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scottish feminists -

(194 Posts)
weeonion Mon 18-Jun-12 16:43:52

Dear Sister

As you may know Rhoda Grant MSP is taking forward work to reduce and prevent sexual exploitation, through introducing legislation to criminalise buying sex in prostitution.

Trish Godman MSP held a consultation on this issue in 2010 which resulted in around two thirds of the respondents supporting the proposed legislation. Rhoda is submitting her proposal to the Justice Committee tomorrow (Tuesday 19th June)and is asking that the previous consultation be regarded as sufficient. This would mean that she could then submit her Bill without further consultation. There is also a danger that the expense of a further consultation might deter the Committee from taking forward the proposed legislation at all. This suggestion is being strongly opposed by pro-sex work campaigners as they want a lengthy consultative process that they can prolong in the hope of derailing any new legislation..

I am therefore asking you to send an email to the Justice Committee, today or tomorrow morning, stating that you support proposals to criminalise buying sex, and that in your view the previous consultation was competent and sufficient. The latter is the key at this stage.

This is really urgent. Please email now if can and ask others to do so also.

You email to

The clerk is Peter McGrath or you can address it to Christine Graham who is Convenor. If you have time you could also email individual members. All details can be found on the committee page

Many thanks,

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 18-Jun-12 16:55:30

Do you have to be in Scotland to do this?

weeonion Mon 18-Jun-12 17:01:51

not at all eatsbriansandleaves!.

This is more about reaffirming that a consultation has already taken place.


EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 18-Jun-12 17:03:05

Thanks - will do it then now

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 18-Jun-12 17:04:29

Have posted on facebook as well to try and get others to do it. Let us know the outcome? I am not in Scotland so may not hear otherwise. Thanks

MsAnnTeak Mon 18-Jun-12 21:05:24

This isn't about reaffirming a consultation went on. Re-read what you're being asked to state* "that in your view the previous consultation was competent and sufficient."*
If you know nothing of the consultation, or it's conclusions ... ?

MsAnnTeak Mon 18-Jun-12 21:14:33

The pro-sex campaigners want another consultation not because they wish to delay things but because they view the consultation as highly flawed, going against UNAIDS guidance that human trafficking and sex work should never be implicitly or explicitly conflated with sex work.
Global Alliance against Traffic in Women (GAATW), an alliance of 106 NGOs around the world that holds special consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, released a report in 2011, strongly criticising “end demand” approaches such as criminalisation of clients.
And since her consultation. This resource was officially launched in December 2011 at the UNAIDS Secretariat in Geneva, during the 29th meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board and has now been published by UNAIDS, and states:
“States should move away from criminalising sex work or activities associated with it. Decriminalisation of sex work should include removing criminal penalties for purchase and sale of sex, management of sex workers and brothels, and other activities related to sex work.”

Leithlurker Mon 18-Jun-12 21:30:09

I would hope that the OP and Eats will do what they can to clarify the situation so that those signing the petition are clear on the intention and the outcomes of the bill.

It also reminds me that Margo McDonald an independent MSP introduced a bill a few years back that wanted to set up "safe" red light districts in order to promote health and welfare of sexworkers. I would imagine that she at least would speak against the proposed bill.

MsAnnTeak Mon 18-Jun-12 21:42:26

The OP is a bog standard letter which is being circulated. Looks as if the posters is either unaware of what it says, or is trying to play down the implications ?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 19-Jun-12 12:21:53

I can read the OP's post. I am perfectly aware of what it is saying and agree with it. And weeonion, I got friends to email in supprt as well. So please let us know the outcome? Thanks

dittany Tue 19-Jun-12 12:33:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 19-Jun-12 12:34:31

Love your rewording Dittany

notnanny Tue 19-Jun-12 12:40:32

Are we too late? If this goes through, Scotland will be truly blazing the trail for sexual justice. They already have stronger laws regarding rape. I do hope Rhoda Grant succeeds in this proposal.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 19-Jun-12 12:53:07

