Category Archives: Flyers/events/activism

Lesbians Protest Erasure At London Pride

Gender Trender has already reported on this (with updates in the comment thread), and there is the #GetTheLOut hashtag on twitter (where I found the above photo).

Lesbians mounted a parade-stopping protest at London Pride today, July 7, 2018. They objected to the erasure of lesbians caused by so-called allies among gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations and individuals who forcibly rename lesbians as generic “queer people” and who demand that heterosexual men who sexually fetishize lesbianism must be accepted by same-sex attracted women as if they were actual lesbians.

The lesbians first gathered in front of the march, displaying their message. They carried signs and banners that read “Lesbian=Female Homosexual”, and “Lesbian Not Queer”, “Transactivism Erases Lesbians” and “Get the ‘L’ Out!”, among others. Then they lay down in the street, halting the parade and drawing attention. After a few minutes, they stood, and led the Pride March, remaining at the helm for the duration.

Continue reading here

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Small victories with the BBC

Back in March I made two complaints to the BBC over the way commercial sexual exploitation was reported on the BBC’s news website; in April, the BBC replied to my concerns, and altered the web pages.

I am absolutely certain that, in relation to the BBC’s reporting of Fiona Broadfoot’s victory in the High Court, I am far from the only person to have complained to the BBC, so cannot claim this as my own, sole, work.

The BBC originally used the headline “Former sex worker ‘vindicated’ after High Court win”, it now reads “Sex abuse victim ‘vindicated’ after High Court win”

This is my original complaint:

The use of the term ‘sex work’ in a piece relating to the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls. Fiona Broadfoot was 15 when she was first commercially sexually exploited, 15 is below the age of consent so this was statutory rape, rape is not ‘work’. Broadfoot has said clearly on twitter that she was never a ‘sex worker’. ‘Sex work’ is a partisan term and should be used with caution, and should never be used to describe the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

To which I received this reply:

Thanks for contacting us regarding use of the phrase “former sex worker” in the headline to the following BBC News article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43261021

The use of this phrase in the headline reflects the fact that the “three women, who say they were groomed into prostitution as teenagers, have won a High Court battle” and “successfully argued that the disclosure of convictions for working in the sex trade many years ago was disproportionate and a breach of their Article 8 Human Rights – the right to a private life.”

Thanks again for your feedback. Complaints are sent to senior management and news teams every morning via our overnight reports.

So I complained again:

I contacted the BBC two weeks ago to complain about the use of the term ‘sex work’ in an article about the commercial sexual exploitation of a fifteen-year-old girl, the reply I received was an insultingly lazy, circular, cut-and-paste (effectively: we used the term ‘sex work’ because it was an article about ‘sex work’). ‘Sex work’ is a partisan term, the debate over whether the sex industry is a form of exploitation, or freely chosen work is far from over. The term ‘sex work’ itself is begging the question (‘sex work is work’, ‘this bad thing is bad’). Under any other circumstances, coerced sex is called rape, but when money is exchanged, coerced sex gets called ‘work’. Fifteen is below the statutory age of consent, therefore any sexual activity below the age of consent is rape. Fiona Broadfoot has contacted the BBC via twitter to say that she was never a ‘sex worker’, and that she objects to the use of the term in the article about her. I would like someone at the BBC to explain to me why it was considered appropriate to call a commercially raped child a ‘sex worker’

And received this reply:

Thank you for getting in touch about our article reporting that three women have won a High Court battle which means they will not have to tell future employers about their soliciting (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43261021) and we’re sorry that you were dissatisfied with the initial response from our central complaints team.

Having reviewed your complaint I think you raise a fair point.

While we wouldn’t refer to statutory rape in the absence of actual charges or convictions for that offence in connection with the story, we have since amended the headline to now refer to how:

Sex abuse victim ‘vindicated’ after High Court win

We hope you’ll find this satisfactory and we’re sorry once again that you’ve had to write to us twice to make this point.

