Prostitution - Framing the Debate for Decriminalization Part III

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remind remind's picture
Prostitution - Framing the Debate for Decriminalization Part III

continued from here

 

 

Michelle

Is there something specifically that you wanted to say that reflects the title of this thread?  Because I don't think that last thread was really reflecting the thread title by the end of it anyhow. 

remind remind's picture

As this is a very important discussion Canadians should be having, alll perinent aspects of this  deserve and require examination beyond thought terminating cliches, and alienating positions.

From the last thread susan davis wrote:

susan davis wrote:
why 2 sets of laws?

There is not 2 sets of laws, there is not even 1 set of laws, if you want to know the reality of it all, and decriminalization without regulation keeps it that way.

 

Quote:
instead of argueing about the name of the forum why not start a thread about it?to be honest, i don't mind if it is renamed the sex industry forum....people seemed to be alright with it. then prostituted people and abolitionists could feel included.

There is 1  voice of  sex workers here and that is your voice, there are 3 or 4 voices now that are here that have detaild clearly their discomfort with the forum the way it stands now.

From this perspectively susan it is your personal forum, as you are the only voice here of "sex wokers" who do actual front line sexual intercourse.

Why would prostituted women feel safe in such a forum?

 

Answer they would not,  3 of them said so for sure here already.

 

IMV, they are already exploited and marginalized, why would they open themselves up for mocking and snide commentary?

 

Why would they accept label imposed upon them by babble, some babblers who are not affliated in anyway with the capitlistic endeavour, and a woman that is a front line sex worker because she wants to be?

 

I stepped into one thread and read all the nasty stuff going on, and I did not feel safe to enter.

 

Quote:
as i stated before i will respect all perspectives.

Glad to hear that, as I am trying very hard to too.

rodney smith

personally I support the right of any person male or female to a safe work place in a legal profession.

I would strongly support the legalization of all aspects of the survival sex work industry so that it could also be regulated and safe/supportive work place conditions developed.

 

Labour law has evloved over the years as more and more worker rights have been recognized and things like Union behaviour have been taken out of the Criminal Code. 

 

It is a simple matter of progress towards the gentle, peaceful society that the Christian church for one has looked for for much of its history.

I am from a conservative Christian family and will not be a date for any sex worker.  But I know some of these people and they are strong, brave persons worthy of any civilized societies respect and support.  Not our scorn.

I have seen my share of strip acts, and I can readily see the acrobatic talent, and I am envious.

 

Shalom

 

 

remind remind's picture

Yes, I think this is very important as a thread, and a thread title, michelle, as the  debate has many dimensions and frames, surrounding the issue of decriminalization.

 

I think the lst thread fully depicted an accurate depiction of several of the frames, that surround decriminalization

Such as:

prostitute voices framework

sex worker voices framework

client voice frameworks

lobby voices frameworks

interested observer voicers frameworks

interdisciplinary voices framework, in several areas that intersect with the whole dynamics that will be at play, no matter what happens

uninformed voice frameworks, of those who want to know more about it all

 

All these views and voices are valuable and pertinent, even those who are uninformed, as they clearly indicate a disconnect with how society functions in their awareness of relaity. Thus, a weakness in the social safety net  has been indentified, that is very pertinent to any public health situation.

If people understand why they should be taking safety precautions like washing hands before  touching your face, or food, the more likely they are to do it. We would not be facing fast spreading epidemics and pandemics like H1N1, SARs, and Norwalk, if more personal health safety was known.

Apparently, most  people need a quick generalized  education on personal health safety, and how the health care system works for them, not against them, for example.

and I know that I am listening and learning from them all. And given the livliness of the discussions and the interest in the threads, others are too.

Placements of discussions and parameters/frameworks matter in this discussion, that people are afraid to do anything and have been for a long time, as nothing has been done, indicates this more than anything.

 

We need to take the  unknown out of the equation, and that is done by revealing frameworks, be they macro ones, or micro ones. Or anything in between those.

 

Honesty, respect and due diligence needs to be given, no matter what side you come down on in this, social justice and socialist thinking demand it. Anything else indicates, other.

 

It is the social mapping that needs to be done, and  rabble/babble is up to it, I think.

Infosaturated

Thank-you for continuing the topic Remind. 

Within the category "sex workers" the function "Exotic Dancer" exists. There are various functions recognized under "sex workers" but there is one that is glaringly left out.  There is no designator for "prostitute" as a sub-category of "sex workers".  That which has no label cannot be discussed. 

The designator "sex worker" is therefore a means of making invisible the function of "prostitute" as unique from other sex workers in the same way that "exotic dancer" is unique from other sex workers.

Street walkers are only 10 to 20% of the propulation of prostitutes.  They are used as a reason for decriminalization with the claim that it would reduce street work. When that claim has been proven false, they are dismissed as unrepresentative of prostitutes therefore immaterial to the discussion of decriminalization. I find this incredibly unethical on multiple levels. First, it is trying to buy support from communities by suggesting decriminalization will get them off the street when it doesn't. Worse, it is using the most vulnerable prostitutes to do it. Lastly, plans for various programs to help these women are used to present an altruistic and generous persona while ignoring the fact that all those programs can be implemented without decriminalization therefore have nothing to do with it.

