What’s Current: Britain’s red light district shows there is no ‘safe’ way to manage prostitution

red light district

UK police have established a “managed prostitution area” in Leeds, where johns and prostituted women are decriminalized in buying and selling sex, from seven at night till seven in the morning. Sarah Ditum responds to this development: “The death of Daria Pionko shows there is no ‘safe’ way to manage prostitution.”

“Despite no longer being at risk of arrest for selling sex, the women felt that there had been a reduction in policing that left them vulnerable — and although the evaluation ascribes that threat to an abstract entity called ‘crime,’ there is of course an agent behind every act of violence, and that agent is generally a man…

Leeds’ managed area policy is flawed, but its focus on the women’s needs suggests a genuine potential to do good. It cannot succeed, however, if it cannot admit that the dangers of prostitution are fundamental to its economy: there can be no prostitution without punters, and there can be no safety for women with punters. You can exile prostitution to an industrial estate. You can install extra bins for the used condoms and other detritus. But when you’re picking up the bodies of murdered women and calling it an occupational hazard, the obscenity of prostitution should be impossible to ignore.”

“Shutdown of sex-trafficking websites long overdue.” The local police and FBI have shut down one of the longest running prostitution websites in the Northwest. Survivor, Alisa Bernard, writes:

“I actually cried [with joy] when I heard the news The Review Board site was taken down. It was like hearing that my pimp and all the men who had ever bought me had been felled in a single swoop.

That’s what it feels like to be an online sex worker: Years later, you start realizing that slavery does not have to include chains. Rather, you can be caged just as strongly by digital 1s and 0s.”

Shocking study reveals physics teachers give girls lower grades than boys for the exact same answers.

Join Stop Patriarchy and Women’s Liberation Front in Washington DC on January 22nd for the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to counter-protest the annual “March for life.” Buses will offer transport from New York City. In a historical moment where US state legislations are rapidly strangling the right to abortion out of existence, we must stand up and defend women’s reproductive sovereignty.

Susan Cox
Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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