From Norway to New Zealand, pro-prostitution research is its own worst enemy

Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that if you’re going to lie you should make it a whopper,

For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

Permit me to show you a lie so grand its telling should cause alarm, but it doesn’t because the deception is in service of solidifying men’s ownership of women from the inside out and absolutely.

I triple check facts before stating them. Some is preparation for audience feedback and some is doubt about how well I know what I know, perhaps because I’m a woman in a culture that disregards women. Operating on the niggling thought that my political opponents might make a valid argument against my preferred prostitution solution of criminalizing johns, I have dived into every policy paper on prostitution I have gotten whiff of for thirteen years.

You may have encountered the results of my labors before when I wrote about Norwegian research that unintentionally affirmed the success of criminalizing johns.

The Prostitution Reform Act of 2003 (PRA) decriminalized prostitution in New Zealand. At the same time, the Prostitution Law Review Committee was established to report within 3 to 5 years on the number of New Zealand’s newly dubbed “sex workers.” Here is that 2008 report.

The summary concludes decriminalization did not increase street prostitution. The contents of Section 8 prove street prostitution went up and more than doubled between 2006 to 2007 in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.

The official press release was based on these comments from the summary [bolds mine],

The numbers of street-based sex workers have remained stable since the enactment of the PRA, with comparable numbers on the streets to estimates done prior to decriminalization. The Committee endorses the findings of the CSOM (Christchurch School of Medicine) that the enactment of the PRA has had little impact on the numbers of people working in the sex industry.

Buried in Section 8 is evidence about increases in street prostitution since the law passed,

Research undertaken by the CSOM in February and March 2006 found 253 street-based sex workers in New Zealand…In Auckland 106 street workers…in Wellington 47 street workers…and in Christchurch 100 were recorded.

Between June and October 2007, CSOM carried out another estimation of street-based sex workers…In Christchurch 121 street-based workers were counted and in Wellington 44 street-based sex workers were counted. In Auckland, 230 street workers were known to be working.

Wellington 47, then 44
Christchurch 100, then 121
Auckland 106, then 230
New Zealand

Section 8 also documented,

Auckland outreach workers also reported an ‘influx of sex workers on the streets in the six to eight months prior to June 2007.’

Streetreach is a non-governmental organisation that provides support for street-based sex workers in Auckland and Manukau cities. Streetreach believes there has been an overall increase in the number of street-based sex workers in the Auckland region since decriminalization.

In Christchurch, some residents in and around the street prostitution area report an increase in the number of sex workers since the passage of the PRA (St Lukes Body Corporate, 2007).

Clearly, many people who live next to and work directly with street populations have reported increased street prostitution in New Zealand.

That Executive Summary once more to refresh your memory,

The numbers of street-based sex workers have remained stable since the enactment of the PRA, with comparable numbers on the streets to estimates done prior to decriminalization…the Committee endorses the findings of the CSOM that the enactment of the PRA has had little impact on the numbers of people working in the sex industry.

What a whopper.

Some fabrications announce themselves, and some rely on subtle sleights of hand. The summary continues:

A comparison between the number of sex workers in Christchurch in 1999 and 2006 shows that the total has stayed approximately the same over that period.

Why stop at 2006 when the research went through 2007? Christchurch had 100 street prostitutes in 2006 and 121 street prostitutes in 2007.

The 2006 is no slip, it is New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice deliberately hiding 2007’s statistics about significant growth in the most violent form of prostitution— street prostitution.

Reading book-length documents full of terrible testimonies makes me grind my jaw while my eyes absorb the pages. Sometimes I pause to cry. However, if you boil your blood long enough and with the right ingredients, it condenses to become more solid than liquid. After all the time I have spent pouring the collected knowledge about prostitution from multiple countries into myself and simmering, I am as solid as a bead of ancient amber that prostitution abolition is the future of humanity.

Samantha Berg is a radical feminist journalist and activist. Her articles have been published in progressive media for over a decade, and in recent years she has organized several anti-prostitution political events in the United States and Canada. Samantha’s websites are JohnStompers.com and Genderberg.com.
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  • Sabine

    “I am as solid as a bead of ancient amber that prostitution abolition is the future of humanity.”

    I am right with you sister.

  • Cindy

    “Did not increase” street prostitution. You mean decrease?

  • What is their excuse for leaving out the 2007 data? I mean they must have had one, right? Liberal “sex-positive” research does meet the standards of proper science and academic research, right? (Wrong)

    In general, the liberal feminist notion of what counts as research is laughable. One time I read an academic article in which the author interviewed 13 women in the BDSM community about how awesome BDSM was, went to a BDSM club herself, had a whole lot of BDSM sex, wrote paragraphs that sounded like they belonged in a poorly written novel rather than a scientific article (the paragraphs contained lavish, and totally unnecessary, descriptions of what the room looked like and how everyone was dressed) and called this “research”.

    If you feel you simply must have BDSM sex and publish badly written pornography (I refuse to call such writting “erotic”) about it, at least have the decency to use your own money. I cannot believe this sort of thing passes for “research” in a time when governments are cutting spending from universities and the amount of grant money available is on the decline. I guess they always have enough money to waste on increasing chancellor / vice-chancellor salaries, promoting dangerous (and, according to the very article in question, potentially life threatening) sexual practices and generating orgasms. What could be more important, right? *Sarcasm*.

  • How surprising that the sex lobby would lie about their research. It’s almost like they were *gasp!* PROFITING off it or something!

    All sarcasm aside, I’m not surprised, just depressed that this is something that happens. I wonder how much of the pro-prostitution research done to this day is saturated with bullshit and straight out lies? All of it? Probably.

    • Jet

      If you wanna suggest that than I will suggest that the abolitionist data is full of lies. Escorts are notoriously private, they are not gonna sit down and start answering questions for statistics.

      • Laur

        Jet,

        So as a “john” you feel you know women who work as escorts? Give me a break. They don’t want you to know *anything* about who they really are.

        The women I know who have worked as escorts have experienced some of the worst abuses I have heard and are severely traumatized. I know women who can barely interact with men, even male cashiers, nearly a decade after they are out.

        As for abolitionist data, some of it is not necessarily accurate, and I agree that is a problem.Not necessarily the ones done by feminists, but some of the mainstream data, which conflates sex and labor trafficking and uses “children at risk” of being sexually exploited. But one can make an ethical argument against buying access to women even without reliance on certain data sets.

  • Anne Rasmussen

    If you look at who is sitting in that committee, you will find the answer in why the PRA is painted so rosy.

  • Hecuba

    I wonder who benefits from the endemic pro-prostitution lies which continue to be proclaimed as ‘objective real research?’ No guesses because answer it is men en mass since men were the ones who created their Male Pimp Industry and men are the ones continuing to profit because it is sacrosanct male sex right to have limitless sexual access to any female, any time any where. When males are not accorded their male pseduo sex of access to females these males know they can for a pittance purchase a supposedly dehumanised female body in order to subject her to rape and/or sadistic male sexual violence because it is a male’s sacrosanct right.

    So this is why mens’ pro-prostitution industry constantly proclaim fake pro-prostitution research is the definitive objective research not men’s incessant propaganda/lies. Nor must we forget/ignore male dominated governments collude and profit by condoning/promoting mens’ pimp industry as ‘just female work.’

    Abolition of mens’ pimp industry will be Womens’ Liberation from male oppression and this is why men and their powerful male political allies lie and lie and lie about their male created pimp industry.

  • You, like Farley, and others, have deliberately read the information out of context. In your introduction, you cite:
    “For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”

    Yet this is exactly what you are doing. Or simply, perhaps you do not know how to read a report.

    I suggest starting with this:

    http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/commercial-property-and-regulatory/prostitution/prostitution-law-review-committee/publications/plrc-report/2.-estimation-of-the-numbers-of-sex-workers-in-new-zealand#232

    Then this:

    2.3.3 Auckland Results

    The increase in numbers of street-based workers in Auckland in 2007 can be partially explained by the different methodologies used to estimate numbers of street-based workers in 2006 and 2007. However, the CSOM study also notes that the Auckland outreach workers had seen an increase in the number of sex workers on the street in the six to eight months prior to June 2007. The Auckland NGO ‘Streetreach’ report an increase in street-based sex workers in Auckland between August and November 2007 (Streetreach, 2007).

    You should also, perhaps, read this:

    http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/commercial-property-and-regulatory/prostitution/prostitution-law-review-committee/publications/plrc-report/2.-estimation-of-the-numbers-of-sex-workers-in-new-zealand#264

    2.6.4 Claims that Numbers Have Increased

    The Committee is aware of reports claiming the numbers of sex workers, and in particular street-based sex workers, have increased as a result of decriminalisation. Addressing these claims

    forms a substantial part of this chapter. Often, the increases have been reported in general terms, based on impressions, rather than citing actual numbers. One exception is the claim that the numbers of street-based sex workers in Auckland increased by 400% as a result of decriminalisation. This claim cannot be substantiated, and was not based on systematic or robust research.

    The figure of a 400% increase has been re-reported several times, demonstrating the ease with which opinion can be perceived as ‘fact’. In his speech to the House during the second reading of the Manukau City Council (Control of Street Prostitution) Bill, Gordon Copeland MP attributed the report of a 400% increase to the Maori Wardens’ submission on the Bill in 2006. The Maori Wardens may have been influenced by an article in the NZ Herald in 2005 in which Mama Tere Strickland was reported to say, ‘Numbers have quadrupled since that Bill [Prostitution Reform Act]’ (New Zealand Herald, 2005).

    A 400% increase in the numbers of sex workers was predicted prior to the passage of the PRA, and was also claimed in relation to the law reform in New South Wales. This may be the original source of the idea that numbers of sex workers will, or have, increased by such a margin as a result of law reform. Officials advising the Select Committee were unable to find any statistical evidence to support the claim. In addition, the Select Committee noted that ‘there may appear to be a growth in the industry because it becomes less hidden in nature’ (Select Committee, 2002).

    In the Committee’s first report, the number of street-based sex workers in Auckland was estimated to be 360 (PLRC, 2005). An increase of 400% would mean there would now be 1,440 sex workers on Auckland’s streets. The Committee considers that the research undertaken by the CSOM conclusively refutes an increase of this magnitude, with the 2007 figures estimating the number of Auckland street-based sex workers at 230

    So tell me, why do anti-sex work campaigners have to lie.

    And while you are about it, how did the abolitionists come up with the often repeated figure “40,000 people trafficked” to X event? Got any actual stats to back that up?

    • Glen

      Calum,

      Here is a report you were heavily involved with.
      http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/formidable/Roguski-2013-OSH-of-migrant-sex-workers-in-NZ.pdf

      It concludes that the research “provides a strong indication that participating migrant sex workers have entered New Zealand of their own volition and are generally happy in their work and workplaces.”
      and “The survey’s results are also useful in regards to highlighting a lack of exploitation and/or coercion in the workplace.”

      There is nothing in the report to indicate that these women are “generally happy”. There is plenty to suggest that between 5% (who don’t have their passports, cannot refuse clients, or don’t get paid regularly) and 25% (who want to see less clients) are being exploited and/or were trafficked.

      This is in line with Nick Mai’s research on migrant workers in London, ~13% being exploited and ~ 6% trafficked. Mai regards this as success and a perfectly happy state of affairs.

      You also seem to have a very low threshold for what you consider to be acceptable levels of sexual exploitation. This research seems to trying to prove that “not all women are exploited”, everyone knows this, it’s not news, it’s pointless trying to prove what everyone already knows.

      You found one woman whose boss did not allow her to use condoms. What have you done for her, is she being exploited, is her boss in prison yet? Or perhaps more importantly, why don’t you or the NZPC even care?

      Two questions for you, please answer yes or no.

      Should I buy sex from a New Zealand migrant sex worker knowing that I run a 5% to 25% risk that she is not freely consenting?

      Should I buy sex knowing that the woman has been trafficked and that she is now in an impossible situation where she cannot access justice, in other words, should I help her out by paying to abuse her?