The racial component prevalent not only on the street in the form aboriginal women but also in "massage parlours" is minimized.  Many massage parlours are staffed with primarily immigrant women. Asians are prevalent in Vancouver many of whom cannot communicate adequately in English. The idea of importing minority women into Canada to provide sexual services is highly questionable. I don't know what percentage of the industry is in massage parlours but I would guess that they are a significant portion of the industry.

Many European countries site 70 to 80% of prostitutes in their countries are foreigners.  That is, few existing citizens want to do this job.

There is evidence of legalization resulting in increases of trafficking women and children into prostitution and the involvement of minors in general.  This is dismissed as a legal problem that should be handled through other laws. This ignores the fact that other countries have been unable to deal with it through other laws. The existence of a legal industry makes it easier to conceal the illegal aspects of the industry.

Next there are escort services and independents. These would seem to be the two top tiers.  From what I can tell these are the women that are most likely to want decriminalization but they are firmly against red light districts.

The argument presented is that these women have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies but I am not convinced that they represent the majority of Canadian prostituted women,or that their interests supercede the rights of the many women who are victimized as a result of pimps, procurers and brothel owners being legitimized by society.

By framing the debate in such a way as to make invisible the many women who are victimized against their will, or who are involved due to childhood abuse or drug addiction, or who are imported for that purpose, a false picture of the industry is presented.  I also think failing to make the general public aware that the goal of independents is to be able to work from home is misleading.

Manipulative framing has become a powerful propaganda tool but I have faith that as Canadians become aware of the facts surrounding this issue they will reject the decriminalization of pimps, procurement and brothels whose business it is to sell access to womens bodies.

There is no designator for "prostitute" as a sub-category of "sex workers".  That which has no label cannot be discussed. 

We cannot allow prostitutes to be made invisible.

Infosaturated

double post

remind remind's picture

Infosaturated wrote:
The designator "sex worker" is therefore a means of making invisible the function of "prostitute" as unique from other sex workers in the same way that "exotic dancer" is unique from other sex workers.

Thank you for having the courage to let you voice stand as a prostituted woman... as apparently these days you are supposed to feel guilty if you do not accept the label, people are trying to impose upon you.

Quote:
The argument presented is that these women have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies but I am not convinced that they represent the majority of Canadian prostituted women, or that their interests supercede the rights of the many women who are victimized as a result of pimps, procurers and brothel owners being legitimized by society.

 

This is the basics for any discussion of this, who is actually being harmed and who does society protect first, and then move along to after.

In actual fact, we KNOW that pimps, procuers and brotherl owners are not being victimized the most. Thus they fall back from society's contemplations on this as a primary action for change.

 

They are doing fine where they are, they are not dying in the streets at the hands of johns, nor being beat up by the women they are prostituting, and the customers are not ripping them off.

 

Quote:
There is no designator for "prostitute" as a sub-category of "sex workers".  That which has no label cannot be discussed. 

We cannot allow prostitutes to be made invisible.

 

 

 

martin dufresne

In actual fact, we KNOW that pimps, procuers and brotherl owners are not being victimized the most. Thus they fall back from society's contemplations on this as a primary action for change.

They are doing fine where they are, they are not dying in the streets at the hands of johns, nor being beat up by the women they are prostituting, and the customers are not ripping them off.

 

Also, by making any decriminalization of soliciting by prostituted folks conditional to that of solicitation by johns, pimping, procuring and brothel-keeping, i.e. the industry, I feel that some are abetting an ugly piece of blackmail that is stalling progress on a reform crucial to women in prostitution. The Opposition parties that insisted on this package deal, at the 2006 Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Sub-committee on Solicitation Laws, may someday be held accountable for this instrumentalization of prostituted women.

Stargazer

There are ALREADY laws against trafficking in humans, having sex with monors and various other laws. I'm not sure how you can possibly see there are no laws.

 

Martin - keep your hands off our bodies k? I really don't care that you are a "feminist". Please just stop. It is insulting.

 

RE: the thread title it is clear that a handful of you here wish to change the debate fine, but don not pretend you have no voice, as yours is the onbly voice I have been subjected to this last 4 weeks - far more so than susan, skdadl and the others who I would, you know, really like to hear from.

 

It's early and I'm cranky. can't you tell?

Infosaturated

Remind wrote:

Of course not, as that is exactly where we are today anyway, except for the criminal controls governig the exploitation of women, by 3rd party interests, take those away, without laws in place first, and there  is slavery.

Stargazer wrote:
There are ALREADY laws against trafficking in humans, having sex with monors and various other laws. I'm not sure how you can possibly see there are no laws.

I believe Remind is referring to 3rd party interests in prostitution as a whole, not trafficking and minors. For example, we have minimum wage laws to limit exploitation. As experiences in other countries have shown decriminalization increases the exploitation of women by 3rd parties in various ways.

 

Stargazer wrote:
Martin - keep your hands off our bodies k? I really don't care that you are a "feminist". Please just stop. It is insulting.

I appreciate Martin's contributions to the conversation and in my opinion he has been very respectful. If there is something specific he has said that offends you perhaps you could explain? I certainly don't see him putting his hands on your body or anyone else's.

Stargazer wrote:
RE: the thread title it is clear that a handful of you here wish to change the debate fine, but don not pretend you have no voice...

