Feminist viewpoints on prostitution and sex work Volume 3

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remind remind's picture
Feminist viewpoints on prostitution and sex work Volume 3

 

continued from here

G. Pie wrote:
I don't see prostitution as a solution to poverty.  And I don't want the government to see it that way either.  If that makes me irrational and whatever the opposite of compassionate is, then so be it.

 

Exactly!

Nor do I see it as a way to pay post secondary educational costs, for another example, as men get the best paying jobs upon completion, because of systemic sexism, yet again.

more and more women into prostitution is not an advance for women...one could even look at it like another form of poligamy.

 

susan davis

poligamy?that's a stretch......

also, loretta, we are not and never have asked for "no strings attached" decrim....we are asking for a trasparent and accountable decriminalized industry subject to the same rules, regulations and inspections as other industries. please stop mis representing the plans of the decrim side.
please, share you plans for decriminalizing workers.....?nothing yet? gpie seems to support extermination....as if people in the throws of addiction, a symptom of PTSD can "just choose another lifestyle" this is a shallow statemnt that completely dismisses all the known causes of people falling into addiciton.
also, i challenge the notion that a person on drugs cannot form consent. as a heroine addict i can tell you that when i didn't get my drugs, then i was sick and unable to consent. when i did have my drugs, i was well and could have easily(and did) form cosent.
somethig i wrote on addiction as a symptom.
With all of the information emerging about the symptoms of PTSD, addiction as a coping mechanism and the dangers associated with interrupting people's coping mechanisms, it's difficult to find ways to ensure no harm within abstinence based funding environments. "Get clean" or off of drugs to receive support policies are compounding emotional harm for trauma survivors and are in direct conflict with the recommended treatment for such injuries. If you interrupt a person's coping mechanisms before they are ready to deal with their injuries, their emotional stability becomes at risk, their symptoms could escalate and at the very least their recovery will be seriously impeded.
 
 Some programs have found a way to by pass abstinence based approaches by including treatment of "relapse". Instead of cutting off support because a person has relapsed into addiction and "used", the reasons for the relapse are examined and addressed. New coping strategies and alternatives to self harm can be implemented/ suggested and over time these will help to limit exposure to emotionally triggering environments preventing or at least lessening future relapses.
 
So, yes "get clean" but with attention to relapse. This way funding for addictions treatment becomes available and still respects the symptoms of trauma survivors. I have included a tool for trauma survivors to map triggers and begin to self monitor in the handout's at the front as well as a sheet detailing some alternatives to self harm you may find effective when providing support.
http://rabble.ca/babble/sex-worker-rights/complex-post-traumatic-stress-...

susan davis

remind, under decrim in new zealand there was no big rush of women entering sex work...this is just more scare tactics....

remind remind's picture

Along with your increasing numbers of deaths of prostitutes, susan is the reality, more and more women have been forced into it because of poverty and addictions.

Not trying to scare anyone, I am stating reality, there are more protsitutes today than there was  40 years ago.

 

And was actually reading something somewhere a couple of days ago, about married men who have repeated purchased access to the same, 1 or more women,  is no different than poligamy,  and it carries less social stigma. Made a lot of sense to me actually, on a variety of levels.

 

fortunate

remind wrote:

Along with your increasing numbers of deaths of prostitutes, susan is the reality, more and more women have been forced into it because of poverty and addictions.

 

 

You know that you have deliberately misrepresented and misinterpreted these stats, in spite of the basis for them being directly linked to the laws under discussion for decriminalization.   No or fewer deaths before they were instated, and significantly higher every year afterwards, in fact I see big jumps every time some neighbourhood group spoke up and police came in to get the SWs to move along.   I can only imagine what the latest "move along" tactic to the high end girls downtown is going to do to spike the numbers again.

Bacchus

It is a fact that when neighbourhoods complain, the streetwalkers have to go to largely industrial areas to ply their trade so there are no complaints. This of course, leads to greater violence against them since the violent feel there is less chance of being caught or interrupted.

Loretta

susan davis wrote:

also, loretta, we are not and never have asked for "no strings attached" decrim....we are asking for a trasparent and accountable decriminalized industry subject to the same rules, regulations and inspections as other industries. please stop mis representing the plans of the decrim side.

Then, as I understand the terms, you are seeking legalization, not decriminalization.

Yes, my plans would include better supports to women and children so as to minimize the numbers who need to make their living through sex. As I said elsewhere, once that was done, then we could have a valid converation about freedom to choose. I have just been having a conversation about how we respond to the weakest among us (in this context, I mean the many women and children who are trapped, abused, repeatedly raped, isolated, and trafficked, which as I understand it is many of the women who get paid to have sex). Is promoting an industry the best we can do to foster women's equality in these circumstances?

I realize that you have stated the intention to remove these kinds of situations from the legalized trade. However, given that it seems to happen, regardless of whether there's a completely criminalized, a partially decriminalized or a completely legalized industry in place, what then? Since the argument for decrim/legalization is that men will buy the sexual services anyway so we might as well accept that, make it not against the law and structure the industry accordingly, how does it not follow that, since men will buy the services of women and girls in the black market industry anyway, we should decriminalize the whole industry?

