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In fact, such a policy has been in place in the Canadian cities of Victoria and Vancouver for some time, resulting in ificant improvements in sex worker safety in those locations.

Such a pragmatic approach is not without precedent, and is rooted in the discretionary authority given to law enforcement. I would argue that a local-level policy of de-facto decrim is just such a case, and should be a goal for advocates of sex worker rights to pursue as an interim step towards actual full decriminalization.


Such a policy not only assures greater safety for sex workers and those associated with them, but better serves the public by allowing more resources to be dedicated towards addressing acts of violence and other major crimes, including and especially police corruption and abuse. As mentioned before, DFD could be implemented simply as a standing policy of a municipal police department, as in Victoria and Vancouver.

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The only issue here is when police and prosecutors are not in sync, so even if a prosecutor refuses to pursue certain charges, police may continue to make arrests. Both of these agencies may also be hesitant to implement any such policy if local government is not supportive. Ideally, then, a synchrony of these organizations would make sense, but it would still be feasible for DFD to begin with one of these groups implementing it in whole or in part, and the rest establishing concurrent policies and practices later on.

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Returning to the first question, the simplest start for DFD would be to institute a moratorium on arrests for prostitution-related charges, whether of sex workers or their clients — a position which the Massachusetts Pirate Party is petitioning the Boston Police Department to implement.

On a broader scale, this would mean non-enforcement of any laws against the consensual exchange of sexual services for pay, so long as no violence, coercion or fraud has taken place. A more detailed delineation of how this would be put into practice would include:. Naturally, this is not a complete list, and certainly different localities would address specific needs in their implementation.

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But the common pattern is that police and other municipal agencies would start from the premise of what sex workers want in order to improve their lives, and resort to arrest only when violence or other abuses have taken place.

Thus while it is not a complete solution, it is an applicable step towards developing and implementing more permanent ones in the areas of law, public policy, and community policing practices. Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

Usually, the were either:. They want an alternative to that.

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Not a temporary bridge to our ultimate goal, as pragmatists like myself viewed it. When it comes to sex work issues, moderates want mandatory testing because they still see sex workers as spreading disease. They want laws against pimping because they still think no one would actually choose to do sex work. And actually pay attention to what sex workers have to say?

Oh, heaven forbid! For all their good intentions, moderates still cling to a shallow understanding of sex work issues, rooted in paternalistic attitudes. It just means they need to do more work, not only about the facts behind sex work, but how they view the people involved in it. Apparently, Massachusetts state representative Kay Khan has gone into outright deception.

Her proposed bill, H. Indeed, the definition is worded so that providing sex and receiving any material gain might be construed as such. Second, while providing sex for money is no longer a crime in itself, the following clause would give one pause to offer to do so:.

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Indeed, perhaps the largest segment of sex workers are independent escorts, both incall and outcall. Consider, then, the following … A woman chooses, without compulsion, to be an incall escort.

She has a disabled sibling living with her, who occasionally helps by doing online background checks of prospective clients. One of those individuals asks for an intense BDSM session, which she politely declines, then refers him to another willing provider in the area. Note that there is no force or fraud, no harm, and in the specific case described, no actual exchange of sexual activity for money.

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But it is all still criminalizeddespite the contrivances of Khan and Hunt. The disabled relative is considered not just a mere accomplice but a pimp. This is not decriminalization by any reasonable measure — it is an attempt to re-brand a failed attempt at repressive social engineering that has caused harm to thousands of sex workers and those associated with them. Two films highlight the obsession with sex trafficking. The most recent is Edenreleased in with Beau Bridges as a corrupt lawman in charge of a ring who kidnap underage girls and turn them into sex slaves for profit.

Iris becomes a fixture of fascination and pity for Bickle, who later goes to the brothel where Iris works and unleashes his violent rage against the pimp and other nefarious fellows.

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Forget that his attack came after a failed attempt to assassinate a Presidential candidate. Hollywood is fueled by fantasy.

Behind the grassroots movement that is turning decriminalization into a mainstream fight for the left.

Even when it draws from real life, the writers and directors and actors tend to distill it into a more sensational — and saleable — version. It is when certain viewers are unable to distinguish the fantasy from fact, and even present fantasy as fact. When a movement uses a fictional film based on fraudulent claims as though it were a documentary, you have to wonder just how credible they are.

Borden was able to do this by actually listening to sex workers about their lives. In the stories of Winnie the Pooh, he becomes concerned that certain creatures will try to steal his honey — namely, Heffalumps and Woozles.

