many of the "sex worker rights" activists are really pimps
Dear Anti-Prostitution Feminists,
I think this is important to mention this to you. As this type of information might need to become even more public:
Please check out this F-word comment thread:
Douglas Fox, a man who frequently hangs out with the few vocal pro-prostitution women over the net, a man who keeps pretending to be a "sex worker who defends sex workers' rights" was discovered to be an escort service agency manager as the above F-word comment thread concerning prostitution legislation (in the UK) went along.
Fox is an activist from the International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW), a pro-prostitution organization.
Cath Elliot, a blogger who participated in the thread has already wrote a post on her blog about this pro-prostitution con today:
The pimp's allies are of course the usual suspects: The men and the few vocal women who keep defending prostitution online.
One of my friends, Delphyne, participated in the F-word thread (during the last two days) with other radical feminists and she helped with doing some research which eventually led to this disclosure of the "sex work" advocates' scam...
She helped bringing the truth (about who Fox is) to the open.
Now some people are starting to question what's behind the pro-prostitution agenda.
Greenconsciousness notes: I always said it was funded by pimps, the porn industry and in the US, the Nevada mob. They employ women to be advocates and front for them.
Please, if you have got a bit of time, check out this thread It is definitely worth reading.
Although being constantly shouted at, patronized and insulted (in a thinly veiled way) by the pro-prostitution commenter's (the pro-pimp lobby), the radical feminists who commented on the F-word blog all apparently did a great job defaming a pimp.
And they kept screaming their rage, making it clear that no woman was put on this earth to be bought, sold and abused by pimps/johns.
Hoping you're finding this information helpful.
Greenconsciousness Notes: Go to the green column and click on "crush porn" for my position on the porn issue. Be sure to read the comments.
There is a new comment on the post "The great IUSW con".
Author: JENNIFER DREWComment: Yes indeed these facts concerning IUSW need a wider readership because IUSW and ECP are now apparently the 'voices of prostituted women.' So how come Johns, pimps, brothel owners one and all are and can be be members of IUSW. Do all these individuals actually perform sexual services for the male buyers? Do the aforementioned really engage in the day to day routine work of making their bodies available for Johns to masturbate into. Of course not but who cares as long as IUSW can claim 'we are the voice of prostituted women.' Coyote was discredited and it is high time IUSW and ECP were also discredited. Ah but I am forgetting one important thing - IUSW promotes that mythical idea 'free choice.' The idea majority of prostituted women are 'choosing to enter prostitution' and so this negates any male violence inflicted on the women. So are GMB being fooled because the evidence clearly points that way. I always thought unions were created for workers not bosses and owners but now that is so passe - now anyone can join - worker or boss! Reminds me of The Emperor's Clothes - you can fool people most of the time but sometimes a dissenter appears.
JENNIFER DREW said:
The government's proposals in respect of criminalising men who buy prostituted women who are being controlled by pimps and brothel owners does not go far enough. The government is trying to have it both ways by criminalising certain men whilst simultaneously believing it is acceptable for other men to buy women's bodies for sexual exploitation.
The government should have adopted the Swedish model and made it a criminal offence for anyone who attempts to buy women and girls for commercial sexual exploitation. Despite claims to the contrary the Swedish models is working very effectively and it has had a serious effect on men's perceived right of sexual entitlement to women's and girls' bodies. The Swedish model provides support and assistance to prostituted women in order to enable them to exit prostitution. If we truly believe women and girls are human beings then prostitution in itself is a abuse of women's and girls' human rights. No amount of legislation will abolish prostitution totally but certainly the Swedish model takes the stance that men are not entitled to buy womens' and girls' bodies.
Much is made of so-called 'free choice' but I have yet to see vast numbers of men entering prostitution since it is supposedly 'just another job.' Ignoring the gendered division of how power operates serves to ensure there must always be a certain group of women and girls made available for men to sexually exploit and rape.
