A conversation about prostitution

Italian translation here.

Sometimes I think that I express myself way better when I converse with someone than when I just write about stuff basically speaking to the air. I speak with myself quite a lot. So, here I publish a recent conversation had on a feminist website, about an article about prostitution. Basically, the author of the article strongly disagrees with the decision of Amnesty International to support the decriminalization of prostitution, which instead I find right, and says that therefore the human rights’ organization doesn’t support the rights of women any more. You can read the article and all the comments on the original page here:

http://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/05/26/amnesty-no-longer-supports-womens-rights/

Actually, the conversation will turn out to be quite chaotic, as every time I answered someone a new thread was created, giving life to quite nice and confused thread-in-the-thread-in-the-thread type of written communication, also because comments weren’t published in chronological order, so sometime one may wonder who the hell I am speaking to (I’ll provide to write whom I was answering to, where I think it’s unclear). In any case, here it is. I won’t change anything of the conversation, I’ll leave any type of grammatical mistakes or typos (alas, also mine); the only change I will make will be that I’ll insert also the comments of mine who have not been published yet (and probably never, since it has passed quite a good deal of hours now).

UPDATE: some of my comments have actually been published and some have been removed, and I’ve got more answers, so it gets funnier and funnier! What follows is the final state of the conversation, last update 18.06.2016 (sorry for the chronology of the comments, the fact that I’m updating this post now is going to make it even messier but oh well).

 

Stardust – a day ago:
Oh no, I really strongly disagree with this. Amnesty International does support women’s rights – see for example a recent campaign in Norway to bring attention to the problem of rape and to change the law to make rape charges easier – and no, not all feminists around the world consider legalization of prostitution a bad idea. Quite a lot agree with it, instead, and so do I.
Why keeping prostitutes in the illegality should help them? Why a system of support and protection should harm them? Why prevent those who actually want to be prostitute to exercise their profession legally and safely?

A – a day ago
Ah, yes, the debunked “happy hooker” theory.

S.L. – 6 hours ago
“For most people, having (consensual) sex is pleasurable, and if it is not so pleasurable it’s at least kind of nice.”
In other words, “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” – Bob Knight, basketball coach

A. – 8 hours ago – to S.L.
???

Stardust – 2 hours ago
Sorry for not having answered first, but comments do not pop out in a chronological way so I’m having some difficulties in keeping tracks of all the comments.
So, no I didn’t say that one should enjoy rape, that’s why I put “consensual” in brackets, to underline that sex must be consensual to be enjoyed. I thought it was kind of obvious, but I decided to write it anyway to be sure, but evidently this method hasn’t worked either xD

Stardust – a day ago
Well I do believe there can actually be happy “hookers”. If you go around feminist websites and facebook pages, you can read some stories about them, and also without reading those stories I have no difficulty in believing that they can exist. For most people, having (consensual) sex is pleasurable, and if it is not so pleasurable it’s at least kind of nice. It’s intimate, it makes you feel good, it’s fun. Now, while for some people it’s so intimate that it can be experienced only with determined persons, why shouldn’t other people be more open to experiences with a lot of persons? And why shouldn’t they want to turn it into a business?

C – a day ago
I bet you a million dollars you are male. No female would ever write such nonsense.

M.M. (author of the article) – a day ago
I don’t think it make sense to assume that most women enjoy penetrative sex with men. It’s simply not accurate.

Stardust – a day ago – to M.M.
Well, that’s pretty weird to say I think. Maybe most women don’t enjoy penetrative sex, or generally sex for that matter, with ANY man, and maybe some of them don’t enjoy sex at all which is totally legit, but assuming that most women simply don’t enjoy penetrative sex goes quite far. And it also differ strongly from my experience! I mean, direct personal experience: most of the women with whom I have talked to do enjoy sex, and again if you go around feminist pages you do read about a lot of women who really enjoy having a sexual intercourse.
And among these women who like penetrative sex with men, why cannot there be women who would like to be paid to have sex with them?

A – 8 hours ago – to Stardust
…because prostitutes are not just paid for welcome sex, but they are coerced into unwelcome acts, raped, beaten, and murdered? Prostitution is not all rainbows and flowers, and there are far more accounts of the brutality of the industry than there are happy hooker accounts. Most of the latter are likely simply smokescreens put out by men with an agenda.

L – 13 hours ago – to Stardust
Penetrative PIV sex is not necessarily always enjoyable for women particularly if the dude isn’t prepared to take the time to make sure she’s comfortable. This applies even in relationships, let alone casual encounters (by which I mean ones where there’s mutual attraction and the woman wants to have PIV sex, although let’s recognise that neither relationships nor casual is pressure free). Prostitution on the other hand isn’t even close to that level, totally different situation. Most won’t have a high level of control over choosing Johns, if they turn them down they don’t get paid, which is coercive. The Johns have paid and are there expecting what they paid for. It may then be straight onto the next one, and the next. This isn’t women getting to have the kind of sex they want with the men they’re attracted to, with the ability to stop or not go ahead with a specific act at any time with no consequence, sexy funtimes, while somehow getting paid for it. This isn’t about mutuality.
If you can handle graphic content, read this, try using some empathy for the woman’s perspective not the John’s:
http://the-invisible-men.tumblr.com/
and come back and tell me if that sounds any fun.