There's a line you want to have drawn, susan, and I'm glad to hear it. However, some of us doubt that moving the line that already exists will help many of the women and girls already in the shadows. Some also wonder how moving the line (since we all recognize that the line won't be eliminated) fosters equality for all women.

susan davis

no,, i support decriminalization which in spite of people trying to confuse the issue, doe not mean a free for all with no rules.

legalization implies that some criminal code provisions will remain. we want to be taken out of the criminal code and to not be treated like criminals for our choice in occupation.

decriminalization in new zealand came with rules and regulations in the form of health and labour standards.

yes, we should decriminalize the whole industry. trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, rape, assault, child exploitation are all illegal already. if a business owners is engaging in these criminal activities they should face the full force of the law.

how will we discover dangerous conditions? through out reach and education. also through safety inspections. these bad business owners will still have to advertise, it should be the job of sex industry inspectors to audit numbers of businesses and to compare those to phone numbers and ads. it will very quickly become clear if some one is operating outside of the accepted standards and they can be delt with appropriately- jail, execution....i would bring back the death penalty for the exploiters of children....

our planned sex industry working group/review boards can work to define the role and resposibilities of inspectors and  it can be refined as time goes on.

yes, it will not all be smooth. no it will not be easy.but this is the hard work required if we are affect meaningful change for canadian sex workers. we need system wide reform in terms of barriers to supports and to be removed from the criminal code.

we are not criminals we are workers and deserve our rights as such.

Loretta

susan davis wrote:

no,, i support decriminalization which in spite of people trying to confuse the issue, doe not mean a free for all with no rules.

legalization implies that some criminal code provisions will remain. we want to be taken out of the criminal code and to not be treated like criminals for our choice in occupation.

decriminalization in new zealand came with rules and regulations in the form of health and labour standards.

OK, let's look at the terms vis a vis marijuana. When people talk about decriminalization, they are talking about decriminalizing the actions of possession and using -- taking those actions out of the criminal code. Legalization would be to do that and then impose a regulatory structure around possession and using, similar to those around the use of alcohol. That's how I understand the terms.

 

Quote:

yes, we should decriminalize the whole industry. trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, rape, assault, child exploitation are all illegal already. if a business owners is engaging in these criminal activities they should face the full force of the law.[

how will we discover dangerous conditions? through out reach and education. also through safety inspections. these bad business owners will still have to advertise, it should be the job of sex industry inspectors to audit numbers of businesses and to compare those to phone numbers and ads. it will very quickly become clear if some one is operating outside of the accepted standards and they can be delt with appropriately- jail, execution....

Existing legal work sites don't receive adequate inspection and enforcement around safety, working conditions and fair treatment of workers. I doubt that this will work in practice and the material from NZ seems to verify that.

susan davis wrote:

i would bring back the death penalty for the exploiters of children...

Not that I agree with exploitation of children but this is scary.

susan davis wrote:

our planned sex industry working group/review boards can work to define the role and resposibilities of inspectors and  it can be refined as time goes on.

yes, it will not all be smooth. no it will not be easy.but this is the hard work required if we are affect meaningful change for canadian sex workers. we need system wide reform in terms of barriers to supports and to be removed from the criminal code.

we are not criminals we are workers and deserve our rights as such.

Yes, I can understand your concern being change for canadian sex workers. However, again, my questions, from someone concerned about equality for all women, is this the only goal? Many of us see a change of this magnitude (aside from decriminalizing those who sell sex for money) as something which will affect all of us. Is it for the better or worse, etc?

At this point, regardless of anyone's desire that it was otherwise, the assertion that you're not criminals that has yet to be established when it comes to arranging to sell sex for money.

susan davis

prostitution is leagl...we are not criminals. it is well estabilished.we are just treated as such through the use of all the "other"provisions in the criminal code.

we are not talking about pot, we are talking about people. the materialfrom NZ speaks very plainly abot the PRA and scrutiny of business owners.

qiote frankly, this entire argument about it diminishing all women is ridiculous. if you raise the value of one group of women, you raise the value of all women. to continue to seperate us as if we are different or less, will only leadto more violence against us.

we are people and we are workers deserving rights and protection.

wage zombie

Would the sex workers aceept civil unions over full decriminalization?  I think some people are worried about changing the definition of prostitution.

susan davis

i thought we were pushing for unions.....in my perspective decrim demands union building....not sure i understnad what you mean wage zombie......

Loretta

susan davis wrote:

qiote frankly, this entire argument about it diminishing all women is ridiculous. if you raise the value of one group of women, you raise the value of all women. to continue to seperate us as if we are different or less, will only leadto more violence against us.