I also complained about the reporting of trafficking into the sex industry in Spain. This is the complaint I sent:

I am writing to complain about the use of the term ‘sex work’ in an article about sex trafficking, sex slavery, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (‘Spanish police break up Nigerian sex trafficking gang’ published online 23 March 2018).

‘Sex work’ is a partisan term, it is not a neutral descriptor; under any other circumstances, coerced sex is called rape, but when the rapist hands money over to a third party controlling the rape victim, some people try to call this ‘work’. The term ‘sex work’ takes a sexual abuse and sexual exploitation issue, and reduces it to a mere labour issue.

The article in question clearly says that one of the victims of sex trafficking was an under-age girl, which means she was incapable of consenting to sex, and it is therefore entirely inappropriate to describe her rape as ‘work’.

Language matters, the meaning of words matters, the BBC is supposed to be impartial and trust-worthy; by using a contested term like ‘sex work’ in this context (the Europol report uses the terms ‘prostitution’ and ‘sexual exploitation’ only), the BBC is failing to be either of these things.

I received this reply:

Thank you for getting in touch with your comments on a recent article headed, ‘Spanish police break up Nigerian sex trafficking gang.’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-43514125)

On review we agree that use of the term ‘sex work’ may be ambiguous in relation to the 39 women and girls trafficked into forced sex by a notorious Nigerian gang.

We have updated the article to clarify that while they were paid for sex, they were not employed in ‘sex work’ in the traditional sense of a person legitimately employed in the sex industry.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we hope this addresses your concerns.

The line in the article “Gang members forced the women into sex work in order to pay off a 30,000 euro ($37,000; £26,000) debt.” Has been changed to “Gang members forced the women into paid sex in order to pay off a 30,000 euro ($37,000; £26,000) debt.”

It’s not ideal, since ‘paid sex’ doesn’t really communicate fully the reality of being held captive and raped so someone else can receive money, but it’s better than ‘sex work’. I also don’t agree that the sex industry is ever ‘legitimate’ even when it’s legal, but that is a political stance, and I can only ask the BBC to be impartial!

The moral of this story is, it’s always worth complaining to the BBC, they are a publicly funded body, and they are therefore answerable to the British public.

QotD: “Feminists join men-only swim in protest of proposed law to enable people to self-identify as male or female”

Female activists took a group of male swimmers by surprise on Friday evening when they attended a men-only swim session wearing just trunks and pink swimming caps.

Amy Desir, 30, was one of the two women to gain access to the south London pool session, as part of a protest against proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which would enable men and women to choose their own gender.

Both women explained their attendance to staff at Dulwich Leisure Centre by saying they “identified as male” and subsequently had the right to be there.

Amy Desir: ‘Misogynistic and homophobic pro-self-ID policies are allowing men to appropriate women’s spaces, services and positions’ (Amy Desir)

They also used the male changing rooms before going into the session and were later asked by an elderly man if they realised it was a male-only session.

Their actions form part of a nationwide campaign formed on Mumsnet called #ManFriday which encourages women to “self-identify” as men every Friday in protest of the proposed amendments to gender laws, which would enable people to self-identify as men or women.

“The aim of the group is to raise awareness among men of the misogynistic and homophobic pro-self-ID policies that are allowing men to appropriate women’s spaces, services and positions,” Desir told The Independent.

“Most men either aren’t aware of the issue or don’t think it has anything to do with them.”

There are currently 91 women taking part in #ManFriday, revealed the mother-of-two, all of whom self-ID as men every Friday to access men-only spaces.

“We don’t change anything about our appearance, or pretend to be in the process of transitioning, just state that we are men.”

Desir and her fellow campaigners are concerned that the proposed legislation would enable predatory men to abuse women in single-sex spaces by self-identifying as female.

“We want to challenge the idea that sex and gender are interchangeable and for organisations to use the lawful exemptions in the Equality Act to protect the rights, safety, dignity and privacy of women,” Desir added.

