Daily Archives: October 26th, 2015

QotD: “London Amnesty Action protest attracts 200”

Women protested in 50 countries on October 23, united in their opposition to Amnesty International’s recommendation for full decriminalization of the sex industry, including pimps and johns.

The campaign was organized by a coalition of individual women and women’s groups, collectively referred to as Amnesty Action.


In London, police estimated the number of women outside Amnesty International’s headquarters at 200. There were exited women there, with activists, researchers, journalists — all in sisterhood. The youngest were in their twenties, the oldest were in their eighties.

They were later joined by a few men, one of whom said he’d heard about the protest in an Italian Facebook group two hours before and apologized for not having got involved sooner.

The protesters stood alongside the busy road in London’s rush hour and chanted: “Lock up pimps and johns!” “Women’s rights are human rights!” “Women’s bodies are not for sale!” One brought a mobile speaker and played “All Night Wrong,” a protest song written by Jeanette Westbrook.


he Amnesty Action women were in an unexpected position; having to oppose the world’s leading human rights organization in the name of women’s and girls’ rights. Women and girls are human, after all…

It speaks volumes that since Amnesty International agreed to the policy in August. A large number of women’s rights organizations have came out in opposition of the decision and in support of the Nordic model, which decriminalizes only the sale of sex and promotes exit plans to get women out of prostitution.

Amnesty International’s policy lets women and girls down, putting their rights last as it declares that access to sex is a human right.

Actually, the right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment is guaranteed by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is also guaranteed under both the Palermo Protocol (the UN Trafficking Protocol) and the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), as well as the 1949 Convention, which recognize prostitution as exploitation.

The absurdity of the situation was summed up by Lisa-Marie Taylor, chair of UK women’s rights charity Feminism in London.

“We cannot and will not stand by whilst a human rights organization supports, encourages, and lobbies for the prostitution of women and by extension girls. This flies in the face of the available evidence and we call for human rights organisations to review their position in the light of emerging data from areas that have implemented the model of legalization with appalling consequences,”


Among them were Canadian registered nurses Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson, the world’s leading authorities on Non-State Torture.

The two founders of Persons Against Non-State Torture know that trafficked and prostituted women are extremely vulnerable to acts of torture committed in the private sphere.

“I am here to share the voices of women who talk about the grave suffering they have endured in their ordeals in Non-State Torture, including the torture that happens in prostitution. I want to shout to the roof tops and to Amnesty International that torture is not work,” Linda MacDonald told Feminist Current.

The two women have spent 22 years supporting victims and campaigning for Non-State Torture to be classified as a specific human rights crime.

“We will never shut up about Non-State Torture,” Jeanne Sarson told Feminist Current.

Janie Davies, at Feminist Current

QotD: “There are some interesting observations here”

The Game is a pick-up manual that has been telling nerds how to manipulate insecure women into having sex with them since 2005. Written by Neil Strauss, this perverts’ charter teaches such tricks as “going caveman”, where men aggressively escalate physical contact, and “negging”, where a backhanded-compliment is used to chip away at female self-esteem (“Nice trousers — are they pyjamas?” was one such line tried on me recently).

If that alone doesn’t make you think Strauss should be crowned King Creep, consider a quote on the cover of the Game’s follow up: “Neil Strauss’s writing turned me from a desperate wallflower into a wallflower who can talk women into sex.” It’s from Russell Brand.

Strauss has now moved on, though: he married Mexican model Ingrid De La O in 2013. The Truth tells how he went from wanting the hurly-burly of the orgy to accepting the peace of the (standardly populated) double bed.

It begins with a warning for Ingrid: “If you are reading this, please stop now.” Despite being as happy as he had ever been in a relationship, Strauss had cheated on her, “fuck[ing] one of her friends in the parking lot of a church”.

To save the relationship he goes to an addiction clinic but fights against everything he’s told. He excuses his behaviour as hormonal determinism: “Am I even a sex addict? I’m a fucking man… Put a beautiful woman in a tight dress in a bar… and it’s like throwing raw meat into a den of wolves.”

Predictably it’s his parents — especially his suffocating mother — who get the blame for his aversion to commitment. Eventually Strauss makes some breakthroughs and leaves, assuming himself cured, only to break up with Ingrid wanting his freedom.

He then explores alternatives to monogamy in a series of tales so unsexy the Church should circulate them to promote marital fidelity. There’s a drug-fuelled orgy where Strauss falls asleep and ends up spitting chocolate into his date’s hand; an attempt to build a harem where the women regress to childhood, jealously bickering over who gets the front seat in the car; and sex with a woman while her husband watches and gives a running commentary.

There’s something of the man-boy about Strauss. Not just in his phobia of commitment — “one of the most terrifying and obscene words in the English language” — but in his insecurity, apparent both in his frequent name-dropping and his “need” to sleep around.

It’s also there in his attitude to women. Ingrid is the “otherworldly” angel, while almost every other woman is described in a sexualised way. By the end, at least, he recognises his own juvenility: “It turns out that relationships don’t require sacrifices. They just require growing up.”

It’s lucky Strauss is a good writer, because otherwise The Truth would be unbearable. It’s self-indulgent, full of psychobabble and he’s prone to assuming every man is like him (“ultimately men are more attracted to sexual availability than they are to beauty” is one of many generalisations). In Strauss’s eyes, almost all women look like supermodels and want to shag him — if the latter were true, then I should lower my opinion of my sex.

There are some interesting observations here: “Partners are actually treated more like possessions [in open relationships] than in monogamy”, getting passed around as a form of male-bonding. But it takes Strauss 350 pages to come to the “well, duh” moment that most of us figured out as teenagers: “Sex is easy to find… love is rare.” And given all the awful alternatives he sets out, monogamy really doesn’t sound so bad.

Rosamund Urwin