I understand that you think it's ridiculous and your comment about raising the value of a group of women raising the value of all women is reasonable. I think it's fair to say that most of us who aren't convinced that this will be a good thing for all women wonder if this actually even results in raising the "value of a group of women". Perhaps we're just saying it's OK to create a society where we accept that this is the only option for some women, giving full reign to the market demands of men and embracing the free enterprise system in all its glory.

susan davis

i understand the principles your position represents and have stated before, they are nobel ideas and goals. however, to jeopardize peoples safety to reach these goals is counter productive.

continue to try to end the sex industry. but stabilize our safety now. we all agree that right here right now the sex industry exists. we must take action to stabilize the safety of people working in the sex industry.

we must give them dignity at work, access to resources,tools to make safe decisions about their work and policies designed to break down barriers to support of the past.we must create ways for workers and consumers to report dangerous conditions, yes consumers. these guys see these places and are a huge asset in trying to combat exploitation. if we criminalize them, how will that happen? we must create more reasonable and accessible licensing procedures, develope exiting supports and specialized counselling for the survivours of violence.

if we really want to do something about dangers facing sex workers, then let's do something. it will not be eradicated over night and we can at least agree on that. so in the mean time why make it hard on people working in the industry?why not make what you have all described as such horrible conditions into at least stabile and accountable? why criinalize it and push it underground?

it seems to me that by shining a light on the industry and opening it up under decriminaliztion woulld serve both our purposes. we ccould begin to elminate dangerous work environments and weed out criminals and continue to work on building a society where sex work indeed IS only done out of choice(not because of poverty,etc) or perhaps is no longer needed at all.

Loretta

If these laws change and a whole legalized industry is created, the needed change will never come about. In my view, we will all be worse off for it, in my opinion.

susan davis

but your view is from outside of the industry. you will not be personally affected if our icomes are undermined by criminalization of our customers and the businesses where we work.

if you read the charter challenge testimony, and i have. all sides are in agreement that the current legal framework is not working. that is the only matter for the court to decide. arethe laws doing what they were intended to do, protect people? the answer is clearly no, from all sides.

the current legal frame work will fall and we will have to decide what will be implmented in its place, so far it's between new zealand and sweden. sweden are already reviewing their decision as is described in a link i provided in the sex worker rights forum.

new zealand has seen many benefits from decriminalizing sex work. we support the industry standards and decriminalization model becuse it supports greater choices for workers.

fortunate

Some things I read here seem to make it look less like the choice to do sex work (rather than, say, cleaning houses or looking after other people's children instead of one's own), and more like taking something away from men.  I would like to think that grownup women can make their own sexual decisions about their own bodies, without worrying about whether or not their choice to do so is somehow anti-female, if you know what I mean.  To some extent, it seems more important that men not be happy than that women are not doing sex work.  It would be okay if she does sex work, in other words, so long as it does not make any man happy?   Sex workers who are women, perhaps, providing services solely for women may be ok?  Just as long as no men are involved?  Or if they are, perhaps only if men-to-men is okay.    Similar to supporting full custody only for mothers, regardless if they are the best caregiver but solely in order to "punish" the man for being male. 

 

See, it doesn't matter to the law if the woman sees only women, or the men see only men.  The public solicitation, the brothel, etc still apply.

fortunate

Loretta wrote:

susan davis wrote:

 

decriminalization in new zealand came with rules and regulations in the form of health and labour standards.

Existing legal work sites don't receive adequate inspection and enforcement around safety, working conditions and fair treatment of workers. I doubt that this will work in practice and the material from NZ seems to verify that.

 

It does seem fairly comprehensive to me, actually:

 

The OSH guidelines are pretty comprehensive:

A sex worker is “at work” for the purposes of OSH when they are providing sexual services. There are Occupational Safety and Health guidelines have been developed by OSH in consultation with NZPC, sex workers and brothel operators. These guidelines are available from the OSH website.

 

Sex Industry - A Guide to Occupational Health and Safety in the New Zealand

WARNING THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIAL

During the passage of the Prostitution Reform Bill a majority of the Justice and Electoral Select Committee members recommended that health and safety guidelines should be developed for the sex industry. The Department agreed to this course of action and led the process. The Department consulted with stakeholders, the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), self-employed sex workers, and owner/operators of commercial sex industry establishments. Relevant government agencies such as the Ministry of Health (MoH), Local Government New Zealand, the New Zealand Police, and the ACC were also consulted.

The Guide sets out the relevant health and safety duties that are necessary for owners, operators, employees, and other parties in the sex industry. It aims to provide practical means of achieving those duties by dealing with sex worker health, workplace amenities, and psychosocial factors arising out of the industry. The emphasis is on covering a broad range of relevant topics applicable to all sex workers to assist them to implement best practice in their own workplaces. The Guide is supplemented by fact sheets giving specific advice on topics of importance to the document's users.

