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(Pseudo) Child Prostitution Under Legalization

December 27, 2019

Elly Arrow’s series of blog posts and videos on the slippery slope from decriminalizing prostitution to decriminalizing the commercial sexual exploitation of children are extremely important and well researched.

Elly Arrow

“Teenyland” is a brothel in Cologne, a major German city. It’s selling point? All women on offer are aged 18-19, some of them still finishing high school, some of them “only a few days legal” – collectively nicknamed “lolitas”. This of course is not the only brothel where women are asked to playact pedocriminal scenarios, but it is the most blatant example of men seeking to act out child abuse while staying in the legal realm. While it’s often claimed that this is an outlet protecting actual children from harm, this perspective does not consider that the experience is frequently emotionally scarring for the young women – who are disturbed and scared by these “fantasies” – as exited survivors tell us – and statistically speaking are often survivors of child sexual abuse themselves (20 to 41%).

Additionally critics of pedocriminal fantasy affirmation have pointed out that this practice strengthens…

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Will UN Women advocate normalizing prostitution?

October 21, 2019

In a recent article in Passblue, Barbara Crossette reports that UN Women might endorse UNAIDS’ call for the decriminalization of prostitution. In 2016, UN Women held a “consultation seeking views on UN Women approach to sex work, the sex trade and prostitution.” In their call for submissions, UN Women wrote, “Currently UN Women does not have an explicit policy position with regard to sex work, the sex trade or prostitution and is in the process of developing such a position. . . . This work will feed into a policy paper that is expected to be made public in 2017.”

As of October 2019, that policy paper has yet to be made public.

I’ve written previously that decriminalizing prostitution, as advocated by UNAIDS, would be a human rights catastrophe for girls and women, and that the claim that decriminalization would reduce the spread of HIV is based on more on science fiction than on science.

 

The belief that decriminalizing prostitution will slow the spread of HIV is based on science fiction, not science.

February 4, 2019

Nordic Model Now! has posted a great piece debunking the myth that the Nordic Model impedes the global campaign to slow the spread of HIV. The essay critiques the reliability of mathematical models that claim that fully decriminalizing the flesh trade will slow the spread of HIV.

In an earlier post on this website, I showed that the unrealistic assumptions behind one of the most often-cited models render its predictions no more reliable than wishful thinking.

When assessing the integrity of such models, it’s important to identify the donor who funded its creation. It’s my impression that mathematical models are created to grant scientific authority to political agendas.

Favorite progressive podcasts

December 8, 2018

It’s been two-and-a-half years since I posted a list of my favorite progressive podcasts.  In that time, podcasts have become an even more important source of news and views that the mainstream media won’t report. Podcasts’ value became even clearer last week, when CNN’s celebrity hosts and recycled panelists wasted three hours speculating about the contents of Mueller’s redacted document about Mike Flynn.

Here are my favorite podcasts:

CounterPunch Radio with Eric Draitser (@stopimperialism)

Intercepted (@intercepted) with Jeremy Scahill (@jeremyscahill)

Eyes Left Podcast (@EyesLeftPod) with Spenser Rapone (@punkproletarian) and Mike Prysner (@MikePrysner)

Citations Needed (@CitationsPod) with Nima Shirazi (@WideAsleepNima) and Adam Johnson (@adamjohnsonnyc)

The Ralph Nader Radio Hour with Ralph Nader (@RalphNader)

Scheer Intelligence (@scheercast) with Robert Scheer (@Robert_Scheer)

Under the Skin with Russell Brand (@rustyrockets)

The Hartmann Report with Thom Hartmann (@Thom_Hartmann)

Unauthorized Disclosure (@UnauthorizedDis) with Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) and Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola)

Media Roots Radio  (@MediaRootsNews) with Abby Martin (@AbbyMartin) and Robbie Martin (@FlourescentGrey).

 

In Winners Take All, Anand Giridharadas critiques the benevolence business

December 6, 2018

 

Anand Giridharadas’s Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World is a courageous, scathing critique of the social reform and international development efforts of billionaire philanthropists and corporations.

