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Melissa Farely

(202 Posts)
MsAnnTeak Tue 11-Oct-11 13:15:15

Has been a leading light for radical feminists The American clinical psychologist, researcher and feminist anti-pornography and anti-prostitution activistis best known for her studies of the effects of prostitution, trafficking, and sexual violence. Much of her reasearch has been quoted on the above issues and has been highly influential in forming policies across the globe.
Recently there has been a formal complaint lodged against her and there are moves to have the APA rescind her membership.
Canadian courts have found Dr Farley to be a less than reliable witness,
finding her evidence ?to be problematic?, believing her work is
unethical, unbecoming of a psychologist, and is in breach of at least sections 5.01 and 8.10of the APA?s Code of Ethics, perhaps more. The document is 115 Pages long.

If it's upheld and her membership is rescinded will we all have to have a rethink ?

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 11-Oct-11 13:33:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsAnnTeak Tue 11-Oct-11 15:53:27

Read it from page to page and seems to have some pretty damming evidence of not seeking ethical approval, manipulating data and 'serving her own ideology'.

Beachcomber Tue 11-Oct-11 20:18:27

Calum Bennachie is a knob who likes to pretend that feminists, who are against the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and children, denigrate prostituted women and express hatred for them.

He is either very stupid or has a massive agenda (or possibly both).

Melissa Farley, on the other hand, rocks.


solidgoldbrass Tue 11-Oct-11 22:11:31

I don't know much about either of the individuals here but I have experienced anti-sex-work and anti-porn campaigners misquoting research, misunderstanding the research they were quoting, passing off anecdote as evidence and making shit up.

GothAnneGeddes Wed 12-Oct-11 00:00:59

Was Melissa Farley's research inaccurate and poorly conducted? Maybe, maybe not.

But the way in which the apologists for sex industry, those who want it to be bigger and more acceptable industry and make it absolutely a-ok and stigma free to "buy" a women, are so very desperate to descredit her and bring her down, makes me think a very real witchhunt is going on.

MsAnnTeak Wed 12-Oct-11 17:35:37

solidgoldbrass - It is becoming apparent those who are anti-porn and anti-sex work may be lying and using deceit to further their ideologies ( Melissa Farley yet to be proven I accept).

GothAnneGeddes - It may not bother you one iota as to whether someone is giving you the full picture but I think it's crucial of somebody who is at the forefront of influencing not only national but international policies on predominantly issues which affect women's health and safety that they are seen to be squeaky clean and beyond reproach.
As for wanting the 'apologists' to expand the sex industry and make it 'absolutely ok', can you lead me to where these people have spoken out ? What I find astounding is those who do champion womens' health and safety would follow an ideology rather than address the fact that prostitution is the only legal 'job' where women if they work other than alone will face criminal charges. I'm sure I'll be correct if I have missed any other jobs

Beachcomber - I assume you reckon Andrea Dworkin rocked too ? Hey this is a women who believes any male who has heterosexual sex is a rapist - by definition that's what the act is ? And might I add, also felt it ok to have women only workshops set up with models of males, whereby it was encourage to 'castrate' them.
Let's start a bogus thread along the lines of, 'I know there is a male only workshop which encourages men to rip off breasts and mutilate the genitals of female models' in this section and find out how the posters view that ?

MsAnnTeak Wed 12-Oct-11 17:51:20

Beachcomber sorry, missed answering part of your post, given the language used by some anti-prostitution campaigners which in effect portrays those who exchange sex for cash as always submissive, of victim status I daresay it is fair to say that it does come across as being hateful.
To deny women who choose prostitution the mental ability to judge whether they have been the victims of rape (and some do report rapes), or are always damaged by child abuse, portrayed as no self determination in transaction would no doubts encourage those men who would seek to harm women to target prostitutes.
Just out of interest, how do you view Dr. Brooke Magnanti ?

Tchootnika Wed 12-Oct-11 18:44:20

I hadn't heard of Melissa Farley before reading this thread and the link, but I'm fascinated by this.

