What’s Current: Scottish National Party passes resolution supporting Nordic Model of prostitution law

Scottish National Party passes resolution in favour of adopting the Nordic Model of prostitution law. MP Ash Denham introduced the motion:

“Prostitution is fundamentally incompatible with the principles of respect, of justice and equality that the SNP stands for,” she said to applause. “The exchange of money does not buy consensual sex. As one survivor put it: ‘They do not buy our consent, they buy our silence’.”

Vancouver woman takes to Twitter to document the sexual harassment she is subjected to on her daily commute:

Finn Mackay says sexual harassment is “a daily reminder of how urgent women’s liberation remains.”

Don’t forget Ireland’s women’s rights issues this St. Patrick’s Day.

Several women’s descriptions of sexual assaults perpetrated by Larry Nassar, who worked with worked with athletes at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, indicate MSU tried to protect Nassar and itself from accountability.

Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • Wren

    yay scotland !!!!

  • FierceMild

    Yay Scotland!!!

  • Rachael

    So happy to hear Scotland is on board!!! Come on England, you should be ashamed!

  • Lucia Lola

    Yay Scotland!

  • lk

    So very proud of Scotland…every time I see another story about a country adopting the Nordic model, I honestly feel happy and a part of me wonders (hopes!) if it will ever happen in the US.

  • M. Zoidberg

    Yeeees! Every time I see a strike against the sex industry, I feel so much better.

  • anne

    Awesome! Such amazing news! Go SNP!

  • SpecialSnowflake

    So happy to find out that another awesome country adopted Nordic Model!

  • marv

    No true Scotswoman or Scotsman would oppose abolition.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Ann!

  • lk

    I don’t think it will happen nationwide (ie. a federal version of the Nordic Model).

    But I think it is something that could happen at the state level (especially in the more conservative states). In Texas, to crack down on prostitution a few years back they passed a law so that if you got three prostitution-related charges, you would then get a felony charge and go to prison.

    I think states could be convinced to adopt a version of the Nordic model if it was sold in the right way. I think we all know conservatives don’t give a crap about women so I doubt we could convince them that prostitution is a violation of human rights, but I think they might be convinced if we made a couple of arguments:
    1. Family values-access to prostitutes hurts families and by focusing on the demand side we could protect the “traditional family”
    2. Illegal immigration/drug cartels- there is ample evidence (at least in border states) that drug cartels help women get across the border and make them prostitute as a way to pay off their debt. I think we could make some kind of argument about how johns help to fund drug cartels/ help to increase the illegal immigration of women.
    3. Money for the state-impose high fines for men who buy or profit from prostitution. If you can afford money to rape a woman, you can afford to pay fines..if someone can’t or won’t pay, garnish their wage, let them pay monthly.
    4. Make soliciting a prostitute a felony crime
    5. Private prisons–Texas loooves putting people in prisons, but they hate that taxpayers have to pay for it. I think by focusing on the johns people would complain about how much its costing the state to house non-violent prisoners…but people might support it more if they were house in private prisons (which Republicans/Trump generally support).

    As someone who knows this industry first-hand, I’m curious as to your thoughts about the possibility of the Nordic model being applied at the state level. (Of course, the end goal would be to make it nationwide, but we gotta start somewhere!)

    • Wren

      lol, i’m no expert on it, but technically we have something similar federally in the trafficking victims protection act


      the problem seems to be the reliance on evidence of coercion or force, which is vague enough to embrace all prostitution or narrow enough to allow for only the most text book cases of exploitation. individual states have done much work, such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, plus others i can’t think of at the moment. some states have passed safe harbor acts focusing on youth, even though the TVPA explicitly states youth under 18 are coerced victims regardless of age of consent. the biggest issue is enforcement, which is also the issue in canada right? if local enforcement doesn’t want to do it and no one pressures them, it falls flat. but a federally level nordic model that’s actually enforced and criminalizes sex buyers would be tough because of nevada, and because american men are pigs.

      p.s. sorry about punctuation. my cat ruined my keyboard.

  • lk

    I was actually thinking that you could start at your local level – like your city representative?

  • lk

    As a general rule, I try to avoid internet comment sections…but I really avoid them if they feature anything whatsoever about a woman or a racial minority….I really think reading that stuff will damage you emotionally…it’s draining to realize just how much hatred people harbor for brown people and women. I used to think that I should post a rational comment or something, but that saying “Don’t cast your pearls before swine” comes to mind…

  • Wren

    that is amazing. i wish we could get shit done in the u.s. like that.