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jeudi 7 avril 2011
International Sex Industries and their Accomplices Hamper the Autonomy of All Women
Address to The People’s Tribunal on Commercial Sexual Exploitation
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
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
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
I want to give my support to the accusations against the global sex industry.
Indeed I observe from my place in the work against sexist violence that the sex industry is guilty of overwhelming overpowering that is dominating our government, our community and our selves.
To see it, we must observe NOT JUST INDIVIDUAL ACTS of sexual exploitation and INDIVIDUAL JOHNS BUT ALSO A GLOBAL SEX INDUSTRY.
Observe that the men of all nations and all classes buy sex.
We know that the men of the north and the west are buying sex all over the world from women of all classes and races because they have the wealth and power to do so unchecked.
There is a hierarchy of exploitation based mostly on sex, class and race and therefore a hierarchy of responsibility based on the same hierarchy.
The industry is a system not just a collection of individuals or individual events of exploitation but a set of destructive human relations and anti-social processes.
I say that prostitution/trafficking is best thought of as Violence Against Women. That is : a control mechanism exercising social economic civil and political control over all women.
As in other forms of Violence Against Women, prostitution/trafficking is a force created by the individual physical acts of each man against each woman.
But the aggregation or sum of the individual parts with the collusion of others is a much greater thing, a complex set of human relations, a much stronger structure a more formidable force of repression.
Violence against women is a system
We know from more than forty years of observing and fighting to end wife assault and rape that each act of sexist violence combines to create a force that terrorizes not only that particular battered, raped or prostituted woman in the present and into her future, but it also makes of her subjugation, an example with which to terrorize even those women who were not attacked, were not battered or raped this time, not this time brought to our knees.
Each successful act of violence against a woman or girl does so.
We observe too that women who are trapped by extremes of age, by marriage, by disability or illness, by poverty and racism are more vulnerable to men who would abuse. They have less escape routes, fewer protectors, fewer safe guards, few routes to justice. So these women are chosen for that sexist abuse.
Women left with the care of dependents ; the old, the young, the sick and the needy will be chosen because men know and exploit that many will endure violence against women rather than abandon their responsibilities to their dependents. This is as true in prostitution as in other forms of sexist violence from incest to abuse of old women.
We know too that each act of violence against women punishes women for acts of freedom. “You are acting like a dyke”, he will say, or “you are being a slut”, or “you should not have dared to be in public’’ ‘out at night”, “to dress like that”, “to flirt” or to “be such an angry bitch”. “You are an unfit mother”, he will say when she refuses to submit in front of her children or “You are a disobedient daughter’’ when she reveals his incest. “You could have been safe’,’ if only you worked for a pimp or took long enough to observe through the car window or ‘’hired personal security‘, ‘’worked indoors’’ and did what you were told.
Alone we fight each man against unequal physical economic and social strength.
In such ways, Violence Against Women is a force that controls individual women preventing their exercise of freedom.
No woman should live enslaved by dependence
Many women are forced to give up their access to the public sphere including their access to public resources and their access to a public and therefore political life.
Violence Against Women is also a force that prevents women from forming and acting as a group to advance.
Together in public life we make demands both in our communities and at the ballot box. We can demand that Aboriginal land claims must be settled, that police come as quickly when called by poor women as well by wealthy women, that men share in the caring work privately but also share by supporting public childcare, public healthcare and public education. We can demand that men share the wealth of the planet with guaranteed livable incomes for each of us so that no woman lives enslaved by dependence. Collectively we can insist that borders must allow women to immigrate and that natural resources are not for corporate exploitation and destruction. Collectively we can enforce legislation that forbids men from exploiting women and children anywhere.
Violence Against Women, including in the form of prostitution prevents women individually and collectively from accessing freedom, from creating freedom, from fighting for freedom.
Violence Against Women including prostitution is both a cause of and a result of women’s oppression and we must abolish it.
What is the sex industry beyond the violence of each man ?
The challenge to this industry implicates voluntary workers, customers, promoters, owners and developers.
It spotlights debilitating human relations and criminally destructive social and economic processes with women as the raw material and prostitutes as the created objects, in which the hyper-sexualization of girls is a necessary industrialized process and human sexual relations are reduced to the crude economics of buyers and sellers.
But there are also observers and witnesses in social processes ; girls watching are taught what to expect of acts of freedom, of sexual relations, forewarned of sexual and economic and social relations to come.
In spite of feminism, women’s liberation is not yet at hand.
In the continued colonization of prostitution/trafficking, Aboriginal girls and women are served up as targets for men’s sexualized rage on reserve and off. Driven from home and land by incest, wife assault and rape, Aboriginal women are trucked to and ghettoized in urban impoverished red light districts, forced to live in public and too often rendered available to “curb crawlers” as “street women”, more valued dead than alive.
In the libratory work of the last four decades, we as a feminist movement have opened education and jobs, sexual rights and reproductive rights to many women. But we did not succeed in pressing the individual men in our lives, in either Quebec or Canada to equally share the work of caring for our parents, our children, each other or of the community.
Just as we achieved those few changes for some women, patriarchy rebounded with a roaring backlash of sexist domination, an intensified globalization of capital and a new wave of global imperialism that stole as many options away. As men transferred their losses to us they widened a chasm of economic differences between women.
As we women in Canada and Quebec became less compliant with sexism, less constrained in our choices, men in our lives more boldly refused to embrace the social transformation to public equality to equal households and egalitarian sexuality.