 

Part One: Application of this Guide

Glossary of Terms

  • 1: Introduction
  • 2: References in this Guide
  • 3: Roles and Responsibilities

Part Two: Sex Worker Health

  • 4: Sexual Health Education for Sex Workers, their Clients and Management
  • 5: Sexual Health Assessment for Sex Workers
  • 6: Personal Protective Equipment
  • 7: Reproductive Health
  • 8: Overuse Disorders

Part Three: Workplace Amenities

  • 9: Cleanliness of Workplace Amenities
  • 10: First Aid
  • 11: Fire Safety
  • 12: Heating and Cooling
  • 13: Lighting

Part Four: Psychosocial Factors

  • 14: Security and Safety from Violence
  • 15: Alcohol
  • 16: Drugs
  • 17: Smoking in the Workplace
  • 18: Complaints
  • 19: Employee Participation
  • 20: Workplace Documents

Appendices

  • 1: Roles of Regulatory Agencies
  • 2: Accident Recording and Notification
  • 3: New Zealand Prostitutes Collective
  • 4: Department of Labour Offices
  • 5: Health Agencies

Fact Sheets

  • 1: Safety and Security Guidelines for Sex Workers Who Provide Outcall
  • 2: Examination of Clients Prior to Provision of Service
  • 3: Action to be Taken in the Event of Condom Breakage and Slippage
  • 4: Minimum Employment Rights
  • 5: Employee Participation Systems
  • 6: ACC
  • 7: Health and Safety Information Resources
  • 8: Smoke-free Resources

 

An excert from the reports mentioned earlier:

"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.

Lianne Dalziel said the report shatters several myths with the following findings:

  • Coercion is not widespread.
  • The links between crime and prostitution are tenuous and the report found no evidence of a specific link between them.
  • Fewer than 17 per cent said they are working to support drug or alcohol use, although when broken down by sector street-based sex workers are more likely to report needing to pay for drugs or alcohol (45 per cent).

Much of the reporting on the numbers of sex workers and underage involvement in prostitution has been exaggerated.

There is no link in New Zealand between the sex industry and human trafficking.

 

 

Loretta

I read the report myself and while the points you made are there, there are also counter-points to each of them and vice versa. So, we could play this pointless game ad nauseum. This isn't really the crux of my concern anyway but I've already outlined those so we will have to agree to disagree.

In a nutshell, I see anything more than decriminalizing those who have sex for money as moving more deeply into commodification, objectification and marginalization of humanity, most particularly women. While I have heard some arguments that have given me pause to think, I haven't been convinced that it will be otherwise.

susan davis

so now you are opposed to the swedish model too.....? alomost everyone aggrees that workers must be decriminalized....but you think that removing our criminal status will not help? i am mean save lives, the lives of sex workers. you feel that we should not decrim workers at all as it will be in opposition to your political view...?you do realize people are dying right?

remind remind's picture

fortunate wrote:
remind wrote:
Along with your increasing numbers of deaths of prostitutes, susan is the reality, more and more women have been forced into it because of poverty and addictions.

 

You know that you have deliberately misrepresented and misinterpreted these stats, in spite of the basis for them being directly linked to the laws under discussion for decriminalization.   No or fewer deaths before they were instated, and significantly higher every year afterwards, in fact I see big jumps every time some neighbourhood group spoke up and police came in to get the SWs to move along.   I can only imagine what the latest "move along" tactic to the high end girls downtown is going to do to spike the numbers again.

...know, no such thing actually.....statistical numbers of such type stand on their own and can be used in whatever way one one wants to support contentions, or disprove contentions. For example, I could write a master's thesis using those numbers and other known factors to support my contentions as....

..... those numbers can be used equally to support the position that since society has started to focus upon men's leisure time penus pleasure pursuits, more women in prostitution have died at the hands of men. And more women are being raped than ever before...

It is men who are killing and raping women, not the closure of show lounges, or strip clubs, or any policing actions. men are making the choice, for what ever reason to kill/rape women as part of their sexual "pleasure" pursuits.

Equally as true, over the course of my life I have watched more and more women and girls enter into prostitution because of poverty and addictions...sure there  is obviously some who have also entered prostitution by choice, since society started to focus on men's penus pleasure, but that does not take away the reality more have entered  though lack of choice.

 

 

Stargazer

You know, all arguments are lost as soon as someone mentions "men's penis pleasures" or "selling your vagina". I mean come on. This isn't solely about men. It is about women (or at least I thought so) but I can see that these arguments always come down to men's "penis pleasures" and that is shallow and short-sighted and does sfa to help workers NOW, as in real life.

You can wait for utopia all your life, leaving it as is (status quo) or criminalzing workers is not going to help any of these women.

I noticed remind, after all your talk of "genital access" you never once looked at the actual definition of prostitution, which is in the decrim thread prior to this.

So what are your solutions, short of ending men's "penis pleasures"? Any at all? Any that would apply NOW, in the real world?

Have any of you thought how this effects male sex workers? Massage parlours? Strip joints? Since from what I gather you're all for abolution, please tell me how you think sex work will magically disappear?

