sextrade1920

An Amnesty International council recently recommended a new policy decriminalizing prostitution. Its goal was to protect the human rights of sex workers, who may experience rape, physical abuse, and denial of basic services like housing and health care. But opponents say the policy would also protect pimps, brothel keepers and buyers of sex. We’ll discuss whether or not people should have the right to buy and sell sex.

Guests:
Rachel Moran, author of "Paid For: My Journey through Prostitution" and founder of Space International, which advocates for the abolition of the sex trade
Maxine Doogan, a working prostitute and president of Erotic Service Provider Legal, Educational and Research Project
Andrea Powell, co-founder and executive director of FAIR Girls, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent the exploitation of girls worldwide with empowerment and education
Swanee Hunt, chair of Demand Abolition, which combats the demand for purchased sex; former U.S. ambassador to Austria

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    These are serious questions.

    Why isn’t it sex for money if a man takes a woman out to dinner and drinks and then has sex, yet if he gives her the money that he would have paid for dinner and drinks, has sex with her it’s a crime?

    If a man marries because he wants reliable, consistent sex and in exchange he buys the house etc isn’t that a form of money or goods for sex? Is having a mistress whose housing, clothing, travel you pay for, a form or prostitution?

    • Another Mike

      So in both cases, the man is considering the woman as the possible mother of his children?

      • Beth Grant DeRoos

        No. But tell me how many men having sex with a woman they are dating think of her as someone who could have his child.

        The fact MOST men say that birth control is the woman’s problem and that MOST men do not make protection against impregnating a woman or getting an STD #1 is telling.

        • Another Mike

          Do some men recklessly ignore the consequences of sex? I suppose some do.

        • kpwn

          MOST men say that [1] birth control is the woman’s problem and that MOST men do not make protection against [2] impregnating a woman or [3] getting an STD #1 is telling

          most?
          1. Maybe. We can wonder if there are plausibly accurate studies.
          2. Paternity tests have changed that, if that has been true.
          3. I doubt that.
          One challenge to obtaining data on the latter two attitudes, is in trying to count or estimate the men who silently avoid those consequences.

          Note that I, and possibly you, differentiate between 1 (mens’ opinion of societal practice) and 2 (mens’ own practice)

        • Ross

          seems bigoted. any numbers

    • Rock007

      Why are transgenders mostly in the business of prostitution ?

      • Kate_Chicago

        They aren’t. And the high rate of transpeople who are involved in the sex trade is related to a.)employment discrimination that makes it hard to get a mainstream job b.)costs related to gender reassignment surgery, which have not historically been covered by insurance,

    • If he’s stating that it’s the contract then that’s prostitution. However, that’s not mentioned as the contract so it has no relevance here.

  • Evan

    Sex for money is an investment in STDs. It’s just like paying money for a Chia pet, except that your new pet grows on your body. You’re a human Petri dish! Only got one STD? Collect all four and you’ll be the cool kid at the bar.

    Let us make the sale of Chia pets be illegal, too.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      But in Nevada and the Netherlands where they legalize prostitution the men/women are licensed and have mandatory STD testing and condom use. Why couldn’t that be the law here?

      • Evan

        I don’t know about Nevada, but most of the prostitutes in the Netherlands are trafficked women from Eastern Europe. If they are tested, you can be sure the results are faked and investigators are paid off. When organized crime and profits are involved there will always be fakery.

        http://humantraffickingsgp.weebly.com/amsterdams-red-light-district.html

        • Lindsay Anne

          are they “trafficked” or are they migrants? there is a difference. If we call all sex work exploitation, they we aren’t asking other key questions: why are so many women migrating? Why this industry? What about the many forms of violence experienced by people in the sex trade and how to mitigate that? This is far more than just “pimps”..

        • kpwn

          http://www.reviewjournal.com/nevada-150/nevada-s-oldest-profession-risk-illegal-sex-trade
          Clark County is one of five Nevada counties that prohibits brothels, and it is the only one barred from the practice by state law. But thanks to an endless barrage of handbills, mobile billboards and phone-book ads promising women on demand, many tourists — and a fair number of locals — are under the mistaken impression that prostitution is legal everywhere in the state, not merely at approved establishments far from its largest cities.

          Flint said legalization is the only viable way to curb the rampant illegal sex trade in Las Vegas — a billion-dollar criminal enterprise he said the Strip resorts seem content to ignore or tacitly encourage in the name of customer service.

          Replace “the exploiters and the pimps” with some legal, closely regulated bordellos, he said, and the county could bring in as much as $500 million in annual tax revenue while helping to curb crime, disease and the victimization of underage girls.

          FROM PROSPECTORS TO PROSTITUTES

          Nevada’s “social experiment” with legal prostitution, as one brothel owner called it, is as old as the state itself.

          Nevada’s earliest population explosions were fueled by prospectors, laborers and businessmen drawn by the latest gold or silver strikes. Men dramatically outnumbered women in the boom towns and mining camps, so red light districts quickly sprang up to serve them.

          As happened with crime in NW ND in recent years.

      • iamcuriousblue

        I’ll point out that the “Nevada model” has very little support among sex worker advocates, as it actually controls the mobility, negotiating power, and other basic rights of sex workers in very undesirably ways. Nevada laws on legal prostitution are archaic and were devised in an era when the rights of sex workers didn’t really enter the picture. New Zealand and some of the Australian states with decriminalized prostitution are generally considered better, more progressive models of prostitution law reform.

        Also, I’ll point out that safer sex practices already have very high compliance among sex workers, in fact, probably higher in practice then among the public at large. I’ll also note that criminalization regimes actually actively discourage condom use by treating condoms as “evidence” when police arrest sex workers.

    • Kate_Chicago

      Criminalization creates really substantial barriers to condom use, access to health care and ARV treatment. A Lancet study shows decriminalization is linked to a 33-46% decrease in HIV prevalence among sex workers http://www.thelancet.com/series/hiv-and-sex-workers

  • Steve Wilkes

    You should read this AMA from Amy Page of the Bunny Ranch in Nevada on Reddit :

    https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/wxn5i/my_name_is_amy_page_and_iama_legal_prostitute_at/

    It’s a interesting read.

  • Kate_Chicago

    In the U.S., it seems as though sex workers themselves are being arrested and charged under third party laws.

    For example, in Wisconsin, when two women working together were arrested, the woman who placed the Backpage ad and rented the room was charged with promoting prostitution. http://www.thenorthwestern.com/story/news/local/2015/09/16/women-charged-online-prostitution-case/32495805/ In tenesee in a recent sting, 5 of 8 arrested were simultaneously charged with prostitution and promoting prostitution. http://www.brentwoodhomepage.com/three-defendants-charged-in-prostitution-stings-resolve-cases-in-court-cms-22748#.Vfoi3hFViko In Alaska, 3 of the first 4 women charged with sex trafficking once all third party acts were simultaneously also charged wirh prostitution.

    They are also being used–indiscriminately–against non-exploitative managerial roles that increase sex workers autonomy, safety, and economic well-being – ad sites, bookers who sex workers hire to screen bad dates, discussion forums, individuals who allow a few friends to rent space in their apartment at cost for sex work while selling sex themselves, people who drive sex workers to a client or the boyfriends or girlfriends or spouses of sex workers whose income is ‘comingled’ with the sex worker’s.
    So how do you prevent the Nordic model from arresting women when they work from apartment they own ir if they let a friend use it? Or if a cop calls for two women, and one places an ad? Or effectively cutting people involved in the sex trade off from resources they rely on to stay safe or preventing people involved in the sex trade from talking to and working with and sharing resources with eachother?

  • Kate_Chicago

    Another question – people selling sex are disproportionately criminalized in the U.S. As the Nordic Model d ecriminalizes (at least in theory) people selling sex, what work is Demand Abolition and CEASE engaging in to bring about the decriminalization of sex workers? Is this a focus of your work?

  • Kate_Chicago

    Some people say that the criminalization of demand does not deter all demand equally–it is less likely to deter violent johns who might rape or rob or murder someone than an average client, and thus criminalization of buyers only might increase violence against people in the sex trade. How would you respond to this?

  • I don’t feel I – as a former homeless teen, and a woman who has engaged in what is defined as commercial sex – should be forced to have my life narrative defined by others. Amnesty International’s decision to support decriminalization is not about calcifying dominant male entitlement to purchase sex from victimized slaves, or misogynistic capitalism. It is about generating necessary international dialogue on the authentic differences between sex trafficking and sex work.

    I worked my way off the streets via the sex industry. Yes. I may have been exploited, tho I have become empowered.

    And I have a right to be part of the international dialogue, as opposed to having my journey defined by others. Our stories may be similar, but our perspectives distinctly different.

    • Mileau

      What about the kidnapped women who are being held in the basements of casinos in Las Vegas, and forced for work as sex workers against their will?
      How can they escape from behind locked doors?

      • This is so tragic, Mileau. I know because when younger I worked locked in to sealed apartments and hotels. Sadly – There was no language of compassionate interest then.

        Now: We – consensual adult sex workers, advocates and allies – need legislators and law enforcement to work with us; not against us.

        We have lived the lives they are trying to save …

        • yogistein

          And there are those of us who wish to aid decrim. Speaking as man, we’re not clients. We’re allies. We recognize the right of people, especially women, to choose work in the field they wish, and in this case the field is providing sex services. And so we’re working in whatever way we can to bring about that freedom. And because we can assume–perhaps wrongly, but probably truly–that most sex workers are women, whenever the women in any community the world over are supported, the community does better.

          Myself, I am looking to raise funds for ESPLERP’s lawsuit here in California, the one Maxine Doogan brought–she is featured in the radio program on this page.