This actually feeds into the following article wherein 'rape is not rape' when it is seen as acceptable for men to rape unconscious women because these women have consumed alcohol. It is all about male beliefs in sexual entitlement and sexual access to women and girls.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 1:26 PM
I would like to know more about this ‘underground’ where actually, even groups working towards prostitution legalization have had to admit there is no evidence of an increase in underground prostitution since 1999. The best they can say is that there's not enough information, but nothing has shown numbers of underground, trafficking, or other organized criminal prostitution rising and it is clear that trafficking into Sweden has decreased dramatically. If something is pushed so far ‘underground’ that specialized police officers and intelligence cannot find them I hesitate to believe that the regular John on the street would have that much success.
Surely there becomes some sort of tipping point where an ‘underground’ becomes unable to remain hidden? (musing here) I’m thinking of the tight gun laws that we have here in the UK. Is there an underground market well yes I’m sure there is but I hesitate to believe that it has spiraled out of control because of our stringent laws.
Oh, and I agree with Jennifer.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 2:55 PM
Renegade Evolution said:
The flaws with this plan or those similar to the models in Sweden and Scotland is that it really doesn't deter men who are determined or truly feel entitled to pay to abuse someone, it merely drives the whole prostitution even further underground. Countless Swedish sex workers have discussed how these sorts of laws have made their lives far more difficult and dangerous: the men now coming to them have no fear of the law and are more violent and demand unsafe sex, they can no longer work together or in pairs and feel unsafe, refusal to testify results in deportation...and they feel no safer going to the police when wronged. That doesn't sound like much of an improvement to me, really.
New Zealand and parts of Austraila have far more reasonable models in place.
It also seems to me time and money might be better spent going after criminals like the traffickers.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 2:57 PM
Jennifer - I understand you want to protect women who are there either against their will and / or who are very vulnerable. However, I believe these laws will in fact let these women down badly.
For example, making kerb crawling punishable as a first offense will make both clients and workers very nervous. On one hand, yes - men may indeed think twice about doing it. On the other hand, which I believe is more realistic, women will be forced to make hasty decisions in order to get the money that they need. I'm sure we're in agreement that sex workers / prostitutes, whether they choose the job or not, are very vulnerable and the last thing they need is to be rushed into making the decision whether or not to get into a car with a man.
Closing down brothels mean that 'indoor sex workers will be forced out into the street, increasing their vulnerability greatly. As I've said, the kerb crawling law will let them down even further.
As for the Swedish model working effectively - I can show you statistics that suggest assaults on street sex workers have doubled in Scotland with these same laws.
'Free choice' - well, so far I've said very little about the women who freely choose to be in the industry and do have certain privileges that will mean they are a little more protected. I've avoided writing about this because I feel it would be getting into an ideological war. For example, you see prostitution as exploitation and men buying women's bodies. I don't believe prostitution is necessarily violent, I believe bad laws and social attitudes are what breeds this violence, and I see prostitution (done freely) as selling a service.
However, I'm not sure that debating these is useful right now. We're both completely convinced that ideologically we are right, and I'm certain neither of us will be persuaded to accept the other's argument. What is utterly indesputable is that violence against sex workers happen. What is also indesputable is that sex workers face a disproportionate amount of violence. It is these facts that need to be addressed, and I don't think debating ideology does this. I think if prostitution was to be decriminalised, this wouldn't be an ideological victory for me or a defeat to you. I don't see this law as an ideological defeat, hence I have so far said very little about it. I see this law as letting down women, some vulnerable, some very vulnerable, who are legally forced to become more so. What makes it worse is that the police (see comments from Alan Gibson) do not think these laws are even enforceable, so what these laws will bring is a climate of fear. Sex workers don't need that.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 3:33 PM
I too don't get how this makes life more dangerous for sex workers.Surely if *selling* sex is not a criminal act, if a punter does assault or rape a worker, they have nothing to fear in reporting it? They pay *tax* in Sweden.
