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An open letter to Tom Meagher, from St Kilda street-based sex workers

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In September 2012, Jill Meagher was abducted and murdered as she walked home on the streets of Melbourne, Australia. It later emerged that her killer had been released on parole after attacking a number of other women, some of them street-based sex workers in the St Kilda area of Melbourne. Jill’s husband Tom has now joined a campaign in Ireland to criminalise sex workers’ clients. Here, St Kilda street workers share their views on his participation in that campaign.

Dear Tom Meagher,

As street based sex workers from St Kilda we have come together to urge you to reconsider your position endorsing the campaign “We Don’t Buy It” and to share with you some of the implications it has for us as sex workers.

All of us have different experiences in our lives including our experiences of work.

One commonality we share as street based sex workers in St Kilda is being subject to laws and policing operations that target us and our clients. And this really makes it harder for us to best look after our safety. One thing we thought we shared with you is an understanding of our justice system, and the way it discriminates against sex workers. For us it is more of an injustice system, and as you pointed out so well, this tragically not only affects us, but our whole society. To report crimes committed against us we risk being charged ourselves and being known to police for further profiling and harassment. Even if we take on this risk and report crimes we know it’s unlikely our cases will be treated fairly and with the same seriousness they would be if we were not a sex worker.

It was such a powerful and meaningful moment when you also recognised the injustice sex workers receive in our legal system, and what this means for our society. So in seeing your passion for justice and respect be given to all, including sex workers, co-opted into a campaign which does just the opposite of this is hugely disappointing and upsetting. We decided to write this letter to you because we want you to be able to support us and our safety. We aim to have you see things through our eyes. It’s imperative that everyone understands what we need and what we don’t need, because too often others talk for us and they get it wrong. We want to be safe in our work place and we want to stop violence against sex workers and to stop men’s violence against women. We have attended rallies representing women who we knew personally that have been verbally, physically or financially abused, hurt very badly or even killed while offering paid services in St Kilda Victoria.

Any campaign which calls to end sex work or stigmatises our clients ends up further stigmatising and dehumanising us as well, and ultimately serves to take away our agency and increases violence towards us. Sex work itself is not inherently violent or exploitative or dangerous. But the laws and social attitudes and stigma around sex work as a whole has an impact on our ability to look after our safety. Maybe it can seem confusing, feminists are often saying all kinds of things and it is important men listen to women when it comes to ending violence against women. But unfortunately not all women listen to sex workers, or some only listen to some of us, and only when we say what they want us to.

“We Don’t Buy It” has argued that paying a sex worker means paying for “temporary suspension of [her] desire not to consent and that’s coercion.” For this to be selectively applied to sex work and not other industries is problematic for us especially when sex workers already experience high levels of patronisation, including assumptions that we are not capable of making our own decisions. Arguing that paying someone equals coercion could be said about any worker under capitalism if you wish to term it that way. Would office workers really turn up 9 to 5, 5 days a week and do overtime if there was no incentive for it and no consequence if they instead spent their days with their family, their lover, or doing whatever they felt like? Probably not, yet the question is selectively and repeatedly asked of sex workers. The implication is that we are being specially exploited if we wouldn’t do our job for free.

Exploitation (for example being forced to do something we do not consent to) is very different, and it is not something that should be conflated with any work.

The problem with targeting clients in all of this is that clients are not the problem. By virtue of being a client, they must agree to paying the price mutually agreed upon for the services we wish to offer. No matter if its sex work or any other job, paying a person should never mean you have “bought” them or can do whatever you want with them, that would be violence and/exploitation, not work.

One big problem we face working in St Kilda is that our clients are targeted by police, and the conversations between sex workers and our clients are criminalised. This means it’s harder to negotiate, it’s harder for us to be upfront and check with each other if we are happy to do a business deal, or if it’s not actually a client, but rather someone who may be disrespectful or violent. This is not helped by campaigns which tell us that sex workers are “prostituted women” who don’t have any ability to properly consent anyway.

It also doesn’t help us to campaign for men to stop buying our services. Sex Work is our livelihood, it’s how we make our money and support ourselves. Some feminists claim that shifting the focus on to stopping men buying sex is the way forward, but people need to consider how that pans out in reality. Our colleagues in Sweden have clearly explained to us what happens when the police focus “only” on stopping the client. As one sex worker explained to us “how do you think they find the client? the

police don’t follow a man around, waiting for that moment he might buy sex, no they follow the sex worker, camp outside the sex worker’s house, knock down the sex worker’s door.” Sex workers working in St Kilda already work under laws similar to the Swedish laws, our clients are already criminalised and harassed and we have been vocal about their negative effects for years. Bringing the “Swedish Model” to Victoria would only potentially serve to increase our chances of losing our homes and further isolate us from our peers and other support systems. In contrast, full decriminalisation would enable us to use the safety mechanisms which are criminalised and attract police harassment under our current laws and the Swedish model.

Decriminalisation is the only legal model that would also meaningfully reduce some of the barriers in reporting to police when we are victims of crime.

Whilst it is important for men to ally with feminists to achieve gender equality, it is important that the groups of women who are supposedly being campaigned for are consulted with about what we need to stay safe. In this case, as street based sex workers, we want to make it clear to you: this is not what anti-sex work groups such as the Reach Project in Ireland or Project Respect in Victoria are campaigning for. For street workers in St Kilda to be safe, we need to live free from stigma and criminalisation based on what we do for a living. This means recognising sex work as work, and it means full decriminalisation of sex work, our clients, our workplaces. We want to be seen as equal and not seen as an easy, stigmatised target that will not be taken seriously. For this to happen we need to be treated fairly and with respect, not only in the courts, but also when it comes to campaigns and policies that are about us.

Please stand with us for our right to health and safety.

Halo, current St Kilda street based sex worker

Rory, current St Kilda street based sex worker

Skout, current St Kilda street based sex worker

Holly, current St Kilda street based sex worker

Signed in support:

Ruby Soho, current sex worker/former St Kilda street based sex worker

Dee, former St Kilda street based sex worker

Veronica Hum, current sex worker/former St Kilda street based sex worker

Christian, current sex worker/former St Kilda street based sex worker

Pj, former St Kilda street based sex worker

Rahni Belle, current sex worker/former St Kilda street based sex worker

197 responses »

  1. I feel bad for Tom. Your wife gets murdered, obviously you’re going to throw yourself into alcohol or religion or something, there’s just no way of coping with something like that. He picked a cause that looks reasonable to him. I doubt he’s a bad guy. I’d like to sit down and talk with him, as one of the peer group he’s hoping to pressure. Healthy relationships don’t have to look “normal”, and normal-looking relationships aren’t necessarily healthy, but if you’re in Ireland and your wife died I can see how you might be tempted by a kind of absolutism.

  2. mrsrobinsoninri

    So his wife was raped +murdered and his response is to make conditions less safer for sex workers by shaming their clients + removing the only income the woman have. It is men “posing as clients” that assault and rape sex workers and they do it knowing it probably won’t be reported.

  3. It’s infuriating sex workers are having to resort to begging AGAIN. WTF gives Tom M the right to harass sex workers? His wife was murdered by an evil twat so go lobby for change in parole, justice system etc. Go lobby for better public transport options! Why does everyone who feels the need to torture a group of people or at worst find themselves a cause at the tortured expense of others pick on sex workers?! Go away Tom and leave what you in all honesty know nothing about except what you’ve been spoon fed alone. If ur unable to move on and still choose to use sex workers as ur therapy, at the very least educate urself so you stop harming sex workers and contributing to the destruction of their lives. I’m a sex worker and to me you’re the worst type of punter. One who uses us without paying and without our consent for your own gratification to meet your own needs.

  4. georgefinnegan

    Prostitutes have to realize that ‘street based’ sex work is a big part why they don’t get much empathy. The public has the right to comment on and react to what happens in public. Having sex in public can expose people to sexualized situations without their consent – if you want your ‘consent’ respected, you would have to see why that is a problem. If you work on the street, you don’t have the right to think you can do it without ‘decriminalization’, when the public decides that’s not what it wants.

    • How do you explain the huge lack of empathy towards indoor sex workers then?

      • georgefinnegan

        That comes from street prostitution. Street prostitution is what people see; seeing it is how they develop their attitudes; it represents all of prostitution for most people. Like it or not, that’s how people are – that’s the way it is. I really think that if street prostitution was eliminated, things would improve for prostitutes, in general.

        • Well it shouldn’t represent all prostitution for most people as about 95% of sex work is indoors these days and what two consenting adults do in private is nobody’s business but their own. This just highlights the general public’s ignorance when it comes to sex workers’ lives. Everything the public knows stems from abolitionist groups, the media and politicians who are all on the same side and against sex workers. How could they possibly care about the rights of sex workers when their aim is to eradicate sex work?

        • georgefinnegan

          @John Flavin – But, of course, what we saw in Rio for the World Cup, when indoor prostitutes didn’t make enough, they started hitting the streets. With that in mind, they don’t seem to be able to hold themselves to one work place or the other and they will go where the money is. That is part of why even those who wouldn’t normally mind prostitution indoors, as long as it’s out of sight and not creating problems for others, don’t want to give in. If prostitution were a real ‘profession’ as they want to say, they’d have a code of ethics and hold their members to them. But we don’t have much hope for that from what we’ve seen.

        • georgefinnegan you’re walking a very fine line here. I’ve edited your last post and I’m putting you on a warning. If you want to talk about sex workers like they’re some kind of lesser species, do it somewhere else.

        • georgefinnegan

          @John Flavin – Not all of what everybody knows of prostitution comes from abolition groups, the media and politicians. When you have street based prostitution, people see with their own eyes and draw their own conclusions. For instance, not everyone likes to be propositioned by prostitutes when they’re just walking down the street or going to a restaurant. Nor are they going to be happy when they have to avoid a stairwell in their apartment building because a prostitute is known to service her Johns there. Those experiences tend to cast a dim light on street-based prostitution and are just as valid as any you want to put forth in favor of prostitution. So, if people decide they don’t want it, as things go in a democracy, they work to put an end to it. Do you really think we should ignore the wishes of 95% of the population?

