Prostitution - Framing the Debate for Decriminalization Part III

129 posts / 0 new
Last post
Infosaturated

As you can see by the links in my previous posts your rosy picture of happy neighbours is not the case.

fortunate wrote:
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?

Not at all. I am saying that other populations are more important than the ones that are currently working out of their homes and are apparently content in their chosen profession.

fortunate wrote:
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.

The practice of not charging the women is based on the notion that most women are involved due to societal pressures or constraints of one form or another. 

Women who don't feel victimized by prostitution get a free pass because of those who are. That doesn't mean the johns should and it doesn't mean that if they are discovered they shouldn't be shut down.

Illegal workers, even when instructed to do something illegal like spread pesticides without proper protective gear, are not charged.  The person that has bought their time and told them what to do is prosecuted. 

Johns, like the person doing the "buying" above, are the ones that get prosecuted.  That doesn't mean that the workers had the "right" to work under the conditions that they did, even if they chose it as a better alternative to whatever else was available to them.

 

Infosaturated

 

fortunate wrote:
What can be more important than that people can be breaking the law doing legal work?   Worker's rights should be just as important as any other.  If you apply a very simple and harmless solution to something that affects 100% of all sex workers, even if the immediate benefit is only seen immediately by 80+%, then these 80+% can now feel empowered to work towards lending their hands to helping that 20%.

That the prostitute isn't charged doesn't make it "legal work".  The john is breaking the law because it isn't "legal work". 

The scenario you paint isn't what happens in practice as can be seen in every single country where prostitution is either decriminalized or legalized. 

Your 80% figure is insupportable however whatever percentage wants to reach out and help others is free to do so right now.  There is nothing at all illegal about that.

10 to 20% of workers are on the street. What percentages are in body rub parlors, escort services or working independently is arguable. The notion that all off-street workers chose the profession of their own free will as adults is definitely not true.

Stargazer

Infosaturated wrote:

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.

 

 

Alan Young is an advocate and an amazing professor. He has always been fighting morality laws. If you are interested in Alan young, Google is your friend, or you might read his book aptly (for this subject) titled Justice Defiled: Perverts, Potheads, Serial Killers and Lawyers. He has been a very very strong advocate of legalizing marijuana. As a former Criminology student I would have jumped at the chance of working with him on any of his projects. He has been an idol of mine for quite some time.

Here is an exert from the back of the book:

Once you recognize the law's destructive potential, keeping the law within the narrow boundaries becomes a political imperative. It should extend only to target behaviour that is seriously harmful to others. It should never be used as a tool of moral hygiene....The state should have nothing to say about our choice of girl- or boyfriends or our choice of diet or our artistic proclivities or our choice of intoxicants. Some people will hump themselves to death or intoxixate themselves into oblivion, but that is no business of the state unless the excess decadence truly hurts an innocent third party...The frnezied crusade to apprehend illegal pleasure-seekers not only fosters violence and corruption, it takes away valuable resources needed to combat serious predatory crime...Thousands of law abiding Canadians get dragged before criminal courts for pursuing alternative lifestyles... (snip) 

copyright 2003

fortunate

Infosaturated wrote:

As you can see by the links in my previous posts your rosy picture of happy neighbours is not the case.

 

I don't recall saying there were happy neighbours, only that they are able to work from home environment legally without fear of breaking a law.  Individuals working out of one location do not need a license, they can also have someone work for them.  This eliminates two of the three laws, and reduces the overall stress of not only working illegally at home but also unable to have a security or friend around to help out.  In NZ, this is perfectly legal.

fortunate wrote:
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?

Not at all. I am saying that other populations are more important than the ones that are currently working out of their homes and are apparently content in their chosen profession.

Yes, I get that these other populations are more important to you personally.  But what about what is more important to the majority, if not all, sex workers?   What can be more important than that people can be breaking the law doing legal work?   Worker's rights should be just as important as any other.  If you apply a very simple and harmless solution to something that affects 100% of all sex workers, even if the immediate benefit is only seen immediately by 85+%, then these 80+% can now feel empowered to work towards lending their hands to helping that 15%.

fortunate wrote:
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.

Quote:

The practice of not charging the women is based on the notion that most women are involved due to societal pressures or constraints of one form or another. 

The practise of not charging the women in these illegal incall locations is based on the cost and time it would take to find them all; I find your use of "most" in this case to be deliberately misleading.  "Most" are not involved due to societal pressure or constraints in any form or other.   "Some" are.   Unless "societal pressure" means all adults need to work to pay our bills, lol.

Quote:

Women who don't feel victimized by prostitution get a free pass because of those who are. That doesn't mean the johns should and it doesn't mean that if they are discovered they shouldn't be shut down.

What do you mean "don't feel victimized"?   Once again your language is trying to imply something that is not true.   If, by what you are saying, that those who say they are not vicitimized are simply misinformed?   Are we not capable of deciding these things for ourselves?  Would you not prefer that the majority of sex workers who are working happily in such a privileged experience not become 100% of all sex workers, such that no one should be compelled or feel compelled?  Does not empowering through acceptance and not labelling us all as "victims" do more to help reduce and eliminate the women and men who are compelled or under duress?   But aren't those already marginalized due to addictions and mental health concerns, and should not those two things be society's main concern right now?  Should we not all be striving towards harm reduction in addictions and drugs and mental health issues instead of attacking a perfectly legal form of work?   Prostitution, usually street work, enables addicts to pay for their drugs.  If they were men, they would break&enter to steal for money for drugs.

Quote:

Illegal workers, even when instructed to do something illegal like spread pesticides without proper protective gear, are not charged.  The person that has bought their time and told them what to do is prosecuted. 