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At one point, he and Piglet go on a Woozle hunt, walking about a clump of trees until they find some tracks and follow them, growing more worried as the of footprints grows and grows. Then Christopher Robin comes along, and points out that the two have been walking in circles, and the tracks they are following are their own.

Later on, Pooh is out on a search when he falls into a pit on top of Piglet. He remembers that he would dig such pits as a trap for Heffalumps, and now wonders if the Heffalumps dug this pit to catch him. Oh, bother.

At any rate, the first story has given rise to the concept of the Woozle Effectwhereby a study of dubious veracity is cited over and over, and as a result of such repetition is assumed by more and more people to be true, without ever checking the original source. The anti-prostitution camp is particularly prone to the Woozle Effect, with examples such as:.

This le to what I call the Heffalump Attributionwhere people reductively as cause for a behavior or social phenomenon to the deliberate actions of some outside agent. Since they believe that no woman would choose to sell sex, they must have been coerced in some way by one or more people. And who are they?

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No one who is genuinely confident of the truth of their claims should object to such scrutiny — and no one is obliged to believe anyone who tries to avoid it. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. No, the crusaders warned of massive conspiracies, infiltrating all levels of society and government, exploiting and killing who knows how many innocents.

The fact that they had no real evidence to support their claims did not deter them.

After all, simplistic messages are much more effective at rallying people to your cause — and raking in the bucks. Inthe John Jay College of Justice in New York City published a report on minors involved in commercial sex for a copy.

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According to this study, only ten percent of underage people who sell sex in NYC work with such a facilitator, and only eight percent reported being coerced by one. Indeed, 84 percent of female youth in the study had never even encountered a pimp. While many use social media and other online platforms to connect with clients, some will hire people to do web de and screen calls.

Person A is looking for clients, and Person B is offering to use their skills and time to help Person A to do so more effectively and safely. Literary agents receive commissions for helping authors to get published, art dealers get a cut for selling a painting, and so forth — and we generally consider such arrangements to be acceptable business practices, so long as both parties mutually agree to the terms. Yes, in some cases, the arrangements between sex workers and such market facilitators could be more fair. But this reality only strengthens the case to decriminalize the commercial sex industry.

The reaction by sex workers and their allies was immediate, with s and tweets calling on March organizers to reinstate the original wording. Within hours, the statement was revised again, this time including both phrases. While some opposed making any concession to those who conflate consensual sex work with trafficking, others were content with the final result, even pointing out that sex workers have been fighting sexual and labor exploitation for decades.

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Contrast this with the reaction of prohibitionists. It is thoroughly incredible. Sex workers also acknowledge that abuse and exploitation by third parties in commercial sex does happen — which is why they support full decriminalization, to provide more ability and transparency.

Of course, this is completely lost on the prohibitionist camp, who prefer to see things in black and white. They take the most extreme negative narrative — the helpless victim abused by a pimp to be used and discarded by a seemingly endless string of entitled johns — and refuse to accept any other perspective. Because I recognize the complex reality of commercial sex, I recognize that coercion and abuse do occur.

Where I disagree with the prohibitionists is the s they put forward in their claims, and the methods they favor to address the problem. More troubling is the extent to which people claiming to be survivors turn out to be fraudulent — Somaly MamChong KimSamantha AzzopardiValerie Lempereur, a.

Patricia Perquinand who knows how many more. Given the penchant that prohibitionists have of clinging to beliefs before checking facts, is it any wonder that such problems remain a feature in their movement? What I am saying is that the narrative presented by Backpage Escorts Caban PR like Alisa Bernard and the atories of the Open Letter are not the only ones out there, nor do people with similar narratives necessarily share the same beliefs or reach the same conclusions.

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Survivors for Decrim is an example of how supporting survivors of abuse and the rights of consensual sex workers need not be mutually exclusive. While some sex worker rights organizations and activists hailed the move, others have expressed caution.

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It thus bears repeating that what the vast majority of sex workers want is full decriminalization of their work, including their relationships with third parties. There are two major problems with this, rooted in the dichotomous definitions given to the word pimp. The first is that the best research actually shows that the villainous stereotype is such an anomaly that some sex workers consider it a myth. This le into the second problem with regard to anti-pimping laws.

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While the public has been given a narrow and loaded stereotypical definition, the law defines the act more broadly as deriving financial benefit from the prostitution of another. Indeed, this overly sweeping definition may also be applied to anyone who receives any ificant funds from sex workers, from those who rent or sublet apartments, to their children or other relatives. This raises the question of what constitutes abuse, and why new laws need to be created when current laws already address such problems.

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Using violence? We have laws against assault and battery. Taking money from someone who works for you?

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