      • Whamadoodle

        By enacting Amnesty’s Working Group’s recommendations, of course–because they advise tougher criminal prosecution for coerced, nonconsensual, violent, or underage sex trafficking.

        https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/08/sex-workers-rights-are-human-rights/

      • Robert Thomas

        Laws against perpetrating blackmail and including federal laws against false imprisonment entail very severe punishment, regardless of motive.

        • Whamadoodle

          …and are made MORE difficult to prosecute when the victim fears prosecution him- or herself, and is left afraid to speak up.

      • fakeanonymousguest

        I have never heard of that; any evidence? Prostitution, while illegal in Las Vegas, is visible everywhere. Don’t see a basement operation being feasible…

        • yogistein

          Evidence is difficult to come by when one wants to discuss trafficking. It’s as if the studies can only go so far, encircling the actual occurrence of trafficking, but, because the numbers are so few, we’re left with a black hole from which we must not assume anything nor make up estimates.

      • sunny

        studies in decriminalized/legalized countries, or even not, show that the majority of reports come from clients, not anyone else, to find victims or underage workers. this reporting is increased when it is legal/decrimmed, not decreased.

        • kpwn

          That’s good. Could it be easier for clients to suspect underage ‘workers’ than to suspect coerced adult ‘workers’?

          • sunny

            i think so. plus, since the vast majority of sex work takes place indoors, some of those venues are in massage parlours, legal brothels, & agencies, all of whom are subject to inspection for bylaws or regulatory reasons, one of which (In sex work of course) is that all employees are of legal age. For independents, then the clients would be the first to see either duress or underage workers, and since the majority of clients are not monsters, (unlike 3 of those speakers would have you believe) they will do the right thing. Heck even in Sweden, where clients are criminals just for visiting sex workers, police report that clients are reporting suspected trafficked victims.

      • Bella Robinson

        Criminalization makes it easier to exploit women into the sex industry and RARELY is anyone found locked behind closed doors who is forced to do sex work in the US. There are trafficking posters in all the strip clubs in Vegas even though every dancer has to get a sheriffs card to dance. Decriminalizing CONSENSUAL ADULT prostitution reduces violence toward sex workers, reduces trafficking and just about rids the sex industry of exploitation in. Why is nobody concerned if these women can pay their rent and feed their kids? Criminalization does not protect victims. The police have sex with the women and then arrest them. Criminalization teaches society that “whores get what the deserve” and it creates the perfect playground for bad cops + predators to rape, rob and murder sex workers.

    • Nobody is defining it. We’re just going by the research that 80% want out and that women aren’t ‘choosing’ this freely.
      Under the Nordic model you aren’t criminalized.

      • The Nordic Model is not what the state by state or federal United States law reads as; it is popular reference in media discussion in affiliation w/ CEASE Demand.

        Arresting customers does not benefit those who desire to stay in the industry as consensual adult sex workers.

        And as far as exit strategies: The Nordic Model does not offer housing vouchers, food stamps, student loan forgiveness, nor pay monthly utility bills or child care.

        It does not connect to the Dept of Labor to assist with vocational training, continued education or career placement.

        Ive searched options for two years now as a sex worker interested in exiting. The response has entirely lacked luster.

        The United States may need to establish a federal, and state by state, city by city, consistent model that is unique to the diverse needs, economic realities, and interests of – The United States.

        We are an entirely different nation.

    • Gabi Perky

      <3

  • Rich

    A friend of mine went through a nasty divorce and lost a lot of his wealth. He now contracts with a rental girlfriend from the Philippines. She works a month on and takes some time off to go home (works on her terms). They do normal relationship things such as dinner, movies, etc. Both are happy with this relationship.
    This relationship could be call human trafficking, but it is not hurtful to either party, and both are happy.
    Second point: What about men who are too poor, short or ugly to have a girlfriend? Most women would prefer if these men would leave the dating pool.

    • amyj1276

      No, this would not be called human trafficking. She has control of her passport. She has the ability to decided when and how much and where she works. She keeps all of her income. Human trafficking is the opposite.

    • kpwn

      men who are too poor, short or ugly to have a girlfriend
      Donald Trump will sign that “Right to Sex” bill. 😛

    • Another Mike

      Every pot has its lid, as the Dutch say.
      At one job I had, a quite unattractive man had met and become engaged to a quite unattractive woman. Interestingly, the guys thought he could have done better while the ladies though she could have done better.

  • geraldfnord

    Shorter: Can prostitution ever purely voluntary if one needs to earn money in order to live? Is this worse than all the other labour on which our world is built?

    Unless there’s a proper welfare state in place, there is a danger that prostitution were not truely consensual, except in the same sense that ‘Your money or your life.’ were a choice—’dead from starvation’,… or ‘…exposure’ , or ‘…untreated illness’ is just as dead as by knife or gun or lead pipe.

    Of course, under those circumstances, all work is potentially somewhat non-consensual—is a fast-food fry-cook really using their body as they really wish it were being used?—but sex is for most people something much more personal that ought to be inviolate…shouldn’t we stake-out as much personal territory as our social systems allow, even if that’s not as much as automation and reduced consumerism would actually let us?

    • kpwn

      all the other labour
      So, apply child labor law, nlrb laws, worker’s compensation, and other employment laws to prostitution? See if that fixes the largest problems?
      Then what about the independent contractor status/dodge? the “sharing economy”.

    • sunny

      so you would rather people go on welfare, than to work in an occupation that will: pay their bills, pay for an education, pay for their health care, pay for their kids education, buy them a house, buy them a car, buy a vacation, buy a retirement savings plan?

      Sex work is work, no one suggests people need an exit from working a corporate job or at Walmart, or that they should go on welfare because the fishing industry is risky

  • amyj1276

    Shame on Amnesty International. We already know that legalization only makes trafficking and exploitation easier, and certainly doesn’t make women any safer. And considering that up to 90% of women in prostitution started by being forced into it (and also have a history of sexual abuse), we should be doing more to prevent exploitation, not less. We should be following Sweden’s model whereby selling sex is not criminalized by buying sex is illegal and enforced. And please, please, please stop referring to victims of human trafficking or children as prostitutes. They are prostituted CHILDREN or victims.

    • Whamadoodle

      If they wish to decriminalize prostitution, but specifically say they want to REDOUBLE prosecution of exploitation, trafficking, and violence, then why the shame on Amnesty International?

      If you are a prostitute, and know that your work is illegal, it seems to me that what we “already know” is that you will be LESS likely to press charges against someone who does violence to you. If it is above-board and decriminalized, and you needn’t fear prosecution or abuse by the authorities yourself, then such violence will be less likely to be ignored.

    • Whamadoodle

      Also, the Amnesty working group’s recommendation specifically recommends decriminalizing only “consensual adult sex.” Smearing them with association either with human traffickers OR child prostitution, therefore, is fallacious.

      https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/08/sex-workers-rights-are-human-rights/

  • Sam Badger

    It is just stupid to punish sex workers for the sake of stopping trafficking. A well regulated and open system of prostitution is a far superior way to prevent sex trafficking than throwing prostitutes and johns in jail. Of course there are terrible brothels and terrible johns, which is why this industry should be brought into the open so that legitimate sex workers can ply their trade in open.

    • Another Mike

      Is being a sex partner to whoever randomly comes through the door a career choice for many?

      • Sam Badger

        Considering its the oldest profession in the world … yes

        • Another Mike

          The next oldest profession is subsistence agriculture, yet that is not the choice of many. So “age of profession” does not correlate to “popularity.”

      • amyj1276

        Of course not. As was once famously said, women “choose” sex work when they have no other choices to make.

      • Kate_Chicago

        I mean, is cleaning the houses of rich, entitled people, often for below minimum wage a career choice for many?

        Probably not…if the wages were better, maybe. Would reducing demand for domestic workers help people engaged in domestic work? I would say absolutely not…

        • No but it doesn’t have anywhere near the hazards. Also it has a clear contract. Prostitution doesn’t.

          • Kate_Chicago

            So…it seems like prostitution (where it’s legal) is a pretty clear contract– there are actually menus. Websites like The Erotic Review have lists of things that are “okay/not okay”

            So – for domestic workers, this is the main report I’ve read: http://www.domesticworkers.org/sites/default/files/HomeTruths.pdf Apparently one of the biggest issues for domestic workers is **not having a contract.** And most domestic workers end up working extra hours if the parents have to stay at work late or if the kid gets stick and stays home or running errands when the errands aren’t part of their jobs…So, I think that isn’t right.

            Hazards…I mean, bleach, ammonia, many household cleaning supplies are toxic. Carrying things like a vacuum up stairs can cause injury. Kids get sick…like…all the time and make people sick…all…the…time. HIV transmission with consistent condom use is virtually 0, so I’m thinking the communicative-disease-related risks aren’t that different (except for the stigma associated with STIs, is a curable bacterial STI really worse than a horrific viral cold?) And as far as I know, Lube is a lot less toxic than household cleaning chemicals…

          • Kate_Chicago

            Sorry, the relevant bits of the Domestic Workers’ Study: http://www.domesticworkers.org/sites/default/files/HomeTruths.pdf

            – Just 4 percent of workers surveyed have written contracts with their primary employer.
            – Percent of workers who were assigned work beyond their job description in the past week – 21%
            – Percent of these workers who believed they could not refuse the additional work – 87%
            – Percent of these workers not paid for their extra time – 65%
            – Percent of workers not guaranteed overtime pay – 91%

            – Less than 1 percent receive retirement or pension benefits, 6 percent work for employers who pay into Social Security, 2 percent receive employer-provided health insurance coverage.