I am talking about framing the debate in Canada not in babble. When I talk about manipulating the language to make invisible the function of prostitutes I am not referring to individuals participating in the discussion.  If, under the category of fruit, we had a label for "apples" but none for "oranges" it would become much more difficult to discuss those "round orange things" as being distinct from "fruits in general".  It is much the same thing as referring to people as "collateral damage".  If by, "change the debate" you mean include all the "stakeholders" in the debate then I must agree.

Stargazer wrote:
  as yours is the onbly voice I have been subjected to this last 4 weeks - far more so than susan, skdadl and the others who I would, you know, really like to hear from.

I have heard plenty from susan, skdadl and yourself.  If you are having trouble finding their posts there is a search function you can use. Another technique I use is either skimming or skipping posts and threads that don't interest me. It helps me avoid crankiness.

martin dufresne

It is ironic that you would acknowledge our minority status - "a handful of you" - and yet claim ours is the "onbly voice" you are being subjected to. You may remember I counted speakers and screens in two other threads a while back and got more than a dozen opposing 4 of us, with susan alone occupying 39-41% of thread space. Pace. This is an important discussion - about mostly male actions - that doesn't take well to expressions of "crankiness".

Janet Bagnall's reminder - nearly two years ago - of how decriminalization was framed early on and a look at the social issues involved in kow-towing to sex industry interests: The shame of Olympics prostitution, with quotes that some might want to see forgotten....

Preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympics are well in hand: The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is getting ready for violence. The province of British Columbia is keeping to its tight construction schedule. And Vancouver's mayor is preparing to meet the sexual needs of tourists attending the Games.

 

remind remind's picture

 24 years and we are still trying to make laws...governing the capitalist endeavours that are problematic as it was 1984 when the 1984 House of Commons Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution,  only to wait 22 years to try again

 

does that mean we should go lawless?

 

Of course not, as that is exactly where we are today anyway, except for the criminal controls governig the exploitation of women, by 3rd party interests, take those away, without laws in place first, and there  is slavery.

Radicaljoful

Hi All, I've been following the prositution and sex work threads with interest for about a week now - reading non-stop to catch up - phew!

So. Where to start?

Here, I guess:

Stargazer wrote:

Martin - keep your hands off our bodies k? I really don't care that you are a "feminist". Please just stop. It is insulting.

I've noticed similar sentiments in a couple of other threads. 

I am initially more leery of men who chime in to debates such as these, especially when they appear to be pro-feminist (with good reason, I believe). For me, the proof is in the pudding. The comments I've read from Martin have been consistent, thoughtful, and frankly brave given the climate in many of the conversations.  

I can only count one pro-feminist man in these discussions who is in support of the abolition of prostitution - talk about a minority voice! I am glad to hear it.

 

 

 

 

 

susan davis

martin dufresne wrote:

It is ironic that you would acknowledge our minority status - "a handful of you" - and yet claim ours is the "onbly voice" you are being subjected to. You may remember I counted speakers and screens in two other threads a while back and got more than a dozen opposing 4 of us, with susan alone occupying 39-41% of thread space. Pace. This is an important discussion - about mostly male actions - that doesn't take well to expressions of "crankiness".

Janet Bagnall's reminder - nearly two years ago - of how decriminalization was framed early on and a look at the social issues involved in kow-towing to sex industry interests: The shame of Olympics prostitution, with quotes that some might want to see forgotten....

Preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympics are well in hand: The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is getting ready for violence. The province of British Columbia is keeping to its tight construction schedule. And Vancouver's mayor is preparing to meet the sexual needs of tourists attending the Games.

 

sex industry workers in vancouver are experiencing an economic crash. there will be no increase in trafficking or demand for the olympics. it has been proven over and over, just call any of the other host cities and/or places who hosted hallmark sporting events. it did not happen there and will not happen here in vancouver. many workers are preparing to leave during the games as we feel the high security proceedures will make work impossible for most.

these myths are debunked martin, and are basically a fundriasing tactic and a way for the abolitionist movement to creat fear about the sex industry and further their political goals.it is harming sex workers all over vancouver and the lower mainland and indeed is causing raids and arrests, police in maple ridge are now sweeping street level sex workers, arresting them all in an effort to look like they are doing something about that "prostitution thing".

please do not perpetuate myths such as olympic trafficking or increased demand. it is simply not true. i have posted the link many times to the 2010 impacts study on the vancouver police website.please read it.

susan davis

Radicaljoful wrote:

Hi All, I've been following the prositution and sex work threads with interest for about a week now - reading non-stop to catch up - phew!

So. Where to start?

Here, I guess:

Stargazer wrote:

Martin - keep your hands off our bodies k? I really don't care that you are a "feminist". Please just stop. It is insulting.

I've noticed similar sentiments in a couple of other threads. 

I am initially more leery of men who chime in to debates such as these, especially when they appear to be pro-feminist (with good reason, I believe). For me, the proof is in the pudding. The comments I've read from Martin have been consistent, thoughtful, and frankly brave given the climate in many of the conversations.  

