Where do you stand on banning the sex trade?

(180 Posts)
PinkyofPie Sat 11-Jun-16 16:58:01

I'm a radfem but I have done very little research into the banning of the sex trade and sex workers, but I know it's a bit of a hot topic at the moment, and the likes of the (vile) Paris Lees is a champion for sex workers.

I can't imagine why anyone would think protecting legal rights for the sex trade would be good for women. Can anyone enlighten me to their views?

RebelRogue Sat 11-Jun-16 17:12:46

I'm so so torn about this...my first instinct would be ban it! Ban it all! But is it really possible? Prostitution,sex workers etc have been illegal in many countries for years and it still happens. The ones that get in trouble or end up arrested are the women themselves. It happens daily from really small scale like woman sent on the streets by her "loving" boyfriend( yes that happens) to big scale like sex traffic rings etc.

I guess legal rights would mean women that are in it unwillingly or through no other choice might feel less demonised and more willing to seek active help. That on the slight chance they're actually booked in with a decent guy,that guy could report thing to the police if he realises she's forced into it. On the "organised" side maybe more protection? Regular health checks, certain rules of conduct etc.
Dunno maybe i'm not making much sense but a prostitute is less likely to report a beating,assault, rape if she knows she won't get in trouble herself for being you know..a prostitute.

PinkyofPie Sat 11-Jun-16 17:45:58

I k ow what you mean Rebel, if the welfare of women was properly protected I may buy into it, but I don't feel comfortable as sex work being seen as a bona fide career choice.

I also don't think that any man paying for sex is a decent man. Another reason I'm swayed towards the "ban it" mindset - men who use sex workers aren't doing it because they care about women, or want them to feel empowered, in fact it's the very opposite, their own sexual gratification is more important than another human being and they feel it's justified because they throw cash at it

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Jun-16 17:50:27

Dunno maybe i'm not making much sense but a prostitute is less likely to report a beating,assault, rape if she knows she won't get in trouble herself for being you know..a prostitute

I am not familiar with the criminal law of every country in the world but there is no European country or country which applies a criminal code similar to European legal traditions which makes being a prostitute illegal. What trouble do you think a prostitute will get into if she reports a crime ? I'm not referring to possible issues of bias as to credibility, which is another issue.

I am not torn on this at all. Prostitution is not a trade. Buying sex, brothel keeping and pimping should be illegal.

RebelRogue Sat 11-Jun-16 17:56:14

I think it would be easier (when debating) if we could discern between forced sex trade and willing sex trade. I had a friend that honestly wanted to do this. She was sleeping with a lot of guys anyways,that's what she liked and what she wanted so she decided she might as well get paid for it. And where do we stand on escorts? Some include sex,some don't,some do it on the side etc. It's a very complex issue which is why i'm torn and rambling. The thing is do you realistically believe it would ever stop in every shape or form ? If yes,then asking for a ban is a logical way to make it happen. If not,wouldn't you rather the women in it had some form of protection under the "legal" cover?

P.s. Don't think you'll get a straight answer from me,i keep going back and forth in my head and what ifs. Hopefully some more decisive people will come along grin

LurcioAgain Sat 11-Jun-16 18:00:54

I agree with Lass.

The two models at the extreme ends of the spectrum adopted across Europe are broadly speaking, the German model which legalises buying, pimping, and brothel-keeping, and the Swedish model which criminalizes the buying of sex (pimps and punters are criminalised, prostitutes themselves are not).

Since Germany liberalised its laws, trafficking has gone up dramatically. It has also totally failed in its intention of making prostitutes safer and giving them health checks and employment protection: the mega-brothels operate as something akin to hotels, and the prostitutes as "independent contractors" - so a typical prostitute has to turn about 3 tricks simply to pay the room hire for the night, without getting the equivalent of national insurance, sick pay or pension rights. The brothel owners make massive profits, prostitution overall has gone up and the prostitutes are still exploited and have little to no legal employment rights. In contrast, in Sweden, trafficking has gone down.

BertrandRussell Sat 11-Jun-16 18:05:40

What a relief. Lass is here.

Everything she says on this subject I agree with. grin

sausageeggbacon111 Sat 11-Jun-16 18:14:12

Interesting re trafficking. So reporting of trafficking in Germany has increased because people are not afraid of being arrested? And as to the fall of trafficking in Sweden, is that a fall in trafficking or a fall in reporting? Certainly quick google searches show that the online presence of sex workers in Sweden seems pretty high. Sex work is underground so any claims about rise and falls of any thing need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Jun-16 18:14:47

I had a friend that honestly wanted to do this. She was sleeping with a lot of guys anyways,that's what she liked and what she wanted so she decided she might as well get paid for it

The "I love it so much I might as well get paid for it" scenario always strikes me as a bit of a canard.

I had a few wild years in my younger days but the men involved were without exception gorgeous/charming/attractive mentally and physically (well seemed so at the time anyway)and my choice.

I'm sceptical that if I had been turning half a dozen tricks a night every single one is a man I'd have been delighted to sleep with.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Jun-16 18:21:19

I saved this article from the last time this subject came up.

Welcome to Paradise: inside the world of legalised prostitution
s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/welcome-to-paradise/

RebelRogue Sat 11-Jun-16 18:23:58

Lass i don't know how to explain without sounding awful and callous,but she never said no. Like we'll be outside on the benches,chatting,and some guy(admittedly we knew most of them) would come and ask her to go with him. She'd b back 20 mins later and say she shagged him. If she went for a movie,or a coffee or whatever in someone's house she'd end up having sex,regardless if there where other people in the house or not.