            -36 percent of domestic workers suffered from work-related wrist, shoulder, elbow, or hip pain in the past 12 months.
            -ƒ 54 percent of workers reported working with toxic cleaning supplies.
            ƒ- 78 percent of workers did not receive unpaid time off to see the doctor, and 59 percent work when they are sick or injured.
            ƒ- Among workers who were fired from a domestic work job, 22 percent were fired for calling in sick or for missing work to take care of a family member

      • sunny

        who ever makes the claim that they see just anyone who randomly comes thru the door?

    • A Different Perspective

      I recommend visiting the red light district in Amsterdam (De Wallen district) and see for yourself what legalized and socially regulated prostitution looks like. We need to decriminalize prostitution and stop the witch-burning.

      • sunny

        some will look at Amsterdam and consider it exploitive. They prefer forming their opinion on all sex work based on how 10% of the workers in Amsterdam work? Would they do the same in any other occupation, take a small percentage and make policy based on what they think is happening? in other words, they wouldnt do it, forms the basis for what they think sex workers themselves feel about it

    • The Nordic model addresses this perfectly.

      • Kate_Chicago

        Unfortunately not. Placing one’s own ad, responding ‘yes’ to the question ‘do you have a friend that can come too’ or sharing an apartment with someone who is also engaging in prostitution is considered ‘promoting prostitution ‘ ‘pimping’ and brothel keeping. There would really need to be a broad rewriting of all of our pimping /promoting /brothel -keeping laws to prevent them from also criminalizing prostituted women.

  • Sam Badger

    One of the biggest absurdities of the banning of prostitution is that as soon as you turn a camera on, it somehow becomes legal.

    • Another Mike

      There is a difference between TV and “reality” TV.

  • Sam Badger

    Some people are trafficked into working on farms. I guess we should ban food too?

    • Another Mike

      Farm workers come to the US voluntarily to perform the same sort of work they did at home. Can the same be said about trafficked sex workers?

      • Sam Badger

        I wasn’t speaking of undocumented folks. People are trafficked to work on farms, sweat shops and so on, and may have little or no choice about it. Sex work isn’t the only trade into which people are trafficked, even if it is more horrifying on a gut level when it occurs.

      • iamcuriousblue

        The majority of human trafficking is in fact for non-sexual labor, a fact acknowledged by both the UN and US government. Albeit, this doesn’t routinely get the same level of attention as screaming headlines about “sex trafficking”.

  • InabaML

    Why can’t there be a technological solution to the male need for sexual gratification? I had an interesting experience when was shopping for a doll for my granddaughter. I searched “Asian doll” on Alibaba an received a mixture of images of blow-up sex dolls and children’s dolls that was, I must say, bizarre. It seems tragic that a woman’s well being is sacrificed for such a limited goal (ejaculation). Since the relationship is not real to begin with, wouldn’t it be possible to create a virtual experience that would be sufficiently gratifying and spare the degradation of a woman?

  • A Different Perspective

    Prostitution has often been called [sic] mankind’s “oldest profession.” In other words, it is not going away any time in the near future. The term for sex workers is as old as language itself and prostitutes have been the target of special stigma in every culture throughout history. Human nature is not going to change, but we can improve how we deal with sex as a social phenomenon. Instinctual behaviors can be moderated but never extinguished. The role of progressive societies is to promote what it is deemed ‘positive’ sexuality while regulating what is considered criminal, abusive or unhealthy (STDs, HIV, etc.).

    • kpwn

      Prostitution “oldest profession.”
      yes but in that phrase, “prostitution” is a euphemism for “politics and religion”… and for comedy, of course.

    • iamcuriousblue

      “Prostitution has often been called [sic] mankind’s ‘oldest profession.'”

      Well, that’s a bit of a cliche – probably hunter/gatherer is the “oldest profession”. But historically, the sex trade seems to be historically universal in practically all societies where a money economy has arisen.

      Of course, employing “it’s always been there” as an argument for allowing prostitution is a basic “is/ought” error, and I think other arguments need to be considered. It’s more compelling to me that the sex trade, like alcohol use, is strongly resilient against prohibition, with laws against it being routinely flouted by otherwise law-abiding buyers and sellers. Like other laws around vice, this points to the idea that regulation and harm reduction are more productive avenues in dealing with the all-too-human pursuit of pleasure than is criminalization.

  • jurgispilis

    Do the SF Sanctuary Laws encourage human trafficking? As well as the issuance of U visas, which have no caps?

  • Selostaja

    Maxine Doogan represents the attitudes being groomed by the celebrity media – portraying sex as a expression of power and feminism, ignoring the majority of girls forced into the sex trade due to poverty or terrorism. She is articulate and priviledged compared to the street workers I see in the Tenderloin.

    • Another Mike

      I can’t picture this as anyone’s dream job. What sort of training or education is required?

  • Rentboy.com, the leading site for men to find other men for paid sex, was shut down last month by Homeland Security. There were no allegations of trafficking or coercion. Instead, the complaint was largely graphic descriptions of how gay men have sex. There have been no statements from any abolitionist groups about this, I suspect because men and transgender individuals selling sex doesn’t fit their narrative of violence against women. What is the panel’s perspective on the criminalization of men who sell sex, and their clients?

    • Rock007

      Transgenders are mostly in this business. Is there a reason?

  • Jodie Langs

    At WestCoast Children’s Clinic in Oakland, we serve more than 120 sexually exploited children per year in Alameda County. These are youth who have been manipulated or forced into selling themselves, yet 75% don’t see themselves as victims, making it more difficult to get them the help they need.

    Decriminalizing prostitution only perpetuates the myth that this is their choice, while at the same time making it easier for exploiters and buyers to abuse sex trafficking victims with impunity. We agree with Ms. Moran, that “prostitution cannot be disentangled from coercion.”

    The Nordic model and policies such as the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act take the right approach–we have to address the demand that drives the market, rather than supporting policies that will fuel demand and enable further human rights violations.

    • fakeanonymousguest

      The real question is why they were on the streets in the first place. What is causing these kids to turn to sex work for survival? How does the fact there is not a living minimum wage contribute to this?

      • Beth Grant DeRoos

        KQED TV has done pieces on teens in San Francisco who have sex for money and every one of the teens noted they escaped from some type of unhealthy home environment be it birth homes or foster homes.

        • yogistein

          There’s a study out of John Jay College in NYC by Ric Curtis which has been replicated in a number of jursidictions. The data shows three facts which support Ms. Langs’ numbers, as well as your reportage, Beth:

          1) Average age of 16.

          2) Get ready for this one: 90% of the kids on the street selling sex are on their own.

          Read that again–on their own. They are not exploited, which could be why Langs says that 75% don’t see themselves as victims.

          3) And another punch to the face: half are boys.

    • Robert Thomas

      Your argument that cannot be assailed – that despite any of their protestations, minor children are abused and exploited by persons who can’t be thought of in any other way than as criminals indulging in criminal behavior – is well made.

      Another class of exploitation no one denies should be condemned and pursued is that perpetrated against individuals using threats of violence or blackmail.

      The question remains: must we assume that any adult person who offers sexual favors for money therefore lacks agency?

      • yogistein

        Robert, not at all, of course.

    • Whamadoodle

      But Amnesty’s Working Group specifically says they DON’T want to decriminalize anything but adult consensual sex. They also specifically recommend TOUGHER criminalization of child sex trafficking, nonconsensual sex trafficking, and violence against prostitutes. So you are attempting to smear adult consensual sex work with child sex trafficking. This makes about as much sense as criminalizing adult consensual use of alcohol, if you find that children sometimes get hold of alcohol.

      https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/08/sex-workers-rights-are-human-rights/

      • Petra Buchanan

        Love what you just wrote. Want to post it on Facebook.

        • Whamadoodle

          Aw thanks! 🙂

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Children selling sex according to reliable sources are either runaways, or if living in the bay area, abused, ignored by family. Instead of making sex with even older teens legal how about we kick some butt and fund programs than meet the needs of the child be it safe, empowering housing, education, healthcare etc?

    • Kate_Chicago

      That’s a really valid perspective. But it’s also not the only one.

      The Young Women’s Empowerment Project noted that most young women involved in the sex trade were most frequently victimized by the police and helping systems: https://ywepchicago.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/bad-encounter-line-report-20121.pdf

      And then GEMS, which is a leading organization serving young women impacted by the sex trade, opposed the JVTA: http://www.gems-girls.org/shifting-perspective/four-reasons-why-we-dont-support-the-jvta-and-why-you-should-call-your-senator-today

      FOUR REASONS WHY WE DON’T SUPPORT THE JVTA AND WHY YOU SHOULD CALL YOUR SENATOR TODAY

      1) Funding is prioritized for law enforcement and prosecutors, not victims’ services

      Looking to criminalize our way out of something hasn’t worked in any other issue and won’t work here. While good relationships with law enforcement can be critical in this work, they are a very small piece that contribute to only some survivors’ recovery.

      2) Cooperation with law enforcement is strongly encouraged

      For some victims this may be the answer, for others it may be damaging to their healing. Services shouldn’t have to push victims to cooperate with law enforcement in order to receive funding.

      3) Courts can exercise extended supervision over youth considered ‘at risk’ for trafficking

      We need to be removing children from the judicial system, not increasing their involvement. Extending probation for at risk youth, as determined by an officer of the court, is a move backwards in juvenile rights.

      4) Buyers (‘johns’) would be charged as traffickers

      While johns absolutely need to face penalties and consequences, being a trafficker is a specific crime and not just a catch-all for everyone who did something wrong to a child. Trafficking and buying have two very different motivations and should be addressed differently.

      This bill buys into a sensationalized presentation of a complex issue, to which the criminal justice system is somehow the solution. It’s not. We need to focus on prevention and vulnerability, increasing and strengthening services for runaway and homeless youth and significantly reforming our child welfare systems. We need to ensure that young people over the age of 18 have access to affordable housing options, living wage employment and career opportunities, continuing education, affordable child care, and long term supports for their stability, leadership and growth. We need to support community-based, grassroots, survivor-led and survivor-informed programs that work with victims and survivors and that actually work. And most of all, we need recognize that adding more money to systems that already fail our youth isn’t the answer. We need real revolutionary radical change that takes into account the realities of our young people’s lives. The JVTA does not.

