WEIGHT: 49 kg
Sex services: Lesbi-show soft, Lapdancing, Fetish, Strap-ons, Sex vaginal
Decriminalising all aspects of prostitution — including brothel-owning and sex-buying — will, according to this argument, make life safer for these women, and also make it easier to root out abuse.
Decriminalising the selling of sex — so that only buyers are breaking the law — means prostitutes themselves are not penalised. But even where only the buying of sex is a criminal offence, it is argued, prostituted women are forced to take risks. In recent years this argument has made big advances. In the Netherlands made formal what had already been acceptable for some years, and lifted the ban on brothels , in effect legalising the sex trade. Three years later the New Zealand government passed, by one vote, the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act which decriminalised street-based prostitution and brothel-keeping.
The opposite, abolitionist position — favoured by feminists including myself, and every sex trade survivor I have interviewed — is: There is no way to make it safe, and it should be possible to eradicate it. Abolitionists do not consider prostitution to be about sex or sexual identity, but rather a one-sided exploitative exchange rooted in male power. They believe the progressive solution to the sex trade is to assist women to exit, and criminalise those who drive the demand.
If prostitution is framed as work, it stands to reason that the workers require rights. The fact that the brothel this young woman was being sold from was legally sanctioned and seen as a business — no different from a restaurant — meant that the pimp was able to present herself as doing her employee a favour by giving her a job. In the UK the argument in favour of decriminalisation has won support from trade unions.
In , having observed the growing influence of the International Union of Sex Workers , I decided to look into its background and membership. One of its members, and a spokesman, was Douglas Fox, who has been active in the Conservative party and Amnesty UK , and co-owner of a large escort agency.