Tag Archives: Legalities

The Rhoda Grant Consultation (Part 2)

Onwards, to the second part of Rhoda’s introduction.

For clarity I shall tackle this one outlandish statement at a time.

The majority of those who are involved in prostitution are unwilling participants.

I notice that there is no reference for this statement. The reason for this is that Ms Grant made this up off the top of her head. It’s a statement that radical feminists often make.

When questioned about the source of this pile of crap “fact”, they will puff up their chests, glare at the person who dares to question them and dig into their collection of emotive arguments, usually pulling out the kind of reply which will leave them looking like Florence bloody Nightingale and you resembling Attila the Hun. Something along the lines of “The poor, broken women who have spoken to me have made this fact all too clear. Are you denying their experiences?”. Cue a sweeping look around the assembled throng, who by now would like to see your head on a spike.

However, on this occasion. We are talking about the law, so Rhoda, please show me your proof.

A number of UK studies provide useful background information in this area.

Yes they do. However, don’t think for a second that I’m agreeing with you.

Many of the findings are disturbing. For example 75% of women in prostitution in the UK became involved when they were children; 70% spent time in care and 45% of women in prostitution report experiencing familial sexual abuse.

75% of women in prostitution in the UK became involved when they were children? She then cites ‘Ties that Bind –Young people and the prostitution labour market in Britain” by Margaret Melrose as her source. Now I’ve read through that and I can’t figure out for the life of me where she found the 75%. Feel free to look for yourself, there’s a link to the paper at the bottom of the page. However, the biggest problem I have with this is that (in the words of Ms Melrose) “The research upon which this paper is based was a small-scale retrospective study of people who had become involved in prostitution when they were juveniles”.

Yes, you read that right. It was a paper on child prostitution. All of the women in the study became involved in prostitution when they were children, because that’s what the paper was about!

Now two questions remain:

  1. Does Rhoda Grant know this and is hoping to palm the statistic off on folk? Or does she genuinely not realise? In which case one must assume that she is a tad dim.
  2. Where the hell did she get 75% from when 100% of the women in that paper entered prostitution as children? We’re back to that dim thing again aren’t we…

And so we move on to the “fact” that 70% spent time in care and 45% of women in prostitution report experiencing familial sexual abuse.

Well, if we dig back through to ‘Paying the price’ we again see that the studies from which they have concluded that 70% spent time in care are for the most part, studies which have concentrated on young people and in the main, were looking at street prostitution. Again, just a small sample of people. Just one small part of the sex industry. I can find the part in that document where it states that

abuse – as many as 85% report physical abuse in the family, with 45% reporting familial sexual abuse

However, it doesn’t cite a source that I can see and as Rhoda Grant would say “Where’s your proof?”

Did you know that 35% of women are said to be victims of familial sex abuse? That’s another random government statistic for you and as most of the stats they trot out for prostitution are gathered by talking to young, vulnerable street workers, I’m actually surprised that the 45% isn’t higher.

The only conclusions that I would draw from this part of the consultation are that the care system needs an overhaul, child abuse is still far too commonplace and this urgently needs to be addressed, child prostitutes1 enter the sex industry as children and that Ms Grant needs to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest as opposed to copying and pasting from the Violence against Women website.

 

Melrose 2002 [pdf]
Paying the price [pdf]

 

1. I do not believe that there is such a thing as a ‘child prostitute’, only victims of child abuse and I do wish they’d stop calling it that.

Advertisements

The Rhoda Grant Consultation (part 1)

Over the next few days, I’m going to try to persuade you that Rhoda Grant’s proposal to criminalise the purchase of sex is misguided at best and dangerous at worst. Those of you who don’t need convincing, feel free to speed read, but just don’t forget to respond to the consultation. Hoping that someone else will do it, may just end up with Rhoda getting her way.

