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Sisyphe.org Accueil Plan du site
jeudi 2 juin 2005
Prostitution inseparable of violence against women
DANS LA MEME RUBRIQUE
Burkini Is a Feminist Issue Too
The notion that it’s ok for disabled men to pay for sex is rooted in misogyny and ableism
Egyptian doctor living in Zurich produces educational videos about health and sexuality for the Arab world
Amnesty International and Prostitution : Not in Our Name !
Open letter to rabble.ca - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby
"Insectual - The Secret of the Black Butterfly", by Barbara Sala
Canada’s New Sex Trade Law
Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism
“Harm reduction” is not enough to appropriately analyze prostitution
True Progressives Encourage Women’s Equality, Not Their Prostitution
Sexual mutilations outside Africa : new report and new denial except the Iraqi case
FGM slowing down ? The UN asserts it, the Indonesian case contradicts it
Prostitution, STRASS and the senator - When opacity becomes relevant
Is equating prostitution and rape ‘intolerable violence’ ? Really ?
Obama, Madonna and us
After Ontario Courts rule on Bedford : a rant
Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers July 2011 (Boston)
Sex resistance in heterosexual arrangements
Abolitionists of the prostitution system : who we are, what we want !
Women Living Under Muslim Laws Statement on Libya
Prostitution is a Threat to Humanity
Prostitution - Call for Australia’s prostitution laws to be tightened
Violence - An Open Letter from Black Women to SlutWalk Organizers
Nothing that is sexual can be considered criminal : hidden sexual violence in the DSK case
The Truth about Global Sex Slavery – A Book by Lydia Cacho
Why reproductive rights and prostitution are not the same thing : A response to one decriminalization argument
Prostitution - The abolitionist project within the conference Women’s Worlds 2011
Montreal - The Turcotte jury got it wrong
Reasons I Will Not Go On the Slutwalk
International Sex Industries and their Accomplices Hamper the Autonomy of All Women
Ten Critical Reasons for getting rid of Harper’s Conservatives
Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution
Decriminalize prostituted persons and criminalize those who exploit them (‘johns’ and pimps)
Polygamy in Canada Should Remain Illegal
My fears of the push for indoors prostitution
We cannot be satisfied with the simple harm-reduction model
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is Worried About Himel’s Judgement on Prostitution
Ontario Court Decision Abandons Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour to Pimps
Response to the VPD review in the cases of the Pickton Murders
Speech - The effects of globalization of political Islam on Women’s Rights, the question with polygamy, the Niqab and Honour Killing
Quebec Forges Enlightened Trail on Burkas
Breast Cancer a Disease, No a Marketing Opportunity
The International Campaign To Closedown Iranian Embassies
Violation of rights in Iran, a window from my experience to a broader picture
"Sex worker" ? Never met one !
The One Million Signatures Campaign has been awarded the prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation
Prostitution - Feminist Perspectives, a book
Prostitution : Violating the Human Rights of Poor Women
More than 1 000 american historians call for equity in the stimulus package in open letter to Obama
Order of Canada Awarded to Dr. Morgentaler - Acts of intimidation should not rule Canada
Femaid report on Afghanistan, May 2008
Time for Quebecers to be more open : Bouchard-Taylor report
Canadian Bar Association supports strengthening equality in the Quebec Charter
Zero Tolerance for Johns : How the Government of Sweden Would Respond to Spitzer
Politicians are responsible for toxic, misogynist environment facing girls
Spitzer - The Myth of the Victimless Crime
Goodbye To All That (#2)
The freedom to never prostitute oneself
NO legalized brothels for the Olympics 2010 - Aboriginal women’s Action Network statement on prostitution
CLES says NO to the violence of prostitution
Does Porn Make the Man ?
A Trip Into the Absurd
Mothers File International Complaint Against United States
Prostitutes are victims, not criminals
Anthology of Québec Women’s Plays in English Translation, Volume I (1966-1986)
The Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES) intervene during the upcoming provincial election
Prostitution - Three Women and a Debate
Men Favour the Apolitical Discourse on Prostitution
The Whole Truth Must be Told : Sylviane’s testimony on her experience of prostitution
Democracy and Religious Obligations : an Impasse ?