“We also want women’s organisations to be consulted on proposed changes to the law.”

From the Independent

The #ManFriday website is here:

Let’s start with this statement: I am not going to justify women having their own spaces. Thousands of women, some I know, most I don’t, fought the fight for women’s spaces before I was born so that I, and other women in the UK today, don’t have to. Thanks to them, women’s rights, protections, spaces, and services exist to facilitate women’s participation in social life by upholding and protecting our safety, privacy and dignity. Programs and offices reserved for women seek to redress systemic discrimination against women that puts us at a disadvantage compared to our male peers.

(read the whole thing, it’s brilliant!)

If you are a UK citizen, you can sign the government petition here (because it is set up via the UK government, they, in theory, have to take notice; it currently has over 8000 of the 10,000 signatures needed).

The government proposes to amend the law to allow people to self-identify as men or women, and to stop allowing organisations in sensitive situations to exclude people of the opposite birth sex. We call for women to be consulted on how to protect women and girls’ rights, safety, privacy and dignity.

We call for:
– Respectful and evidence-based discussion about the impact of proposed changes and for women’s voices to be heard.

– The government to consult with women’s organisations on how self-declaration would impact on women-only services and spaces, data-gathering, and monitoring of sex-based discrimination.

– The principle of single-sex spaces to be upheld – and where necessary extended.

The Daily Mail has reported on this as well, and this quote towards the end of the article is effectively admitting that this is about letting any man into women’s spaces:

Bernard Reed, a trustee of the Gender Identity Research and Education Society, said: ‘This case demonstrates that women may enter men’s spaces, just as men may enter women’s spaces.

‘Simplifying the current unduly onerous and degrading process of obtaining a gender recognition certificate will just make life easier for trans people.’

In a bizarre (not) case of reversal, tans activists are calling these women sex offenders:

While the response from the Mermaids organisation was unsurprisingly daft:

I also found via tumblr, screen grabs that suggest Swim England’s policy was/is that female bodied persons who identify as male can only swim in binders (which they claim is safe, which I can’t believe) or some other covering – women are not allowed to complain about penises in the women’s changing rooms, but breasts in public are obscene! I can’t currently find this on Swim England’s website, but the colour scheme matches, and I did see a tweet saying Swim England was examining its policy.

To finish, here’s another ManFriday tweet:

Keep All-Women Shortlists Female!

https://www.gofundme.com/fighting-for-female-representatives

Comrades, we are a group of Labour women who want to ensure all-women shortlists stay reserved for females and that women’s representation in the party increases. We believe that the election of transwomen as women’s officers and their inclusion on all-women shortlists is reducing and undermining female representation in the Labour party.

We are absolutely committed to trans people, as a marginalised group, living free from discrimination and violence: we need trans representatives, trans councillors and trans MPs in our party. We are socialists and we are egalitarians. However, trans representation must not happen at the expense of female candidates and we are furious that we are having to fight another battle for women’s representation, just 100 years after the suffragette victories.

We have been advised that a legal challenge to the Labour party on this could be winnable. The party has recently allowed males to be elected as women’s officers and males to be selected over females in all-woman MP candidate selections. This has happened because Labour, in practice, has started to define ‘women’ by sex AND by self-identification. Self-id is not legally recognised (as defined by equality act exemptions) whereas sex IS but Labour, nevertheless, relies on these two antithetical definitions of ‘woman’ which is causing a conflict of interests which needs resolution.

As socialists we understand class analysis and we know the most meaningful way to classify women is by sex. Sex, along with poverty, age, disability and race, is one of the major oppressive hierarchies in the world today. Women’s biology has always the basis for our oppression worldwide BY MEN. Feminism is defined as the movement to liberate all women from sex-based oppression.

