Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Paternalism for Prostitutes

It's lovely to see that, even from women within the snake pit of national politics, patriarchal, paternalistic bullshit is still alive and well.

A sex worker on Channel4 News was not the first person I heard express dismay that the government commission - in its quest to make the world safer for sex workers - did not really talk to... sex workers. Shome mistake, surely?

Well, not really. It simply turns out that the idea of 'We Know Best' still reigns supreme. The ministers went on a tour of different countries to see how they handle the issue of sex workers. In Holland it's legal, as many anecdotes from just as many young men who go there for a dirty weekend will elude to. In Sweden it's completely illegal, etc.

The government chose to copy Finland with this new legislation. Legislation which has, to be polite, had a limited effect in that country. Legislation that sends out mixed messages. It doesn't appear to much protect the women it is designed to protect (and the personal opinions of sex workers I've read backs up this idea) and yet it - like most anti-prostitute legislation - force many sex workers underground.

People involved in the sex trade should be supported, in my opinion, and this new bureaucratic mess will certainly not do much to that end. KGM basically had DoubleH admitting she wanted prostitution completely banned, in theory. What else could be expected from a woman with such a goal?

No comments: