kommentaarid seymouri jagatud artiklile sekstöölise võitlusest prostitutsioonivastase seaduse vastu


  • Greg McInerney Two sets of miniature flags for others…
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine The right to buy sexual consent is a human right….apparently.
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  • Richard Seymour Well, this is capitalism. Otoh, I would imagine that the emphasis of Laura Lee and others is their right to sell, which is not a trivial distinction.
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine Sale is not criminalised in Northern Ireland.
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  • Richard Seymour Er. If you criminalise the payment, then the sale is simply impracticable. As I’m sure must have occurred to you.
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine The right to practicable business models is a human right…apparently.
  • Anne Mulhall Sale is not criminalised in Sweden either as we all know, and yet sex workers there have been prosecuted as aiding and abetting a criminal act, ie purchase of sex by a client. The cases of this I’ve heard of have been brought against migrant sex workers, who are then of course almost certain to be deported if found guilty.
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  • Richard Seymour Mhairi – Again, and without wishing to repeatedly rehash old arguments, I think the emphasis here is on the rights of sex workers as agents, and the restrictions which are supposed to protect them – so Lee and others argue – actually punish them and prevent them from earning a living and actually make their conditions more precarious. Now, as to human rights, you and I simply aren’t going to agree on this subject – you, bafflingly, think the Egyptian dictatorship is a protector of human rights and a safeguard of progress. So, we may have to agree to disagree.
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine …sex workers there have been prosecuted as aiding and abetting a criminal act

    Link to case?

    On a quick google the only references I can find to women in the Swedish sex industry being prosecuted for aiding and abetting is MRA sites insisting that they should be.

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  • Anne Mulhall I’m on the move at the moment, I’ll find a link and post as soon as I’m home. #
  • Mhairi Mcalpine Thanks, Anne.
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  • Jon Hallqvist Anne, say what? I can tell you straight up that you won’t find a serious sorce on that statement because it is utterly false.

    Criminalizing the buying of sex have not had that effect on the selling of sex, Richard. Further, your argument is stupid and frames the problem the wrong way. It’s like arguing for child labor because criminalizing it would mean a loss of income for poor families. Well, what about going around the problem the other way? Making sure people don’t need to sell sex, for example.

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  • Richard Seymour Jon – there’s a fairly big difference between women and children, as I’m sure you realise.
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  • Jon Hallqvist Well, take another example then, still with the same principle: “exploitation of workers is a good thing because it saves workers from poverty by giving them jobs”, sounds reasonable?
  • Richard Seymour I don’t think anyone is saying that exploitation is a good thing.
  • Jon Hallqvist You don’t see the problem of principles here, Richard?
  • Morgane Merteuil then let’s close all places where workers are exploited. I really wonder why nobody has ever proposed such a good idea..
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  • Richard Seymour Jon – no, I think your argument is garbled, and I’m waiting for you to try and elaborate it, so that I can watch you skewer yourself on your own moralism.
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  • Sarah Grey Criminalization is really the only thing that differentiates prostitution from other forms of labor. We don’t argue that workers who sell the use of their hands, their feet, their voices, their emotions, their minds, or for that matter their capacity for childbearing should be treated as criminals. Are those workers exploited? Of course they are, it’s fucking capitalism. We’re for exploited workers organizing and fighting to make their lives better. Which is exactly what sex workers are doing. Sexual labor is LABOR. Sex workers are WORKERS.
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  • Morgane Merteuil by the way, the whole “abolitionnist political program” can be resumed in the sentence “reinsertion programs are a good thing because it saves sex workers from sex work by giving them jobs”
    does it really sound more reasonable ?
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  • Jon Hallqvist Liberals ftw!
  • Mhairi Mcalpine Sarah – this is in Northern Ireland. Sale is legal, purchase is not.

    This is a labour market restriction which states that services purchased cannot include sexual activity.

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  • Sarah Grey …that’s still a form of criminalization that punishes the worker.
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  • Morgane Merteuil this “labour market restriction” unfortunately only states that “selling sexual services will be harder”. is anyone able to say how does it help sex workers ?
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  • Jon Hallqvist “We, the left, defend workers right to sell their bodies, to sell their organs, to sell their lives to capitalists!”. Sounds about right.
  • Sarah Grey Nice misreading there, Jon.
  • Sarah Grey Do you not sell your labor to make a living, then?
  • Jon Hallqvist But you’re saying that. I don’t hear you talk about the miserable working conditions for sex workers, or their extremely low life expectency, or the violence they face, or the psychological traumas many of them get from it. All of which would be given topics for the left. Instead all I hear here is “legalize!”.

    Selling labor to market, under what conditions? That’s the question. Where presupposing capitalism here, sure, but not any lack of decency at all. Would it be okey to institute slavery for people with different sorts of dysfunctionality? Would it be punishing them if we didn’t? This is the low level of the debate here. It’s all framed in a stupid liberal framework.

  • Richard Seymour “I don’t hear you talk about the miserable working conditions for sex workers, or their extremely low life expectency, or the violence they face, or the psychological traumas many of them get from it. All of which would be given topics for the left. Instead all I hear here is “legalize!”. “

    There may actually be a subtle connection here, which you’re not seeing. I merely put it out there.

