Sunday, November 10, 2013

France: Criminalizing Prostitution

Selma James writes in the guardian on "Sex workers need support – but not from the 'hands off my whore' brigade"

The article states that

"The 343 French intellectual men who signed a statement – "Hands off my whore" – defending their right to buy sexual services has infuriated women and caused wide controversy. Not only does it tell us what they think of sex workers, but of women generally and particularly what they think they can get away with saying publicly at this moment in time.

I have just signed a feminist statement opposing France's attempt to criminalise clients. The proposed law would impose a €1,500 fine on those paying for sex, double for a second offence. My motive for opposing it is entirely different from that of these men – not men's sexual freedom but women's ability to make a living without being criminalised and deprived of safety and protection."

The article ends with

"French sex workers must have the last word. Morgane Merteuil, general secretary of Strass (Syndicat du Travail Sexuel), which campaigns for decriminalisation, told the men claiming to defend them: "We are nobody's whores, especially not yours … If we fight for our rights it is largely to have more power against you, so we can dictate our terms … "

A similar post appeared at Al's Market Design blog yesterday, I guess from the somewhat more conservative telegraph, which is probably closer to the US view on prostitution...

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