torsdag 23 januari 2014

Puritan Winds in Europe - Part II

The European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee (Damn what a long name) want to force the Swedish Sex Purchase Model upon the rest of Europe. In the latest issue of International Business Times UK, the journalist Hannah Osborne assert that:
The Nordic model has proved highly successful in Scandinavia, where countries generally have a high level of gender equality and acknowledge the problems of exploitation within the sex industry. The laws have also been supported by survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking.
This suggestion is not only wrong. It is a pure lie. First, the Swedish [not Nordic, please do your research before publicing an article] model has not "proved highly successful in Scandinavia". Three Nordic countries has adopted this model (Sweden, Norway and Iceland), two countries has rejected it (Finland and Denmark). In Sweden more and more concerns are raised of how it is making life harder for sex workers, not for sex buyers, how it is creating a large black market and funds organized crime and how badly it fits with human rights. In other words: It is creating problems of exploitation within the sex industry, not solving them. In Norway, the new government has promised to abolish the unpopular law. Second, the law was created without asking the sex workers how they felt about it. The law was pushed through by politicians and influantial people from the universities and media (like the Committee and International Business Times). The sex workers were fully excluded from the process and still are excluded from all public discussions. They have become persona non grata because of this law. Untouchables. Not like in Germany (which in the article is presented as an example of "failed policies") where the sex workers are fully included in the debate. The author of the report recommending the EU adopting the Swedish model, Mary Honeyball, Labour MEP for London, says:
This is a fantastic outcome. It will form a key part of the sea-change taking place in the way we view prostitution across Europe. We are now a step closer to an approach which recognises the fundamental injustice that takes place when a man buys a women's body
That is exactly the problem: No one is buying anyone's body. Not more than the visitor to a hair salon is buying the hairdressers body or than the home builder is buying the carpenters body. Viewing other people as commodities is inrespectful and unjust. And it's not the buyers of sexual services who are guilty of this disrespect. It is the members of the Committee and the author of the quoted article. It is also outermost interesting to note that NOT ONE SINGLE sex worker was interviewed in the article. Maybe sex workers shouldn't be allowed to stand in the way of this grand progress with their annoying insertions? The report can also now be put forward to the full European Parliament to vote on. This will take place at one of the Strasbourg plenary sessions in February, most likely during the week starting the 24th. Don't expect the Parliament to ask the sex workers how they feel about other people messing with their lives.
More on this topic here.

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