Self-id also impacts on lesbians and gay men who, by definition, are not homogenderists but homosexuals. Lesbians and gays are currently afforded legal, sex-based protections from discrimination and these are already being diluted by self-id. We believe gender is a manmade, toxic set of stereotypes, used to restrict men and women and we want to see it abolished, not codified into law. We support all gender non-conforming people: be they lesbian, gay or trans. Feminists have always been at vanguard of the fight for people to live their lives in a gender non-conforming way and will continue to do so – but never at the expense of women’s rights and representation.

We do not classify people based on a set of gendered ideals by which most will fail: the superficial markers of clothing, hairstyles and make-up… or by body type, weight, or perceived femininity or masculinity. We do not assess people’s worth by the way they look or speak – women and men succeed as women and men simply by being. The same is true for girls and boys. All girls are acceptable as girls and all boys are acceptable as boys, however they dress, look or behave. We condemn the medicalisation of pre-pubescent kids who are encouraged to take puberty blockers if they play with the ‘wrong’ toys or want to wear the ‘wrong’ clothes. Conservatives see a boy in a dress and want to change the outfit, liberals see the dress as fine but want to change the kid’s body. Socialist feminists want kids to be kids and wear what tf they want.

Every penny of the money we raise will go entirely on our legal funds, we will produce all our bank statements, legal bills and legal updates and upload to this site. We want our donors to make the decisions on how to move forward and we will crowdfund direction as well as money. We will follow where you lead, and will keep in regular contact by email, so we can democratically decide how we do this, what we want to achieve, how we go about it and who we employ to act on our behalf.

Your support will mean a great deal to women, it will mean there are people who care, who have not forgotten them. It will mean they are not politically homeless: we stand with them.

Please do not give more than you can really afford, it’s not necessary… and don’t feel you have to donate – your support and your help in sharing the crowdfunder is enough and IS appreciated.

Any left-over funds will go to fight against self-id, against the medicalisation of children and to keep women’s spaces female-only, specifically: women’s hospital wards, gyny screening, prisons, domestic violence shelters, changing rooms, saunas, spas, sleeper train carriages, scholarships, quotas and national and international women’s sports.

We all know that only the Labour party has the best interests of women at heart. Please help us to overturn the decisions of the party liberals, weather vanes and bureaucrats to prove this is the case. Self-id is a tory manifesto policy for heaven’s sakes… which gives us all an idea of just how bad an idea it is.

Your solidarity is appreciated and ours is eternal.

Jennifer James Garston and Halewood CLP
Anne Ruzylo Bexhill and Battle CLP
Dr. Viv Pointon Derby South CLP
Emma Salmon Bexhill and Battle CLP
Suzanne Weaver Stroud CLP
Pilgrim Tucker Vauxhall CLP
Christine Bayliss Bexhill and Battle CLP
Venice Allan Lewisham Deptford CLP
Samantha Marshall-Cameron. Sheffield Central CLP

https://www.gofundme.com/fighting-for-female-representatives

“Hiding in Plain Sight: The Life and Crimes of Dr John Davies”

Julie Bindel is using Byline to raise funds for her investigation into John Davies:

Teflon John: The Man Who Hid In Plain Sight

This is the story of suspected baby trafficker, pimp, kidnapper, and major charity fraudster John Davies.

It is also the story of a world renowned academic, missionary, gold-hearted philanthropist, and expert in combatting trafficking in women and children.

Which of these two descriptions is true?

After an investigation lasting almost 20 years, Julie Bindel knows the answer. But will you believe her? Or might you prefer the version peddled by Davies and his supporters since the rumours began to circle back in the 1980s?

The intensive 18-month stage of this long-term investigation has been self-funded by Julie. She now needs to secure production costs to make a ten-part series.

The estimated cost per episode is approximately £500. The remaining funds will go to promotion and distribution in order to disseminate the story of John Davies far and wide. Julie is confident that on hearing the evidence against Davies, more victims and witnesses will come forward.

Once the first two episodes are funded, the team will begin to produce them.

Once properly underway, with regular donations coming in, we aim to produce a 20 minute podcast on a regular basis, covering the ten major phases of the story.

