Feminist viewpoints on prostitution and sex work

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remind remind's picture
Feminist viewpoints on prostitution and sex work

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Loretta

susan davis wrote:

 

 

Article 6

  • 1. The states parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safe guard this right.

 

  • 2. The steps to be taken by a state party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programs, policies and techniques to achieve stead economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safe guarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual.

 

 

 

Loretta wrote:

 

Not to equate both jobs but I doubt that the Charter of Human Rights would justify the right of a paid assassin to work. I don't think this argument holds water.

 

 

 

fortunate wrote:

Last time I checked, murder was illegal in Canada, even according to the Charter of Human Rights I suspect.  Prostitution is legal, but points for trying to link murder and prostitution, and therefore the people who do sex work as akin to murderers.

The comparison was made to illustrate the point that no-one has an unfettered right to work in whatever way they deem appropriate. The state/community also has an interest in what that looks like, in behalf of all of us.

remind remind's picture

From the last thread:

susan davis wrote:
the loss of safe work environments has completely destabilized the safety of sex workers.

 

No....this is incorrect....

 

Men have destabilized the safety of prostitutes and sex workers,

 

environments do not destabilzation anything in respect to women's safety while in the company of men.

 

That women are unsafe is soley the responsibility of men who are making them unsafe

 

Quote:
i did post evidene of WCB..

...your evidence at the WCB site  has never indicated anything....

 

Polly,

...respect you dearly, though your anecdotal story is certainly feel good  at first glance,  it has no meaning  when considering decrim of johns pimps et al.

This is  actually a 2 person story, and you do not know what the starting  reason was and end result was for the young women, who sold her vagina, to boost this young man's ego,

....maybe she committted suicide the next day, or a month later,  or drugged herself into oblivion, as she could not handle what she had to do to make money....

 

Sorry, but the benefits men get out of it do not factor into my considerations.....

 

 

 

susan davis

excuse me? being listed and included doesn't prove anything? all we have to do is pay in....just like any one else...what more do you need......we have an industry code and are accepted by WCB if we hoose to pay in...we spoke to them during the development of trade secrets-occupational health and safety development and they assured us we are workers and we qualify.

and actually,it was women's rights activists who have for the most part destabilized our safety...or do you deny the syphillus awareness and movements against "vice" were not lead by many women.....?remember the hilter and sex worker and the emporer of japan poster? or the she looks clean but ...?poster.....or the women who lead the fight for the legal frame work we live with now? or the women who decided that the DTES hotel owners were exploiting us by allowing us to rent rooms by the hour....?

you really like to go in circles...you ask for proof i provide proof, my proof is meaningless...my voice is not as importnt as a trafficking survivor.....?

the difference between my work and the work of a paid assassin is that my work IS recognized as work in many countries in the world. are you not trying to decrim sex workers in the swedish model? are you not then by default making us as workers legitimate? that is what is propsed right....? decriming workers only under the swedish model.....? it still makes us workers and acknowledges us as such.....?

the human rights charter does defend our position because of sex work being recognized as work in so many places, whether they have decrim or not- as paid assassin is not......

i am a human, i qualify for rights, i am a feminist.

susan davis

maybe she commited suicide or drugged herself into oblivion.....? are you sure she is dead....? it was a good story until you started making assumptions about her demise......

susan davis

http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/newsletters/assets/pdf_bod/20031021_01.pdf

 we are listed  in this document as EA 761021 Massage Parlour,Steam Bath,Escort Srv 2003 base rate-0.84 2004 base rate-0.89percent change 6.0% agencies/firms taking part 22

Polly B Polly B's picture

Polly,

...respect you dearly, though your anecdotal story is certainly feel good  at first glance,  it has no meaning  when considering decrim of johns pimps et al.

 

Please don't talk down to me.  I hate that.  As a matter of fact, I do know where she is now.   I never said young woman by the way, I don't think she was all that young.  She is still working and as far as I know the young man in my story still talks to her.  He was as of last year, he considered her a friend and they both posted in a number of online places.  Maybe here too, who knows.

I told that story in response to a very specific question, one which asks what kind of person could not find a sexual encounter without paying for it.  I know intimately one such person, and I told his story.  His story is why I have been staying out of this thread.   The fact that someone I know - and yes he is male but I love him anyway - was helped by susans version of a sex worker makes me biased. 

 

Thats all

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Actually, no, "women's libbers" fought for the right to have careers at all.  It wasn't entirely about looking with scorn on housewives.  More along the lines of being frustrated with women who chose to live in precarious positions where men held all the power.

Hm.  Maybe that's an unintentional parallel after all...

ennir

fortunate wrote:

........

My personal opinion is that the feminist movement, per se, lost a lot of supporters when the loudest members sounded like remind, who appears to not only hate men, but blame them for everything that is wrong with the world and the people in it, including her own life's miseries.  Does anyone else remember the story about someone who asked a bunch of teenage girls if they were feminists?   And they overwhelmingly said "no".  Because being a feminist meant you had to hate men (and possibly pink dresses and makeup, I don't remember lol), and they could not and would not wrap their heads around that.  They did, however answer yes to a great many questions about equality and choice, all the things that most women consider important.

And I am also old enough to remember when "women's libbers" looked with scorn upon stay at home moms, don't you?   Because they didn't go out to work, what they did at home was meaningless and could not be considered "work".    Remember how they were all wrong about that too?