I'm not buying that this legislation *would* decrease demand because sex workers live in fear of punters being arrested, either; even with the best will in the world, police can't catch every offender, or even most offenders...can't see them being bothered really when there are murderers and armed robbers out there.
Not to mention the 'controlled for another's gain' caveat. All she has to do is show she is willingly doing sex work.
The 'but this will make sex workers' lives less safe' argument seems pretty unthinking to me.
Sex workers who genuinely want to be doing sex work and punters who respect and treat them like human beings have nothing to fear, really.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 4:18 PM
I’ll use Glasgow here as an example as Scotland is mentioned and I have several years experience of working with this group (including other Scottish cities) within an ’exit’ programme. Strathclyde Police estimates that 1,400 women are involved in street prostitution in Glasgow (Strathclyde Police Intelligence, Crime Management figures and Base 75). It is widely acknowledged that approximately 95% are using illicit drugs, mostly heroin. Some of the major issues around in these women’s lives are: PovertyDrug/Alcohol useInvolvement in the Criminal Justice systemHomelessness/Housing problemsPrevious/Current experience of sexual /emotional abuse and violenceEmotional instability/mental Health problems including attempted suicideLow educational Achievement/UnemploymentYoung People at Risk
It is recognised that violence, experience of abuse, poverty and drugs are at the root of street prostitution in Glasgow. Women are involved in prostitution because of their need to fund drug use and because they have no other viable means of earning the amount of money which they require, through legitimate pursuits. There is overwhelming evidence that the money which women make in prostitution primarily goes straight to those supplying drugs and that women themselves do not benefit apart from ensuring their own and their partner’s drug supply. Indicators show that women in Glasgow are likely to be amongst the most disadvantaged of any population in the U.K. (According to the Scottish Area Deprivation Index).
Now, these issues don’t speak of autonomy or of exercising agency, they speak of abject poverty and disadvantage where other concerns aside, 95% of prostituted women in Glasgow are addicted to heroin. We have to stop papering over the cracks and several reports have recognised a need for a co-ordinated and proactive approach. We need to develop a Social Inclusion Partnership proposal in order to provide a strategic partnership to develop policy and practice required to address prostitution issues in areas such as this, to develop a co-ordinated and proactive response by partner agencies, and to establish an intervention team to assist women exiting prostitution and to inform mainstream policy and practice within the city. The last thing the vast majority of prostituted women in Glasgow need is re-invented and sanitized legal prostitution. Yes, I agree safety is a genuine concern but can anyone see how within this instance at least ‘safety’ is a smokescreen for the enormous social and personal issues that need addressing. And this is without addressing the positive ideological messages that the proposed laws will engender.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 4:24 PM
I'm wondering if anyone has bothered to read Caroline's piece about prostitution in Scotland.
More recommended reading, oh, from and about actual Swedish Sex Workers right here: http://sensuellqkonsult.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/lies-about-sexwork-in-sweden/
And hummm..."Sex workers who genuinely want to be doing sex work and punters who respect and treat them like human beings have nothing to fear, really."
Really? Spoken like someone I suspect has never done the job. Doing sex work, willingly or not, in an atmosphere where any part of it is illegal makes it a bit scary...being arrested and having a record is not fun, nor is seeing your potential income arrested.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 4:34 PM
Jennifer Drew: the people who are saying that there is a problem with the Swedish model are (getting their information from) the Swedish sex workers themselves, rather than official statistics.
MB: I was going to use the example of gun control myself. Here's why: 1/. did you know that the number of gun-related homicides in the UK increased by 50% in the year after the ban was introduced? 2/. do you think that gun owners with criminal intent would have cared one jot when the ban came into force, or would have disposed of any of their guns? Same principle with prostitution: the law-abiding, safer, less abusive clients who care about the law might very well stop going to see prostitutes. But the criminally-minded, violent, unsafe, potential-murder/rapist clients obviously don't care what the law says. Those are the ones who will keep on going to see prostitutes.
