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Archive for December 23rd, 2013

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Here’s a helpful overview of Canada’s decision on Friday to strike down all prostitution laws, and the responses from various groups:

[Rabble.ca – Excerpt] — Abolitionists advocate the Nordic legal model, which treats all sex-for-sale as sexual assault and penalizes only the customer. They say that, at the very least, the great majority of sex workers are in the trade as an absolute last economic resort, often as a result of deception or coercion. At worst, the sex trade involves human trafficking: buying and selling sex slaves.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) intervened in the Bedford case, advocating the Nordic model. They released a statement after the Court’s decision, which says in part, “Aboriginal women are grossly overrepresented in prostitution and among the women who have been murdered in prostitution. It is not helpful to divide women in prostitution into those who ‘choose’ and those who are ‘forced’ into prostitution. In most cases, Aboriginal women are recruited for prostitution as girls and/or feel they have no other option due to poverty and abuse. It is the sex industry that encourages women to view prostitution as their chosen identity.

“With the legalization of prostitution, NWAC fears that Canada will become a key destination country for traffickers and pimps, and there will be a huge increase in the rates of sexual exploitation and sexualized violence among Aboriginal women and girls. NWAC President, Michèle Audette stated that ‘NWAC’s position is that prostitution exploits and increases the inequality of Aboriginal women and girls on the basis of their gender, race, age, disability and poverty.’”

Another way to view the various sides of the argument would be along the spectrum of belief in the free market. Claimant and retired dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford, who called her business the Bondage Bungalow, was among the minority at the top of the trade, with her own business and staff and a comfortable and fairly discreet clientele. Like geishas, such top-of-chain workers say they provide a personal service that goes far beyond sex.

Abolitionists argue that the usually young women at the bottom of the supply chain tend to face steep social barriers such as racialization, class, and inadequate education. For every cultivated, genteel online escort who enjoys an occasional pleasant date that ends in a sizeable tip, they argue, there are at least a dozen disadvantaged women/men/trans swapping sex for survival. Unlike, say, selling drugs or working in a casino, having sex with someone for money usually involves a certain loss of personal autonomy.

Mind you, a lot of people are going hungry these days, and some are feeling desperate. In a sluggish service- and retail-oriented economy, some would argue that piecework is better than no job at all. Decriminalization advocates talk about co-operative brothels, with workers voting on policies and hiring their own protection. Unfortunately, so far that model doesn’t seem to have succeeded.

Just as with casinos, with brothels, a few players (usually employers) win, and maybe even win big. Most players find the odds are heavily weighted against them, especially those who are already at some disadvantage. “…far too many Indigenous women and girls [have been] placed in harm’s way, denied adequate protection of the law, and marginalized in a way that allows some men to get away with carrying out violent crimes against them….” states the Amnesty International “Stolen Sisters” report on the more than 600 missing Aboriginal women, thought to have been murdered, probably because somebody wanted sex without having to pay for it.

“The reality is sex workers are 60 to 100 times more likely to be assaulted than anyone else,” said Marion Little, executive director of PEERS,” according to and article in the Victoria Times-Colonist. “The non-profit group provides advocacy and outreach for Victoria sex workers,” and helped organize Victoria’s Red Umbrella Day, the international day to end violence against sex workers.

“It’s a sad day that we’ve now had confirmed that it’s OK to buy and sell women and girls in this country. I think generations to come — our daughters, their granddaughters and on — will look back and say, ‘What were they thinking?,'” Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies Kim Pate told the CBC. “To say that [prostitution] is a choice when you’re talking about the women we work with is to say that in fact it’s OK to just exploit them,” she said.

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PLEASE READ THE FULL EXCELLENT ARTICLE AT THE LINK BELOW: (And please don’t forget to like, comment and share to spread the word and support the cause. Thanks! :-))

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/penney-kome/2013/12/price-paid-sex-0

Also here is an excellent and very powerful statement from Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry:

http://feministcurrent.com/8436/press-release-indigenous-women-against-the-sex-industry-continue-to-fight-for-the-abolition-of-prostitution/

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