Some People Enjoy Being Prostitutes… Get Over It

by Kitty Stryker via Huffpost Gay Voices

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.”
–Rebecca West, “Mr Chesterton in Hysterics: A Study in Prejudice,” 
The Clarion, 14 Nov. 1913, reprinted inThe Young Rebecca, 1982

I, like most feminists-in-training, have seen this quotation before. I heard it before when I was young and just beginning to come into my own with feminism. But only recently did I learn that “or a prostitute” was part of the sentiment expressed. Lovely — ’cause prostitutes and feminists are on opposite sides, right?

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But Seriously, Prostitution Is Not Sex Slavery

by Natalie Reed via free thought blogs

As I mentioned a couple days ago, Taslima Nasreen has now joined Freethought Blogs, and I (and the rest of us) are well and truly honoured and excited to have her. I really do have an immense amount of respect for her.

But yesterday she wrote a post that I find I absolutely can’t leave unexamined. As much as Taslima may be a hero of mine, I can’t allow that to excuse what I consider to be deeply problematic (and potentially destructive) statements. One of the great beauties and strengths of atheism and skepticism is that we have no popes or saints. Our heroes are at all time available to be questioned, and their assertions always available to be critiqued. And sometimes those assertions demand such critiques. This is one of them.

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Is Sex A Human Right?

By Zoe Krupka via NewMatilda

A campaign to change the law to allow people living with disabilities better access to sex workers has provoked plenty of discomfort. Why is this so, asks NM News Therapist Zoe Krupka

Kelly Vincent, the South Australian Dignity for Disability MLC, is campaigning to decriminalise prostitution so people living with a disability can have greater access to the services of sex workers. Not unexpectedly, the response to what is one of many such campaigns worldwide has been mixed and often hostile. Is sex a human right? Why is it so hard for us to accept and respond to a call for sexual attention from those who experience sexual dispossession?

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Two-thirds of Canadians support legal brothels, poll finds


Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford , and and Nikki Thomas Executive Director of Sex Professionals of Canada celebrate during news conference in Toronto, March 26. The Court of Appeal for Ontario swept aside some of the country's  anti-prostitution laws, saying they place unconstitutional restrictions on prostitutes' ability to protect themselves.
Photograph by: Alex Urosevic for National Post

Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford , and and Nikki Thomas Executive Director of Sex Professionals of Canada celebrate during news conference in Toronto, March 26. The Court of Appeal for Ontario swept aside some of the country’s anti-prostitution laws, saying they place unconstitutional restrictions on prostitutes’ ability to protect themselves.

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What I think about the new sex work laws


I’m sitting in a king sized bed in a four-star hotel in Toronto reading the decision made by the Ontario Court of Appeals regarding Canadian sex work laws.

I’m waiting for room service to bring up my coffee. I decided to spend the night here after my three-hour appointment yesterday evening.

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Ontario Appeal Court strikes down ban on brothels

Two sex-trade laws ruled unconstitutional

By Geoff Nixon, CBC News

Ontario’s Court of Appeal agrees that sex workers should be permitted to work in safer locations and pay others to help protect them, but not that they should be able to communicate with their clients in public places.

It struck down two laws Monday, calling them unconstitutional, but upheld the ban on solicitation, saying that prostitutes should not be able to communicate with their clients in public places.

The court released a decision on an appeal of Superior Court Judge Susan G. Himel’s high-profile ruling that three provisions of the Criminal Code pertaining to prostitution should be struck down on the grounds that they are unconstitutional.

The Ontario appeal court agreed with two-thirds of Himel’s ruling, namely that the provisions prohibiting common bawdy-houses and living off the avails of prostitution, are both unconstitutional in their current form.

But the court disagreed that the communicating provision must be struck down, meaning that it “remains in full force.”

The court said it will strike the word “prostitution” from the definition of “common bawdy-house,” as it applies to Section 210 of the Criminal Code, which otherwise prevents prostitutes from offering services out of fixed indoor locations such as brothels or their homes.

12-month delay

However, the court said the bawdy-house provisions would not be declared invalid for 12 months, so that Parliament can have a chance to draft Charter-compliant provisions to replace them, if it chooses to do so.

The court will also clarify that the prohibition of living off the avails of prostitution – as spelled out in Section 212(1)(j) of the Criminal Code – should pertain only to those who do so “in circumstances of exploitation.”

The changes to the “living-off-the-avails” provision will not come into effect for 30 days.

Lawyer Alan Young, who represented three women who brought forward the application to have the provisions declared unconstitutional, said the appeal court’s decision had ushered in a “new era” for sex workers.

“I am thrilled that the Court of Appeal has done the right thing,” Young told reporters after the court released its judgment Monday.

“They may not have gone as far as the Superior Court judge, but when you actually look at the result, they’ve done the right thing in terms of modifying the law so that sex workers will not face the same risks they face on a daily basis.”