Prostitution - Framing the Debate for Decriminalization Part II

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remind remind's picture

Now, I cannot be that hardlined about it, Martin. No way.

The reality is, it is sex work. That is the only term we have for it, prostitution aside.

I think the distinction was made adequately, that there is a portion of sex work, that is not prostituted peoples, nor would they identify as such. In fact, I found a personal experience applicable in this scenario.

About 20 years ago now, long before poker  became the fad it is today, I was offered 60,000, for 6 weeks of "my time", on a warm equatorial island. Now sure enough, it was not just made for sexual access, but also for access to my mind, and thoughts,  believe it or not, for a 6 week rental purchase agreement.

A  professional poker player, from southern Europe, met me in a game of high stakes poker, and thought  he should get to know me, after I had calmly told all the other men in the game, that I would flip the table over, with 10's of thousands on it, if I heard another sexist remark, so they had better stop, or keep count of their chips. And I meant it.

Not too many women played poker professionally back then, and if they did, they just went with the  intense patriarchial norm.

Yes, it would have been legally defined in a document. He even sent a formal agent to my door, with the contract parameters and Concord tickets.

And had I decided to take the offer, I would not have thought of myself as a prostituted person. It would have been a choice that I made, after careful deliberation.

Was much less meek 20 years ago, than I am today. Pretty damn mellow, nowadays in compare, as a matter of fact.

And I would have been, and would be, deeply insulted to have my choice, labelled as an act of prostitution upon me.

I am well able to make my own choices, then and now.

PS: after I refused to accept the contract, subtle threats were levelled against my partner as an inducement to accept, had I caved to that pressure, I would have fetl prostituted.

trishabaptie

I want to wade into the debate but I am not even sure where to start. For those who don't know by background I am a former prostitute with 15 years experience. I have missed most of this conversation as I just returned from Alberta where I did presentations for various groups including the University of Alberta around pushing for Canada to adopt the Swedish model of law.

I also presented with the campaign called "Buying Sex Is Not A Sport". I love this campaign because it looks at the demand, rather than keeping the argument going as to whether women really "enjoy" being prostituted.

There is much I want to comment on but I am fairly new to this so have no idea how to put the multiple quotes I am answering into my comment box, I will comment on this one quote though and try to figure out how to do it.

 

if customers are frced to be checked to see legal"certified"workers, they will not see us. this will force workers to work outside of "government santioned" work spaces and we will be faced with the same problem as now.

To me this line speaks volumes. If men will not go to certified prostitutes, if they will not do their part to keep prostituted women safe what is the point in this whole fight. It would seem to me that whether prostitution is legal or illegal men still will do nothing to keep the women safe.

On that topic why won't men do anything to keep us safe if they really see us as equal human beings? If they really value prostitutes and want to be able to access prostitution as a fair exchange of goods and services will men register and get "safe john" cards?

Will john's get health checks to keep the prostituted women safe?

 Seems to me to make sense to get both parties tested?

I have to run so I'll say this, in my years of prostitution it was never the laws that beat and raped me it was men. It was never the location that was unsafe it was the man I was in that location with that made it unsafe. Yes, I saw many who did not beat or rape me does that make them a good man? Is that what the bar is lowered to? That because a man does NOT assault me he is a good john?

Sorry for just kind of disjointedly jumping in, but I will be around for the rest of it.

I also just wanted to clarify a point  it has been said I was only a survival sex trade worker and I just wish to clarify that I worked indoors and outdoors as a licenced escort as yes I ended up on the street for my last years. I was not survival in the traditional sense, I had children and a home I was paying for as well as some addictions,so I was never a "survival" worker in the way most people envision that to look. Why do I want to clarify? Because I want it to be understood I have seen all aspects of the "industry" and I can speak to the fact that no matter where it is happening it still sucks!!

remind remind's picture

Thank you for allowing us to hear your voice trisha.

 

This says it all for me:

Quote:
If men will not go to certified prostitutes, if they will not do their part to keep prostituted women safe what is the point in this whole fight. It would seem to me that whether prostitution is legal or illegal men still will do nothing to keep the women safe. On that topic why won't men do anything to keep us safe if they really see us as equal human beings?

 

If men are not willing to keep those safe whom they purchase services from, and indeed themselves, then society at large must  insert regulations for it to occur.

We don't allow men to go into other places of business, and behave how they want, endangering the lives of others. it would be ludicrous to think such.

So if we are going to be sex worker positive, and call it work, then we must do so in the correct way, that creates worker's rights, not diminishes them.

 

remind remind's picture

Oh also trisha, babble has kindly created as new forum, for sex worker voices, such as yours and others, where your voice and agency is not denied, or mocked, by others not in the industry.

Please see this thread:

http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-reactions/new-sex-work-forum

 

Infosaturated

Thank you so much for returning Trisha.

remind wrote:
So if we are going to be sex worker positive, and call it work, then we must do so in the correct way, that creates worker's rights, not diminishes them.

That's the whole point Remind. Sex is not legitimate work.  A big clue is that for the most part only women and children can do it. It is men buying access to women's bodies. That is why virgins cost more. Is there any other "job" in which the least experience person makes the most money?

The story you told of your own experience (or non-experience) wouldn't be affected by prostitution laws.

http://sisyphe.org/spip.php?article689

Venezuela ruled that "prostitution cannot be considered work because it lacks the basic elements of dignity and social justice." It also ruled that since one of the main purposes of forming a labor union is "to promote the collective development of its members and of their profession," a decision in favor of unionizing so-called sex workers would in fact promote the development and expansion of prostitution (Republica De Venezuela, 1998).

In Venezuela women's rights are promoted through things like opening up a woman's bank and increasing female political representation not putting women to work having sex.

The rights of individual women should not supercede the rights of the majority of women who are harmed by prostitution both directly and indirectly. Your vision of a Canada in which prostitution is a well-regulated industry is dangerously based in an idealistic world that doesn't exist. Not a single country in the world has managed to create a system that significantly improves the lives of prostitutes. Every system has lead to increased numbers of women and children being repeatedly raped multiple times a day, day after day.

Weight the good against the bad. Higher end "sex workers" are already protected if they choose to be.

Ex-prostitutes are saying the industry is not the benign one being painted by the industry in which laws are increasing the danger to them. It is just the opposite. Laws are preventing women and children from being abused and exploited by pimps, brothels, and traffickers.