Rhoda states in her introduction:

I believe that prostitution in Scotland is a form of violence against women and sexual exploitation.1 The Scottish Government‟s Safer Lives: Changed Lives which sets out a shared approach to tackling violence against women recognises that prostitution is a form of commercial sexual exploitation. In a modern 21st century Scottish society such treatment and degradation of those who are sexually exploited should not be tolerated. Prostitution is harmful to those who are exploited and impacts negatively on society.

I do not recognise that prostitution is a form of commercial sexual exploitation.

A meeting room full of smug, self congratulatory folk who pat each other on the back for a job well done saving “those poor unfortunate sex workers” with mental images of “drug addled teens” wearing teeny mini skirts and thigh length boots,  leaning through car windows to enquire “Are you looking for business?”. Yes, I’m sure those folk recognise that fact. However, I would argue their right to ‘recognise’ anything related to sex work when the fact is that they probably wouldn’t recognise a sex worker. I mean, most of us aren’t homeless waifs. Damn us with our disguises!

So of course, their next argument is that an independent escort who makes an informed decision to enter the sex industry is ‘not representative’. Now, I can’t (and neither can anybody else) provide you with facts and figures when it comes to the number of women in prostitution (yes, I know there are men as well. One thing at a time), but what I can tell is that the forum at SAAFE has 4002 members. Now that’s just the forum. Just the number of independents who choose to join the conversations over there. However, you may argue that SAAFE has members from all over the UK (and a few from elsewhere), so Adultwork it is then. If I search their site for a female escort in Scotland, then I get  1066 results. These are all indoor sex workers. If you were to believe the figures I’ve seen bandied about in the past, then indoor sex work accounts for only 20% of the UK sex industry. Anyone who believes that must be insane! You’d be scarcely able to step outside your door without tripping over yet another tart. Street corners would be crowded with floozies!

Ok, so back to this exploitation malarkey.

I choose to work in the sex industry. Nobody forces me to do it and whilst I will freely admit that this work isn’t for everybody, I also ask you to consider that there are many jobs which a lot of folk will tell you that they couldn’t contemplate doing.

My jobs suits me just fine.

I am not exploited. I am not coerced. This is my body. These are the services I offer through choice.

Do not tell me that I am not entitled to make that decision.

As for prostitution impacting negatively on society.

What any consenting adults do behind closed doors cannot possibly impact negatively on anything or anyone.

And that’s just it isn’t it.

Consenting adults.

That is who we’re talking about here. There are already laws in place to protect those who are actually exploited or coerced.

As for degradation. The only thing I currently find degrading is being patted on the head by certain feminists and told that they will make my decisions for me. They will tell me what to think and feel because I obviously cannot be allowed to decide for myself… If I could, I’d agree with them.

 

 

Please respond to the consultation.

 

Responses should be submitted by 14 December 2012 and sent to:

Rhoda Grant MSP
Room M1.06
Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP
Tel: 0131 348 5766
Fax: 0131 348 5767
E-mail: Rhoda.Grant.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

If you don’t know what to say, don’t worry. You can download a template letter from SCOT-PEP.

And you don’t need to be resident in Scotland.

A Message From Scot-PEP

‘It was confirmed to us at Scot-PEP last week, by one of the leading abolitionists, that the intention to press ahead with the criminalisation of the purchase and sale of sex will continue in the new Parliament. With Ms. Godman’s retiral, it is not clear who will take that job on. However, we were told that it will be someone experienced and that “it” (presumably the criminalisation) “should not be a problem”.

So… it won’t be a problem, yeah? We at Scot-PEP think differently, indeed we intend to make it as much of a problem as we possibly can, just as we did last year when they tried the same nonsense. However, in order to do so, we need your help. We are an entirely voluntary organisation, dependent on the energies and time of committed individuals.

The debate in the coming months will be about you, whether client or worker. It will be about your lifestyle and your means of support. We need you to help YOU prevail.’

So keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you chaps and chapesses. We’re under attack…. again. However, my Mother has informed me that next time there’s any sort of consultation on prostitution, she wants to write to them. So, pain in the butt government types and radical feminists. BE WARNED! I’ve told my Mum on you! Besides which, everyone knows, that no matter what the rules or laws, one can get away with whatever one pleases, just by producing the most sacred of pieces of paper.