      • sunny

        this is just changing the subject. The subject is adult sex work. Nothing about decriminalization of age appropriate sex workers is going to affect the exploitation of children, or the fact that some children run away from abusive homes. Decriminalization is not intended to fix that, and decriminalization or criminalization is not going to fix that.

        Remember, you already have criminalization, and you still have under age youth working as sex workers by their choice out of necessity. If criminalization of consenting adults isn’t working, then why would you assume that decriminalization of consenting adults will what, not work worse? nonsense.

    • sunny

      nonsense. Underage sex workers, child exploitation, homeless youth, none of that have anything to do with Amnesty’s or any other org’s proposal to decriminalize sex work.

    • Bella Robinson

      Maybe if we cut off the trafficking NGOs funding we can use that 686 million to give these teens housing vouchers and a free higher education. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28763-special-report-money-and-lies-in-anti-human-trafficking-ngos

    • Jodie Langs

      Re: the thread below, please see: Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia: What We Must Not Know In Order To Keep the Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly, by Melissa Farley (2006).

      Decriminalizing prostitution (and the false assumption that it is usually consensual, a choice, and can easily be distinguished from trafficking) in itself undermines penalties and enforcement of child sex trafficking laws.

  • Rock007

    As long as the diseases associated with prostitution in this industry is not spread.
    As everyone knows, prostitution mean sexually transmitted infection and diseases that are spread in the community.

    • Another Mike

      HIV was widely distributed in Africa by long-distance truck drivers who spent the night with prostitutes, for example.

      • Rock007

        One of the neighbor is running a clandestine prostitution ring for the long-distance truck drivers and the prostitutes supplied to them are mostly transgenders.

  • Ross

    Very disrespectful tone in this conversation, in my opinion.

  • Livegreen

    How do Amnesty & pro-legalization supporters plan to ensure that enslaved sex workers find their freedom? Also, how do they plan to support exploited & enslaved women when their enslavors, often viscious gangs & criminals, claim in a court that it was consensual?

    • iamcuriousblue

      Well, trafficking into prostitution and other forms of coercion *would still be illegal*, and in fact, could be focused on once you take useless vice raids against sex workers and their clients out of the picture.

      By analogy, trafficking for non-sexual labor, which makes up the bulk of human trafficking, is also illegal, and nobody is suggesting that, say, purchase of farm or construction labor be made illegal to purchase in spite of very real issues with human trafficking in those industries.

      • kpwn

        I see value in attempting to analyze the comparison between sexual vs nonsexual semi-coerced labor. But right now I lack enough motivation to launch a multi-hour web ‘research’ foray.

    • fakeanonymousguest

      Prohibition causes profitability that encourages criminals to pursue a given trade. Legalization increases supply and reduces value of illegally provided services. Also with the need of a criminal organization to protect sex workers from Law Enforcement, those marginalized workers afraid of making a break, could legally support themselves with sex work until they could get out of the industry.

    • kpwn

      Use the recorded video from the LimbaughCams as evidence?
      “Oh, there. That had to hurt. She was not happy when he banged her head against the door frame three times.”
      “But she’s always said that Doug Piranha was the perfect gent.”
      “And what about that golf club to her -”
      “Yes! Such an artful swing!”

  • The Vacatur Database exists because U.S. sex trafficking victims must prove they are victims, and once they are able to prove that, they can work on getting the felonious trafficking charges brought down to misdeamenor or cleared. Lives are ruined in the process. Alaska does not even offer vacatur process. As with Amber Batts, prostitutes are being feloniously charged for trafficking THEMSELVES!

    https://sites.google.com/a/htprobono.org/vsdatabase/

    http://freedomnetworkusa.org/database-established-legal-advocacy-resources-human-trafficking-victims/

  • Sam Badger

    The speakers still haven’t shown how we cannot have a more open sex trade market where people aren’t trafficked, any more than we can have any other industry without slaves.

  • Ben Rawner

    I am sure happy sex workers exist, but the reality is that abuse of the system is rampant and that abuse leads to different forms of sex slaves. Decriminalizing will
    Just lead to more abuse.

    • Another Mike

      I would be content to make pimps, madams, and patrons criminals while letting the actual sex workers go free.

      • Rock007

        I support you

      • iamcuriousblue

        “I would be content to make pimps, madams, and patrons criminals while letting the actual sex workers go free.”

        Which in practice amounts to indirect criminalization of sex workers themselves. In Norway, where such laws are in force, police there actively go after landlords that rent to sex workers under “living under the avails” laws, in an active effort to drive sex workers into homelessness in an effort to drive them into reform:

        http://feministire.com/2012/07/01/the-oslo-report-on-violence-against-sex-workers/

        • Another Mike

          I guess Norway is not the happy relaxed place one imagines.
          Here, as long as one is discreet and the rent charged is reasonable, there can be no inference that the landlord is enriching himself from paid sex, which would make him a pimp.

  • fakeanonymousguest

    Human trafficking must be separated from the work people are trafficked to do. Kidnapping, torture and imprisonment is the issue. Sex work may not even be as strenuous (prudish morals aside) as being a forced garment worker or field hand. I wonder how much the sex traffic label is used to sensationalize the issue, at least in this country were most sex work is done by independent practitioners. The internet has changed the marketplace.

  • Kate_Chicago

    In the U.S., it seems as though sex workers themselves are being arrested and charged under third party laws. I have spoken with and know hundreds of people with lived experience in the sex trade. Every single person has dome something that is criminalized as “brothel-keeping” “promoting prostitution” or “pimping.” By placing their own ad. By working on the streets or indoors with a friend. By sharing an incall space – at cost – to have company and defray some of the costs of not working from home. By providing screening information.

  • amyj1276

    That Maxine woman is horrendously rude. And completely misinformed. She clearly has her own agenda with no consideration for any of the evidence. As the other speakers stated, she IS, in fact, part of a tiny minority but thinks that she represents the entire industry. She is just as dangerous as any pimp.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Google her name Maxine Doogan, and you see a well dressed blonde woman. She is indeed a minority in looks, dress and probably education than what one sees in any area with prostitutes.

  • iamcuriousblue

    Maxine Doogan is absolutely correct to point out that the anti-prostitution movement in the US does not in fact push for actual decriminalization of sellers, for all of their rhetoric about the “Nordic model”. I challenge “Nordic model” advocates to point to a single piece of legislation or on-the-ground policy changes that actually decriminalize the selling of sex in the US. The actual policies they’ve advocated have been things like “trafficking courts” which in fact require the arrest and conviction of sex workers in order to “help” them. Details about one such program in New York City here:

    http://www.vice.com/read/sex-workers-and-the-city-0000550-v22n1

    Hunt and others calling such policies “decriminalization of the seller” is a bald-faced lie.

    Also, for an extremely wealthy and politically well-connected individual like Ambassador Hunt trying to discredit someone like Maxine Doogan as “privileged” is absolutely disgusting, and she should be taken to task for this.

    • “I Am Curious Yellow” was important as this case, “Blue”. Thank you for being you!

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Google the name Maxine Doogan, and you see a blonde, well dressed woman and that is PRIVILEGED!

      • iamcuriousblue

        “Blonde, well-dressed” Yes? And?

        If you’re going to trot that out as a reason why Doogan should not quality to speak out about sex workers rights, your ideas on who does prostitution and who qualifies to be an activist are seriously off.

        I’ll point out also that “privilege” is relative, and that somebody as wealthy and politically-connected as Swanee Hunt (somebody who personifies the phrase “the 1 percent” – I suggest you “google the name” on her if you haven’t already) playing that card to shout down someone who is middle-class *at best* is absolutely disgusting and should not be allowed to stand. It’s *very telling* that Hunt’s activism is not considered debate-worthy, but Doogan’s is.

        • Beth Grant DeRoos

          Give me reliable data that shows that prostitutes are what Maxine Doogan looks or speaks like. Listen to the show again, She comes off as if she is what a sex worker is.

          Now I admit I have only encountered around 300 prostitutes working the streets of Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton the last two years, when handing out socks and food to street people and in speaking with each of the women, none spoke of having children off to college as Maxine Doogan has in interviews. None lived in a nice place, none could afford nice clothes and ALL looked much older than their age.
          As for Swane e Hunt she is indeed well educated and accomplished and wants a better life for men and women. As does Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation who is also educated, accomplished and damn rich. Both want less demeaning lives for ALL people.

          Big difference between wanting to rescue a man or a woman from any type of gutter versus wanting to change things so the gutter is cleaner and safer to lay in.

          • sunny

            give me reliable evidence that street based workers are representative of all sex workers. You cannot, because they are not. There are studies that verify that maybe 10% of all sex workers are street based. the vast majority work at massage parlours, brothels, via agencies or independently. Maxine Doogan can more than represent the majority of sex workers, in any way.

            saying that all sex workers are street workers is like saying all people in a city are like homeless people. Do you believe homeless people represent all people in any city, that what happens to them should determine legislation or policies of the city, to be applied to all residents of the city. should one above all other residents be set up to speak for all residents, ?

          • iamcuriousblue

            First off, street workers *do not* represent a majority of sex workers in developed counties, and that’s been the case since the rise of internet commerce, including sexual e-commerce. It’s clear that your view of who constitutes the majority of sex workers are is very out of date. There are a number of sources for this, and I’ll point to Elizabeth Bernstein’s book “Temporarily Yours” as a good starting point.