I can only count one pro-feminist man in these discussions who is in support of the abolition of prostitution - talk about a minority voice! I am glad to hear it. 

i believe you should re read some of the threads then, martin can be very agressive and constsntly and consistantly tries to diminish the voices of sex workers who were not abused and chose their profession.

i welcome martins perspective but to call it thoughtful and brave? what about his references to me as the proprostitution lobby? or insinuations made that i would somehow profit from kickbacks or funding from traffickers and pimps? or that my feelings about street level workers were fake, unbelievable, empty in a story i told about a woman pulling her hair out on the street...?

hardly the brave and thoughtful poster being described above....

love ya martin but you are giving me grey hair!!dang it!

 

Infosaturated

susan davis wrote:
please do not perpetuate myths such as olympic trafficking or increased demand. it is simply not true. i have posted the link many times to the 2010 impacts study on the vancouver police website.please read it.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=0057e9b8-1503-499c...

Susan Davis, a prostitute, argued last fall that the city, provincial and federal government should provide a safe working environment for prostitutes in 2010 when, she is quoted as saying, tens of thousands of visitors to the Games will be looking for sex.

Infosaturated

 

susan davis wrote:
i welcome martins perspective but to call it thoughtful and brave? what about his references to me as the proprostitution lobby? or insinuations made that i would somehow profit from kickbacks or funding from traffickers and pimps?

Susan, my perception is that you interpret statements as being directed at you personally when they are not.  For example, a reference to the "pro-prostitution lobby" is not a statement about "Susan".  I have certainly never read anything from Martin suggesting you get "kickbacks" of any sort.

 

susan davis

Infosaturated wrote:

susan davis wrote:
please do not perpetuate myths such as olympic trafficking or increased demand. it is simply not true. i have posted the link many times to the 2010 impacts study on the vancouver police website.please read it.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=0057e9b8-1503-499c...

Susan Davis, a prostitute, argued last fall that the city, provincial and federal government should provide a safe working environment for prostitutes in 2010 when, she is quoted as saying, tens of thousands of visitors to the Games will be looking for sex.

this is a misrepresentation by a reporter. i never lobbied for olympic brothels ever.....i stated there were 5 distinct street strolls in vncouver and that each could develope a coop of their own.

the article also states what i have said all along, the construction boom was the money....it is over.this reporter was overwhelmed with all the information i gave and simply was mistaken about my position. gee, a reporter was wrong...what a suprise....

nice selective quoting though.

remind remind's picture

Infosaturated wrote:
susan davis wrote:
please do not perpetuate myths such as olympic trafficking or increased demand. it is simply not true. i have posted the link many times to the 2010 impacts study on the vancouver police website.please read it.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=0057e9b8-1503-499c...

Susan Davis, a prostitute, argued last fall that the city, provincial and federal government should provide a safe working environment for prostitutes in 2010 when, she is quoted as saying, tens of thousands of visitors to the Games will be looking for sex.

 

Thanks for the heads up on that.....and it is very disengenuous to suggest that that is what the study found.

What the study apparently found, if people would actually read it, is that there are NO increases in human trafficking, if community education programs are conducted at the same time, along with strong policing measures in the communities in the lead up to the games.

 

Neither is happening in Vancouver.

The police and military are being trained to recognize it, if they see it happening in Vancouver during the games, is all that is happening.

 

Now, one wonders how they are going to see it happening, if there are no initiatives happening that would allow them to see it happening?

susan davis

Infosaturated wrote:

 

susan davis wrote:
i welcome martins perspective but to call it thoughtful and brave? what about his references to me as the proprostitution lobby? or insinuations made that i would somehow profit from kickbacks or funding from traffickers and pimps?

Susan, my perception is that you interpret statements as being directed at you personally when they are not.  For example, a reference to the "pro-prostitution lobby" is not a statement about "Susan".  I have certainly never read anything from Martin suggesting you get "kickbacks" of any sort.

 

 

martin wrote- in feminist men- words that wound-as one example- in post number 26

I take it then, susan, that you can't support your allegation that Farley's work isn't peer-reviewed.

As for the project of decriminalizing brothels, to which you are closely associated, you and I know that one of the main speaking points used to sell it to the State is that such discreet establishements will allow it to "clean up" the streets. So I have to take with a grain of skepticism your sympathy for intoxicated street-prostituted women who would never be hired by a licensed establishement and whose lives will be made even more harsher. Heavy class issues there.

As for your suggestion that all women prostituted elsewhere than on the street are all exercising free choice, you will have to count me among the non-believers, especially since it has as much support as your slur against Farley's research.

 

susan davis

martin wrote- inhttp://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/religious-groups-seek-standing-oppose-f... post 11

Not so. What susan calls "martin's way" is simply full decriminalization for sex workers, a solution that feminists have been struggling for both in Canada and elsewhere. That has never been implemented in Canada so far. And now that it is coming, because it is proving itself in Nordic countries, the industry is trying to coopt that dynamic by attempting to include pimps, johns and procurers in an "inclusive" all-or-nothing offer. To me, it looks a lot like the infamous old "Chicks Up Front" strategy that was used by some Leftists against cops in demonstrations forty years ago before women decided to stand up for their own interests.