 

Pornography is free, it's an issue, and it influences some men to treat women as recepticles. Massage parlours (or rub and tugs) treat foreign workers sometimes like pure crap. Then swingers clubs? No word on them? That's full genital contact there. You think all women wish to be dragged to orgy's with strangers against their will, to please their men? Why not focus on this too. Hell, just state that the only sex a woman can have is between a man and a woman with no exchange of money, gifts, status, power, etc. should be the only sex women can have. After the sex workers, are you all going to go after porn?

I'm not sure I want you guys dictating how and when I get to use my lady parts. Or anyone else's.

remind remind's picture

Loretta wrote:
In a nutshell, I see anything more than decriminalizing those who have sex for money as moving more deeply into commodification, objectification and marginalization of humanity, most particularly women. While I have heard some arguments that have given me pause to think, I haven't been convinced that it will be otherwise.

Most assuredly I agree...

and would ask this moving deeply into commodification, objectification, and marginalization, all of which is violence against women, benefits whom?

moreover, you know what really fascinates me, in all of this?

We are in the midst of an environmental castrophe, and economic meltdown, violence against women is increasing, but yet men still want to be able to have unregulated ejaculation responses whenever and wherever they want, and they want to be able to make money off  of their wanting to do that too...

 

susan davis

they.....?i am right here. i do make money from sex work.
quick, let's round up all the sex workers, it's their fault the environment is in a mess, and us poverty stricken, abused, drug addicted people( as described by you both) are also responsible for the economic crisis!!!!
 we are also the cause of violence against women!!!some body burn these witches, i mean sex workers, i mean coitis sellers, i mean vagina sales people, i mean unregualted ejaculation responses profiteer...penis exploiters must die, disappear, be gotten rid of.....
you people are really showing your true colours. neither of you ever even supported the swedish model. you want to end our industry and play osterich as if the sex industry and poverty will magically evaporate.
i guess since the title of the thread is feminist view points on prostitution and sex work, these sorts of things are ok to say. i have to say i find it very enlightening to hear your true wishes in regard to the sex industry.it demonstrates why you seem to have an unrelenting desire to try to debunk everything put forth here by supporters of decrim and really had no plans for implementation of the swedish model. deep down you just want us gone.
it's along way from how you felt in this thread.....is it me?did i offend or upset you soem how to make you do a complete trun around?
http://www.rabble.ca/babble/labour-and-consumption/sex-industry-association
back then you supported some of our ideas.....

remind remind's picture

No....men are the cause of violence against women, I have been very clear about that......

 

it is also primarily men that benefit from this focus on their genitals

 

so all in all, I  have absolutely no blame for prostitutues

 

prostitutes and trafficked of course have no choice  in being exploited by men, so  it would be an attack upon me to indicate that I believe they  should be blamed for their plight, as nothing about me indicates I support human exploitation of any type....

 

susan davis

so now you are denying my assertion of being competant to form consent?make a choice...?or is it only trafficking victims and prostituted people who deserve the choice, and even then limited only to a choice to exit..../

do you not support choice for women?people?or you only approve of choice if it is a choice you agree with...?

wage zombie

remind wrote:

We are in the midst of an environmental castrophe, and economic meltdown, violence against women is increasing, but yet men still want to be able to have unregulated ejaculation responses whenever and wherever they want, and they want to be able to make money off  of their wanting to do that too...

You've brought this up a number of times and i just end up ignoring it but i gotta say it sounds so ridiculous.

I am a man and i certainly don't want anyone trying to control or regulate my ejaculatory responses.  I don't need a woman or a man around to have these ejaculatory responses, and i certainly don't need to pay a sex worker to bring me to ejaculation.  As long as my body holds up, i will view masterbation as a right and a personal choice.

Please don't tell me you're planning on regulating my masterbation.

If, on the other hand, that's not what you're intending to say, well, the language you're using is pretty over the top.

Edited to Add: I shouldn't have used the word ridiculous.  What i'm trying to say is, do you want to be talking about prostituion or do you want to be talking about male ejaculations needing regulation?

JMartin

I think there are a few things that need to get added to the social security net for women (whether one believes in the Swedish Model of prostitution law or decriminalization) in order to see less women and children entering the sex industry for survival. 

We need to seriously consider the state of our systems for children in government care. 

We need to lobby our governmental leaders for accessible legal aid for women.

We need to lobby our governmental leaders to reinstate funding to counseling services, mental health services, addiction services, programming for people who are disabled etc. and acknowledge that lack of funding to social services for our most vulnerable leaves a very dangerous vacuum. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just some examples.

Does anyone else feel that the argument of choice will be stagnant until we can look practically at the different systems that hold women, children, and certain ethnic groups at higher risk of performing survival-sex? 

I feel helpless reading these forums as someone who lives in BC as we continue to elect leaders that tell us (by where they allocate funding) that they believe our provinces most vulnerable people are disposable. 

fortunate

wage zombie wrote:

 

Please don't tell me you're planning on regulating my masterbation.

 

 

No, just wants regulation of the bio-hazardous waste outcome of it.    Do your best to be an eco-friendly masterbator, use no pronographic materials, select your fantasy wisely and with respect, or better yet, use no female images at all, and you'll be OK.