            I’ll point out that your claim that Maxine Doogan is too privileged to speak for sex workers, but apparently, extremely wealthy women with no connection to sex work apparently are qualified is simply ludicrous on the very face of it. It seems your sole justification here is that Swanee Hunt happens to agree with *your* view of the subject, and Doogan doesn’t.

      • Whamadoodle

        Being blonde makes you privileged?

        • kpwn

          If only Mussolini had known about peroxide.

  • Kelly Nelson

    There should be a distinction made between non consenting sex slaves and self promoting sex workers. These are completely different trades and the legal impact on these trades should be differentiated accordingly. If this distinction were clearly drawn it would change the conversation.

    • sunny

      Amnesty international, countries that have decrim/legalized, other organizations, have already made this differentiation.

      I see no reason to create special laws for someone who forcibly confines, coerces, enslaves a sex worker, versus any other kind of worker, for example.

      • Another Mike

        Because you see sex work as just another viable career choice.

        • Gabi Perky

          For anyone who is free to think.of it in terms of career choices, it could be.

    • Whamadoodle

      Indeed, the very thing they’re discussing (the Amnesty International Working Group’s recommendations for decriminalizing consensual adult sex work, while at the same time cracking down on coercive, nonconsensual, and/or child sex work or trafficking) DOES make that distinction; some of the panelists are trying to blur that distinction.

    • Yes. The problem is that we can’t define ‘consent’ simply as an adult that goes into prostitution. The reason why that adult is in prostitution usually isn’t choosing it freely: it’s poverty, drug addiction, mental health issues etc.

      • Fred Bastiat

        By that logic nobody with any mental issues or addictions can consent for any work. My brother is a lazy alcoholic with low skills. He does hard, dirty, arduous labor for little pay when he absolutely must. He isn’t consenting???

        • yogistein

          Thank you, Fred. The patronizing attitudes towards people freely choosing sex work is reprehensible. In my research I’ve met many women who feel very empowered by their work. It’s too bad abolitionists have such a closed and biased viewpoint.

  • Kate_Chicago

    Under US laws, Rachel Moran would herself have been criminalized as a pimp for answering phones at a brothel. This is really really common in the US, especially in racially profiled sting operations.

    So I wonder if Swanee Hunt and Rachel Moran believe that Moran should have been criminalized as a pimp or trafficker for answering phone calls. Because–from a policy perspective–the laws Hunt and Moran are advocating for would criminalize and increase penalties for people for doing something like this.

    You can say these people aren’t being the target of laws against “pimps” and “third parties” that you are advocating for, but from a policy perspective, Swanee Hunt must know that the way US laws are worded, there is nothing to impede overreach.

    • sunny

      people are being arrested, charged, convicted, jailed, of doing exactly these things, and recently, in the US. so yes, if this criminalization/nordic model, etc, is fully enforced (the way it is in Alaska for example) it means that more sex workers are going to be in jail, in some cases, for pimping (‘trafficking) themselves.

      • Gabi Perky

        Amber batts.

  • Whamadoodle

    Sheesh–I wish Rachel Moran would interrupt everyone who disagrees with her a bit more. I know that as a listener, I respect bullies.

    • amyj1276

      That’s Maxine Dugan interrupting everyone.

      • Whamadoodle

        No, if you listen to the audio stream again, you will hear Rachel Moran interrupting everyone’s head off.

        • amyj1276

          Are we listening to the same program??

          • Whamadoodle

            Caller mentions words to the effect that “you’ve got someone on your panel who is not coerced, and I am not coerced,” and that some on the panel pretend she and the panelist don’t exist. “Is there evidence to show that we’re in the minority?”
            (Rachel Moran says her piece) “There is an absolute avalanche of evidence… (is allowed to finish thought).”
            (Other panelist speaks up)
            Rachel Moran (interrupts several times, bulldozing over the other panelist’s comment): “No. You absolutely do not have the right to speak to the experience of those who are exploited. No. You do not have that right. No. No.” Rachel Moran butting in to talk over someone else’s rebuttal, around 10:45. After which she continues to do so.

            Yes, I guess we’re not listening to the same program, if you failed to hear that.

        • Another Mike

          Rachel Moran speaks with an Irish accent. Maxine Doogan sounds American.

          • Whamadoodle

            Exactly.

          • amyj1276

            Indeed. I heard her interrupt exactly once to say that the statement was absolutely incorrect (which it was). I hear Maxine interrupt almost every comment that disagrees with her opinion.

          • Robert Thomas

            You’re deaf.

    • Ross

      the discussion seems to be devolving

  • The October 2014 Joint State Government Commission Legislative Update to the 2012 Human Trafficking in PA Legislative Proposal, Title 18, New Chapter 30, Section 3025 clearly states there is – as of last year – NO DATA on the magnitude of trafficking.

    The data still needs to be collected.

    We – sex workers, advocates and allies – are trying to be included in that data collection process.

  • Robert Thomas

    If the subject turns to coercion, exploitation, social class privilege or malfeasance of traditional institutions that have perpetrated abuse leading to neuroses and other psychological damage, citizens of the the Republic of Ireland have a plethora of sources of misery from which to choose.

    • fakeanonymousguest

      Starting with the Catholic institutions, like the Magdalene Sisters…

  • amyj1276

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting keeping sex work criminalized. That seems to be a divisive talking point by the types of people who want to ignore the fact that human trafficking is rampant and that the “Maxine Dugans” of the world are a tiny minority.

    • Kate_Chicago

      The point is that the laws Moran and Hunt are advocating for will turn people they believe to be victims into “legally defined traffickers.” Laws against managerial roles in the U.S. indiscriminately criminalize things like placing an advertisement, using one’s own apartment to engage in prostitution, working with another person, or being the name on the lease of an apartment 4 or 5 sex workers (or prostituted women–the terminology isn’t important) are collectively using.

      The type of people being criminalized under third party laws are the “disadvantaged majority” Moran and Hunt are casting Doogan against.

      I’m not sure wholesale decriminalization of the sex trade is the right answer, looking at exploitation of labor that legally exists in other industries…but wholesale criminalization of managerial behavior is inherently criminalizing most prostituted women/sex workers.

    • Whamadoodle

      “I don’t think anyone is suggesting keeping sex work criminalized.”

      ? Mm… what? That’s precisely what EVERYONE complaining about the Amnesty Working Group recommendation is doing.

      Pretty much the ONLY recommendations in the statements by the Amnesty International Working Group are 1) to decriminalize adult consensual sex work, and 2) to increase penalties for child, coerced, nonconsensual, and/or violent sex work. If “no one is suggesting” Amnesty’s Working Group is wrong about those things, then what ARE they saying they’re wrong about?

  • Kate_Chicago

    Maxine Doogan is correct about how funding being directed to the FBI or local police departments to fight sex trafficking is being used to stage indiscriminate sting operations…and what happens is about 10-15 adult women are arrested for every “rescue” http://eminism.org/blog/entry/429

  • A Different Perspective

    As a drug counselor who works in the inner city, I get first hand accounts every day of the comorbidity of sex, drug addiction and crime. Some of my clients have been sex workers. I can attest with professional opinion that the misguided policies criminalizing drugs and the sex trade are more pestilent than the so-called offenses in isolation.

    • Whamadoodle

      Thank you–plainly, per the panelists, there’s a Battle of the Statistics and Studies to get into, and I’m looking forward to reading the recommended studies from all sides on the panel.

      But I believe we didn’t have a rich, entrenched mafia in this country until they grew up around Prohibition; similarly, a mafia attends the sale of drugs in Central America, and has destabilized many areas of it as murderous no-go zones; why do we imagine that the mafia that grows up around prostitution is somehow different?

      If you criminalize something that is sought by millions, which you know you never have any hope of stamping out, it seems to me you’re merely CAUSING mafias to flourish around it.

      • sunny

        most of the studies cited by anti sex worker organizations have been debunked, and examined for misleading or deliberately falsified ‘stats’. please do your research on the research first, and of course, grain of salt. Remember, what benefit do anti sex work orgs have to create hysteria over victims, and trafficking comes right out of your pockets == your $$ as donations. For sex workers, wanting to be decriminalized and recognized as legitimate adults with labour rights, those benefits are what they are working for: freedom.

    • Drug addicts need shelter and rehabiltative services, not brothels.

      We absolutely do not want to see addicts using their bodies for access to drugs.

  • eyasta

    Call me old-fashioned but I think Maxine is completely misguided and naïve to think that her experience of prostitution as a self-chosen, legitimate profession is representative of many others. The fact that she is well-spoken enough to do the legal work she’s doing already supports the assertion that she is part of the privileged few. I find her comments incredibly aggravating and dangerously myopic. Cudos to the wise words of others, particularly the Harvard representative who presented this argument much better than I.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Reading this interview Maxine Doogan gave it seems even she does NOT have reliable stats on who sex workers are here in the states! Yet she wanted the listener to believe she knew what she was talking about when she insisted she represented sex workers. She denounces actual research because it doesn’t agree with what she is pushing.

      http://swop-seattle.org/sexworkinthenews/interview-with-esplerp-founder-and-activist-maxine-doogan
      Interview with ESPLERP Founder and Activist Maxine Doogan
      By Sol Finer

      The internet has changed the industry at a fundamental level. It has brought the majority of women off the streets, increased safety/visibility; some would even say that things like Twitter have truly galvanized the community. As someone that has been in the sex industry for so long, how do you feel about these changes?