Please help fund this vital investigation, where there will be attempts to silence Bindel’s reporting and allow the podcast team to start producing.

You can listen to a taster of this story here: https://t.co/i4BmmJzM69

Julie Bindel is a British journalist, researcher and feminist campaigner. She has written hundreds of articles published by The Guardian, The Independent, The New Statesmen and other news agencies in Britain and around the world.

She has appeared in countless television interviews and debates in defence of feminist perspectives of male violence, and is a co-founder of the law reform group Justice for Women https://www.justiceforwomen.org.uk/

Bindel is sole author of the forthcoming book, ‘The pimping of prostitution – Abolishing the Sex Work Myth’ (Palgrave McMillan, 2017).

Bindel has devoted her working and non-working life to campaigning against male violence – going after the men who murder, stalk, abuse, terrorise and rape women and girls. Equally, she has exposed the structures, cultural, legal and political practises and ideas which lend themselves to the epidemic of male violence, particular the very idea that the bodies of women and girls are things to be bought, sold, acquired and taken in service of male power and privilege.

Read more at:https://www.byline.com/project/68

QotD: “Name the Problem: Male Violence”

Check me out, front and centre! This photo made international news!!

We had a collective of about 20 radical feminists marching for International Women’s Day in Melbourne, and there were enough of us that we could do our own chants and everything (we did a call and response chant of “name the problem” “male violence!”)

There were some anti TERF/SWERFs trying to antagonise us but we just ignored them and stood strong. Really felt like a victory for the radical feminist movement in Australia :~)

Frequently Political

Reclaim the Night!

banner
Reclaim the Night is this Saturday 19th in London! Assemble at Great College Street, SW1P at 6.30pm (Westminster).

Join us for London Reclaim the Night! Close down central London for women, put your feet on the streets to shout a loud NO to rape and all forms of male violence against women.

Violence against women continues to occur every minute of every day, but women everywhere are making a stand. Join us and join millions across the globe who will be marking the annual United Nations Day to End Violence Against Women (25th November) with demonstrations and marches in their own localities.

With ideological cuts threatening the refuge and rape crisis movements in the UK we need to take back the capital to demonstrate women’s support for essential women’s services, demand justice for survivors and spread the message that no woman is ever to blame for male violence against her.

Bring placards, banners, friends and song. March for your friends and family, your colleagues, your daughters, yourself – march for all of us; march for a better world, free from violence and abuse.

London Reclaim The Night is a women-only march. Men who would like to support the event are encouraged to help organise and join the Men’s Vigil. Details can be found here.

The Guardian is still calling raped children ‘workers’

This is so frustrating, because these reports are important (and I will still quote them), but why this insistence on calling sex slavery ‘work’? A raped child is not a worker, a raped adult is not a worker, rape is not a labour issue, it is a sex abuse issue.

Criminal gangs are taking advantage of Europe’s migration crisis to force more people into [commercial sexual exploitation] and other types of slavery, according to an EU report on human trafficking.

Children have become a preferred target for traffickers, the report warns, amid growing concern over the fate of unaccompanied child refugees who have disappeared from official view since arriving in Europe.

Almost 96,000 unaccompanied children claimed asylum in Europe in 2015, about one-fifth of the total number of child refugees. But at least 10,000 unaccompanied children have dropped off the radar of official agencies since arriving in Europe, the EU police agency reported in January. German authorities reported earlier this year that 4,700 children had been lost to officials, while up to 10 children a week are reported missing in Sweden.

The report from the European commission, which will be published on Thursday, does not attempt to estimate how many may have fallen victim to criminal gangs, but warns that the phenomenon of child trafficking “has been exacerbated by the ongoing migration crisis”. Children are at high risk of being doubly victimised, it says, because they are treated as perpetrators of crimes if they are found by the authorities.

