Look at this shit. A group of people are getting together to
an ANTI-CHILD-SEX-TRAFFICKING CONFERENCE.
Read that again and let it sink in.
These people are PROTESTING AN ANTI-CHILD-SEX-TRAFFICKING CONFERENCE.
Because of “SOLIDARITY WITH SEX WORKERS.”
Now, I understand that like 12 college-educated white women have done “sex work” by choice. And I understand that the liberal-feminist argument is, “We shouldn’t call child-sex trafficking victims ‘disempowered’ because that will make them feeeeel bad!”
But here’s something to consider: These are CHILDREN we are talking about. It’s not “ageist” to point out that IF YOU ARE TRAFFICKED INTO SEX SLAVERY AS A CHILD, YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL BAD. Regardless of whether some feminists point out your disempowerment, you are going to feel disempowered from being, you know. SOLD INTO SLAVERY. And RAPED EVERY DAY and all the attending complications of that.
From Paleotrees, writing about a group calling itself ‘Oakland Occupy Patriarchy’* protesting an anti-child-sex-trafficking conference in Oakland California.
From the news report and other photos I’ve seen of the protest, it looked to be mostly young, white people; I also found this on tumblr:
Ah, yes. Occupy Oakland, the same folks whose General Assembly was so full of privilege that the POC and LGBT folks BROKE OFF from them in THE BAY AREA. IN OAKLAND. You know, the city that’s majority POC?
Anyway, context: Oakland is one of the centers of child trafficking in the US, if not the capital. TRAFFICKING.
The word “agency” don’t have no business coming out the mouth of anyone who can act as if entering sex work is an unpressured free choice when:
– Children (this really should be all that needs to be said, but…)
– Generational Poverty
– International Sex Trafficking, immigration, ICE, control over green cards, etc.
– Male violence over women
But hey, let’s protest to protest and pretend we know what the fuck is going on in the town we only come through to protest in…
UPDATE 25/06/12: Occupy Patriarchy have stated that “Occupy Patriarchy and Oakland Occupy Patriarchy are completely separate entities”, which is great to hear.
I have had a few further thoughts on OPO’s agenda, they claim that attempts to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children (which includes attempts to have such children treated as victims by the system, rather than criminals) is just an ‘excuse’ to further persecute ‘sex workers’.
I do not, as an abolitionist, disagree that a lot of the laws around prostitution are harmful to prostitutes, but what the sex industry advocates deliberately and cynically refuse to acknowledge, is that the Nordic Model of criminalising demand, also involves decriminalising the prostitute her (or him) self. Sex pozzers always ignore this and insist abolitionists want to criminalise prostitutes. What we want is for the system to recognise that those who are engaging in transactional sex are vulnerable and being abused, and they should be provided with help, not punishment (and if we can do that for children, we can do that for people over 18 – it’s not like the abuse suddenly goes away when the clock ticks round on their 18th birthday).
But apparently this is taking away ‘sex workers’ ‘agency’ – it’s far easier (and much more sexy and subversive – if you’re on the outside looking in that is, most sex pozzers would never personally choose to be a ‘sex worker’) to talk about ‘agency’ and hand out condoms and create dodgy unions that are mostly made up of pimps and johns (I’m looking at you the IUSW), than to provide a comprehensive, joined up range of services to deal with addiction, homelessness, a lack of education and the fall-out of childhood abuse and neglect.