AmnestyInternational Prostitution

(600 Posts)
JuliaScurr Sun 13-Apr-14 11:57:41

Please tweet #Amnesty agm in support of Nordic Model
Pimps out in force

CaptChaos Sun 13-Apr-14 12:38:25

Have done. I await the usual pasting from the anti-woman quarter. Ah well, I can easily avoid Twitter for a couple of days smile

CaptChaos Sun 13-Apr-14 14:48:04

Didn't take them long... thank the goddess for the block button!

soxuhupe Sun 13-Apr-14 14:50:50

Who do you mean by "pimps"? A lot of the supporters are prostitutes and ex-prostitutes.

Anyway Anmensty UK have just voted in favour of decriminalization. Good to see they actually listened to those involved in the industry.

soxuhupe Sun 13-Apr-14 14:51:36

A lot of the supporters are prostitutes and ex-prostitutes.

Supporters of decrim and Amnesty's stance I meant. Not the nordic model.

JuliaScurr Sun 13-Apr-14 15:15:51

yes, I know. Also a lot of ex-prostitutes support Nordic Model.
Some miners formed the UDM in the 84 strike. They were wrong. Their actions did not only affect them, but the entire workers movement and it still does. Same principle applies here

soxuhupe Sun 13-Apr-14 15:35:46

"Also a lot of ex-prostitutes support Nordic Model. "

Why would a prostitute support something that enables the police to take their children off them or take their home off them (even if they own it)?

It was a depressing day. Lots of well meaning people just not getting what they were agreeing to. The yes vote to 'no position' at least makes me think we will still be talking about this next year.

CaptChaos Sun 13-Apr-14 16:00:39

Ugh.

Well, that's the end of my time supporting AI.

They are only interested in the 'human rights' of 49% of the world's population.

I think I might hide this thread now. Don't think I can cope with another 1000 posts of men telling me that I'm wrong for thinking that they shouldn't be able to use women as wank socks; 'happy hookers' telling women who are being forced to do this that everything's amazing.... while women I admire and respect try and show them that women are people too.

I can't say that I'm too surprised by the outcome though.

soxuhupe Sun 13-Apr-14 16:02:40
CaptChaos Sun 13-Apr-14 16:05:22

A good decision for sexworkers though.

Unless they are the prostituted woman type of sex worker.

Been here, discuss this.

Welcome to MN Sox, it's almost like you just registered to tell the stupid wimmin how wrong they are. You forgot the numbers after your name though. Schoolboy error.

WhentheRed Sun 13-Apr-14 18:06:43

What happened at the vote?

There was a significant, vocal and articulate group of sex workers who spoke in favour of full decriminalisation.

They made western feminists sound privileged and out of touch.
They quoted African sex workers union and other sex worker groups as being in favour of decriminalisation.

Basically they said 'we speak for sex workers, listen to us, we want decriminalisation'. It was quite compelling and very frustrating to hear.

Finally the AGM voted in support of two opposing motions, one to campaign for decriminalisation and one that amnesty should have no stance as there are more critical human rights issues.

Basically they are at square one but the Nordic model was soundly defeated.

It was very badly set up though and no one really got much chance to really pitch and explain the Nordic model because by the time it got to plenary it was just 'please god don't vote full decrim'.

Even I was left worrying that we were doing whatever the rich world to poor world version of 'mansplaining' is.

soxuhupe Sun 13-Apr-14 19:34:36

"Unless they are the prostituted woman type of sex worker."

If by "prostituted" you mean forced then I disagree. I don't see how the Nordic model would help any prostitute regardless if he/she is consenting or trafficked.

In fact given the negative aspects of the law it might actually affect trafficked prostitutes the worst.

