At the time of a pandemic when poverty, particularly among women and children has increased so massively, why is Diana Johnson and other women MPs focusing on proposals that will make women poorer. They urge the government to criminalise sex workers’ clients and crack down on online advertising sites without any consideration to the ways that this will make it more dangerous and difficult for sex workers, 90% of whom are women, to earn a living. They know women and children are starving. They know there are no other jobs. They will cut women’s only source of funds without any proposal about what we should do instead. What does it mean that feminists are against the poorest of working class women.
They would have done better to listen to former homelessness tsar, Louise Casey who raised the alarm about unprecedent destitution saying people will have “to go out and prostitute themselves, so that they could put food on the table.” Or taken heed of the national outcry about the government letting children go hungry.
One woman in our group said: “I am working to keep myself and my family afloat during this pandemic. I have to choose between risking my health or starvation. Why aren’t these feminists helping us get the money and resources we need from the government to stop working.”
Criminalising clients puts women’s lives in danger. It makes it harder to report rape and other violence and pushes us to work in isolation. evidence from France, Sweden and Ireland show that attacks on sex workers increased when sex purchase laws were introduced. https://prostitutescollective.net/briefing-no-nordic-model/. Closing sites were sex workers advertise makes it harder to work independently and safely. It will push women into the hands of exploitative bosses. A similar law implemented in the US (FOSTA/SESTA law) has been devastating for women working in the sex industry: See here: https://prostitutescollective.net/press-release-bill-banning-advertising-will-undermine-sex-workers-safety/.
It’s easy to get column inches in the media with sensationalised, inaccurate and dangerous claims about sex trafficking and salacious terms like a “pimps paradise”. But the reality for sex workers is that anti-trafficking laws are used by the police to justify raids, arrests and deportations. For those of us who have suffered trafficking including rape, false imprisonment, GBH and other violence, we get little help. Fear of deportation deters many women from reporting and we get little or nothing of the support needed to escape and be safe – often having to rely on our own resources and the help of other sex workers. So women MPs, you’d also do well to listen to the real inside experts — sex workers. https://prostitutescollective.net/migrant-sex-workers-fight-police-illegality-racism/