      If either answer is no, what are you doing to stop or discourage me?

  • Tao

    This paper is full of glaring issues. It estimates that 60% were located in the street sector in 2003. In 2005, the proportion of street prostitutes in New Zealand was estimated at 11%. In Auckland, that represents 7% of the total, Christchurch 26%, and Wellington 13%. The following year, the figures dropped 4% for Auckland and 3% for Christchurch. Wellington went up 9%.

    According to their data, Auckland had 360 street workers in 2005 and 230 in 2007. That represents a decrease of 130, or 36%, from 2005 to 2007. In Christchurch/Canterbury, it was 75 in 2005 and 121 in 2007. That is a increase of 61%. Wellington reported 50 in 2005 and 44 in 2007. That is a decrease of 12%.

    The charts also show that in 2005, there was a total of 5,932 sex workers in New Zealand. That figure dropped to 2396 in 2006, and 2332 in 2007. This means that they believe the total number of prostitutes in NZ has dropped by 3600, or 61%. The wild variability gives me suspicion about the accuracy.

  • Tao

    There are difficulties intrinsic to studying this industry, too. A lot is based either on arrests, classified ads, or self-reported surveys. There are a lot of factors that can affect these numbers.

    “As noted above, Chinese language newspapers were only included in the May 2004 count.”

    “Since decriminalisation, Police no longer maintain registers of sex workers, and resources previously used to monitoring the sex industry have been reallocated. Therefore, the methodology used to estimate the number of sex workers in the Committee’s first report cannot be repeated.”

    “Because the registers were cumulative, they provided an inflated view of the size of the industry. Police who took part in the survey noted the fluid nature of the industry and the substantial crossover between sectors. However, due to the limitations of the data available, it was not possible to avoid double counting people who worked in more than one sector of the industry (for example street and ship, or massage parlours and escort agencies).”

    “Christchurch and Wellington outreach workers included street-based workers in the final count who they knew were working, but who were not present when head counts were undertaken. Auckland outreach workers did not do this and therefore, the recorded numbers of street-based workers in this city is likely to be an underestimation.”

    So they have no fucking clue.

    • Sam Berg

      Yeah, lots of issues with the research.

      There’s also this bit of awful, “Participants whose English was not sufficient to understand the questions without the aid of an interpreter were excluded.” as well as this admission of sweeping facts under the rug, “Since decriminalisation, Police no longer maintain registers of sex workers, and resources previously used to monitoring the sex industry have been reallocated.”

      As with my approach to the Norwegian research, I took the New Zealand research on its own terms. The Prostitution Law Review Committee was specifically tasked to make assessments “3 to 5 years” after the law was changed so I prioritized the surveys done by CSOM in 2006 and 2007 (“Research for the Committee’s review started in 2006 and was concluded in late 2007…. The first estimation of numbers of sex workers carried out by the CSOM took place over a two week period in February and March of 2006.”)

      My goal wasn’t to rip it apart piece by *inadequate* piece, it was to show the *intentional* deception of the summary in the face of contradictory evidence and direct quotes from several on-the-ground community members.

      So much of the report is dedicated to making excuses and downplaying the terrible results of the law change. One example of many comes from the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective audit of advertisements in Section 2.2.2:

      “The May 2004 audit counted 531 advertisements in Auckland, compared to 469 in July 2003, representing an increase of 13%. As noted above, Chinese language newspapers were only included in the May 2004 count. In addition, a new website started operating in early 2004 and was also included in the May 2004 count. If these two additional sources are discounted, the final figure for the Auckland region is an increase of 21 advertisements (4%).”

      I can see questioning the Chinese newspaper numbers because they weren’t captured in 2003 (and maybe there were no Chinese language ads in 2003 at all, an increase in itself…), but it makes no sense to speak of discounting the new 2004 website. There is no rational reason those numbers were removed to arrive at the less dramatic increase of 4% instead of an increase in 13% in the mere ten months since decriminalization.

  • CalumB

    Is 230 (street based sex workers in *all* Auckland 5 yr post decrim) is greater or smaller than 360 (street based sex workers only in central Auckland prior to decrim)?

    Or is the number of people actually physically *seen* working on the street in a one month period (lower Auckland figure of 107) the same as, lower, or higher than the total number known to have worked on the street in a twelve month period (second Auckland count of 230)?

    • Sam Berg

      Pre-decriminalization estimates came from the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective studying ads and from phone calls made to New Zealand police:

      “The Ministry of Justice undertook research to assess the nature and extent of the sex industry in New Zealand at the time of the Prostitution Reform Act (PRA) 2003 (Prostitution Law Review Committee, 2005). They utilised two separate data sources. The first data source was a telephone survey of police staff in all areas of the 12 New Zealand Police Districts, requesting their information and insight into the industry. The second data source was NZPC, who conducted an audit of numbers of advertisements for commercial sexual services in Wellington and Auckland.”

      The 2006 and 2007 research I’m comparing were both conducted by the Christchurch School of Medicine using similar methods and directly involving active prostituted persons.

      • Anne Rasmussen

        I really don’t know who they (Prostitution Law Review Committee and thus NZPC) are trying to fool with those fake figures and socalled research.

        The reality is, that exactly the same is happening in NZ as in every other country with legalised pimping and buying of sex. The foreign pimps takes over the market and dumping prices.

        Fact is, that underage Pacific Island girls are now selling sex at the streets, and the law hasn’t prevented neither street prostitution, the gang controlled pimping or the violence. Or has prevented the organized foreign crime gangs to establish brothels with mainly Chinese prostituted persons.

        Fact is, that New Zealand has lost the overview over its prostitution market. Just like Netherlands and Germany.

        This quote is from an article from 2011:

        “The arrival of illegal Chinese sex workers have driven an industry that has been decriminalised back underground, says the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.

        “We’re now looking at two industries – an industry which is supported by decriminalisation, and an industry which is having to be underground again,” said Catherine Healey, the collective’s national co-ordinator, when asked how Chinese sex workers have influenced the sex industry here.

        “Predominantly, the illegal part of the industry is Chinese,” she said.

        Although prostitution was decriminalised in 2003, it is illegal for those on a temporary visa, such as students and tourists, to work in the sex industry.

        The collective does not record if a prostitute is working illegally, but Miss Healey said Chinese now make up nearly a third of the 1700 sex workers in Auckland – outnumbering Maori and Pacific Islanders, and behind only Pakeha.”

        http://www.stopdemand.org/afawcs0153418/CATID=10/ID=200/SID=657494435/NZ-Chinese-prostitutes-worry-sex-industry.html

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  • FormerLurker

    You are imcorrect in your reference to Mein Kampf. Hitler did not say if you’re going to lie you should make it a whopper. Instead he identified the use of the so-called Big Lie as a Jewish tactic (“but it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood…”, etc etc) and he condemned it very strongly and clearly. So to say he advocated using the Big Lie technique is really stating the exact opposit of the truth.

    Also, your quote from Mein Kampf is out of context. To see the actual relevant text go here:

    http://www.historiography-project.com/misc/biglie.html

    Excerpt: Clearly, Hitler is not advocating the use of the “Big Lie,” and, far from creating it, he in fact is ascribing the “Big Lie” technique to the Jews and Marxists. The “Big Lie” technique is Hitler’s in the same fashion that Halley’s Comet is Halley’s — not because either man was the inventor, but rather because he was the discoverer.

    • To think Hitler was exposing one of his own tactics rather than blaming and hating on Jews as usual is a strange interpretation.

    • marv

      “Clearly, Hitler is not advocating the use of the “Big Lie,” and, far from creating it, he in fact is ascribing the “Big Lie” technique to the Jews and Marxists.”

      What difference does if make who Hitler ascribed it to. He was in practice a gargantuan liar about himself, Aryan Supremacy, Jewish people, homosexuals and numerous other matters. You have proved you have no interest in advancing the discussion.

    • Is it just me or does it seem like we may have allowed a neo-Nazi to comment on this page? FormerLurker is technically right, even Hitler was not dumb enough to claim that he was a big liar in his own text, but some of what they said makes it sound like they might be sympathetic to Hitler’s views. Just something for fellow commentors to be aware of.

      Note to self: Do not quote Hitler or Mein Kampf in blog posts. Might attract unsavory commentors.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yeeeeah sounds about right… No more from FormerLurker.

    • limaree

      Eww, you read Hitler’s book? Why?

  • Mar Iguana

    “…I am as solid as a bead of ancient amber that prostitution abolition is the future of humanity.”

    Unless prostitution is eradicated, humanity has no future. Male supremacy is THE Big Lie men have been telling themselves for thousands of years and we are now living in the dangerous times of either ending this ultimate whopper or ending life on this planet, patriarchy’s logical conclusion. It makes men into one big, walking talking lie on the hoof, performing masculinity which destroys everything in its path.

    So, the boys can stew, brew and tattoo their studies and statistics all they want to, but that doesn’t change the truth: Prostituting women is the direct result of the evil and absurd lie that is male supremacy. So, you know what, CalumB? Context this (cupping my pudenda in my hand).

    From Wikipedia re The Big Lie: ”The phrase was also used in a report prepared during the war by the United States Office of Strategic Services in describing Hitler’s psychological profile:

    His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

    Sound familiar? We have a bunch of white, male supremacist authoritarians in this country that are prepared to destroy Earth itself if they can’t control everybody and everything in existence, which they perceive as their (death cult) god given right. I believe they are a direct result of the fact that thousands of nazis were smuggled into the US (added and abetted by the nazis of England and the catholic church), eventually metastasizing into the police state we now live in.

    More broadly, the enemy of patriarchy that is blamed for everything that goes wrong is Woman. The MO of Hitler is the same as each and every male supremacist ever. So, you know what, FormerLurker? Context this (again cupping my pudenda in my hand).

    “…and simmering, I am as solid as a bead of ancient amber…” Sheer poetry, Sam. You make my heart sing.

    • Sam Berg

      What a terrific compliment to give hearty thanks for, Mar Iguana. The feeling is mutual.

    • You are right. Obviously misogyny and “scientific racism” are both Big Lies, but they intersect, breed, and produce monsters.

      Such as our own Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. 🙁

  • Meg

    Is there any chance that street-based Prostitution became more visible but not more prevalent after decriminalization, because street-based sex workers no longer faced harassment from cops, sting operations? And thus, that it was easier for social services to find them, and more women admitted engaging in sex work to social services after decriminalization?

    Is it also perhaps possible that decriminalizing in one area but not all areas push street-based sex workers from criminalized areas into decriminalized ones, but don’t lead people into the sex trade or increase overall numbers?

  • Meg

    Otherwise… based on your text, abolitionists = hitler/nazis, calling out jews = sex workers use of’big lies’ to defend their existence. In particular, you seem to be angry that the ‘sex worker lobby’ is ‘lying’ about claiming ‘population stabilization’ of street-based sex workers under decrim, and this troubles you because, like hitler with jews, you feel street-based sex workers are a blight on neighborhood purity and feminist purity and ultimately want to completely eradicate sex workers?

    Help me here…

    • hokay

      could you any more intentionally miss the point? Sam never said that she was comparing the situation with prostitution to the Holocaust or to Hitler or anything like that. She did quote Hitler, on what amounts to a point of grammar. I mean, sure, Hitler is evil and telling big lies is evil– that seemed to me to be the main point in using that quote.

      The point certainly wasn’t “prostituted women are evil and dirty,” as you suggested. Feminists care about prostituted women. We care about all women, and what we want to eradicate is the exploitation and abuse of women, not women themselves.

      But you knew that already, I suspect.

    • Try engaging with the substance of the post, not with semantic gymnastics relating to how “the big lie” was discussed in Mein Kampf. The substance is that legalization condones and institutionalizes coerced sex. The coercers are overwhelmingly male and the large majority of coerced are female. Giving men license to coerce sex condones and institutionalizes female inferiority. Who is fudging which numbers does not change that fact.

    • amongster

      “and ultimately want to completely eradicate sex workers”

      Has been said a thousand times before: Just because you want to get rid of slavery doesn’t mean you want to eradicate humans that are enslaved. You want to eradicate a system that makes slaves out of them.