Which leads to
Cara: As pointed out above, if the only clients available are likely to be the type that is more violent, more likely to murder you, etc, then the business becomes more dangerous, because you still need to see at least as many clients in order to make a living. Furthermore, with a smaller number of clients in total, but still the same number of prostitutes working, market forces dictate that by the law of supply and demand, prices will fall. Equally, there will be market pressure to provide more services, including ones that one is reluctant or even loath to perform - or else find oneself with no income at all.
As for, "all she has to do is is show she is willingly doing sex work", this is no protection at all for the client - after all, whatever proof is shown might be faked by an abusive pimp, and Jacqui Smith's proposed new law means that however convincing the evidence shown to persuade the client that the sex worker is willing, he is still liable - there is NO room for "reasonable belief" or any other such caveat. He is taking the same risk whether she "shows willing" or not.
MB again: You rightly cite the many problems that afflict the lives of sex workers in many cities (not just Glasgow). However, when you say, "The last thing the vast majority of prostituted women in Glasgow need is re-invented and sanitized legal prostitution." I think there are two problems with it: 1/. "prostituted women" is not the same as "all prostitutes" (ask Renegade Evolution about the distinction between the two terms). 2/. The women whose problems you've described most certainly don't need to be stigmatised, made vulnerable to assault, rape, and murder - and ANY system other than decriminalisation only serves to perpetuate that vulnerability and that stigma. for instance, how many of the problems you cite (e.g. "involvement with the criminal justice system", "unemployment") are directly related to the legal status of prostitution (i.e. the fact that it is criminalised)? How many are factors that are largely unaffected by the legal status of prostitution, but are symptomatic of wider problems (e.g. "homelessness", "poverty", "lack of education") that could be solved without criminalising these people?
Legal sanctions against prostitution, whether they ostensibly target the clients or the sex workers, only serve to exacerbate the problems you cite (especially, "Emotional instability/mental health problems"). The very first step to helping these people is to make sure they have nothing to hide - and as long as prostitution is treated as a criminal issue, they will always have to hide - either themselves, or else their clients (who may or may not be "paying abusers").
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 7:46 PM
Cara - sex workers unions have said very clearly that these laws will endanger them, have a look at this press release from the IUSW -
I'm wondering why you think this argument is "unthinking", this is a very important consideration that isn't being taken into account.
MB - I'm not arguing about autonomy with you. I don't have to argue about autonomy in this thread because I haven't used autonomy as an argument against Jacqui Smith's proposals, in everything I've written about Jacqui Smith's proposals I've focussed on women working in the industry who are considerably less privileged than the sex workers portrayed in the media, and women who are forced in the industry. As I've said, these are the women who will be most badly affected by the laws if they come through, their lives will be put at risk, risk of sexual assault will only be a part of it. Those statistics you've quoted and the major issues you've highlighted make me all the more determined to fight against Jacqui Smiths proposals. As I say, they'll be the ones worst off in all of this.
As for solutions - I do think decriminalisation and regulation will be a step towards helping the women who most need it. I don't think for a minute it will solve the issues you've outlined, but I do believe that at the very least they are entitled to a safe working environment. SCOT-PEP (who I assume you're familiar with if you've worked in an exit programme) talk about "health, dignity and human rights" within sex work - I think decriminalisation that will help with this.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 7:58 PM
Snowdrop: VERY well said.
Posted on 06 January 2009 at 8:11 PM
Renegade Evolution - I've never been a cleaner either, so I can't possibly comment on whether a cleaner is exploited or not...?
Caroline - oooh, yes, a union for the protection of pimps and other abusers, how convincing.And - because it *is* unthinking.
What part of: prostitution. will. not. be. a crime. do you all not understand?