Giridharadas argues that such efforts don’t reduce inequality because, “when elites assume leadership of social change, they are able to reshape what social change is—above all, to present it as something that should never threaten winners.” (p. 8) Quoting OECD leader Angel Gurria, Giridharadas writes, “Elites have found myriad ways to change things on the surface so that in practice nothing changes at all.” (p. 9)

To explain and illustrate how the elite’s efforts fail to address structural causes of poverty and inequality, Giridharadas provides several examples. He describes a meeting of the Open Society Foundations’ Economic Advancement Program’s advisers in which, “the issues . . . would be presented in the business way, in the form of slides with graphs and charts. The question of building more inclusive economies would be atomized into endless subcategories, until the human reality all but vanished. The fundamental problems would grow almost unrecognizable. Justice and inequality would be converted into problems the private equity executive was preeminently qualified to solve.”(p. 132)

Giridharadas argues that the protocols by which McKinsey consultants analyse corporate problems are not suitable for analysing social challenges. He writes, “Our age of market supremacy has blessed the protocols with a remarkable change of fortune: They have evolved from being a specialized way of solving particular business problems to being, in the view of many, the essential toolkit for solving anything.” (p. 139) The problem, according to Giridharadas, with using the protocols for analysing social problems is that, “problems reformatted according to the protocols were recast in the light of the winner’s gaze. After all, the definition of the problem is done by the problem-solver and crowds out other ways of seeing it.” (p. 142)

Giridharadas’s cites the final Clinton Global Initiative’s one-sided panel discussions to demonstrate that private social reform efforts fail to address poverty and inequality because they exclude divergent perspectives and voices: “The organizers of this final CGI, held in the throes of the antiglobalist revolt, decided that a panel on the topic was a must. And the organizers evidently concluded that the panel should consist entirely of globalists, with no one representing the other side.” (p. 214)

Giridharadas devotes much of the book to examining the sycophancy of thought leaders, to show how the elites reward the generation and promotion of winner-safe prescriptions for social change.

An example of the winner-safe social-reform approach is the Open Society Foundations’ campaign to empower women by normalizing prostitution, which I critiqued in an earlier post. The foundations advocate decriminalizing pimping, brothel keeping, and the buying and selling of sex, ostensibly to protect the human rights of prostituted women, even though a foreseeable consequence of decriminalizing the flesh trade is that many girls will be removed from school and sent to brothels against their will, thereby undermining one of development’s widely recognized imperatives: increasing girls’ educational attainment. The Open Society Foundations prefer the winner-safe path of normalizing prostitution rather than increasing taxes on corporations and the ultra-wealthy and then using such revenue to strengthen social services that would reduce the pressure on women to sell sex for survival.

Frank Giustra of the Giustra Foundation wrongly criticizes  Giridharadas for not offering solutions to the problems presented in Winners Take All. Giridharadas does propose solutions. To more equitably distribute the gains from the increasing productivity of the workforce, Giridharadas calls for “tighter regulations on trading, higher taxes on financiers, stronger labor protections to protect workers from layoffs and pension raiding by private equity owners, and incentives favoring job-creating investment over mere speculation.” (pp. 40-41)

In recent podcasts, Giridharadas discusses Winners Take All with Robert Scheer and Ralph Nader.

What does full decriminalisation of the sex trade mean in practice?

June 25, 2018

This piece by Nordic Model Now provides a thorough overview of the consequences of complete decriminalisation of the sex trade.

Nordic Model Now!

This article explains briefly what full decriminalisation of the sex trade (or decriminalisation of sex work as its sometimes called) means in practice. This supplements the bullet points on our white flyers with background information and references to research, etc.

A fully referenced version of our purple and orange flyer about the Nordic Model is available here.

Each point relates to the real world impact of full decriminalisation. The points are listed below in bold, followed by an explanation and links to further information and supporting research.

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QotD: “#MeToo must include prostitution”

June 1, 2018

This post raises the extremely important point that the human right to a workplace free from violence and sexual harassment is universal. Prostitution should be abolished because it is commodified sexual harassment.

Anti-Porn Feminists

The #MeToo groundswell of women who are challenging everyday sexual predation by men is consciousness-raising and courageous activism that will hopefully benefit all women. Men’s money and power coerce women’s submission to sexual harassment both in and out of prostitution, in Hollywood, in Silicon Valley, in Ford auto factories, in the California and Massachusetts and U.S. Senates, in domestic service, and everywhere else on the planet. But does this wonderfully expanding big-as-the-sky-sized basket of women’s voices include women in prostitution? Is their “me too” welcomed? Is the prostitution of women in pornography included in #MeToo?

Sex trade survivors’ voices are essential to a discussion of sexual harassment, rape, and male supremacy because their experiences are that of tolerating sexual harassment and rape and verbal abuse in exchange for money or goods or something else of value. Sometimes the “something of value” that is exchanged for sex acts is food or…

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