There is only one group of people set to benefit from legalization no matter what legal framework is set up. The "business" men who run the industry.

 

 

 

 

remind remind's picture

Quote:
Your vision of a Canada in which prostitution is a well-regulated industry is dangerously based in an indealistic world that doesn't exist.

I absolutely agree with this, it is dangerous, and it is romance novel thinking. And it is not my vision actually, but it appears to be some's. And I am addressing  their vision to see if it has validity in the actual world as we know it.

Moreover, what is more dangerous, and idealistic, is believing that decriminalization, without strict regulations and infrastructure in place to give worker's their rights, that other workers have, will improve sex worker's lives, willing or non-willing.

Visualizing a society where the most marginalized already work, with out regulations of any type, is truly terrifying to behold.

So the only other visions that exist, are abolish, status quo, or regulated strictly like all other job industries are.

As when has deregulation, ever improved any industry?

No regulation is even more disasterous....what is next free-for-all on the dumping of toxins into the environment?

The discontinuity over this is mind boggling.

It needs to be taken out of the realm of the mythical and mystical, and placed into societal job industry and health structures for comtemplation.

Women already have the right to do whatever they want with their body, what they need is regular societal protections in place, and working,  so they can do  whatever it  is safely, with commensurate to the risk pay.

If cliental/john's have to pass a test, as per regulations for that job industry,  before they access such high risk services, in the regulation parameters, perhaps it would be a step forward in building women's safety into the sytem?

I mean  driver's have to pass a test, before they are allowed on the road legally to drive, as a vehicle can be a deadly weapon too, just as sport sex can be.

Hunter's have to take courses in order to get licensed, for their own and other hunter's safety.

Something we all can agree on is, lives are on the line....

and it is our responsibility, as part of the social contract, to ensure risks at work are minimized for the worker.

The opposite of that is accepting it is "their lot in life", and "it is a bad job but someone has to it".

And that is not even the extreme opposite, the extreme opposite is absolutely NO regulations need apply, and frankly if society goes for that by simple decriminalization, it indicates an acceptance that women will always be less than, and that privilege to exploit, is just a okay.

 

Now I know Canadians do not want that kind of classist sexist servitude, and I know that we women want all women protected equally in every societal way, so a way has to be found to achieve it.

And that requires fully examining all parameters realistically.

 

 

Lee Lakeman

I don't have time either Trisha, to stay in the hourly back and forth of this discussion, so I am glad for your contributions and I will be glad of what time and attention you choose to give to this. 

The talk of legalization and the problems of regulating is very hot, but seems well carried and I am still way back at working over the topic of framing this debate.  I hope it is not diversionary to post on this now.  I know that a new thread has been opened based on the sex worker identification so before this one closes I focused on the other choices of framing the debate. 

Sorry I kept the quote below but not the name of the poster

"It's true that members of a marginalized group learn to fight most effectively when they recognize that they have been marginalized as members of that group, and therefore must fight back as a group, demand recognition, compensation, defence, as a group, for however long that may be necessary. That's when we learn how to free ourselves, and in my experience (now regrettably long), it's the only way that oppressed peoples ever are freed. (Lord save us from people who think they can free us in spite of ourselves -- I'm not an Iraqi or an Afghan, but I suspect that many of them would echo that sentiment)" --posted on Rabble.ca

I find this argument quite compelling. Even though the person who wrote this was arguing against feminists speaking for the criminalization of men who buy prostitutes.  The writer seeems to suspect feminists patronize prostituted women by fighting for the end of prostitution: a group de-gendered in this post. 

The writer seems to be led by the belief that the marginalized group is composed of and for all purposes properly limited to those who are currently in prostitution.  And in the course of accepting that, argues to prostitutes that they are better served by grouping as sex workers, in some terms a tiny group. 

This belief draws a line between those who escaped prostitution and those who did not.  It is as though the writer considers those who have escaped the institution of prostitution as not “marginalized”. The post seems not to recognize most of the prostituted, as life-long members of the oppressed group women. It assumes it can separate their marginalization from that oppression. 

It is in the best interest of the women’s movement in Canada to listen carefully to the women in prostitution not only as a way to include them in the movement but especially for their expertise on proposed solutions specific to their needs and their understanding of how men exercise power in this institution.  Better still is the opportunity to support leadership from among the oppressed against this marginalization and all marginalization of women.

But perhaps this poster challenges feminist abolition speech because the writer cannot see me or other abolitionist feminists as members of the oppressed even though it is clear that we are women.  Perhaps the writer would not agree that all women are oppressed all threatened by prostitution. But Canadian law does.  And it promises in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to take sex equality into account in any and all future law and governance.  The global women movement too recognizes our shared oppression.  We call on the forces and lessons of the rest of the fights for the advancement of women toward full human status.  It seems to me this is the best political tactic and movement-building for those of us currently caught in prostitution as well as those of us who have escaped or managed to evade the institution of prostitution in spite of being women.

The Charter and the movement recognize too that women's individual rights are not accessible unless the group rights of women as a disadvantaged group are recognized, taken into account and protected.  It accepts that any discrimination against women built into the laws (and lack of laws) of the land and Canadian public policy will adversely affect each individual woman trying to access her individual rights. 

But when we try to use the forces of feminism against this sexism we are spoken to as though this particular sexism had nothing to do with women as a group, is of no danger to us, is not a force against us and is a matter in which we should abandon prostituted women to their own devices.  In the name of their agency and autonomy.

These discussions documented that it is women who are disadvantaged by the ills of prostitution even if some women seem to, or claim to, or do benefit.  The disagreement among caring and thinking people is what to do about the plight of women in prostitution.  Almost no-one disagrees with the sexist label on prostitution now. 

When I and other women built the movement to end the assaults on wives and children by men in the family we did not insist that only those women who stayed in the family were allowed to speak, nor did we insist that those women who escaped abusive men must be silent.  We did not bury the voices of women who managed never to be beaten or raped.  Certainly we did not silence the ones who escaped incest or who evaded attacks of any kind.  We did not require women to marry in order to fight wife assault or to speak against wife assault or even to speak against marriage and its effects on women.  We spoke as a movement recognizing that this was a battlefront in the power struggle against patriarchy.  All women bring vulnerability, “marginalization”, personal experience and expertise to that discussion. 