Stardust – 4 minutes ago – to L – not published
I’ve never said that PIV sex is always enjoyable. But a lot people do enjoy sex, and always a lot of people do enjoy PIV sex, if this is consensual and if everything which is done during the intercourse is consensual.
And I really don’t believe that prostitution is all rainbows and flowers, and I think I stated it quite clearly more than once by the now, but it looks like I have to speak in an even clearer way.
Prostitution, at the moment, involves a majority of women who do it because they’re obliged – by their economical and/or social difficulties, by people who want them to do this kind of job – therefore they go through all forms of violence and rape. Those prostitute who instead want to do this type of job also are at risk of violence, abuse and general not being respected, because there’s always the possibility that the customer either is going to be violent either is going to not respect the agreement.
Both types of prostitutes, voluntary or not, risk to be mistreated (which includes also physical violence and rape) by the police if they seek for help if they’re being abused, because they are in a condition of illegality. Even in case the police is not going to be violent, both of them can risk consequences if they’re caught being prostitutes; they can be fined, thrown out of their flats, thrown out of the country if they’re foreigners and so on. Also in those countries where only the purchase of a prostitute’s service and not the offering is illegal, prostitutes have rarely any system of support whatsoever. And I bet so: what they do is still half-illegal, and nobody recognize their profession!
So. I want a system. A legal system which can 1) guarantee protection to prostitutes in case they’re being abused, which includes also those prostitutes who are being forced to this type of job and 2) guarantee that prostitutes, if they want, can actually exercise their profession without fear of being caught and with the certainty that they do have rights should anyone try to harm them.

M.M. (author of the article) – 19 days ago (18.06.2016 today) – to Stardust
What are you talking about??? No, prostituted women are not fined under the Nordic model. They can much more easily go to the cops under the Nordic model than under any other model, as what the johns are doing, in paying for sex, is already illegal — women don’t have to ‘prove’ they were raped or abused or anything, as they would under decrim or legalization. And how does one prove they were abused when a man has paid to abuse them, in any case?Please stop using this forum to propagate myths about the Nordic model.

W – 8 hours ago – to Stardust
Haha! This is priceless.
Maybe many women enjoy sex, but I doubt they enjoy it with you.

M.M. (author of the article) – a day ago – to Stardust
How many lesbians do you know? Also, I highly recommend you read Thea Chacchioni’s paper, Labour of Love, and her new book:
http://www.utppublishing.com/Big-Pharma-Women-and-the-Labour-of-Love.html

M.M. (author of the article) – 3 hours ago – to Stardust
You’re what, 13?

Stardust – 4 minutes ago – to M.M. – removed
Uhm… why? Do I need to have made sex with a certain amount of people and in a certain way to be considered older than 13? I know people who are still virgins by the age of 22/23, and it’s totally fine!

Stardust – 13 hours ago – to M.M. – removed
Lesbians? What do lesbians have to do with all this? Well sure, they can be prostitutes as well, and I want a system which could guarantee them that they are going to have sex only with women. And as far as I know they do enjoy sexual intercourse too!
About the “pink Viagra”, I believe it could be a solution in case of serious hormonal disfunction, but i think the lack of sexual lust – also in men by the way – is most often caused by psychological problems, problems with the partner or simply by the fact that you have a libido lower than the one of the partner.

Stardust – 2 hours ago – to W
And hi again, actually you don’t know my sexual preferences 🙂 and I never force anyone to have sex with me, male or female or anything in between, I just ask them first, in a polite manner, and if they say yes, well all the better! Actually, people who have made sex with me so far have been satisfied. Not that I have made sex with so many people in all honesty, so I don’t have a good enough population sample: I’m very picky and I like to feel a good connection (not necessarily romantic) with the person I’m about to have sex with.
Actually, now that I think about it, I really do not know where you could have gathered that I said that many women enjoy sex with me O.o

T – a day ago – to Stardust
Why is Amnesty International protecting adult men who pay for access to shove their dicks in the mouths of 18 year old girls ? Since when was the desire of adult men to shove their dicks into teenagers’ anuses, mouths and vaginas a “human right”?

Stardust – a day ago
From what you write, I guess you believe that sexual intercourse, when performed by a prostitute, is necessarily non-consensual, in other words rape.
Now, first of all, I do believe that this isn’t true. There are prostitutes who want to do their job, simply because they like, and they do just right.
Secondly, if prostitution was legalized and controlled, as a normal serious profession, I also believe that it would be way more difficult to force people into it. Prostitute, being normal common workers, could speak out in case of abuse.