I agree with you Fortunate, for myself that was some twenty years ago and yes there was lots of contempt for women who chose to stay home.  I wasn't one of them, I was off conquering a man's world.  lol

Polly B.  thanks for sharing your story.

Susan, I read you history with interest and it is obvious that every effort to clamp down on has resulted in greater risk and death to sex workers.  And thanks for the thanks.

Michelle

I'm going to change this thread title to what the thread is actually about - Feminist viewpoints on prostitution/sex work.

susan davis

from the history of sex work book; written by me;

 

http://www.sfu.ca/cstudies/community/History_SexWork_final.pdf

 

The women's suffrage movement began with a group of white, wealthy, and educated women who believed in a woman's right to vote-not every woman-just white, wealthy, and educated women. They felt they were the only women with the capacity to make complex decisions. The rest of us would surely be grateful to benefi t from their obvious wisdom.

These women went as far as to create an ad campaign depicting sex workers as evil and as the vectors of disease. Their campaign of speeches, posters, and radio spots was so broad and far-reaching that this stigma exists to this day. During this time sex workers were put into asylums following the logic that mental illness was the cause of their immoral behaviour. This attack on sex workers, in particular, female sex workers, by other women resulted in great pain and, in some cases, death for the workers affected.

These early feminists believed they knew what was best for everyone, and sex workers paid for their arrogance with their lives. These divides remain in feminism today with abolitionist or "end sex work" groups who are trying to block sex-worker-driven initiatives and sex worker community development.

remind remind's picture

Polly, my sincere l apologies if you felt I was talking down to you, I did not mean to,  and was being completely sincere,

...am glad you filled out the rest of the story, with her presence. It helped, but really, it still has no bearing on making a decision to decriminalize  john's, pimps and procurers.

 

However, now that you have stated your bias, I will state part, of the reason why I have mine, and why I see prostitution as violence by purchaser against the person selling themselves...

 

My partner's best friend  committed suicide years ago now, and it has left a lasting impact upon us, as has the death of a few friends over the years, who we watched swirl their lives away into drug addiction, and  in the case of women, prostitution too, only to die far too young.

And I was not going to share this story publically, as I am sure some men would use it to prove how evil women are, but anyway here goes...

He gased hiumself in his work truck, a few months after his wife prostituted him out for a 3 karate gem stone she coveted. And still covets to this day as a matter of fact... am no longer friends with her,  but am with her sister.

You see, he had told no one he had been sexually abused by his father for years, so when his wife, the person who was supposed to be his place of trust, whom he moved across Canada, away from his friends and family for, tricked him literally into prostituting himself, his self worth was completely gone, he left her in Toronto,  came back to BC, and shortly thereafter he was competely gone...too.

And I could share several stories very similar to that about women and mothers who have passd through my life, who have gone the same route...as there is just not the heroine romance novel out there about prostitution, that is being depicted here.And we can't view this most serious topic through that lense.

 

Sure enough there might be some swell prostitution stories such as yours, but they are rare, very rare.

 

And I have to ask, if a young woman was going through self esteem issues, would anyone have thought to fix it by buying her a "man"?

 

Stargazer

.as there is just not the heroine romance novel out there about prostitution, that is being depicted here.And we can't view this most serious topic through that lense.

 

Once again, this is false, but continue anyways. You prehaps can't view it through any lens that doesn't fit your own experience. Many of us can. There have been many people posting articles, research (BTW remind, you do know the NDP supports decrim right? as does the Bloc), real life stories.

The difference between the sides is that for the most part, we listen, and for the most part, you don't appear to.

 

remind remind's picture

susan davis wrote:
http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/newsletters/assets/pdf_bod/20031021_01.pdf

 we are listed  in this document as EA 761021 Massage Parlour,Steam Bath,Escort Srv 2003 base rate-0.84 2004 base rate-0.89percent change 6.0% agencies/firms taking part 22

 

... prostitution is not  listed, massage parlour, steam bath and escort services are.....if you were listed and rthus coverable there would be no need for this court challenge...it would all be legal and covered under those 3 job industry labels.

Escorts  legally cannot sell coitus,  and if something happened to them while conducting in such, as an STI, they would not be covered, nor would a massage parlour worker, or a steam bath worker,

those workers, as you well know, are legally not allowed to sell coitus or genital contact of any type. And if they were proven to be doing so and thus got injured on the job, WCB certainly would use that as an excuse to disallow any claim by them.

 

your rewrite of history, in respect to the early women's rights movements, is pretty.....

 

You have taken a few grains of truth and twisted it to suit your purpose, it appears.

 

susan davis

why not? my significant other has incredible affinity with women, they love him!!his attentions (not always sexual- even just flirting and converstation) has given more than a few women i know a burst of self confidence. he makes them feel beautiful, important, desired. he is intelligent, engaging and a great listner.

why do we assume only men "buy" sex and companion ship? because as much as you would like it to be "rare" that a customer is genuinely in need, it isn't.

women feel the same way, and sometimes will "pay" another person to fill this need. sometimes we all need to feel beautiful, desired and important. the shame here is how society views these transactions as merely sellng our vaginas or selling coitis.

it is not that simple...ever. every single client of a sex worker, man or woman, is in need when they seek our services.

i do feel terrible about the abuse your friend suffered at the hands of a woman. that is an awful story. as a generous person, it is difficult to imagine the mind set that allows women to become so materilaistic and bitter but one thing is for sure. they do.

susan davis

remind wrote:

susan davis wrote:
http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/newsletters/assets/pdf_bod/20031021_01.pdf

 we are listed  in this document as EA 761021 Massage Parlour,Steam Bath,Escort Srv 2003 base rate-0.84 2004 base rate-0.89percent change 6.0% agencies/firms taking part 22

 

... prostitution is not  listed, massage parlour, steam bath and escort services are.....if you were listed and rthus coverable there would be no need for this court challenge...it would all be legal and covered under those 3 job industry labels.