    • marv

      “…like hitler with jews, you feel street-based sex workers are a blight on neighborhood purity and feminist purity and ultimately want to completely eradicate sex workers?”

      What an abominable and unconscionable misinterpretation of Samantha’s words. How could you make such a cruel remark? Abolitionists seek to eliminate the fascist institution of pimps and johns. I guess you revere male despotism.

      • Øivind Nordahl

        Pimps and johns are largely in Europe women helping each other securing their work place. Sexworkers are the only workers who become criminals when they organize.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Prostituted women are criminalized when they organize? Where? Who is responsible? And why are you talking about the criminalization of women when the growing trend, led by feminists, is to adopt the Nordic model, which decriminalizes prostituted people?

          • Øivind Nordahl

            Hi Meghan.

            In Norway, where I live and where “the Nordic Model” is fully implemented, the police seek out and harass sexworkers, especially those coming from other countries. It is a part of their plan to force those who work indoors out on the streets where it is more uncomfortable for them and where they are more exposed so that more of them leave the country.

            Not only does the police harass sexworkers, but also any landlord unknowingly “harboring” sexworkers (officially called “Operation houseless”), calling for their prosecution as helpers and pimps if they do not immediately throw them out on the street. To keep the landlords from going to court and not cooperate the police give them the sexworker’s deposit to pay them off.

            Any fellow sexworker, bodyguard or someone that can be seen as aiding their sexwork are after interpretation of Norwegian law seen as pimps and johns, and consequently the police work hard to isolate all those selling sex, while the politicians work equally hard to stigmatize and lobby that most sexworkers are forced into selling sex.

            Whorehaters, abolitionists, hypocritical feminists and other ignorant people are responsible for this situation. Also those who see what is going on and don’t try to stop it and work for better and more social solutions.

            No country should go for “the Nordic model”. It’s a big, fat unsocial lie. WAKE UP, Meghan!

          • Meghan Murphy

            Do you have any evidence to back up your unsubstantiated claims? Also, who is a ‘whorehater?’ Do you mean the men who abuse, rape, degrade, and murder prostitutes?

          • Øivind Nordahl

            Sure, Meghan. All who abuse, rape, degrade and murder are not just haters – but mainly the worst criminals, in my view.

            And of cource I’ll back it up for you. These pages are in Norwegian, so use Google Translate or similar service. (Aftenposten (Norwegian for “The Evening Post”) is Norway’s largest newspaper, and Bymisjon is The Church City Mission in Norway who is trying to look after those in need in the city streets of Oslo, the capitol of Norway. NRK is Norway’s BBC)

            http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/politikk/–Politikerne-aksepterer-at-prostituerte-settes-pa-gaten-pa-timen–7251709.html

            http://www.bymisjon.no/Nyheter3/2012/Sier-nei-til-Operasjon-Huslos/

            http://www.nrk.no/ostlandssendingen/prostituerte-tor-ikke-anmelde-vold-1.11091620

          • Meghan Murphy

            I can’t read any of these articles either. Are there no studies or research you can provide that is accessible? Can you at least explain/prove how and why the police are supposedly ‘seeking out and harassing sex workers’ and what that has to do with the Nordic model? It seems the articles you’ve provided have something to do with something called “Operation Homeless” — I don’t know what that is and I don’t understand how it relates to the Nordic model, what it has to do with your claim that ‘sexworkers are the only workers who become criminals when they organize,’ and how any of this supports your claim that “‘whorehaters [you still haven’t explained who you’re talking about here — is this a real thing?], abolitionists, hypocritical feminists and other ignorant people are responsible for this situation.”

          • Øivind Nordahl

            doesnt’t Google Translate work well enough?

            If you don’t believe me just have a word with Anne Rasmussen. She knows what is going on here. She might butter it up a little for you, but I don’t think she will flat out lie about too much of it.

            Ok, “Whorehaters” are not just some men, but also a lot of women feeling threatened by sexworkers having or offering to have sex with “their men”. They talk down on and use stigma activly in the way they talk about those who sell sexual services.

            “Hypocritical feminist” are in my view those feminists who say they are for women’s rights, but do not promote women’s right to govern their own sex life and make their own choices. These feminists exclude other variations of feminism, think they are superior and can remove other people’s rights if they feel it is appropriate.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “Ok, “Whorehaters” are not just some men, but also a lot of women feeling threatened by sexworkers having or offering to have sex with “their men”. They talk down on and use stigma actively in the way they talk about those who sell sexual services.”

            What an absurd and disgustingly sexist thing to say. Women who oppose men’s right to purchase women’s bodies are ‘jealous’. Even if it were true, which it is clearly not if you understood feminism even in the smallest way, where does that leave all the lesbian feminists who oppose the prostitution industry? That argument is stupid in every possible way.

            You’ve made it perfectly clear you are no feminist. Why do we care what you have to say on the subject of feminism, in that case?

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Øivind: Why don’t you mention the evaluation report that was released this year? The evaluation report was made by a independent consultant company, who has no economic reasons for repealing the law – and they used among others, the figures from ProSenteret in Oslo and it summarise the purpose with the law.

            Summary in English at pages 11 – 13.

            http://www.regjeringen.no/pages/38780386/Evaluering_sexkjoepsloven_2014.pdf

          • Øivind Nordahl

            oh, dear.. Did you mention how little money the politicians spent – and the framework for the political booking of this report?

            Again, read this. http://www.aftenposten.no/meninger/kronikker/Vi-vet-ikke-om-loven-virker-7669532.html

          • No, the police who through sex workers out of homes, who harass sex workers on a daily basis, and people like you who push for the laws that enable the police to do so, people like you who push for the laws that stigmatise sex workers that makes it easier for them to be murdered:

            http://www.fafo.no/prostitution/ban_purchase.html

            and

            http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/politikk/–Politikerne-aksepterer-at-prostituerte-settes-pa-gaten-pa-timen–7251709.html

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Calumb: Did you really mentioned “makes it easier for them to be murdered” Hello: 24 murdered prostituted persons in Netherland since 2001.
            35 murder and attempted murder since 2003 in Germany.

            And New Zealand with their safe prostitution:
            Suzie Sutherland, Christchurch 2005.
            Anna Louise Wilson, Christchurch 2005
            Mellory Manning, Christchurch 2008
            Carmen Thomas, Otago, 2010
            Xiukun Feng, Auckland, 2005

            Just to mention some of them.

            How many prostituted persons has been murdered in Norway and Sweden since they adopted the Nordic Model? None, as far as I know of.

          • Sarah K

            The evidence is in the report that Sam Berg claims shows the “success” of the Swedish model. Plenty in there about Operation Homeless and increased harassment and stigmatisation of sex workers in Norway.

          • Øivind Nordahl

            And Meghan, by the way, recently in Sweden – another Nordic Model-country – Swedish court recently found that bar owners can throw out anyone suspected of soliciting. A small group of Asian women, friends going out to have fun and a few drinks, were discriminated by ethnicity and told to leave. So if you’re from an Asian, or maybe African country, or have friends from such countries and want to go out and have a drink in Sweden, be aware and split up.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I’m confused. Do you have any info to back this up or explain further?

          • Øivind Nordahl

            Sure. I’ll explain shortly and exemplify. First you should take into account that the nordic countries are socialist and also of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita (with Norway at the top right now because of it’s oil reserves and enormous state oil/pension fund smartly invested all over the world). But the Nordic countries are similar in many ways.

            In Norway most Norwegians nowadays have a very good income, and have become both fashionably and morally posh and self centered, don’t want to see poverty or people struggling – or just someone living too differently than most. Gypsies, beggars, drug addicts, sex workers and/or immigrants from more foreing countries, doesn’t fit in or compute well enough with our self image. Therefore “social renovation” is necessary.

            Take drug addicts in Bergen (largest city in western Norway) for example. They are not allowed to move freely around, but are given maps that show them where they are allowed to go and when to go there. They have to be out of sight for the public as much as possible. If they violate the police instructions they are fined the eqvivalent of 1500 dollars or just brought in by the police. It is a kind of apartheid, and in my view clearly harassment and not right.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “First you should take into account that the nordic countries are socialist”

            Yes. I realize that. I am a socialist. This is part of the reason I support the Nordic model. I have written about all of this numerous times.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Øivind: Norway is not exactly a socialist country after the election – it is a very darkblue government.

          • Øivind Nordahl

            oh, Yes, Anne – it is. A conservative government at the moment does not cange much about governing models, high taxes, democratic culture and the generally socialist way of living. It is called “the Norwegian model” and you should know this. Compared to most other countries in the world Norway and the Nordic countries are considered socialistic.

          • Henke

            Norway is member of NATO housing American weaponries and stuff. How the heck is that socialist ?
            Sweden is turning into a mini state of the USA, how is that socialist ? Capitalism is the economic model. Far from socialism.
            The ‘socialist model’ began to decline in the 70s already and after Olof Palme got murdered in the 80’s, that was surly the last nail in the coffin for anything socialist around here, well on an political level anyway.
            Sure we can still have some socialist thinking among a number of people of our nations, the ideas and values still lingers on among us, but as far as the nations are ran these days. Its closer to capitalism and American ways than socialism.

          • Here’s the evidence you want:

            http://www.vt.se/nyheter/inrikes.aspx/friande-dom-om-krogdiskriminering-7677450.aspx

            Why do you support a model that affects all women in a negative way, encourages discrimination, stigma, hatred, police harassment, and violence?

          • Meghan Murphy

            I don’t “support a model that affects all women in a negative way.” It’s the opposite, rather. The Nordic model is the only feminist model. Prostitution affects women in a “negative” way (also, like, in a violent/abusive/misogynist way, but whatevs right?), not feminism.

            The link you provided is to a Norwegian site (I think?), so that isn’t particularly helpful, seeing as no one here can read it…

          • Just as there are a variety of feminisms (Marxist, Psychoanalytic, Liberal, Radical, etc.), and divisions within them (sex negative, sex positive, etc.), There are a variety of feminist models affecting sex work. Some of them, such as the Swedish model, have negative effects, and lead to more discrimination, stigma, and violence against women than others.

          • Meghan Murphy

            1) Please don’t explain things to me that I know far more about than you.
            2) Your claims about the Swedish model are simply not true. You can’t just make shit up and post it online and expect people to believe you for no reason other than the fact you’ve said it. We’ve been having these conversations for a long time and you are far from the first person who’s tried to make these claims. It’s just really boring at this point.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            I have read it it’s in Swedish – I do understand both Swedish and Norwegian.

            The story goes on a case of discrimination. A group of Asian women was being asked to leave a restaurant by the owner and his doormen because the police has been notified about prostitution going on in the restaurant/bar, done by asian looking women. Soliciting in restaurants and bars is – of course – not allowed, no matter who is trying to soliciting.

            The owner of the restaurant was acquitted of the charge of discrimination.

            If the story should tell us anything, it should be, that asian women are dealing with the same problems as young men with middle east appearance, who wants to go to nightclubs but are kicked out/not allowed entrance because of prejudice and racism.

            It also tells us, as already mentioned, that it is not allowed to soliciting in Swedish restaurants – as it isn’t allowed in other Nordic countries, as far as I know. So this story can hardly be used as an example of the bad bad Nordic Model but simply can be used as an example of discrimination.

            (we don’t mention the scary high numbers of murdered prostituted persons in Germany and Netherlands – numbers that are neglected and slighted with heinous and cynical silence by the sexlobby)

          • Meghan Murphy

            Thanks for the clarification, Anne.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Calumb: No it hasn’t.

          • Henke

            No it does not. You are lying.
            The nordic model does not cause “discrimination, stigma, and violence against women…” in itself.
            But I know one (well two actually) thing(s) that does; maleviolence and maledomination.

