Ban men from buying sex
Posted by charliegrrl on December 21, 2007
Last night I was thrilled to see on the news, Harriet Harman and co, wishing to make it illegal to pay for sex. They hope to reverse the model of criminalising prostitutes, and instead criminalise the men who pay for sex. About bloody time!!! They said the Bill will be discussed in the New Year.
The idea that men can purchase women and girls in the same way as that they buy a take away pizza, is deplorable. The fact that newspapers advertise massage parlours, saunas, escorting etc is irresponsible (they are soon to discuss regulating this). The fact that so many women and girls outside of Britain are trafficked into Britain to meet the insatiable demand of men to have sex with a woman/girl whenever they want- well it’s dispicable.
However, as much as I was delighted to hear this news, I was also saddened by seeing women speaking out against such a move to criminalise punters (English Collective of Prostitutes etc)… They state that making it illegal for men to pay for sex, will push prostitution underground and make it less likely to help trafficked women, as punters will be less likely to provide police with info.
On newsnight lastnight, a former government minister, Denis MacShane, argued that men should be criminalised for purchasing sex. He said why should men be able to purchase women, just because they are men…and that no woman he knows would be willing to sleep with 30 men a day to make a living. The opposing speaker was the Green Party’s candidate for Mayor of London, Sian Berry. She dribbled on about how the answer to helping sex workers is to liberalise prostitution, not criminalise punters. Mr MacShane could not understand how a woman could be speaking in favour of men purchasing women for sexual gratification. And neither can I. This fustrates me so much to see women speak in favour of men having the right to purchase women for sex, as if they don’t want to do anything to upset these ‘loyal customers’. Liberalising prostitution is basically giving the green light to men who want to buy sex and allows the capitalist sex industry to expand to meet the greater demand. But it wouldn’t be the prostituted women making the money, but the pimps behind the industry. Sian Berry says that sex workers don’t want men to feel afraid to purchase sexual services- if the demand is reduced, so will the sex worker’s money. I can understand this, but I think to remedy this, if we reduce the demand for paying for sex, we will have to also tackle the issues that lead women and girls to become prostitutes: criminalising men paying for sex would have to go hand in hand with more exit-prostitution projects, supported housing projects, supportive drug treatment programmes, tackling poverty, child abuse and allowing trafficked women and girls to remain in Britain with recourse to public funds, amongst many other things. I wholeheartedly support the drive to criminalise men paying for sex, but I hope that this drive will bring about more support for prostituted women and girls as well.
PS, just found this great flim via Witchy about trafficking, with Emma Thompson in.