Johns, like the person doing the "buying" above, are the ones that get prosecuted.  That doesn't mean that the workers had the "right" to work under the conditions that they did, even if they chose it as a better alternative to whatever else was available to them.

Johns are purchasing a legal service, provided by sex workers.  The only reason they get arrested right now is that some of them either go to an illegal work place or engage in conversation in public.   That is like saying a hotdog vendor can sell hotdogs, but no one can ask how much they are.  And when the customer buys it, not only can he not eat in public, he will have to rent a hotel room in order to eat it legally.  And in the meantime, he will have to call up the hotdog vendor and have it delivered, and that will make the whole thing not only ridiculous, but at least it will be legal.

martin dufresne

Buying sex from people that have little choice in the matter, and making money off people selling sex, are seriously harmful to people.

 

Stargazer

Oh so that's what you got from that martin? How did I know you would reduce it to a quaint little sound bite? Damn I wish I had the ignore feature.

 

Care to address what Alan Young is actually talking about? Nope? Didn't think so. I think you may be fully incapable of realizing just how pissed off it makes women feel to have a man tell them what they can or cannot do FREELY with their bodies. How about addressing those who chose sex work? Oh right, you don't think they do, right? They are really just fooling themselves, but you...you have the answer and gosh darnit, those women will never sell sex as long as you can stop them.

 

What year is this?

remind remind's picture

"What year is this?"

 

Funny, I askd my daughter that this morning, when I was ranting to her about a few things, including those wanting to spend 100's of millions, if not billions, on creating an industry, for men's liesure time ejaculation purposes.

 

based upon the empty supposition that it will make women's and exploited person's  lives better.

 

not sure how, given the system is patriarchial, and always works to benefit men, and the elite...

 

 

 

martin dufresne

I am quoting Professor Young's most salient point: (The law) should extend only to target behaviour that is seriously harmful to others. I happen to agree with him on that.

But many women who are or have been in prostitution are calling seriously harmful the behaviour of johns, pimps and brothel owners, that traffic women internationally and domestically. I am not ignoring their experience or their words and I am siding with them against these men. Sorry if that "pisses you off," Stargazer, and that you apparently feel the need to repeat that tired straw man argument that would have me "telling women what they can do with their body." Not true, period.

The Cause of Sex Trafficking is the Demand for it.

Just like arms and drug trafficking, human trafficking exists to meet the demand.

An estimated 2 million women and children are held in sexual servitude throughout the world, and between 800,000 and 900,000 are trafficked across international borders for the purposes of sexual exploitation each year. These women and children make up the "supply" side of sex trafficking.

This supply has been created to meet a demand. Without this demand, there would be no need for trafficked women and children. The demand side of the trafficking equation includes those (mostly men) who buy sexual services and/or consumer goods (videos, Internet pornography, etc.) created from the sexual exploitation of trafficked persons. Little attention has been given to the demand created by those people and organizations that benefit from the commercial sexual enslavement of women and children.

To combat sex trafficking, much more information is needed to understand the root causes and conditions that create a need for a supply of trafficked women and children. Without this information, those who are motivated to exploit and use trafficked victims will continue to remain a mystery. By understanding the dynamics of demand, we can develop the legal and political policies necessary to control and end this horrific practice.

 

 

Infosaturated

 

fortunate wrote:
Infosaturated wrote:
The practice of not charging the women is based on the notion that most women are involved due to societal pressures or constraints of one form or another.

I find your use of "most" in this case to be deliberately misleading.  "Most" are not involved due to societal pressure or constraints in any form or other.

I am referring to the logic behind the law not arguing whether or not that is the actual situation. Whether or not it is true that most women are victims, the law is based on holding women innocent and considering prostitution as a crime against them.  The law was not written that way to condone prostitution as a legal form of work.

fortunate wrote:
Infosaturated wrote:

Women who don't feel victimized by prostitution get a free pass because of those who are.

What do you mean "don't feel victimized"? Once again your language is trying to imply something that is not true.

I'm not implying anything. I am saying the law regards prostitutes as victims not perpetrators therefore prostitutes aren't charged even if they themselves don't agree that they are being victimized.

fortunate wrote:
  Should we not all be striving towards harm reduction in addictions and drugs and mental health issues instead of attacking a perfectly legal form of work?

It's not an either or situation. It's disingenuous to claim that because prostitutes aren't arrested for the actual act that prostitution is legal.

If you feel the law needs to be clearer I am all for tightening it up by specifying that the act prostitution in and of itself is illegal on the part of the purchaser.

Stargazer

No one is denying what you have posted. You have been denying that people, men and women, do this job freely and of their own choice. You would like to see that choice taken away.(You can correct me if I'm wrong).

Not one person has said there is no exploitation. Not one. Yet you refuse to see that people are doing this job freely. You'd like them to stop. Can you tell me how, exactly, that doesn't translate into you controlling the bodies of these women and men?

Look, I really understand there is a serious need to get these horrible assholes to not exploit women, men and kids. But when you are dealing with grown women and men who chose this work (and yes, it is work) you have no moral authority to make them stop, or take away their livelihood.

It doesn't have to be an either/or situtation but it seems to me you are advocating tough moral standards on those who wish to do this type of work. In reality everyone is against trafficking of people (men, women and kids) and we all have this as common ground. Instead of trying to take this away from those who chose to do this work we can work together to try to stop exploitaion. Unless you believe that all women who do this are exploited (which is heterosexist and patronizing as well).