susan davis

martin wrote in post #17 of http://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/religious-groups-seek-standing-oppose-f...
Again, there is a mounting body of evidence showing that child prostitution thrives where the activities of pimps, traffickers and johns are facilitated. The cops just give up, feeling that society has given a green light to the trade and they defer to the "self-governance" touted above. As for "consensual", well even the current promoters of brothels and prostitution acknowledge that it's mainly survival sex extracted from impoverished or strung-out women that allows men to get their rocks off at will. Do we want to institutionalize that? I don't.

remind remind's picture

Neither one of those statements, that  you have provided ,indicate what you are accusing martin of..susan

 

shall we start having discussions about the supporters of prodecrim persons, and ascribe motives  to all their actions too?

a

susan davis

being called the "chick up front" and the promoter of brothels and prostitution......?

whatever remind, so tired of your bs. i posted examples of my statements but you go ahead and ignore that too, it's what you are good at......

the "pro prostitution lobby" comments came from an article in the vancouver courier in which my reputation was defamed. martin realized it upset me and continues to use the term although not as much lately.infering i represent brothel owners and organized crime and making it seem as if i am backed by orgaized crime.

in one instance i was even accused of being paid by business owners and that the charter challenge was being funded by organized crime, business owners and traffickers.

give your head a shake, go back and read what has been said.

susan davis

remind wrote:

Neither one of those statements, that  you have provided ,indicate what you are accusing martin of..susan

 

shall we start having discussions about the supporters of prodecrim persons, and ascribe motives  to all their actions too?

a

decrim persons? what the hell does that mean? and people already do question persons who support decrim- like when martin accused professor young of using his status to force law students who are women to work on the challenge.

my character has been called into question many times.

so what would be different from now?

martin dufresne

Thanks for the effort to pull those strong quotes, Susan. I stand by every one of them and think they need to be taken into account in framing the debate over full or partial decriminization. I agree with remind that - as everyone can verify - none of them can be construed as an attack on yourself, unless you count as that my politely pointing out an unfortunate misrepresentation of Melissa Farley's research as not having ever been peer-reviewed - when I have documented that it has, in a host of prestigious publications.

Could we cut the "personal attack" mischaracterizations of critiques of a very real industry and lobby - I could certainly complain of many real personal attacks! - and get to work together on getting communities, political parties and the State to finally decriminalize the actions of prostituted women/sex workers and to really take on the actions of the folks and businesses who exploit them, especially those with little agency in their plight?

susan davis

for once martin, i agree completely.let's do some work. are you ready with proposed by laws and regulations for the workers you wish to decriminalize?

being published does not constitute research ethics review. and it was personal, i take it personally and it is directed at me- the only "pro-prostitution lobbiest"here. there may be many supporters but your characterisation of me and my work is personal for me. i am the only person here actually working on these issues from my stand point- decrim- and constantly you refer to the "proprostitution lobby on babble. me.

who else is the prostitution lobby meaning here on babble? it is directed at me and no amount of trying to justify yourself can take that away.

remind remind's picture

No, there is definitely a bigger lobby than you susan.

 

 

Infosaturated

Susan, Alan Young, as I understand it, is a University professor at a prestigious law school.  I have seen no claims that he is doing this work pro bono although that doesn't mean that he isn't.  Even if it is on the surface pro bono it doesn't mean he is doing it out of the goodness of his heart. It is the norm in progressive circles to examine who all the beneficiaries of changes will be, and to look for connections.  The Pivot Legal Society also looks extremely altruistic with lots of upstanding support aside from their "donations" button on their website.

What makes me suspicious is the absolute silence from those who stand to gain the most from decriminalizing pimps, procurement and brothels.  "Body rub parlours" and "Escort Services" are operating openly in Canada yet not a peep out of them.  They stand to gain the most.

Given the usually exploitative relationship between business owners and workers, and the nature of this business in particular, I hear very few complaints of how women are currently being treated in the majority of these venues. (from people arguing for decriminalization). Rather the suggestion seems to be that other than a few bad eggs the majority of body rub parlours and escort services are run by really nice people.

 

susan davis

because that is the truth info, most business owners are ethical.

no one is saying abuse and exploitation don't exist in the sex industry but to cast all business owners as pimps and traffickers is not realistic. it is our tradition to become madames as we get older and to share our knowledge and experience with less experienced workers.

we need places to work. no one should have to enter the sex industry alone and try to "sink or swim". people need tools to make safe decisions about their work and need people who can share the secrets of our trade.

i believe business owners are silent because they are terrified of speaking out. woyldn't you be? i mean look how people are treated when the come out.....

madame scarlett lake is a very vocal person and is in favor of decriminalization. as a result of coming out, she has been bashed repeatedly by people naming her a pimp, trafficker, etc. she is not. she is an ethical business owner providing safe working conditions for women.

alan young is doing the work pro bono.

PIVOT accept donations and so they should. the work they do in the community is amazing.offering free legal advice and support to sex workers specifically as well as many people in the DTES community.

rape relief also pay their staff and take donations. they claim to be volunteer run but staff do get paid.

you assume traffickers, pimps etc will stand to gain the most but you really have no knowledge of how we live. it is workers who want to bring down the laws becuase it will empower us. business owners, pimps etc who in your estimation- want to control us will not benefit from workers being empowered with rights.

eithical business owners are supportive of worker rights and support workers taking the challenge forward.

susan davis

remind wrote:

No, there is definitely a bigger lobby than you susan.