But how is it that demonstrating that research has been carried out and/or used unethically and misleadingly is necessarily a 'witchhunt'?
Also, please explain to me why it should be that anyone who criticizes this woman's work should be an apologist for sex industries. If her methods were unethical or misleading, then surely her political leanings - and those of her detractors, if what they say is evidence-based - are irrelevant.

And yes, MsAnnTeak, if your opinions rely on Farley's work, then of course you'll have to have a rethink.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 12-Oct-11 19:13:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beachcomber Wed 12-Oct-11 22:07:10

Just out of interest, what is your agenda MsAnnTeak?

Actually scrap that - I'm not really terribly interested in your agenda. I shouldn't have posted on such a dubiously anti-women thread, started by someone with no posting history, in a section which gets targeted on a regular basis.

Tchootnika Wed 12-Oct-11 22:21:04

such a dubiously anti-women thread

- How so, Beachcomber?

buzzskeleton Wed 12-Oct-11 22:41:03

I guess the suggestion that should one activist's work be compromised that anti-porn campaigners should all have a rethink. The simplistic representation of Andrea Dworkin's work.

solidgoldbrass Wed 12-Oct-11 23:17:24

I think if it can be proven that a researcher has been dishonest, incompetent or unethical, particularly if the research has been widely publicised, then it needs equally widely publicising that this particular piece of research has been discredited.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 13-Oct-11 07:58:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beachcomber Thu 13-Oct-11 08:42:18

Oh please SGB have you read the document?

There are only 17 pages which outline the complaint - the rest is attachments such as Farley's CV (and long list of her published papers and official speeches), extracts from her and other reports, etc.

It is all smoke and mirrors. Your man Bennachie starts off with a subjective opinion of Ms Farley which is just plain (willfull) misrepresentation of her work and her views - by doing so he makes his agenda perfectly clear.

"Many of the false allegations made by Dr Farley in this paper have been repeated by her in her efforts to stigmatise sex workers and keep them criminal."

Anybody who is familiar with Farley's work, knows that she has no wish whatsoever to stigmatise sex workers nor have them treated as criminals.

Maybe Bennachie should spend a little less time talking for sex workers and claiming to represent them, and a bit more time selling his body on the street, so that he can garner a bit of experience of that of which he speaks.

The notion that we should rethink the idea that the institution of prostitution is inherently violent, dangerous, damaging and exploitative, on the basis of Bennachie's opinion, is risible.

I wonder if Farley will even bother to write a rebuttal.

solidgoldbrass Thu 13-Oct-11 10:22:42

SGM: Fair enough if there's no evidence yet. I was speaking generally from an awareness that some studies on affects of porn are still being cited despite having been either discredited or in fact had the interpretation placed on them by pro-censorship campaigners disputed by the people who conducted them in the first place.

GothAnneGeddes Thu 13-Oct-11 10:49:02

I know I shouldn't bite but, Ms AnnTeak, you'll actually find that most anti-prostitution activisits are very pro the Nordic Model, which doesn't criminalise prostitutes, but the men who use them. Funnily enough, your male "pro sex worker" activists get all upset over that.

Anyway, here's a really good take down of the pro-prostitution argument:

GothAnneGeddes Thu 13-Oct-11 10:49:47

Try again

MsAnnTeak Thu 13-Oct-11 11:05:40

Beachcomber - "Maybe Bennachie should spend a little less time talking for sex workers and claiming to represent them, and a bit more time selling his body on the street, so that he can garner a bit of experience of that of which he speaks."

By your statement in order to have some authority on the subject one has to have had first hand experience ?
Am I wrong to assume at some point you were involved in prostitution ?

"Your man Bennachie starts off with a subjective opinion of Ms Farley which is just plain (willfull) misrepresentation of her work and her views - by doing so he makes his agenda perfectly clear."