'As for, "all she has to do is is show she is willingly doing sex work", this is no protection at all for the client - after all, whatever proof is shown might be faked by an abusive pimp, and Jacqui Smith's proposed new law means that however convincing the evidence shown to persuade the client that the sex worker is willing, he is still liable - there is NO room for "reasonable belief" or any other such caveat. He is taking the same risk whether she "shows willing" or not.'This is rubbish. The burden of proof in law is on the prosecution. It would have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the sex worker *was* coerced.
I have not seen any convincing argument for, or evidence that this new law would in fact harm sex workers. As I said in my post, they have *more* redress to the law, and less fear of being prosecuted themselves.
And there *are* no 'decent' men who visit prostitutes, because decent men don't. There are merely greater and lesser degrees of abusiveness and misogyny. Don't try to tell me that there would suddenly be an explosion in abuse of prostitutes by nasty customers. There isn't a binary division between 'good' and 'bad' johns.
As for demand falling, *I don't care*. In fact if it leads to some sex workers exiting the trade, great, I'm ecstatic.Those women who willingly work in the sex trade, by definition, have a choice and skills, and can find some other kind of work. I don't have a problem if they eventually decide to do so. *I* don't have a right to a job if demand for my skills falls, due to economic or other reasons, nor does anyone; you find something else, that's life.
If you are going to argue that many sex workers love it and are making a free choice and all, and are not abused, these are the 'high end' girls who can pick and choose customers, work out of their own home or somewhere else safe anyway. I do not see that their clients would suddenly all run away in fear - by definition, most johns aren't the type of people who care about what the law says overly anyway. They won't be forced to go from servicing nice polite clean johns in a warm flat for large sums of money, to selling blow jobs for a tenner on the street!As for the police investigating, don't make me laugh - in the UK they often don't come if your home has been burgled.
It's the addicts, the desperate, those who have probably been abused in childhood or by partners, those with few qualifications and so on, as MB says. who I care about. Legalisation would only condemn them to continue in the trade. However sanitised you make brothels, you've still got to admit it is mostly the desperate and vulnerable women who would be attracted to this line of work. Prostitution is inextricably linked to drug trade and other organised crime.
Making sex work acceptable would only reduce their chances of getting out, hey, nothing wrong with sex work, so it's easy to say there's nothing wrong with drug addicted, vulnerable women being trafficked, or exploited. Seeing sex work as acceptable makes it easier to be blind to women who are not willingly doing this work. Because sex workers don't divide neatly into the 'trafficked' and the 'totally love my career, yays'.Exit programmes would be reduced or die out altogether; unemployed women could even be required to go into sex work or lose jobseekers' allowance.
The 'right' of a tiny minority of sex workers who claim to enjoy the work is way down my list of priorities below women who do *not* want to be sex workers and are abused daily. This law would actually *help* them to get out of prostitution.
I am with MB and Jennifer.
'It is all about male beliefs in sexual entitlement and sexual access to women and girls.' Exactly.
From Gregory Carlin
Irish Anti-Traficking Coalition
"Where on our website does it say anything about having sex?" asked
Douglas, one half of Newcastle's premier executive escort agency"
So no sex, and therefore no sex worker credentials!
I targeted Jerome Brennn for years, and eventually he went to prison
for trying to procure children for a le chic enterprise in Spain.
I target all the pedophiles and pimps using Jobcentre.
"Douglas's attitude to the cover story seemed to be one of weary
exasperation. Of course they're going to have sex, his expression
said, but if we talked honestly about it I might be busted for
immoral earnings and the police would have to waste time pushing
working girls back on to the street. John's denial, though, was much
more interesting: an odd hybrid of legalistic game-playing and
genuine psychological resistance to the notion that he was selling
sex. It wasn't that he didn't know perfectly well what was going on
(otherwise why squirm so uncomfortably about the headmaster who rang
up requesting the youngest escort on the books to dress up as a schoolgirl?"
I congratulate the radical feminists on this blog who are following
in the footsteps of Andrea Dworkin
A pimp has to be lucky always, we only have to be lucky once.
Irish Anti-Traficking Coalition