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Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution
Letter to the community of lesbians and queer 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
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
Prostitution inseparable of violence against women
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
We are a group of lesbians in Vancouver who have been active in the women’s movement. We have noticed the growing trend to support legalization or full decriminalization of prostitution amongst many people concerned for the safety and well-being of prostituted women and men. While we support the decriminalization of prostituted people, we believe this must be done in the context of prostitution abolition, including the continued criminalization of buyers, sellers, procurers and traffickers. We are writing this letter to the community of lesbians and queer women in which we live because we believe lesbians and queer women have an interest in supporting women’s sexual autonomy.
Legalizing prostitution is not true solidarity with prostituted women or with the cause of women’s sexual autonomy. Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution and for greater sexual choice for all women. Here’s why :
1. Prostitution enforces compulsory heterosexuality by teaching men that they have the right to access women’s bodies on their terms and to expect prostitution-like behaviour from other women. Lesbianism, by contrast, can create more sexual autonomy for women by providing an alternative for some women that is also an example to society of sexuality that is not male-controlled.
2. Prostitution is connected to other forms of coercive sexuality in that johns and pimps use their power in the form of money, male sexual privilege and/or violence to choose the nature of the sexual encounter – much as men do in rape, battery and incest. Many prostituted women have survived rape, battery and incest prior to entering prostitution.
3. Sexual autonomy for women also requires economic autonomy – prostitution provides neither.
In prostitution, a man has to pay only once to get what he wants, but a woman has to sell many times a day to get what she needs or to meet the expectations of her pimp or the brothel manager. Outside of prostitution, the condition of women’s work is already often menial, insecure and leaves many women dependent on men and therefore vulnerable to men’s violence, especially women who are racialized, indigenous and/or poor. To use
Real economic equality would not require that women marry, accept sexual
4. The rights of gay men must not trump the rights of women. Some “feminists,” such as those at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, have described the bawdy house laws as harmful because “these same prostitution laws have been used in particular against marginalized communities,” meaning men who owned, operated and patronized gay bars such as
5. The law is rarely used to protect women now, and neither will it be if prostitution is legalized or decriminalized. The police and criminal justice system are likely to treat prostituted women in the situation of legalized prostitution in the same way they treat raped, battered, and prostituted women now : providing little enforcement of rape and assault laws, conducting minimal investigations, and judging next to no convictions against the men committing the violence. Over the last five years in
Lesbians and queer women expect to be able to call on the law to protect
6. Prostitutes and lesbians/queer women are in some senses co-outsiders to the sexual norms of society. Names like “dyke”, “slut”, “whore” and “cunt” are used interchangeably against us. But, the responsibility of lesbians and queer women to prostituted women is to demand that all women have sexual autonomy, and therefore not have to engage in prostitution.
7. In terms of choice, prostitution is the opposite of lesbianism. Lesbians and queer women want and in many ways are able to choose all kinds of things about our lives : how we dress, who we love, how we have sex. Prostituted women do not have these same kinds of choices. The choices
8. Lesbians know that sexual experience conditions sexual desire. This has been our experience of becoming lesbians and queer women. We also know that many women who have survived incest, battery, rape and prostitution have chosen to be lesbians and queer as their sexual expression. We do
We chose to be lesbians and queer women as an expression of our love for women, our love of being women and our desire for equality.
This choice has been, for us, expansive because it has given us a
Legalizing or fully decriminalizing the buying of sex, as the recent Himel decision has the power to do, leaves us all more vulnerable to sexist harassment and constrains our choices and opportunities. Accepting
On Sisyphe, February 21, 2011
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Kathleen Piovesan, Jacqueline Gullion, Erin Graham
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