“Organised crime groups choose to traffic children as they are easy to recruit and quick to replace, they can also keep under their control child victims relatively cheaply and discreetly,” states an EU working document seen by the Guardian. Trafficked children aged between six months and 10 years are bought and sold for sums ranging from €4,000 (£3,000) to €8,000, although amounts of up to €40,000 have been reported in some cases.

EU authorities registered 15,846 victims of human trafficking in 2013-14, including 2,375 children, but the report’s authors believe the true number of victims is far higher. More than two-thirds (67%) of people were trafficked into [commercial sexual exploitation]; about one-fifth (21%) were put into forced labour, often as agricultural workers, a form of slavery that disproportionately affected men. The remainder of trafficking victims faced an equally grim catalogue of exploitation, ranging from domestic servitude to forced begging.

[…]

Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP, said official statistics on this “vile trade” were just the tip of the iceberg. Victims of trafficking come to official attention when they are arrested or escape, she said. “Very, very few are rescued by the authorities and for me that is shocking.” Too often, police forces “see the crime, not the person, they see them as illegal immigrants”.

The MEP, who spearheaded an anti-trafficking resolution in the European parliament last month, said EU authorities needed to do more to rescue victims and help them recover.

EU law requires countries to provide victims of trafficking with at least 30 days of recovery, including accommodation, medical treatment and legal advice. The UK offers a 45-day “reflection period”, when the person cannot be deported.

The MEP would like to see a longer period for recovery. Highlighting the plight of people sold into in sex slavery she said: “We are much better now at treating people who are raped and give them the protection of the law, but these girls have been raped night after night after night. I think we should be prepared to give them longer support of reflection and more support in rebuilding their lives.”

She also urged governments to get to grips with the migration crisis. “When the migrants land on Europe’s shores, when they are not properly looked after, they are absolutely ripe victims for the traffickers.”

Full article here.

I am emailing the Guardian again, feel free to use as a template.

Dear Editors,

I am writing to you, yet again, to complain about the use of the term ‘sex work’ in relation to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (in the article “Human traffickers ‘using migration crisis’ to force more people into slavery” published 19/May/2016).

A raped child is not a ‘worker’, and child rape is not a ‘labour’ issue, calling child rape ‘sex work’ minimises and obfuscates commercialised child sex abuse, and helps legitimise the global sex industry within which such abuse takes place.

There is nothing in the Guardian style guide insisting on calling prostitution or sex slavery ‘sex work’. The guide does say that ‘child pornography’ should be referred to as child abuse images. Therefore a recording of a ‘child sex worker’ doing ‘sex work’ would be an image of abuse, but the creation of that abuse image would just be ‘work’, which is nonsensical.

Earlier this year, Stephen Pritchard, the Observer’s readers editor, altered an article on child exploitation (“10,000 refugee children are missing, says Europol”, published 30/Jan/2016) to remove the term ‘sex work’, stating: “This article was amended on 11 February 2016 to remove the term “sex work” relating to children. Children caught up in the sex trade are victims of abuse.” I hope you will follow the precedent he has set.

international@theguardian.com
politics@theguardian.com
guardian.readers@theguardian.com

Ask the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals to Reject Amnesty International

Librarian organisation CILIP (which stands for the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) have got together with human rights campaigners Amnesty International to announce a major new partnership to celebrate human rights in children’s literature.

It’s going to be called the Amnesty CILIP Honour and will span both the Carnegie fiction and the Kate Greenaway picture book awards.

Beginning with the 2016 medals, a title from each of the prestigious shortlists will receive the Amnesty CILIP Honour, a thumbs up for the books that most distinctively illuminate, uphold or celebrate freedoms. The books receiving the commendation will be able to carry an Amnesty CILIP Honour logo.

The first Amnesty CILIP honour judging panel will include last year’s Carnegie medal winner, Tanya Landman whose book Buffalo Soldier dealt with issues including racism, slavery and gender discrimination.

Amnesty International’s Nicky Parker, said: “Books have a unique ability to inspire empathy, broaden horizons and empower young readers. We hope this award will make it easy to identify books which will teach children about truth, freedom and justice and encourage them to feel they can shape a better world.”