They still demand that women, any women, but women under sexist control, care for the babies, the old, the sick, the household and the imagined emotional and sexual needs of men.
Unable to press us any further, because of the requirement that we work outside the house and because of our resistance as the women’s movement, they have lent their voices, their political support, their votes, to the government supported profiteering of prostitution/trafficking. Rather than change, they colonize the women of the first nations and import women of the third world to those acts of work and submission.
“Guest worker” and “domestic worker” programs in which Philippine nannies and Latino domestic workers, the Caribbean aids in the old age homes, work without pay equity without the rights of a citizen or any future as a citizen but also work with the constant threat of sexual exploitation.
We watch the Eastern European strippers, the Asian massage parlour workers and Black escorts knowing that the poorest women born among us as well as these imported racialized women are pressed into the squalid acts of feeding male egos and satisfying a distorted masculine sexuality from which we have ourselves barely or only partially escaped.
The profiteers and their hold on our government
Sex trafficking for the purposes of prostitution is now a global trade larger than the traffic for cheap manufacturing labour, supplementing some and larger than the economy of many countries.
The sex industry makes common cause with other global profit making systems of patriarchy. Those systems co-operate to reduce and undermine any power of our governments to regulate and limit, to control or refuse the meanness of capitalism and the viciousness of violence against women.
We have lost control of and access to liveable welfare rates and humane social welfare policies, of progressive intelligent immigration policies, of labour rights and adequate wages and of pension security and legal aid programs, of childcare and old age homes and funds for women’s groups.
Increasingly, the government refuses to protect women from sexist violence saying to us that in this era of privatization, that the government has no obligation to protect and that in fact freedom dictates that each woman hire her own security and then hire lawyers to sue for our rights when that privatization of protection against Violence Against Women fails.
Ideology and propaganda of the sex industry
Patriarchy, including capitalism, is also like a religion and makes common cause with other religions in that it governs with ideas and priests as well as with money and with brute force.
This religion like almost all religions carries some of the same ideas : that women are less worthy, that women and women’s sexuality must be controlled, that men are superior and that the subjugated chose their fates, that those on the bottom choose to be on the bottom.
In this most recent version of Patriarchy, this neoliberal version, we have the religion-like attachment to competitive individualism, to ideas of every woman and man for himself, to ideas of greed as normal, to ideas of corporate bottom lines and gross national product as the only measure of wealth and community well-being and we have ecological global madness at a level unprecedented.
It is not possible to wall off parts of the world for destruction while protecting other parts nor to exploit the women of one part of the world without contaminating social relations everywhere.
The exploitation of other women’s lands and resources force their migration from homelands in the north and outer edges of Canada as well as from the poorest parts of Asia and Africa from the Caribbean and South America.
Patriarchy’s capitalists require governments to assist the subjugation of women and the profit making by providing laws and policies that support that both.
The Harper conservative government today and each provincial government and city government in cooperation with other patriarchal forces have refused to protect women from violence including by refusing to curtail the sex industry. As yet, no party provincial or federal has declared for the abolition of this violence against women. They interfere neither with domestic prostitution nor with international trafficking of women and girls for prostitution.
They repeat shamefully to us that the criminalization of women for the poverty ‘crime’ of being prostituted, whether internationally or domestically, is a matter of desirable ‘law and order’ and the decriminalization of the international sex industry makes business sense.
The humiliation one feels in subjugation may be rendered more bearable in compassion but is utterly transformed in the solidarity of freedom-making action.
The humiliation one experiences in witnessing women’s subjugation is similarly transformed by bearing witness to and participating in liberation.
I accuse patriarchy in the form of the global sex industry of colluding with individual men to overwhelm and overpower individual women in our search for safety and security and freedom.
I accuse the sex industry of overwhelming overpowering and undermining what solidarity we have generated in our communities with nonsense business propaganda about women’s choices and men’s entitlement.
I accuse them of lies to hide power of publishing and distributing defeatist propaganda feigning the helplessness of government to stand up for something more than ongoing exploitation, more than business.
I accuse the international sex industry of overwhelming overpowering and dominating what measure of democracy women have been able to win from governments.
They break with the international instruments and agreements like the Palermo Accord
The international women’s movement and the men of good will mean to assure each other protection for women and girls from commercial exploitation and from government neglect of women and children and to confirm among and between ordinary people, that women have a natural and chosen right to peace and freedom.
Violence Against Women including prostitution will be abolished.
Notes for an address to The People’s Tribunal on Commercial Sexual Exploitation, organized by La CLES, March 2011, Montreal.
Read : "Letter to Canadian MPs and to the Canadian Minister of Justice"
On Sisyphe, April 6, 2011
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Lee Lakeman Lee Lakeman is representative for B.C. and the Yukon of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres. She has been working with victims of rape and sexual assault since 1973 and she is now part of the national decision-making body of CASAC, which includes CALACS from Quebec and other provincial associations. She was newly elected from the Canadian Women’s March Committee to the international committee discussing prostitution.
Lee Lakeman is representative for B.C. and the Yukon of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres. She has been working with victims of rape and sexual assault since 1973 and she is now part of the national decision-making body of CASAC, which includes CALACS from Quebec and other provincial associations. She was newly elected from the Canadian Women’s March Committee to the international committee discussing prostitution.
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