A note from your Mother.

My biggest problem currently is (as Eddie Izzard so fabulously put it), the tyranny of evil ducks. My neighbours have ducks you see. Well, let me rephrase that. My neighbours own ducks. Said ducks seem to have tunnelled out and are currently scoffing all the slugs in my garden. Very nice of them, however, the slugs have usually buggered off home at the time of day I like to bimble around the garden and unfortunately, duck poo is not so obliging. Now, chasing them off with a swishy stick would be a great plan, except that these are Aylesbury ducks (they must be more lost than I realised) and you just can’t be mean to Jemima Puddleduck. Well I can’t anyway.

I’ve had my hair cut. It is now short enough to put into cutesy little pigtails. However, this is an entirely useless announcement due to the fact that I would rather eat olives than put my hair into the aforementioned pigtails and just you try to make me eat an olive!

Anyway, I am now busy until next Monday evening, so if you were planning to make a booking before then, you’ve missed your chance for now, but there’s always next week.

A Note To The Scottish Tax Payer

Before I start:

Note to R. If you want me to take this down, then just let me know.

I noticed this on Punternet Forum earlier and it answers a couple of question that I’ve been asking:

Having looked at “10 Reasons” which another poster had drawn attention to, I used the “contact us” page to ask what/who the proponents were, and for references to allow me to check their “Home Office” statistics. Here is the answer that I received (which fails to provide links to the Home Office…):

Continue reading

If you do nothing else today

Then read this and your day will have been worthwhile.

While you’re there, read all the comments.

Thaddeus Blanchette says:

2 f 09 at 13:57

The more I look at this topic (prostitution), the more I come to the conclusion that the REAL point of repression is not to save women, but to maintain prostitutes in a subordinate, powerless position as much as possible.

This is why I find the Swedish model to be absolutely hypocritical.

In every other struggle for justice on the planet, it is clearly seen and noted that the main problem is empowering the oppressed. In every other struggle for justice on the planet, this means bringing the oppressed into institutional decision-making structures.

We have no trouble seeing this dynamic when the oppressed are landless peasants, urban squatters, ethnic minorities, workers, or indigenous groups. But suddenly, when the supposed oppressed are prostitutes, their so-called “allies” revert to a “noblise oblige” model where all power should be STRIPPED from the “victimized” group and placed in the hands of authorities who will supposedly act in their best interests – despite never having done so before.

It is amazing to me that supposedly left, feminist – even marxist – thinkers cannot see this contradiction.

Amazing 😀

Why have I not seen this before?

What are you still doing here? Go! Read!…

Why men use prostitutes

The answer (that is) according to Julie Bindel. Before I start can I just say that I don’t like the word “use” in that context. Visit is much better, but of course ‘visit’ doesn’t have the nasty connotations that ‘use’ does, so we won’t see Julie using it anytime soon.

Julie wrote another column for the Guardian yesterday. The title of which is exactly the same as the title of this blog. Unfortunately, I missed the deadline for comments, so I shall hold forth at you lot instead. 🙂

The subject of Julie’s latest article is a report on why men visit prostitutes. Although it has been undertaken by a group which includes members who believe that the only safe choice for women is lesbianism, I’m sure it isn’t at all biased (Where’s that SarcMark when I need it?).

Continue reading

Here we go again!

Another day, another misguided do-gooder.

This time it’s Mary Honeyball MEP (stop sniggering at the back!). On her blog page “The Honeyball Buzz” she says:

The plans announced by the Metropolitan Police to abolish its specialist unit dealing with human traficking – trafficking of women and children – are nothing short of a disgrace.

So… Men don’t get trafficked then, no? (Cockle pickers anyone?) Or are we looking for the sympathy vote? Searching for a White Knight to save all these “poor defenceless” women and children? How patronising. This from someone who in the next breath would be almost certain to tell you that she wants equality for women.

