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Over on the Economist there is a debate on prostitution http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/572 I know it has already been mentioned on Harlot’s Parlour. As a client of sex workers I can see where Mellisa is heading, decriminalise sex workers and criminalise me, the Swedish Model.
As is usual entrenched opinions abound in the debate and the fake research from Mellisa is quoted as gospel truth by the abolitionists. There is one commentator Numenoreans who has tried to show how Mellisa chose a very skewed sample of subjects to analyse, she chose war torn, drug barron countries, deprived street walkers from the worst areas, and drug rehabilitation centers. That same commentator tried to debunk the fact that the average age of entry into prostitution is 13, and then 11. No matter what anyone says, the research papers on Adoleseant Prostitution, are used as evidence of the average age of entry into prostitution.
I wanted to quote a couple of gems from around the world.
One sex worker who was a subject of Mellisa’s PTSD study wrote this, I quote a sample of it.
One person commented that her samples were biased; perhaps but that is not really the problem! If what the participants says does not suit her thesis, she just changes it and says, “well you were abused so you can’t really speak for yourself” or some other such thing (like she did of the brothel workers in her book on the so-called trafficking in legal Nevada brothels). She just did not like what we had to say about working there so she discounted it.
As someone who was a part of her PTSD study, I felt so discounted and violated by Ms. Farley. Ms. Farley left me traumatized. It was as if I had no voice. She robbed me of my agency and said flat out to my face that I was not in control of my life (which was a lie) and therefor anything positive I had to say about sex work was invalidated and she was not interested in it.
Another group of sex wokers from Camboia wrote this, sex work used to be legal in Cambodia, pressure from the USA on trafficking caused their Government to make prostitution illegal.
We are sex workers from Cambodia- our live and our industry have been ruined by the anti-trafficking industry. We used to work in brothel where we have safety and solidarity after many years of organising as sex workers.
Now we are scattered on the street where it is more dangerous.
We are also sent to rehabilitation centre or to anti-trafficking NGO who hold us illegally and try to “retrain” us.
They try to teach us to sew. Don’t they know that huge numbers of sex workers in Phnom Penh is ex garment worker because garment industry pay is so low and conditions so bad??
The last national count of victim of trafficking in Cambodia, carried out by USAID in 2007, found just 73 women trafficked- but people like Ms Melissa still use figures made up by anti-traffickers that say over 20,000 women and children trafficked in Cambodia.
Now we know the real figures we know there is less than half a trafficked woman for each NGO anti-trafficking shelter in our country!!
Ms Melissa also talk a lot about pimps. The main pimps we see now in Cambodia re people like her- the anti-trafficking industry pimp. Women and men who make their large salary and their NGO or research grant by studying us or by running a centre where they hold us illegally in detention and call it rehab.
We are sick of anti-trafficking pimps!!
We want laws on sex work removed. We want an end to the anti-trafficking industry.
We want real solutions to make our job and our life better.
We want to be recognise as workers and given same rights as other workers.
We want so called feminist to stop treating us like children and to listen to our voice!!!I expect Mellisa will say these two opinions are the work of two pimps.
If you have the time, please take a look at the debate. In the usual entrenched opinions, there are some useful nuggets of opinion. The debate goes on for a few days, with the guest speakers evaluating the evidence, and finally the two antagonists wrapping up.
At this time 81% are in favour of the proposal.