Hasn't Ms. Farley started off all of her work with a subjective opinion therefor making her opinion perfectly clear ?
As you have mentioned "willful misrepresentation" is highly probable where there is an obvious agenda. Ms.Farley has one, therefor it could be safe to suspect there may be some validity to Bennachie's complaint.

Beachcomber Thu 13-Oct-11 11:48:37

Bennachie refers to trafficked women as 'migrant sex workers' <puke>.

He is also claims that there are no trafficked women being prostituted in New Zealand.

He is a knob with an undisclosed agenda.

Farley's agenda is perfectly clear - she is anti the institution of prostitution as she perceives it to be gendered violence against women and children and a human rights travesty. She is always extremely transparent about her position and agenda

Good link GothAnne - thanks. I particularly liked these bits;

“To be able to defend that women sell their bodies (and that men buy them) one must first abolish the victim and instead redefine the prostitute as a sex worker, a strong woman who knows what she wants, a businesswoman. The sex worker becomes a sort of new version of the ‘happy hooker’.

“Ekis Ekman shows in a convincing way how this happens through a rhetoric which portrays the victim position as a trait of character instead of using the correct definition of a victim: someone who is affected by something. In such a way the terrible reality in which women in prostitution find themselves is concealed. The fear of the ‘victim’ in the prostitution debate … is something which mirrors neo-liberalism’s general victim hate – since all talk of the vulnerable person immediately reveals an unjust society. Through making the victim taboo can one legitimise class inequalities and gender discrimination, for if there is no victim there is no perpetrator.”

Fiction of unions for ’sex workers’

The International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW), for example, which is affiliated to the GMB and has spoken at conferences of the Labour Party and the Green Party, is run by a man called Douglas Fox. Fox claims to be a ’sex worker’ and accuses radical feminists of being big meanies out to silence him. Yet on closer inspection it becomes clear that Mr Fox is a liar. Sex worker he most certainly is not, rather he is a pimp who runs one of the UK’s largest escort firms. The IUSW’s membership, you see, is open to anyone, to pimps, to men who buy sex, to sympathetic academics. Of its minute membership of 150 (which compares to the 100,000 plus women and men who work in the UK’s sex industry) only a tiny minority are actual prostitutes. It’s the same all over Europe where similar organisations exist (such as ‘de Rode Draad’ in the Netherlands) – their membership is tiny, most aren’t even prostitutes, and they have never succeeded in pushing any independent union demands.

Those who support prostitution though have of course never been ones for the facts. We see this idea of ‘unions’ coming from both the left and the right because it’s convenient, it gives prostitution a certain false legitimacy. It doesn’t work and it never will work, but it successfully diverts attention away from the deeper questions around prostitution and why it exists in our society.

Beachcomber Thu 13-Oct-11 12:04:15

Bennachie's organisation links to the International Union of Sex Workers in their list of hunky dory international unions for 'sex workers'.

The NZPC also provide information for anyone wanting to set up a brothel in New Zealand.


Uppity Thu 13-Oct-11 12:11:01

There's a thread about this on Punternet atm.


Beachcomber Thu 13-Oct-11 13:01:49

Yes, I don't doubt that there is plenty of support for Bennachie and his brave and tireless campaign for the right of other people to sell their bodies, the right to be a pimp and the right to live off brothel earnings, from the johns hmm.

What a prince eh?

MsAnnTeak Thu 13-Oct-11 13:02:17

Thanks for the link, interesting. Quite a few names mentioned there.

I ended up finding Laura Augstin as it was claimed she denied trafficking existed. Quick Google and it brought me to her blog as I only spent 30mins looking over it I may have missed it, but where does she deny trafficking exists ?

"Bennachie refers to trafficked women as 'migrant sex workers' "

People from all walks of life migrate to foreign countries to work for higher wages. If you are working in a country legally as a prostitute would it be out of the far reaches of the imagination to assume they too wouldn't travel to countries with higher wages ? If plumbers, electricians, farm hands can manage to arrange to move to another place it's a bit of a kick in the teeth to think predominantly women couldn't manage it.

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