            Next up we should focus on getting rid of porn. We should take steps in the right direction, as being done in the UK right now in which BDSM and other forms of very cruel sexual practices are being banned to distribute and before anyone jump me here, I wrote banned to distribute not illegal to perform in your own private life.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Øivind, racism is hitting every woman of colour in every town in the world. If you are a Thai, Nigerian or East European woman, you can be sure to be harassed by men, who automatically assume, that you are a prostituted person, even when you are just walking at the street.
            Every traditional Thai Massage (not the brothels) has problems with men, who automatically assume, that Thai Massage is prostitution.

            Every WOC has to expect to be asked: “How much” when she is walking at the streets.

            Every East european woman has to expect the same question, whatever she works with, even when she has her own firm like cleaning or hairdresser, because everybody knows that a East European woman is per definition a prostitute.

            So please don’t talk about racism and who is harassing who.

          • Morag

            Anne Rasmussen, this is so typical, isn’t it? He provides examples of people hurting women in racist, sexist and classist ways, and who is to blame? Why, feminists, of course!

            Now, if Øivind showed up here as a Norwegian friend to report to us, from the front lines, some of the ways in which the Nordic model is failing to protect women, as a STRATEGY … well, speaking for myself, I’m very willing to listen to that. This is important.

            In fact, we should be listening to that. It is not surprising, after all, that there’s been a backlash against the criminalization of Johns and pimps, and that women, particularly women of colour, are paying the price.

            But, Øivind, I believe you’re here as a pro-sex-work missionary. And to call us sex-negative hypocritical whore-haters. Who do you really care about here? Exploited women, or the men who want to buy them?

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Morag: You are so right.

          • Øivind Nordahl

            Well, I do talk about racism and who is harassing who even if it makes some people uncomfortable.

            “The owner of the restaurant was acquitted of the charge of discrimination.” True. Will you please tell people here the given reason and ruling for that, and not keep it to yourself, while telling people what the story should tell us?

            Don’t tell half truths or half stories.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            It isn’t so difficult – The police has reason for suspecting the women for being soliciting in the restaurant, and no matter how much it is not-illegal to be a prostitute person or a hairdresser or a dentist or whatever in Sweden, it is still illegal no matter what, to do soliciting in restaurants – just like it is illegal to do peoples hair, or teeth in the restaurants.

            The point is, that it is a restaurant/bar and not a appartment or at the public street.

            So you can’t boil more soup on that story.

          • Will the reason for the acquittal bolster your position that there is a problem with decriminalizing prostituted women and criminalizing pimps and Johns?

            Would such an incident not have happened before the legislation was enacted – i.e. before legislation was it free and clear for prostituted persons to solicit Johns in restaurants?

          • Morag

            Øivind, Anne did not tell half-truths or half-stories.

            I read the article as well (using google translate–not perfect, but it provided the gist of the story) and it’s exactly as Anne described it in her post above.

            The humiliated women were victims of racial profiling (provided by police, and acted on, legally, by the restaurant owners), not of the Nordic model.

          • calumb

            You are sadly mistaken Henke,if you think I’m lying. The Swedish evaluation of the law admitted that the law increased discrimination, violence, and stigma against sex workers. Read pages 130-131. Sadly, the report stated that this increase was a good thing.

            And as for saying the discrimination in the restaurant had nothing to do with the Swedish laws on sex work, but everything to do because of race, would they have been profiled and thrown out if the law was not in place? Probably not. Because the restauranteur would only have race as a basis for throwing them out, and that is illegal in Sweden.

          • lizor

            This does not make any sense. The Swedish law decriminalizes selling sex. It is illegal most places to solicit restaurant customers to purchase any product that is not sold by the establishment. The women would have been wrongly targeted if the prostitution laws were the same as they are in the Netherlands.

          • Morag

            What are you saying, calumb? That prior to the new law, a restauranteur would just have to put up with johns and prostitutes making negotiations in his/her restaurant? Because that sounds like bullshit.

          • Henke

            Just to clarify, you are right. It is bull because that was not okey before this law either.

          • Morag

            Thanks Henke.

            These pro-prostitution, anti-Nordic Model so-called “arguments” are just incredible. Audacious and incredible. They are are actually BLAMING the new law for age-old oppressive systems, and the behaviours those systems create: racism, classism, woman-hating, male violence.

            Dear Pro-Prostitution People: Please stop lying. To us, and to yourselves. Thanks!

          • So these non-sex working Thai women would still have been thrown out of the restaurant before the law was passed, is that what you are saying Henke?

            Is racial profiling, and racial discrimination acceptable in Sweden? Is that what you are saying?

            Are you deliberately ignoring the fact that these women were profiled solely on race because the restauranteur assumed, incorrectly, that they were sex workers?

            It’s a great pity you cannot accept how xenophobic and blatantly racist that decision by the court was, essentially saying “They’re Thai, all Thai people are sex workers, the law says to abolish sex work, so it’s okay to kick them out”.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Well spoken Henke.

          • Morag

            Not sure where this reply will end up in the nesting, but I am replying to calumb’s comment, which begins:

            “So these non-sex working Thai women would still have been thrown out of the restaurant before the law was passed, is that what you are saying Henke?”

            This makes no sense and you are talking like a crazy person.

            YOu are deliberately obfuscating, diverting and lying. All of your points have been addressed, rationally, a dozen times or more by many commenters.

            You are here only to cause trouble and to promote prostitution. It’s not for me to say, but if I were a moderator, I’d delete you. You add nothing to the conversation but noise.

          • calumb

            So rather than admit the current law victimises migrants, and unethically racially profiles people as sex workers on the basis of their race, and then says it is okay to discriminate against them on that basis, you seek to ignore me and say I am only making noise. Is that what ideology makes you do? Is that typical?

          • Henke

            “So these non-sex working Thai women would still have been thrown out of the restaurant before the law was passed, is that what you are saying Henke?”

            Not would still but could still. The event you have mentioned did not happen because of this law.
            The law does not state that men suddenly have the right to be discriminating let alone racist against asian women who apparently dressed in a way that made men think of sex.

          • marv

            “Not sure where this reply will end up in the nesting, but I am replying to calumb’s comment…..You are here only to cause trouble and to promote prostitution.”

            Fouling the nest, so to speak. He should fly off and take a dump somewhere else.

          • Morag

            Foul, indeed!

            CalumB/Øivind, et al. feel that this new law is standing between them and their right to pay for access to women’s bodies (i.e., it “victimizes” their dicks).

            But, being pretend-feminists, they are shy about admitting that, aren’t they? So they say, instead, that the new law–which decriminalizes the seller–is victimizing the sellers (prostitutes/sex workers) themselves!

            Do they come up with these dirty tactics in brain-storming sessions with other pimps and johns? Or does it come to each of them independently and naturally?

          • If that is true, it is clearly illegal racial discrimination and must be fought on that basis. Similar things have happened to Indigenous women I know.

        • Anne Rasmussen

          I think, that you are confusing a few things here. Pimps and Johns are not “Europe women helping each other securing their work place.”

          Pimps are persons earning money on others prostitution, and Johns are sexbuyers – which I surely expect you to know already.

          Øivind Nordahl is a Norwegian blogger, who is against the Nordic model, and very much against feminists.

          • Øivind Nordahl

            [sigh!]

            Anne, I clearly am critical to the so called “Nordic model” because, as you know, the Norwegian Labour party only prioritized actions to “reduce demand” of sex work when they were governing – they did not want to do this in a social way and protect the rights of those selling sex. You know this, I believe.

            I’m also critical of the radical and vulgar parts and directions of feminism and the unsocial behaviour of radical and vulgar feminists. Not all self proclaimed feminists act like douchebags, mind you. Also within feminism, like with any other -ism, there are a few people that are smarter and more knowledgeable.

            The main big ongoing operation in Oslo has been the police running sexworkers out of their apartments, and harassing them and landlords. Far more sexworkers have been harassed than customers or “johns”, as you point out, are being fined. I believe you know this too.

            The most recent example of a “john” in Norway is the journalist of this article http://www.kk.no/livsstil/ville-du-latt-deg-massere-%C2%ABder-nede%C2%BB-28459. She, the magazine KK and the publisher is under investigation right by the Oslo police at Majorstuen for buying and promoting in the making of this article.

            Like I have allready explained about interpretation of Norwegian law i Norway, as a consequence of “the Nordic Model”, anyone aiding a sexworker are seen as pimps, not just promoters or those making money of sex work.

            Researchers like Anette Brunovskis and May-Len Skjelbred know the Norwegian marked through thorough research over decades and might supply you with at few nuances if you read their work. They also completely dismanteled the recent “evaluation report” from Vista Analyse http://www.aftenposten.no/meninger/kronikker/Vi-vet-ikke-om-loven-virker-7669532.html

          • Henke

            If cops harass women who sells sex, then educate them. We had to do it here in Sweden and I know it can still be a bit up and down with that. They are not perfect, they are cops after all so no one expects them to be perfect but you can make things better if you educate.

            There are problems but its again not the fault of the model but people who either do not have the proper understanding of it, nor doesn’t give a shit.. which in such a case should be removed from their work.

          • Henke

            “the Norwegian Labour party only prioritized actions to “reduce demand” of sex work when they were governing – they did not want to do this in a social way and protect the rights of those selling sex. You know this, I believe.”

            Than this is clearly a fault with political aspects of the Labour party, not the model/law.

            The model decriminalizes women in prostitution and it turns the spotlight onto the buyers–which are overwhelmingly males–and makes their activity illegal.

            If the Norwegian politicians / Labour party can’t understand the very model they are supposed to uphold than educate them on that.
            But blaming the model/law is nonsense.

            You end up sounding like yet another one of us males who wants to stick his penis into females whenever he wants and god forbid that there are women out there that tells you that that it is not how you should treat/view anyone of the opposite sex (nor anyone of your own sex either for that matter).
            Male sexual ‘needs’ is not a Universal right, it is not something that has to be at the centre of attention 24/7.

          • TanyaT

            I have just one question for all of these people.

            i am a sex worker. I am a feminist and always have been. I am college educated. I chose my profession because it suits me. Most of my friends chose it because it suits them. Some don’t like it but really like the money, which is many times what any of us would make doing anything else. Others really like the job. Some hate it. It’s pretty much like any work.

            Who gets to decide what I do with my body? The government, you or me?

            Do I belong to a sexual collective that can tell me what to do?

            Simple question. Please tell me. I really want to know.

            for actual women who actually do sex work, this is the question we want to know.

            And are you trying to help us? Because it definitely does not seem that way.

            I think I know the answer already.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “Who gets to decide what I do with my body? The government, you or me?”

            None of the above. Men and capitalism decide when it comes to prostitution.

          • TanyaT

            Actually, from where I sit, seems like you’re trying to decide for me.

            You want the government to be able to drive my business underground, where I have to fend for myself, harassed by cops? The first people cops go after are sex workers. You’re just enabling. Sounds like you really care about me. So much for sisterhood.

            I want to do what I do. I like what I do. It pays extremely well, and i don’t have to work in some office and I get to pick and choose when and where I Work. I even get to pick and choose clients.

            Who gave you the right to decide what I do with my own body? What happened to autonomy? Men don’t decide what I do. I decide what I do. Of course, you seem to think that you get to decide what I do.

            You want to give my government the right to decide what I do with my time and my body.

            It’s a strange kind of feminism that gives you the authority to decide what I do with myself. So much for respecting autonomy and my choices. It’s bizarre you don’t see the problem with this, and yet you still call yourself some kind of feminist. Maybe you want to tell me when I can get an abortion, too. Or maybe you have ideas about where I should work? You willing to pay me well enough to give me the lifestyle I live now?

            Thanks for answering my question so succinctly. You’ve made your position extremely clear. Can’t be any clearer.

          • Meghan Murphy

            No. You can do whatever you like with your body. Men, on the other hand, do not get to impose their desires on to women’s bodies and do not have the right to objectify, use and abuse women’s bodies. This is the argument. Stop being deliberately obtuse about what it is feminists are fighting, in terms of prostitution.

          • TanyaT

            The men who are my clients are my clients by my choice. They are not abusing me. I can choose not to see them if I wish.

            By claiming I am being abused, you demean me. You do not speak for me. You are appropriating my voice.