        • aformersexworker

          You really don’t know anything at all about street sex workers do you? Except how to dehumanise and scapegoat them.

        • georgefinnegan

          @aformersexworker – This has been my experience. Are you so ‘intelligent’ that you think you can tell me whether the water I just drank is hot or cold? You seem to want to try to negate someone’s personal experience by asserting that you’re brilliant and that you know that I couldn’t have experienced what I did. Do that is pretty much like the people you want to set yourself against who want to negate prostitute’s experiences. Continuing that tact isn’t going to improve anything. If you think prostitution doesn’t cause problems for 95% of the population, you’re not being realistic. And if prostitutes don’t address those problems, they’re spitting into the wind because they aren’t going to be able to ‘take’ ‘rights’ they think they have.

        • aformersexworker

          I simply remarked that your personal experience of street sex work would seem to be limited to how dehumanise and scapegoat them compared to my own extensive experience from several perspectives (including having lived in 3 or 4 red light districts as a non-sexworker).

          In the real word I would be very surprised if sex work in general, let alone street sex work had any affect at all (negative or otherwise) on as much as 10% of people, and some of the impacts of street sex work are very positive, such as creating safe zones for vulnerable pedestrians at night and traffic calming…and should be utilised where they are most needed.

    • “you don’t have the right…” – there it is the phrase that dehumanises sex workers and makes it okay to bash, rape and abuse them. Sir, you and your ‘public’ do not bestow rights on a person regardless of their line of work. Rights are a birthright not a legal or political hand out. That’s why they are rights.

      • georgefinnegan

        How about, no one has the right to do things in public that the public objects to – that’s majority rule. If you want to proclaim yourself as a special victim, then go ahead. You have no ‘birthright’ to have sex in public.

    • aformersexworker

      I was a street worker for years and at no time did I *EVER* have sex in public. It is something I would consider to be in abysmally poor taste and something I would never, ever do.

      Street sex work has been recriminalised since 1993, and all that has done is make it more dangerous and (because the women tend to wind up nervous wrecks watching their back for everything) sent drug use that was almost non-existant in 1993 skyrocketting.

      I understand the conflict of interest between the wealthy residents of traditional red light districts and the often utterly desperate women who sell sex on the streets (it is a better choice for any woman who is impoverished and not in a position to invest money, or who hates the idea and does not want to commit to it for longer than they have to). However the 1993 sexual offences act was just about the 2nd stupidest mistake anyone could have made in dealing with it.

      What was needed was zoning…even Ivana Bacik admits that.

      This would work:

      The Nordic Model would be the 1st stupidest mistake anyone could make instead.

  5. Black Metal Valkyrie

    This IS fluffy feminism. You are using the term “sex work” to sanitize the male violence against women that prostitution inherently is.

    • We know the majority demographics, sure, but is it male violence against women when a female client pays for sexual services from a male worker? What about when the client is of the same sex as the worker? What about when one or the other is non-binary?

      From the letter istelf: “sex workers already experience high levels of patronisation, including assumptions that we are not capable of making our own decisions”.

      • Black Metal Valkyrie

        Female johns are such an extreme minority, they aren’t even statistically significant. [Edited for transphobia] But as for your hypothetical questions’ answer, there would still be a male supremacist power imbalance between a female john and prostituted man. If they are the same sex it depends on what sex they are. There are much less prostituted men than women but prostituted men tend to be gay homeless men who were prostituted under age for subsistence. That is clearly exploitative and homophobic violence. Like “female johns” who buy the “services” of prostituted men, the same is true in regard to prostituted women in this situation. Extremely rare. What is your stake in misrepresenting the extremely profitable sex trade by appealing to rarities? I don’t see how it’s patronizing to acknowledge that violence is widespread against prostituted people committed by johns, who are almost always male. Why are you shaming victims of violence by saying acknowledging the reality of their situation is “patronizing”? Does it really insult prostituted people or does it make johns look like the sexually entitled woman-haters that they are? #ListenToSurvivors

        • Mod note: you can make your point about power imbalances in the sex industry without making hateful comments about trans women.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          All I said is [snip]

        • You said more than that, actually, but that’s enough. It won’t be tolerated here, you have your own blogs to make such comments.

        • there would still be a male supremacist power imbalance between a female john and prostituted man. If they are the same sex it depends on what sex they are.

          I’d like to see you develop this further. If a man paying a woman for sex is violence against women, how does a woman paying a man for sex constitute a male supremacist power imbalance?

          If they are both of the same sex, why does it depend what sex they are? If women pay for sex with women are they committing violence against women? If a man pays for sex with a man who isn’t doing it for subsistence purposes, is that not exploitative and violent? If not, why is it automatically exploitative and violent for a man to pay for sex with a woman who isn’t doing it for subsistence purposes?

        • lonesomeyogurt

          Wendy: Men in this society have institutional political and economic power over women. Why do you think 95%+ of all sex buyers are men? Prostitution is inherently gendered, and it’s inherently based on a structure of power wherein men are seen as the ones with sexual needs and women are seen as the ones responsible for meeting them. It’s profoundly conservative.

        • And again, that in no way explains how a woman paying a man for sex constitutes a male supremacist power imbalance, nor how a commercial sex exchange between two men is fundamentally different to one between two women, nor why a man’s reason for selling sex is relevant but a woman’s totally isn’t. I would like to hear BMV’s answers to those questions.

        • lonesomeyogurt

          “how a woman paying a man for sex constitutes a male supremacist power imbalance”

          I’m not sure what the reasoning there is either, but it’s not absurd.

          “how a commercial sex exchange between two men is fundamentally different to one between two women”

          Why do you think one is literally a hundred times more common than the other? Could it have something to do with the fact that men are raised to see other human beings as appropriate objects for sexual exploitation, while women aren’t?

          “why a man’s reason for selling sex is relevant but a woman’s totally isn’t.”

          Both are relevant, but as men has massive institutional power over women, the reason of a man is far more influential to the structure of society than the reason of a woman. Both the CEO of Walmart and the minimum-wage worker have “reasons” for entering into a contract, but that doesn’t mean the power of the CEO is somehow the same as the power of the worker.

        • Both of your two answers (I’m not counting your first non-answer, though it did make me snort tea out my nose) could apply equally to casual sexual relationships in which no money is exchanged. Which kind of makes it sound as though your problem isn’t really with sex work, but with sex. Unless it’s sex between two women, of course, which you both seem to think is perfectly fine even when one party is paying for it.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          It’s a male supremacist power imbalance because nothing women do in patriarchy exists outside of it. Many so called female johns are being pressured by their pornsick male partners to have a 3 way with a prostituted woman. That is what is actually looks like IRL.

        • Well, again, that sounds like you think the problem is actually sex between men and women, not whether money is exchanged.

          When women pay for sex with women as a one-on-one thing, no men involved at all, does that pose no issues for you?

          I assume you’re a Swedish model supporter. Would you criminalise only male buyers? When a woman pays for sex with a man, should he be the criminal in that scenario too?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Because lesbians love women, they don’t support prostitution at least not as far as to be johns. Yes I support the Nordic Model. Laws need to be made to reflect reality, not extreme isolated cases. Fuck your johns enabling feMANism!

        • I’m a practising lawyer. Laws need to be able to cope with the cases that arise, no matter how extreme or isolated (and I’m not convinced they’re as isolated as you wish them to be). So are you saying the law should only make it a crime for men to pay for sex? That it shouldn’t be illegal for women?

        • lonesomeyogurt

          Yes, absolutely many casual sexual encounters take place inside an imbalance of power that gives a man control over a woman. That’s bad too. But prostitution is an industry, a specific structure in which male domination over women is enshrined. Why do you think 95%+ of sex buyers are men? It’s because men are taught that our sexual desires are of the utmost importance and that women exist to meet them. There’s no way a sex industry could exist without thousands of misogynistic men who are willing to see the bodies of women as their right.

          Seriously, why do you think the 95/5% split exists?

        • See the reasons I listed in a reply to the same question several years ago, here. I must say I find it amusing how you pro-criminalisation folks keep asking the same questions as if we’ve never thought of them before.

          Oh and dude? Please don’t purport to tell me what sex is for women.

        • lonesomeyogurt

          And the idea that we have a problem with sex is ridiculous – if you equate sex with a man paying to fuck a stranger, that’s your problem, not mine. There is nothing progressive or open-minded about turning sex into work for women. That’s what it’s been for the last 10,000 years.

        • aformersexworker

          I KNEW I had missed this blog…it is SO CUTE when a radfem does the “drag king” thing…

          The greatest (and worst) thing about sex work is that it is, to all intention and purposes, a nation of women…guys are the crop we harvest…bless…

    • Interesting that you seem more concerned about the ideology that ‘prostitution is inherently male violence against women’ than actually LISTENING to the womens voices on the issues especially when the letter specificies the role that ‘patronisation’ (like your comment) plays in negating their voices.
      Surely if you believe in the integrity and dignity of women working in prostitution , you should prioritise THEIR voices over your ideological beliefs?

      • aformersexworker

        James, I have come to the conclusion that this current wave of abolitionism is truly women’s violence against women…on every level you can think of…

        The idea of sex work as men’s violence against women is simply idiotic. Men are the crop a sex worker harvests for a living…

        It is like calling the lambing season “violence against farmers”.

      • Black Metal Valkyrie

        The pro “sex work” line is informed by a neoliberal ideological line. The term sex work itself is an ideologically loaded term. Interesting what you believe in is fact while everything else you reject off hand is automatically purely ideological and devoid of facts. What makes you think the experiences of women in the sex trade past and present do not inform the abolitionist stance? I guess Cherry Smiley is wrong when she condemns prostitution as the continued colonization of Aboriginal women. An Aboriginal woman’s voice only matters to you if she doesn’t challenge your male privilege. I guess Rebecca Mott, Rachel Moran, Jacqueline S Homan, Andrea Dworkin and any other survivor you disagree with is automatically wrong. What an open minded liberal you are! #ListenToSurvivors

        • aformersexworker

          Rachel Moran is know to me as a 1st hand eyewitness to be a total fraud. I have even gone on oath with that and one other witness is already publicly willing to do so.