Martin, really I am fully behind you on wanting to see the end of exploitation but here's the thing, some people do not feel exploited, and you have to deal with that reality. These peoiple make their living off these jobs, pay their bills, feed their kids, buy their food...you simply cannot and do not have the moral authority to stop people from exercising their freedom of choice, and that is about control martin. It most definitely is.

fortunate

Infosaturated wrote:

 

That the prostitute isn't charged doesn't make it "legal work".  The john is breaking the law because it isn't "legal work". 

The scenario you paint isn't what happens in practice as can be seen in every single country where prostitution is either decriminalized or legalized. 

Your 80% figure is insupportable however whatever percentage wants to reach out and help others is free to do so right now.  There is nothing at all illegal about that.

10 to 20% of workers are on the street. What percentages are in body rub parlors, escort services or working independently is arguable. The notion that all off-street workers chose the profession of their own free will as adults is definitely not true.

Since prostitution, the exchange of sexual acts for $ is legal in Canada, I am assuming that you are describing the ideal world where, like in Sweden, it is illegal?  The percentages are based on a university study that was, not unusual, used in the media recently to grossly exaggerate some std statistics amongs service providers.   How many street workers do you believe are out there?   The outreach vans and workers have a pretty good idea, I am sure.  It would be difficult but not impossible to estimate the number of indoor "privileged" service providers simply by looking at advertisments.  The assumption that they "definitely" did not choose to be there is not true.  "Some" may not, but it would be untrue to imply that they all did not.  Certainly you cannot say that the asian service providers did not choose to be here, as it has been proven over and over that they are not trafficked or tricked into coming here.  There are enough willing service providers in Asia who are happy to come here to make more than they would at home that it is simply unnecessary to "traffick" them.  It is easier to traffick women in countries where prostitution is illegal, because the entire thing is underground and hidden, making it much more easy to keep them under control.

This is another study, which seems to directly contradict what I am hearing here.

http://www.cfenet.ubc.ca/viewMediaRelease.php?id=29&sid=36&nid=66&year=2009

Vancouver, August 12, 2009 – In a study conducted by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and published today by one of the top medical journals, British Medical Journal, researchers demonstrate a direct correlation between Canada’s prostitution laws and the likelihood of violence against female sex workers.

“While there has been a growing body of qualitative evidence documenting the negative impacts of criminalization of prostitution on the health and safety of sex workers, our study demonstrates – empirically – a direct link between the criminalization of sex work and the increased odds of violence against female sex workers,” says Dr. Kate Shannon, the lead author of the study.

 

Isn't it time to address the real issue of actual violence against women, decriminalize the entire issues surrounding prostitution, and stop worrying so much about what might happen?  There are things that are happening with the laws in place that purport to "protect" sex workers.   The fact is that what is happening, for the majority, is pretty good, but it can be better by ridding ourselves of these outdated laws.  Young women today are not victims, they are not stupid, they are not so easy to lure into the trade.  Take a look at the virtually deserted high track down town.  This is more due to the fact that young women are doing it for themselves, than an attempt to move indoors and be controlled there instead.  Men are unable to exert the same power over them the way they once did.   I cannot think of more than a very few clients I have seen who think of themselves as the ones with the power in our relationship.  Sure, in a way that they have the $ and I have the service, but how does that differ from any client-provider relationship regardless of the actual work?  

Myths about prostitution:    www.walnet.org/csis/groups/swav/johnschool/fictionfact.html

FICTION:
Prostitutes are victims.

FACT:
Some "recovery" programs and women's groups like to regard prostitutes as victims, despite the fact that many current and former prostitutes believe themselves to be nothing of the kind. This victim mentality is a convenient way of absolving oneself of blame for making ill-conceived or unwise choices. Typically applied to female rather than male prostitutes, it reinforces the archaic notion that women don't know what's good for them and are incapable not only of making their own decisions, but also of taking responsibility for those decisions.

 

 

Infosaturated

http://www.cfenet.ubc.ca/viewMediaRelease.php?id=29&sid=36&nid=66&year=2009

She needs to review rudimentary principles of science ;

“While there has been a growing body of qualitative evidence documenting the negative impacts of criminalization of prostitution on the health and safety of sex workers, our study demonstrates – empirically – a direct link between the criminalization of sex work and the increased odds of violence against female sex workers,” says Dr. Kate Shannon, the lead author of the study.

Conducted over two years in partnership with the WISH Drop-In Centre Society in Vancouver, the study involved 237 female street-based sex workers. Of the 237 women, 57% experienced some form of physical or sexual violence during the 18-month study period. Key structural factors of homelessness and inability to access drug treatment continue to further elevate the risk of violence against female sex workers. 

Her study doesn't show any causative link between criminalization and and the harms suffered. What the study does prove is that street prostitution is dangerous.  There has been no reduction in streetwork anywhere it has been decriminalized or legalized and no claims that it has become safer. There is evidence that streetwork increases under both.  Sweden has successfully reduced streetwork.

I would very much like to see the "qualitative evidence" she refers to.

fortunate

Infosaturated wrote:

 

It's not an either or situation. It's disingenuous to claim that because prostitutes aren't arrested for the actual act that prostitution is legal.

If you feel the law needs to be clearer I am all for tightening it up by specifying that the act prostitution in and of itself is illegal on the part of the purchaser.

 

The law where?  Prostitution, as defined by the criminal code, is legal.  The law itself could not be any clearer although I do find that the added on laws are confusing.  I understand if you did not realize that prostitution is legal in Canada.  Many sex workers do not understand it either.  Some still believe that they cannot discuss rates and services in a phone conversation, but that too has emphatically been ruled legal.