JMartin

Fortunate, 

I have to disagree with the idea that radical feminists are more concerned about making men unhappy than protecting the collective rights of women. 

There is a focus on male demand for paid sex within radical feminist ideologies on pornography and prostitution, yes. Radical feminists who advocate for the Swedish Model of Prostitution law are asking men to look at how the demand for paid sex fuels a global industry where the average "worker" enters at least four years before they are deemed eligible to consent to do so, where women of certain ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds are vastly overrepresented, where women in general are vastly overrepresented (has anyone wondered why, if the sex industry is really a gender-equal zone, more men aren't selling and more women aren't buying?). If anyone wants links, they can personally volunteer to teach me, the computer illiterate, how to post them. 

Abolitionists are not asking men to be miserable, they're asking them to be responsible. 

ADueck ADueck's picture

JMartin wrote:

Radical feminists who advocate for the Swedish Model of Prostitution law are asking men to look at how the demand for paid sex fuels a global industry where the average "worker" enters at least four years before they are deemed eligible to consent to do so, where women of certain ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds are vastly overrepresented, where women in general are vastly overrepresented (has anyone wondered why, if the sex industry is really a gender-equal zone, more men aren't selling and more women aren't buying?).

Agreed, though I wonder how/where 'radical feminists' are asking men to look at these things, and if there are enough resources for them to do so? And if proper publicity of these details are being suppresed somehow? Being in the target demographic myself, if I had not been fortunate enough to have been exposed to these issues by some of my female friends, I seriously doubt that I would have an appropriate understanding of these topics simply from floating around in my little bubble world with the rest of my demographic.

As I see it, yes, male decisions and male behaviour are the roots of these problems, however that isn't to say we are all enemies in this battle. In fact, I would say that properly informed men could be great allies for affecting change, and men should be strongly encouraged to be educated about how their behaviour affects women. I realize this could be difficult to accomplish, and I'm not smart enough to have a particular solution, but the fact is, most men aren't sadistic, we're mostly ignorant. And really, it shouldn't start with men, it should start with boys. As a society we need to raise our sons to have deep respect for women and their bodies before they grow up to be men, because if they haven't, they aren't properly grown up anyway.

Essentially, I don't think enough of the audience is hearing the request quoted above, and perhaps new and more radical approaches will need to be explored to accomplish this.

rework

ADueck wrote:

And really, it shouldn't start with men, it should start with boys. As a society we need to raise our sons to have deep respect for women and their bodies before they grow up to be men, because if they haven't, they aren't properly grown up anyway.

No one mentioned Religion yet, but I will. (I am an atheist/ humanist male)
I reject all that says women shall be submissive to men.

More compulsory credits for "Gender Relations"(a suggestion).

And tell religious fanatics to shut up.

Michelle

A couple of comments:

fortunate, you're really skating on thin ice here.  This forum is for feminist discussion.  This issue came up with you in another thread too.  You're not allowed to accuse other participants of hating men, "punishing men for being male" or of having ulterior motives such as denying men all pleasure and stuff like that.

You will not post in this thread again.  And if you post anti-feminist stereotypes or rhetoric in any other thread on babble, you will be suspended from posting on babble entirely.

 

Michelle

Susan, this:

Quote:

we are also the cause of violence against women!!!some body burn these witches, i mean sex workers, i mean coitis sellers, i mean vagina sales people, i mean unregualted ejaculation responses profiteer...penis exploiters must die, disappear, be gotten rid of.....
you people are really showing your true colours. neither of you ever even supported the swedish model. you want to end our industry and play osterich as if the sex industry and poverty will magically evaporate.
i guess since the title of the thread is feminist view points on prostitution and sex work, these sorts of things are ok to say.

is over the top and unnecessary.  No one has advocated burning witches or sex workers.  And I think you might have misunderstood and misinterpreted Loretta's post regarding the Swedish model.  No one has said they want sex workers to die or disappear.

And there's nothing wrong with feminists who dislike the sex trade industry on feminist grounds to want the INDUSTRY (not the workers) to be put out of business.  I agree with you that it's not likely to happen, but there are real feminist critiques to be made of selling sex and commodifying women's bodies.  And people are allowed to make those arguments on babble without being accused of wanting to kill sex workers, a position no one has taken.

Please try to see what people are saying instead of pinning motives and positions to people that they have not taken.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
And there's nothing wrong with feminists who dislike the sex trade industry on feminist grounds to want the INDUSTRY (not the workers) to be put out of business. 

 

If the auto industry had gone out of business, so would autoworkers, necessarily.

 

Just curious, but what's the plan for putting the industry out of business, but NOT the workers?

Michelle

Sorry, I didn't word that well.  Just because you think an industry is problematic and you want to see it gone, doesn't mean that you want the workers to "disappear" or "die" or never find work again.

And there's a difference between putting forth the argument that if you want to outlaw the sex trade that workers will die as a result of being forced underground and not being able to get the help they need, and putting forth the argument that if you want to outlaw the sex trade, it means you WANT people to die as a result.