          RMott is a blatantly obvious borderline fantasist who is getting a great career and the attention she is addicted to out of abolitionism and has never produced a shred of evidence to suggest she is really as sex worker.

          Jaqueline Homan has really been a sex worker, but now has a career from abolitionism she is actually quite a nice person but is only abolitionist in a context where many good people (some close personal friends who SPEND too much money on helping real sex workers in real ways), see abolitionism in a US context as something that will not be as bad as the blanket prohibition that criminalises, persecutes and destroys sex workers in all but one US state.

          Andrea Dworkin made a lucrative career out of promoting all forms of extreme and radical feminism until she died, but not until she used sex work to keep herself alive in Holland when she ran out of other option…I guess she thought other women would be better off not being able to survive the same situation?

        • aformersexworker

          Update THIS is how Jaqueline Homan uses abolitionism to make a living this year:

          (I should pay more attention to people I don’t spot as fakes on sight).

        • I don’t necessarily consider people that you mention as wrong – however when the people that you mention cheerlead the success of Swedish Model (which you’ll find from many of the OFFICIAL Swedish police reports published on this site ADMITTING increased abuses in Sweden) by systematically suppressing these reports , then we’re entering into the same realm of what the Roman Catholic Church did in covering up child abuse in order to preserve their dominant orthodoxy.

          Radfems suppressing Swedish abuses to promote their ideological views as a success are as bad as what the Church did . If you think otherwise, then clearly you have issues with truth and morality.

          I sincerely ask you to look through the sex work section of this site to examine those reports which those ‘survivors’ that you laud ,strangely never address. #LookAtTheEvidence

    • You’re conflating forced prostitution (agreed it’s violence and also a crime) with sex work i.e. consensual sex. They are two completely different issues.

      • Black Metal Valkyrie

        So consent is a magical thing that erases systematic inequality huh? Interesting.

        • Any chance that you might actually LISTEN to the sex workers who wrote the letter ,instead of talking down to them from your privileged position regarding “systematic inequality”?

          Or have you decided that YOU have the right o determine who should/should not have the autonomy to consent to what actions a person can apply themselves to,sexual or otherwise?

      • lonesomeyogurt

        Consent does not erase structural inequality that puts serious constraints on our desires, options, and choices.

        • So your position is based on the premise that sex workers are unable to give true consent because of structural inequalities? Presumably so, any person in a lower tier position of these structural inequalities is also incapable of giving true consent e.g. min wage wrkers, zero hour contract workers.
          Do you think the jobs of those people should also be criminalised ? After all, giving rights to those people re-inforces such ‘structural inequalities’ …..

        • lonesomeyogurt

          I’m not saying they can’t consent – I’m saying that people consent *all the time* to exploitation. Including, yes, minimum wage workers. The difference, of course, is that most minimum wage workers are not often ejaculated inside ten to fifteen times daily, nor do MicDonalds cooks leave the industry with levels of PTSD rivaling combat veterans.

          The Nordic Model does not “criminalize the jobs” of women in prostitution. It criminalizes their clients. Massive difference. And I absolutely *would* support an abolitionist approach to capitalism in general – that would be called socialism!

        • aformersexworker

          The PTSD thing…where, exactly is the proof of that? Or that the PTSD came from sex work rather than the circumstances that put someone in the position where sex work was their best option?

          There isn’t any is there? (“Melissa Farley says” offers the same level of proof as “the fairies told me”)

          …any more than there is a comparative study of rescue trauma…and I know people who are literally coming apart at the seams because of the abuses of the rescue industry who would be happy to participate in a study.

        • If a sex worker consents to five , ten or fifteen men a day and is perfectly willing to receive her charged fee for each , then that is HER choice – not yours – something which you seem determined to deny her. Indeed, at any orgy a woman may have a variety of penises inside over a short period of time but because she doesn’t have an interest in receiving money for same ,that doesn’t appear to vex you as much.

          Your introduction of the long since debunked Melissa Farley’s PTSD claim illustrates again that your views are less focused on what women in prostitution want and need and more about your dogma.At no stage so far, have you even addressed the concerns of the women in the open letter ,which is echoed by women all over the globe who sell sex as a conscious ,deliberate decision , which you wish to deny them.

          Again proper exit strategies are universally agreed for those who want/need to leave prostitution – this is about the aspirational rights of women who continue to sell sex ,which clearly you wish to obstruct for your ideological reasons.

    • hayleyhayleycomet

      Black Metal Valkyrie: what do you mean “YOU are using the term sex work to sanitise the male violence against women that prostitution inherently is”? You realise when you say YOU- you are talking about us- sex workers- writing about our own experience. We at least have the right to describe our work as we see best!?
      If you also have your own experiences you have a right to name them too, but at the very least respect our right to write about our own lives and use the terms we want. Same goes for describing it as male violence against women- you can say that for you if you felt that, but thats not our experience, so its pretty shit to try and claim its inherent and deny our experiences.

      And I don’t know how on earth this is “fluffy feminism” unless its meant in a complimentary way -that its a kind and respectful feminism thats about supporting all women… as opposed to hateful bullshit “feminism” like telling women “THIS IS YOUR EXPERIENCE” and excluding most sex workers along with trans women and many other women. In which case I know which one I would prefer to see.

        • Oh, wow. A person who is actually selling sex asks you to respect their right to frame their own experiences and your only response is to link to a piece called “myths about prostitution” by a non-sex worker? And you wonder why you’re accused of being patronising!

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Of yeah, because everyone on the internutz is who they say they are. And like I said already, “sex worker” is a pimp lobby term meant to muddy the waters when we talk about male violence against women in the rape trade. Most prostituted women started off young:

        • “Sex worker” is a term used by actual sex workers (many of whom I know off the internet). I can guess your response if someone here refused to believe that a self-identified survivor or prostituted woman actually was who they said they were, because, you know, “survivor” and “prostituted woman” are terms used by radfems who’ve never sold sex in their lives.

          As for most of them starting off young, one person’s own experience is not evidence of a general rule. Here is a compendium of age-of-entry data which contradicts the myth of the “average” 13-year-old.

        • aformersexworker


          If other people want to be nice to the likes of RMott and Meagher that is their right and privilege, but for some reason, despite 6 years of sex work, I still have a fully operational gag reflex and find it impossible…

      • “used by radfems who have never sold sex in their lives” conveniently ignores Andrea Dworkin, Rachel Moran, Rebecca Mott, and MANY other survivors of sex trafficking or prostitution.

        SMH just because you disagree with survivors doesn’t mean you have to throw them and their lived experiences under the bus.

        • If you read that line in its actual context, that was precisely my point.

        • aformersexworker

          Rachel Moran is one person I know for certain, as eyewitness was never a sex worker, enough to risk my life going on oath with that (she is too scared of the inevitable penalty for perjury to go on oath and try to refute). There are 5 other witnesses I know of to her deceit. One is also public about it.

          Common sense tells me RMott has never been a sex worker…or told much truth about anything (borderline fantasist on the crack pipe) and at my age I refuse to even pretend to buy that cr*p.

          I never paid any attention to Andrea Dworkin (though I heard the name)…2 mins…ah…she is dead…but not till she made a lucrative lifelong career out of radical feminism and trying to dictate other people’s sex lives…AFTEr she used sex work to keep her alive when she was desperate…a resource made money out of trying to deny to other desperate women…

          …and she is in favour of incest…she wouldn’t have been if she had my brothers…

        • RMott was abused either as a sex worker or by her parents or something. She can’t deal with it and blames herself. That’s transparent. Rather than healing she’s stuck in an addictive phase, self-medicating with anti-prostitution philosophy, much like Meagher. I suggest being nice to both of them.

    • aformersexworker

      You wouldn’t say that if you had ever been a sex worker, or even listened to a real, honest sex worker…instead of some high rent professional “survivor” who knows little and cares less as long as she gets paid for it.

      • Black Metal Valkyrie

        So very woman who disagrees with the pro legalization/decrim line is not real and honest? How misogynist.

  6. I was really surprised when Tom Meagher signed up to the anti-prostitution groups given the fact that he had earlier criticised the justice system for not protecting sex workers as it does for ‘ordinary’ women. If sex workers had been free to report crime without suffering negative consequences then there is a strong likelihood Adrian Bayley would not have been a free man at the time Jill Meagher was murdered. It seems the anti-prostitution groups have now brainwashed Mr Meagher and he has completely turned on the sex workers who he initially seemed to support.

  7. aformersexworker

    Everybody hates my guts anyway – enough to stand back and applaud rather than protest while I slept with a commando knife in my hand because Stormont published my name, full rural address and private phone numbers for 10 months.

    I get it, I couldn’t come to enough harm, soon enough to suit both sides of the Irish sex work debate

    But i does leave me free to say what I really think about Tom Meagher.

    There is more personal effort and integrity involved in being a good and genuine person than having a horribly murdered wife. In fact, it doesn’t even confer expertise in anything.

    Tom Meagher is not dealing with his grief, he is not memorialising his wife, he is not even fighting for a better world for anyone…

    …he is just cashing in on the death of his wife for narcissistic notice any way he can, and TO HELL with who he harms in the process.

    Sadly there is nothing unique about that, but there is more to being acceptable than being “common enough” too.

    Tom Meagher needs to take a long hard look at his burgeoning sense of entitlement to harm women who are still very much alive and on their own two feet fighting to stay that way and ask himself if that is the person he intends to be for the rest of his life.

    • georgefinnegan

      You have no idea what Tom Meagher thinks or feels. You’re just projecting your misguided ideas on his actions.