      Well, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with ideas that moving the population indoors is what has happened. We don’t have ANY in depth research. The statements you just made are statements made by white, mostly indoor workers who never worked before the internet. We don’t even have any idea what the facts are behind these statements. What part of the industry has moved indoors – we have no stats. We just don’t. I’ve worked the streets. There are a lot of changes, we don’t have ANY GOOD research on our population. Part of Erotic Service Provider Legal, Education, and Research Project (ESPLERP), is we put together a research evaluation tool. Researchers are asked to look over and providers are asked to looked it over. Those are the best practices. We have been trying to get good research. But there is no funding. The work we do is all unpaid labor. Some of the research that’s out there does not meet the most basic scientific standards. It is essentially just people’s opinions put forth as fact and we need to do better. We need to organize Labor/Solidarity style to take control of our narrative. Regardless of the rubber stamping of “accredited institutions”, we need to do our own community-based research.

    • iamcuriousblue

      As I’ve said elsewhere, if there’s any perceptive I’d call “myopic” and based in utter stereotypes, is the idea that if a sex worker is in the least bit articulate and otherwise doesn’t fit the “wounded whore” stereotype, then they’re clearly “too privileged” to speak up for their rights, but on the other hand, an extremely wealthy and politically powerful person like Ambassador Swanee Hunt somehow can.

      It’s beyond me how some people can even wrap their heads around that bit of doublethink, much less offer it up as a serious argument.

  • Ron Gutman

    The argument to stifle demand instead of supply was not convincing to me. The demand has a fundamental biological origin, so it would not be reduced by keeping the purchase illegal while the selling is legalized. The actual purchases might be reduced but the demand would persist and who knows how it would be expressed.

    • Another Mike

      If only it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing the belly. — Diogenes

    • Whamadoodle

      True, though there’s no need to say “who knows”–it would be expressed exactly as it is now, with a violent mafia taking advantage of the criminalization by exploiting sex workers and reaping the benefits of the black market in it.

  • Whamadoodle

    Point of order: The Amnesty International Working Group’s recommendation is to decriminalize ADULT CONSENSUAL sex work. They also recommend STRICTER criminalization of violence, trafficking. (Decriminalizing the adult consensual sex worker, by the way, would remove his or her fear of contacting the police in case of violence or nonconsensual or child sex trafficking, too.) Therefore, accusing them of wanting to decriminalize, or make things easier for, child sex trafficking or imprisoned adult sex trafficking or the like is simply not accurate. They specifically recommend making criminal prosecution TOUGHER for coerced, violent, and/or underage sex trafficking.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/08/sex-workers-rights-are-human-rights/

    • Another Mike

      The idea that any one with a choice of alternatives voluntarily chooses prostitution is difficult to accept.

      • fakeanonymousguest

        Depends on the alternatives. They can make more in an hour than working all day at a fast food restaurant. A living minimum wage would do more to eliminate coerced sex work than any prohibition law.

      • Whamadoodle

        “… even when multiple panelists, callers, and posters assure me that they’ve done just that.”

        But presuming you are right that every one of them would have chosen to do other things (and many of them DID pass up legal, but to their minds more unpleasant and less rewarding, work such as dishwashing or janitorial work or things like that), another poster already rebutted you effectively: Kate_Chicago pointed out below that some people working as domestic servants have hateful, degrading jobs as well, but the idea of criminalizing either them, or people who pay for them to scrub their floors, does NOTHING to offer them better alternatives. I would also add: by the same logic, would you claim domestic servants all, by definition, didn’t consent to do them, since those legal jobs are also degrading and unrewarding?

        I am all in favor, believe me, of greater, less-degrading opportunities for working-class men and women (which is why I constantly harp on income inequality and sky-high loot-the-company CEO wages on these threads), but criminalization of adult consensual sex trade does nothing to address that.

        • Another Mike

          “Consensual” implies a free choice. Unless this profession was chosen from among several alternatves, none of this sex is truly “consensual.” The need to eat makes it coerced sex.

          • Beth Grant DeRoos

            Mike you make some excellent observations. It would seem that those from environments with less opportunities, less education, end up in survival jobs that lack much consent.

            Am thinking of those who work in a Foster Farms slaughter house down near Modesto. The majority being high school or less in education. Or farm workers in the central valley.

          • sunny

            Do you describe working in retail as ‘coerced’ customer service, since part of working with the public is to be pleasant? does anyone ask why someone ‘chose’ retail, over other better paid options? does anyone have to hide working retail, or worry about getting arrested for working retail, or if they didn’t have to worry about arrest, how about if it was law that their customers would be criminals, so every transaction would be a higher risk?

            If you do NOT ask those questions to every single worker, regardless of what kind of work they are doing to pay the bills, then you are making false and misleading statements about why you don’t believe anyone could ‘consent’ to doing sex work. the fact is, you dont’ want to do it, and that is your bias.

          • Another Mike

            Because ringing up a purchase is the sort of intimate act most people reserve for their partner? Or because only one’s nearest and dearest deserve pleasantness on your part?

            Public radio has discussed the issue of rape far too often lately to make me dismiss the notion of consent when it comes to having sex.

          • sunny

            well, it should go without saying that rape is not the same thing as sex work. if it was, then you might be telling people that you do not believe sex workers can be raped, which would be wrong.
            i think grown women and men are able to determine for themselves what consent is and what it is not.

          • Another Mike

            Consider the plight of transsexuals. They are perhaps the group most discriminated against in the workplace. And, in consequence, they are the group most likely to perform sex work to stay alive. Is their sex work truly consensual? Or do they engage in it because they have literally no other choice?

          • Whamadoodle

            Then the need to eat makes ALL work “coerced” work. Logic. I’m pretty sure you see the logical connection that if sex work is always, intrinsically, coerced, just because someone wouldn’t do it if they didn’t have to do it to eat, then any other kind of work people wouldn’t do if they didn’t have to is the same. You have just ducked this logical connection, but I am familiar with your MO.

            And yes, MANY sex workers (I’d say most, since most aren’t forcibly trafficked) have the choice to become menial workers, dishwashers, janitors, etc., instead (what’s stopping any of them from doing those jobs instead?) but freely choose to do sex work instead. So again, unless you’re saying ALL working-class work, including dishwashing, janitorial work, and manual labor, is “coerced,” your argument doesn’t have logical consistency.

            Many times in the past, on other topics, I’ve had the experience of asking you to address something, or admit you have no answer to it, and had you spend many posts ducking the issue instead. So if you answer this by failing to address the logical inconsistency I just pointed out, I’m not going to continue to go around and around with you. If you plan to ignore that again, you will have the last word on it.

          • Another Mike

            Frankly, I do not think we share a common language.

          • Whamadoodle

            If you addressed the points I make honestly, and say “actually, that’s a good point; in fact, I don’t have a good answer for that,” when you don’t have a good answer, instead of fleeing in terror or saying something snotty that still evades answering it, you wouldn’t have that problem.

            But sorry, I said I’d offer you the last word if you ducked what I said a second time. Looks as if you ducked it again. Last word is yours this time, I promise.

          • Beth Grant DeRoos

            Whamadoodle you bring up something else that interests me. It’s the actual sexual acts that are illegal, yet one looks at ads, music videos etc that simulate sexual acts or use sexual images to sell, and that’s legal. Why? Oh yeah the First Amendment.

            Yet if someone buys what is being suggested in the media and they act on it its illegal if money is exchanged. Show a beautiful woman straddling a man in a magazine lay out and its legal to pay them for that.

            And why are porn movies/videos legal since something is being sold. Right? If a woman does four men in one porn movie and she is paid, isn’t that prostitution in some form? The First Amendment?

            So why is prostitution illegal?

          • Whamadoodle

            That is an odd inconsistency, it’s true. (I don’t think I actually brought it up? But OK 🙂 )

          • iamcuriousblue

            Answer – the California v. Freeman and, later, New Hampshire v. Theriault decriminalized sexual performances for a third party in California and New Hampshire, respectively. Porn production hasn’t been fully decriminalized in other states, including several like Florida and Nevada where quite a bit is produced. However, in most of the US, the law simply de facto doesn’t treat porn production as involving prostitution, even though they theoretically could. The Freeman decision, BTW, came out of the efforts in the 1980s where the LA District Attorney tried to shut down the porn industry there by aggressive use of pimping, solicitation, and prostitution laws. The courts saw this as LA trying to make an end run around First Amendment protection of most pornography (the majority of which is not considered legally obscene in California) and ruled accordingly.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_v._Freeman

          • Whamadoodle

            Thanks! 🙂

  • sunny

    well that sounds like a fair and balanced set up to discuss Amnesty’s policy: 3 antis and one pro decriminalization speaker. or was this ever supposed to be about giving the policy a fair and unbiased discussion in the first place.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      I believe they ALL want the laws changed so that the sex worker isn’t the one who gets arrested. So they all agreed on that.

      • sunny

        yeah, but that is bs science. how does seeing criminals (those who are criminalized are the clients of sex workers) in a criminalized location (those who rent spaces to sex workers do so against the law), in any way ;’help’ sex workers?

        you do realize that 90% of all sex workers are what you consider ‘call girls’, in that they do not work the streets. that doesn’t mean they are in their fancy apartments eating chocolates and drinking wine. it means that many of them work in illegal brothels like massage parlours, or with agencies who can’t say what they really do, and then the indoor independents. many are very middle class, they put in their day, then have their families, other businesses, and possibly their education and so on to look after.

        they would simply like to be able to go on about their business without condemnation and criminalization.