But i do get your point and maybe you're right. Maybe it is just a way to rationalise and justify a decision that wasn't really a decision

ChocChocPorridge Sat 11-Jun-16 18:59:28

I also entirely agree with lass on this - read that article and tell me that is a world you want to live in, where doing that to women is acceptable.

I think that the least harm to the most people applies here, and that 'it has always happened' is no excuse. Murder has always happened, and that's illegal.

<sits quietly on the Lass bench>

VestalVirgin Sat 11-Jun-16 19:59:48

Lass i don't know how to explain without sounding awful and callous,but she never said no. Like we'll be outside on the benches,chatting,and some guy(admittedly we knew most of them) would come and ask her to go with him. She'd b back 20 mins later and say she shagged him. If she went for a movie,or a coffee or whatever in someone's house she'd end up having sex,regardless if there where other people in the house or not.

That doesn't seem like a healthy attitude to me.

Besides, her right to earn money that way does not top other women's right to not be trafficked.

And as to the fall of trafficking in Sweden, is that a fall in trafficking or a fall in reporting?

Why would there be a fall in reporting? Being a prostituted woman is not illegal in Sweden.
Prostitution is never underground. That's what many women who got out of prostitution say, and it makes sense. The online presence means they are not underground. The police can find them.

Sure, SOME trafficking could go on underground. It would, however, then be similar to child porn - still there, but not nearly as big an influence on overall society, and limited to invitation only circles.

VestalVirgin Sat 11-Jun-16 20:06:28

Since Germany liberalised its laws, trafficking has gone up dramatically. It has also totally failed in its intention of making prostitutes safer and giving them health checks and employment protection:

I hope you aren't eating, because you'll want to vomit:

There's also flatrate brothels. If I were optimistic, I would assume the women there are paid by the brothel owner, but I think it is much more likely that they're just enslaved.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Sat 11-Jun-16 20:08:57

I support the Swedish model, for the pure reason that it decreases trafficking - and trafficking of women/girls is the main reason I'm against prostitution.

Traffickers in general do not operate in Sweden - they operate in places where it is legalised.

Lurkedforever1 Sat 11-Jun-16 20:16:26

I'm torn too. I don't want prostitution legalised, but a blind eye turned when it comes to any negative legal ramifications for the prostitute herself. With everyone else involved treated like the vile criminal they are.

As for the sex trade, my concern with making it illegal would be the workers themselves not coming forward.

I think first we need to do more to stop the circumstances that drive people to it. The porn stars right at the top of the worker end don't concern me as much as the vast majority who are only in the sex trade because they are desperate and don't feel as if they have a choice.

DetestableHerytike Sat 11-Jun-16 20:18:10

Even if she had sex at every party you went to, Really, she still selected which man to sleep with, he was probably within an age range she found attractive, and she got to choose which sex acts she did.

None of the above applies to prostitution.

Swedish model is the best.

VestalVirgin Sat 11-Jun-16 20:46:40

I think first we need to do more to stop the circumstances that drive people to it. The porn stars right at the top of the worker end don't concern me as much as the vast majority who are only in the sex trade because they are desperate and don't feel as if they have a choice.

Well, obviously. Sweden had already a social state in place, so they started from a position where poverty wasn't a problem, not with regard to Swedish citizens, at least.

The system would likely not work in the US.

We will see how it works in France - only thing I read about it was that French men now drive to Germany to use prostituted women.

Apart from the trafficking issue, I just plain don't want to live in a country where women's bodies are for sale. It's the whole attitude that goes with that.
Prostitution not only affects the prostituted women. It also feeds men's sense of entitlement. Which in turn influences how they treat women.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Jun-16 22:39:25

*I just plain don't want to live in a country where women's bodies are for sale. It's the whole attitude that goes with that.
Prostitution not only affects the prostituted women. It also feeds men's sense of entitlement. Which in turn influences how they treat women*

That's it exactly. It doesn't just affect the prostitutes and their punters.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Sat 11-Jun-16 22:42:43

Exactly that, Lass.

In fact it was put beautifully by the Swedish police: "you cannot have equality of the sexes when a man can buy sex on his way home from work. That is not equality"

karalime Sat 11-Jun-16 23:09:06

I'm for decriminalisation.

I do not want to see sex work become a normalised career path for women. However, the current situation is crap. I've dealt with sex workers in my job and it has made me think differently.

The dangers faced by sex workers are there because of the legal status of sex work. The rest of us can go about our day, in our offices without the threat of violence, rape, harassment, non payment etc. Sex workers can't, trafficked or not.

A sex worker can choose their clients much like any other business person. However, being illegal and all, trafficked women in brothels don't have much recourse.

Whether someone is being employed looking after your kids, plastering your hallway or having sex with you, they all deserve the same rights imo.

DetestableHerytike Sat 11-Jun-16 23:13:45

Karalime

A sex worker following a health and safety regime consistent with, say, a medical professional, would need to wear protective gear in line with the bodily fluids that could otherwise touch her skin.

I doubt that would work.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Jun-16 23:23:31

The dangers faced by sex workers are there because of the legal status of sex work

It is not illegal to sell sex. The dangers faced by sex workers are there because of the mindset of the men who use prostitutes.

Have you read the article I posted? That describes what happens when prostitution is legitimised. Please do not dismiss that article because it is from The Telegraph - you will find The Guardian and the BBC saying exactly the same.

RebelRogue Sat 11-Jun-16 23:25:43

Lass i have to say that article made me less torn. Thank you for that and for not flaming me

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