      • The same could be said of you and how you project your ideas on Sex workers who know their situation better than anyone. All we want is to be given equal respect and safety and treated like ordinary human beings. If Tom’s wife had been working as a prostitute, do you think she would have been given the same amount of exposure or sympathy upon her death?

        We are normal people, we try to go about our business discreetly and would continue to do so, even if decriminalized, because the nature of the job requires discretion. We are not wanting to upset anyone, we just want to be safe and be able to look after our families and responsibilities to the best of our ability.

        I am sorry that Tom Meagher lost his wife and my heart goes out to her family, but this is not the way to fight back, as it is putting far more people at risk and far more lives will be lost at the hands of it. I don’t think he can know this, or understand this and I hope he does not have to one day live with my blood on his conscience.

      • aformersexworker

        You are correct georgefinnegan, I have absolutely no idea what Tom Meagher thinks or feels, and at no point suggested I had, I am simply making a rather obvious objective analysis of his overt behaviour and choices.

        I have no idea what you think or feel, I don’t even have a clue what you are, the only thing I do know for certain is that you haven’t got the slightest interest in truth and justice for sex workers, let alone their wellbeing…because you have chosen to prove that to me.

        Let us cut the BS shall we?

        It is obvious to anyone of normal intelligence that sex workers will derive no benefit from a strategy aimed at reducing their income, and the greater the economic pressures that drive them the more such legislation will cause them and their families to suffer.

        It is obvious to anyone of normal intelligence that being lied to, lied about, patronised and controlled by Ruhama and similar organisations is mentally and emotionally abusive to sex workers.

        It is obvious to anyone of normal intelligence that refusing to listen to sex workers at all will not arrive at the truth.

        The entire agenda of “Turn Off the Red Light” has always been one long lie, not a clever lie, not a subtle lie, but a very blatant and obvious one that only attracts the following of those who seek personal advantage from it.

        People like you and Tom Meagher who could not care less how many sex workers they harm by their nonsense as long as they get what they want out of it.

        • georgefinnegan

          I don’t know where get the idea that this list of issues(?) has anything to do with what I wrote. I am pointing out problems many other people in society have with prostitution – not having to do with what the media, or antis or the church has instilled, but through experience. Like it or not, there isn’t anything so perfect that there aren’t problems with it.

        • aformersexworker

          Really georgefinnegan, because it looks more to me as if you are projecting your ill-informed subjective perspective on to 95% of people and demanding I accept that as a core truth to me?

        • georgefinnegan

          @aformersexworker – When you responded as you did to what I’ve written, you basically show that you really aren’t very rational – you’re just in a mood to throw crap. It’s pretty basic truth that nothing of what you wrote had anything to do with me or the opinions I expressed here. The way your mind seems to work, it can’t really matter much to me if you think my perspective is ‘ill-formed’ because you don’t seem to be able to comprehend what you’re reading. If all you want to do is insult people who don’t agree with you – go ahead, have fun!

        • aformersexworker

          Which part of “I repair balance platforms to relax, anyone who thinks they can needle me into whatever it is they think it’s neat to needle people into needs the urgent attention of a psychiatrist.” seemed like I might be kidding?

  8. Why is it that every abolitionist I know or see (online and IRL) is a huge festering pile of vicious malice and psychological malaise?

    • aformersexworker

      Probably pure coincidence?

      • LonelyPasserby

        Not sure.

        Something is wrong with abolitionism at a very fundamental, philosophical level. It’s not just a technical limitation of Nordic/Swedish model not working, or being technically unable to chase down every gang or a myriad of other entirely technical reasons why abolitionist policies never fail to disappoint.

        Something’s very fishy about the very idea that renting my mind to, say, Microsoft or my physical strength and hand dexterity to some silly grocery store are fine career choices, but renting my genitals is taboo and socially unacceptable.
        It seems to covertly imply a premise that sexual intercourse is special and sacred – and that premise is just plain untrue.

        • aformersexworker

          There is something I noticed all my life, that so many issues divide into:

          *The right for all to choose.
          *The right to control others

          Think about it…

          Abolitionism is a field day for those who want the right to control others. It is not an aspiration that ever appeals to caring, compassionate or empathetic people.

          Sexual intercourse can be a precious sacrament…people who think it should always be treated as one have simply never experienced the precious and sacramental aspect of sex and have no idea of the difference.

        • LonelyPasserby

          I dunno. They claim to be empathetic – and who knows, maybe they believe themselves to be. I am no telepath.

          Oddly enough, I’ve never experienced sex as sacramental and I don’t have any particular reason to claim it’s sacramental, it’s just a bunch of people (oftentimes abolitionists) running around saying that it’s very special/sacred/etcetera.

          But yeah, the whole crazy drive to control the lives of others (prostitutes, clients, activists) seems to be crucial for abolitionist mindset, and that’s one helluva noxious drive.
          Maybe that’s what makes them so damn evil.

        • aformersexworker

          What people claims to be, and what they are can be two quite opposite things.

          Empathetic people get upset when they are harming others and want to put it right…these people just want to gag, block, silence and shout down the objections of the people they are harming.

          I guess you mustn’t have had the right kind of sex to be aware of it’s sacramental possibilities yet? But common sense should tell you, sexuality is a drive, but sex is the language through which it expresses itself, and, as a result, can, like words say pretty much whatever you choose to express with it.

          Words can hurt, have fun or pray just as easily…so can sex…

          Words can also earn you a good salary…so can sex…

          But whoever wanted to ban call centres because words should be saved to say mass?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Oh yes the old straw man of actual feminists being conservative prudes! Come back when you actually understand what you’re talking about dude.

        • lonesomeyogurt

          The difference, of course, is that we don’t live in a society where from birth women are told that they exist for no other reason than to do word processing or shelf stocking. Women have always been seen as the class of people responsible for making men orgasm, since the beginning of civilization. And prostitution trades on that dynamic. Why else do you think that 95%+ of sex buyers are men? Do you really think sexism and misogyny have nothing to do with it?

      • aformersexworker

        Black Metal Valkyrie
        Never, in all the days of my life have I suggested that feminists are conservative prudes, in fact I have had blazing rows with good friends in Men’s Rights, and similar about using “feminism” as a term to generalise with.

        “Feminism” simply means demanding and expecting the same rights for women as for men. It doesn’t mean anything else at all.

        I am certain modern day abolitionism is motivated entirely by greed for money, political advantage, influence and the imposition of control that misuses feminism, religion and moral panic to garner support.

        In a Southern Irish context Abolitionism is under the control of an aggressive Lesbian Mafia that has been terrorising the LGBT community (mostly very nice people, male and female, but very nice people are easy to terrorise) for years. FemNazis without question, but conservative prudes? Having already experienced their attitude that sexual harassment and assault by a woman is something one should gratefully appreciate on more than one occasion (including once from Women’s Aid and once from Turn Off the Red Light) I hardly have grounds to talk about them as “Conservative prudes” now, do i?,

        However, in a Northern Irish context, abolitionism is under the control of Christian Fundamentalists, who (except when allying with Turn Off the Red Light) consider all forms of homosexuality to be a sin and/or a disease. Now their motivation centres just as much on greed for money, political advantage, influence and the imposition of control as anybody else’s:

        But just as the Lesbian Mafia in the South imply the imposition of their warped sexual values, so the Fundamentalist Mafia in the North seek to impose theirs. I used ignore that element myself (mostly because I couldn’t take it seriously) until I got close to a funny, irreverent, out of the box thinker I would describe as “Paddington Bear with a serious brain” and found out that his secret vice is reading a chapter of Andrew Comisky after his KJA bible every night…to help him cope with his “fallen sexuality” which does not just mean homosexuality, but sex based on any kind of lust at all.

        On a personal level it looks and feels like a beautiful human being who mutilated himself past recognition and I have punched the wall once or twice over it…politically it means that he has been willing to fake evidence and apply propaganda skills Goebbels would bow to to progress clause 15.

        It also means that the same person who intellectually agrees with most things I say, and does not wish harm on anyone cannot be persuaded there was anything wrong in this because he brainwashed himself into believing everything he isn’t comfortable with is “part of God’s great plan”.

        He mentioned “Jesus” once in years…finding out the truth is like finding out a close friend died – in the commission of a terrible crime…

        • aformersexworker

          Something further occurred to me from watching this discussion (which statement, in and of itself sets out the stall of my position on the context).

          There is an huge common ground between all proponents of abolitionism, whether supposedly Christian or supposedly Feminist. Rather than observe reality, heed testimony, apply logic and form an opinion, they reach blindly for their doctrine and dogma of choice and compile it to pseudo-conclusion.

          This is typical of stage four in Kohlberg’s scale moral development where morality is sought in the dictates of third parties rather than being self determined. It avoids the deployment of critical thinking and empathy entirely,

          The downside is that the dictates of others are not founded upon facts, truth or justice and are rife with the misconception, misunderstanding, propaganda and outright lies of others. In short, without passing through a huge dose of critical thinking the dictates of others are simply not to be trusted.

          “indoctrination” is, even by it’s very name, the deliberate deployment of stage four moral development, propaganda is the deliberate manipulation of it.

          Of course, stage four moral development is not responsible for every bad thing in the world – just most of them.

  9. Black Metal Valkyrie

    It’s really only malestream abolitionists like Gail Dines think fondly of PIV. Abolitionism is the only feminist stance on the issue of prostitution and is a view held by people with diverse overall beliefs. Some are anti-PIV, some are PIV-critical, some are religious, some are atheist. Some are heterosexual and some are gay. What unites them is that they seek to hold men accountable for their violence rather than enabling men and seeking to normalize male entitlement to sexual access of women aka johns. How exactly does protecting pimps and johns specifically help protect prostituted women from male violence? I don’t think treating a sexual partner with human dignity is akin to appeals to religious morality either. Not all women who have lived through the sex trade call themselves “sex workers”, they call themselves formerly prostituted women or survivors. But they don’t agree with legalizing it or fully decriminalizing it so they don’t count off hand.

    • Well that’s not true. Lots of feminists are pro-choice.