  Please see my earlier post regarding the effects of making prostitution illegal.  To support illegalization of prostitution means supporting an increase of violence towards women, according to that recent study.  

 

“Prostitution is not illegal in Canada. We find ourselves in an anomalous, some would say bizarre, situation where almost everything related to prostitution has been regulated by the criminal law except the transaction itself.”  Chief Justice Lamer.  Reference re ss. 193 and 195.1 (1)(c) of the Criminal Code.  1990 1 SCR 1123

 

While a variety of venues would qualify as a bawdy-house, Canada's Supreme Court, in 2005, in what was probably an attempt to “keep the state out of the bedrooms of the nation”, excluded private swinger clubs, even when the members engage in orgies within a licensed barBut that case can be distinguished from prostitution as it stated that there was no harm to society in swinger or orgy clubs .

It is important to note, as did Justice Wilson in Reference re ss. 193 and 195.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, that the Code: “does not prohibit prostitution which remains a perfectly legal activity. It does not even prohibit solicitation; it only prohibits solicitation in public places”. 

In addition: 

the Criminal Code has other offenses which suppress prostitution-like activity including the offense of a parent or guardian procuring sexual activity, that of a householder permitting sexual activity and the offense of corrupting children.

http://www.duhaime.org/LegalResources/CriminalLaw/LawArticle-121/Prostit...



martin dufresne

"This victim mentality is a convenient way of absolving oneself of blame for making ill-conceived or unwise choices."

I find this incredibly woman-blaming.

fortunate

Infosaturated wrote:

http://www.cfenet.ubc.ca/viewMediaRelease.php?id=29&sid=36&nid=66&year=2009

She needs to review rudimentary principles of science ;

“While there has been a growing body of qualitative evidence documenting the negative impacts of criminalization of prostitution on the health and safety of sex workers, our study demonstrates – empirically – a direct link between the criminalization of sex work and the increased odds of violence against female sex workers,” says Dr. Kate Shannon, the lead author of the study.

Conducted over two years in partnership with the WISH Drop-In Centre Society in Vancouver, the study involved 237 female street-based sex workers. Of the 237 women, 57% experienced some form of physical or sexual violence during the 18-month study period. Key structural factors of homelessness and inability to access drug treatment continue to further elevate the risk of violence against female sex workers. 

Her study doesn't show any causative link between criminalization and and the harms suffered. What the study does prove is that street prostitution is dangerous.  There has been no reduction in streetwork anywhere it has been decriminalized or legalized and no claims that it has become safer. There is evidence that streetwork increases under both.  Sweden has successfully reduced streetwork.

I would very much like to see the "qualitative evidence" she refers to.

Sweden has simply driven it underground, where no one can be visually impacted or affected by the sight of street workers and thus become offended by their presence.  That is the reality of anti-prostitution laws after all.  

If you need qualitative evidence, then you need to do your research.  You cannot invalidate this study, yet embrace every other one that has nothing to back it up other than it agrees with your own POV.  

Just google Sweden escorts and get:

http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&source=hp&q=sweden+escorts&btnG=Google+Searc...

These new laws certainly don't seem to have affected anything other than what someone can see from their car window.

Infosaturated

fortunate wrote:
  To support illegalization of prostitution means supporting an increase of violence towards women, according to that recent study.

The study referenced is a farce.  Just because someone claims their study proves something doesn't make it true.

The Courts can only rule on what the actual laws state. 

As I mentioned earlier I am all for tightening up the laws concerning prostitution to make it clearer that the government did not intend to legitimize prostitution in creating the laws the way they did.

This makes it clear:

“Prostitution is not illegal in Canada. We find ourselves in an anomalous, some would say bizarre, situation where almost everything related to prostitution has been regulated by the criminal law except the transaction itself.”  Chief Justice Lamer.  Reference re ss. 193 and 195.1 (1)(c) of the Criminal Code.  1990 1 SCR 1123

If the government intended for the laws to reflect that prostitution was an acceptable job in Canada almost everything related to it wouldn't be illegal. Bringing the law in line with the intent of the government would mean changing the law to make it clear that the act of buying sex is illegal not just all the activities around it.

remind remind's picture

Quote:
you simply cannot and do not have the moral authority to stop people from exercising their freedom of choice, and that is about control martin. It most definitely is.

 

Well let's take that out and apply it to the rest of society, and see how it goes, eh. Not to well I would imagine.

 

I would rather take the 100's of millions and most likely billions, it would take to set up a system just for men's leisure time penis activities, and have educational programs, GAI, and rehab programs.

 

 

 

Infosaturated

 

fortunate wrote:
You cannot invalidate this study, yet embrace every other one that has nothing to back it up other than it agrees with your own POV.

The conclusion drawn is automatically invalid based on the most rudimentary scientific principles.

I reject any and all factual claims if the study doesn't support the claims. For example, street-based data cannot be extrapolated to indoor workers.

 

fortunate wrote:
Sweden has simply driven it underground, where no one can be visually impacted or affected by the sight of street workers and thus become offended by their presence.  That is the reality of anti-prostitution laws after all. ...

These new laws certainly don't seem to have affected anything other than what someone can see from their car window.

Street work, which is the most dangerous, has been reduced. Montreal doesn't allow pretzels and hot-dogs to be sold on the streets either.  There is no automatic right to ply one's trade on the streets.

That escort services continue to exist doesn't mean they always will. Many laws aren't 100% effective and I certainly don't think that prostitution will be wiped out anytime soon.  The goal is preventing it from expanding and reducing what already exists.

 

 

martin dufresne

Sweden has simply driven it underground...

