Mittwoch, 26. September 2012

Just Don’t Call It Slut-Shaming: A Feminist Guide to Silencing Sex Workers

Reblogged from Feminist Ire

The feminist movement really is in a pickle these days. It used to be a given that things like prostitution, pornography and stripping were bad, but nowadays there’s some resistance to these time-honoured notions. Women are increasingly coming out as sex workers and demanding rights. As feminists seek to shut down strip bars and criminalise clients, those women are complaining not just that they’ll lose their livelihood, but that they’ll be at increased risk of abuse and violence if their industries go underground! You can’t let such trivial concerns get in the way of your crusade, so below are some handy tips for discrediting these pesky meddlers. Remember: being an actual sex worker doesn’t entitle her to speak about sex work!

I don’t believe you; you don’t realise the harm you’re doing to yourself
This is generally your starting point. There you are, explaining that no woman really wants to work in the sex industry, and then some bint pops up claiming that her existence proves otherwise! Aim for the ‘false consciousness’ tactic here: citing statistics from research that the audience doesn’t need to know has been widely criticised by academics, you can imply that you know better than she does what’s good for her. Bonus points for using a strategy also employed by opponents of abortion rights!

a) You think the sex industry is the best thing ever!
b) What you said just proved that sex work is bad!
Keep her on her toes: if the sex worker claims any degree of autonomy or job satisfaction, paint her as a naïve fool who believes that the entire sex industry is a magical fairytale land of flowers, rainbows and sparkly dildos. Your own points about abuses in the industry should outweigh anything she has to say, rather than combining the two to give the audience a greater understanding of the diversity of human experience.
On the other hand, if the sex worker at any point mentions having a bad day at work, outlines the safety precautions she takes, or even jokes about clients with smelly feet, be sure to pounce on this straight away as evidence of the inherent harm of the sex industry. Don’t budge an inch if she tries to point out that none of these things are unique to sex work. It’s different, because it’s sex. Got that? Soon enough, she’ll stop publicly discussing any problems related to sex work, for fear that you’ll use them to call for complete eradication. And once she’s shut up about them, you can safely return to point a). Genius!

You’re only concerned about losing business
Goddammit, what is with these people? You’re only trying to send a message about equality between men and women, and they’re raising hell about disrupted support networks and a rise in violence! But that’s okay. As long as you make them out to be purely motivated by greed, you needn’t actually address the issues they’re highlighting, let alone the reasons why they might need money in the first place. Bonus points if you’re able to employ this one against, say, an escort who’s concerned about the increased vulnerability of street-based sex workers. Don’t for a moment entertain the idea that there might be solidarity across the sex industry.

You’re being paid off by pimps and traffickers
This is a great one. It’s a bit preposterous, but if your audience has already lapped up everything you have to say, you can possibly get away with the notion that the only reason people might disagree with you is that they’re the sockpuppets of shady criminal masterminds.
You’re letting all women down
If, despite your best efforts, the audience seems in danger of accepting that your opponent genuinely chose sex work, experiences it as a relatively worthwhile pastime and, furthermore, has some points that might be worth listening to, quickly play your trump card: it’s not about her, it’s about all women.
Although, once upon a time, feminism was concerned with questions such as “Does lesbianism discredit the movement?” or “If I like painting my nails, buying shoes and sucking cock (for free, of course) am I letting the side down?”, these issues have largely been cleared up in the name of freedom of choice. Luckily for you, though, feminism on the whole does not (yet) look so kindly upon women whose choices include sex work. Keep it black and white and don’t let any nuance get in there. Base your argument here on claiming that the sex industry promotes negative attitudes to women – for bonus points, use objectifying language to describe sex workers while explaining that objectification is bad. You’ve already established that consensual paid-for sex is wrong, so a woman who willingly provides it is clearly a traitor to your gender. Under the guise of ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’, you can proceed to being as nasty as you like to those uppity sex workers: they didn’t listen to you when you warned they were making the wrong choice, so they’ve already forfeited their right to sisterhood.