 

 

on babble? i am the target of these sorts of comments...were is the big huge pro prostitution lobby on babble?right here....

remind remind's picture

"most business owners are ethical."

 

Well.....that would be a first in human history, and if it were the case, we would not be seeing the exploitation and trafficking that we are.

Certainly some business owners are ethical in the  general world, but I do not know if I would say most, or could say most, or 50/50 even, as I do not know all business owners. And unless you know most of the business owners in the sex industry, I do not believe you can make such a generalized statement either.

 

Moreover, that other countries are having issues with unethical business owners in the sex industry, indicates the same would be happening here, which is happening here, which is why there are issues with exploitation and trafficking.

 

 

 

susan davis

what trafficking cases.....?i have heard of one in canada......

susan davis

alright, i will try not to take it so personally.it's just hard i guess because i am so involved....

martin dufresne

remind: No, there is definitely a bigger lobby than you susan.

susan: on babble? i am the target of these sorts of comments...were is the big huge pro prostitution lobby on babble?right here....

I for one have been discussing prostitution and its lobby not on babble but in the Canadian community. That is the locus of the attempt to institute full decriminalization of an industry that is, I am sorry to say, anything but ethical, and that is mostly composed of and funded by men. The struggles of women throughout the land for safety and for respect that both you, remind, infosaturated. others and I have been documenting make that crystal clear.

 

rework

What would happen if a John dropped a few comments here ?
(testing, testing, one, two, three)
I have read the 230 some posts in this thread. (I may read them over again)
Although I have read only one line that equates pimps (criminals) with johns (???),

what is the prevailing opinion here ? Can we hear more sides of this story ?

Infosaturated

My opinion and perception is that most johns see themselves as innocent participants. I don't see them that way. I see prosecuting johns with hefty fines as an important tool for reducing prostitution on the streets and in brothels. 

martin dufresne

Soliciting by johns is also a crime (see Section 213 of the Criminal Code) although rarely enforced.

If we can come to acknowledge their prostituting of usually disadvantaged and marginalized women and youths as harming these people and society, then the most effective harm reduction strategy appears to be a) getting a serious conversation going about johns' dynamics, e.g. a book such as Victor Malarek's The Johns - Sex and the Men Who Buy It (who has read it here?), b) awareness-raising among arrested johns, e.g. "johns schools," c) general prevention, e.g. education campaigns among youths, to keep some men from becoming that, and, once we have a realistic dialogue going - d) taking a collective decision as to whether allowing men to buy sex should be protected or not. This is what was done in Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway and Iceland, and penalization reduced the prevalence of that behaviour among men and, by direct consequence, had a huge impact on the extent of trafficking impoverished women to meet their demands.

fortunate

Susan:  "you assume traffickers, pimps etc will stand to gain the most but you really have no knowledge of how we live. it is workers who want to bring down the laws becuase it will empower us. business owners, pimps etc who in your estimation- want to control us will not benefit from workers being empowered with rights."

 

I too have seen comments here that pimps, johns, and brothel owners currently exploit sex workers.   So, that is WITH the current laws, the ones people do not want removed?   Then perhaps someone can explain how the removal of these laws through decriminalization, is going to cause something that already exists?  With the socalled protective laws?   Removing the laws will by necessity make it much more difficult for unethical business owners and unethical customers to take advantage of sex workers, simply because, like any other Canadian worker, they will know and understand that they have as much right to a safe work environment as any other Canadian worker.   Keep in mind that most sex workers are self employed and do not have employers, and now you have another group of people who will be able to work from home, or with others, for a safer and more comfortable experience, which is now denied to them due to these laws.  Some sex workers are uncertain about their legal rights under these current laws, so some unethical customers and business owners go unreported.  Will they be charged if they report unsafe working conditions, or a stalker they encounter?   Under the current laws, they certainly could be.  The police departments, tho, are not insensitive so they most likely will not be.  But, such reports draws their attention, and that alone will make the worker wary about how or where they work.

rework

Sofar sogood, avoiding absolutes like "all", and "every" and using more reasonable  words like "most" and "usually".
As for Malarek (absolutist) is no expert on anything in my eyes (still googling for his academic credentials).
Let's say, for the sake of discussion, I am a part time john (I prefer client).
Never have, never will prostitute disadvantaged, marginalized women or youths.  Never have, never will seek out a SW or visit a brothel. IMO an independant  entertaining a client in her private home or apartment, is not a john visiting a brothel, but technically we are both criminals.
No pimps, no agency, no public soliciting etc.
She has screened me, as I have screened her. I respect her person, property and her neighbours. I am guilty of what ? Am I average, maybe not. Am I one of a kind, I know I am not.
Not allowing men to buy sex means not allowing anyone to sell it either !
More prisons for pimps and traffickers, where do I donate ?

susan davis

yay!!i agree with you rework!

down with the swedish model!!

love susie

martin dufresne

rework: Not allowing men to buy sex means not allowing anyone to sell it either !

Not true; it's easy to think of interactions where only one party is sanctioned. This is what I meant by men's use of the "chicks up front" strategy, using women as human shields to protect male privilege.