Under the nordic model it is not illegal to sell sex per se but there is more to it- a sex worker in Sweden still commits a crime if works with another worker for example (ie "running a brothel"), and sex workers risk losing their home if they are caught using it to sell sex from (even if they own it). And they are treated pretty much like victims of self-harm and poor-parents and risk losing their kids.

soxuhupe Sun 13-Apr-14 21:37:39

Try applying the logic of the nordic model to other jobs which carry a risk of violence and you can see how absurd it really is:

Taxi driving is a job which carries a high risk of assault/robbery, so imagine a law that makes it illegal to pay for a fare. Under this law taxi drivers wouldn't be committing a crime just for taking fares, but they would risk having their taxi, home and kids taken off them (which supporters of the law don't seem to have any problem with). Giving advice to taxi drivers on how to stay safe from potential violent clients would be banned as giving advice would be "facilitating a violent crime".

When discussing proposals for the law taxi drivers and their passengers would be excluded from the consultation as they would have a "vested interest". The decision to implement criminalizing paying for a fare would be made by people with zero knowledge of the taxi industry other than something they read online.

soxuhupe Sun 13-Apr-14 21:39:26

And why not implement the system for trades where people are trafficked?

www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/01/india-tea-firms-urged-tackle-slave-traffic-plantations

There are slaves on tea plantations, so why not make it illegal to pay for a cup of tea as this "creates demand"? After all tea isn't a need and noone has a "right" to drink tea.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Apr-14 23:52:43

Don't be a dick, sox.

aformersexworker Mon 14-Apr-14 00:10:09

Now who would like to be the first to call me a pimp?

grin)

Sexworkers are mostly mums selling what is honestly theirs to sell (and it is not easy work, a lot of crimes are far easier if you do not have a conscience) to keep their homes and families together and give them the best possible life...

...anyone have a problem with that?

...anyone have a problem with acknowledging it is a tough row to hoe and giving then all the support needed to make that as easy, safe and painless as possible for as long as they need it to be?

...anyone want to force them all into sink estates on below subsistence welfare then take their children away for forcible adoption when those children freak out completely exiled from everything they have ever known and loved in their short lives, their pets, their friends, their school?

aformersexworker Mon 14-Apr-14 00:22:24

Must get the hang of these smileys...the last was grotesque (but kinda funny smile )

"Unless they are the prostituted woman type of sex worker."

I have only met what would meet my criteria for a forced and preyed upon sex worker a couple of times in my life, and every time it was a "poor relationship choice" not anything commercial.

Those men disgust me. But criminalising the clients and reducing their earning would have got at least two of those women killed or seriously injured in time. People as abusive as their partners are not, rational, calculating people...

"me want, me get or YOU SUFFER" is their only way.

We have laws already that can be used to prosecute these men, as well as the commercial coercion I have never really seen.

Unless you count the vile old man (I did not see this, it was before my time but my sources of information are 22 carat) from Sligo in the early 80s who kept a stable of half a dozen well educated girls of good family compliant with heroin, but we have many ways he could have been sent to prison for life these days.

It is very simple, prosecute and lock up the person doing the coercing and preying, then the victim will be free to choose whether she wishes to sell sex or not and should be offered every resource to make that choice as broad as possible.

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 14-Apr-14 01:42:12

Well spotted, Thinkaboutit, and the people involved in the session were well aware of the Nordic Model, it needed no further support.

When Western RadFems postulate about how prostitutes (please don't say "prostituted women", it denies all agency in adults) are damaging all women everywhere, they/you are putting your political/philosophical notions above their, and their dcs, actual survival. Yes, it would be lovely if we all lived in a totally equal world and "the patriarchy" were abolished; in the meantime, real women are facing real choices; whore or die, sometimes.

Making that more dangerous is not a "feminist" thing to do. Sox has it right; trafficking and slavery are rife in agriculture, clothing manufacture, domestic servitude. Why the focus on sexwork?

aformersexworker Mon 14-Apr-14 02:12:33

I wish I had said that Old Lady...

Cos that is the thing...this is not a game with counters...it is not a political, lifestyle tweak...it is about real people, real survival, real lives.

If I were from a poverty stricken third world country and I knew that if I claimed to be trafficked all my kids might have a real chance of growing up in Europe or the US, I might not like it, but I would have a moral obligation to claim to be trafficked.