So in this case the group is women; a group that includes but is not limited to those women who are caught in prostitution.  Many of the forms of relief that could aid women caught in prostitution are needed by all women: income security, social and legal interventions to protect us from men’s violence against women, childcare, healthcare, public education, progressive immigration policies, international protections for migrants, labour laws to minimize the informal unregulated economy etc. 

We seek routes for all women to move toward autonomy as the group moves forward.  We have arguably done better than most movements at protecting the agency and individuality of each woman in our shared struggle to release each other from the prescribed social roles and forced impoverishment and subjugation. 

Clearly some feminists are arguing that women as a group are not served by decriminalizing the behaviour of men who act in predatory ways toward our group.  We observe and consider that most of those badly affected by the institution of prostitution are members of our group and should be defended by our group.  The debate is how best.

In this case of buying sex, it often seems the debate gets a bit reversed. Abolitionist feminists continue to articulate our position to decriminalize the prostituted.  In debates we find those who would legalize or decriminalize agreeing with us that we all want those being prostituted to be decriminalized.  

We are debating with each other about the wisdom and usefulness and the political value of criminalizing those who buy sex, those who buy women outright to sell as sex objects, those who set up businesses to sell, or rent women, or sell sex, or sell sex with children as the case may be.  And we Abolitionists are saying, with some evidence, that allowing that sale, increases the demand for more and more of such sales.

So it seems a distortion, a mis-shaping of, and mis-informing of discussion to talk of protecting the rights of the individual women to sell sex.  Not only because many of us are fighting for the right not to prostitute but because it is not women who stand to gain rights in this current Canadian debate.  On the whole, what we disagree about is the individual and group "rights" of men to have sex on demand, even if for dollars and the "right" of anyone to buy or sell access to bodies of children and women.  These rights do not exist yet in Canadian law and are in fact the aspiration of the current cases.

 

 

Infosaturated

remind wrote:
So the only other visions that exist, are abolish, status quo, or regulated strictly like all other job industries are.

Decriminalization of solicitation to protect prostitutes from arrest, while criminalizing johns works to reduce child prostitution and trafficking in women and children. It also reduces the total number of prostitutes meaning fewer women are harmed.

Legalization has not been shown to significantly reduce harm for prostitutes.

remind wrote:
If cliental/john's have to pass a test, as per regulations for that job industry,  before they access such high risk services, in the regulation parameters, perhaps it would be a step forward in building women's safety into the sytem?

The Sex Industry is a powerful force. The onus on health checks will remain on prostitutes not johns. Even Susan has objected to testing johns. Are you going to put a policeman at the door of the brothels to check if men have been tested? 

Regulation around the world has failed.

remind remind's picture

LeeLakeman wrote:
... discussions documented that it is women who are disadvantaged by the ills of prostitution even if some women seem to, or claim to, or do benefit.  The disagreement among caring and thinking people is what to do about the plight of women in prostitution.  Almost no-one disagrees with the sexist label on prostitution now. 

When I and other women built the movement to end the assaults on wives and children by men in the family we did not insist that only those women who stayed in the family were allowed to speak, nor did we insist that those women who escaped abusive men must be silent.  We did not bury the voices of women who managed never to be beaten or raped.  Certainly we did not silence the ones who escaped incest or who evaded attacks of any kind.  We did not require women to marry in order to fight wife assault or to speak against wife assault or even to speak against marriage and its effects on women.  We spoke as a movement recognizing that this was a battlefront in the power struggle against patriarchy.  All women bring vulnerability, “marginalization”, personal experience and expertise to that discussion.

Thank you for an authentic hands on herstory summation of the VAW movement and a united voice against accepting patriarchy and its exploitation of women.

trisha's, commentary about men not caring abou women's safety in this realm,  and others is extremly salient.

I find the educated cultural elite, open regulation stance alarming.

There are no other social contract work place actions that would have such a status.

To make such a non-regulated status, in a realm that is already functioning poorly at best, because of no regulations, is hardly a fix.

 

 

susan davis

i am hardly the educated cultural elite remind....

your last statement makes no sense.......?

remind remind's picture

I know, and neither am I, but it still does.

JMartin

Will there be a separate forum that is deemed a safe place for women who would consider themselves "prostituted women" or "formally prostituted women" to voice their concerns about decriminalization? 

I agree that experiential perspectives are particularly important in this dialogue. However, to assume that experiential abolitionist women are not following these threads is a very dangerous assumption indeed. Could the forum that has been created be more neutral by using the term 'people involved in the sex industry'? Please excuse me for de-gendering the issue, but I'm wondering if there is more neutral language that will be inviting to both experiential abolitionists and experiential people who support full decriminalization. 

remind remind's picture

Thank you for this JMartin, it would be hoped that your voice is heard,  noted and respected.

Much damage is done to society, when people claim non-bias and wanting to hear  equal voices, but then act in an opposite manner.

susan davis

i thought the sex worker rights forum was for both sides?

remind remind's picture

Apparently, by it's inherent nature, based upon the name of the forum itself, it  is perceived that it cannot be for both sides.

 

So far, there is only 1 experiential voice  here, who is willing and wanting to call prostitution, sex work

 

While there are at least 3 other voices of experience, who reject the use of the sex worker title designation, for themselves.

 

....thus if they used said forum, and accepted a label being forced upon them, that they did not recognize and dislike, then they would be allowing themselves to be victimized and their voices and experiences to be diminished.

 

Should they do that, because someone else wants to label them in a manner that they do not want to be labelled?

 

One can clearly see how troubling  negative labelling  would be to them,  as they have already been stigmatized, marginalized, and exploited,

....and now, in supposedly safe parameters, they are suppoosed to accept  further removal of their rights, by additional marginalization and unwanted labellling, all of which further diminishes their voices.

 

why would they do that to themselves, in order to appease those that want to labell them?

 

....after a call for their voices has gone out, so that people here can see and hear their lived experiences, in order to determine the best way forward  with this, one would think every effort would be made to address all's civil rights, when they do show up.

 

the 3 experiential voices are clearly stating, either create another venue, that recognizes their lived experiences and opinions as valid,  or make the sex worker forum name more unbiased and inclusive, if you want to hear our voices.