You’re not representative
Feminism has fought long and hard to dispel stereotypes and push for more rights for all women. Cast that legacy aside for now and focus on the task at hand! You may be advocating a course of action that will affect everybody in the sex industry, but you can still get away with claiming that anyone who doesn’t like it simply doesn’t count. Plus, if you play your cards right, manage to keep the dissenters in their place, and get the law-makers to agree that your ideology is more important than women’s safety, eventually the sex industry really will become a wholly unpleasant place to be. Those who have the means to find other work will at long last understand that it’s time for them to do so, and the only people left will be the ones who were already having a hard time of it and have no alternatives. Then all sex workers really will meet your standards of ‘representative’! It’s a bit of a circuitous route, grinding down a diverse industry until it encompasses nothing more than a homogeneous group of abused victims of pimping and trafficking, with no agency of their own and uniformly miserable experiences. But by then, at least, everybody will be exploited and unhappy, just like you were saying they were all along. You’ll have proved your point. Congratulations, and thanks for your contribution!

Sonntag, 23. September 2012

Gescheiterte Umsetzung des ProstG

Prof. Rebecca Pates von der Uni Leipzig hat eine Arbeit über die gescheiterte Umsetzung des ProstG in Deutschland geschrieben. Darin bestätigt sie, was zahlreiche Sexworker regelmässig erleben müssen: Legales Arbeiten wird bewusst erschwert, weil sich in den Köpfen der Umsetzungsverantwortlichen kaum etwas geändert hat. Anstatt Sexworker als Teilnehmer/innen am Arbeitsleben zu akzeptieren, ist Repression an der Tagesordnung.

Aus dem Abstract:

"...The legislators’ intent was to remove stigma and improve working conditions. This law remains without much effect in practice. In this paper, I try to show why. First, the governments of the Länder refuse (or fail) to pass implementation guidelines. Second, the old logics of interference prevail at an institutional level. And third, individual administrators focus on paternalistic or punitive logics rather than on the guaranteeing of human rights."

Mittwoch, 12. September 2012

Frauen kaufen

Es sagt sehr viel über das Frauenbild von Menschen aus, wenn sie Sex kaufen als "Frauen kaufen" ansehen. Ich verstehe immernoch nicht, wie FEMINISTISCHE Personen eine so zutiefst misogyne Haltung mit sich vereinbaren können. Es gibt vereinzelte Kunden oder besser gesagt Gewalttäter, welche meinen sie könnten Sexworker tatsächlich kaufen. Diese sehen nicht einen Service der geleistet wird, sondern ein "Nutzungsrecht" am Körper und an der Psyche eines anderen Menschen. Das Honorar sehen sie als "Schmerzensgeld", als Erlaubnis vergewaltigen zu dürfen. Wenn diese Ausnahmefälle durch den gezielten Missbrauch von Sprache als Normalität suggeriert werden, fühlen sich potenzielle Gewalttäter in ihrer kranken Sicht bestätigt.

Wenn mit Sex auch im einvernehmlichen Normalfall angeblich die ganze Frau verkauft wird, reduziert man Frauen allgemein, d.h. auch ausserhalb der Sexarbeit, auf diese Funktion. Die Argumentation, Sex sei etwas so intimes dass es dem Selbst näher steht als sämtliche andere Tätigkeiten, zieht nicht. Ob man Sex auf ein Podest stellt und sich Selbst somit darüber definiert ist etwas persönliches, es gibt hier keine "richtige" Einordnung- zumindest für mich können Gespräche, Ideen oder andere Berührungen genauso Intim sein wie Sex. Genauso wie bei Gesprächen kommt es aber auch beim Sex auf den Partner an.

Nicht Sexarbeit reduziert einen Menschen auf die sexuelle Ebene- genausowenig wie jeder andere Beruf einen Menschen auf diesen reduziert- sondern der Umgang in der Gesellschaft und Sprache damit.