T – a day ago
If the actions of the john are consented to by both parties, why does the john pay for intimate access to the women he prostitutes?

M.M. (author of the article) – a day ago
If you are paying someone to have sex with you, that constitutes coercion.

C – a day ago
I smell dudebro. Reading his comments makes my skin crawl.

Stardust – a day ago – to M.M.
Oh dear, why? Coercion as far as I know is when you oblige someone to do something, by using force, violence, threats or extortion. Sure, if the prostitute is being forced to be a sex worker than it is indeed coercion, but why would it be coercion if she decides to be paid for her sexual work? She decide to have sex with this or that person (consent) and she gets some money for it. This is not coercion.
Yeah, I know that the situation of the prostitution now is different than this, but I do believe it could get nearer to this if it was legalized. It is very different than this also because it is not legalized. No legalization, no protection, no freedom of deciding if you actually want to be a prostitute or not.

W – 8 hours ago
Don’t call Meghan “dear.” She is not dear to you. None of us are.

Stardust – 2 hours ago – to W
“Oh dear” means something like “oh god” or “good heavens” 🙂 it’s an interjection, not a way to address someone

W – 16 days ago (18.06.2016 today)
it’s both, asshole (this is me addressing YOU)

Stardust – 16 days ago (18.06.206 today) – to W
Oh, that’s curious, I actually didn’t know it. Not that I didn’t know what “dear” means, but I thought that “on dear” gave little space for interpretation. Oh well, then I used it as an interjection, in any case.

C – a day ago
You are male, and you are naive and/or suffering from an obnoxious case of male privilege. If prostitution is so great, why aren’t women who are economically able to do other things not choosing it in droves? The vast majority of women don’t enjoy having sex with strangers for money. That is a male fantasy. You’re acting as if enjoying intercourse is a thing in and of itself that can you can drop into any situation like a battery into a remote control.
Women DO NOT have the same full menu of choices, in general, that men do, in general. It’s not like poor girls who suck dick for $5 went to the career fair and thought “Oh, I could be a doctor? I could be a lawyer? I could be a business man? Or, I could get fucked by 20 repulsive men every day, most of which are paying to abuse me because I’m young and that abuse is the entire point? Gosh, what a dream come true! I get to have sex with men who hit me and hurt me and call me names and want to destroy me! Pinch me now! What other choice could I possibly make? I LOVE IT!!!
Barf.

A. – 8 hours ago – to C
LOL. Keep socking it to that male troll named “Stardust.”

Stardust – 13 hours ago – to C
🙂 you shouldn’t be so quick to determine the sex of an alien.
Actually, some economically stable women decide to become prostitutes anyway, because that’s what they like. I suggest you to read the column of Dan Savage, which speaks about sex and love generally and sometimes shares also the stories of prostitutes who have decided to do this job themselves.
Secondly, no, you are misinterpreting my words. Enjoying an intercourse is not automatic, not for a woman and neither for a man. And yes, I agree with you, the majority of prostitutes at the moment is forced to take this profession. I don’t believe the contrary. But, uhm… at the moment prostitution is illegal in the majority of States, also in Europe. Has this changed the situation? I really don’t think so. Actually, I believe it has worsened it, because prostitutes often don’t report the abuses to the police and don’t know how to get out of their situation because they are in a condition of illegality. When I say that I want to legalise prostitution I don’t mean that I want it to be legalised and that’s it, but that I also want a system of control and support to keep out those who do not to be prostitutes, to protect those who are victims of abuse and so on and so on. Which is what Amnesty international also wants, from what I’ve read.

C – 19 days ago (18.06.2016 today)
That’s what AI says it wants, but that’s not what the effect of it is. When prostitution is decriminalized for EVERYONE, or legalized, which is even worse, the supply can’t keep up with the demand. This makes things much WORSE for poor women, because they are coerced or trafficked in to meet the demand. This really isn’t very difficult to understand. The buying of sex must be criminalized. That’s what the Nordic model is. It doesn’t really matter that some women may want to sell sex (nevermind what would put her in that mindset, what kind of history she has, etc., that would make it any kind of viable “choice”); men who buy sex do not distinguish between who “chooses” to sell sex and who is trafficked/sold/kidnapped/so poor they would starve otherwise. They don’t care. That’s the point.

M.M. (author of the article) – 3 hours ago
Oh Dan Savage! We’ve never heard of him. To The Stranger! (

 

I have a quite special ability to get in conflict with humans. But sometimes, like this one, it is also quite fun.
And I would like also to point out that while I was accused to spread myths about the Nordic model, I really don’t believe they are myths at all. I’ve gathered that information, prostitutes thrown out of their flats or out of the country for examples, simply by reading the news, and while I cannot guarantee that the news are true (I wasn’t there myself to witness) the fact that I’ve read about cases like these more than once and that Amnesty International has picked right a Scandinavian country among those to be held as a bad example makes me think that yes, it is sadly true.

 

 

 

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