 

 

Pretty simple  and clear cut  equity civil liberty rights, IMV.

skdadl

Neither one's freedom to write to a private forum nor negative labelling is a civil-liberties matter, except when the latter gets on to the territory of defamation.

 

People mainly are free to "label" you "negatively" -- that's a civil liberty. Obviously, most members of a forum like this one want to run on further standards particular to the community, but those don't necessarily have to do with legal principles.

remind remind's picture

civil liberty in this case, to which I was refering, was their statement...not legal principles, that they would be adhering to their own right, to  stand in their civil liberties,  which gives them the right to reject negative labelling...

after all this exercise is supposed to be about them, their rights, and voices, and not about phoney posturing, is it not?

 

in as much as people have the right, maybe in some instances, to negatively label peoples,  said  labelled people have a right to reject it publically, and vocally, across the nation, in any venue, if they wish.

 

...  those in the majority, who have come here, after a call to action was given,  are testifying that they find themselves being placed in a position, that requires them to relinguish their self identity, from the get go.

 

How offensive is that, after a call out was made to hear their voices? Indeed a call out that stated their voices would be weighted more heavily, as they are the voices of lived experiences.

That they come here now, only to find that their voices are not really wanted, unless they conform,  is a huge disgrace...

 

This has serious implications, for allies and alleged friends,  who use babble as a progressive hub,...

 

thus...as I see it, their comments here regarding the forum title, are a notification to rabble, and babblers, if you will,  that they were/are:

 

not accepting the labels  that are being forced upon them, by the dominant elite non-prostituted  babblers,

 

not accepting the class oppression actions of labelling them against their will  that is going on here,

 

are giving, and have gave,  formal notice of rejection of what they see, as more oppression, at what has been alleged to be progressive site that said it wants their views.

 

are watching to see how events play out, in respect to recognition of equity, before considering their next actions

~

It is pretty damn tacky, at best, to ask for voice to come in and speak, and when they do, have a framework already built that excludes them.

 

The discontinuity in social justice "walking the talk" being exhibited,  is astonishing to say the least. And has far reaching consequences, both now and in the future.

Infosaturated

Initially I would have welcomed a topic named "the sex industry" but not any longer because I consider it misleading.  The topic we have been debating is "Prostitution Laws In Canada", not "The Sex Industry".  I also take exception to the need for moderators to officially privilege some voices over others.  In my opinion readers are perfectly capable of assigning extra weight to voices based on a wide-ranging number of factors including but not limited to "lived experience". If any particular poster or posters wants a thread dedicated to a particular perspective on an issue, or a sub-group of posters, that can be easily accomplished.

For example, if someone presents themselves as a union member or union supporter I may assign their voice extra weight based on the assumption that they have some inside knowledge. I don't need a moderator to intervene in that choice. If union members want a protected space to discuss their concerns I am sure there are places for them to do that. If an issue is being discussed in a shared space, most likely with the intent of influencing others, then everyone should be equally able to participate in the debate.

I have long used the handle "infosaturated".  At first I chose it in part so that I would not be labeled as male or female, to reject the gendering of my voice. I find it sad that on a progressive board one still has to identify by sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, colour and now job history in order to justify one's voice.  It is one thing to voluntarily share background in order to give context to one's voice, it is another to have privileges officially assigned based on those disclosures.

Lee Lakeman mentioned that she has not promoted the board to women whom she thought might be interested in contributing based on the lack of safety here.  Earlier than that I considered contacting some aboriginal women's groups to invite them to participate directly. I didn't, because it would be embarassing to invite people to babble given the type of treatment they would most likely be subjected to.

I would very much appreciate a forum focused on "Prostitution Laws In Canada" in which everyone was welcome to contribute their views respectfully, regardless of sex or profession, as long as they are speaking from a progressive viewpoint. This issue will be before the courts for years as it works it's way up to the Supreme Court of Canada and through parliament as well.

Caissa

Okay. So what is the way forward for respectful discussion if people feel it isn't taking place now over these issues?

Unionist

JMartin wrote:

Will there be a separate forum that is deemed a safe place for women who would consider themselves "prostituted women" or "formally prostituted women" to voice their concerns about decriminalization?

This post belongs in "rabble reactions". This thread is about the Charter challenge to decriminalization. On behalf of those of us who are trying to follow the debate in this thread, I'd appreciate if the discussion about creating new forums be kept separate. It has already created a rather large drift.

 

Infosaturated

Unionist wrote:
This thread is about the Charter challenge to decriminalization. On behalf of those of us who are trying to follow the debate in this thread, I'd appreciate if the discussion about creating new forums be kept separate.

Not it isn't. It's about framing the debate.  I think the creation of forums and how they are named and described is very much a part of "Framing the Debate".

martin dufresne

This thread is about the Charter challenge to decriminalization.

No, this thread is about framing the debate for decriminalization. And deciding who is not entitled to speak and what arguments (or words!) are not admissible in this debate seems totally relevant.

(BTW, how come I don't see "moderator" under your name, Unionist?)

Infosaturated

remind wrote:

not accepting the labels  that are being forced upon them, by the dominant elite non-prostituted  babblers,

Even worse.  It has been made clear the term "sex worker" includes numerous jobs within the sex industry, all of whom have their own label, with the exception of prostitute which effectively makes it invisible. That which has no name cannot be discussed.  This is the equivalent of saying whenever we talk about "man" we are also talking about women therefore there is no need for "women" to have a separate label.  That is what makes the term "sex worker" so offensive.

remind wrote:
are watching to see how events play out, in respect to recognition of equity, before considering their next actions

I will tell you one thing for sure. I will not participate in that forum again. I am sorry I started a thread it in. I won't make that mistake again.

remind wrote:
The discontinuity in social justice "walking the talk" being exhibited,  is astonishing to say the least. And has far reaching consequences, both now and in the future.

It does seem to get to the heart of the identity of the board.

Lee Lakeman

JMartin wrote:

Will there be a separate forum that is deemed a safe place for women who would consider themselves "prostituted women" or "formally prostituted women" to voice their concerns about decriminalization? 

I agree that experiential perspectives are particularly important in this dialogue. However, to assume that experiential abolitionist women are not following these threads is a very dangerous assumption indeed.