The winners will be announced at the Medals ceremony in June 2016, look out for our gallery of the longlistees for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway when its announced early next year!

(source)

I have drafted an email/letter to send to CILIP, the judges, and the authors listed for the awards (it will need adjusting slightly for the different recipients), please feel free to adapt and use:

Dear _____,

I am writing to ask you to reconsider CILIP’s partnership with Amnesty International for the awarding of an extra honour to nominees of the Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Amnesty International’s recent decision to support the full decriminalisation of the sex industry, in opposition to established international human rights treaties [1] demonstrates that they are no longer legitimate as a human rights organisation.

Amnesty International made this decision in advance of consulting their membership [2], the consultation process was rushed through without giving members time to research and respond [3], and the information given on the abolitionist approach/Nordic model (which decriminalises the prostitute her or himself, while criminalising buyers and third party sellers) was inaccurate and misleading [1].

Amnesty International defined ‘sex work’ in such a way as to exclude anyone who had been abused in the industry [4] [5], and lied about consulting prostitution survivors [1]. The first version of their ‘sex work’ policy was written by a known pimp [1] and the vice president of one of the groups Amnesty International took advice from has recently been sentenced in Mexico to 15 years for human trafficking into the sex industry [6].

Amnesty International’s Nicky Parker has said this about the CILIP award: “We hope this award will make it easy to identify books which will teach children about truth, freedom and justice and encourage them to feel they can shape a better world.”

I would like you to consider how a ‘better world’ is compatible with the objectification and commodification of women’s bodies inherent in prostitution, and I ask you to read this critique from Taina Bien-Aimé , Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women [7]:

“What would happen if every country decriminalized prostitution? Not just the few that have already disastrously done so, but what if every government legitimized pimps and brothel owners and failed to hold men accountable for purchasing human beings for sex? Would the United Nations and its member states launch a #2050 Agenda for Investing in the Sex Trade as a Solution and Sustainable Development for Women and Girls, Especially the Most Indigent?

“What marketing slogans would ensue? Might public agencies launch poverty alleviation campaigns? “First Nations, Indigenous, Aboriginal, African-Americans and Global South Populations: Are you Poor, Young, Incested, Transgendered, Homeless? With our help, the Sex Trade will provide you with shelter, food, free condoms and the opportunity to contribute to your (or a foreign) country’s Gross National Product. No experience or education required.”

“[…] The Afrikaans term apartheid means “apart and aside” and evokes one of the most brutal regimes in modern history. By encouraging governments to enshrine the sex trade as just another potential employer, Amnesty is promoting gender apartheid, the segregation of women between those who deserve access to economic and educational opportunities and those who are condemned to prostitution. Make no mistake: as long as women are for sale, no woman will be viewed as equal in corporate boardrooms, in the halls of legislature, or in the home.”

An early, leaked draft of Amnesty International’s policy paper contained the following claim [8]: ” Sexual desire and activity are a fundamental human need. To criminalize those who are unable or unwilling to fulfill that need through more traditionally recognized means and thus purchase sex, may amount to a violation of the right to privacy and undermine the rights to free expression and health.”

Do you really want CILIP, and the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, to be associated with a group that tells boys that when they grow up, they will have a ‘human right’ to purchase sex?

Do you really want CILIP, and the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, to be associated with a group that tells girls, especially poor girls, that, once they turn eighteen, they will have the right to ‘choose’ prostitution?