Infosaturated

Fortunate, as far as I know, posters here are not defending the current model.  Everyone believes that solicitation should be decriminalized creating a situation in which the women involved cannot be charged with a crime.

Sweden's model is the only one that has been shown to reduce street prostitution.  Neither decriminalization nor legalization has been shown to get women off the street anywhere in the world.

"Body rub parlours" attempt to circumvent laws by having the women be "self-employed" while charging a 100$ an hour for room rental.

While some places that have decriminalized or legalized have passed laws with the intent of providing some form of protection for prostitutes none have been shown to actually work to reduce harm over all, and in most places increases in business mean that more women are exposed to harm.

Women that are currently discreet, working out of their apartments or homes, are in my opinion in a minority and are unlikely to be affected by the laws either way. It is women in the streets and body rub parlours that are impacted the most as well as women who are imported for the sex trade.

martin dufresne

What is missing to frame the debate is a collective, evidence-based awareness of the harms of prostitution: Demand Change! is a U.K.-based joint campaign by Eaves and OBJECT which aims to promote an increased understanding of the myths and realities surrounding prostitution and calls for prostitution to be seen and widely understood as a form of violence against women.

susan davis

martin dufresne wrote:

rework: Not allowing men to buy sex means not allowing anyone to sell it either !

Not true; it's easy to think of interactions where only one party is sanctioned. This is what I meant by men's use of the "chicks up front" strategy, using women as human shields to protect male privilege.

here we go again. we are not the chicks up front defending male privelge, we are workers/women fighting fighting for our rights dang it.....

this particular comment seems to return again as a result of me bringing it up. we do not represent men, we represent our selves.

susan davis

Infosaturated wrote:

Fortunate, as far as I know, posters here are not defending the current model.  Everyone believes that solicitation should be decriminalized creating a situation in which the women involved cannot be charged with a crime.

Sweden's model is the only one that has been shown to reduce street prostitution.  Neither decriminalization nor legalization has been shown to get women off the street anywhere in the world.

"Body rub parlours" attempt to circumvent laws by having the women be "self-employed" while charging a 100$ an hour for room rental.

While some places that have decriminalized or legalized have passed laws with the intent of providing some form of protection for prostitutes none have been shown to actually work to reduce harm over all, and in most places increases in business mean that more women are exposed to harm.

Women that are currently discreet, working out of their apartments or homes, are in my opinion in a minority and are unlikely to be affected by the laws either way. It is women in the streets and body rub parlours that are impacted the most as well as women who are imported for the sex trade.

in your opinion, the minority.....please

$100 room rental- do you have any idea how much it costs to maintian a space such as a body rub parlour? the advertising- $500 a week per girl for all papers and online--, hydro electric, computers and equiptment, laundry facilities, furiture, towels, sheets- toys and props, security....water- in vancouver businesses pay a tax on water waste generated by the business.

this rate - when put next to the wage- $300-$800 and hour in parlours- is reasonable compared to the safty and stability provided by the busniess owners.

you act as if the $100 isn't justified, it is.

once again, your assumptions are not based in lived experience and you continue to show you have no idea how we live.

Infosaturated

 

susan davis wrote:
$100 room rental- do you have any idea how much it costs to maintian a space such as a body rub parlour? the advertising- $500 a week per girl for all papers and online--, hydro electric, computers and equiptment, laundry facilities, furiture, towels, sheets- toys and props, security....water- in vancouver businesses pay a tax on water waste generated by the business.

Hotels share most of the expenses you mentioned and they charge 100$ a night not an hour. While there are some extra expenses in running a "body rub" parlour I don't agree that it justifies a room rate of 100$ an hour.

 

susan davis wrote:
once again, your assumptions are not based in lived experience and you continue to show you have no idea how we live.

I have lived experience as has been discussed in multiple threads so your accusation is inaccurate. I shouldn't have to discuss it in every thread so I would appreciate it if you stopped raising the issue.

fortunate

martin dufresne wrote:

What is missing to frame the debate is a collective, evidence-based awareness of the harms of prostitution: Demand Change! is a U.K.-based joint campaign by Eaves and OBJECT which aims to promote an increased understanding of the myths and realities surrounding prostitution and calls for prostitution to be seen and widely understood as a form of violence against women.

Yes, and this is another UK-based campaign which deals with the actual reality, that prostitution laws are the problem. If you get a chance, you should see the documentary.  It is almost Monty Pythonish lol.

www.nzherald.co.nz/prostitution/news/article.cfm?c_id=612&objectid=10524269

That is a moralistic POV not a fact based POV.   It is like saying that since the majority of bank tellers are female, then bank telling can be seen as a form of violence against women because bank tellers are on the front line when someone comes in and robs them.  Or nursing is a form of violence against women because nurses can be assaulted by violent patients, so often inf fact that they have protocols in place to deal with this. 

As far as street workers numbers not significantly decreasing, then that is an issue for having a safe work place, isn't it?  Not that you need to outlaw prostitution to get rid of it.  a + b does not necessarily equal c.  If you want me to see arguments from a logical perspective, the clauses must make sense first and logically draw a conclusion.  The statements made thus far do not.  

 

 

 

fortunate

Infosaturated wrote:

Fortunate, as far as I know, posters here are not defending the current model.  Everyone believes that solicitation should be decriminalized creating a situation in which the women involved cannot be charged with a crime.

