Sunday, 16 November 2008

Jacqui Smith - criminalising the buying of sex

I can't understand the argument that calls for prostitution to be legalised except that it would make it easier ont he prostitute - if only that was the case however there is no praxis to the argument, where prostitution is legal - the sex industry goes through the roof.

And I am sick to death being called a ant-sex feminist. why am I anti-sex because I deplore men buying women's sexual consent - what's so sexy about that. I fully support shifting the responsibility of prostitution away from women and onto men - they should think before they randomly buy sex from a woman. It is estimated that 9 out of 10 prostitutes are trafficked, pimped or have chronic substance abuse problems for me that is abuse, why do men want to have sex with an abused woman? Is it a power and control thing, seems like it to me. The majority of men are having sex with women whose consent is negotiated by an abuser - now I understand the boring old "my wife does n't understand me" but I don't understand them. Perhaps if they had a better attitude about sex as opposed to power and control their wife/partner might be able to express herself sexually rather than be put on a pedastal as his lovely wife.

I do however agree with the English Collective of Prostitutes on women's poverty. Equal Pay for women in Britain is lagging way behind, and child care is extortionate. There are many more policies needed and especially money needed to make safe routes out on prostitution fopr those that want to make those routes.

From Observer, 16th November 2008

Home Secretary plans to crack down on vice trade on the streets, while lapdancing clubs will face a stringent licensing regime

The Home Secretary has attacked the 'bizarre' practice of City firms entertaining clients in lapdancing clubs, on the eve of a government crackdown on the sex trade which is expected to criminalise most men who use prostitutes.

Jacqui Smith said she expected to see some lapdancing clubs, which have mushroomed in recent years, close and fewer new ones opened under reforms triggered by concerns over a seedy culture of sexual titillation creeping across city centres. She will outline plans this week to criminalise paying for sex with a woman 'controlled for another person's gain'. The new offence will carry a hefty fine and criminal record, which could prevent those caught from getting jobs in sensitive occupations.

The legislation will cover women who have pimps or drug addicts who work to pay off their dealers as well as the rarer cases of trafficked women. This is expected to include the majority of Britain's 80,000 sex workers. Ignorance of a woman's circumstances will not be a defence. Kerb crawlers will be 'named and shamed', while those who pay a prostitute knowing she has been forcibly trafficked could face rape charges.

The measures are highly controversial, with critics arguing that men will seek other outlets if prostitution is driven off the streets. Smith said it was 'not mine or the government's responsibility to ensure that the demand is satisfied', adding: 'Is this something about which people have a choice with respect to their demands? Yes, they do. Basically, if it means fewer people are able to go out and pay for sex I think that would be a good thing.'

The prostitution review will be published this week, followed later this month by new licensing arrangements that are expected to see lapdancing clubs, currently licensed in the same way as pubs, subjected to the same stringent regime as sex shops, allowing local residents more opportunities to object.

Smith said she believed the law had been 'left behind' by the explosion in lapdancing clubs, which were seen as acceptable entertainment for a corporate night out. 'If I were a business person and I were wanting to make the best impression on clients, who presumably are female as well as male, I do think it's a bit bizarre that you would take them to a lapdancing club,' she said.

The new regime would make it more difficult to open them. 'It's not a complete ban on lapdancing clubs, but it's saying you don't operate in a vacuum, you have an impact on the community around you. I would hope it would make it harder for them to open, certainly in residential areas, and I would suspect that some of them will be closed when the licences come up for renewal.'

The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), which has vigorously opposed the clampdown, says outlawing paid-for sex between consenting adults will punish women who find this more lucrative than menial jobs. Forcing the trade underground would mean that 'the risks they are forced to take will be greater', said a spokeswoman.

One anonymous lapdancer who provided a statement for the ECP said she could earn £250 in four hours of dancing. 'Nine out of 10 women turn to prostitution or lapdancing because there's not enough money to survive. Recently my mum couldn't afford a pair of school shoes for my brother and sister. When I worked a day job I couldn't help her, but now I can.

'If the government is offended by the work we do, then give us the financial means to get out.' She said that there was 'no pressure to have sex with men, only opportunities', in her job.

The ECP's argument has been fuelled by the glamorisation of sex work at the hands of bloggers such as Belle de Jour, the call girl whose memoir became a bestselling book and then a TV film: she claimed to love sex and regarded working as an escort for £300 as a better option than temping.

Smith said that she did not believe that was true of most sex workers. Under the new offence, men would not be able to claim in court that they had not known the prostitute had a pimp or a drug habit. 'It won't be enough to say, "I didn't know",' she said. 'What I hope people will say is, "I am not actually going to take the risk if there is any concern that this woman hasn't made a free choice." It would be quite difficult for a man paying for sex in the majority of cases not to fall under this particular offence.'

She had ruled out a universal ban on paid sex because some women argued they did it out of choice 'and it's not my job to criminalise the demand for that'.

Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society pressure group, which has campaigned for a clampdown on lapdancing clubs, welcomed the planned curbs. 'People have suddenly woken up to the fact that our city centres have changed very dramatically and that has an impact on us all, it being part of the culture of sexualisation. It has been a silent creep, but a deadly one in terms of what it meant for social attitudes and how women feel in public spaces.'


Catherine_Cat said...

You may feel about sex that way, not everybody else does.
The reality is the global network of organisations campaigning for sex workers' rights - composed of actual sex workers, not well-meaning rescuers - such as the International Union of Sex Workers and the ECP, oppose criminalisation as a risk to our lives and our livelihoods.
I've worked happily in the sex industry for nearly ten years, and been treated with uniform respect by my clients. However, British law makes sex work unsafe, and proposed changes to the law will increase the risks of sex work, impacting most harshly on the most vulnerable: migrants and street based sex workers.

Kara said...

I have more respect for a hooker than a slut that just gives it away in a bar UNPROTECTED, for a few drinks.

Why is it ok to give it away, but not sell it? Men will cheat no matter what and stopping hookers will not keep your man home. I have read stories of men being arrested for soliciting with a pregnant wif at home.

Caroline said...

Legalisation would be the safest option for sex workers. Smith's proposals drives women out into the street and prostitution deeper underground - the new proposals are literally endangering the lives of women. Have a look at the press release of the IUSW.

Cat said...

I don't have a problem with sex and I don't have a problem with those who sell sex either, I do however have issues with those usually men who think they have the right to buy sex. I fully support the decriminalisation of prostitution and support full support for prostitutes. I also support heroin on prescription to take away the chaoticness of some users lives.

I also support prostitutes and sex workers organising fortheir rights but I do not believe that all prostituted women are in such a place they can organise for themselves.

I don't care about cheating men, that is between them and their partners, the issue for me is in imbalance that men can buy sex and the violence and abuse many sex workers and prostitutes face.

stillarebel said...

I agree with Cat, although I think the planned changes in Norway are probably the best model so far. The evidence from Australia, is that a legalised sex industry is extremely harmful.


Strange how the pro-prostitution lobby always 'appear' whenever an article is written daring to challenge men's supposed inalienable and innate right of sexual access to women's and girls' bodies.

Even stranger is the fact other posts concerning men's violence against women are consistently ignored by the pro-porn lobbyists. Could it because the belief it is a man's right to buy women and girls for the purpose of raping and masturbating into their bodies supercedes any other form of male violence against women and girls.

Or could it be these pro-prostitution and pro-porners have nothing better to do than constantly attack anyone who dares to challenge the myth of male sex right to women and children.

Caroline said...

Ren's been kind enough to answer that for you, Ms. Drew.