        • Another Mike

          how does seeing criminals (those who are criminalized are the clients of sex workers) in a criminalized location (those who rent spaces to sex workers do so against the law), in any way ;’help’ sex workers?
          Unless the landlady is renting spaces purely for the purpose of prostitution, she is not breaking the law. Renting a room, at more or less the market rate (or less) will not incur accomplice liability. Even prostitutes have to live somewhere, and if she’s not benefiting unusually from the prostitute’s profession, she is not liable.
          On the other hand, when it comes to sex for money, both buyers and sellers are criminals at present. No question of criminalizing johns — that already happened.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    There is a big difference to me between someone called a street walker and someone like the happy hooker whom Maxine Doogan notes is what made her want to get into sex work at age 12 when she read the book The Happy Hooker. Call girls are way better off than the women of colour in areas with prostitutes. Call girls are able to screen clients and make more money. May be why Maxine Doogan in this article speaks of being a mother with children college bond.
    http://swop-seattle.org/sexworkinthenews/interview-with-esplerp-founder-and-activist-maxine-doogan

  • Sophia Sax

    I think that sex work should be dicreminilazed. Letting it be illegal just hurts the girls not all of the girls are forced into it sime of them treat it as there job. Why cant they have the same right like every other hard working people. Most women I have talked to were never forced into it they want to do it. Having it be illegal it makes really hard for women to turn to police for help cause were more scared off going to jail then something happing when were with a client. Being arrested is a really tramitasing experience. And it makes us into criminals. A lot of women are doing this work to support there familys go to school and give back to the cummunity. When we are criminalized your actully just driving them deeper into prostatution how are we soposto to get a normal job in the future if we end up having a record. Dcotors, layers, judges, army, navy every body from all parts of life buy escorts. People need to stop having a narrow mind set.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      ‘give back to the cummunity’???? Give back to the community how? Yes, it should be decriminalized, that I agree with.

      Sophia Sax you note ‘Most women I have talked to were never forced into it they want to do it.’ Yet reliable data shows that a majority of those arrested have noted they got into prostitution as teens, when they escaped some type of abusive home situation.

      • sunny

        that is not ‘reliable data’ go thru Bella robinson’s posts for a few Washington post articles showing you why your ‘facts’ are wrong. Sophia is quite right, the vast majority, and i am talking world wide, not just the US, are there by choice, regardless that you choose not to agree with their choices, is irrelevant to them.

        You also seem to mock her mention of giving back to the community. do you really think that sex worker are incapable of doing such things, that they have no humanity, that they cannot use the fact that they have more free time due to the sort of work they do that they volunteer for those less fortunate? that is a kind of stereotyping.

  • Sophia Sax

    Give back I know a lot of people in the sex industry that includes strippers and escorts that that go out help the homeless, some run rescue shelters for dogs. Thats how we give back and we want to be able to do taxes and save money for our futures just like every other American. To answer some who said how do we give back.

  • Sophia Sax

    The clients that buy should not be crimilized most of them are good nice people that dont have time to date. Are they travel to much there work takes up to much time to date. They are not criminals.

  • Bella Robinson
    • Whamadoodle

      Oh. My God. Thanks for posting this. The “fishy claim” article in the Washington Post should really embarrass Ms. Hunt. The claims were just invented out of thin air.

  • Bella Robinson

    300 youths in NYC enter the sex industry as minors because the state won’t house and feed them. There are no services + yet we give 687 million a year to trafficking NGO who do not provide any direct services to victims. There is no housing, jobs that pay a living wage or a higher education. All the NGO do is create awareness. Youth

    http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/2000119-Surviving-the-Streets-of-New-York.pdf

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/26/lgbt-homeless-youth-survival-sex_n_6754248.html

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28763-special-report-money-and-lies-in-anti-human-trafficking-ngos

  • Bella Robinson

    To imply that sex workers are selling their bodies is to insult sex workers. Is a hairdresser selling her hands? Is a construction worker selling his muscles?

    It assumes that sex and sexuality is a male creation that denigrates women. It assumes that women lose something when they exchange sex for money. It ignores that men are sex workers too. And it takes away sex workers’ agency – as if we have no control in the transaction, and are simply victims of male exploitation.

    “Isn’t prostitution an inherently dangerous occupation because it involves being alone with a stranger who more often than not is going to be stronger than you?”

    How about showing people houses for sale? Or providing lessons in people’s homes? For that matter, how about having someone show up to purchase something you’ve listed on Craigslist? Sex work is no more dangerous than any of these activities.

    In fact, sex workers are more likely to engage in more rigid screening of their clients than people in these other scenarios. What makes sex work dangerous, is having to hide it. Not being able to report to the police. How many clients are going to report an underage girl who appears to be abused to police when they could be jailed for seeking out sexual services? NONE.

  • Bella Robinson

    Trafficked by society,

    US government polices and laws have set up a system that police’s+ arrest sex workers, The sex workers are then forced into deferment programs or are given probation + fines. The sex worker is then then required to work at Walmart or another minimum wage job, that pays them a slave wage they can’t possible live on, and they are forced into this slave labor job as a requirement of their probation and this is a job that the person doesn’t want to be at. Thus they are being FORCED to work there against their will. Doesn’t this make the GOVERNMENT the trafficker thus the sex worker is now being trafficked by society?

    Many sex workers when they are arrested lose their homes, cars, cell phones, children and all the stability they have struggled to obtain, and then they are released from jail with NOTHING, thus they have no other option, so they return to prostitution. They still have to pay those fines and probation fees too.

    It cost more money to house a person in jail for prostitution than it would to provide them with long term housing, health care, and education. The US can’t even police 1% of the sex industry so criminalization is a failed policy. Our government has responded by making more laws to punish sex workers, thus putting sex workers at a higher risk of violence and incarceration, while every year they cut public services.

    The US spends over 250 million a year on the trafficking hysteria, and most of that money is spent on making the public aware of trafficking and little of the money is spend on direct services for the victims of trafficking. Our government is spending 300,000 to 400,000 for each victim that is rescued. All minors and illegal immigrants are counted as victims even if they consented to do sex work.

    The “end the demand campaign will not stop anyone from buying or selling sex, but it will may effect a sex workers income and their ability to provide for their families and it will also put sex workers at greater risk of violence as clients will insist on remaining anonymous, thus the sex worker will not have the ability to pre screen their clients.

    What do sex workers want…We DEMAND decriminalization of sex work between consenting adults. We demand our “right to agency” and our “labor rights” and we demand “discrimination and hate crimes legislation”. We demand to be apart of the polices that directly effect us.

    Sex workers could be the best tool we have in the fight against trafficking, if law enforcement would just stop refusing to cooperate with the adult community. In many states cops are allowed to engage in sex acts with women, even teens under the guise of arresting them.

    Sex workers are mothers daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, neighbors and our friends. They are members of the community and they are being abused in the name of saving them. As a sex worker of 30 years, so I certainty don’t need the government telling me how to do it.

    Its time to change the social perception that she wasn’t a person, she was a “prostitute”. No one wants to feel a sense of community or sameness with her. She was something other than us and therefore we don’t need to feel fear or grief at the fact or the manner of her death.”

  • blc49

    I’m sure you can make a case for repealing all laws because everyone who is arrested is harmed, but public safety requires laws and enforcement. We could have a legal prostitution industry, legal gambling everywhere, legal heroin for all. We say we want to protect children but child friendly policies would not encourage rampant adult support of the lowest common denominator. Legal prostitution, drugs etc may sound victimless in theory, but in practice they are harmful to family life. Ask yourself if you would like your daughter to be a prostitute or addicted to drugs or both as many prostitutes are. We should not encourage behavior which is inherently counter to human dignity, health, and true happiness. The Nordic model is preferable to AI in discouraging prostitution and seeing the women as victims rather than “sex workers,”

    • sunny

      hard argument, since there are places that do have all of those things, legalized in some way, and since they are also regulated, it means that not just anyone can partake of them.

      Who are you to call grown men and women ‘victims’? to take away their agency, their choices, just because in some messed up world you live in, that kind of paternalsim is OK, because you blame sex workers for something wrong in your marriage or something? sex workers don’t break up marriages, or families, they are short time paid companions, not office coworker or neighbour affairs. no sex worker wants to keep your husband, believe me.

      I am sure there are a number of things you don’t want your daughter to do, that are actually legal. You may not want her to work in a legal nevada brothel, be a stripper or do porn. You also may not want her to be a nurse, or musician or actor, or worse, model. but if she did end up doing anything, including sex work, I am darn sure that you do not want her to be arrested for doing it.

  • _RFG

    This notion of adult ‘consensual’ sex is a farce. How do you propose policing who is an ‘adult’ and who is truly ‘consenting’? And what does consent even mean when vulnerable individuals are forced to make the ‘choice’ between a meal or a roof over their heads and selling sex? Is that a choice? Is that empowerment? We know that the sex industry disproportionately preys on women and children of color and people of marginalized genders. We also know that it is inherently harmful, as research shows the longterm physical and psychological consequences of unwanted sexual invasion and violence on survivors of the sex trade. Even supporters of the sex industry would admit that the sex trade is inherently dangerous. Just looking at the pro ‘sex workers’ groups’ own pamphlets and materials show they recognize this reality and warn women of the dangers of the industry and provide safety tips to them to minimize violence from buyers. Simply put: this is not a job like any other. What other job as the occupational hazards of daily violence, unwanted pregnancies, theft of earnings, rape, STIs, etc.? Human beings are not commodities to be bought, sold, and consumed (like pot or alcohol as the comments below suggest). A more appropriate analogy is to compare the selling of sex to other types of economic compulsion that we prohibit such as the selling of organs. The evidence is clear that where prostitution has been legalized or even decriminalized autonomy, violence, and pimp control have not decreased–instead these policies lead to an increase in demand. And when demand increases, bodies are always required to meet that demand. Decriminalization doesn’t make the industry safer either– just look at the 14 year old girl who was recently found to be ‘working’ 24 hour shifts in a licensed Australian brothel. Legalization/decriminalization doesn’t prevent that kind of harm. Instead it normalizes this type of behavior and sends the message to society that it is acceptable for one category of individuals (usually poor women of color) to be used for the sexual gratification and benefit of another (typically white men). Finally, the proposition to fully decriminalize the sex industry directly contradicts at least three international conventions on human rights. The UN convention of 1949 articulates specifically that prostitution and trafficking and such slavery like practices “… are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person….” Article 6 of CEDAW states that ”State Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.” Article 9.5 in the Palermo Protocol calls on State Parties to take measures to discourage the demand that fosters the exploitation of persons that lead to trafficking. How about we work together to support decriminalization of SELLING sex while promoting the provision of basic needs like affordable housing, child care, substance abuse treatment, job training for women and girls rather than advocating for a system of commercial sexual abuse of our most vulnerable?