            You drive my clients away and my business underground and that forces me away from the safety of the public. It’s not good for me and it’s not for sex workers that you do this

          • Meghan Murphy

            Lucky you. The vast majority of prostituted women do not have a choice in terms of their participation in the industry. They are not servicing men they like or desire, nor are they respected by those men. You are now repeating the same arguments over and over again that have already been refuted. Again, The Nordic model doesn’t ‘drive prostitution underground’ — the ‘underground’ industry thrives under legalization and full decriminalization and is most certainly not ‘good’ for ‘sex workers.’ This is evidenced by the fact that women continue to be abused and murdered under legalization/full decriminalization and trafficking increases.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Prostitution drives business ‘underground.’ In places that have legalized or fully decriminalized the industry is still mostly illegal and run by organized crime.

          • That is certainly the case in the Netherlands. The famous “windows” are only a small part of the trade, and there have been a lot of reports about pressure and trafficking even there. The ones that have been closed down belonged to a powerful crime syndicate also involved in guns, hard drugs and other criminal activities.

          • amongster

            Wow, you are obviously so privileged that you can’t see beyond yourself. Have you ever thought about that your choices might have harmful consequences for others even though they have been positive (so far) for you? Feminism is not about fighting for every women’s right to do whatever she pleases, even though you choice-fems make it seem so. If you can’t think of women as a class, how women as a class are oppressed by men as a class, how prostitution is a product of patriarchy, then you are not a feminist, just a woman privileged enough to ignore the suffering of others.

          • TanyaT

            I think women and men who do not want to do sex work or who are enslaved, or trafficked against their will, should be helped and offered a way out.

            I actually have much greater respect for their suffering than any of you could. I know where it leads, and I actually AM A SEX WORKER. You are not, yet you dismiss out of hand what sex workers say unless it agrees with your agenda.

            I am not interested in fighting a class war if it requires me to subjugate myself to someone else’s agenda.

            Obviously, this has nothing to do with prostitution, as you have just illustrated, but your anger at women not obeying you and following lockstep in some bitter war that has nothing to do with feminism as virtually everyone understands it.

            I ask you: What harm can happen from choices that I make for myself on my own involving me and no other women?

            I’ll tell you what harm. I break ranks like all of the people i know who are also sex workers, and suddenly “our own” are throwing rocks at us.

            Well excuse us for living. You can go on in your holy jihad, but remember that you are not fighting “for women”. You are fighting a crusade against actual living women and making our lives miserable.

            I’d like you to decide to sick cops and lawyers and magdalene laundries on yourselves for a week and see how much you like it.

            I actually understand what it is to be abused and maligned. I get this likely better than any of the moral busybodies here, judging the rest of us as if you aspired to operate an ideological purity factory.

            I don’t want women in sex work who dont want to be there any more than you do. But by throwing these thugs and police-state tactics at us, you hurt us and you drive slaves and the abused underground.

            Shame on you. You get to play word games when all it is you want is to enforce your oppressive moral codes on the rest of us. It’s not different from having any other ideology rammed down our throats “for our own benefit”.

            It’s repugnant you dont see your hypocrisy

          • Mar Iguana

            Fe fi fo fum
            I smell the shyte
            of a frat boy bum

          • amongster

            Yes, shame on me for actually understanding that “sex work” means to perpetuate the submissive status of women in this world and always leads to sex trafficking as well since men won’t stop thinking about women as things to use if they still can be bought as things to be used.
            I also find it insulting that you, other “empowered sex workers by choice” and pimps love to deny any problems while using the suffering of those you have not chosen their slavery to demand protection – knowing, of course, that this protaction is only for the ones who make a profit from prostitution.
            You made it clear that you fight nobody’s fight but your own.

            Also, stop assuming that nobody here knows what it means to be prostituted and/or abused.

          • Morag

            “Shame on you. You get to play word games when all it is you want is to enforce your oppressive moral codes on the rest of us.”

            Shame on us, TanyaT? Word games? This is how you characterize the radical feminist fight against the objectification, commodification, sale, abuse, rape and murder of girls’ and women’s bodies and lives:

            “holy jihad”

            “crusade”

            “moral busybodies”

            “lockstep”

            “bitter war”

            “nothing to do with feminism”

            “nothing to do with prostitution”

            The shame is on you. First, for being deliberately stupid, and refusing to understand what feminists are saying and doing before you make your arguments.

            Second, for so thoroughly conflating prostitution and sexual liberation (as patriarchal men do) that you work to ensure that the two will never be conceptually and materially separated.

            Third, for your narcissistic, privileged contempt for the majority of women and children who are getting hurt by men because, unlike exceptional you, they are doing prostitution –sorry, “sex work”– all wrong.

            Fourth, for coming here armed with the rhetoric of john’s rights activists, the grooming language of pimps, and the shaming tactics of misogynists (Bitter busybodies? Really? Why not hairy, dykey and frigid, too?).

            Oh, and “holy jihad”! That’s perversion. Have you no respect for language? How about for the slow agony of women who have been stoned to death, in public, for having been raped? What about the men who have been decapitated, for our viewing pleasure, for apotasy? The people inside the twin towers? You compare US to violent jihadists because you ACTUALLY think we’re interested in controlling your personal, private pussy?

            Simply astonishing, perverse grandiosity.

          • TanyaT,

            Shame on you, you assinine lying John for making prostituted women seem so obtuse and idiotic. I don’t for a moment believe that a woman who manages her own personal prostitution business could be so painfully simple-minded. Given that you are so clearly invested in using prostituted women, you could at least do them the honour of not pretending to be one with a pathetic and insulting online personae.

          • sheela

            “I am not interested in fighting a class war if it requires me to subjugate myself to someone else’s agenda.”

            A class war is exactly what you are fighting–against poor women and for entitled men with the money to buy what and who they want.

            Maybe you’re in the privileged top 2% position of being able to pick and choose. But denying the violence of johns generally? Nice try.

          • wendy

            In the Netherlands, cops go after sex workers too, first. If you want to do prostitution its fine by me. You are not alone, however. In fact, most women and lets not forget GIRLS, are forced into it. There is a major problem with that in the Netherlands, which deserves priority over any voluntary prostitute.

          • amongster

            If you chose, like and benefit from your job than why would you ask anyone for help? What kind of help do you need and why? Is it maybe because prostitutes are not as safe as other workers?

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Amongster: Ask the exprostituted women, why they had to seek help.

            Safety has nothing to do with the need for help. Both Germany and Netherland had to start exit programmes up again after they legalized the sexindustry. Not that the legalization made it more safe to be a prostitute but they thought, that with the legalization and “normalization” of prostitution as a job, it wouldn’t be necessary with exit programs, harm reduction programmes and educationprogrammes.

            But they had to change their mind. Prostitution is not a harmless and normal job, no matter how much you chose it yourself.

            A Danish study from last year showed that at least 27% of Danish prostituted women, working at 9 of the biggest brothels with mostly Danish Nationals, were using Cocaine compared to 0,4% of Danish women in general, 10% used Ecstacy compared to 0,2%, and more than 30% used other illegal drugs than Hashish compared to 1%.

            We are talking about well managed and orderly brothels.

            That tells me, that prostitution aren’t and can’t be a normal job, and the persons working in even the best and most well managed part of it needs narcotics to be able to deal with the selling of their body openings.

            This is also confirmed by all the ex-prostituted women, who now fight for the Nordic Model.

          • amongster

            Anne Rasmussen, I totally agree with you! I just responded to TanyaT who asked “And are you trying to help us?” which seems inconsistent with her claim that prostitution is just like any other job and totally fine. And I’m definitely not one of those feminists who think they are helping anyone by supporting the legalization of prostitution. I’m sorry that my comment didn’t make that clear.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Amongster: yes – and I am so sorry that I have misunderstood, what you wrote.

          • amongster

            No problem at all 🙂

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Amongster: We fully agree 🙂

          • Anne Rasmussen

            “Who gets to decide what I do with my body? The government, you or me?”

            The Government and certainly society (that includes me and you and a lot of other people in the country) has to pay for and take care of all the persons in prostitution with harm reduction/damagecontrol programmes, exitprogrammes and new education programmes for all those of your collegues, who thought they could just earn a lot of money with some funsex but had to realise (too late) that it wasn’t just funsex and goodlooking guys with good manners but also had a very large bill to be paid in the end.

            And this is only for those of your collegues, who is working in the “nice” end of the industry. It is even more expensive when we are talking about traffickingvictims and drug addicted prostituted persons.

            So yes, as long as it is us, the society, who pays for the damages, caused by an extremely destructive sexindustry, we, the society and the government would certainly like to have a decisive say too.

          • TanyaT

            theres a lot of abuse in the food service sector. theres a lot of cruelty in agriculture.

            do you ban food services and agriculture or do you reform them and introduce standards and protection?

            Your position only makes sense if you don’t want us to have sex with men. I don’t think that’s what you want to argue but how else does what you argue make any sense?

          • Prostitution is a leisure activity for men.

            The deadly and destructive consequences of this form of men’s entertainment matter much more than men’s insignificant playtime fun.

          • amongster

            Prostitution is not about “having sex” it’s about turning a human being into a commodity. It is inherently wrong and can’t be reformed.

          • wendy

            Being raped multiple times a day makes for some serious life affecting trauma called PTSD or complex PTSD. Wont find that due to working in food nor agriculture.

  • There is a scene in the Canadian documentary Buying Sex where the owner of a New Zealand brothel complains about the increase of street prostitution since legalization. He’s not concerned, of course, for the welfare of the street workers, but rather is simply griping about the government’s poor management of his industry.

  • Street-based Sex Worker

    Could it be that street-based sex workers prefer methods of working and do not want to go indoors? Why do non-streetworkers think it’s always better indoors? Hustling on the street is more independent, away from brothel owners taking a cut, and not stuck with ads and free, not to stay in one place. Just prefer it. To each our own. Why “eradicate”?

    • Meghan Murphy

      Women don’t enjoy prostituting anywhere. Not outdoors, not indoors.

      • TanyaT

        I guess you’ve spoken to them all.

        • Meghan Murphy

          I haven’t spoken to every woman who’s been raped but I think it’s fair to assume they don’t ‘enjoy’ it either. Should we ask them all just to be sure?

        • Morag

          Neither, TanyaT, have we surveyed every male, living and dead, to ask him if he enjoys participating in the subordination of females, or if he’d like to be a rapist when he grows up.

          But, yeah, maybe we should ask them all. You know, just to be sure that feminism is, in fact, necessary.

          • TanyaT

            I’m a sex worker. I do it voluntarily. Nobody coerced me. I’ve never seen a pimp in 10 years in this business, I live well, and nobody tells me what to do. But apparently, I don’t know my own mind, none of my friends do either. None of the people I know are voluntarily doing what they do. It’s just a story we tell for no good reason. But then again maybe we’re abberations right? But don’t worry: you apparently know my mind a lot better than I do. Good for you. I’m impressed.

            Not too many people have that ability,

            Here I was thinking I was a feminist. I must have been deluded. I’m sure you know better than I do right.

          • Meghan Murphy

            You can call yourself a feminist if you want. Do you agree that we live in a patriarchal society and that the feminist movement is a political and social movement aimed at ending patriarchy and male violence against women?

          • Meh

            Interesting that Tanya didn’t answer this question. I was rather looking forward to hearing her response.

          • TanyaT

            Feminism is a movement to create equality. Patriarchy and male violence is the result of inequality.

            You cannot wage this war by taking away my rights. Thats what you are doing.

            Am I your enemy? does my work so insult you that I am beneath contempt? Do you disrespect me so much that you feel the need to destroy my livelihood?

            I have rights, too. We fought for the right to control our own bodies and make our own choices. People were killed before we got the right to have control over our own wombs and now we still have to fight to keep access to abortions.

            and yet then you come and claim to speak for women and want to give the government, which has never been our friends, power to dictate to us once again what we do with our bodies.

            You are no kind of feminist.
            Feminism is equality and the right to choose freely without coercion. It’s the right to tell male jerks and anyone else where to go if they tell me what to do with myself.

