Prostitution: “It is high time to expose and challenge the liberal consensus”

Roger Matthews, professor of criminology at London’s South Bank University, has studied street prostitution since 1985. Julie Bindel talks to him about his new book, Prostitution, Politics and Policy, for The Guardian:

‘It’s abuse and a life of hell’ (2/29/08)

…Matthews completely disagrees with the notion of legalisation. Instead,
he says, the punters should be deterred from buying sex, women in
prostitution should be decriminalised, and a radical welfare strategy
should be put in place to help them out of the trade. “You can’t remove
the abuse and coercion from prostitution, whether legal or not,” he
says, so “the answer is to clamp down on the punters, while helping the
women to get out and stay out.”

…In the book, Matthews describes most women he has met on the streets as
“extremely desperate, damaged, and disorganised”. “Many of these women,
who are supposed to be ‘working’, are obviously off their faces with
drugs and drink,” he says. “Which other ‘profession’ would that be
tolerated in?”

…all but a tiny minority want to stop selling sex…

…Such women are 18 times more vulnerable to homicide than other women,
and suffer regular abuse from pimps, punters and passers-by…

…I thought, ‘These women are just seen as throwaways. They service the
men, serve their purpose, and can then just be disposed of.'”

“…the available research indicates that the motivation of many men is
relatively low, and that in the vast majority of cases it would not
take much to deter them from paying for sex.”

…The book explores the failures of the legalisation of brothel
prostitution. “When governments are seen to be endorsing prostitution,
it leads to a massive expansion of the trade, both legal and illegal,”
says Matthews…

“It is high time to expose and challenge the liberal consensus.”

Let’s now check in with one of the leading promoters of “Massage/Escort” services in Western Massachusetts, the Valley Advocate. Here are ads from the April 17 issue. As you can see, either the Advocate’s proofreader took the week off, or perhaps they are having a bit of fun with our speculations about what codes like g and GFE stand for in these ads. After all, it’s only the lives of prostitutes we’re talking about. Nothing important.

Notice in the second ad the mention of “Greek”. According to Wikipedia, “A call girl who is ‘Greek welcome’ is willing to have anal sex with the client.”

See also:

Prostitution: Factsheet on Human Rights Violations (explicit language)
As recently as 1991, police in a southern California
community closed all rape reports made by prostitutes and addicts,
placing them in a file stamped “NHI.” The letters stand for the words
“No Human Involved.” (Linda Fairstein, Sexual Violence: Our War Against
, 1993, New York, William Morrow.)

Puncturing Alan Dershowitz’s Delusions about Prostitution
…Of the 100,000 prostitution-related arrests each year, the great
majority of them are of women and girls; pimps and johns are much less
likely to be arrested…

Liberal apologists seeking to normalize Spitzer’s behavior are forced
to resort to the same lies about prostitution indulged by Dershowitz.
They ignore the fact that by defending men’s right to paid sex with
women, they applaud the atrocious exploitation of the same sorts of
market inequalities they decry when the victims are blue-collar

There is a surprisingly high prevalence of police officers demanding
sex from prostitutes in return for avoiding arrest. For prostitutes who
do not work with pimps (and thus are working the streets), roughly
three percent of all their tricks are freebies given to police…

Dorchen Leidholdt, “Demand and the Debate”
I had never heard of a single instance in which a secretary or college
professor had been flung out of a window of her workplace to her death
on the streets below. And while married women were leaving abusive
homes in droves, their prostituted sisters often didn’t have homes to
leave. It would be six years before I would encounter the Canadian
Report on Prostitution and Pornography with its finding that
prostituted women in Canada suffer a mortality rate 40 times the
national average. But it was no secret that prostituted women were the
special targets of serial killers. How many jobs had murder as a
frequent workplace safety hazard?

S.M. Berg: Hey, progressives! Cathouse got your tongue?
Globalization, racism and sexism have combined to make 2005 the first
year that the market for female bodies enslaved more people than
African slavery did 150 years ago.

Gloria Steinem at Smith: Cooperation, Not Domination
are more slaves in proportion to the world’s population–more people
held by force or coercion without benefit from their work–more now
than there were in the 1800s. Sex trafficking, labor trafficking,
children and adults forced into armies: they all add up to a global
human-trafficking industry that is more profitable than the arms trade,
and second only to the drug trade. The big difference now from the
1800s is that the United Nations estimates that 80% of those who are
enslaved are women and children…

Escort Prostitution: A Response to Tom Vannah, Editor of the Valley Advocate
When a “progressive” outlet like the Advocate runs ads for
commercial sex enterprises, it not only publicizes them but legitimizes
them. It also puts a big dent in the Advocate’s moral authority. If the
Advocate truly wants to
be a friend to underdogs, it needs to side with them over callous profiteers…

Email Mr. Vannah and call Gazette publisher Aaron Julien to let them know what you think.

Investigates Human Trafficking and Prostitution in the US; Valley
Advocate Advertises “Foreign Fantasies” Where “Everything Goes”

FBI agent Maritza Conde-Vasquez says the men who frequent these secret
brothels should understand the girls they buy work under duress…

just 2 years, the Houston field office of the FBI has interviewed over
100 women who say they were virtual prisoners. Prisoners forced to sell
their bodies for cash, 14 hours a day, 6 days a week.

They were usually young, as young as 14 years old…

Every month the girls were given birth control injections. If the girls became pregnant, they were forced to have an abortion…

Diane Sawyer Special Examines Prostitution in America; Challenge the Valley Advocate “Rat King”

Orlando Weekly Drops Adult-Services Ads in Wake of Police Sting; “Operation Weekly Shame”

Orlando Sentinel: “Weekly’s publisher: Arrests are payback” (10/23/07)
“First Amendment rights do not protect anyone from committing a crime…”

“New York Press No Longer Marketing Arm for Prostitution/Trafficking”

Another Victory for NOW-NYC: New York Magazine Drops Sex Ads

Prostitution Research & Education: How Prostitution Works
sexual relationships are not hard to find. There are plenty of adults
of both sexes who are willing to have sex if someone treats them well,
and asks. But there lies the problem. Some people do not want an equal,
sharing relationship. They do not want to be nice. They do not want to
ask. They like the power involved in buying a human being who can be
made to do almost anything.

The Village Voice Earns $80,000/Month from Prostitution, Sex Trafficking and other Adult Ads (explicit language)
looks Vanessa over and observes that the more decrepit a hooker looks,
the more they get picked up. Johns see vulnerability; they see a
weakness, they see a five-dollar blow job…

Penn & Teller Think Nevada’s Brothels are A-OK
…Farley shows that life inside Nevada’s legal “pussy penitentiaries” is
far from safe, glamorous, or remunerative. The prostitutes are often
locked in. Many were sexually abused as children. Fines, tips and the
owner’s share typically cut into half the workers’ earnings or more.
“More than 80% of those interviewed told Farley they wanted to leave

Sweden’s Prostitution Solution: Why Hasn’t Anyone Tried This Before?