Feminists take opposite stands on prostitution: DiManno
just a snip it as per babble policy. a new set of intervenors have joined the charter case!!
By: Rosie DiManno Columnist, Published on Sun Apr 14 2013
“The Ontario Court of Appeal overturned some parts outright and with others they overturned some aspects,’’ says Jane Doe, the women’s rights activist who made history by successfully suing Toronto Police for failing to warn about the “Balcony Rapist’’ in the mid-80s. Jane Doe was violently raped in her downtown second-storey apartment by Paul Callow. Her identity remains covered by a publication ban.
“The biggest problem was the court said yes to bawdy house, yes to procuring, but not to communicating. You can do those things, but don’t communicate them. That’s insane. It makes no sense at all.’’
Jane Doe is the Type 2 feminist. She rejects outright the moralizing quotient and maintains that keeping solicitation on the books, in fact, furthers violence against women, particularly the most marginalized prostitutes who will continue to work on the streets.
This is the counter-argument contained in an affidavit filed last week by Jane Doe on behalf of the “Feminist Coalition’’ — a clear broadside against the Women’s Coalition assertion that they speak for all women in the country — requesting intervener status in the Supreme Court case.
“Our coalition is entirely new,’’ Jane Doe told the Star on Sunday. “There’s been no one like us. What we’ve seen is everyone saying prostitution is violent and prostitution is responsible for all violence against women, but especially sexual assault. It’s very moral in tone — you’re bad girls but we’ll help you.’’
As the Feminist Coalition’s factum puts it: “The simple fact of making a sexual act dependant on a monetary transaction does not in itself create violence or exploitation.’’
Jane Doe notes the similarity of tone between the Women’s Coalition and religious groups that have asked for intervener status, along with the conservative organization REAL Women, which has also applied. About a dozen parties have given notice they wish to be heard.
“Our position is that we support full decriminalization and the human and labour rights of women who are sex workers,’’ explains Jane Doe, who is downright contemptuous of the orthodox feminism that informs the Women’s Coalition.
“There’s a massive rift in feminism,’’ she acknowledges. “We differ in that the other group is very much based in anti-sex, anti-sex workers, and a morality position that supports those of religious organizations that are also intervening, which we find very problematic. Our position is around equality rights for women, and that includes all women. It’s about your equality right to choose to do what you want to do, to have full protection of the law to do it, and to have labour rights to do it.’’