Yes too late. But let's hope it is successful

Leithlurker Tue 19-Jun-12 12:59:07

Having read the above statement I would conclude that knee jerk reactions such as the proposed bill are going to add to the issues not resolve them. It is also slightly misleading to talk of two thirds who responded with out knowing what that means in numbers, and who was asked for their views, and lastly why the third who did not support the bill did so? Or should we all just jump of a cliff becouse some random people felt it was a good idea?

notnanny Tue 19-Jun-12 13:21:32

The reason it's so difficult to challenge the current law is that each sex worker makes £100,000 a year for her pimp. The vast majority of these women are trafficked. It's a massive business and has nothing to do with sexual liberty or any other such notion. Of course it should be made illegal to pay for it. I do wish people would stop muddying the waters.

MsAnnTeak Tue 19-Jun-12 13:42:57

Dittany I could equally mention the funding which radical feminists have received from taxpayers in order to further their 'agenda' to abolish the sex industry. They totally negate any input from those who work within the sex industry deeming them to be victims, infantilising them, and not worthy of input (unless it's to say how terrible a time they have endured).

You may see it as defending punters and pimps because for you it's always appears to be about the men. Because of the abolitionist stance towards prostitution (dress it up as you wish but that's the obvious agenda), thousands of women throughout the world had free condom distribution stopped. This forced women to risk using no protection at all and the incidence of HIV/STIs rocketed. Funding was taken from projects which took a pragmatic approach to sex work and was put into projects to take women from prostitution. An example being, train them the use a sewing machine, stick them in a factory for a pittance making goods for the wealthy west. Make 120+ T-shirts per day and you may make the money you did prostituting yourself ! Work long hard hours, for shit wages and with somebody else looking after your children was seen by the priviledged as far better for these women. (Elizabeth Pasani - The Wisdom of Whores, makes for an interesting read).

MsAnnTeak Tue 19-Jun-12 13:48:11

Notnanny could you point me to the source of your information ?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 19-Jun-12 13:49:11

The Wisdom of Whore is indeed an eye-opening book. Notnanny, can you support those figures?

Leithlurker Tue 19-Jun-12 13:58:58

I doubt the street walkers at the end of my road here in Leith are making any where near that amount, possibly half but that too might be optimistic once payment of fines and deductions for condoms and wet wipes are factored in. Oh and of course the nights off work due to being beaten up by Johns and or pimps.

Leithlurker Tue 19-Jun-12 14:07:28

Since Dittany and Eats have called for a funding campign here on MN to support womens aid, can we also have the same for centres that offer aid and support to sex workers. Edinburgh used to have a very good service, provided a health service, support, night time mobile shelter, free condoms, guess what got shut down a few years back not exclusivly but in part becouse the local residents wanted the problem to be gone. Years later, yep they are still abused, trafficked, and here.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 19-Jun-12 14:09:12

Scot-PEP are always happy to receive donations.

notnanny Tue 19-Jun-12 14:11:36

It came from one of the pimps themselves in a TV documentary about trafficked women, can't remember details of which doc. This is about money, nothing else, always has been. It's not difficult maths, but if a girl makes £100 a day, that's £36,500 a year, tax free. My guess is the younger they are the more they make.

A pimp can run several women at the same time and earn a hefty income. The only qualifications they need is an ability to abuse and control women.

dittany Tue 19-Jun-12 14:14:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 19-Jun-12 14:20:57

So, one anonymous, untraceable pimp saying something on telly is enough to state baldly that each sex worker makes £100k for her pimp? And you talk about muddying the waters!

Sex work takes many forms, and there are different ways to work as a prostitute; the streetworkers Leithlurker talks about have quite different experiences from women working in Edinburgh's long established and licensed brothels. And those experiences will be quite different from those of "independent escorts" who have no pi os and even, gosh, pay their taxes.

Prostitution is not a clear-cut issue.

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