Could someone just answer this perfectly ordinary and reasonable question instead of dabteing whether or not it can be asked.  It has been asked.  What is the emporer wearing?

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

 

(BTW, how come I don't see "moderator" under your name, Unionist?)

That's not all you don't see lately, martin.

 

Lee Lakeman

Obviously my comments on the quote begin above at can someone answer

Unionist

Lee Lakeman wrote:

Obviously my comments on the quote begin above at can someone answer

Whose answer are you looking for? If someone wants a new forum created, they normally go to "rabble reactions", open a thread to that effect, and ask the question. If a moderator doesn't see it right away, you can PM or email the moderators. Hope that helps.

 

remind remind's picture

Personally, I feel it most certainly  fits under the title "framing the debate..." quite well, in fact, it is a pertinent point in the discussions underway, just as caissa recognized that it is...

as that is what is going on, in this thread... discussions on  how the debate over the charter challenge should be framed,  or is framed, and is not about the charter challenge  itself  primarily at all.

Thus I see, off topic commentary, about what is clearly on topic commentary, as belong in rabble reactions, and a destraction from the flow of dialogue at hand, as is this commentary of mine, of course.

 

So in order that this drifting not occur in the future, let's all get on the same page here.

This thread was started under the auspices of how to, or how is, the debate about the charter challenge  is being framed,  by those with lived experiences,  in respect to that which is under charter challenge. Not about the charter challenge initself

 

underlaying this is the stated premise by rabble itself, that experiencial voices are wanted and weighted in  all discussions about this topic,

 

thus, how the experiential voices want to express themselves,  about themselves, should be of primary focus, and held in  deepest respect, afterall they are foregoing their right to privacy, in order to share their lived experiences, as was asked of them.

babblers have no right to marginalize  experiential voices, or even advocate for it,  it is a personal attack upon their agency and lived experiences, we as progressives, are all supposed to be equals here, and not trying to entice and then oppress anyone,

 

.....and I can't believe that has to be stated even.

 

However, if rabble wants to  either now, or in the future, marginalize and oppress some segments of experiential voices,  that is their choice, and  babblers have to accept it and what it denotes, or not

 

JMartin

I'm sorry if my question was not put in the right place. I need some assistance in navigating through Rabble and Babble as it's something that's very new to me. 

However, the reason I deemed this an acceptable place to ask my question is because the moderator in this thread openly discussed her decision to make a safe place for "sex-workers" to advocate for their rights. My post was both a question and a response to her post. There were also several posts on the demographics of previous threads and the credibility of the voices in those threads based on their gender, and lived experience.  

Infosaturated, I also consider "sex industry" to be a misleading term. I'm just not sure if there are any terms that are neutral to both perspectives. The polarity between the two sides makes it very difficult to make a safe place for experiential voices where both are welcome. 

Enough digression for my sake. 

remind remind's picture

It is not digression, nor are your postings in the wrong thread and forum.

 

Though perhaps the person who  indicated that you were is, or was. But I leave that to the moderators to decide.

 

As such, I believe your question stands as asked.

 

Now that they have asked for voices, and the voices have come, someone has to find a way to bridge the polarities,

Infosaturated

Some very important points were raised here and then overshadowed by other discussion:

trishabaptie wrote:
I have to run so I'll say this, in my years of prostitution it was never the laws that beat and raped me it was men. It was never the location that was unsafe it was the man I was in that location with that made it unsafe. Yes, I saw many who did not beat or rape me does that make them a good man? Is that what the bar is lowered to? That because a man does NOT assault me he is a good john?

Another point that is frequently emphasized is the relative safety of indoor work:

trishabaptie wrote:
I also just wanted to clarify a point  it has been said I was only a survival sex trade worker and I just wish to clarify that I worked indoors and outdoors as a licenced escort as yes I ended up on the street for my last years. I was not survival in the traditional sense, I had children and a home I was paying for as well as some addictions,so I was never a "survival" worker in the way most people envision that to look.

The debate is often framed as being solely about women who wish to work in the industry suggesting that all "other" problems should be dealt with using existing laws against violence.

The women who think this "job" is fine and dandy are only a part of the story and it is far from a given that they represent the majority of women who are or who have been involved.  Evidence suggests otherwise.

 

remind remind's picture

I think, I posted a link to another article about Trisha in another thread somewhere... going to look for it.

Quote:
Trisha Baptie “worked” on the streets and off the streets. ..Now she is working to stop demand and normalization of human trafficking and demand for prostitution.

 

http://www.sherwoodparknews.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2147651

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

Sex workers, by the very nature of their job, are exposed to many men all of whom could be carrying dangerous diseases. Men pay a hundred dollars for a room and more for the service worker. Surely they can bear the expense of registration and regular testing.

Ah, yes, registration and regular testing. May I also suggest that men require a note of permission, signed by both parents and both sets of grandparents? Should any be deceased, three copies of a notarized death certificate could suffice.

I mean, that's the goal here, right? Make it as difficult as possible? Some good old fashioned obstructionism?

Remind mentioned that in primary health care a patient must disclose whether they have certain diseases like TB. I don't recall hearing how these patients needed to be regularly tested for TB and carry around a "Safe Patient" registration card.  Somehow disclosure was sufficient, but not for sex, right?  You can self-identify as HIV+ (or not) before your blood starts spilling, and that's OK, but men having sex would need some kind of photo ID? 

Are you sure you're really OK with men only having to register, get regularly tested for a host of illnesses, and carry a card? What if they had to wear the card on a chain around their necks for all to see? What if they could be forced to display a copy in the windshield of their car?

This is so transparent. My eyes just rolled so hard I think I screwed up my vision.

Infosaturated

Snert wrote:
Are you sure you're really OK with men only having to register, get regularly tested for a host of illnesses, and carry a card? What if they had to wear the card on a chain around their necks for all to see? What if they could be forced to display a copy in the windshield of their car?

So are you against women getting tested too or just men?

Snert Snert's picture

What I'd be against is an arbitrary, different protocol for sex workers than we have for hospital workers.  If self-reportage is good enough for medical treatment I'd say it should be good enough for sex.  And if it's mandatory that health care workers get checked, but not patients, then I guess I'd favour the same arrangement for sex work, absent any particularly compelling reason otherwise.