      • Black Metal Valkyrie

        On what? Pro-choice only applies to abortion and contraceptive access. It is a term again created by liberals to muddy the waters.

        • LonelyPasserby

          “On what? Pro-choice only applies to abortion and contraceptive access. ”

          Is that the official stance of Feminist Central Command?

          Is it enshrined in an order signed by Feminist Commanderess-in-chiefess?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          No, I’m just telling you what the feminist concept was before liberals co-opted it for anti-feminist ends.

        • LonelyPasserby

          As far as I am concerned, the liberals have refined and enlightened the concept :p

          You aren’t the only kind of feminism in town and you don’t get to tell other women what is “proper” feminism and what is “coopted”

        • LonelyPasserby

          So, modification and intermingling of ideas is a baaad thing…

          LOL, that’s some hardcore ideological purity blues.

        • LonelyPasserby

          But jokes aside, you don’t get to police the terms, and neither do socialists.

          Yes, it would be neat to have a more descriptive terminological framework so as to not accidentally confuse reasonable, German-style capitalists-with-elements-of socialism (as well as guaranteed sustenance income/guaranteed minimum income capitalists) with fruitloops who believe that all property is theft, as well as not to accidentally confuse people like you and people like our kind hosts on this fine blog…

          … but it’s not readily available and there is no Standards Body to create and enforce it.

          So, Valkyrie, you’ll have to deal with the fact that sex-positive, pro-porn, sex-work-positive my-body-my-rules feminists are also feminists, and not in any meaningful way “fake” just because they don’t subscribe to your radical current of the movement.

          You have my sympathies (just kidding, you don’t)

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Liberalism is a male ideology. Feminism is the movement for women’s liberation. Have fun with your pro-capitalist catch-all social justice movement, but no matter how hard you wish it was, it’s not feminism.

        • amusedPasserby

          Awwwww yisssss, accusing an abstract ideological construct of being “male”, that’s classy 😀

          And, again, you don’t get to define what is and is not feminism.

          At most, you get to define what your particular branch of feminism is and is not (I doubt that you can even speak for all of the “radical feminists” out there, given that it’s hardly a homogeneous construct, but I guess that, being a very pro self-determination person, I should leave classification and policing of “radical” ranks to those who identify with “radical” label 🙂 )

        • amusedPasserby

          Again, it’s just a poorly substantiated, evidence-deprived opinion of your little radfem club.

          You are of course entitled to it.

          And feminists who actually care about things like self-determination and personal autonomy, as well as feminists who care about things like “scientific validity of a hypothesis”, “falsifiability”, “evidence” and “evidence-based-policy” are entitled to rolling their eyes and treating you the way mainstream economics treat marxism-leninism and gold-standard fruitloopery.

          By the way, I truly enjoy your focus on attacking capitalism. Do keep up, it is a veritable path to success 🙂

          Speaking of “condoning violence against women”, as a radically minded person, you do realize that you can only establish your political dominance if you literally step over my dead body (okay, something along the lines of 19-century style forced lobotomy would probably work too) ?

          I’m a woman.

          So your plan of “annihilation” and “radical takeover” by necessity includes violence against women, since you simply do not have any sane, scientifically sound argument with which you could convince women like me to support (or at least not actively oppose) your rise to political power.

          I thus suggest you refrain from calling people out on “shark jumping”, or any other fish-related interactions for that matter :).

        • This entire discussion reminds me of arguments I stopped being bothered to have with Trots 20 years ago.

        • … Trots and RCP members. Who thought that the left should stop trying to get laws passed that improved working people’s conditions, because these just created a more content class of wage slaves and helped the bosses consolidate their control. It was a stupid argument then, it’s a stupid argument now.

        • JustAPasserby

          I humbly beg to differ.

          It’s a morally repugnant argument (for certain common values of “moral”), but it’s not a stupid argument.

          It makes perfect sense if you are convinced that you do not, in fact, want “gentle capitalism” with strong social net, but actually want a violent revolution, and are convinced that said revolution will result in a marxist-ish classless utopia, and will not result in a bunch of dudes with most guns seizing power and having their way with everyone else (which is how revolutions tend to go, give or take).

          This is an extremely dangerous worldview, which is only ameliorated by the fact that, currently, communist movements and their immediate relatives are in no position to actively hurt “working class” people to bring about their cherished revolution.

          Unfortunately, as the recent Nordic-model infestation of Canada shows (and I refuse to call the rise of pro-Nordic-model position anything other than infestation), radical feminists who operate under similar assumptions regarding desirability of escalation are sadly still capable of causing some escalation.

        • Ha, well I want a marxist-ish classless utopia! I just don’t think that making the lives of the most vulnerable precarious workers even more vulnerable and precarious is going to achieve it.

        • JustAPasserby

          Well, I like marxist-ish classless utopias too, in the same way I would like a civilization of space-faring birdlike aliens to re-engineer me into a 6’3″ 198 lb amazonesque war-goddess (please pardon the sudden “low-brow” reference 😉 )

          However, as far as I can tell, neither marxist-ish utopias nor birdlike aliens willing to confer superpowers upon me are something that is likely to ever exist.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Implying there is any evidence that neoliberalism has ever liberated women from male violence and patriarchy.

        • JustAPasserby

          Implying you did not notice the profound improvements of women’s status compared to, oh, see, like 20-30 years ago.

          Also implying your lot has done much beyond spawning unfalsifiable theories on how “future great societies” should be built 🙂

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Bullshit. 2nd wave feminists won all the rights women currently have under the patriarchy in which we live. All liberal sex pozzie feminists have done is advocate trickle down economics and how patriarchy can be made more “comfortable” and harm can be reduced but not abolished.

        • JustAPasserby

          now, if you said “first wave” you would have had more of a point, but you didn’t 🙂

        • JustAPasserby

          Also, conflating “radical feminism” and “second wave” is a bit… audacious 😉

        • amusedPasserby

          Also, this is just adowable:

          “Get with the programme, or relinquish the title ‘feminist’.”


          LOL, you forgot the magic word 🙂

          Did the “relinquish our words” thing ever work?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          You don’t have any argument so you result to foolish straw man arguments. Nice. Liberalism is just as ideological as anything else.

        • JustAPasserby

          Straw men?

          Are you going to claim you have invented the recipe of non-violent revolutions that do not necessitate physical removal or forced “re-education” of detractors?

          Or are you going to try disowning the preposterously comical demand for “relinquishment of title” ?

          You can probably pull off the second one, assuming it’s your blog you’re linking to 🙂

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          You are disgustingly misogynist.

        • JustAPasserby

          My position is not dependent upon your sex and/or gender.

          If you were an all-male radical/revolutionary movement (Monks4communism! 🙂 ) my arguments would still apply, and demanding third parties “to relinquish titles” would be equally laughable.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Comparing rad fems to MRAs ignores the stark power imbalance between men and women. These things are not comparable. Your analogy is fail

        • JustAPasserby

          Did I mention MRAs?

          LOL no, I didn’t.

          Dodge failed.

          And your assertion regarding misogyny of my simple observations regarding “annihilation” part of your under-specified “plan” (okay, it’s more like a “proclamation” than a “plan”, but points stands) remains just as baseless as before your hopeless maneuver.

          Demanding third parties to “relinquish” “your” terminology remains just as laughable (make us, if you can! 🙂 )

        • JustAPasserby

          Upon some thought, I retract the “smile” emoticon in previous comment.

          It should thus read:

          Did I mention MRAs?

          LOL no, I didn’t.

          Dodge failed.

          And your assertion regarding misogyny of my simple observations regarding “annihilation” part of your under-specified “plan” (okay, it’s more like a “proclamation” than a “plan”, but points stands) remains just as baseless as before your hopeless maneuver.

          Demanding third parties to “relinquish” “your” terminology remains just as laughable (make us, if you can!)

          Seriously, do try and pry the the title ‘feminist’ from our cold dead hands.

    • aformersexworker

      “Formerly prostituted women” are exceptionally few in number, and, without exception, seem to be deriving a significant personal income from the Abolitionist industry. I did some background check and what I found are:

      *Outright frauds who have never sold sex at all
      *Diagnosed psychopaths
      *Firestarters who have caused murders
      *Drug addicts who’s various states of recovery are depedent upon the abolitionis industry

      …what I have not found is on single mentally healthy person of compassion offering objective facts without personal gain.


      If they hate sex work then they should never have to do it again, in fact, that is the cornerstone of my objection to an overfunded rescue industry that is so much more damaging and abusive than sex work it leave people who want out of sex work trapped in it and still manages to get well paid for doing so.

      The women who does choose (or prefer because there is nothing less damaging on offer) should NOT have their lives damaged and made harder to suit a very few people who have found a way to profit from the abolitionist industry and will never be selling sex again.

      That is like saying we need to restore slavery in the Deep South for the sake of a few KKK affiliated tobacco farmers who feel they will make more money in the face of prevailing trends if they can return to using slave labour.

      I think you are more guilty than any MRA I ever saw of overgeneralising feminism! (Sorry guys, I understand where you got the mistaken idea that “all feminists are cruel abusive whackjobs who hate men” now, but you are still DEAD WRONG).

      I know farmers wives in their 80s who self identify as feminists who have never spared a moment’s though for any of the things you mention. They just want women to have the same rights and opportunities as men and do their own thinking, based on their own wealth of experience, about how best to achieve that. They would be caught blindly following the assertions of someone who makes a lot of money out of telling sheeple what to think on ANY subject.

      (In case anyone else is wondering what PIV actually is see it doesn’t actually explain, but you might be able to work it out? If you do, please let me know through my blog? One thng you can be sure of is that the farmers wives mentioned above couldn’t give a feck on way of another about it.)

