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Thread: Good 'Open Democracy' article

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Belfast / Beal Feirste / Capital of Norn Iron

    Default Good 'Open Democracy' article

    A very good article featured in 'Open Democracy' including the hypocrisy of concentrating on sex buyers while effectively ignoring other areas where women are at risk of exploitation:

    ''If there was any logic to Mactaggart’s amendment, it would apply equally, if not more forcefully, to demand for live-in domestic workers than it does to demand for commercial sexual services. So why no calls to penalize all buyers of women and girls for exploitation in domestic work?

    The answer, of course, is that paying someone to live in your home as your servant is not socially stigmatised in the way that paying someone for sexual services is. Employers of domestic servants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise, while the latter are a priori perceived to be guilty of a (moral) crime. In other words, calls to criminalize sex buyers express a set of moral and political values about prostitution. They do not address a unique or specific link between demand for prostitution and ‘trafficking’.

    Politicians like Mactaggart do not even consistently express these moral and political values. If they did, they would also call for the criminalization of the sex buyer in the context of commercially produced pornography involving adults, as well as prostitution. Possession, as well as the production, distribution, and advertisement of indecent photographs of children is already criminalized. But adults can also sometimes be subject to coercion, exploitation, and violence in the production of pornography. If we are to accept that demand for commercial sexual services within prostitution causes ‘trafficking’, why aren’t we also asked to accept that demand for all commercially produced pornography is a ‘root cause’ of this problem? Radical feminists and religious fundamentalists do argue this. But here, the alliance between them and governmental actors breaks down.

    The disjuncture between how policy-makers approach prostitution and how they approach pornography is rather nicely illustrated by the views of the former British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. In November 2008, as Home Secretary, Smith announced proposals to shift the government’s focus onto sex buyers ‘because they create demand for prostitution and demand for the trafficking of women for sex’. Smith was caught up in the parliamentary expenses scandal a few months later, and it was revealed, among other things, that she had claimed expenses for a telecom bill which included charges for two pornographic films viewed by her husband. After her parliamentary career ended, Smith made a documentary on pornography for BBC Radio 5 Live. Where in relation to prostitution she had stated ‘There will be no more excuses for those who pay for sex’, the documentary demonstrated she was quite able to find excuses for those provide the demand for pornography. She reiterated these views in a March 2011 column for The Independent:

    I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of people who make an informed decision to work in the porn industry – they make a choice to stay, based on the money they can earn and some even enjoy it… People use porn because it's enjoyable. Couples sometimes use it together. Men aren't turned into monsters by watching a bit of pay TV!.''

    Full article here:
    2014 in Northern Ireland:

    Number of reported attacks on sex workers 70

    Number of sex trafficking cases ZERO

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