Escorts  legally cannot sell coitus,  and if something happened to them while conducting in such, as an STI, they would not be covered, nor would a massage parlour worker, or a steam bath worker,

those workers, as you well know, are legally not allowed to sell coitus or genital contact of any type. And if they were proven to be doing so and thus got injured on the job, WCB certainly would use that as an excuse to disallow any claim by them.

 

your rewrite of history, in respect to the early women's rights movements, is pretty.....

 

You have taken a few grains of truth and twisted it to suit your purpose, it appears.

 

cute.....? i don't think its too damn cute.....twisted....?pot/kettle

and yes they are allowed to sell their vaginas/coitis or whatever your terminology is today.....

the only way to legally ply your trade as a prostitute in canada is as an escort, exclusively going on"out calls" to peoples hotels and homes.

just because you want to twist and maniplate the facts doesn't mean we are not included.we are included and that is a fact. play osterich all you want. the fact remains we qualify.just becuase it doesn't say "selling coitis" or "vagina sales person" does not mean we do not qualify.

although i am sure you would only conceed if it said "engaging in the digusting work of selling vaginas and coitis" and spelled it out in those direct words.

escorting is the only legal way to be a vagina sales person/coitis sales person in canada.we qualify for WCB.

excuse me i have to go and sell some coitis now, i will be back with my vagina in a bit.

remind remind's picture

Stargazer, I have read everything several times....from both perspectives and I have read with most interest, what other countries have experienced with their going down this route, and NONE of it has been positive. Have you read them?

They have wasted all this money, on  a man's  believed right to have a leisure time ejaculation response whenever he wants, only to have to backtrack, and start rebuilding women's rights.

For pete's sake the Netherlands has now had to instrument a law that keeps wife abusers away from the house,  their spousal assault rates have gone up, I believe it was,  47% since they decriminalized prostitution. Things are so bad there they have to report to the UN human rights committee on it...

 

And if the NDP sticks to its decriminalization position,  without speaking about strict regulations, that is perhaps where I and many other feminists and others will have to part ways with them.

 

 

 

JMartin

The forum that my name was brought up in was closed, so I'd like to make something clear here.

I'm not a prostituted woman or a formally prostituted woman. I'm also not a sex worker nor have I ever been. 

 

I do work closely with women who have fit into some of these categories, but I am not an experiential voice. I hope that doesn't discredit me later on. I also hope that the people who read the post where I was described as a formally prostituted woman are still reading the threads. 

Thanks. 

susan davis

47%.....?rise in spousal abuse.....? please post a link for that assertion ....i don't believe this for a minute. just another attempt to blame violence against women on sex workers with no proof to back it up....please post this link detailing how the sex workers of the netheralands "legalization" not decriminalization by the way- has caused a rash of abuse of spouses.......

what a load.....

susan davis

JMartin wrote:

The forum that my name was brought up in was closed, so I'd like to make something clear here.

I'm not a prostituted woman or a formally prostituted woman. I'm also not a sex worker nor have I ever been. 

 

I do work closely with women who have fit into some of these categories, but I am not an experiential voice. I hope that doesn't discredit me later on. I also hope that the people who read the post where I was described as a formally prostituted woman are still reading the threads. 

Thanks. 

thank you JMartin, no it will not call your credibility into question in future in my mind but as for the poster who named you as such.....well, it just goes to show once again, as we are accused of manipulating facts so it seems our accusers are behaving. as i recall it was a question sex worker numbers on either side of the debate. thankyou for clarifying.

i just want to say that this is one of our biggest barriers, our opposition perpetuating myths about lives, claiming people are experiential when trying bolster their own perspective,,,truely it seems as if no tactic is too much ...to hell with te truth!!let's all honor oursleves instead!

remind remind's picture

Quote:
selling coitis" or "vagina sales person" does not mean we do not qualify.

Yes it does actually...people who work in the under ground economy in any industry are not covered....and illegal acts are definitely not covered.

susan davis

 

 

it is not illegal in canada!!!!FFS

prostitution is legal in canada!!!on an outcall basisi, no criminal provisions make it illegal.we do qualify, our work is not illegal.

further more your assertions of the failure of new zealands decrim model are also false.

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/act+helps+health+and+safety+sex+workers+report+says

 

The Prostitution Law Reform Committee, chaired by former Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Fitzharris, was asked to report within five years of the decriminalisation of prostitution to assess the impact of the law change on the human rights, welfare, and occupational health and safety of sex workers, and the ban on the use of young people in prostitution.

Lianne Dalziel thanked the Committee for its work and said the report was valuable in putting balance and evidence into the debate around the decriminalisation of prostitution.

"The report indicates that the numbers have remained more or less the same since the Act came into force and that most sex workers are better off under the PRA than they were previously, which was the intention of the Act.

"There's no evidence of increased numbers of people being used in underage prostitution. In fact, the PRA has raised awareness of the problem," Lianne Dalziel said.

"The PRA has had a marked effect in safeguarding the rights of sex workers. Removing the taint of illegality has empowered sex workers by reducing the opportunity for coercion and exploitation."

