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I have been meaning to write something about the latest press release from the European Womens Lobby. You can read their latest propaganda initiative “HERE” . It is the usual wildly enthusiastic endorsement of Sweden and claims that because the clients of sex workers are all evil rapists they should be prosecuted as criminals. They also of course claim that evil pimps are trafficking countless thousands of women and girls around Europe/the world to be tied to beds and raped by above mentioned evil clients.
All the above propaganda of course detracts from what should be the real focus of attention which is the prevention of all exploitation, including through human trafficking, whither for domestic service, manual labour or sexual exploitation. Instead of encouraging the focusing of resources on targeting real abuse people like the EWL allow media and politicians to target easy social scapegoats like sex workers to prove they are doing something. While sex workers are being persecuted and victimised the vast majority of real victims of exploitation are mostly ignored. The real crime being committed is that anti prostitutionists are allowed to dominate and perpetuate the trafficking hysteria to justify their moral campaign.
I have spoken (as have many others) about the wild exaggerations used in anti sex work propaganda many times before. The American government own figures for example (and they could be called by many biased against sex work) reckon on 10/14% of human trafficking being for sexual exploitation. But the EWL of course know better and claim that the overwhelming majority of trafficking is of course for sexual exploitation. Their wild claims about our (that is sex workers) victim hood is designed to attract attention. These people know that the media and politicians love a good story about SEX and boy do the anti sex worker lobbyists know how to exploit sex workers.
Who cares about the truth anyway? We all know that Sex stories sell and besides the EWL have an agenda. To pursue that agenda it is of course necessary to ignore and rubbish the voices of real sex workers and perhaps occasionally exaggerate just a tad. This after all is a crusade the EWL are embarked on and like all good crusaders they care little about real sex workers. If real sex workers are hurt by their campaigns so what. It is for their own good and we sex workers have to realise this and understand that if we resist we MUST be punished.
What after all is a little human misery and suffering when you are on a MORAL and RIGHTEOUS crusade.
As Leena Neena asks in her short but excellent post on “the plri blog”
“Who will raise a voice to defend women like me ? Who can stop this in the face of the millions of dollars and euros driving violence against us”.
By Leena Neena
“ The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) has been for years delivering a clear political statement committed to work towards a Europe free from prostitution, by supporting key abolitionist principles which state that the prostitution of women and girls constitutes a fundamental violation of women’s human rights, a serious form of male violence against women, and a key obstacle to gender equality in our societies. The EWL Centre on violence against women is now working on an EWL campaign to deliver a strong message towards a Europe free from prostitution.”
It is beyond belief that this kind of campaign can take place in this day and age. How do these people feel when they sit around deciding to do things like this without speaking to sex workers ? No sex worker, no matter how they came to the sex industry, could mistake what this fist means. It means violence. No doubt the euro feminists fantasise about the punch they are recommending landing on bad men – the fantasy pimps of their imagination – and helping innocent girl victims who also live in their imaginations. But every sex worker knows that every punch lands on her /him no matter what fantasies are in the heads of the punch throwers.
That this is a group that says it opposes violence is a joke. These middle class women who think they know better than us should be made to take responsibility for the violence they advocate. This campaign is what the Americans call ‘ hate speech’ But who will stop it ? Who will raise a voice to defend women like me ? Who can stop this in the face of the millions of dollars and euros driving violence against us.
I wrote the following as a comment to Leena’s article:
I read the press release from this group while shaking my head and wondering why they are so fuelled by hate and how politicians are so taken in by them. I support everything you say although I would add that it is not just women who these people are advocating violence against but male sex workers like myself as well as trans men and women.
You are right; they use hate speech against sex workers and have the support of governments and very powerful institutions who have access to millions of euros/dollars and pounds to further that campaign.
It is shocking that these people have so easily usurped the term feminism to justify their moral crusade. The term justifies and legitimises them to a media that fails to investigate the truth behind the propaganda and politicians too lazy to do their job which SHOULD be to protect all those who are persecuted because of prejudice and ignorance.
The truth however will (we hope) win the day. It just means that sex workers have to be persistent in our campaigning and remain united.