            Its very disturbing how little you respect the autonomy and agency of actual living women. If you want to go after abuse, then go after abuse. But don’t attack my sisters.

            we dont want to be the collateral damage in your war.

          • amongster

            Blah blah blah, so many commenters have already adressed all of the points you keep repeating like a mantra (choice, agency, rights, autonomy) without trying to engage with any arguments (for example, feminism is not all about privileged YOU!) but you are obviously only trying to insult us and feminists who are not interested in keeping a little circle of “sisters” safe while throwing others under the bus. That is what you are doing.

          • Meh

            “Feminism is equality and the right to choose freely without coercion. It’s the right to tell male jerks and anyone else where to go if they tell me what to do with myself.”

            What college taught you that? You need to DEMAND to get your money back.

          • “Patriarchy and male violence is the result of inequality.”

            Well, no. But nice try, dude.

          • Henke

            “Patriarchy and male violence is the result of inequality.”

            Let’s turn this sentence around a bit and see how it sounds shall we.

            Inequality is the result of male violence and patriarchy.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Word, Henke.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Word Henke.

          • Reva

            Yes.you have the right to decide what to do with your body.you also have the right to make choices about your lifestyle.you also have the right to make those choices ‘wisely’ and have self respect.you also have the right to use your brains.how does this work ‘suit’ you,by the way?how could you not find other options that could suit you?(you are educated)..oh,maybe they required usage of brains.
            As you said,feminism is about equality.totally agreed.but you can’t be equal to men by becoming their sex toys.feminism is about choice.absolutely.it’s also about providing choices to women other than your dear sex industry.because,as you migjt not have noticed,sex industry is many a times the only choice poor and helpless women have to support themselves financially.we are not sahing you shouldn’t do what you like…just think about what you are doing and how it affects other women.you are just contributing to the commodification of women and you aren’t helping feminism either.

          • Øivind Nordahl

            Maybe she is not religious and doesn’t need to confess into a religiously formed discourse?

            Do you aggree that “Jesus is our lord and saviour”?
            Do you aggree that “Rudolph is a red-nosed reindeer”?

            I don’t think you’ll find too many people willing to tick all your doctrine and dogma-boxes for the expression of religiously radical ways.

          • Meghan Murphy

            HAHAHHAHAHAHA. Holy Christ what are you talking about??? I’m an atheist.

          • Øivind Nordahl

            You’re missing the point by calling youself an atheist when radical feminist movement is repeatedly expressed religiously in it’s rhetorics and one needs to confess into that feminist belief to be taken seriously by those self proclaimed feminists.

            She might not feel a need to confess into a religiously formed discourse which put women at the bottom of society, or under the superior influence of men. We men are not that powerful. Bying consesual sex from a sexworker is also not violence – consesual sex never is.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Oh man. Your comments are getting funnier and funnier Øivind. I feel sad that you don’t understand what feminism is, tho 🙁

          • Øivind Nordahl

            [consensual]

          • Morag

            “We men are not that powerful. Bying consesual sex from a sexworker is also not violence – consesual sex never is.”

            Jian Ghomeshi? Is that you?

          • Meghan Murphy

            Seriously. If he says so it must be true! Øivind is just a poor, powerless john 🙁

          • Morag

            Ha! I know, right? Our Øivind Nordahl, lover of oppressed women everywhere, has been flavoured with smarty-pants atheism extract, dipped in a rich liberal coating, and then rolled generously in sexy freedom sprinkles.

            But, when we get down to the core of this decorative little treat, we find a man who believes women are best maintained as fuck-holes because we’re too stupid for anything else.

            Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer isn’t real? Oh, how you’ve opened our eyes and broken our silly hearts! Forsooth, we must renounce our feminist ideals immediately.

          • Meh

            LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Poor Oivind and his doodle 🙁

          • Morag

            Who said you and your friends don’t know your own minds? If you say sex work has been good to you, I, for one, am not going to challenge that. Not because of feminism, but because of the time-wasting uselessness of such a conversation.

            But, your happiness as a sex worker is not more important than the widespread misery of prostituted and trafficked women and children who are anything but satisfied and empowered by being sold to men.

          • TanyaT

            Megan Murphy said, “I haven’t spoken to every woman who’s been raped but I think it’s fair to assume they don’t ‘enjoy’ it either. Should we ask them all just to be sure? ”

            In other words, prostitution has to be persecuted as a profession because she doesn’t like it and some women are victimized.

            a lot of prostitutes are men, first of all. And since when did we outlaw an activity because some of it is abusive?

            your position, your absolute definition of prostitution as abusive and unfeminist locks out my dialogue completely

            i am a feminist and a sex worker. there is no contradiction. i know there is imbalance in the world, but i choose to do what I want to do and the government has no place telling me i cant do it to save me from what, myself?

            that’s disgusting and megan you are being slippery and deceptive in the way you speak. you don’t want to silence me but you won’t honor my choice to do what I do with myself in my own interests.

            there arep laces where glovea are made in slave-like conditions. Should gloves be banned? Clothing? you run out the bad actors and you leave the rest alone.

            thats not your solution, though, megan. You want to run out the entire business.

            you claim to be a feminist and to speak for womens interests, and yet you silence us.

            as a feminist, and as a woman im not impressed. want to end sex slavery? then end sex slavery.

          • Meh

            “a lot of prostitutes are men, first of all”

            – The vast majority of prostituted people are women. Not men.

            “you don’t want to silence me but you won’t honor my choice to do what I do with myself in my own interests.”

            Just out of curiosity Tanya, why is this choice so important to you?

            “want to end sex slavery? then end sex slavery.”

            Can you understand why women think there’s an overlap between ‘sex work’ and ‘sex slavery’, Tanya? Why do you think we’re constantly fighting this stuff? Because we want you to be angry at us?

          • amongster

            “The vast majority of prostituted people are women. Not men.”

            Exactly, and the vast majority of people who use prostitutes are men. I love how pro-prostitution activists try to make it seem like prostitution is somehow egalitarian because men and boys get prostituted too while willingly ignoring the fact that they do not get bought and exploited by women.

            If you don’t see patriarchal structures behind that I don’t know why you call yourself a feminist, TanyaT.

          • TanyaT

            There is a lot of slavery in the garment industry. You want to make clothing illegal? No, you reform the industry.

            There is a lot of abuse in all industries. Sex work is a profession exactly like any other. Sex is not magical or fundamentally different from anything else. So long as its chosen, and we have agency, then there is no conflict.

            you seem to dislike sex or think it is magically different from anything else a woman does. This says more about you than about sex or sex work.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Having sex is the same as sewing? If that were the case why would sexual assault be so traumatic? It’s very clear that sexual acts aren’t on par with other tasks like cooking and building things and cleaning and making clothing. This is not to say that exploitation is ever ok in any industry, it is to say that one of the reasons prostitution, in particular, is an issue for feminists is because it’s about exploitation and abuse of female bodies by men. The act of giving a blow job against your will or being fucked by a man who you don’t desire is traumatic for women why? Why do women in prostitution leave with PTSD?

            Whether or not one ‘likes’ sex is irrelevant to this conversation and you’re starting to sound like a stupid, sexist man, to be honest.

            In any case, the fact that I ‘like’ sex informs my understanding of sex as something I should enjoy and desire — it should be something that makes me feel good and respected and cared for. Not the other way around.

            Certainly sewing doesn’t have the same implications — psychologically, emotionally, socially, or physically — as sex does.

          • Morag

            “you seem to dislike sex or think it is magically different from anything else a woman does. This says more about you than about sex or sex work.”

            Are you a pimp, TanyaT?

          • Meh

            Tanya, you’re intentionally derailing the conversation by talking about the garment industry. This is another important topic of discussion, but it’s not being discussed here and now.

            I asked you in my previous comment: Why is ‘sex work’ so important to you? You haven’t answered.

            I also asked your opinion on the distinction between sex slavery and ‘sex work’ – once again, you didn’t answer.

            I also asked you about the fact that you conflate your sexuality with ‘sex work’ – you have not addressed this either. Avoiding something, Tanya?

          • TanyaT

            ” Meh – November 30th, 2014 at 12:56 pm none Comment author #219130

            I asked you in my previous comment: Why is ‘sex work’ so important to you? You haven’t answered.”

            How about money, freedom, security, flexibility, schedule, independence?
            A job far better than anything else I could imagine short of executive?

            Is that sufficient? its pretty good for me

            “I also asked your opinion on the distinction between sex slavery and ‘sex work’ – once again, you didn’t answer.”

            One is voluntary. One is not. It’s the same distinction between working as a cook for a restaurant voluntarily and being able to quit, ask for a raise, or do anything, or being chained to a stove involuntarily. It’s called having options. In fact, it’s the biggest and most freeing option of them all, because you can do it anywhere and on your own schedule. In fact, it’s more like having a business, where the service is yours to determine and the rate is high.

            Unless you have the legal system and cops ramming it into you so the prices are kept low and the workers are desperate.

            How’s that?

            “I also asked you about the fact that you conflate your sexuality with ‘sex work’ – you have not addressed this either. Avoiding something, Tanya? ”

            I’m saying you are trying to control my sexuality by forbidding me from giving consent in the full knowledge of what I’m after.

            Its okay for me to fuck a guy for free. i can pick up anyone and sleep with anyone i want for any reason. But if he gives me money, now I’m committing a crime against the sisterhood.

            That’s how it is.

            and I think i got your ticket now.

            just make up some stats and a moral panic from nothing and then pretend im a monster. good job. i hope you feel good as we are driven into shadows and spend our time praying we dont need cops.

          • Meh

            Also: What part of the discussion suggests that I dislike sex?

          • Meghan Murphy – November 30th, 2014 at 11:36 am wrote:

            “you’re starting to sound like a stupid, sexist man, to be honest.”

            Bingo! Rereading the thread I think that is exactly what’s going on here. I think “TanyaT” is a dude. The arguments are too cliche and on the money.

          • Meh

            Well done Tanya! You managed to answer the questions! Two stars for you!

            Doesn’t sound like ‘sex work’ would be your first choice, but you like buying fancy things and having time on your hands so you ‘choose’ it anyway.

            Your experience sounds very different from other women’s experiences (you know, those women you don’t address when you talk about how privileged you are? Remember them?).

          • TanyaT – November 30th, 2014 at 1:40 pm writes:

            “I’m saying you are trying to control my sexuality by forbidding me from giving consent in the full knowledge of what I’m after.

            Its okay for me to fuck a guy for free. i can pick up anyone and sleep with anyone i want for any reason. But if he gives me money, now I’m committing a crime against the sisterhood.”

            You are SO a john – you really need to believe that a prostitute wants to fuck you and the only difference is the the money. If there was no cash transaction, the entire interaction would be exactly the same. You delusional narcissistic twit.

            Love,

            the sisterhood.

          • Morag

            “Can you understand why women think there’s an overlap between ‘sex work’ and ‘sex slavery’, Tanya? Why do you think we’re constantly fighting this stuff? Because we want you to be angry at us?”

            Meh, I haven’t seen the slightest evidence that TanyaT is interested in the tragedy that is sex slavery and why feminists are fighting it. It’s simply not her problem.

            At the same time, it IS all about her, and the only reason we’re doing this is, apparently, is to control her. That’s how important she is, how exceptional. It’s that same kind of individualistic “feminism” that we see all the time–a variety of narcissism.

            The stereotype of the happy hooker (now updated as empowered sex worker) exists in our culture and cultural products for a very good reason: to soften, obscure or outright invalidate the brutality of prostitution–the truth about who’s in control, who isn’t; who benefits, who gets hurt or killed.

            But in TanyaT’s analysis, the misery of a thousand slaves shouldn’t hold more weight than one satisfied “worker.” And to help us understand this, something about gloves.

          • Meh

            Exactly. Tanya seems invested in the notion that ‘sex work’ is part of her sexuality, and that attempts to challenge/critique her ‘sexuality’ are somehow abhorrent and profoundly anti-feminist.