      Only the whole the vast majority of people would rather form their opinions based on reality than on the deeply weird misconceptions spread by your personal ideological icons…

      But hey…you can think whatever you like, as long as you do not sacrifice real lives in the real world to it…

    • aformersexworker

      There is a REALLY big answer to this queued for moderation because it has two links in…if y’all are REALLY nice and polite Feministire may even post it. But I think I have given a silly radfem (with many identities) that I certainly have blocked on twitter, WAY TOO MUCH FUN now. So time to stop replying…

      It is all pretty obvious…to normal, sane people.

      *The Nordic model is based on a load of b*llsh*t and will harm everyone except the individuals and organisations who intend to exploit it.
      *Reducing their income and making their life harder will not benefit sex workers
      *If organisations like Ruhama had anything useful to offer sex workers they wouldn’t need to use the Nordic Model to coerce even e few of the to engage
      *I repair balance platforms to relax, anyone who thinks they can needle me into whatever it is they think it’s neat to needle people into needs the urgent attention of a psychiatrist.



    • LonelyPasserby

      “Abolitionism is the only feminist stance on the issue of prostitution”

      And who has granted you the authority to speak on behalf of “entire feminism” ?

      Is there some kind of “feminism world council” to decide such things, or can any woman do so? If so, how do I join the World Feminist Council?

      • Black Metal Valkyrie

        It has nothing to do with an authority. It has to do with feminism having a definition as other political and social movements do and something things just be fundamentally against the stated goals of that movement. Just as fascism and stocks are fundamentally anti-communist.

        • LonelyPasserby

          Actually, there are numerous branches of feminist movement, and each with its own convictions and definitions.

          Many of those support both legalization of prostitution (on both ends of transaction) and woman’s right to participate in creation of pornography (as well as, by logical necessity, other people’s right to participate in watching said pornography)

          You may, of course, claim that Wendy McElroy is “un-feminist” because her views clash with your definition of feminism, but unless there is, like , a global feminist control center, such claims of yours will be groundless and vain.

    • LonelyPasserby

      Also, Valkyre, riddle me this:

      Is it okay for a company (say, a large software company) to rent my brain for money (because that is exactly what my employment is, for now)?

      Is it okay for an individual human to rent my brain for money? (which is what it would have been if I worked for a seedy mom-and-pop setup and not a large company) ?

      If those are okay, then how is renting my vagina (mouth, anus, etc) to a company or individual different from renting my brain, and why are vagina (mouth, anus, etc.) special.

      If you believe that renting brains is also not okay, then I don’t see how your position could lead to anything resembling a functional, high-tech society (but I wish you luck in building an egalitarian tribal community on a remote island nonetheless)

      • In this rather interesting book the author draws the analogy with a person who hires themselves out to a medical school as a colonoscopy model.

        • LonelyPasserby

          Actually, that one would be easier to dismiss as “same thing” for our yoghurt friend here.

          What I’m more interested is youghurt’s position on renting purely intellectual activities (and even willing to overlook the fact that I also fill out a metric ton of paperwork to make the example more clear-cut)

        • LonelyPasserby

          So, you have empirical evidence that pornography causes increase in misogyny?
          Like, you have proof of both correlation and causation between legalization of porn/prostitution and a significant rise of misogyny?

          Can I see your wonderful peer-reviewed multi-jurisdictional study?

          Also, what exactly entitles you to speak on behalf of all the women when you assert that “allowing to be penetrated” requires “greater psychological compromises” ?

          Are you perhaps a god(dess)?

          Because in my lived experience, being penetrated was not psychologically demanding, or at the very least on average way less demanding than coming up with a 150+ page compliance hoobaloo report.

          I realize that some people consider sexual intercourse to be a sacred thing that is only to be performed between people sharing a “deep” “emotional” “bond” (or some other word salad to that general effect), but I am not one of those people and that’s just the way my “lived experience” goes.

          Just an idea:
          Maybe you should, like, provide people who feel strongly about sexual intercourse with alternate career options and leave the rest alone, huh ? 🙂

          The shtick about “Most men conceive of their bodies as impermeable” is hilariously incongruous with my experience with males.

          More than a half of male partners I ever had asked for things like prostate massage at some point (usually way more than just merely “massage” and closer to “fisting” territory, but that’t probably TMI lol)

          But maybe that’s just the kind of effect I have on sex partners, like a superpower lol 🙂

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Porn IS male violence against women. Please, Oh Enlightened Liberal, tell me what is so “empowering” about a man cumming on a man’s face and giving her anal prolapse. No I am not someone who thinks PIV is sacred.

        • LonelyPasserby

          I can’s speak for cases of “a man cumming on a man’s face” due to not being “man” :), but if you are also curious about cases of “a man cumming on a woman’s face”, then as someone who actually had men cum on her face (as opposed to someone who saw men cum on somebody else’s face and is very worked up about those stranger’s dealings, on internets) I can attest that as far as my experience goes, the act is rather neutral in terms of empowerment.

          It is about as empowering as splashing each other in a pool.

          Though I must admit I way more like it when vegan men do that – for some reason, they taste way nicer* (note to vegan proselytizers: don’t talk to men about all the cows that suffer, talk to men about all the blowjobs vegans are getting because of superior taste 🙂 )


          * finding not statistically significant, your mileage may vary 🙂

        • That says penetration is a metaphor for dominance. Do you have a problem with heterosexual marriage?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie


        • Should it be criminalised?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          We live in patriarchy, that would never happen.

        • So only things that are achievable under patriarchy should be fought for?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Unless you are actually willing to start a big enough army, similar to a communist People’s Army then yes. I am unsure if anything but all women rising up against men and killing their oppressors (men) would liberate us honestly. But as for actual feminist methods of resistance, reformism does not count. I could go into radical feminist resistance but I don’t want to because it’s clear you have no respect for me.

        • I just find it curious that you dismiss a struggle against heterosexual marriage as unachievable, yet are clearly willing to devote considerable energy to a struggle against heterosexual prostitution, which has proven equally ineradicable. And given that the emergence of the class of “prostitutes” is inextricably linked to the emergence of marriage, historically speaking, going after the former while resigning yourself to the latter seems a bit like trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          I consider the NM harm reduction, what liberals call harm reduction=legalization or full decrim is male violence against women and I am against all marriage but if by struggle you mean reform marriage out of existence, that would not happen in this current patriarchy. I understand the prostitution abolitionists think they can actually abolish prostitution but I honestly don’t think that is possible under capitalist imperialist patriarchy. So the NM is a harm reduction strategy. The NM is derived from feminist theory but its far from the entirety of it.

        • Except the only “harm” reduced by the Swedish model is the bad feels that pro-criminalisation people get when they think about sex being lawfully traded for money. Which really isn’t what harm reduction is all about.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          You think johns fueling the hyper-exploitative sex trade is just like any job, but its not.

        • LOL. Nice dodge. For the record, I don’t.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          That is what legalization and full decrim do.

        • Um, there are many different types of work that are legal/decriminalised and yet are not “jobs like any other”. I have no difficulty accepting the idea that sex work differs from other types of work in certain ways (while resembling other types of work in others). What I cannot see is why those differences mean that sex workers should be excluded from the protection of labour laws. Logic would suggest that the more vulnerable an industry is to worker exploitation, the more that protection is needed.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Why do the johns need this “service” is the real question.

        • You see, this is the difference between my feminism and yours.

          Mine isn’t all about the menz.

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Radical feminism is not all about men. But exposing men’s violence and power over us is a rad fem act.

        • LonelyPasserby


          How is it different from the hyper-exploitative and (subjectively humiliating, as far as I am concerned) fast food jobs?

          Can you substantiate your claims without making assertions about “symbolic” “effects” of penetration or weird “spooky harm at a distance” claims?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          Because sexual violence has a different context bc its mostly a crime that effects women and has been used to torture him for 6000 yrs of institutionalized patriarchy.

        • LonelyPasserby

          Because sexual violence has a different context bc its mostly a crime that effects women and has been used to torture him for 6000 yrs of institutionalized patriarchy.

          So you have no serious empirical basis or rational, logically coherent argument behind your claims, just assertions that (irrespective of their veracity) do not have any reasonable connection to your actual argument ?


          We should follow your great leadership.

          It will surely lead us to a feminist communist utopia.

          Or to contact with birdlike superpower-dispensing extraterrestrials (the second being more likely, IMO)

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          You’re an idiot, the existence of patriarchy is well documented.

        • amusedPasserby

          You’re an idiot, the existence of patriarchy is well documented.

          Well, again, irrespective of the veracity of patriarchy and degree to which it is documented (which depends on which of the many definitions of patriarchy we chose to use, hopefully not something with “transhistorical” in it, lol 😉 ), it does not, by itself, serve to substantiate your claims regarding sex work (arguments along the patriarchal lines apply just as well for any conceivable line of employment, ranging from food service and up to and including being a US senator)

          Previously, you have attempted to establish a link through arbitrary assertions regarding the allegedly inherent “dominating” nature of penetrative intercourse (which would imply interesting things about handjobs and pegging, among other things) and claims that amount to “spooky harm at a distance” and are not substantiated with empirical evidence (I am still waiting for that cool interjurisdictional study of yours)

          It appears to me that, barring arbitrary symbolism shenanigans and “spooky harm at a distance”, your only resort are petty kindergarten insults (and for the record, even your insults are substandard)

        • amusedPasserby

          Unless you are actually willing to start a big enough army, similar to a communist People’s Army then yes. I am unsure if anything but all women rising up against men and killing their oppressors (men) would liberate us honestly. But as for actual feminist methods of resistance, reformism does not count.

          I could go into radical feminist resistance but I don’t want to because it’s clear you have no respect for me.

          I kind of missed this glorious gem of radical thought on previous reading.

          Did you just not-so-subtly endorse the murder of roughly 3,5 billion humans, and still tacitly expect some sort of… “respect” ?

        • LonelyPasserby

          Ooooh, one more hillarious thing to ponder with regards to the whole “penetration implies dominance” hoobaloo:

          What would being paid for pegging men (if the term confuses you, google will gladly yield assistance, badum-tish! 🙂 ) constitute, in that context ?

        • Black Metal Valkyrie

          It would constitute a woman groomed to sexualize male dominance.

