Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Prostitution isn't sexy

Aaron White who works and lives in one of the poorest postal districts in North America,just posted this on his face book, I like it a lot. Particularly because you will often come across a piece in the papers making prostitution seem attractive. I read a quote by one high end call girl who said "Prostitution is one of the few jobs were you can't climb to the top, it's always downhill"

My picture comes from a campaign called The Truth Isn't Sexy

For every attractive middle class medical student who sees it as a way to supplement her educational income there are thousands at the other end.

You can download this as a PDF at End Prostitution Now

Myth 1: Involvement in prostitution is a choice

Reality: Involvement in prostitution is survival behaviour. Involvement in prostitution very often results from lack of choices. The majority of women become involved in prostitution as a result of child abuse, physical and sexual violence, poverty, homelessness, drug dependency and mental health problems.

Myth 2: Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world

Reality: Referring to women involved in prostitution as “working girls” or involvement in prostitution as “working on the streets” negates the real trauma that women experience through their involvement in prostitution. Viewing prostitution as “work” accepts the long-term emotional, physical and mental health problems associated with involvement. It accepts the rape, assault and murder of women. These atrocities against women have often been described as “hazards of the job” and as such include no compensation or accountability from either “purchasers” or the law. Prostitution is neither a profession nor a career. Prostitution is the exploitation and abuse of vulnerable women.

Myth 3: Women involved in prostitution are promiscuous

Reality: Prostitution is not about women wanting or seeking sex. Prostitution for women is not sexual behaviour, it is survival behaviour. Most women describe separating their minds from their bodies, dissociating from the experience in order to cope with what they have to do. Women involved in prostitution are bought by men and are used as objects for fulfilling men’s sexual desires, fantasies and deviances. Women’s involvement in prostitution is passive, often as the result of the threat of, or actual, violence.

Myth 4: Prostitution services a natural need for sex. Men who use women involved in prostitution are lonely and can’t get romantic relationships.

Reality: Men who buy women for sex come from all walks of life; they are married; they have partners, they are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, husbands and nephews. They include bin men, teachers, judges, lawyers, accountants, policemen, labourers and businessmen. They are all ages and races. The above myth presupposes that men have uncontrollable sexual urges that must be fulfilled; herein lies the justification for prostitution. A woman is viewed as an object for sexual gratification. The woman becomes a commodity of the person with the money and the powers. Many women have described being appalled by what is demanded of them and experience deep trauma as a result.

Myth 5: Woman involved in prostitution make lots of money

Reality: The overwhelming majority of women involved in street prostitution live in abject poverty. Money made through prostitution is spent as rapidly as it is gained, usually on buying drugs, for themselves and their partners. When women become involved in prostitution, their drug use often spirals to help cope with what they are exposed to and what they are expected to do. This reinforces their continued involvement in prostitution. Drug dealers make substantial amounts of money from women who are involved in prostitution.

Myth 6: Prostitution is glamorous

Reality: The myth is propagated by media representations of women and the presentation of the “call girl” as a sophisticated, wealthy, jet-setting businesswoman. This could not be further from the truth and is a na├»ve and dangerous representation. All women involved in prostitution, whether indoor or outdoor, five star hotel or alleyway, are at risk of sexual, physical and emotional violence by the men who buy sex.

Myth 7: Legalising prostitution will protect the woman involved

Reality: Legalising prostitution does not improve safety for women. Where legalisation has occurred, areas have developed which have been notorious for crime, particularly drug dealing. Pimps promising protection, in reality, control women and become part of the violence stopping women from leaving prostitution. Brothels can legally advertise for “prostitutes” in job centres and all unemployed women could be sent to interview or benefits could be threatened if they refuse to take up the “job”. Women from poorer countries are likely to be trafficked to areas where prostitution is legal. Legalisation would enable organised crime to prosper.

Myth 8: Prostitution is a victimless crime

Reality: Most women involved in prostitution recount experiences of routine physical and emotional abuse, violent assaults, thefts and sexual abuse. Some women are abducted and subjected to horrendous torture and violence; some women are murdered. Most women involved in prostitution live in fear of crime and do not believe they have equal rights to legal recourse therefore, often do not report the crimes against them. Many women believe that they are responsible for the consequences of their involvement in prostitution, a pattern often seen in victims of abuse.

It is not women's free choice

It is not men's right

It is is not inevitable

You can sign a petition to criminalise the buyers of sex HERE

1 comment:

Jenelle said...

This is such a good resource. I'm going to pass it on to my friends at Oasis USA.