More from the IUSW

Douglas Fox, pimp and IUSW spokesman, has been participating in an F-Word thread on prostitution exit programmes. As well as mentioning the stuff we ALL want, like decriminalising the prostitutes, providing decent drug addiction programmes etc, he said this in regards to women trafficked into prostitution:

And controversially I would argue that allowing them access to people who are also sex workers and so understand the work they have unwillingly or through survival strategies been involved. fellow sex workers can speak to them as people who understand what they have been doing in a non patronising or condescending manner manner [sic] would be helpful.

First of all, the IUSW claims trafficking is a myth, it’s all ‘migration for labour’, even if the woman is held in dept-bondage and forced to service ten men a day; so why would he be concerned with services for trafficked women if trafficking is a myth?

Putting that aside, how, exactly, would a women who has been trafficked into prostitution – who has been repeatedly beaten and gang-raped, who may have seen other trafficked women murdered, who is very likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and may have no home to return to because of the stigma attached to prostitution in her home country, or because it was her family who sold her into prostitution in the first place – benefit from having a conversation with a sex worker who can charge £100 an hour, pick and choose her clients and ‘loves her job’?

Since the IUSW have claimed that ‘children who have been sexually exploited sometimes have been so abused that they only feel safe working in the sex industry’ (Summit on Prostitution held by the Conservative Women’s Organisation) – remember, most of the victims of trafficking with be under-age girls – perhaps he is only being practical; they’re too damaged for anything else so they may as well get the best models for their inevitable role in the sex industry.

Or could it be that he’s let something slip? Is he actually admitting that prostitution is shitty, regardless of how much ‘choice’ is involved, and that even the experience of a ‘high-class escort’ will have something in common with that of a trafficked woman or girl?

It is good in a way – the more outrageous shit like this the IUSW comes out with, the more likely it is that the general public will begin to see that they are not benign. As another commenter on that thread, ‘v’, put it:

perhaps the next step for d fox is figuring out how to use rape crisis centres as recruitment agencies.

5 responses

  1. “The GMB – Britain’s third largest union – recognises sex work as a valid form of labour and offers union membership to all who work in the sex industry, whether as prostitutes, dancers, film models or actors or in associated occupations (eg working in an adult video shop).”

    Darn it, looks as if pimps need to form their own union,

    Ooops, my mistake, Pimps run the IUSW, so that explains why they’re not listed.


  2. The IUSW has never said that trafficking is a myth – though the reality of the sex industry, migration and trafficking is very different from that portrayed in the media.

    In addition, neither the organisation nor I myself as an invidual have said “children who have been sexually exploited sometimes have been so abused that they only feel safe working in the sex industry”.

    At the Conservative Women’s Organisation Summit I said “I’ve had sex with clients who’ve been so harshly abused as children that commercial sex is the only environment in which they feel safe, or the only sex they feel they deserve.” and continued “not everyone thinks about, and experiences, sex in the same way, and the International Union of Sex Workers believes that everyone should have the freedom to choose for themselves the kinds of sex they have and why, including the absolute right to say no. There are sex workers who don’t want to be rescued, don’t ask to be redeemed – but want rights – the same human, civil and labour rights that you enjoy. Sex workers, like all people, deserve dignity and respect. Those who ignore our voices and dismiss the complexity of our experiences are part of creating the very problems they say they wish to solve.”

  3. Hello Catherine,

    Well, that quote from the CWO comes directly from people who were there too.

    You are a very clever operator, I know from what you’ve written on prostitution that you’re an order of magnitude more intelligent that the rest of the sex industry advocates (it’s my term and I’m sticking to it) commenting here and elsewhere. I’m willing to bet you’ll never come out with anything close to the pretentious, bloated rubbish Douglas Fox has been coming out with (by the way, what do you think of what Douglas said in relation to trafficked women on the F-Word thread?), and, unlike say, Maxine Doogan, there’s obviously no one pulling your strings behind the scenes.

