Sunday, 17 January 2010

Prostitution Research and Bindel Propaganda

Quality, Guardian is not half as bad journalism as some of the UK tabloids...There was another Julie Bindel piece in the Guardian recently. I noticed it from the reply by Amanda. (the logo links to a much better Guardian article, hehehe)

It would be interesting to hear the other side of this research: What would other scientists like Teela Sanders (link) make of this research? And there may be a reaction from the English Collective of Prostitutes out there.

But then, maybe any attention to this, in my opinion, very biased piece of work may be too much honour.

Amanda already did a level headed reply. I'll do my little bit,
by picking out those parts of the report that in my opinion make the case in favour of legalization of prostitution instead of criminalizing clients. And I am thinking notably of the safety of both provider and client, and about the general public interest in a fair, respectful and functioning society.

I am in favour of Respect for the bankers, trade-unionists and bearded robes (if they all stick to the law and not cause offence). But I am also in favour of respect for Working Ladies and their customers (we too, we can stick to the law and not cause offence).


I'll start out by using the following tidbit from the report:

Kinnell (2008 p42-43) recently described the range and intensity of violence perpetrated against women in UK prostitution, including sexual assaults, physical assaults, robbery and verbal abuse. Also documented was the use against prostituted women of covert photography of the women during sex acts with buyers, blackmail, threatening letters and phone calls, people posing as police, verbal abuse, threats including with weapons, intimidation, stalking, mugging, thrown missiles (fireworks, stones, bottles, urine, dirty nappies, eggs), harassment by youth gangs and vigilantes, ejection from moving cars or assault by cars and kidnapping. Buyers also reportedly refused to use or tampered with condoms and forced acts that were not paid for.

In my opinion, most of this abuse would not occur if the business of pay4play was totally legal and above board. And in those cases where abuse would still occur (I'm sure there are a few bad males out there) the victim would have a lot more recourse if they had been engaged in an acceptable activity instead of in something (semi-)illegal.

A funny tidbit was that 44% of the men had started before age 21. Personally, I find that a bit depressing. I'd use my funds differently at that age. But I acknowledge the huge urge one can have in that period of life. And I clearly recall my ad-hoc popularity with girls in highschool and university when they needed help with homework or physics/math/chemistry/computing labs, or mechanical problems. I had access to a well-equipped garage while at uni, and boy was that a populariry-enhancement (we, the engineering students, were well aware of that, btw). I also found out that once the bicycle, moped or car was back on the road, the seductive attitude was suddenly over - and I fell for that time and again.



Back to the report.

Why is the report obsessed with the rape-myth-acceptance ?
So part of the interview-group accepts rape-myths, believe the yes-means-no thing and/or think a prostitute is none-rapeable (whatever that can be). So... How are those percentages in the normal male population ? And the men expressed a number of mysogynists attitudes. Sure, and how much of the "normal" male population would express the same attitude ?

There is extesive description of the supposed damage done to the prostitute because of her job. Forty-four per cent of the men believed that prostitution had a very or extremely negative effect on the prostitute. The report then uses words like losing morals and complex posttraumatic disorder, without any indication of how many (ex) prostitutes actually suffer this.
There is no mention of what could be done to help them (legalize/tolerate it, maybe?)
And again, no mention of how much the "normal" population of women (or men) suffer from these disorders, or how other events can inflict low self esteem.
I wont go into detail as to what a recent round of brutal layoffs did to some of my most valued secretarial- and other female colleagues.

I'm probably deluded when I state that most of the Escorts I regularly meet are a lot stronger and stable personalities then the average female I come across. But I probably select my regular Ladies on strength of personality rather then on potential disorders.

Where one male has answered: They dont mind having sex with Anyone,
I would make an objection. Properly managed Escorting would allow the Lady to refuse a client (hence, again, the case for legalization).

And when the report cites a customer I dont see myself going out with someone who has been paid for sex, does he need reminding of the office-kittens who gladly parade and sleep around to improve their chances? Those females who "give it away" for other benefits then money, would they not also be damaged in some way ? And would anyone know or see the difference ?

There is extensive text in the report to assert the notion that a majority of women in the business are trafficked. I would have hope that this has been exposed sufficiently as a myth by now.

Where are those trafficked women ?
If there are so many trafficked women, why dont we see regular press-clippings of "liberated" or "saved" women? And Why do we not see regular prosecution of pimps/traffickers ? Later on the report mentions that traffickers have good lawyers and use sattelite-phones...

And allthough my experience is not representative, I have not seen any indication of trafficked or pimped women among my own providers. Note that I will choose [link] British Ladies whenever I can, better connections, better service, less risk of trafficking - grinning.

I've seen the odd unstable/insecure one, a few who clearly were in the wrong business (mostly students under 25yo), and the odd potential coke-user. But I have never seen clear indications of pimping, trafficking or abuse. Again, this may be due to my fairly careful selection mechanism.

If there are pimped or trafficked girls (as there are may be some), the way to help them is, in my opinion, not to outlaw or criminalize the business [link to earlier blog]. Before recent changes in law, I could be fairly safe in reporting abuse or other problems to crimestoppers. With the recent criminalisation, and a few funny incidents recently (link to example in Reading) I will think very hard before involving the law in anything because I would expose myself to an eager, target-score-happy prosecution who needs to make an example-case (lookie-here - We nabbed a pervert-user and blogger)

The conclusions of the report are, frankly, appaling to me. Note that the report never claims any scientific value either, although the writeup makes it loook scientific to tries to add to the credibility. But the conclusions expose it as a shameless policy-pushing piece of semi-objective research.

For example, nr 6 where the recommendations seems to be to enforce UK legislation "extra territorially". Imagine Singapore enforcing the anti-chewing gum laws over in the US, or Arab countries enforcing sharia-rules onto their (female) citizens visiting the UK (not un-imaginable, btw).

This paper was written solely for the purpose of propaganda, attention-seeking and ultimately for the money-raising for its authors.
Now who are we trying to help ?

OK, that is enough attention for a piece of bad propaganda.

I suggest that those of us who are UK residents use their power of voting and opinion to condemn the politicians who sponsored this research and the new criminalization laws. And those of you not linked to the UK, you can easily vote with your feet and your wallets.

Actually, it is not all that difficult to take a UK GF(E) abroad for an Excellent Experience.

Y'all stay safe and Have fun now.

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