Nobody here wants to kill sex workers or see them die.  There is disagreement about the best way to ensure safety.  There is also a disagreement about the value of the industry.  Both are legitimate areas of debate.

Loretta

susan davis wrote:

so now you are opposed to the swedish model too.....? alomost everyone aggrees that workers must be decriminalized....but you think that removing our criminal status will not help? i am mean save lives, the lives of sex workers. you feel that we should not decrim workers at all as it will be in opposition to your political view...?you do realize people are dying right?

As I've mentioned before, I wish you'd read what I've written instead of misconstruing it. I have said consistently that I support decriminalizing those who sell sex for money and my comments in post #18 are no different. Please stop putting words in my mouth.

Stargazer

Michelle wrote:

Susan, this:

Quote:

we are also the cause of violence against women!!!some body burn these witches, i mean sex workers, i mean coitis sellers, i mean vagina sales people, i mean unregualted ejaculation responses profiteer...penis exploiters must die, disappear, be gotten rid of.....
you people are really showing your true colours. neither of you ever even supported the swedish model. you want to end our industry and play osterich as if the sex industry and poverty will magically evaporate.
i guess since the title of the thread is feminist view points on prostitution and sex work, these sorts of things are ok to say.

is over the top and unnecessary.  No one has advocated burning witches or sex workers.  And I think you might have misunderstood and misinterpreted Loretta's post regarding the Swedish model.  No one has said they want sex workers to die or disappear.

And there's nothing wrong with feminists who dislike the sex trade industry on feminist grounds to want the INDUSTRY (not the workers) to be put out of business.  I agree with you that it's not likely to happen, but there are real feminist critiques to be made of selling sex and commodifying women's bodies.  And people are allowed to make those arguments on babble without being accused of wanting to kill sex workers, a position no one has taken.

Please try to see what people are saying instead of pinning motives and positions to people that they have not taken.

 

Michelle, with all due respect, can you hear and feel the frustration here? There is a very good reason why some people think this is about man hating. Read some of the posts thrown up here by remind, and her focus on male ejaculation, penis pleasure or whatever new thing she is calling it today.On top of that the entire "selling vagina's" etc. Michelle, it is getting old and tired. One cannot have a debate or discussion when it is reduced to male sperm.

I am a feminist and these kinds of words seek to reduce the quality of discussion and have the effect of putting everyone (including me) in defensive mode.

There has to be a balance, and right now there is none. I would be mighty peeved to if every argument I made was counteracted with responses such as "males ejaculatory rights". That isn't debate. That is silencing, marginalizing and insulting.

I am not saying, "hey let's give men priority" because that is not the position I take, but this whole reduction of sex work to male ejacualtion is narrow and not going to get us anywhere.

 

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

So ignore remind.  Loretta, G Pie and I have all made arguments that don't reduce the issue to vaginas and ejaculation, for example, while still being on the other side of the debate.

remind remind's picture

stargazer wrote:
this whole reduction of sex work to male ejacualtion

What is it about other than this? By its own reality sex work and prostitution is narrow and specific in function and results....

 

In otherwords it is a whole industry, illegal and legal, geared towards one thing......and one thing alone.

 

I am not the first feminist, nor wil I be the last feminist to point this truth out, and indeed is very salient to the issues and parameters.

 

It is the elephant in the room that some want to ignore and say; "nothing to see here, move along".

 

Pointing out the bottom line activity under discussion is not silencing, marginalizing, nor insulting, it is indicating facts that underlay this whole discussion.

 

If some want it to be an industry they need to take it out of sterotypes of all sorts and deal with the reality of the "work place" actions which occur.

 

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
unregualted ejaculation responses profiteer

 

That's what I call reclaiming the language. Is it too late to rename the new forum? Laughing

remind remind's picture

Oh yes,  we all understand men need to reclaim so much,  suffering so terribly, and all, from the yoke of oppression  and exploitation the way they are.

 

 

 

Snert Snert's picture

It was susan reclaiming the term, not men.

susan davis

ok michells but try to imagine how all of this demonizing us makes me feel?

imagine if nurses were discussed as puss,urine,blood and excrement profiteers. this type of language being used in regards to my choosen profession and continuing refusals by some members to respect the terms put forth by the group being discussed themselves is a complete insult. nowhere is unregulated ejacualtion responses profiteer a word accepted by sex workers or prostituted people.

and references to sex workers some how being responsible for taking attnetion away from the economic crisis and environmental disaster facing us all as well as being responsible for escalating violence against women because we..."they" profit from the unregulated ejaculation responses is as ridiculous as the means for discovering witches back in the day. it is othering sex workers as the cause the worlds problems and advocates that we some how don't deserve to heard in light of everything else..... last in line, first to get cut.

 the posters in question claim to support the swedish model which involves decriminalzing us and respecting us as human beings but then continue to belittle and bash us for wanting freedom of choice. the truth should be known that it is not rights for women being sought here, it's the irradication of the sex industry...which is as old as poverty.

getting rid of the industry means getting rid of us...how exactly will that be accomplished?i find it extremely threatening to have to hear my job spoken of this way and to have no clear plan to see it through....no jobs. i feel as if some posters are constantly skating the line, trying to upset me and then pretending as if they care about sex workers/prostituted people.

the dripping sarcasm in these terms is discriminatory, i am not the only person to read them. it sets an example of it being ok to belittle and ridicule our arguements using blatently offensive terms it what should be a discussion about real options, not feelings and opinions which everyone is entitled to but real tangible solutions to these problems.

i have yet to hear any plans from the other side, instead all we hear are statements as above.