The report says many of the perceptions held about the sex industry are based on stereotypes and a lack of information.

 

no increase in youth involvment, no increase in trafficking, no hoards of women rushing to sell vaginas and coitis.....where are all the harms cited by our opposition> please post a link to your data on spousal abuse and the harms caused by the new zealand model....?

Stargazer

No remind, it doesn't. Can you back up your assertions with some facts and links and then maybe I can judge for myself? Thanks.

Michelle

fortunate wrote:

My personal opinion is that the feminist movement, per se, lost a lot of supporters when the loudest members sounded like remind, who appears to not only hate men, but blame them for everything that is wrong with the world and the people in it, including her own life's miseries.  

That's nice that this is your "personal opinion" but it is also an attack on one of our forum members, remind, claiming that she hates men. 

You will stay out of this thread from now on.  Don't even bother responding in this thread to my post - I don't care to hear it.  And any further contributions of yours to the feminism forum in other threads had better not include such stereotypes of feminists or attacks on our feminist participants.

susan davis

...............

remind remind's picture

Susan it was  in one of the threads on the report of the Netherlands to the UN, I believe, or it stated there was now a 47% incidence of spousal abuse which was why they instrumented the new law that abusers must stay away...

Iy was a very high number like that anyway as I remember thinking it was equivalent to the amounts of spousal assualt per week there used to be, here in the community I live in, before VAW programs were instrumented.

 

And that is not even including the young underage girls, predominently of FN heritage, who were so devalued that they thought nothing of giving a BJ to an older man, for a beer or a joint.

One of those young girls,  just died from Hep  last year, after she went on to become a prostitute in PG.

Michelle

Susan, people are allowed to disagree with you about decriminalization, and to discuss what they feel the effects of sex work on society is, including the family.  It's not defamation to discuss the issue.  No one is defaming you personally.

Stargazer

Michelle, what of the constant attacks on other women here? How about the assertion from Loretta that we are not feminists? I'm not sure why remind gets to bully people constantly and fortunate has to stay out. Remind has been incredibly offensive in many posts and has attacked people. We just aren't flagging them.

I respect your decison but there has to be a balance here. I am not the only person who is noticing these contant attacks.

remind remind's picture

Never said a word about NZ Susan,

 

Stargazer would gladly waste my time looking up links if I thought it were necessary,  but it it isn't.

 

Do you think this court challenge would be going on, if things were as depicted by the pro-decrim crowd? If it was currently such, there would be no reason for a court challenge, nor claims that prostitutes could not access other worker's social safety nets.

 

We know that escort services are legal, because legally there is supposed to be NO genital contact going on, just companion dates...

 

We know lap dances are legal because there is NO direct genital contact  going on.

 

The difference for the last time is, genital contact it changes everything.

 

WCB does not cover illegal work activities,  nor does EI, just as your house insurance does not cover you if you have a meth lab explosion, or a grow show and your house burns down....

 

Loretta

I think it's fair to question if the views being presented are feminist which I understand to be promoting the equality and well-being of women. I also think it's fair to question, based on someone's overall posts (not just on one subject) if they are coming here to present this from a feminist point of view. Those are not personal attacks, rather questioning what the framework is surrounding presentation of this issue.

Stargazer

Then you know nothing of lap dances remind. The court challenge is going on because there is a NEED for one.I do not understand your fixation on my vagina and that of other women.

I cannot speak with people who absolutely a) refuse to see the there are legit issues and b) doesn't care when they are shown to them.

 

No Loretta, it isn't fair. You have opened a thread which was designed solely to discredit anyone who was for decrim or legalization.

I am a feminist and have been since I was 20 or so. I have read a ton of feminist work, took many women's studies courses in universty and I don't know one person who would say I am not a feminist.

Splitting people into two camps: feminist vs non-feminist was your decision because you think we cannot possibly be feminists. I am. The divide and conquering was done by you. No one else questioned whether those partnering up with REAl women of canada the catholic church and the christian fellowship are feminist or not but that case can be made by those who chose to divide us. That is not a case I am going to make. 

And once again remind, what part of the criminal code do you not understand?

Stargazer

Under the convoluted Canadian law, buying or selling sex is legal, but it is illegal to communicate about it beforehand, live off its avails, or run a private bawdy house.

Michelle

I'm not sure about this, but I got the impression that "divide and conquer" referred to prostitution being one of those issues that divides and polarizes feminists so that we are fighting with each other about what we disagree on.  Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I guess I should read more carefully - I didn't read every post in the last thread.

But that's how this whole thing playing out has struck me, anyhow.  There are women here who have known each other for years on babble, and every once in a (long) while, some issue will come along, sometimes in the feminism forum, sometimes elsewhere, that will divide and polarize feminists on babble.

This appears to me to be one of those times, and one of those issues.

remind remind's picture

Loretta wrote:
I think it's fair to question if the views being presented are feminist which I understand to be promoting the equality and well-being of women. I also think it's fair to question, based on someone's overall posts (not just on one subject) if they are coming here to present this from a feminist point of view. Those are not personal attacks, rather questioning what the framework is surrounding presentation of this issue.

Thank you for your wording of this...

remind remind's picture

And yes, michelle, that is how I take it too...in part only though, because most definitely some views being presented here are not a feminist positioning or actions.

 

Feminists do not accuse other feminists of being man haters for example....first time I have ever experienced it in over 3 decades.

Nor do feminists I know accuse me of being aligned with REAL women....