What is liberation ? Feminism past, present and future
Books by Andrea Dworkin
Globalization, Militarism and Sex Trafficking
Muslim Groups Denounce the Cultural Relativism of a Certain Left
Canadian Muslim leader alleges her veil views sparked vandalism
Prostitution : CATW’S Post-World Cup Statement
NOW to denounce so-called parental alienation
Prostitution : for an Abolitionist Bill
The dimensions of trafficking for purposes of prostitution
"Charm is a Guise ; Batterers Belong in Jail, Expert Says"
Interview with Catherine MacKinnon : Are Women Human ?
Danish cartoons - Doing away with the Enlightenment ?
It’s happening next door : from incestuous girls to alienating mothers
Green Light for Pimps and Johns
Buying Sex is not a Sport
Prostitution is Violence Against Women
The Ideal Site for the Crime
Tell me, what does "gender" really mean ?
Gunilla Ekberg : « The best thing we can do for our sisters is to support them to get out of prostitution »
Interview with Catharine A. MacKinnon : « They haven’t crushed me yet. »
Decriminalizing prostitution, a magnet for pimps and johns
Declaration on Religious Arbitration in Family Law
Prostitution : Towards a Canadian policy of abolition
The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences
Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada
270 000 $ granted to Stella for a four days event on sex work
IN MEMORIAM : Andrea Dworkin or The passion for justice
Decriminalizing prostitution will not improve the security of prostituted women
Dworkin - Taking Back the Night
Backlash and Whiplash : A Critique of Statistics Canada’s 1999 General Social Survey on Victimization
Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution ?
The Need for a Public Debate on Prostitution and its Social Consequences
The legalization of prostitution and its impact on trafficking in women and children
Prostitution Links, Women’s Justice Center
"If you don’t take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits"
Sweden Treating Prostitution as Violence Against Women
Forced marriage as crime
Why Women Must Get out of Men’s Laps
International Campaing Against Shari’a Court in Canada
Decriminalize prostituted women, not prostitution
Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution
Fathers’ Rights Groups in Australia and their Engagement with Issues in Family Law
Women Rage Against ’Rape’ in Northeast India
Sexual domination in uniform : an american value
Tribunals Will Marginalize Canadian Muslin Women and Increase Privatization of Family Law
The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war
Queer theory and violence against women
The Legalisation of Prostitution : A failed social experiment
Globalization and the Sex Trade : Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children
Will Paternal Paranoia Triumph ?
Ode to Survivors
Court confirms any woman’s human right to organize with peers
Program produces motherless kids
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One)
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two)
Elisabeth Badinter distorts feminism the better to fight it
Prostitution : Rights of Women or Right to Women ?
The "Stolen Feminism" Hoax : Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes
Hormone Replacement Therapy, the "Magic Bullet" Ricochets
For the sake of the children : the law, domestic violence and children contact in England
Friendships between women good for health
Children of divorce need our protection
Divorce Bill’s flaws inadvertently aid abusers
Problem isn’t little boys, it’s little minds
A report from Status of Women Canada about the discursive denial of gender inequalities
Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution
Poem for Peace
Peace Rally Speech of a 12 year old American Girl
Good clone, bad clone ?
Canadian Women’s Health Network
So hard to say goodbye
I’m the regional representative for B.C. and the Yukon of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres. I’ve been working with victims of rape and sexual assault since 1973, so I embody much of the Canadian history of the development of rape crisis centres and transition houses. I’m now part of the national decision-making body of CASAC, which includes CALACS from Quebec and other individual member centres. I am newly elected by the Canadian Women’s March Committee to the international committee discussing prostitution.
What I would like to talk to you about, though, is that I think the current discussion in the Canadian situation has everything to do with changes in Canadian governance and the economic situation in Canada. It has much more to do with that than with the issues of prostitution that were being discussed during the Fraser commission. I think this is perhaps the most important thing that needs to be considered.
