“That is the whole purpose of the sex industry, however. It removes from women their womanhood and turns them into mechanical objects of sexual pleasure who accept a large number of penises every day to satisfy men’s desire. This legislation now focuses on men, and it is extremely radical.”
When I read the above comment which was part of a speech made in the House of Commons on the passing of the Policing and Crime Bill by Denis MacShane MP I actually laughed. Not because I doubted the misplaced sincerity but at the pomposity. How anyone can actually believe this image of sex work is the only reality for sex workers after all the arguments and evidence presented to MPs and the Lords on sex work and sex workers experiences is beyond comprehension. I know first hand the effort made by sex workers and independent academics to try and make the government see sense but to no avail. Instead the policing and crime bill passed and attitudes that are a throw back to Victorian times are now confirmed in law. The vitriol levelled toward men in the statements from Denis MacShane and others like Harriet Harman is reactionary and mocks the very idea of sexual equality which we are told is the reasoning behind the legislation. Ostensibly the legislation lays the blame on men for wanting to buy sex but it subliminally tells women that they are defenceless victims who have to be protected from men, or is it from themselves? Blaming men for being sexual and the sex industry is not helpful in creating an equal society but rather restates and further institutionalises an ancient idea of feminine vulnerability. When you chastise men for being sexual you are not creating gender equality but rather imprisoning both women and men emotionally and physically by imposing moral restraints that once more force women into adopting safe prescribed roles of virgin, mother or fallen woman. It is Victorian values for the modern age.
I wonder if Denis MacShane still covers the legs of his tables at home in case they prove to be too suggestive to visiting men’s animal lusts and excite them into adopting lewd and lascivious behaviour. If he did I would not be shocked. I wonder if he and Harriet Harman and the others have actually met a sex worker or at least one they have actually listened to. I wonder if they have ever taken the time to even visit a brothel. I would guess however that they would never sully themselves preferring instead to listen to distortions and aberrations on sex work that confirms their prejudices. Denis NacShane, Harriet Harman and Fiona Mactaggart and others are not interested in justice but rather in their moral perceptions of right and wrong. The law is their tool to impose their values regardless of the consequences to those trapped by those laws. In the case of Harriet Harman and Fiona MacTaggart they represent the voice of privilege, the voice of womanhood who know only how to speak for the sisterhood but not how to listen. They are both the modern miss bountiful determined to care for fallen women but never to invite them to tea or heaven forbid listen to them.
Denis MacShane MP the anti sex work legislation within the policing and crime bill is not radical, far from it. Decriminalisation would have been radical but this is just old prejudices rehashed.