This claim - a pseudo evidence-based version of the myth of prostitution's inevitability - comes from some pro-prostitution Swedish people/organizations; it is contradicted by government authorities who speak of a 50% reduction of prostitution and a 90% reduction of trafficking. Indeed, some members of the pro-prostitution lobby are arguing that the law adopted in 1999 is making their jobs more dangerous because the safer "johns" have been scared off, leaving only more dangerous clients for women who want to go on prostituting rather than chosing another employment. The contradiction is obvious: either the demand has "simply been driven underground," or its has been seriously reduced, through education, alternatives and the threat of sanctions for what is merely an opportunistic behaviour.

 

susan davis

martin dufresne wrote:

Sweden has simply driven it underground...

This claim - a pseudo evidence-based version of the myth of prostitution's inevitability - comes from some pro-prostitution Swedish people/organizations; it is contradicted by government authorities who speak of a 50% reduction of prostitution and a 90% reduction of trafficking. Indeed, some members of the pro-prostitution lobby are arguing that the law adopted in 1999 is making their jobs more dangerous because the safer "johns" have been scared off, leaving only more dangerous clients for women who want to go on prostituting rather than chosing another employment. The contradiction is obvious: either the demand has "simply been driven underground," or its has been seriously reduced, through education, alternatives and the threat of sanctions for what is merely an opportunistic behaviour.

 

and perrin and farley's research isn't........?

in kamploops the city officials tols us of how great their programs of arrest and humiliaiton were working and how there had been 85 sex workers on street the year before and now it was down to 72....

when asked where the sex workers went, authorities did not know.....i asked are they dead.....?shorlty after the highway of tears was extneded to kamloops.....

what does decreased numbers mean? are they dead, are they ebing held prisoner?are they forced to take any work they can get in order to eat?

sometimes your short sightedness maked me wonder dude.....

where did these workers go? did they evaporate, were they taken by aliens?

wheres the numbers showing how many sex workers accessed supports, or exited successfully?

martin dufresne

...are they forced to take any work they can get in order to eat?

Respectfully, I think it's the other way around. MANY women and youths are forced into prostitution in order to eat. This is what we need to change through social programs and reforms, not make life even easier for the men and businesses who exploit their poverty and lack of options.

Infosaturated

Some people earn a living smuggling alcohol from the States to Canada. We don't make it legal because that's the way they earn their living or because unemployment exists.

You asked where they went. Maybe they accessed this program.

From Kamloops:

http://www.askwellness.ca/shop.html

The Social and Health Options for Persons in the Sex Trade program is offered in partnership with the Elizabeth Fry Society.  S.H.O.P.is funded through the City of Kamloops and enhanced through generous donations from individuals and organizations such as Kamloops United Way.  Its mission is to provide opportunities for people in the sex trade to exit the trade. This is done in three parts; community development, outreach and support groups.

The Goals of S.H.O.P. are:

  • To assist individuals in exiting the Sex Trade and in maintaining their exit
  • To advance education and prevention
  • To increase community awareness and promote partnerships between sex workers, residents, community groups, businesses and government
  • To improve the health and safety of individuals and our community through crisis intervention and harm reduction strategies

If you have any comments or questions, or would like to get involved, please do not hesitate to contact us. To discuss the community development aspects, volunteering within the S.H.O.P. program or S.H.O.P.’s outreach services, please contact Heidi at 250.376.7558 ext.233 or heidi@askwellness.ca.

edited to shorten the post

fortunate

Infosaturated wrote:

 

The conclusion drawn is automatically invalid based on the most rudimentary scientific principles.

I reject any and all factual claims if the study doesn't support the claims. For example, street-based data cannot be extrapolated to indoor workers.

The claims are actually supported by the actual study lol.  Did you look for the study itself to come to this conclusion?  The researchers were working with sex workers who work under illegal conditions, i.e. street solicitation.  They concluded that this, not street work per se, put the workers at risk.  It was necessary for them to jump into the car to discuss rates, rather than simply staying outside, checking the guy out, discussing $, then deciding to get in or not.  Understand that this was published in a peer reviewed reputable journal, not just someone's personal blog.  There is a huge difference, after all.  I wouldn't want this actual scientific study to be compared to that Farley wacko lol. 

www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/339/aug11_3/b2939

About the British Medical Journal

The BMJ is an international peer reviewed medical journal and a fully “online first” publication. The BMJ’s vision is to be the world’s most influential and widely read medical journal. Its mission is to lead the debate on health and to engage, inform, and stimulate doctors, researchers, and other health professionals in ways that will improve outcomes for patients. It aims to help doctors to make better decisions.

 

fortunate wrote:
Sweden has simply driven it underground, where no one can be visually impacted or affected by the sight of street workers and thus become offended by their presence.  That is the reality of anti-prostitution laws after all. ...

These new laws certainly don't seem to have affected anything other than what someone can see from their car window.

Quote:

Street work, which is the most dangerous, has been reduced. Montreal doesn't allow pretzels and hot-dogs to be sold on the streets either.  There is no automatic right to ply one's trade on the streets.

That escort services continue to exist doesn't mean they always will. Many laws aren't 100% effective and I certainly don't think that prostitution will be wiped out anytime soon.  The goal is preventing it from expanding and reducing what already exists.

As for Sweden, a report from the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police (2004) found that “Sweden’s legal experiment did not greatly reduce the number of women engaging in street sex work. Figures from Stockholm show that the total number of women on the street has remained stable 1999-2003. The report found that during this period street sex workers became more fearful of violence, were pressured to reduce prices and were pressured to engage in unprotected sex.” (Ironically, Norway is now considering the Swedish Model.)