        • amusedPasserby

          It would constitute a woman groomed to sexualize male dominance.


          How would one prove (or disprove) such an assertion?

          I mean, you’re arbitrarily asserting that the fun of pegging someone (say, a dude) comes from sexualizing “male” “dominance”, which is kind of dodgy given that it’s by definition a woman-centric activity (but I guess that’s the only way one could explain pegging in a context where “symbolic dominance” is a thing and an allegedly inherent trait of penetrative sexual activities)

          I find that this assertion of yours is
          1) oddly Freudian
          2) neither verifiable nor falsifiable

          Both are rather damning properties for an argument (one could equally well make an unfalsifiable and unverifiable claim that pegging is the “essence” of female liberation, and all you’ll be able to do is scream bloody murder and lob insults)

        • Yeah, see here’s the thing Valkyrie. I get that you abhor the trading of sex for money (at least when there is a man and woman involved). I get that you think it’s inherently patriarchal and a form of violence against women. I get that you want it to not ever happen anywhere and for any reason. I don’t really feel that you need to justify why you feel that way. But you do need to justify why you support a law that, by your own admission, will not actually stop it from happening – and that, as outlined by the authors of the post you are commenting on, will actually make matters worse for the women directly affected by it. You’ve offered nothing in the way of such justification, except perhaps that you think it will also make matters worse for the men directly affected by it. This is why I say your feminism is all about the men – because the impact of a law on (mostly male) clients is more important to you than its impact on (mostly female) sex workers.

          If you disagree with that, don’t just tell me I’m wrong – show me the evidence that proves it.

        • Okay, I was just a fly on the wall, but “pegging requires women to sexualize male dominance” is an outstanding example of Chewbacca defense (Chewbacca feminism!) which I can’t leave unmocked.

          If penetration is something that implies or somehow automagically confers dominance, then clearly the woman performing pegging is not “sexualizing male dominance”, since she’s the penetrating party (and thus the dominant party according to “penetration == dominance” doctrine)

          If however, penetration does not automagically confer “dominance”, then woman doing the pegging act could theoretically be sexualizing male dominance, but the idea of “dude dominating a woman’s strap on dildo with his oppressive anus” is sufficiently absurd to bring Tertullian back into this mortal coil.

          Truly, a race condition in discourse if there ever was one.

          And that’s even without considering what female-on-male manual anal fisting does to dogmas of “penetration-focused” radfem discourse (“he oppressed her hand with his butthole”, lol 😀 )

        • LonelyPasserby

          keith, “it says” is a very toned-down rendering of that position.

          I mean, we’re dealing here with an entirely baseless and, all things considered, borderline metaphysical claim.

          What that claim implies for marriage is about as relevant as what “alien abduction memories” retrieved under so-called “hypnosis” imply for marriage.

  10. Somekinkyguy

    It’s interesting to me the argument that “johns” are inherently perpetuating violence towards women. I’m considering using the services of a sex worker for the first time this year. I’ve never been violent towards a woman in my life and recently cut down on coffee to subscribe to the international women’s development agency. I’m also transitioning careers to work with troubled men and help with the problem of violent men.

    As far as the services I would be requesting, without going into too much detail I’m far more intersted in a professional inflicting just the right amount of pain and stimulation on me. Fortunately I know some professionals that can recommend the right person, and as one of them pointed out recently “if you want to support sex workers, hire one!”

    Just not sure how getting my cute little butt spanked is perpetrating violence? Maybe a sore hand?

    Ps. Look at the shift in the global drug policy debate. Prohibition doesn’t work.

    • lonesomeyogurt

      Two things – First off, discussion of “prohibition” is misleading and actually kinda offensive. Heroin and cocaine are inanimate objects. Women are human beings. We also have a “prohibition” against child labor, fourteen-hour days, and murder. Are those “not working” either? Should those be regulated as well?

      Anyway, this issue is bigger than you. You might be able to find a relatively privileged middle-class white dominatrix to get you off. Something tells me you won’t be tied up and spanked by the homeless aboriginal women lining the streets of Vancouver – but it is *them,* the poor, non-white, disabled, and abused, that make up the majority of prostituted women. The fact that you might get off with the privileged 1% (which is still an unequal and violent exchange) doesn’t change the fact that while you do so, hundreds of marginalized and exploited women are being fucked for cash – mainly by middle-class white guys.

      • I wonder what the real numbers are. “1%” is obviously made up, and I see a lot of made up numbers on this subject, but it would be interesting to get a more accurate picture to start with.

        For me that isn’t the issue though, it’s just background. You have sex workers *themselves* saying exactly what hurts them and how to help them. The mechanism that allows someone to ignore a person’s subjective testimony is, to me, foreign, but I’m really interested in exploring it and bringing us together. Neither the abused, trafficked victims nor the willing sex workers are lying, they don’t have false consciousness, they aren’t actors in a narrative. They’re people – each one an individual with a unique perspective, and they can only talk for themselves.

        So for me the default position should obviously be to help each person in the way they want to be helped, and not have the state decide that a lot of people’s subjective realities are illegitimate – which sounds like extremely violent barbarism (to me). But then I know that other people, such as yourself, see people not as individuals but as actors in class-based narratives. I know the difference is deep and fundamental, and it can’t be simplified to politics (I’m pretty socialist) or religion (I’m Christian in that I follow Jesus’ precepts).

        • lonesomeyogurt

          How on earth can you claim to be a socialist but dismiss the idea of class analysis? You do realize that most working-class people reject socialism, right? So when you advocate for abolishing capitalism, you’re do what you condemn me for doing – more working class people love capitalism than women in the sex industry love prostitution. So why can you be a socialist but I can’t be an abolitionist? Neither align with 100% of the people in those respective systems.

        • lonesomeyogurt

          Reality isn’t subjective. Oppression isn’t a feeling. And the idea that laws should be determined by appeal to ‘subjective reality’ is dangerous. Would you have made eighteen-hour days illegal? What about the subjective reality of the thousands of workers who wanted those hours?

        • LonelyPasserby

          LOL, what is “opression” if not a feeling?

          Who gets to determine, the Great Communist Party perhaps?

        • It’s not about making laws, it’s about how you interact with people. You meet a new person: do you treat them as a respected equal, or do you try to impose your own beliefs on them in a way that I can only describe, without hyperbole, as fascism, so that the most powerful walks away having imposed the rules?

          I don’t know much about feminism but I keep getting people quoting a definition that it’s about equality. To me it sounds like humanism, or the words of Jesus, or whatever terms you’re comfortable with. It sounds good. I see no way of reconciling that with a desire to legislate against individuals. If you’re against The Patriarchy, don’t enable the hierarchic, class-based system that supports it.

        • lonesomeyogurt

          “I don’t know much about feminism but I keep getting people quoting a definition that it’s about equality.”

          In what world do you think men paying women to fuck them is equality? Do you really think the highest freedom possible for a woman is the “freedom” to sexually service men?

          If you really believed in “equality,” you’d oppose systems based in inequality. Prostitution is one of those systems. It is fundamentally linked to how we as men are raised, to see the bodies of others as legitimate objects of control and use. That’s not equality. That’s the opposite of equality.

          How can you claim to be opposed to the patriarchy while supporting the idea that women’s bodies exist to be purchased by men for sex? That’s the central idea of patriarchy – that men’s sexual desires are sacrosanct and that women exist to fulfill them. 95%+ of sex buyers are men. That should clue you into the fact that this has nothing to do with “equality.”

        • LonelyPasserby

          Excuse me, but same argument can be applied to workers of any sex/gender in any field.

          Ranging from food services and ending with US Senate.

        • lonesomeyogurt

          “You meet a new person: do you treat them as a respected equal, or do you try to impose your own beliefs on them in a way that I can only describe, without hyperbole, as fascism, so that the most powerful walks away having imposed the rules?”

          You’ve just described prostitution, perfectly: The most powerful imposes the rules. Men, the most powerful, have imposed the rule that women’s bodies are for sale. Men’s belief that women are objects to be bought is a belief imposed on women. How do you not see that?

        • lonesomeyogurt

          Prostitution supports patriarchy by enshrining into law the idea that male desire is infallible and women exist to fulfill it. It’s patriarchy 101: Man takes, woman gives. This is so much bigger than individuals. It’s about a culture that privileges male desire over women’s lives.

          You’re a socialist, right? Certainly you don’t think you could understand capitalism by looking at one worker and one boss, right? You’d have to look at the entire system. So sure, one individual man walking up to one individual woman and paying for sex might not look like the worst thing in the world if you pretend it has nothing to do with the larger culture of violence and abuse towards women. But it does. Just like with capitalism, you have to look at the bigger picture – how he or she got there, the power imbalance between the two, and the culture it takes place in that normalizes and condones their interaction.

          You’re stuck in an individualist mode that is totally incapable of confronting this complex issue. I’ll take it back to capitalism: If the government passed a law that forced businesses to collectivize – which would be socialism, which you said you support – would you consider that “legislating against individuals?”

        • You seem to be backing yourself down an odd alleyway here. My regular barber is a woman. Am I abusing her?

        • lonesomeyogurt

          That comparison is specious and dull. Do we exist in a culture where women are taught since birth that their purpose in life is to cut hair? Do we teach men that their hair looking nice is more important than the safety and dignity of women? Do women who come out of beautician school have massively high levels of PTSD and sexual assault? Does hairstyling take place inside a larger system of hair-based violence against women? Are 95% of people who get their hair cut male? Do people who need haircuts have massive social and institutional power over people who cut hair?

          That comparison is dumb and you know it.

        • Hey dude. Instead of arguing with another dude about women’s capacity to make decisions about our own sexual labour, how about addressing the sex workers who wrote this open letter or the ones who have posted in the comments?

        • LonelyPasserby

          Actually, the “industry” with one of the highest substance abuse and work related stress disorder incidence is incredibly high among food service and construction workers.