 

so I am definitely not sure that these type of prosepectives indicate a discussion of  this from a feminist standpoint

Because it is not from a eco-feminist viewpoint, and it does not embody the VAW principles long fought for.

 

Loretta

Michelle wrote:

I'm not sure about this, but I got the impression that "divide and conquer" referred to prostitution being one of those issues that divides and polarizes feminists so that we are fighting with each other about what we disagree on.  Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I guess I should read more carefully - I didn't read every post in the last thread.

But that's how this whole thing playing out has struck me, anyhow.  There are women here who have known each other for years on babble, and every once in a (long) while, some issue will come along, sometimes in the feminism forum, sometimes elsewhere, that will divide and polarize feminists on babble.

This appears to me to be one of those times, and one of those issues.

That was my intention, michelle. Along with questioning the framework in which the issue is being presented here and how it's being done. I believe that we all use discernment when examining any issue, whether it be through the lens of feminism or not. If we are concerned about the environment, we filter anything presented to us through that lens, same thing with those who work in the realm of social justice. This thread and topic is being discussed through the lens of feminism so it's completely legitimate to ask if the issue stands up.

The other question that I'm sure many of us ask is: in whose interests is this perspective being presented? In this case, some of us are asking if this proposed change stands up to the goal of promoting women's equality and well-being. Some of us are also asking who might have a stake, that isn't related to women's well-being, in bringing about this change. Those are fair questions when we talk about the environment, social justice and feminism, to my mind.

 

p-sto

Michelle wrote:

I'm not sure about this, but I got the impression that "divide and conquer" referred to prostitution being one of those issues that divides and polarizes feminists so that we are fighting with each other about what we disagree on.  Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I guess I should read more carefully - I didn't read every post in the last thread.

After lurking on this and other discussions for a while I've decided to toss in a few thoughts for what their worth.

If I understand correctly "divide and conquer" was invoked by Loretta to describe what was happening to the abolitionist camp but I think your take on it describes the situation much more aptly, Michelle.

It seems evident that both sides of the argument stand against certain things in common such as pimping, trafficking, child abuse and abusive john's.  However, their approaches to the problem are very different.

Reasonably the success of either approach is contingent on other things.

Decriminalisation cannot offer any material improvement to those negatively impacted by the sex trade unless laws addressing things such as rape, trafficking and child abuse are more effectively enforced.  Laws exist to combat these things but they are inadequately enforced now and as it has been pointed out, if the sex trade is allowed expand under looser legislation there is great risk things deteriorating due to greater activity of abusers of mostly women and children.

On the other hand the abolitionist perspective fails to offer adequate consideration to those who remain in the sex trade by choice or at the very least depend on it for survival.  If reduction of the sex trade is done it must be ensured that adequate income is available in one way or another to those that might have depended on it (not including parties such as pimps and traffickers).  Further more, even if an approach such as the Swedish model is persued it is not evident that those who are in the sex trade by choice will be given adequate access to police protection as they still may be considered less deserving by society.

I may have missed it but much of the arguments presented seem to barely touch upon the fact that much of the evils of the sex trade seem to be tied to broader social phenomenon that make it possible to get away with abusive behaviour typically directed towards women and children but sometimes men as well.  Taking remind's story into account, is there a court that would have protected her friend had the situation been reported.  How many instances exist in today's society where women are abused by their partners in conventional relationships but nothing is done until it's too late and even then there are times when there is no action.

Both those advocating for decriminalisation and abolition would likely agree there is a broader social issue where it is unacceptably easy to get away abusive behaviour towards women.  Due to their political differences it seems unlikely that these parties would effectively work together to have laws better enforced and society as whole less tolerant towards abusive and violent behaviour.  However, it's possible that such cooperation does exist at times and I am simply not aware of it.

Stargazer

Remind, always crying victim but never ever taking responsibility in the many ways you harm people with your words.

BTW, since you actually are against decrim and the charter challenge, and you sided with martin on real women having standing, are you not then a part of that agenda, at least remotely?

See how easy it is to twist the motives of people and assume what isn't there? Sort of like how you are now claiming we're not feminist because our views differ from yours?

I'm sure the irony will be lost on you.

As an aside, you are aware of the different waves of feminism right? You are aware women do not speak uniformly? You are aware that we can differ without being stripped of our feminist credentials (which you can never do BTW regardless of what you write here). I am a feminist and if you ever bothered to actually read what I have posted in the decrim thread perhaps you'll have an understanding of that. Or perhaps not. I'm going with the latter just because it seems to make you happy to have strife here.

Stargazer

p-sto wrote:

Michelle wrote:

I'm not sure about this, but I got the impression that "divide and conquer" referred to prostitution being one of those issues that divides and polarizes feminists so that we are fighting with each other about what we disagree on.  Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I guess I should read more carefully - I didn't read every post in the last thread.

After lurking on this and other discussions for a while I've decided to toss in a few thoughts for what their worth.

If I understand correctly "divide and conquer" was invoked by Loretta to describe what was happening to the abolitionist camp but I think your take on it describes the situation much more aptly, Michelle.

It seems evident that both sides of the argument stand against certain things in common such as pimping, trafficking, child abuse and abusive john's.  However, their approaches to the problem are very different.

Reasonably the success of either approach is contingent on other things.

Decriminalisation cannot offer any material improvement to those negatively impacted by the sex trade unless laws addressing things such as rape, trafficking and child abuse are more effectively enforced.  Laws exist to combat these things but they are inadequately enforced now and as it has been pointed out, if the sex trade is allowed expand under looser legislation there is great risk things deteriorating due to greater activity of abusers of mostly women and children.