Infosaturated

Snert wrote:

What I'd be against is an arbitrary, different protocol for sex workers than we have for hospital workers.  If self-reportage is good enough for medical treatment I'd say it should be good enough for sex.  And if it's mandatory that health care workers get checked, but not patients, then I guess I'd favour the same arrangement for sex work, absent any particularly compelling reason otherwise.

Condoms are more likely to break than latex gloves. Also, one of the "work tips" for prostitutes is that they position themselves in such a way as to make sure the john doesn't slip the condom off at the last second before entry.

One of the reasons some prostitutes groups are against mandatory testing for themselves is that it reassures men that they aren't diseased upping the likelihood that the men will demand unprotected sex.

 

Snert Snert's picture

As I said, "absent any compelling reason otherwise".

How about a skill-testing question first.  Has anyone thought of that?  What if a prospective John had to find the sum of all prime numbers between 0 and 1000 before having sex?  That would most definitely prevent the sex, while giving the illusion that nobody's against the sex (or the John) at all.  We just need him to complete a bit of paperwork first, and sum those primes, and it's all good!

remind remind's picture

snert wrote:
I'd be against is an arbitrary, different protocol for sex workers than we have for hospital workers.

Now let's deconstruct this, as it seems some still do not get  health regulations and safety standards with  body fluid exhanges. As really, you are asking that arbitrary and different protocols be made for john's and prostitutes. That are not allowed in any other industry.

There are strict regulations in every industry applicable, surrounding the governance of possible body fluid exchanges, contaminated or not.

Quote:
f self-reportage is good enough for medical treatment I'd say it should be good enough for sex.

Self reportage is not good enough, in differing situations. And it would be rejected out of hand, as ignorance of facts, or insanity..

If you are just going for a verbal dialogue, they take you at your word. Anything beyond that  medically, is subject to differet layerings of protocol regulations, on the part of both the health worker, and the patient/client

As there is a constant secretion of body fluids in the activities surrounding sexual intercourse, the maximum levels of protocol regulations must go into effect, just as they do in all other fields of  work, that have the potential for the same exchange of body fluids to occur.

Again mouths, and this includes noses, sexual orgams and anuses are mucous membranes, there are constant secretions and absorbtions going on. They are in fact the easiest points of entry for disease into any body, other than open wounds.

Everyone knows this, and if they don't, they should. It is why colds and flus are communicable.

So common sense should tell us that maximum safety protocols go into effect anytime said areas enter into any equation of  direct contact between 2 or more people.

 

A Dr sure as hell can't shove a non-steril speculum up my vagina in order to do a PAP smear,  and they have to use clean gloves when doing so too. Because it is an area of high risk of infection, of any type, not just STD's.

It would be ridiculous to say that they should be allowed to do so, because they want to, and I am okay with it, so why not.

And this would be in the case of a non-communicable disease state, add a disease into the equation and safety protocols are taken to a whole other level.

As such this answers your next statement below in part, too.

Quote:
And if it's mandatory that health care workers get checked, but not patients, then I guess I'd favour the same arrangement for sex work, absent any particularly compelling reason otherwise.

It is mandatory that patients be checked out, when going beyond verbal dialogue or other  low risk health  care measures, like taking blood pressure.

But when you add even taking a temps into the equation, protocol changes. A new cover is required for the instrument each and every time,  or a new instrument even, and  they immediately get disposed of when done with,  in order not to contaminate other patients with anything that is transmittable such as Staff infection for example, say nothing about other diseases.

 

Go beyond that and more protocols enter into it, at each and every level of contact. And self reporting is not accepted at all beyond surface examinations. You will have to visit a lab, or a lab worker will come to you, if you are in the hospital already, before treatment, or investigation goes any furter.

If you are registered HIV or Hep positive it is not okay if your blood starts spilling, extremely high levels of protocols immediately go into place.

 

In respect to having to declare if you have had TB, when the Dr/Nurse sees that, and you may be exhibiting similar symptoms,  interm measures of a high protocol are implimented and tezts will be ordered

If you have it, and are diagnosed with it, you are not wandering about in public, until it is gone and medically registered as such.

Health care workers are compelled to be tested all the time for disease that are just air borne communicated, if we were exchanging body fluids as part of work, there would be intense levels of testing going on, after each and every contact with whatever body fluid it is.

I poke myself with a needle that has already been used, I go for testing and not just once, several times for follow up.

And yes, poking one's self with a needle,  or any other medical instrument,  is equivalent to sexual intercourse, because of the nature of mucous membranes.

Diseases and infections enter through muscous membranes, or open wounds in the skin.

 

That people who may be purchasing sexual access to a mucous membrane, or are going to, don't know  all this,  indicates exactly why I stated there  would have to be certification courses before access is allowed,  if society is going to create a safe and feasible industry, just as there is with  food service industries and occupational safety industries.

 

To do otherwise indicates that  arbitrary protocols are happening,  apparently just so men can have an ejaculation response whenever they want.

 

As that is what we are talking about here, isn't it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

martin dufresne

Absolutely.

To do otherwise indicates that arbitrary protocols are happening, apparently just so men can have an ejaculation response whenever they want.

Yres. And a "bareback" one if they can swing it.
I am still awed that susan davis would pooh-pooh as "out of context" my account of a Stella educator explaining that insisting on a condom for fellatio will cost women referrals from escort agencies. What context could make such advice acceptable?

martin dufresne

Capitalism certainly. I have been trying to make sense of the above sound byte from the Stella organization in its harm reduction outreach. Could the problem be that the ambit of "harm" has grown to include (and possibly be taken over) by the perspective of loss of economic opportunities? In this view, accommodating less "clients" or even exiting "the trade" become fundamentally a negative, maybe not for each person - in principle - but for the overall image of "sex work" as a positive. Hence the necessity of disconnecting people-based front-line support - something feminists have always done - from libertarian/corporate advocacy for maximum deregulation. I think considering this helps frame why and how full decriminalization is foregrounded - including pimps, brothel-owners, escort agencies and johns - and why social justice advocates need to resist it.

 

susan davis

martin dufresne wrote:

Absolutely.

To do otherwise indicates that arbitrary protocols are happening, apparently just so men can have an ejaculation response whenever they want.

Yres. And a "bareback" one if they can swing it.