Sweden's model is the only one that has been shown to reduce street prostitution.  Neither decriminalization nor legalization has been shown to get women off the street anywhere in the world.

"Body rub parlours" attempt to circumvent laws by having the women be "self-employed" while charging a 100$ an hour for room rental.

While some places that have decriminalized or legalized have passed laws with the intent of providing some form of protection for prostitutes none have been shown to actually work to reduce harm over all, and in most places increases in business mean that more women are exposed to harm.

Women that are currently discreet, working out of their apartments or homes, are in my opinion in a minority and are unlikely to be affected by the laws either way. It is women in the streets and body rub parlours that are impacted the most as well as women who are imported for the sex trade.

Law in New Zealand:  There are 16 licensed brothels in Auckland City. Small, owner-operated brothels don't need a licence if the operator lives on the premises, employs only one full-time equivalent person, and the business has no more impact on neighbours than a residential property.

I think that all the independent sex workers want is something similar to this one.  Owner operator live and work from home.  Considering that this affects the majority, and I am unsure why people want to ignore the numbers and keep repeating "minority", then  the current law debate does affect the majority.   Yes, independents can work from a permanent home like location --  but they are breaking the law.  Your point emphasizes that these women are criminals, and can be punished and charged for a legal activity that takes place only through illegal means.  They are certainly not a minority.

I am not sure where you get the body rub rates and stats. Licensed premises pay city license fees in the thousands every year, much higher than any other sort of business.   A lot of money is spent on advertising, reception, booking appointments, etc cleaning, supplies, etc, in order to increase business to keep the girls busy enough so they will stay.  The majority of them are not "charged" per se, but get paid an hourly or half hourly rate per call.   This is taken out of the total any client pays.  I don't know many businesses who are in business to operate at a loss.   Sex workers who choose to work thru an agency or massage parlour, as I am sure they as I do resent the term "brothel", do so because they do not wish to work from home for whatever reason, do not wish to book their own appointments, are not comfortable working on their own for safety issues, prefer having someone else screen their calls and ensure them of a positive experience.  They can certainly make more if they work independently, but for a variety of reasons choose not to. 

That would be similar to anyone, really.  A Registered Massage Therapist could choose to set up her own office, or set her table up at home and deal with the hassles of self employment, or simply work at a spa or massage clinic and have them set up their schedule and appointments. 

You have said elsewhere that you don't want any independent sex worker setting up a private incall location in your neighbourhood, or your building.  But are you suggesting it is ok?

  The majority of illegal immigrant workers do not work at a licensed establishment.  They are also, as evidenced by numerous raids and so on, not trafficked or work under duress.  The majority are inconvenienced by these but not deterred. 

I cannot see how you get increased business through any changes.  How will business increase?  That would be awesome lol.

Infosaturated

Fortunate, the argument is not that every prostitute is assaulted or that every brothel is a hell-hole. The argument is that prostitution as a whole is violence against women as a whole. As can be seen below, legalized prostitution creates more problems than it solves, even in New Zealand. 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/prostitution/news/article.cfm?c_id=612&objecti...

The accused, a 47-year-old computer programmer, was granted continued name suppression, but his alleged victim was revealed as Nuttidar Vaikaew.

Her body was found on May 12 at a house in Warwick St in Western Springs, where she worked as a prostitute.

Police believe that Miss Vaikaew, also known to her clients as "Sky", was killed on April 17.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/prostitution/news/article.cfm?c_id=612&objecti...

Property managers at high-end Auckland apartment buildings are going to desperate lengths to evict illegal brothels.

One said prostitutes were openly soliciting other residents, but she couldn't evict them until they fell behind with their rent.

Others have resorted to shaming clients and calling in police to "muscle out" prostitutes.

Property managers Jacqui Cheal and Larry Dickie, who manage about 80 central city apartments, said it took five months to remove a brothel from an expensive property in the Viaduct Harbour.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/prostitution/news/article.cfm?c_id=612&objecti...

A 2005 report by the Prostitution Law Review Committee estimated there were 423 sex workers in Manukau, of whom 150 were on the street. The report also found that street prostitution was the most likely entry point for underage people to the sex industry.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/prostitution/news/article.cfm?c_id=612&objecti...

"[Street prostitution] has been an ongoing problem since 1998. We've been battling to get them out for a long time - we will continue to battle this," Pakuranga councillor Mr Quax said.

"We tried to bring in a local act, to get prostitutes off the streets in Manukau only - only to be told to that wouldn't work unless it was outlawed.

Mr Banks acknowledged that Manukau City was not the only council battling street prostitution and illegal brothels popping up in various suburban streets throughout the city.

Although he knew of the many problems caused by prostitution - and the dangers prostitutes were inadvertently putting themselves in - he would not judge a person's chosen lifestyle.

"[Street prostitution] isn't going to go away - it will continue to grow and we will have to deal with it."

So much for the prostitution industry in New Zealand not growing:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10597283

It will also discuss an urgent need for research into the high rate of sexually transmitted infections among Asian women because of cultural sexual attitudes and the growing Asian sex worker industry.

...

Angel Zhang, originally from China, has been re-infected with chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection, three times - by her husband - whom she says visits prostitutes regularly.

 

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