On the other hand the abolitionist perspective fails to offer adequate consideration to those who remain in the sex trade by choice or at the very least depend on it for survival.  If reduction of the sex trade is done it must be ensured that adequate income is available in one way or another to those that might have depended on it (not including parties such as pimps and traffickers).  Further more, even if an approach such as the Swedish model is persued it is not evident that those who are in the sex trade by choice will be given adequate access to police protection as they still may be considered less deserving by society.

I may have missed it but much of the arguments presented seem to barely touch upon the fact that much of the evils of the sex trade seem to be tied to broader social phenomenon that make it possible to get away with abusive behaviour typically directed towards women and children but sometimes men as well.  Taking remind's story into account, is there a court that would have protected her friend had the situation been reported.  How many instances exist in today's society where women are abused by their partners in conventional relationships but nothing is done until it's too late and even then there are times when there is no action.

Both those advocating for decriminalisation and abolition would likely agree there is a broader social issue where it is unacceptably easy to get away abusive behaviour towards women.  Due to their political differences it seems unlikely that these parties would effectively work together to have laws better enforced and society as whole less tolerant towards abusive and violent behaviour.  However, it's possible that such cooperation does exist at times and I am simply not aware of it.

 

Great post, very succinct.

susan davis

Michelle wrote:

Susan, people are allowed to disagree with you about decriminalization, and to discuss what they feel the effects of sex work on society is, including the family.  It's not defamation to discuss the issue.  No one is defaming you personally.

i understnad that but promotion of un proven non fact based opinions is harming sex workers. i deleted my othe post but i will state again. it's promotion of hatred which insights people to discrimination and violence and IMHO is at the very least defaming to sex workers over all...not to me personally but indirectly.

the poster in question has deemed it unimportant to back her biased claims yet demands i provide such links.mis information is one of the biggest threats to sex industry workers safety and stability there is.

especially a claim from "one of the UN reports i don't know i think?" stating sex workers are responsible for spousal abuse rising 47% in the netherlands as a result of legalization- called decriminalization in order to further confuse the situation and informtion being put forth.

it is the same as stating that all sex workers are survivors of child abuse...or 90%...never was a link to back that assertion provided. i would like to point out that many new reports seem to state that 10% of ALL children are the victims of childhood abuse....when you consider that with the percentage of sex workers represented by the street level industry....10%- 15%....it begins to demonstrate what we are trying to say. we are not all abused and victims of chilhood abuse any more than any other part of the population. the fact that abused children end up on the street in prostitution is a shame for us all. it is not the fault of the sex industry, it is our failure as a society to protect children and our failure as a society to continue to support abuse survivours after they have become adults....

crimalizing sex work further marginalizes these vulnerable people and in the meantime legal and legitimate sex industry businesses are close and disrupted based on some twisted interpretation of the above facts. the promotion of these mis interpretations based on data collected solely from street entrenched, drug addicted surviours of abuse engaged in prostitution and that excludes any empowered workers voices, is causing wide spread harm.

i can not understnad how it is legal to be honest. it is one thing to discuss a thing, but to ignore the facts and carry on as if we are right no matter what is presented is deplorable.

i would also like to say, that if any of the actions we are propsing was shown to cause harm, i would be the first one to admit it, i would be there saying, i was wrong, this is wrong, we made a mistake. 

will the abolitionist side do the same?it's been 100 years of prohibition....will they admit they may have been wrong? or will they refuse to hear any alternative solutions based on the underlying principle that sex work, in an of itself, is violence against women. not just sex working women but all women....i guess in some ways this has already occured in that the swedish model of decriminalizing workers does finally admit they may have been wrong about labeling us the vector of disease, throwing us into assylums for being crazy and immoral,arresting us.....

or is it as it was 100 years ago in that we should believe their assertions as gospel with no need of a source for credibility and the burden of proof is left to sex workers as of course we are not credible. should we, as 100 years ago, just accept that these people know what is best for us all and be greatful for the benefit of their obvious superior knowledge?

i mean c'mon. does the high number of first nations people in prison mean that all first nations people are criminals?or the high number of african american men in US prisons mean all african american men are criminals?sure if you are only lookng at the population based on people in prison....we know this is a misrepresentation.

yet, over and over then same assertions are made as if they are true, confusing people new to the discussion. if assertions are being made i respectfully request they be backed up by a link and specific quote from the data referenced so everyone can see what research sample population (cambodia, exclusvely survival workers, all rape crisis line connections, all arrested by police) was used, whether research ethics review board scrutiny took place (to ensure a non biased approach to research as per canadian federal government policies) and whether workers interviewed were given enough information and placed in an environment safe enough to form informed consent (were they under duress?did they feel safe not answering questions? what questions were asked, were tey in jail? did the researcher even contribute anything back to the community?)....

i repsectfully once again request that such blantantly misleading statements be backed up with a link to a source.

i will also once agai ask, what are the abolitionists plans for decriminalzing workers?...any word yet....? licensing, mandatory health checks.....? government run faciltities for customers to be tested before accessing our vaginas?

 

susan davis

p-sto wrote:

Decriminalisation cannot offer any material improvement to those negatively impacted by the sex trade unless laws addressing things such as rape, trafficking and child abuse are more effectively enforced.  Laws exist to combat these things but they are inadequately enforced now and as it has been pointed out, if the sex trade is allowed expand under looser legislation there is great risk things deteriorating due to greater activity of abusers of mostly women and children.