For five years I have received research funds from the Department of Justice for a five-year, cross-Canada project examining how cases of violence against women manage to be pushed out of the criminal justice system. How is it that we have such a low conviction rate ? How is it that so many are pushed off stage ? During the course of that research, it has been made clear to us that the changes in governance in Canada are a big factor in what’s going on in the prostitution discussion as well as in the criminal justice discussion. That project is called LINKS. Its report will be out by the end of 2003. It will be released in Vancouver. It examines the changes in Canadian governance that have meant not only a complete change in the relationship to NGOs, particularly women’s groups, but it also talks about the loss of welfare as a level of redistribution of income within Canada, not as a service. It talks about the promotion of prostitution, which is how I would now categorize the political process we’re part of.
Prostitution and neoliberalism
The changes in the informal economy are evident in every major city. There are now more women—and young women and young men, but I’m speaking particularly about the situation of adult women—on the street than there ever have been in my lifetime. It is a phenomenon that cannot be separated from the changes in the economy, including the loss of welfare and the loss of the public sector. It’s not for me to talk about the loss of the public sector. I think other people can do that much better. But from answering a crisis line and being in a transition house and a rape crisis centre—which I still do every day, and that’s where my work is centred—I can tell you that it is impossible not to recognize the relationship between the changes in the economy and what’s going on with prostitution. That’s the first thing I want to say. Unless you go looking for it, I don’t think you’ll hear that in this discussion.
The research will substantiate some of what I’m saying, but I largely have to bank on the fact that I have a lifelong reputation of doing this work and I do know some things. You can take that for what it’s worth.
Legalization of organized crime
I can tell you very clearly that we are pushing numbers of people out from under the law-and-order agenda, which I’ve always worried about. We are now pushing more and more people out to the rule of motorcycle gangs and criminal elements of that sort. Organized crime is a serious phenomenon in the major cities and in relation to prostitution. I don’t know how anybody can think we’re going to change exit services, the policing of violence against women, and prostitution without dealing with this issue. It is a matter of governance. It has been dramatic in the major cities, but it has also been dramatic in cities as small as Winnipeg. I think it would be foolhardy to make recommendations about prostitution that do not take those issues into account.
My original position on prostitution was that we should immediately decriminalize in order to protect the women. I am now not so sure that’s the right thing to do at this moment. With the absence of services and funding and with the cuts and the devolution of powers, I am very worried that decriminalization will simply abandon women in very large numbers to the streets of the urban centres, where they will be pushed around for the purposes of real estate. I can’t say this strongly enough. I think the context is entirely different from the last time we discussed this issue. So I would urge you not to make any decriminalization moves that don’t take into account that you are in essence legalizing a huge threatening trade. I urge you to think about this as a growing industry that is completely beyond regulation. If you decriminalize, you remove the largest power we have to deal with that industry. This is my worry. It has also been articulated by people working in other countries. I’ll give you some websites and contacts with regard to other people’s research on that.
A question of women’s human rights and of the redistribution of income
We held a forum in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago. In Vancouver, the city government was elected because the public is very concerned about the plight of the people in the downtown eastside. I think it’s important to recognize that no government has been given a mandate to end welfare. No government has been given a mandate to carry out the destruction of services that have actually been carried out. In Vancouver we’ve gone even further. The city government was elected to help solve the problem of the ghetto. It was out of people’s goodwill that they were elected. It is, of course, cynical politics since I don’t see how that city government has any chance of actually affecting the income of those people or the problems they’re facing. That’s exactly what you will be generating if you devolve this problem to the city level. Cities cannot cope with this issue.
It’s a basic issue of women’s human rights and of the redistribution of income. It’s a basic issue of what we are all entitled to as human beings, including the protection of the state. I urge you not to take it out of that context. That’s my strongest message. I can back it up with statistics and contacts. I wanted to communicate that concept. This is not 1970. In 1970 I argued decriminalization. I’m saying to you now think twice. Be very careful about this.
Lee Lakeman’s testimony for the Subcommittee on Solicitation Lawsof the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
On Sisyphe, June 13, 2005.