        • lonesomeyogurt

          No one is arguing about women’s ability to make decisions. What is being discussed is what those decisions mean inside a social system that exists to protect male power and ensure the exploitation of women.

        • And it’s notable that you (a man) refuse to have that discussion with people (mostly women) who are actually making, or have made, those decisions. You’ve told another man that improvements in sex workers’ actual daily lives should not be made if that means “perpetuating the system that exploits them” (as if the enforcement methods used in Sweden and Norway against them as well as their clients aren’t part of that system). But you have declined to engage with the OP, or aformersexworker, or Lucy or Hayleyhayleycomet, to persuade them that your goal of getting rid of “the system that exploits them” should take priority over their rather more immediate need to make their day-to-day life what you (who will never have to live their life) deem to be only “slightly” better.

          It’s almost as if you think they have nothing of value to contribute to the discussion. Unlike yourself and the other men commenting here, of course.

        • lonesomeyogurt

          The fact is that nothing I’m saying about the larger social implications of prostitution or the structure of male power that organizes it is proved or disproved by the individual experiences of women in prostitution. They’re separate discussions. The discussion of the material conditions of individual women in prostitution ought to be left up to women. The discussion of the larger framework of male sexual entitlement and social power is one for men to challenge other men on.

        • If you’re objecting to biology and your solution is to overthrow capitalism, you aren’t helping. What is it about this subject – which involves real people in their daily lives – that attracts so much self-righteous, undergraduate-level bullshit? I’d like to hear from antis with a personal perspective rather than people who want to use sex workers as a playground for theorycrafting.

      • Can you please explain how criminalising purchasers of sex actually alleviates the financial problems of women who enter into prostitution ?
        You seem to believe that (unlike any other form of labour) giving full,enforceable labour rights to women in prostitution puts them at a disadvantage.
        You also appear to be under the misapprenension that proper effective exit strategies are somewhat mutually exclusive to giving women labour rights instead of being fully complimentary to those rights.

        All the while , refusing to listen to women in prostitution who WANT rights as expressed in the open letter.

        Judging by an earlier comment of yours stating that casual , non-monetary sexual encounters feaure an imbalance which gives men control over women – WTF ?
        Women control conjugal acts (except in rape) as it is THEY that decide whether sexual activity will develop.Let me guess,women who allow their bodies be ‘used as dumps for sperm’ in a casual way aren’t able to give consent either,right?

        Clearly your issue is with ALL men , not just men who purchase sex – and that’s a problem i’m afraid you’ll have to sort out for yourself.

        • lonesomeyogurt

          I’m a man, James. And I never said any women, prostituted or not, cannot give consent. I said that consent was not the only important issue, and that people consent to exploitation all the time.

          Here’s a question: Would you have supported abolishing slavery in 1865? After all, making it illegal to own another person *also* failed to improve the financial situation of black folks. Or do you think that owning another person is *just wrong*?

          Exploitative systems make the people they exploit dependent on them. That’s how it works. This misogynistic society has intentionally constrained the opportunities of women and then presents as an “option” fucking male strangers, as if it is truly a free choice when white supremacist patriarchal capitalism has systematically removed every other choice available. Abusive husbands do the same thing – they cut off women from their friends and family and then say, “Hey, you can’t leave me, you have no one else.” It’s a violent and manipulative approach, and trying to make day-to-day life slightly better for exploited people at the cost of perpetuating the system that exploits them is a very bad trade.

        • LonelyPasserby

          Okay, so why is paying me money for “intellectual services” considered *perfectly fine* while paying me money for sexual services is *not okay*, assuming I equally enjoy both (actually, I enjoyed fucking people for money more, but my current work pays more that an order of magnitude more, so it’s worth it) ?

          Also, your whole “slavery” shtick is a bit of a, you know, lying misdirection.

          Black people had overwhelming support for abolishing slavery, and the “blacks fighting for confederacy” are an oft-regurgitated myth not based in any reliable historical sources.
          Which is discoverable by anyone with google in under a minute – so you radlefties need a new fairy tale here 🙂

      • lonesomeyogurt

        What they are contributing to the discussion, while valuable, is largely personal experience that, as a man, I have no response to. I’m reading and listening to them, of course, but I spoke up to confront another man for his misogynistic framework of understanding.

        The role of a man is not to disagree with women’s individual experience but to confront misogynistic assumptions in the statements of men like Fraac here.

        • You are some piece of work. When you attempted to take over a hashtag which had been begun by female sex workers to share their individual experiences, was that “not to disagree with” them? The truth is pretty obviously that you have no interest in what they have to say and you feel it’s your manly right and duty to speak louder than them.

          BTW – men don’t get to decide what’s misogynist. And when women tell you that your attempts to combat misogyny are actually making things worse for them, not least by encouraging misogynist violence, you need to STFU and listen.

          This “discussion” is over. Go pull the white knight saviour routine somewhere else.

      • Somekinkyguy

        How the fuck is it still an unequal and violent exchange?

        Marginalised women being abused and exploited is an issue that every single person commenting here would agree is a terrible problem that should be addressed. I am quite aware that I’m in a privelaged position, as are, most likely, the women that I might employ the services of. There is however a disconnect here where people that presumably know quite a bit are trying to inform the public that criminalization would further marginalize them.

        As far as the current industry, my understanding is that arc workers themselves organized to impose the collective rule that condoms were mandatory in all brothels. Last I read, (which was admittedly a few years back) 40% of sex workers were higher education students. Nothing like graduating with a house deposit rather than $40,000 debt.

        That doesn’t quite look like violent exploitation to me?
        Looks like savvy business acumen. I’m working 7 days per week to save up for my next education commitment, but seriously considering sex work as a better option. A choice many independent women make too.

        Women can be exploited in the industry or they can thrive. As far as the prohibition analogy goes, it may be offensive to you, but I couldn’t give a fuck about that, it makes perfect sense to most if the sex workers I’ve spoken to.

        • LonelyPasserby

          You are talking to a radical leftie there, man.

          A person who believes in strong SW hypothesis, in that human nature is fundamentally geared towards creative reshaping of the world (read up on Marxist “species-essense” lol) and stuff like that.
          They believe that by making a “strong statement” about “social disapproval” of renting sex for money they will reshape the minds of future generations towards not using money to procure sex (essentially, they believe that laws can “send a message”), which is a load of horseshit not supported by empirical evidence.

          They are the poison that is killing moderate socialism in Europe (which tacitly and reservedly sympathize with, if it is Netherlands or Belgium or Germany-style, and not Sweden or Norway style 🙂 ) and also eating away at factual, reasonable, feminism worldwide 🙂

      • LonelyPasserby

        And how is depriving Somekinkyguy of his spanking (and the middle-class dominatrix of her income) is going to make the Aboriginal women less oppressed?

        If you have an alternative career route for the Aboriginal women, where they can earn money without providing sexual services, you could provide it to them without banning procurement of sexual services.

        If you don’t, all you will achieve is that Aboriginal women will have to deal with shittier johns on conditions of stricter secrecy (because they won’t be able to “rat out” shitty johns, as doing so under Nordic abolitionism would wipe out their income).

        Also, if demand reduction works, even a little bit (a questionable claim, but you Nordics love it so I will grant it to you here), it will make aboriginal women more poor, not better off (supply/demand, ever heard of that?)

        If your solution is “abolish capitalism and make it so that no one has to “earn” a living, then good luck with that. You’ll need lots of luck.

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  12. aformersexworker

    Ok one last question…and this one is *JUST* for Tom Meagher:
    How do YOU feel about PIV?

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  14. Sex Worker Supporter

    It seems to me there’s an obvious question to ask of those who CLAIM to support the Swedish model in order to somehow protect sex workers from violence. If a man is willing to risk life in prison for rape and murder, why on earth would adding an additional minor layer of criminality, which might lead to a small fine and possibly a few extra months in prison, make any difference?

    The Swedish model would not have stopped the likes of Adrian Bayley. It seems an absurdity to suggest that it could. If you consider it sensibly, the only possible impact would be that it would make it easier for the likes of him by forcing the workers to work more secretly and in greater isolation.

    • aformersexworker

      That is a brilliant point.

    • Not only that, but paying for sex is already illegal where the prohibitionists in these comments are posting from. The evidence that criminalisation doesn’t work is all around them.

      I’ll never understand why prohibitionists from the US particularly spend so much energy campaigning for client criminalisation, which already exists there and has no chance whatsoever of being repealed, and so little (by which I mean virtually no) energy campaigning to decriminalise sex workers. It’s almost as if the welfare of people who sell sex isn’t really their concern.

      • LonelyPasserby

        I believe you are familiar with works of Lenin and Trotzky as to the measures which they believe would bring about a new classless society.

        Those measures and beliefs dovetail nicely into claims abolitionists make about sex work, and are especially similar in preferring some hypothetical imaginary “future society” over concern for actual well-being of individual humans

      • Black Metal Valkyrie

        Bullshit. Decriminalization of prostituted people is just as important to abolitionists as criminalizing johns. I agree with you that in the US they should be focusing more on decriminalization of prostituted persons (in my views, without giving into the full decrim lobby). You are wrong to attribute malevolent intent onto abolitionists when its just as easy for me to devolve in my analysis and declare that the supporters of the sex trade lobby hate women but I do believe however misguided, the female feminists (there is actually not other kind but I am acknowledging a popular narrative) do have good intent and want to see male violence against prostituted women be reduced but the intents of “male feminists” are self-serving and woman hating.

        • the intents of “male feminists” are self-serving and woman hating

          Does that go for the “male feminists” on both sides of this issue?

  15. Pingback: An open letter to Tom Meagher, from St Kilda street-based sex workers | thebarbaries

  16. Black Metal Valkyrie

    “Unfortunately, as the recent Nordic-model infestation of Canada shows (and I refuse to call the rise of pro-Nordic-model position anything other than infestation), radical feminists who operate under similar assumptions regarding desirability of escalation are sadly still capable of causing some escalation.”

    What is this supposed to mean? Escalation of male violence against women? Or something else?

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