I may have missed it but much of the arguments presented seem to barely touch upon the fact that much of the evils of the sex trade seem to be tied to broader social phenomenon that make it possible to get away with abusive behaviour typically directed towards women and children but sometimes men as well.  Taking remind's story into account, is there a court that would have protected her friend had the situation been reported.  How many instances exist in today's society where women are abused by their partners in conventional relationships but nothing is done until it's too late and even then there are times when there is no action.

Both those advocating for decriminalisation and abolition would likely agree there is a broader social issue where it is unacceptably easy to get away abusive behaviour towards women.  Due to their political differences it seems unlikely that these parties would effectively work together to have laws better enforced and society as whole less tolerant towards abusive and violent behaviour.  However, it's possible that such cooperation does exist at times and I am simply not aware of it.

i just would like to point out that with less money and resources being spent on enforcment, and a system of industry accountability in place, we could make traffickers and pimps more visible and redirect ploice efforts to really target offenders. also if we give wokers access to resources through many of the ways we propose, they will more aware of their rights and how to access non biased supports.yes , it is a big job. but really...the typical response of "quick, cheap and dirty" on this issue will not work and cost people their lives. we need system wide reform and to be decriminalized immediately. all sides agree on that after all, workers should be decriminalzied.how will we all work to improve the systmes intended to protect sex workers and the gaps that exist within that system.

we have proposed alot of things in the sex worker rights forum if you care to take a look. sex workers know what we need. our voices are ALL (including those in opposition) important.

Loretta

p-sto wrote:

Both those advocating for decriminalisation and abolition would likely agree there is a broader social issue where it is unacceptably easy to get away abusive behaviour towards women.  Due to their political differences it seems unlikely that these parties would effectively work together to have laws better enforced and society as whole less tolerant towards abusive and violent behaviour.  However, it's possible that such cooperation does exist at times and I am simply not aware of it.

I would agree completely. A number of us have raised the issue of abusive behaviour toward women and whether or not proposed changes would be detrimental to that matter. As well, a number of us have also raised concern about the need for society to work towards improving the situation with those who are marginalized through racism, sexism, illness, and poverty (list not exhaustive). It is part of a larger picture rather than strictly limited to those who, for whatever reason, are involved in prostitution.

Loretta

susan davis wrote:

i understnad that but promotion of un proven non fact based opinions is harming sex workers. i deleted my othe post but i will state again. it's promotion of hatred which insights people to discrimination and violence and IMHO is at the very least defaming to sex workers over all...not to me personally but indirectly.

I don't think you understood michelle's point, susan. When people disagree with you, it doesn't mean they are promoting hatred of you or any group to which you belong. No-one is defaming "sex workers" unless you mean those who have power within that industry to the detriment of those who don't.

fortunate

Polly B wrote:

Polly,

...respect you dearly, though your anecdotal story is certainly feel good  at first glance,  it has no meaning  when considering decrim of johns pimps et al.

 

Please don't talk down to me.  I hate that.  As a matter of fact, I do know where she is now.   I never said young woman by the way, I don't think she was all that young.  She is still working and as far as I know the young man in my story still talks to her.  He was as of last year, he considered her a friend and they both posted in a number of online places.  Maybe here too, who knows.

I told that story in response to a very specific question, one which asks what kind of person could not find a sexual encounter without paying for it.  I know intimately one such person, and I told his story.  His story is why I have been staying out of this thread.   The fact that someone I know - and yes he is male but I love him anyway - was helped by susans version of a sex worker makes me biased. 

 

Thats all

I actually hope you continue to post your POV.  Your bias shapes your contributions, which humanizes both sides in your story, even though you yourself have no direct experience with, as it has been so eloquently described, genital commodification contact.  To me, when susan talks about single fathers, etc, I come at it from the POV that my brother was a single custodial father with a son who had a mother who was completely disinterested in my nephew.   I have another nephew almost in the same situation, with an ex who thought it was ok to have her 11 year old son take care of the 3 younger ones.   So no one is going to tell me that single custodial fathers are not worthy, nor can they convince me that all mothers are madonnas.

My personal opinion is that the feminist movement, per se, lost a lot of supporters when the loudest members sounded like they all   not only hate men, but blame them for everything that is wrong with the world and the people in it, including her own life's miseries.  Does anyone else remember the story about someone who asked a bunch of teenage girls if they were feminists?   And they overwhelmingly said "no".  Because being a feminist meant you had to hate men (and possibly pink dresses and makeup, I don't remember lol), and they could not and would not wrap their heads around that.  They did, however answer yes to a great many questions about equality and choice, all the things that most women consider important.

And I am also old enough to remember when "women's libbers" looked with scorn upon stay at home moms, don't you?   Because they didn't go out to work, what they did at home was meaningless and could not be considered "work".    Remember how they were all wrong about that too?

susan davis

remind wrote:

Never said a word about NZ Susan,

 you said the harms in all countries who have adopted decrim, which the netherlans didn't even adopt.....?

Stargazer would gladly waste my time looking up links if I thought it were necessary,  but it it isn't.

that's nice

Do you think this court challenge would be going on, if things were as depicted by the pro-decrim crowd? If it was currently such, there would be no reason for a court challenge, nor claims that prostitutes could not access other worker's social safety nets.

 what part of the challenge are you missing...? we want it to be legal to work from our homes in safety...?we can't access social supports becuase of biased policies exisiting within those departments. ie- victims compensation- a person must attribute their trama to one particuoar event and as such prostitution- consider violnce- means we are too raped to qualify for support.

this challenge is about not being laeled a criminal.

