I'm in favour of abolition. Here's some quotes from the corbyn thread (who is in favour of decriminalisation, as is mr tea)
Maybe so, but the issue effects everybody. You don't have to have direct experience of sex-work to have an opinion. You DO need to be informed though, and there is plenty of research to show that decriminalization/legalization actually does nothing to improve safety, 'monitoring' by the law remains woefully inadequate, the majority of violence still goes unreported, it does not result in safer sex practices, and prostitutes are still stigmatized and discriminated against by society. These are all myths, playing into the hands of organised crime.Mr Tea: Baboon's hit the nail on the head - the debate does tend to be dominated by people with no experience of sex work who think they can speak on behalf of sex workers
so what? Should we then just give up on trying to target the demand? Don't you see this is exactly what the johns and criminal organizations who drive the sex industry want so they can maintain the status quo? And of the course the men that 'visit' prostitutes who feel they have the right to buy another persons body.I've read that in Scandinavia, a lot of prostitutes are highly critical of the so-called Nordic model (selling sex is legal but buying it is illegal) because punters are naturally afraid of prosecution and therefore give false names, which just makes everything riskier for the prostitutes. I believe the Collective of English Prostitutes takes basically the same stance.
as for the prostitutes in favour of decriminalization/legalization: most of the arguments I' ve read have failed to convince me they're fully aware of the true extent of the damage caused by the sex industry, which is under the complete control of organized crime (and is surely to remain so even if it was decriminalized/legalised, as has happened in the Netherlands, Australia, NZ). Prostitutes are caught in this trap, and inevitably often become mouthpieces for those that profit financially from the sex industry - pimps, traffickers, the mafias. Sadly the vast majority of prostitutes do not speak out because they live in fear, or are silenced by the criminal gangs that exploit them.
Strange that you of all people take an anti-academic line. You rightly say that more prostitutes' voices should be heard but that's hardly feminists' fault. Lots of research is carried out, they're not just making this stuff up!Really I see it as symptomatic of an actually fairly reactionary school of academic feminism that simultaneously infantilizes women (by assuming they know what's best for sex workers and can speak for them)
The abolitionist arguments I've read (from feminists or not) are backed up with research and the horrific statistics of abuse and murder caused by the sex industry pretty much speak for themselves. And the suggestion that abolitionists are nothing more than Victorian prudes is incredibly dismissive, offensive even. This is about the normalisation of the commercialisation of women's bodies, not squeamishness over sex.
You use the word 'infantilise' - sadly, many prostitutes ARE practically infants, too young to understand what they are getting forced into. they need responsible people to speak for them and help them escape the trap. decriminalisation in New Zealand for example has done practically nothing to prevent 13 year old girls selling their bodies on the streets, and the men arrested for buying sex from minors still receive light sentences. THIS is what happens when people like corbyn decide what is 'best' for prostitutes.
No, it YOU who are confusing 'sexual desire' and 'intimacy' with the act of paying for sex. Women should not be made responsible and made to suffer for men's inability to build safe, sexual relationships based on respect, without having to buy another person's body. Quoting Rachel Moran (a survivor of prostitution who wrote the book 'Paid for'), 'there are three types of john: those who assume the women they buy have no human feelings; those who are conscious of a woman's humanity but choose to ignore it; and those who derive sexual pleasure from reducing the humanity of women they buy'....and demonizes men (by conflating sexual desire, which is very often more about intimacy than it is about sex, in the case of men who visit prostitutes) with violence. Or it's just good old Victorian prudery dressed up as feminism
I can find a certain amount of sympathy for some men who pay for sex (but certainly not for most of them), but this pales in comparison to the injustice against women. I DO agree that there needs to be much more research into johns, of which there is actually very little compared to the vast amount of research into the prostitutes themselves.
One thing is clear: women often do not have a choice, but men who pay for sex ALWAYS do.