I hope you will read my email, and the sources supplied, and re-examine CILIP’s partnership with Amnesty International.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Kind regards,
Abi

[1] https://thefeministahood.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/what-amnesty-did-wrong/

[2] https://www.byline.com/project/3/article/226

[3] https://antipornfeminists.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/qotd-amnesty-international-vote-of-no-confidence/

[4] http://glosswatch.com/2015/08/05/the-amnesty-challenge/

[5] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/09/listen-to-sex-workers-but-which-ones

[6] http://www.faber.co.uk/blog/a-human-rights-scandal-by-kat-banyard/

[7] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taina-bienaime/the-framing-of-gender-apa_b_8273268.html

[8] https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=YW1uZXN0eS5vcmcuYXV8YWlhLWFjdGl2aXN0LXBvcnRhbHxneDo2ZDZhNzFmOTc5YmU1Njhk

The email address for CILIP is: ckg@cilip.org.uk (also copy in mark.taylor@cilip.org.uk, and liz@riotcommunications.com and jon@riotcommunications.com, who are the publicity contacts for the prize)

They also have a postal address: 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE, UK.

Nick Poole, CILIP Chief Executive, can be contacted here: nick.poole@cilip.org.uk and is on twitter @NickPoole1

Dawn Finch, President of CILIP, can be contacted here: dawn.finch@cilip.org.uk and is on twitter @dawnafinch

Sioned Jacques, chair of the judging panel, can be contacted here: sioned.eleri@btinternet.com and is on twitter @sejbookworm

Tanya Landman, one of the judges, can be contacted here: tanyalandman@tantraweb.co.uk and is on twitter @tanya_landman

The Amnesty CILIP Honour is sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). They can be contacted here: alcs@alcs.co.uk

This page has a list of all the nominees for both prizes, I will update contact details in the comments section as I find them:

Sarah Crossan
Frances Hardinge
Nick Lake
Patrick Ness
Kate Saunders
Marcus Sedgwick
Robin Talley
Jenny Valentine
Anthony Browne
Ross Collins
Oliver Jeffers
Mac Barnett
Jackie Morris
Helen Oxenbury
Peter Bently
Chris Riddell
Neil Gaiman (I already know there is no point in contacting Gaiman, he’s a sex-pozzer)
Sydney Smith
JonArno Lawson

That page also tells us:

The winners for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal will be announced on Monday 20th June at a lunchtime ceremony at the British Library

The Guardian is still calling child victims of commercial sexual exploitation ‘sex workers’

In an article posted a few days ago, the commercial sexual exploitation of children was referred to as ‘sex work’.

This is far from the first time the Guardian has used this terminology.

I am writing to the Guardian to complain, for all the good it will do. Please feel free to use the below message as a template.

Dear Editors,

I wish to complain about the use of the term ‘sex work’ in a recent article, describing the commercial sexual exploitation of refugee children in Europe (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/30/fears-for-missing-child-refugees).

It is entirely wrong to refer to commercial sexual abuse as ‘work’, no child can legally consent to ‘sex work’ in any part of the world, including in countries that take a decriminalisation approach to prostitution, and being sexually abused is not ‘work’ by any meaningful measure.

By the Guardian’s own guidelines (http://www.theguardian.com/guardian-observer-style-guide-c), ‘child pornography’ should be referred to as child abuse images. Therefore a recording of a ‘child sex worker’ doing ‘sex work’ would be an image of abuse, but the creation of that abuse image would just be ‘work’.

Calling the commercial sexual exploitation of children ‘sex work’ stops it being seen as a sex abuse issue, and reduces it to a labour issue. It also helps to make invisible the adults actually doing the abuse, and the demand for child victims.

These are the emails I am going to send it too:

international@theguardian.com
politics@theguardian.com
guardian.readers@theguardian.com
observer.readers@observer.co.uk

If you are willing to include a name, address, and phone number, a letter to the editor is possible:

observer.letters@observer.co.uk

(although the article was posted on a Saturday, and has ‘theguardian’ in it’s website address, it appears to be an Observer article)

I will update in the unlikely event I get a response.

EDIT: The author is Mark Townsend, and he is on twitter: @townsendmark

If you are on twitter, please ask him why he is referring to child victims of commercial sexual exploitation as ‘sex workers’, and remind him of the Guardian’s guide lines for reporting other forms of child sexual exploitation (http://www.theguardian.com/guardian-observer-style-guide-c)