 

susan davis

JMartin wrote:

I think there are a few things that need to get added to the social security net for women (whether one believes in the Swedish Model of prostitution law or decriminalization) in order to see less women and children entering the sex industry for survival. 

We need to seriously consider the state of our systems for children in government care. 

We need to lobby our governmental leaders for accessible legal aid for women.

We need to lobby our governmental leaders to reinstate funding to counseling services, mental health services, addiction services, programming for people who are disabled etc. and acknowledge that lack of funding to social services for our most vulnerable leaves a very dangerous vacuum. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just some examples.

Does anyone else feel that the argument of choice will be stagnant until we can look practically at the different systems that hold women, children, and certain ethnic groups at higher risk of performing survival-sex? 

I feel helpless reading these forums as someone who lives in BC as we continue to elect leaders that tell us (by where they allocate funding) that they believe our provinces most vulnerable people are disposable. 

i agree with this 100%. did you see our ideas around policy and procedure revisions? it ereally has nothing to with decrim more the failure of thhe systems intended to protect people...

Michelle

Well, I WAS tempted to start a new word association thread with the first phrase being "Unregulated ejaculation responses" in the writers' forum, just to see what kind of free association people could come up with...

For instance, would a wet dream count as an unregulated ejaculatory response?  How would you go about regulating ejaculation responses anyhow?

A subject for another thread, I guess...

Caissa

What about the points Susan raises in post #43?

remind remind's picture

susan davis wrote:
ok michells but try to imagine how all of this demonizing us makes me feel?

Please give an example

Quote:
nowhere is unregulated ejacualtion responses profiteer a word accepted by sex workers or prostituted people.

And who used that other than you and snert?

Quote:
and references to sex workers some how being responsible for taking attnetion away from the economic crisis and environmental disaster facing us all

No one said that either other than you......

 

Quote:
as being responsible for escalating violence against women because we..."they" profit from the unregulated ejaculation responses is as ridiculous as the means for discovering witches back in the day.

No one said that either...

Quote:
getting rid of the industry means getting rid of us...

No it doesn't, just because the forest  industry is now gone in BC, does not mean the former workers in it  "were gotten rid of"

Quote:
i find it extremely threatening to have to hear my job spoken of this way and to have no clear plan to see it through....no jobs

This actually how the real world works, no one's jobs are secure, and could be gone in a moment, subject to changes in  laws, and supply and demand realities.

 

Quote:
the dripping sarcasm in these terms is discriminatory,

Could you give an example of this?

JMartin

Rework,

Is it really fair to make assumptions about people's religious or spiritual beliefs based on the fact that they think that education of younger generations on issues like equality and respect is imperative? Which set of religious beliefs should we be associating this with? I know many different abolitionists from all sorts of religious backgrounds including secular humanism and atheist.

Rebuttals are most successful and well recieved when the opponent attacks the argument, not when the opponent makes uneducated guesses about what someone's spiritual beliefs might be and then attempts to stigmatize them for it.

Unless someone openly discusses their spirituality and invites others to comment on it, jabs like "tell the religious fanatics to shut up" are discriminatory and should be considered personal attacks. Even if someone did discuss their spiritual beliefs in regards to this issue (which so far no one has), freedom of religion still sits there in the charter of rights along with freedom of expression and freedom of security. 

I can personally testify to the fact that there are people from all sorts of diverse ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds that support the Swedish Model of Prostitution Law. I think it's fair to assume that we have no idea where anyone else comes from (especially on an internet forum!!) unless they clearly state so.  

JMartin

Suzan,

I haven't seen your ideas on policy revisions but I would like to. I have a difficult time keeping up with how frequently people post on this forum so there are things that escape me.

If you have time, feel free to post the link again or send me the link personally and I will read it and let you know what I think. I always appreciate when people send me reading material, particularly when it covers subjects that feminists for the Swedish Model, and feminists for full decriminalization both agree with. I think these areas of common ground are the places where activism will be the most rapidly successful. This is not to say that I think there shouldn't be activism around the points of contention, but it will simply be slower going.

Stargazer

Jmartin, she has posted dozens upon dozens of links and her entire policy on this board a few times. The problem is, no one appears to actually have anything to say in response, or the same things are said over and over again. I know it is hard to wade through all these threads but check the decrim one prior to this one. I think that may be a start. If I could search better (or to be honest if I wasnt feeling so crappy) I would find them for you.

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