A study by the Sweden’s own National Health and Welfare Board also found that the law had put sex workers at increased danger of violence due to fewer customers to choose from. A study by the Swedish Police Board found that competition for few clients meant that prices dropped and sex workers were more likely not to use condoms or take more clients to try and earn enough money. The same study reported that people in the health care system expressed concern about health getting worse among sex workers.

The police board further mentioned that the law was an obstacle to prosecuting traffickers, since clients, who had previously assisted women and been key witnesses, were no longer willing to come forward since they were considered criminals themselves.

According to 20 Swedish sex workers that Petra Ostegren interviewed, many sex workers have moved to work indoors by placing ads on the internet. However, sex workers in flats complain that they must work alone and face isolation. Ostegren reports that the sex workers who were in the worst conditions to begin with, often drug-users or homeless sex workers, have seen the worst changes since they have remained on the street where conditions have deteriorated the most.

Sex workers report that police in trying to enforce the law swarm the streets where women are working with video cameras, even filming inside cars to find “evidence”. Police have also used condoms “evidence” of prostitution, discouraging both women and customers from carrying them.
What are other “reduce or end-demand” programs?

http://swannet.org/en/node/577

and:

What other groups in Sweden are denied their rights to work in cooperation with others or alone, in safety of their own premises?

Would it be possible to treat other groups of workers, or religious or ethnic minorities like this, without them crying out about discrimination or human right violations?

Petra Ostergren has written an article in English about Sexworkers Critique of Swedish Prostitution Policy. Here are some quotes from that article:

The more vulnerable sexworkers seem to be the ones most negatively affected by the law. Women working on the streets in some bigger cities claim that there is now a greater percentage of ‘perverted’ customers and that the ’’nice and kind’’ customers have disappeared. A ‘perverted’ customer is someone who demands more violent forms of sex, sex with feces and urine and who is more prone to humiliate, degrade and violate the sexworker. He also more often refuses to use condoms.

All of the reports address the problems emerging after the new law was introduced. The National Police Board writes that the sexworkers that are still in street prostitution have a tough time.

The respondents in the National Board of Health and Welfare’s study (of which none are sexworkers themselves) believe female sexworkers now experience more difficulties and are more exposed then before.

http://sensuellqkonsult.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/lies-about-sexwork-in-sweden/

If swedish sex workers, the National Police Board and the National Board of Health & Welfare all agree on one thing: street workers are still out there.   Illegalizing prostitution did not decrease their numbers, but simply moved them somewhere else and increased the danger they are exposed to.

Infosaturated

fortunate wrote:
The claims are actually supported by the actual study lol.  Did you look for the study itself to come to this conclusion?

www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/339/aug11_3/b2939

Conclusions Our results demonstrate an alarming prevalence of gender based violence against female sex workers. The structural factors of criminalisation, homelessness, and poor availability of drug treatment independently correlated with gender based violence against street based female sex workers. Socio-legal policy reforms, improved access to housing and drug treatment, and scale up of violence prevention efforts, including police-sex worker partnerships, will be crucial to stemming violence against female sex workers.

The study did not conclude that criminalization CAUSED the gender-based violence.  They did not suggest that decriminalization would lead to a decrease in violence either. Everyone agrees that street work is dangerous which is the only conclusion that can be drawn from that report.

fortunate wrote:
As for Sweden, a report from the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police (2004) found that “Sweden’s legal experiment did not greatly reduce the number of women engaging in street sex work.

http://tinyurl.com/y8uab35

Page 12 of the actual report states that there was a decrease of 32% in Stockholm, 65% in Gothenburg, and 15% in Malmo for a total reduction of 41% from 1998 to 2003 (in street work)..... (Ironically, Norway is now considering the Swedish Model.)

Maybe not so ironic, and Norway isn't considering, they have done it as have others and with more countries considering it. That report was completed in 2004.

http://sisyphe.org/spip.php?article1424

Interestingly, despite the country’s extensive planning prior to passing the legislation, the first couple years into this novel project nothing much happened at all. Police made very few arrests of johns and prostitution in Sweden, which had previously been legalized, went on pretty much as it had gone on before. Naysayers the world over responded to the much publicized failure with raucous heckling, "See ? Prostitution always has been, and it always will be."  But eminently secure in the thinking behind their plan, the Swedes paid no heed. They quickly identified, then solved the problem. The hang-up, the place where their best efforts had snagged, was that law enforcement wasn’t doing it’s part. The police themselves, it was determined, needed in-depth training and orientation ...

No one expects the laws to change everything overnight.  Reduction has been slow but it is happening and to have stopped the industry from continuing to expand is a success in it's own right. Sweden is also a less attractive target for trafficking. The trend is in the right direction.

The studies by Sweden’s National Health and Welfare Board and the Swedish Police Board weren't  properly cited so I wasn't able to track down the origins of the claims that were made. Given that false claims were made about the studies I did find I have my doubts about these claims which weren't attributed to any particular person or to any dated statement by these organizations.

The claims made about the studies above aren't wrong because the writers were biased, they are wrong because the writers made demonstrably false claims about what the studies indicated. In the first case the study's conclusion was misrepresented and in the second case the data was misrepresented.

To get back to the issue of framing the debate, all studies, pro and con, should be examined for bias and for conclusions that aren't substanciated by the data. But, that a researcher, such as Melissa Farley, is percieved to be biased doesn't automatically invalidate her work.

Caissa

If we are truly talking about framing the debate, I believe the frame for the debate is the right of women to control their bodies. Full stop.

martin dufresne

It's also about men, i.e. our challenging their current right to access/control/pimp women's bodies.