            She also fails to discuss women who are coerced into the system, most likely because she doesn’t actually give a shit.

          • Laur

            TanyaT,

            “megan,you claim that no woman chooses sex work”

            I have not seen Megan state that. Women can, and do, make choices under male supremacy. What Megan and the author of this article, Sam Berg, try to focus on is MEN and their choices.

            “you don’t want to silence me but you won’t honor my choice to do what I do with myself in my own interests.”

            No one who cares one wit about you is going to “honor your choice” to be used over and over again by men under conditions you cannot reasonably control. People can support you as a person, but that doesn’t mean we have to honor this choice or any other decision you make, just because it is a choice.

            “you claim to be a feminist and to speak for womens interests, and yet you silence us.”

            With the freedom of the Internet, I don’t see how one individual could possible silence s group. There are many, many pro sex-work blogs. I don’t see Megan rushing to shut those down. And she is letting your comments through at her own site. So, I’d hardly say she is “silencing” you or women who feel similarly to you.

            Finally, I would keep in mind that no woman’s sexuality is totally her own. By that I mean, it is not what it would be if male supremacy and other inequalities (race/ethnicity, class, etc) did not exist.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “TanyaT,

            ‘megan,you claim that no woman chooses sex work’

            I have not seen Megan state that. Women can, and do, make choices under male supremacy.”

            No, in fact when I talk about prostitution to the media I always say ‘I don’t deny that there are some women who choose prostitution, but for the vast majority it is not a free choice in any sense of the word.’

            Tanya’s not interested in the actual words we are saying though…

          • “you won’t honor my choice to do what I do with myself in my own interests.”

            You are so self-absorbed that you actually think feminism is about validating whatever choice you make.

            Why should anybody honour a “choice” that caters to and reiterates a sexual hierarchy, normalizes an industry that is rife with abuse, exploitation and danger for women, promotes sex as a disembodied commercial transaction and obfuscates both domestic and international trafficking through the language used to edify it, in the name of feminism?

            Hint: it’s not feminism. It’s just neoliberal capitalism.

            I have to wonder, though, what was your area of study in college and what employment opportunities did you turn down in favour of serving men? Why do you find the latter preferable?

          • corvid

            “… since when did we outlaw an activity because some of it is abusive?”

            I remember also reading that a female representative of the porn industry said “there are abuses in every industry” in an attempt to shrug off allegations of abuse.

            My question is: in what other industry would it be seen as acceptable to say something like this? Can you imagine an oil industry exec saying “oil spills happen to everyone! No biggie!” or perhaps a physician laughing off malpractice by claiming it happens all the time? We know the answer, it wouldn’t be accepted by a long shot. But it is accepted when women’s bodies are the product. That’s telling.

          • “apparently, I don’t know my own mind, none of my friends do either”

            You may very well know your own mind, or not. No one is purporting to knowledge about you personally.

            You would appear, however, not to know your own industry – either that or you are deliberately misrepresenting it.

            As for whether or not you are a feminist, we also don’t know, but based on your attempt to derail a discussion of how supporters of the sex industry misrepresent it and downplay the real harms done to girls and women, you don’t come across as being particularly feminist in your outlook.

            But hey, it’s the web! You can call yourself a feminist or an aardvark or any made up identity you want. Generally you will be believed or not believed based on the evidence of your posts. Aardvarks generally can’t type. Feminists generally don’t promote or excuse the exploitation and sexual abuse of women

  • TanyaT

    “Women don’t enjoy prostituting anywhere. Not outdoors, not indoors. ”

    megan,you claim that no woman chooses sex work . You imply that its always abusive.

    Well, here’s one woman who chose it and finds it not abusive. You know what would make it even better? if it was decrminalized, so i could go to the cops if something goes wrong.

    you don’t own my sexuality. you have no right to tell me whats moral for me to do with my time or myself. I can point to a dozen women I know who can tell you the same thing, and they all know dozens more.

    you don’t have the right to vote on my sexuality. You just don’t get it.

    you want to end the dark side of prostitution? get it into the light and stop pushing it into the darkness.

    stop controlling us. We don’t want your kind of “help”.

    The only way you can say the things you do is by ignoring the voices of actual women.

    Stop treating us like objects. We are not tools in your ideological war.

    You don’t seem to get it.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Men who buy and sell women treat women like objects. Not feminists who fight objectification. This is stupid. Stop making stupid arguments.

      • Øivind Nordahl

        Bying and selling any woman/man/transgender person is called slavery and is within the realm of trafficking. In that sense people have been treated like objects when sombody have actually bought them and forced them into sexwork or any other line of business.

        I do find it remarkable how you insist of not differentiating between chosen sexwork and forced sexwork – making objects and slaves out of all women (and men and transgender persons) who doesn’t govern their sexlife the way you would like them to.

        You’re a radical, that is established – and a fundamentalist, isn’t that so? Will you become an extremist?

        • Meghan Murphy

          Ok. Banning you now. You are too stupid to participate in this conversation.

          • Thanks. He’s a puffed up youngster who mistakes oppositional defiance for critical discourse.

    • Meh

      Your sexuality? What?

    • Meh

      OK so I’ve had a good amount of time reading over your message.

      1) “Well, here’s one woman who chose it and finds it not abusive.”

      – You didn’t answer whether you enjoy it or not. You just answered that you choose it.

      2) “you don’t own my sexuality” and “you don’t have the right to vote on my sexuality”

      – This is probably the strangest thing I’ve read in a long time. I’ve spoken to many well-educated ‘sex workers’ who refer to their jobs as just that – jobs. They don’t talk about it as if it’s some fundamental part of themselves. When you refer to your employment as “your sexuality”, that makes it sound as if this is a part of yourself that you’re unable to move beyond – that without ‘sex work’ your “sexuality” would be gone, too. No wonder you’re reacting so defensively to women on this blog.

      3. “Stop treating us like objects. We are not tools in your ideological war.”

      -There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with your statement, but it’s pointed at the wrong people. Point it at the men who have an inflated sense of entitlement over your body. We aren’t paying to use your body for our gratification.

      4. “stop controlling us. We don’t want your kind of “help”.”

      Did it ever once occur to you that there are women out there who do need “our kind of help”? That there are women out there without educations, who are forced into this line of work coercively? Have you even once addressed these women? Or is this just about you and how happy and privileged you are?

      5. “You don’t seem to get it.”

      No, I don’t understand why a college educated woman would choose to act defensively around other women when the men in her life are so fucked up and full of entitlement. You’re angry at the wrong people, Tanya.

  • TanyaT

    The only way you can say the things you do is by being just as judgmental and offensive as any priest or mullah. it’s the same thing.

    you do not own my sexuality, and you get no vote on it. The government also gets no vote on it. period. If you don’t get that, then you’re not any kind of feminist.

    • Meghan Murphy

      By judging pimps and johns feminists are like ‘priests’?? Ok….

    • Meh

      Your sexuality? What the?

      • jo

        Prostitution has nothing to do with the seller’s sexuality. It’s usually punters who whine about their sexuality being oppressed by feminists.

        Even if TanyaT actually is a woman who is unable to orgasm without doing it for money, (I highly doubt this) who cares. No one’s orgasms are more important than the well-being of women and children. I like other feminists care about enormous damage the sex industry does, not “empowered” individuals.

    • Meh

      Hi Tanya, I’m still waiting for your response re: sexuality comment.

      Is ‘sex work’ inseparable from your sexuality?

      • Missfit

        Thank you Meh, I am wondering the same thing.

        Each time we are talking about the global sex industry and its consequences on women and girls’ lives, we hear about the empowered sex worker and people wanting to own/control her sexuality. As if that is what we cared about. I find it very strange too how some sex workers react as if the act of being handed money was an integral part of their sexuality. If there are no more johns to pay to access their bodies, they won’t have a sexuality anymore? What about doing it for free if it is really about sex. Having less/no clients affects your income, not your sexuality. Business can sometimes be tough and people sometimes have to reorient themselves. Business is a regulated world; if an industry is doing too much damages, it can be closed down for the benefits of the collective (I so wish this principle would be applied more often). The empowered sex worker is often the one who also likes to claim how she chose sex work among other available options… As if the size of their income should take precedence over more trafficking, more rapes, more shattered young lives.

        Another thing I can’t stand anymore is the comparison with ‘any other industry’ where the selling of clothes is put on par with the selling of women’s bodies. I am all for reforming industries that sell objects, but not women’s bodies. They can say they are selling services, but we see what is being advertized; it is women’s bodies, not services. It is the renting of women’s bodies with whom men will be able to do what they want. That is the idea of prostitution. A concept that puts a price on women’s bodies. A concept that is responsible for the multiple rapes of women and girls. I don’t know how somemone can reconcile their feminism with being the supporter of such an idea.

        • marv

          YES. Living commodities are a contradiction of terms.

  • Anne Rasmussen

    It is very “funny” that most of the prostituted persons from foreign countries, like the East European countries and African countries, are prostitutes of the same reason as beggars – lack of income and a promise of gold and honey in West Europe.
    Some beggars are begging of their own free will and others has been trafficked and forced to beg.

    We see them everywhere in the street environment, where they try to sell a bit of good conscience while playing music or selling roses (at for instance in bars and restaurants until they are kicked out)

    But no one is protecting the beggars – no shining knights in white armour is fighting a fierce fight for the beggars rights to beg – no academics is making big surveys to defend the beggars right to beg at the streets – no day-after-day hearings in committees to clarify whether it is good or bad to be forced to beg – No one is fighting for the right to organise in unions and to beg in safe and organised places. No one (especially not the pro-sex-lobbyists) is defending the empowered and volunteer beggar in spite of the fact, that (male)beggars are begging of exactly the same reason as (mostly) women are selling sex.

    Why? Because beggars sells empathy, good conscience, charity, and humanity – they don’t sell sex.

    • Meghan Murphy

      That is one of the best analogies I’ve heard to date, Anne.

    • I also like the analogy to beggars, thanks for that and your astute analysis.

      I’ve written before that people accept poor women prostituting rather than doing what poor men do to survive (steal, sell drugs, etc) because stealing and selling drugs hurts non-poor people while prostituting mainly hurts poor women. When prostitution starts affecting property values is when communities seek solutions, but otherwise they are used to the concept of women’s bodies being an appropriate dump site for male aggression.

      In related theory, I’ve long compared the strong push for legal prostitution to the complete lack of push for “mother work” wages despite some 85% of women becoming mothers.

      There’s no feminist organization I’m aware of seeking to pay mothers the way teachers, coaches, and daycare employees are compensated. I can’t think of any malestream media-paid feminist writer who has advanced this position (not even the mothers!), but exceedingly rare is the media-paid feminist who hasn’t repeatedly agreed “sex work is work”. Somehow sex work is work for sex workers, but baby-making is not work for baby makers.

      Paying mothers for raising children is nowhere on the feminist to-do list, but paying women to sexually submit to men gets high publicity cover stories, books, documentaries, and has entirely made the writing careers of some “sex positive” feminists.

      • lo

        “baby-making is not work for baby makers”

        Libfem think it is work only if it is surrogacy (the baby being sold like a product to rich people, so empowerment!) but a mother raising her children? Nope, it’s not work because there aren’t any “clients”.

        Libfem’s whole rethoric is about clients “oh look she chooses to give the client what he/she wants, it’s thus a job like any other and so so empowerment, legalization now!!!11”. (And they are very hypocritical, because they claim legalization gives “””rights””” to prostitutes only, when in fact, it gives rights to johns #BasicFinanceLaw)

        No wonder why they think everything is a contract (including consent). It’s really suprising that they claim to be anarchist and yet see the different interactions in society from a liberal POV.

        They just follow the liberal motto: The customer is always right/the customer is king (and imho it’s kind of problematic that libfem/anarchist/and sometimes marxist don’t see the problem with the customer-here oppressor- being “king” with or without money).

      • This is a great point. Thanks Sam Berg!

      • Mar Iguana

        “In related theory, I’ve long compared the strong push for legal prostitution to the complete lack of push for “mother work” wages despite some 85% of women becoming mothers.”