Trafficking of women is to a large extent trafficking to sell women into prostitution.  These often unsuspecting women are lured away from their homes, frequently on the pretext of a better life elsewhere, only to find themselves totally in thrall to ruthless criminals whose only aim is to exploit them for gain.  It really is a modern form of slavery and should be treated as such.  I hope there will be a major outcry against the Met’s plans so that they are forced to think again.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that no woman has ever been trafficked or coerced into prostitution, but methinks her numbers are screwy.

What is more, the Met trafficking unit has been viewed as an international example of good practice.  It also takes several years to develop expertise into trafficking, expertise which would more than likely be lost if the Met were to disband its unit which has built up a range of knowledge since its inception in 2007.  The nature of the crime also means that those cases which are brought to book are only the tip of the iceberg and if more of the iceberg is to be exposed, specialist expertise is required.

Blah blah blah…

Has this woman actually spoken to the Met about this? I very much doubt it. You see what happens is the same thing that happens when us tarts speak out: What we say doesn’t tally with what these people want to people, so they shout over us and we are ignored.

The facts are that these women just want to be remembered as heroes. They want to save someone. Unfortunately, they’re not particularly bothered about whether the aforementioned people actually want to be saved.

There is, in addition, the matter of the Olympics in London in 2012.  The last football World Cup in Germany attracted thousnads of prostitutes who openly plied their wares as prostitution is legal in Germany.  I was, in fact, one of a number of women who signed a petition to the German Government to outlaw prostitution at the World Cup.  The general view was that a large number, more than likely the majority of those women had been trafficked from outside the host country.  For the sake of the trafficked women, we need to be extremely vigilant to ensure that the same thing does not happen in London in 2012.  It would be a massive tragedy if the Games were marred by any form of criminal element.

What about the prostitutes who are working independently and legally? No mention of those eh? Because again, we apparently don’t exist, because this woman chooses not to believe in us. Bloody good job my name isn’t Tinkerbell… Please clap your hands just to be on the safe side.

Anyway, as irritating and infuriating as all that is, its not a patch on this next quote from the comments on her blog, which I actually find rather insulting.

I’ll add the comment that she replied to, because it actually injects a modicum of sense into the madness:

Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, on October 7th, 2009 at 8:41 pm Said:

It seems strange to scrap the Trafficking Unit only 6 months after the government announced that it was to get a further £3.7m over 2 years. Maybe this is an acknowledgement of the falsity of the trafficking figures for sexual exploitation. No one denies that people are trafficked. The numbers quoted of those trafficked for sexual exploitation are spuriously high, while people brought to this country on visas issued by British Embassies to families for their staff are very high. Many of these staff are not allowed to hold their own passports nor do they speak the language here. See the Committee of Human Rights recent report on trafficking. These are ignored because people like Ms Honeyball find prostitution a bit ‘icky’ and tries to ban things which have been decided by other democratically elected governments.
There was mass hysteria before the World Cup about how dreadful it would all be, all the usual gothic horror stories were trotted out. What did we see? Happy families, and contented smiles. It is your own side Ms Honeyball who ramped up these figures. Even Alan Johnson admitted recently they have been badly worked out. And now they take the cowards way out with silent cuts.

maryhoneyballmep, on October 8th, 2009 at 10:07 am Said:

Dr Brooks-Gordon, Thank you for this comment. I take your point about the figyres. However, I do take issue with your comment that I find prostitution a bit ‘icky’. Prostitution is exploitation of women for fianacial gain. Few women either enter or stay as prostitutes willingly and most have a drug habit. I want every single woman to have the opportunity for a fulfilling life; prostitution most definitely does not provide this.

 

Most have a drug habit? Ok, I give in. I have two words for you Ms Furball:  They start with F and end with off!

I feel better now.

Yours, still un-pimped, un-coerced and not a junkie (unless you count 2 Ibuprofen for the headache you’ve given me).

Amanda

Quote of the Day:
Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.
–W. Clement Stone