Caissa

Isn't your statement subsumed under mine, Martin?

martin dufresne

I wish it was perceived as such but no, so far, Professor Young is defending as an element of women's control men's hardly challenged privilege to pimp, sell and rent women's body .

Some may remember we have gone down that road before... Thirty years ago, many were arguing against arresting wife batterers, claiming that this detracted from women's agency to remain with these men.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Some may remember we have gone down that road before... Thirty years ago, many were arguing against arresting wife batterers, claiming that this detracted from women's agency to remain with these men.

 

And the solution was to criminalize men marrying women, essentially abolishing marriage.

 

Actually, wait a sec. It was to criminalize BATTERING.

martin dufresne

And to cease focussing exclusively on women's agency in the matter, as was the custom then...

Infosaturated

Caissa wrote:
If we are truly talking about framing the debate, I believe the frame for the debate is the right of women to control their bodies. Full stop.

No one is preventing women from having sex.

Commercial exchanges are a different matter.

If an industry as a whole is deemed to be harmful in various ways then the government can and does step in to regular or even ban a commercial activity.

In the case of prostitution a multitude of harms are evident to anyone who cares to explore the facts.  One of the reasons Norway changed it's mind so dramatically from 2004 to 2009 was due to an increase in trafficking that could not be effectively controlled in any other way.

The harms cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand as a matter of policing or other laws when it places an undue burden on society. So far it has been shown that policing has been ineffective where prostitution has been normalized. The cost of applying the law is too great for it to be effective. 

From 2004 to 2009 Norway saw such an increase in trafficking that they found the only effective means of controlling it was to outlaw the the buying of sex.

Amsterdam found that policing and licencing failed to keep organized crime and trafficking out.

Being part of a society, or even a family, requires trade-offs.  Individual choices are balanced against the common good and the rights of others. 

Women can control their bodies, they can have sex.  Commercialization brings it into the public sphere where citizens have a right to evaluate the harms and benefits to society as a whole as well as to individuals within it.

martin dufresne

Janine Benedet and Trisha Baptie discussing Professor Young's all-or-nothing shell game and questions of legacy to our children, in a video done by student journalists at BCIT who came to cover the announcement of Vancouver's Abolition Coalition.

remind remind's picture

Caissa wrote:
If we are truly talking about framing the debate, I believe the frame for the debate is the right of women to control their bodies. Full stop.

 

Nonsense, absolute nonsense.

 

This is about the right of men to have dixie cup women,  instead of magazines, for a leisure time ejaculation response.

 

Please do stop stealing my agency, for your men's personal agenda.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
And to cease focussing exclusively on women's agency in the matter, as was the custom then...

 

That's correct. We started to focus on the men battering women.

 

Not the men NOT battering women, please note.

 

It's a shame that a similar approach won't satisfy abolitionists, who seem to feel a need to focus not only on the men assaulting or harming sex workers, but also on those who aren't.

 

I'm glad abolitionists weren't around back in the day, or I expect a lot of men would find themselves lumped in with the batterers (especially if Sweden is doing it!!)

Caissa

Has anyone ever told you how incredibly rude you can be, Remind?

It appears worse to me since the implementation of a no suspension rules. Someone less cynical than me might think it was coincidental.

Now can we actually debate these issues without all of this personal nonsense? Or should I suggest how ironic it is that someone wants to deny her sisters personal agency?

Michelle

remind wrote:

Please do stop stealing my agency, for your men's personal agenda.

This is a personal attack and out of line.  Don't.

remind remind's picture

care to explain how it is michelle?

 

seriously, i would like to know....

 

how it is any different than what stargazer and others accuse martin of all the time for example.....but yet no exception is taken to the very same comments being said to martin....

I do not see caissa telling stargazer she is rude......

 

Nor do i see you telling stargazer that she is  personally attacking martin....when she tells him he is stealing her personal agency to do with her body what she wants.

 

why is that? I can slap up a bunch of quotes where she says much worse about martin, and not one person made a comment to her about her rudeness, nor the personal attack.

 

So are we back to double standards here again?

martin dufresne

Has anyone ever told you how incredibly rude you can be, Remind?

Actually, this could serve as a textbook example of a personal attack.
May I plead, for remind, the shock effect of being subjected to continuing sacasm on an allegedly progressive board, for trying to oppose conditions widely acknowledged to be akin to slavery for millions of women and children worldwide?

Ghislaine

martin dufresne wrote:

Has anyone ever told you how incredibly rude you can be, Remind?

Actually, this could serve as a textbook example of a personal attack.

May I plead, for remind, the shock effect of being subjected to continuing sacasm on an allegedly progressive board, for trying to oppose conditions widely acknowledged to be akin to slavery for millions of women and children worldwide?


Ok, this has got to stop. TRAFFICKING and anything NON-CONSENSUAL should remain illegal. However, there are women who want to choose to be sex workers.
Why deny them that right? And yes, saying you will not arrest them, but will arrest their clients is denying them consensual agency. Why call something consensual slavery? Why maintain that women should not be allowed to consent to something that they want to do?

rework

"act prostitution in and of itself is illegal on the part of the purchaser."
That's news to a hole wack of dudes that call a girl over to their hotel room !

Can we concede that, since tthere are different kinds of sex workers/prostitutes, that there are also different types of client/johns (with various reasons/excuses) ?
Any John surveys, anywhere ?
Ever heard of White Knights, Lap Dogs ?
(This is part of the "client voice")

If one thinks that it is "all" about mens dicks, then ignore the following.

Google: sex surrogate (notice the difference between U.S. and Canada)
(dont want to be "the test case")
? What is this society really doing for the disadvantaged, marginalized.
Wealth Redristribution (care to part with some of yours for the greater good) ?