    “The IUSW has never said that trafficking is a myth”

    No? Well you’re very keen on relabelling as many situations as possible ‘migration for labour’, including those that an average member of the public would recognise as trafficking.

    “the International Union of Sex Workers believes that everyone should have the freedom to choose for themselves the kinds of sex they have and why, including the absolute right to say no.”

    But that’s the problem isn’t it, if you’re doing it because you’re poor, or homeless, or a drug addict, you don’t get to say no or to pick-and-choose ‘clients’.

    I think it is fundamentally dishonest to talk about this in terms of prostitutes’ sex lives, and at the same time to say it’s a service and ‘work like any other’, those two statements do not add up.

    Are you honestly telling us that for every prostitute who is not directly coerced, every sex act they engage in for money will be absolutely freely chosen and absolutely something they actively want to do?

    You never talk about demand. Do you really think there are enough ‘sex workers by choice’ out there to meet current levels of demand, including the demand for cheap sex? Or ‘porn star experience’ sex? Or sex with ‘very young girls’?

    “There are sex workers who don’t want to be rescued, don’t ask to be redeemed”

    I’m sure there are (and who’s talking about redemption anyway, who’s saying prostitutes have done anything wrong?), and at the same time, there are women who have exited the sex industry who say that the only way they survived was by telling them selves that they chose to do it. Once someone has adopted a ‘sexual outlaw’ persona, and swallowed all the ‘agency’ rhetoric, or alternatively just been in that life so long they’re institutionalised to it, then that is what they’re going to say.

    The thing is, it’s not just about the women in prostitution now, it’s also about all the women and girls (and men and boys and trans persons) who will or will not end up in prostitution in the future, and again we’re back to demand – the one thing none of you ever want to discuss properly – because it’s not just about the individual choices made in isolation by individual women; you can’t legitimise the prostitutes without also legitimising the johns, the pimps and the brothel keepers – the whole institution of the sex industry – too. The safest prostitute is always going to be one who doesn’t end up in prostitution in the first place.

  4. “The IUSW has never said that trafficking is a myth”

    Douglas Fox has

    “I have met hundreds of clients and represented hundreds of sex workers. I have never come across anyone who was coerced or trafficked.”

    In Ireland, I couldn’t find one single lap-dancing club, which wasn’t using trafficked women, or kids, or had guns in the broom closet

    Limerick was the murder capital of Europe by the time I left. And I mean, officially the murder capital of Europe.

    I hate pimps, for turning Limerick into a butcher’s shop. Helped as they were by English agencies, and Dutch criminals.

    One Anglo-Saxon agency described Dundalk as a suburb of Dublin, give or take it’s a completely different place,

    in Dundalk you are never more than a few wrong words away from being shot in the head. That’s not tourism.

  5. “Sex workers, like all people, deserve dignity and respect.”

    Tell Douglas that his agency’s schoolgirl age role stuff has been raised with half a dozen British ministers.

    There is no such thing as a fake pedophile.

    I wil tell you something we are doing as well, the ‘no-complain’ policy we put in place because of Amnesty’s hectoring, is officially off.

    We are closing all the brothels in Ulster, that includes the gay premises. I am doing that that because of Douglas Fox’s Amnesty appearance in Nottigham 08

    Amnesty are too busy fighting amongst themselves at the moment about the IUSW, to have too much time to spare defending commercial gay brothel happenings in Ireland.

    To Tom Hartley, Lord Mayor, of Belfast

    “Also, we don’t want Douglas Fox in Belfast either, he is a pimp who hangs around AIUK people, they’ll (hopefully) probably get rid of him.

    So we need to tell the gays that the same rules for them, as for Lithuanian pimps.

    We don’t have a discussion with them about it either. We just tell them to behave, and if they don’t, they get arrested. BCC had it’s brothel discussions, and the answer was no. I don’t remember anybody saying ‘except for gay brothels’.

    They can’t have brothels.”

    (sent today)

    FOI to gets you the rest.

    Douglas Fox makes campaigning easy, he is just plain unacceptable.

    Gregory Carlin

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