Montag, 10. September 2012

Sexwork- Gewerkschaft gegen Ausbeutung

In Genf haben sich 150 Sexworker/innen zusammengetan um eine Gewerkschaft zu gründen. Ziel der Gewerkschaft ist unter anderem, gegen horrende Mietpreise und Lohndumping zu kämpfen.

Man muss nicht lange suchen, um finanzielle Ausbeutung in Form von Mietpreisen oder Honorarabgaben zu finden. 40% des Honorars abzugeben ist branchenüblich, in "suspekteren" Etablissements kommen zahlreiche Extraabgaben hinzu. Diese Abgaben stehen oftmals in keinerlei Verhältnis zu den erbrachten Leistungen durch Bordellbetreiber/innen oder Agenturbesitzer/innen.

Dienstag, 4. September 2012

Ökonomie und Kundenkriminalisierung

Artikel von Emi Koyama, in welchem anhand eines ökonomischen Modells die Auswirkung von "End demand"- Ansätzen auf den Prostitutionsmarkt im unteren Preisbereich beschrieben werden:

(...)"end demand” approach to prostitution, which seeks to reduce demand for commercial sex through public education, prosecution, public humiliation, and other means, may increase prostitution, rather than decrease it, under certain (realistic) conditions.
There are two important assumptions for this claim to be true. First, I assume that prostitution market has extremely low (or negative) downward price elasticity of supply, particularly at the lower end of the market (it makes sense to focus on the lower end, because prostitution market is highly segmented and people at the lower end are the ones most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation), because of lack of viable economic alternatives. Second, I assume that people who trade sex face a trade-off between generating income through sex trade and spending time and energy doing other activities (child-raising, family, community, school, leisure, etc.).
Proponents of “end demand” policies implicitly presume normal (high) elasticity in prostitution market: that is, they believe that a reduction in demand would be met with a comparable reduction in supply, arbitrated by the lower price for sex.
But the supply side of prostitution market (people in the sex trade) are often there in the first place because they lack other viable or comparable economic options, and the reduction of the demand (and hence the price of sex) does not change that circumstance. If many sellers of sex do not have comparable alternatives to selling sex, they will be stuck trading sex for money even if the demand (and hence the price) goes down. That is, supply in prostitution market is downwardly inelastic(...)
“End demand” policies should be rejected because they harm the very people they are intended to help, and does not even succeed at reducing the supply of commercial sex in the long term (and may in fact increase it). Any reduction of demand will be temporary, because as long as there are no other viable economic opportunities, the price will decrease until it reaches a level that can attract enough demand to return. And on top of that, “end demand” policies push away clients (johns) who are relatively safer to work with and draw in those who are most dangerous, as I’ve argued before. The solution to economic desperation and vulnerabilities is to address that economic injustice, not to (make failed attempts to) mask its symptoms.

Hier wird ökonomisch untermauert, was eigentlich schon intuitiv verständlich ist: Wenn es weniger Kunden gibt, entsteht ein Überangebot von Dienstleistern. Gerade im unteren Preisbereich haben viele diesen Beruf ergriffen, weil sie nur sehr begrenzte Möglichkeiten haben- dies wird oft auch von Prostitutionsgegnern argumentiert. Was passiert aber nun mit diesen Menschen? Da sie eben kaum andere Optionen haben, müssen sie länger für das gleiche Einkommen arbeiten, d.h. das Angebot steigt. Damit einhergehend steigt der Konkurrenzdruck, d.h. es werden vermehrt unsafer-Praktiken angeboten und man kann es sich noch weniger als vorher leisten unangenehme oder gar gefährliche Kunden abzulehnen. Dies alles setzt natürlich voraus, dass es tatsächlich weniger Kunden gibt, und sich die Geschäftsanbahnung nicht einfach verlagert, zb. von der Strasse ins Internet.