(I am all for serious, respectful debate. If I'm rehashing what has already been said, or getting off topic, just say so)

 

Infosaturated

Snert wrote:
It's a shame that a similar approach won't satisfy abolitionists, who seem to feel a need to focus not only on the men assaulting or harming sex workers, but also on those who aren't.

The men are feeding an industry that results in harm to large numbers of women therefore whether or not they percieve themselves to have harmed a particular woman the demand results in more women being harmed.

The "harmless john" also doesn't know if the woman he is using is in the business due to previous abuse or if she is being coerced by another man. Also, the effects of PDSD and depersonalization are cumulative not due to a single incident.

Caissa

Martin, I asked a simple question after being rudely attacked. We all know the difference between a question and a statement, correct? The attack I received was in response to a clear, succinct, emphatic statement of what I believe is the framework. Now are there questions which need to be addressed within the framework? Of course, they are but the personal attacks taking place around here lately sure aren't allowing that to happen.

remind remind's picture

Made all the more amazing, as it is the feminist forum, where i should feel safe to say, that I feel some men are trying to steal my personal agency by their insisting that this is a women's personal agency issue.

 

It isn't. Full stop.

 

but it is the new and improved rabble, where men can tell feminists that anti-pimp, and anti-exploitation laws, impinge on our rights to self determine.

 

How freaking trivializing and patriarchial can we get here?

 

I do not have to accept, nor does any woman, a man telling us he knows what is right for my personal agency....just as stargazer does not

 

no difference, just opposite sides of the coin, eh!

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

The men are feeding an industry that results in harm to large numbers of women therefore whether or not they percieve themselves to have harmed a particular woman the demand results in more women being harmed.

 

Nonsense. If a man pays for sex and is respectful about it, the only thing being "harmed" is the moral fibre of society. He's not "feeding an industry", though he may be feeding her.

 

But as long as you can manufacture some nebulous "harm" that he's doing then you can criminalize him. I'd suggest you keep looking.

Infosaturated

Ghislaine wrote:
Ok, this has got to stop. TRAFFICKING and anything NON-CONSENSUAL should remain illegal. However, there are women who want to choose to be sex workers.

Why deny them that right? And yes, saying you will not arrest them, but will arrest their clients is denying them consensual agency.


Because other countries have tried policing and not been able to control trafficking and the involvement of organized crime and a multitude of other harms associated with the industry.

Society is not morally bound to spend untold amounts of money on policing and other costs associated with prostitution so that some women can choose it at the direct expense of other women.

Barring pretzel sellers on the streets of Montreal is also "denying them consensual agency" by your definition.

Nothing prevents women from having sex with men. Their personal agency remains intact.

It is valid for the state to evaluate businesses based on their impact on government costs and on harm to the community or to individuals.

Snert Snert's picture

OK, here's what's left of the abolitionist argument at this point:

"Blah blah greater good harm harm PROSTITUTED blah blah Sweden Sweden Sweden Sweden greater good mucous membranes".

Caissa

I suppose Remind, if Martin and I stayed out of these debates in the Feminist Forum you would have your saw-off.

I won't even start on how #93 is a gross misre[presentation of anything that I have written.

remind remind's picture

At least martin did not ever once make a blatent statement that he believed abolition was mandatory to women's self determination rights.

 

Men stating in the feminist forum, that they "believe" they know the truth of it all, and this whole thing is about the right of women to control their body, full stop,  as your quote below says, then it is patriarchial and insulting You also said full stop, thus meaning no discussion beyond that need exist, only you know what  the reality is in otherwords, not me, a woman, nor any other women who sees it differently than you.

 

Caissa wrote:
If we are truly talking about framing the debate, I believe the frame for the debate is the right of women to control their bodies. Full stop.

 

My words are not a gross exaggeration of your words as they stand, if you meant other, perhaps you should have expressed it differently?

 

And standing in my rights to freedom of conscience of what my beliefs are in this matter as a woman, and a feminist  in the feminist forum, does not indicate rudeness, nor a personal attack, when I challenge  your assessment and pronunciation on it, as a man.

 

Should martin have been running around yelling  rude personal attacks in the feminist forum too, when stargazer too stood up for what she believes to be the truth in this?

 

Infosaturated

Snert wrote:
Nonsense. If a man pays for sex and is respectful about it, the only thing being "harmed" is the moral fibre of society. He's not "feeding an industry", though he may be feeding her.

Many women have stated that no matter how "respectful" a man is they have suffered emotional harm from having to pretend that they enjoy what the john is doing to them and that the experience was dehumanizing and the harm was collective not due to a single incident.

Lots of people drink and drive and get home in one piece without hurting anyone. It doesn't give them the right to drink and drive because statistically it increases the risk of accidents. 

Regardless of various forms of regulation prostitution has remained impossible to control effectively leading to negative outcomes for many women and for society in general.  The rights of those women who want to be prostitutes do not supercede the rights of other women nor the rights of citizens who would be forced to endure the fall-out.

Reducing demand through criminalizing johns has been successful in preventing the expansion of the industry which invariably leads to more women being harmed by it among other problems.  Increased demand has been shown to result in the growth of trafficking and organized crime regardless of policing.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Regardless of various forms of regulation prostitution has remained impossible to control effectively leading to negative outcomes for many women and for society in general. 

 

Same with marriage. Martin mentioned batterers above; they still exist. We (I pray) aren't tempted to criminalize marrying a woman in order to stop battering. Somehow we remain committed to addressing batterers as the problem, not marriage and not all men.

 

Look harder.

Pages

Topic locked