followed with a single sentence: “Good luck pulling this one off.”

Aside from Skelding’s obvious disapproval, his article showcased Hunt’s merchandise and campaign promises, which in turn served successful for Hunt’s campaign.

Should We Put Hoes in our House?

Is it time for us to start making a change to our governments? Should we#ElectHoes?

Hunt and her thousands of social media followers think so.

“I stripped to pay bills, but I feared the stigma of this work so much that I kept it a deep secret at the time,”Hunt wrote in the HuffPost. “I was afraid if I told anyone I would be stigmatized. I feared getting kicked out of school, losing my friendships, and being denied a future in the career I was working toward. … If I had gone missing, like so many sex workers do, no one would have known how or where to find me.”

This is a reality that many people face, and it doesn’t help matters if it is shoved under the rug as many of us would like.

Concluding Thoughts

What Alexandra Hunt’s critics fail to realize is that Hunt is more than a political candidate: She is a movement.

In her own words, she is an “everyday, messy, unexceptional person” — just like us. She connects with Gen Z and understands us and what we need. She understands the need for change and how we won’t rest until we achieve it.
While Alexandra Hunt may be one of the first politicians of her kind, she is exactly the type of politician we need more of in America and throughout the world.