Who are you in League with then?

At the end of last year I wrote a piece examining the ways in which radical feminists/prostitution abolitionists are smeared as being ‘in league with religious fundamentalists’.

In it I wrote: “It’s almost as if it’s possible for two groups, with wildly opposing views, to have one small area of overlapping agreement, without either group suffering from any internal inconsistency!”

But let us, as a thought experiment, pretend the smearers are right, and that if your politics has one small area of overlap with another group’s politics, then you are in league with them, and think exactly the same way they do!

In that case, who are the sex industry advocates in league with?

France came close, last year, to adopting an abolitionist approach to prostitution (also described as the ‘Nordic’ or ‘Swedish’ model, where the john is criminalised, while the prostitute her or him self is decriminalised), but the law stalled in the senate.

This, then, places sex industry advocates in league with the male-dominated establishment in France, where Dominique Strauss Kahn’s ~alleged~ rape of Nafissatou Diallo is seen by many as “the master having his way with the servant.”

Christine Delphy, a feminist sociologist and writer, believes the Carlton trial shows attitudes are changing but, she says, “only marginally and very slowly”. “I still hear people claiming the Sofitel incident was a conspiracy or blaming it on American puritanism and defending what DSK did with the ‘private life’ argument,” said Delphy. “This is France, a country where many white politicians asked how it was possible that a black, immigrant chambermaid dared to make a complaint against a powerful man, where Nafissatou Diallo was treated as a liar and a gold-digger. A male commentator said what happened was simply a case of the master having his way with the servant.

If, in the UK, in the future, the new Tory regime decides to decriminalise the sex industry, it won’t be because of a genuine concern about marginalised women, but because of a neoliberal ideology that sees all human beings as nothing more than economic units making rational economic choices, in a free market that can magically regulate itself; or because of old-fashioned patriarchal ideas about men ‘needing’ a sacrificial class of prostituted women, who aren’t good for anything else anyway, and that some women are just ‘born whores’.

The risk of being ‘in league’ with right wingers/religious fundamentalists/etc, is never a concern for sex industry advocates. So even if they did get their way under the Tories, that would never be seen as proof that they were in league with them (despite the neoliberal leanings of some sex industry advocates).

Funny how that works isn’t it?

3 responses

  1. Of course, sex industry advocates are actual pimps and traffickers! and therefore all other sex industry advocates are actually in league with pimps and traffickers!

    Well meaning people think most “sex workers activist” organizations/unions speak for women in prostitution. They are mistaken. A shocking number of these “sex worker” organizations were started by women and men who are admitted pimps and madams, or have been convicted of pimping, pandering, or conspiracy to promote prostitution. These people call themselves ‘sex workers’ but it’s a ruse. It’s an unacceptable conflict of interest. These organizations and their ‘partners’ and affiliates cannot be allowed to speak for women in prostitution or collect funds on their behalf. Any NGO, university, college or nonprofit organization that engages with these pimp-affiliated organizations or their partners is assisting them in this misrepresentation. I’m sure there are some well-meaning people trying to good within these groups. But with pimp founders and leaders, these groups mostly advocate on behalf of the predators who profit off of sexual exploitation; they rarely help women in prostitution.


    Previously I discussed how the International Union of Sex Workers, the Erotic Service Providers Union, COYOTE, and the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA (SWOP) were founded by people who’d been convicted of charges connected with pimping: pandering, conspiracy to promote interstate prostitution, and promoting prostitution. But there are lots more.

    Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC) claims to represent women in the sex industry. But the SPOC recently won a case filed on behalf of two female pimps. Most women in prostitution have suffered intense violence from the men or women who exploit them, but SPOC was advocating for these predators rather than women in prostitution. The plaintiffs were SPOC Deputy Director Amy Lebovitch, SPOC Legal Coordinator Valerie Scott, who plans to open a brothel, and Terri Jean Bedford, who was convicted of keeping a bawdy house (a brothel). SPOC sought to make it legal for men and women to commercially sexually exploit others in prostitution. In bizarre doublespeak, SPOC described those who own brothels or escort services as ‘employees’ of women in sex industry. We wouldn’t accept that a restaurant owner was the ‘employee’ of one of his busboys, would we?


    BRAZEN pimp Peter McCormick mounted another bid last month to make his sleazy sex trade look like a mainstream business.

    A survey published by a website reportedly claimed to have polled foreign sex workers in Ireland over four years.

    The website domain , Ugly Mugs, is registered to Audrey Campbell, McCormick’s partner, who is also registered as a director of the company behind Escort Ireland.

    Ugly Mugs claims to help protect prostitutes from dangerous punters and in its own survey claimed all those advertising in Ireland were “independent”.

    The Sunday World has previously revealed how there are a number of pimps and criminal gangs trafficking women and men to work as hookers in Ireland.

    These include the violent ‘Ghenosu’ gang from Romania, who trafficked women to work as prostitutes and were advertised on McCormick’s site.

    Nasty vice merchant TJ Carroll also used the site to advertise his brothels, which included one 20-year-old trafficked from Africa and forced into the trade.

    The entire sleazy industry in Ireland has to advertise through the website set up by McCormick. It is illegal to advertise prostitution in Ireland.

    The ex-RUC man who is behind Ireland’s lucrative internet sex-for-sale racket keeps a tight control of his cash business.

    Attempts by other websites to advertise prostitution services have been the target of well-organised cyber attacks that have forced them offline.

    His son, Mark ‘Fats’ McCormick, has also been convicted of brothel-keeping in Ireland and has served time behind bars.

    During his court case he was described as a computer whiz, although gardaí were able to retrieve information from his laptop, including a manual for running a brothel.

    It’s not the first time McCormick has tried to influence the debate of the laws surrounding prostitution.

    Audrey Campbell was also behind a website called Stop the Blue Light, which was set up to combat a highly effective campaign to make it illegal to buy sex.

    Stop the Red Light which has received support across a range of politicians, non-government agencies and trade unions is campaigning to change the law.

    Earlier this year an Oireachtas committee recommended that legislation should be brought in to stop people paying for sex.

    The committee recommended that regulations be changed to allow Gardaí to shut down mobile phone numbers used in sex-for-sale ads.

    It also urged the Government to introduce tougher penalties for pimps and to make it illegal to access websites carrying ads for prostitution.

    In its most recent report, Ruhama, an agency that helps women in the vice trade, said that it helped 91 women who had been trafficked to Ireland.

    The organisation has also been targeted in an online campaign in a bid to discredit it.

    “Ruhama may not be good for the business of organised prostitution, but we are good for women who need assistance and we are good at highlighting the secret and abusive underworld, which is the sex trade,” the organisation previously stated.


  2. Very apropos the above:

    Women working at the Assemblée have told us – anonymously, because they are afraid of losing their jobs – that politicians have tried to seduce them, sometimes violently, in a lift or corridor. Others reported that when they turned up for a job interview in an MP’s office, he had set up a makeshift bed.


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