We know that escort services are legal, because legally there is supposed to be NO genital contact going on, just companion dates...

no where does it say no gential contact can occur working for an escort service, prostitution is legal in canada. please provide a link to support your assertions.

vancouver by laws and proposed revisions can be found here;

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/sex-worker-rights/proposed-municipal-bylaw-revisions-vancouver

 

 

We know lap dances are legal because there is NO direct genital contact  going on.

 

The difference for the last time is, genital contact it changes everything.

 

it does not and we have been in contact with WCB during development of trade secrets and they assured us, we qualify.

 

WCB does not cover illegal work activities,  nor does EI, just as your house insurance does not cover you if you have a meth lab explosion, or a grow show and your house burns down....

 

 

once again, it is not an illegal activity, tus the challenge, if it is not illegal, then why are we treated like criminals?

fortunate

susan davis wrote:

47%.....?rise in spousal abuse.....? please post a link for that assertion ....i don't believe this for a minute. just another attempt to blame violence against women on sex workers with no proof to back it up....please post this link detailing how the sex workers of the netheralands "legalization" not decriminalization by the way- has caused a rash of abuse of spouses.......

what a load.....

I would also like the proof of where New Zealand suddenly became removed from the world, because I cannot fathom how remind can say NONE like that. 

It reminds me of how that Farley farce reported that because the rates for rape was higher than average in Las Vegas that meant that the fact that prostitution was legal in Nevada was to blame for it.   Let us keep in mind that prostitution is not permitted in Las Vegas city, but actually takes place some 30 miles or so away.   The links between legalization and criminal assault are at best faulty, and at worst deliberately misleading lies.

oops, posted before reading all posts--  also went and edited out reference to specifics.

My point, which actually was supported, was that attempts to specify who qualifies, what is okay and what is not okay, when defining feminist is counterproductive and can, (as proven in the past) do more damage than good.  Allowing women and men to define themselves under their own conditions is more inclusive.

susan davis

or how bout this

Article 17

1. no person shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks upon his honor and reputation.

2. everyone has the right to protection of law from such interference or attacks.

susan davis

Loretta wrote:

susan davis wrote:

i understnad that but promotion of un proven non fact based opinions is harming sex workers. i deleted my othe post but i will state again. it's promotion of hatred which insights people to discrimination and violence and IMHO is at the very least defaming to sex workers over all...not to me personally but indirectly.

I don't think you understood michelle's point, susan. When people disagree with you, it doesn't mean they are promoting hatred of you or any group to which you belong. No-one is defaming "sex workers" unless you mean those who have power within that industry to the detriment of those who don't.

no i am specifically refering to misinformation with no back up or what are essentially "opinions"  being posted here as if they are facts. and by definition in the international charter of human rights (i am human) can be characterised as such. imho

 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

 

Article 20

  1. any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law
  2. Any advocacy or national, racial, cultural or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

Article 26

  • 1. all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, color, sex, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

 

rework

Divide and conquer ?
(generally speaking) (wrote this out before I read p-sto, he said it better)

I try to choose my words very carefully given the intense and valid concerns here, wondering if I (and others think) am here to confuse the issue.
My intention is to cure the disease, "to get to the bottom of it", and focus on what can be agreed upon.
 I admire, strong bold women, those that choose their work (whatever it is),  and those that lookout for the young, the vulnerable, the underdog. That is the common trait I see here.
  Whether you think it is only some, or mostly all men, it is mens behaviour
at the core of this issue. As a few have touched upon (in other threads), it is our culture/society that needs a rethink. What do we do about it ? (I welcome any points to threads on this topic)

I am the product of poverty, broken home, CAS ward, guardian tried to make me his girlfriend, on my own at eighteen.

Things that bother me :
Education. Seems only a half credit in Civics gets you high school diploma.
Media. I would shut down Much Music until further notice (no more primetime pimp rap)
Law. Ex PG judge gets seven years (soft time). Should get twenty breaking rocks.

p-sto

As a male I'm rather curious about the suppostion that the sex trade is fundamentally degrading to women by creating disposable women and sex on demand.

Ideally speaking a sex worker should be allowed to refuse any client she wishes and have control over the terms of sex.  In practice this fails because because the worker may face violence from the person she refuses, violence from a pimp, fear of losing a client due to not meeting their demands, emotional coercion or she may be compelled by financial requirements.  These concerns excluding pimps also exist outside the sex trade in more socially accepted relationships.  I very much doubt that men would treat their partners or women in general in this fashion do so because they have learned it from sex workers.

As opposed to claiming sex work degrades women I am more inclined to believe that there is a significant portion of society that does not respect women and this lack of respect plays out more frequently within the sex trade as it is viewed as more permissible.

For the record Susan I am in support of decriminialisation.  However, I consider the law and the police to really be the smallest part of the battle.  A respecting sex trade can't really exist in a society that does not fully respect women.  The law is very little if it is not supported fairly by society.

Good luck in your struggle.

Loretta

Again, susan, these articles are subject to years of case law and interpretation -- they are not a carte blanche to do whatever one wants, whether it's in the name of work or not. Has the UN ruled on "your" case?

ETA: Yes, people hold different opinions that you do and they base them on sources of information that you discount. The same is true in the other direction -- that's debate, it's not hate.

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