If I were in my 20s again, from Eastern Europe and selling sex to explore the richer countries in the west and I felt I had a choice between claiming to be trafficked and serving a prison sentence I am ashamed to say I probably wouldn't have the guts to risk serving the sentence...as long as I didn't have to keep up the lie for too long.

That is where most, if not even all, trafficking figures come from, if they have any factual basis at all and what makes that possible is a wave of politically expedient, reactionary hysteria that has no sense or logic to it.

It is a way to distract people from the impact of austerity and channel their anger away from politicians.

It is a way to maintain and expand funding streams for NGOs nobody wants or needs.

It is even a backhanded way for ordinary people to reassure themselves that austerity isn't really hurting anyone, and by extension they have nothing to fear.

But under it all, the bottom line is there are really people like me who (through an unusual combination of circumstances) came to a place where the only honest option they had on survival was to sell sex.

I can assure you there is no chance I was mistaken about that, I had a somewhat morbid dread of selling sex and did not have the right temperament for it at all. There is no way I (note that word, others feel differently) could have sold sex unless it was a matter of life or death.

I was not unique.

There is absolutely nothing in the "Nordic Model" or any of the abolitionists/rescue organisations I see today that would make any improvement in that situation if it were to occur today. I actually see a lot of things that would make it far worse.

There is no doubt in my mind if the Nordic model had been in effect when I needed to sell sex that I would not have been able to survive.

Now, I am not warm and cuddly. I do not attract sympathy. I know that, but do I really deserve to die for a largely fictional political agenda that will only help those who already have more than enough?

Does anybody deserve to die just so that cynical opportunists can claim credit and funding to pretend to "rescue" them?

...and if they do not deserve to die for that, they surely do not deserve to be made to suffer for it at all.

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 14-Apr-14 02:47:29

Well, that's it, isn't aformer? "You" either agree you were "trafficked" or you're treated as an "illegal immigrant", and you and your dc end up in Yarlswood, about to be deported, back to whatever hellhole you escaped in the first place.

Radfems, read some of what @MolliDesi has (on Twitter, obv, it takes seconds to join) to say about her life as a prostitute, how "rescuers" resulted in her being raped by the people who were supposed to be protecting her, and tell me how your political position is more important than the real lives, of real women.

Let's talk about human rights, and how sexworkers should/should not be denied them.

sakura Mon 14-Apr-14 03:06:23

OLdLadyKNowsNothing. I guess that the basic premise of feminism is that men are causing the rapes and violence, not women's groups. So the men were never protecting her, were they. The threat of rape/attack was always there in the background.

But it's true that "rescuers" , as you put it, need to tread carefully because there are always so many loopholes in the laws that are supposed to protect women. For example, I didn't know that the Nordic model put a woman at risk of losing her home/children. THat is obviously not something women's groups would support, but because the laws are designed by men they tend to end up being detrimental to women. I just learned recently that it's apparently illegal in the UK for two women to work from the same apartment because it then constitutes a brothel. I found that to be a strange and arbitrary law because obviously a) it's safer to work with a friend and b) what's wrong with a brothel anyway? Plenty of brothels exist and the police know about them. I just didn't get it, so I reached my usual conclusion, which is that men design these laws, and they're not designed to benefit women.

So rescuers "mean well", but laws end up hurting women anyway, and that is the fault of the politicians who create them. For example, I don't think prostitutes should be taxed for their earnings in the name of "Liberal" politics. It's not a job like any other, and I don't think the state should behave like a pimp, making money off women's backs like that.

I do think that prostitution is a product of a society that devalues women, but banning prostitution is not going to do anything to help women because it is a viable way to claw your way out of poverty. Poverty leaves you open to lots of predators and dangers, and it's obvious why women prefer to leave this "sitting duck" scenario of poverty by earning better money via prostitution.

sakura Mon 14-Apr-14 03:08:48

When I say, "what's wrong with a brothel anyway", I meant it in the context of comparing it to a woman working alone/on the streets. Obviously I don't think the existence of brothels is ideal per se.

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