        Oivind Dordahl, Thaddeus Gregory Blanchette and their ilk fantasize returning women to recent times when they were, by law, merely the most valued of men’s god-given domesticated animals (they walk, they talk, clean and cook, they have handy penis holes, why, they’re almost human); the harvest animal producing their most valued resource: Human bodies gleaned for patriarchy’s purposes, harvested for everything from prostitution to wage slaves, cannon fodder, consumers, tax payers, and so much more.

      • I have never liked the idea of women earning wages for housework and child-rearing. I think it would encourage women to remain within their traditional roles. It would be like paying women to perform beauty practices on themselves. It may seem fair, given that beauty practices use up time and cause physical harm to women, but if we paid women to prettify themselves we would be encouraging a harmful behaviour.

        Housework and child-rearing may not be as harmful to women’s physical health, but I think men should be encouraged to share those tasks with women. Women should not be doing all the work themselves and I do not think we should be encouraging women to put with social norms that require them to do so.

        I guess governments could give each household a certain amount of money that could then be distributed to either the man or the woman depending on who did the housework, but then it would be difficult to control how the wages are distributed within households. Women cannot form an effective housework union due to the fact that they all work seperately from one another, so how can they stop the men from hogging a household’s “housework wages”, while not actually carrying out more housework.

        I think it would be a better idea to make it easier for women to get jobs and receive good wages outside of the home, while changing the culture so that men are encouraged do more of the housework. Contrary to what the pro-housewivery side may insist, work done outside the home is more efficient (one person can do work that benefits thousands of people, instead of work that benefits only a few people), less isolated (which allows the formation of unions) and, if we had a socialist society, it would enable women to have more of a say in how society is run. Making the housewife role more bearable when we could be encouraging its abolition strikes me as a pretty reformist approach.

        That said, I agree with Sam Berg’s point that liberal feminists are far more eager to fight for the rights of women to earn money through sex than they are to fight for the rights of women to earn money through any other means. Instead of being told that they should try to empower themselves by climbing the corporate ladder (a harmful and capitalistic idea by itself), women are now being told to climb the sex industry ladder and other kinds of work performed by women is under-valued by sex-crazed liberals.

    • Øivind Nordahl

      ?

      Anne, where have you been lately? Quite a few academics, in Norway at least, are figthing for the rights of beggars, doing research and also politically lobbying for cooperation with aiding organizations in the foreing countries they may come from. If you are left-winged, and know Norwegian politics, you know this.

      The political party I am a member of actively fights for the rights of both sexworkers and beggars. Feel free to join, Anne.

      There is a slight legal difference between beggars and sexworkers in Norway, though. The state claims tax from sexworkers and sexwork, not from beggars. You might have forgotten to mention this for Meghan and other people here.

      The “Nordic Model” Norwegian state, looking at itself with it’s own legal glasses, is consequently pimping with it’s own laws and practice. But the “Nordic Model” Norwegian state does not want to look at itself that way, just make extra money.

      • Anne Rasmussen

        Øivind: What they are talking about are why the beggars are in Norway, where they come from, and the beggars right to be in the Country or not. Not exactly union talk and normalisation of beginning. And no talk or worrying about what will happen, if begging is being prohibited – you know, beggars have to go underground, more dangerous, and depending on criminal middlemen.

        • Øivind Nordahl

          Hi, they do talk about that, that’s true. Both begging and sexwork is normal – but there is an important difference.

          So far begging is not legally seen as work in Norway, but sexwork is. Consequently the courts have ruled that sexworkers have to pay taxes and contribute equally with other accepted workers in our society with the same rights and freedom. But some politicians won’t accept that, and want to overrule the courts.

          So when begging is not considered work the comparison halts a little, the way I see it. But should begging become considered work – of cource it would be more natural to talk about unions, safety precautions etc.

          Underground begging.. How would any underground beggars get their money? ..

          The dangerous thing if begging is prohibited are beggars who turn to or supply their income with [more] crime. Some are criminals allready, but luckily in Norway, a lot of the beggars have not been arrested for criminal activity, just given guidence of where to stay and how to behave.

          The best thing, in my view, is allways to listen to someone you want to help and take them on their word for what their needs are. Sexworking women are also people worth listening to. I see no reason not to take them seriously and let them participate in how laws should be formed.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “So far begging is not legally seen as work in Norway, but sexwork is. Consequently the courts have ruled that sexworkers have to pay taxes and contribute equally with other accepted workers in our society with the same rights and freedom. But some politicians won’t accept that, and want to overrule the courts.”

            But in most countries prostitution is not seen as simply a job like any other. In places like Canada, the state sees prostitution as exploitation. Same for all the other countries who have decided to criminalize exploiters (pimps and johns) and decriminalize the prostituted.

            The vast majority of women in prostitution in places where it is legalized aren’t registered and don’t pay taxes. I’ve pointed this out many times over and am tired of repeating myself so am just going to start deleting your comments if you can’t manage to engage with integrity and if you continue to repeat the same thing over and over again, despite the fact that it’s been refuted a number of times over.

            The industry exists primarily underground. Women don’t want to register as prostitutes because THEY DON’T WANT TO BE PROSTITUTES. They want out of the industry and see it as something they are forced to do temporarily because they have no other choice. They don’t want to be on record as prostitutes because the ‘stigma’ of prostitution doesn’t disappear under legalization, despite claims that it would from advocates. WOMEN DON’T WANT TO BE PROSTITUTES. MEN WANT WOMEN TO REMAIN ACCESSIBLE TO THEM AS PROSTITUTES. THAT’S WHY PROSTITUTION EXISTS. NOT BECAUSE WOMEN CHOOSE IT.

            Go promote oppression somewhere else.

          • Anne Rasmussen

            Øivind: “So when begging is not considered work the comparison halts a little, the way I see it. But should begging become considered work – of cource it would be more natural to talk about unions, safety precautions etc.

            That’s exactly the point – prostitution is seen as a legal job/begging is not, although begging probably is one of the oldest “jobs” in Human history.

            So …I ask again, where are the big lobby groups, the fearless and noble sex buyers, who is so willing to fight for the poor prostitutes, and all the supporters, who starts petitions for prostituted womens RIGHT to sell sex (and of course, other peoples right to buy sex and to earn money on prostitution), where are all these support groups, fighting the same fight for the beggars right to be legal beggars.

            Where are they – all those fuck*** hypocrites. Well, let’s face it…begging is not very sexy – they don’t sell sex or generates billions into the pockets of pimps and other good people. Therefor the patriarchy don’t give a shit about them. Unlimited acces to young female bodies are much more important than the legal rights for a bunch of beggars.

            “Underground begging.. How would any underground beggars get their money?”

            YES, you are absolutely right. Neither does prostitutes underground.

            By the way….why is it necessary with “safety precautions etc. ?
            Are the sexbuyers violent, since you are mentioning safety precautions?

      • marv

        Here is the logical extrapolation of Oivind’s political philosophy:

        men’s rights/women’s rights
        phallus rights/sex worker rights
        rich rights/poor(beggar)rights
        master rights/slave rights
        lord rights/serf rights
        king rights/subject rights
        capital rights/wage slave rights
        human rights/animal rights

        It would be rationally contradictory to abolish any single one of the undergirding structures of these rights regimes without eradicating the others as well. Yet liberals are politically and ethically inconsistent hypocrites.

        Structural inequality DENIALISM has become systemic in itself as evidenced by the pervasive social acceptance of liberal rhetoric.

  • Thaddeus Gregory Blanchette

    I think it is revealing that the title of this article implies that being “pro-prostitute” is somehow a bad thing.

    This would mean that, what, research by people like Melissa Farley and Sheila Jefferys (does she even DO research…?) is “anti-prostitute”, right?

    Nice Freudian slip there, Ms. Berg.

    • Meghan Murphy

      You’re either being manipulative or daft. It says ‘pro-prostitution’, not ‘pro-prostitute’.

      • Meh

        He’s just daft.

  • Another person claiming that “sex work” is a part of her sexuality. If sex work was women getting whatever they want sexually from men, then why would men pay them? Seems to me if women were getting whatever they want from men, then women would be the ones paying men for it. Everyone knows that prostitution is men paying women to do what men want. It’s about men’s sexuality, not women’s. If TanyaT is really a “sex worker”, then I expect she is well aware that it’s about what men want. Women should always feel free to do whatever we want with our bodies. But men should not get to do whatever they want with women’s bodies.
    I’ve heard several ex-prostitutes speak about what johns are like. They all say pretty much the same thing. Johns have an over-inflated sense of entitlement, they hate hearing the word “no”, they hate being emasculated, they’ll become violent at any time. One woman I’ve met said she couldn’t do doggy-style because she couldn’t turn her back on a john for even a minute. These men are violent and need to be stopped. Some men act “nice” for a while, and eventually become violent. There is no real way to ‘screen’ johns, since they can appear nice at first and turn violent suddenly. All johns think they are entitled to use women’s bodies for whatever they want, and this leads to direct violence sooner or later.
    Survivors of prostitution often say that when they were inside the business they believed they were doing fine for quite a while. It takes time to confront the trauma inherent in being made into a sub-human object over and over. Eventually even women who entered by choice report feeling like they will kill the next john.

  • TanyaT

    Why not try listening to whores for a while.

    Or do we not count?

    Apparently we don’t count.

    Thanks for having our backs.

    • Meghan Murphy

      You don’t speak for all prostituted women and you don’t speak for all women (and girls). You don’t get to decide oppression is ok for all of us simply because you claim to be a woman who made a choice.

    • Morag

      You’re not a whore. You’re a pimp. The evidence for that is in all your comments.

    • I do listen to women in the sex trade, and that’s how I know what you’re saying doesn’t make sense. You’re pretending that prostitution is about women’s choices when it’s not. If you are a woman in the sex trade, then you know yourself that it’s about men’s choices.

  • Anne Rasmussen

    News from legalized Germany – please notice the income (sorry: lack of income) the prostituted women earn. This is the reality and the real world of prostitution, most of the 400.000 prostitutes in Germany and the 25.000 prostitutes in Netherland are living in.

    May we have TanyaT’s comments on that.

    “The principle of this Sexfabriken – of which the team Rudloff / Beretin leads five – is that both women and Free Admission to pay 60-79 euros. In the women then 25 euro tax per day plus 23 euros for the night to come (most have no home of their own). That is, they must have at least three free use, in order to pay their debts to the brothel operators can. And then they do not have a penny for themselves or their pimps.”

    (Notice: Free Admission = Johns/punters/sexbuyers – Germans don’t like to call them what they really are)

    English Googletranslate: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.emma.de%2Fartikel%2Fgrossrazzia-bordellen-wg-menschenhandel-318087&sandbox=0&usg=ALkJrhjUYZy0w-Ohw0XcC9nCYJsEzN9Wfw

    Original (in German): http://www.emma.de/artikel/grossrazzia-bordellen-wg-menschenhandel-318087

    • amongster

      Not a perfect translation either but maybe more readable than the google translate version:

      “The concept of these sex fabrics – of which the team Rudloff/Beretin runs five – is, that both women and johns buy access, which costs between 60€ and 79€. The women also have to pay 25€ of taxes each day and 23€ for accommodation (most of them don’t own an apartment). This means that they have to service at least three johns to be able to pay their debts to the brothel owners. And then they still don’t have a penny for themselves or their pimps.”

      I also want to say that the German word for johns is “Freier” and while it definitely is an euphemism it is only used for the clients of prostitutes theses days which makes it as clear as the word “john”.

      Anyways, what’s going on here in Germany is awful.

      • Anne Rasmussen

        Thanks a lot Amongster – it makes it a bit more understandable

      • Also noted this:

        “”method Loverboy”. Here men make very young girl falls in love with yourself and then send them to the bar; initially by claiming to be in need, then by force. (Also, these women are then described by the proponents of the old prostitution law as “voluntary” prostitutes, because they do it so “out of love”.)”

        It’s, you know, a “choice”.