The debate is on again: Julie Bindel versus the pimps (as she seems to perceive her opponents as pimps...).
Mind you, I am in favour of combatting exploitation, and protecting innocent victims,
cockle fishers and other trafficked humans.
But as I've stated on earlier blogs, I do not think the Escorting scene is the place to fight that battle.
Read the sweet-sour reaction from Amanda who witnessed the debate with Julie.
Check this very good blog-post here by Laura, and an equally brilliant reply by BurlesqueHoney (I have to find an online version of that 1937 speech...) The reactions of Julie Bindel in the comment-debate speaks for itself, I think.
And then there is the last burp by Harriet Harman. This seems more of a cheap-propaganda-stunt to me: she gets some extra press using the P-word and doing an equality-grandstand for oppressed female bankers. Me, I'm apalled to learn that female Sun-p3 models get paid more then their male colleagues. I wish HH would do something about that.
But, as a tired old man, I am also thinking: Should we care ?
I remeber the same sort of debate going on in 2008 when the criminalisastion of clients was discussed in the UK press.
From reactions then and now, I must conclude that, for me, this is not a battle worth fighting. The arguments are religious (from both sides, I presume) and any attempt to instill objectivity or science or anything else will not work anymore. Everyone (including me?) is too entrenched in their own position.
The religious aspect of the debate makes me sad. It means we are at the mercy of wherever the current moral winds blow.
The "moral majority" will generally come out on top, and the participants in pay-4-play will be pushed into the a-moral low ground. Funny enough, while condemning the bizz of selling plearsure for money, a lot of representatives of the moral majority (clergy, high-end politicians) are on the game big time themselves (insert your favorite example of a politician using escorts).
But I will not discourage debate. As with the crusades, I will acknowledge that those who undertake the expedition might come back, probably not with lasting victory, but at least with a wealth of experience.
As for "Prostitution", Dollymopp once summed it up nicely: "We are all prostitutes, I just make more money then you do."
In my opinion, there will always be forms of prostitution. Is a trophy wife being exploited? or is she preying on the male? Is a boob-flashing saleswomen being exploited or is the buyer being taken for a ride? Is the suger-daddy exploiting the girl or vice versa ? Is my regular exploiting me or are we just on a well-arranged date where I help with the cost of living ?
How can JulieB and HH every really come between two consenting adults ?
Did they really took the effort to listen to some of the more mature, independent Ladies in this business ?
But let me just instill a few rays of hope here: Not all Feminists are Anti.
Have a look at this paper and this summary here. There are reasonable Feminists, you just have to look for them.
And furthermore, many Ladies that have been branded as prostitutes or courtesans in their times, were hugely liberated, free spirits.
Many of them could rightfully sign their emails with the pretentious title such as "Global Thought Leader on Female Liberation"
(of course they didnt have email then, and these ladies were generally much more discrete - I'm just having a poke at some pretentious real-life empty-shell from the office)
We can take consolation in the fact that most of the Courtesans on that list had a bigger impact on history then Julie or Harriet.
Couldnt resist one more Feminist link I stumbled across...