    • sunny

      wow, that is a wall of text.

      the UN since 1949 has come up with some new stuff. check it out.

      and i would just like to point out, as i did before, sex work we are talking about decrimalizing has nothing to do with coercion or child exploitation. You can’t then quibble or try to decide on behalf of consenting adults that you don’t believe they are either adults or consenting just because.

    • Elle

      LAW ENFORCEMENT preys upon women and children of color you mean. Please get it right. We sell SERVICES not ourselves. Keep your laws and your opinions and ideologies off my body!

  • There is no way to decriminalize the sex industry without more women and children being harmed. The model that works is the Nordic Model, which Moran and many other women support. It’s best to criminalize the demand, and not arrest women and girls.

    Sweden has found that street prostitution is cut by half and more importantly, the educational elements of the campaign have taught young people that women and girls aren’t objects for sale. That we are human beings, not commodities.

    • sunny

      wow, so we know Moran promotes the idea that street work was cut in half, but the facts do not support this claim. the real facts are that no one knows how many were working the streets prior to the law, saying the numbers halved would be a false claim. also, the obvious result of client criminalization, is that the street workers do not work in the same areas that they used to. they go further away from the main streets. This happened in the downtown east side or main strolls in Vancouver, Canada in the 80s when they brought in criminalization of public solictation, and the police forcibly removed sex workers from the residential areas of down town. anyone looking at Davie Street for example six months later would think that the laws resulted in a reduction by half, but the reality is they were spread out in different areas.

      the same thing happens in Sweden. After the laws, the number of ‘thai’ massage parlours tripled, and news stories investigations on these parlours showed that many if not the majority offerered sexual services. So going to half on outdoor workers, to 3 times increase on just one type of sex work services hardly seems like a reduction at all. In fact, it sounds like the number have increased, substantially. Not to mention the investigations into sex trafficking have not shown any decrease at all. It seems like those numbers remain static, 200-300 per year suspected of being unwilling trafficked ‘victim’s. now maybe they are inflating those, but you’d think if this was a successful model, that there wouldn’t be any.

      do you know what country doesn’t have any increase in the number of sex workers, indoor or outdoor, and an elimination of all sex trafficking victims? New Zealand, one of the few countries with a legitimate decriminalization policy.

  • Stigma is a nonsensical form of argument. Stigma isn’t responsible for girls and women being murdered, raped, and tortured in prostitution. Men, punters, traffickers, and brothel keepers do.

    Adults can make as many ‘choices’ as they want but prostituted women usually don’t have a real choice and that’s why 80% want out. They’re in it because they’re poor, drug addicted, and runaways etc.

    Novelty is the crux of this because pimps and johns are always looking for ‘new flesh’ and therefore this demand fuels prostitution. It’s impossible to separate sex trafficking from prostitution because of the demand for ‘new flesh.’

    Saying ‘it’s not my experience’ isn’t an argument either. The research supports Moran’s arguments.

  • Maxine, nobody is arresting women and girls. It’s the Nordic model Maxine. It’s doesn’t criminalize WOMEN AND GIRLS. Learn it before speaking on it.

    • sunny

      i think you should talk to sex workers working under the Nordic model. Such as in Sweden and Norway, there has been very little evidence that they are not being targeted by law enforcement in many ways. that compared to where it is fully legalized in their countries, so they never have risked arrest in the first place.

      You are trying to impose a level of criminalization in a country where it is fully illegal, then sure, not criminalizing the sex workers themselves would be seen by anyone as a reasonable improvement. However it in no way improves the working conditions of sex workers, and decreases safety and security in countries where it was fully legal.

    • Elle

      OH BOY. Are you in AMERICA?! If not, this would explain your IGNORANCE as to what is happening in America. YES. THEY ARE ARRESTING WOMEN AND GIRLS and they are also FORCING them into programs they do not want to be in. They are COERCED into government sanctioned ‘TREATMENT’ which I see as a form of TRAFFICKING btw.

  • Maxine: ‘You can’t advocate for policies that don’t affect you.’ uh, prostitution affects all women.

    • sunny

      how does it affect anyone other than those who are doing sex work? Your comment makes no sense.

  • Maxine is very rude.

    • Elle

      NO. You have it backwards. Maxine has to deal with these women ALWAYS trying to shut her down! How RICH of Rachel Moran to RUDELY cut in while Maxine was talking with her ironic comment that Maxine can’t attempt to silence voices when that is EXACTLY what Rachel, Swanee and other self described abolitionists have been doing FOR YEARS!!!! And what Rachel herself was doing to Maxine in that very moment! Maxine is speaking for ME, and for the VAST numbers of adult consensual sex workers who have NOT been given a voice in most of these discussions worldwide!!! THANK YOU MAXINE for not allowing them to silence you!!!

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Sweden has free universal healthcare which has got to play a huge role in protecting society at large from issues like STD/HIV since those partaking in sex will see a medical provider weekly, monthly for preventative care which also includes contraceptives.

    Thus paid sex workers are not the threat to society like here in California where many sex workers you see on the streets drumming up business probably are not having regular medical care since many are probably just trying to survive.

    So we make paid sex work legal here in California. How do we assure that all sex workers will be healthy sex workers and stay healthy sex workers?

    • sunny

      you still push the idea tho that all sex workers are street workers, but now you are pushing the idea that they are harbingers of disease? there is no statistical evidence for this sort of claim.

      Plus you kind of answer the question that you ask. Doesn’t it make sense that one of the policies or regulations of a legalized sex work would be regulation for Occupational Health and Safety protocols? Isn’t it true that in Nevada, all sex workers are required to be tested weekly?

      And for the street workers, wouldn’t it make more sense to have things decriiminalized so that they have more health care options provided by support organizations who would legally be allowed to help them?

  • Elle

    That wasn’t even a fair panel! Three to one!??? That’s RIGHT. HOWEVER Maxine Doogan got her point across effectively. The others are FRAUDS!!! They are hurting sex workers! They only want to regulate sex workers! Where is the anti discrimination legislation if those women really want to protect sex workers?!

  • sryforallthisprivilege

    Very convenient for Doogan that no one brings up the fact that she, herself, is a convicted pimp (http://archives.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/keep-trafficking-out-of-city/Content?oid=2143391). Labeling herself as a working prostitute is along the lines of the very thing intended when creating the term ‘sex work’ as it serves as a blanket term that diminishes the harm and allows those who are exploiting to be thrown into the same category of the very ones who are exploited. Doogan also does a good deal of covering and skewing facts and evidence, not to mention interrupts Moran when as she explains that the Nordic Model is in no way attempting to criminalize those in prostitution. Classic deviation tactic used by the pro-sex work lobby.

    • sunny

      i don’t see how being a former sex worker is made up as an excuse to discredit her, but it is not used up as an excuse to discredit Moran. If being former is to you the reason to dismiss them and stop listening to Doogan, then why are you not mentioning that as a reason to stop listening to Moran? but you do not do that. in fact you make excuses for Moran. In either case, this socalled debate was first stacked against the one person advocating for the wishes of those who are currently working.. No one else cares what effects criminalization or decriminalization has on the actual sex workers, because no one bothers to include them in the discussion.

      Including yourself.

      • sryforallthisprivilege

        Good job in proving the point that the term ‘sex worker’ is harmful for the simple that that you are putting a pimp and a prostitute in the same category. The exploited and the exploiter both have the same platform to share their experiences – so no wonder those who majorly profit within the the sex trade are going to do all they can to push for wholesale decriminalization. The vast generalizations do your argument no favors.

  • sryforallthisprivilege

    Also, does no one understand how laws are made? It is an arduous process and they typically include provisions that create exclusions and/or exemptions for specific aspects of that law. For example, in the case of two or more women living together as protection in the sex industry, but are both actively selling themselves in prostitution and, in no way, profiting from the other, would be made an exception to “brothel-keeping.” Someone who is answering a phone at a brothel and generating profits for those owners and operators, to be clear, would not be considered a brothel-keeper, if proper language and provisions were created in the law-making process.

    • sunny

      neither the laws nor the anti sex worker ‘rescue’ orgs consider any of this to be relevant. they will charge both of the two SWers in the same place as trafficking the other. They will charge the one who answers the phone as a pimp. or for trafficking any of the employees. that is exactly what the criminalization of what those people want to make you believe are pimps is all about. there is no nuance. there are no exceptions. that is what is happening,

  • mistressmax

    Rachel’s been called out as a fraud. https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/played-out/

  • Coral Kisses

    As proof to Decriminalization, New Zealand. was the first country to give women rights to vote in 1893, is also the only one in the world (with the exception of a area of Australia) to effectively decriminalize prostitution, Decriminalization doesn’t mean no regulation, It means that the same controls which govern all workplaces, labor and health legislation, are applied to sex workers. the critics on this talking point say they were abused in the sex tread however what they will not admit is the abuses is & was within the current criminalize system & they have never experienced full protection as the law currently stands, critics well say that everything would spin out of control.. with Decriminalization this notion of treating sex workers like children who need watching over, but we do Not! and the New Zealand model is evidence of that. with 13 years of Decriminalization & No Trafficking! and as a sex worker my self I know. DECRIMINALIZE SEX WORK NOW!

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