I am still awed that susan davis would pooh-pooh as "out of context" my account of a Stella educator explaining that insisting on a condom for fellatio will cost women referrals from escort agencies. What context could make such advice acceptable?


poopoo?
i did not poopoo you.....
i stated we are all dimayed at the degradation of safety as a result f high competition for jobs indoors....

susan davis

i must say i find it a little disturbing that people would ignore the things we all have consensus on to continue to argue like this.

doesn't any one have an opinion on the sex industry review project? or the potential for policy and procedure revisions to impact the safety of prostitutes/sex workers/prostituted people?

or do you just like to argue? i mean we have an opportunity to do something important and everyone seems to content to go round and round in cirlces instead. this is why nothing changes on the ground for sex workers/prostitutes/prostituted people.ego/politics won't permit any movement in either direction.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Self reportage is not good enough, in differing situations. And it would be rejected out of hand, as ignorance of facts, or insanity..

In which situations is a prospective patient required to present a "Safe Patient" card before treatment?  I'll assume "none", but please tell me otherwise.

Quote:
anything that is transmittable such as Staff infection for example

Did you say you're a nurse?

skdadl

susan davis wrote:

i must say i find it a little disturbing that people would ignore the things we all have consensus on to continue to argue like this.

doesn't any one have an opinion on the sex industry review project? or the potential for policy and procedure revisions to impact the safety of prostitutes/sex workers/prostituted people?

or do you just like to argue? i mean we have an opportunity to do something important and everyone seems to content to go round and round in cirlces instead. this is why nothing changes on the ground for sex workers/prostitutes/prostituted people.ego/politics won't permit any movement in either direction.

 

Susan, I've read the threads you started on the project, which really impress me, given my total incompetence in dealing coolly with bureaucracy, grateful though I am to smarter and more patient people who just get down to the work and get it done. And I've made a comment to that effect somewhere else, but it sort of sank in the general debate, y'know?

I was hoping that other people closer to the industry would comment before I did -- either that, or you would just keep going. You write; I'll read at least, but I have no expert knowledge, just basic convictions about equality and justice and dignity.

 

Oh, and I'm all for ending capitalism yesterday. Sign me up for that for sure.

Infosaturated

susan davis wrote:

i must say i find it a little disturbing that people would ignore the things we all have consensus on to continue to argue like this.

doesn't any one have an opinion on the sex industry review project? or the potential for policy and procedure revisions to impact the safety of prostitutes/sex workers/prostituted people?

or do you just like to argue? i mean we have an opportunity to do something important and everyone seems to content to go round and round in cirlces instead. this is why nothing changes on the ground for sex workers/prostitutes/prostituted people.ego/politics won't permit any movement in either direction.

Unenforcable policy and procedures aren't worth the paper they are written on. Plans for enforcement that don't include explanations of why they would work in Canada when they haven't worked anywhere else don't hold any value either.

We do not have consensus on the decriminalization of pimps, procurement and brothels.

We do not have consensus on the effectiveness of unproven regulatory frameworks.

The Swedish model is movement.  We all have consensus on the decriminalization of soliciation by prostitutes or "sex workers" if you prefer. Go for that and you will have my full support.

remind remind's picture

From the other now closed thread

caissa wrote:
Remind wrote:  Okay, I am willing to be persuaded,  give me an example of what harms people in a broad public way, and isn't legislated against?

Caisaa answers; capitalism for starters.

But that is what we are talking about here

 

Human capital

 

We put regulations in place, in every industry, to ensure  capitalism does not impinge upon our human rights, or we would be slaves...

we know this is truth it, need not be debated.

 

So, when you are speaking about not properly regulating a human capital endeavour,  as all others are, you are speaking about allowing slavery and serious public health safety measures being breached.

 

 

 

 

susan davis

so you support regulation and decriminalization then remind? i mean, i have only been promoting the notion for months....

i am not a slave and i have repeatedly stated we need occupational health and safety training and standards. these do not need to be a part of the criminal code. all industries are regulated, so shall the sex industry be. we are not criminals and deserve equal treatment.

the criminal code is not intended to implement labor law. and slavery, trafficking, torture, rape, murder,assault, kidnapping, unlawful confinement, robbery, fraud....need i go on? are already illegal. why 2 sets of laws?

instead of argueing about the name of the forum why not start a thread about it?to be honest, i don't mind if it is renamed the sex industry forum....people seemed to be alright with it. then prostituted people and abolitionists could feel included. as i stated before i will respect all perspectives.

 

susan davis

skdadl wrote:

susan davis wrote:

i must say i find it a little disturbing that people would ignore the things we all have consensus on to continue to argue like this.

doesn't any one have an opinion on the sex industry review project? or the potential for policy and procedure revisions to impact the safety of prostitutes/sex workers/prostituted people?

or do you just like to argue? i mean we have an opportunity to do something important and everyone seems to content to go round and round in cirlces instead. this is why nothing changes on the ground for sex workers/prostitutes/prostituted people.ego/politics won't permit any movement in either direction.

 

Susan, I've read the threads you started on the project, which really impress me, given my total incompetence in dealing coolly with bureaucracy, grateful though I am to smarter and more patient people who just get down to the work and get it done. And I've made a comment to that effect somewhere else, but it sort of sank in the general debate, y'know?

I was hoping that other people closer to the industry would comment before I did -- either that, or you would just keep going. You write; I'll read at least, but I have no expert knowledge, just basic convictions about equality and justice and dignity.

 

Oh, and I'm all for ending capitalism yesterday. Sign me up for that for sure.

ok, i am going to try to enlist some of our supporters to join babble and contribute to these discussions.

unfortunatley, sex industry community members are largely unaware of how society at large view them. it is always so hard to watch workers who have been the victim of a crime trying to access unbiased supports and realizing that we are seen as less.....

i will do my best to convince them it is a safe space, but i can tell you that the way things tend to play out here....i don't know how many will be interested .....

remind remind's picture

Snert wrote:
Quote:
Self reportage is not good enough, in differing situations. And it would be rejected out of hand, as ignorance of facts, or insanity..

In which situations is a prospective patient required to present a "Safe Patient" card before treatment?  I'll assume "none", but please tell me otherwise.

If they are having invasive procedures, where body fluids will be involved, they present, their safe patient card exactly the way I detailed above, that you must have missed, or I worded poorly so that you did not get it.

