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article imageOp-Ed: The latest anti-prostitution crusade

By Alexander Baron     Nov 7, 2013 in Politics
London - Prostitution has been called the oldest profession in the world. Attempts to eliminate it have been universally unsuccessful.
The latest official attempt in the UK is the grandly titled All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade, and its terms of reference are: "to raise awareness of the impact of the sale of sexual services on those involved and to develop proposals for government action to tackle individuals who create demand for sexual services as well as those who control prostitutes; to protect prostituted women by helping them to exit prostitution and to prevent girls from entering prostitution."
The original emphasis in the above has been removed.
As per its professed goals, this group is concerned not simply with prostitution in the UK but with what it calls the global sex trade. While it is laudable to help women exit prostitution - those who want to - and to discourage or prevent them from entering it in the first place, there is a wider agenda here, in particular "to tackle individuals who create demand for sexual services as well as those who control prostitutes".
Who creates demand? The men - overwhelmingly men, of course - who use prostitutes. The new euphemism for prostitute is "sex worker", a term that is misleading because there are many people working in the sex industry - men as well as women - whose job descriptions don't come anywhere close to that of the common or garden prostitute.
The All Party Parliamentary Group is not currently taking evidence, but it will probably be reactivated sometime next year. An alternative viewpoint is held by the English Collective of Prostitutes, an organisation that has been around for a long time. And, believe it or not, there is an international version, the International Prostitutes Collective.
The criminalisation of men who use prostitutes - as in the United States - is a ludicrous pastime, but like whores themselves, they are easy targets for the police, certainly a lot easier than men like Dale Cregan.
The driving ideology behind this ostensibly noble goal of cleaning up the streets by cleaning up the lechers who cause the filth is radical feminism, an ideology that views women as being under the thumb of that great worldwide conspiracy the patriarchy. Like all other women, prostitutes are innocent victims while their "johns", well, best not speak of these unspeakable men. Thankfully, not everyone sees things in quite such black and white terms, as can be seen from this lengthy dissertation.
Neither the UK nor any other country needs new (read repressive) laws to assist those women who are trapped in prostitution. For those who have drug problems, clearly they need help to break the habit. For those who have little or no skills other than what is up their skirts, again the solution is some form of assistance, but however revolted some women and indeed some men may be by the things prostitutes do, this is not a legal issue nor should it be made into a moral one.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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