So.... again I will say, invasive procedures, where  significant exchange of body fluids come into play, or a break in the skin's integrity has been, or is going to, occur, all require a lab technition to check  blood of said patient/client before it occurs.

Said patient/client either goes to an independant lab before any procedures occurs and their "blood work" is done, or in the hospital a lab tech comes to said patient and a blood  sample is taken, so "blood work" can be done.

This how some women/men find out their partner has given them something, that does not pronounce obviously, as a mater of fact.

The lab check of your blood is the safe patient card, that everyone, literally everyone, has to adhere to.  You don't get to have some procedures done without it.

PAP smears are not undertaken when a woman is menstruating, because of the high risk of damage to the body integrity of the woman, and high risk of any type of contamination of the Dr, and the space in which it is done.

As such, they occur between menstruational periods, to minimize risks all the way around. They also do not happen if the woman is having a Herpes breakout.

Quote:
Quote:
anything that is transmittable such as Staff infection for example

Did you say you're a nurse?

 

That is lame  flame snert, looking back over my post now I made many spelling errors and typos...

 

Not that I owe any explanations, because it is so lame, and perhaps  indicates that you know that you cannot address the substance of what I was saying,  because it is fact and truth,  so you thought you would try and discredit me as a person, and a voice of knowlege about this, instead?

Which I am not saying you are, but if you were, I will indicate that it is offensive on many levels, and a form of personal attack, by attempting to indicate that I am lying about my lived experiences,  and my professional credentials.

having said all of  that now, will give you one anyway though, as it also has an educational component in it, too.

 was actually going to link to several easily transmitted diseases, as I did to other things in the post to you,  because this serious to me, and indeed it should be to everyone actually, when I read back over it and saw gaps. 

 am trying to treat the discussion of it in  the manner it deserves,  by trying to give people as much pertinent information as I can, because it is NOT common public knowlege, even though it is accessable to the public  to learn it too, but perhaps they do not have the time to access it themselves.

Indeed my posts contain some insider info on things that most people here have done themselves, numerous times, without even realizing what exactly was taking place, but accepted it anyway, as part of what takes place within the medical professional industry.

But I was running out of time, as I wanted also to address Caissa's comment,  before I had to  go out and participate in real life, so I was rushy and decided not to bother putting any in other than a quick example.

so...Ii quickly threw "Staff" in there, an immediate image and knowing of what type of possible disease tranmissions could happen was there. This was to facilitate us all being at least on the same page of understanding health regulation knowlege. Asking for the same line needs more education.

... believe it or not Staph is not a word I write often, either as a person, or as a health care professional. When needed it is written as Staphylococcus, or other fully expressive  terms, to the public,  or in medical short hand between the community, and not as Staph at all,  but I may have done a few times in interdisciplinary discourse, I suppose over the years.

And I bet you did not even know that there was  medical short hand that  is  legal and universally recognized that goes on between health care professionals.

If I would have had the time, it would have had a link and its full spelling, plus a few other examples too. As it was, I left my self logged in here, and online  in my dashing, which I usually never do.

 

Hopefully this all has helped you get a broader view of all the dynamics in play, that would have to, and will happen should society decide it is a man's right to have an ejaculatory response,  whenever he wants.

As we are not even talking orgasisms here.

We are talking about an ejaculatory response, or an expression of power and dominance, and nothing more.

 

But should you want to know more, or need to more,  there is much, much more I can detail, I am only giving a very surface view of  the health safety aspects that will be required.

 

Society does not have a right to make a sub class of people who are without the protections that all other workers are.

They are called slaves.

Society also does not have the right to put at risk, consumers of products and services, that are of a high risk nature, and that are unregulated, no matter how loud they proclaim it is their right.

 

It would be like them demanding that  they have a right to a E coli hamburger if they want one from an society sanctioned food outlet.

 

 

 

 

susan davis

Infosaturated wrote:

susan davis wrote:

i must say i find it a little disturbing that people would ignore the things we all have consensus on to continue to argue like this.

doesn't any one have an opinion on the sex industry review project? or the potential for policy and procedure revisions to impact the safety of prostitutes/sex workers/prostituted people?

or do you just like to argue? i mean we have an opportunity to do something important and everyone seems to content to go round and round in cirlces instead. this is why nothing changes on the ground for sex workers/prostitutes/prostituted people.ego/politics won't permit any movement in either direction.

Unenforcable policy and procedures aren't worth the paper they are written on. Plans for enforcement that don't include explanations of why they would work in Canada when they haven't worked anywhere else don't hold any value either.

We do not have consensus on the decriminalization of pimps, procurement and brothels.

We do not have consensus on the effectiveness of unproven regulatory frameworks.

The Swedish model is movement.  We all have consensus on the decriminalization of soliciation by prostitutes or "sex workers" if you prefer. Go for that and you will have my full support.

do you not wish to find traffickers and pimps?whatever model is asopted by canada we will need some infrastructure to try to hold exploiters, traffickers and pimps accountable. who gets to determine if a worker qualifies for a license or not? i can tell you now i do not qualify as a result of my criminal record and "gang file" under the current municipal framework in vancouver. we must revisit these things and work throught where gaps appear so workers maybe empowered to act when they are a victim of a crime and to keep themselves safe at work.

if you truely want to support decriminalization of workers-leave out pimps and customers etc for now- how will we deal with all of the things remind is bringing up? medical testing, licenseing,certification..... or the fact that because of criminaliztion many workers have criminal records and under current framework would there fore not qualify for the license.....back to the street? i mean do you want this to work or not?

please read our proposed bylaw revisions, we clearly detail problems with current approaches in vancouver. in other parts of canada it's worse, for instance- in edmonton workers must carry their license at all times and the license is worth over $1000, how is that accessible to impoverished women?

we could really use the input of everyone on these issues and we do all agree on decriming workers, so....what does that mean? c'mon people let's talk about something productive. policies are important, professional development packages for ALL employees who engage with sex workers are important. how can we begin to adress the systematic harms of the past if we don't spell it out for people?

we can agree to drop the debate about customers and business owners and focus on what we all know needs to be done for workers.... please?what are we going to do for workers specifically to protect them and i don't mean "ending demand"etc- i mean at a systems level as a community who care what happens to people. how can we improve conditions for workers, right now......

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