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  • Jon Hallqvist Do you have the same problem with the use of certain chemicals being restricted? Such laws “punishes” workers who otherwise would earn a living by them?
  • Richard Seymour So, you want to restrict sex work because sex is akin to a toxic chemical.
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  • Morgane Merteuil Jon, you can read this good piece, who talks about damages that can be caused to sex workers (most of them are however especially caused by stigma and criminalization) but you know, once you’ve said “sex work made sex workers traumatized”, you have not made any political proposals that can help fighting that… http://logosjournal.com/2014/brenner/

    INTRODUCTION The current debate about sex work among feminists generates more heat than light….
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  • Sarah Grey I don’t see you talking about the miserable working conditions of sweatshop workers, or their extremely low life expectancy, or the violence they face, or the psychological traumas many of them get from it. Why are you only talking about this when it comes to sex work? Sex workers are opposing these laws BECAUSE THEY ARE ATTEMPTING TO BETTER THEIR WORKING CONDITIONS. We should support them just as we should support other workers doing the same, and we should listen to them when they talk about what they need to make their working conditions better. We should also include them in the fight to abolish capitalism altogether.
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  • Jon Hallqvist Sex-work is not the same as sex, Richard.
  • Richard Seymour Jon – I’m glad that we agree on the necessity of making rigorous distinctions. What I’m trying to understand is what you think is the toxic element that needs to be banned?
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  • Jon Hallqvist I suggest the following in return: Ekis-Ekman, Kajsa,
    Being &; Being Bought – Prostitution, Surrogacy & the Split Self (2013). A perspective sadly missed in discussions about sex-work outside of Scandinavia.
  • Jon Hallqvist I listed them above, Richard, and you countered with the liberal argument implying that legalization would automatically solve all problems. There is statistics for these things, but the liberal case does not cut it. For all of this, and more, see Ekis Ekman’s excellent book.
  • Morgane Merteuil where is such a perspective missed ? in the big majority of countries that have signed the UN protocol asserting that “prostitution is incompatible with the human dignity….” and then criminalize sex work in the name of “women rights” ? that is, in the whole majority of countries in the world….
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  • Sarah Grey Who argued that legalization would automatically solve all problems? Talk about a straw man. You are not listening– which is the problem. Do you treat other labor struggles like this, waltzing in with (I’m presuming) no experience in their industry and explaining to them how they’re fighting their exploitation incorrectly?
    7 hrs · Like · 6
  • Morgane Merteuil anybody, never, anywhere, ever told that “legalization will solve all problems”. what people opposing criminalization (including sex workers organizations) usually say is that it will remove a major constraint on sex workers (prosecutions). Then anybody is naive enough to think it will create a exploitation-free industry. we just say that closing brothels does not remove the exploitation occuring in brothels, but make for workers harder to organize themselves against it.
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine Yes, but again the NI legislation does not prosecute the sellers of sex.
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  • Sarah Grey I am a freelancer, and I can tell you that I would certainly suffer if the state started prosecuting buyers of editorial services, even if I was not prosecuted for selling them.
  • Morgane Merteuil do you really think workers are not penalized when they can not legally rent a flat because to rent a flat to a sex worker is considered as pimping ?
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine Yes, I do. And I think that’s an unacceptable housing restriction.
  • Morgane Merteuil Scandinavia (actually : Sweden) does actually do not need to criminalize sex workers, when their cops are allowed to call sex workers owners (owner of their flats, not owners of sex workers !!!) during so-called “operations homeless” http://feministire.com/…/the-oslo-report-on-violence…/

    [Hi, Feminist Current readers! Please see this…
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine Why do you think that I would defend such a thing?

    My argument is that purchase should be criminalised.

  • Sarah Grey And that would help sex workers how, exactly?
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  • Morgane Merteuil okay so my point is : how does it help sexworkers ?
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  • Sarah Grey Why is it so difficult to grasp that maybe sex workers know what they need and are looking for support and solidarity rather than sermons and rescue?
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  • Paul Mepschen The problem, Jon, is that you avoid the real question: why is sex work worse than other forms of labor in a post-Fordist, latecapitalist economy? I could go along with you if you would argue that there is a kind of hierarchy in the post-Fordist sevice economy, with people doing physical work – flipping burgers in McDonald’s; cleaning offices; etcetera – being worse off than others. But is flipping burgers really better than doing sex work? Really? And who decides this?

    In the end, it seems that you have to rely on a notion that their is something inherently sacred in sex that needs extra protection against commodification… And hence, you must create a fundamental difference between sex work and other forms of labor. Now, I am not a sex worker, but I definitely don’t think about sex as sacred. I do believe certain forms of labor are preferable above others – but that is another kind of discussion altogether.

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  • Mhairi Mcalpine What I am not understanding is what the human right is that Laura Lee considers the act of criminalising the purchase of sex to be in breach of.
  • Mhairi Mcalpine No one ever ended up dying of a 11cm stab wound to their vagina through flipping burgers, Paul.
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  • John Blair Maybe a problem is talking about sex workers in such generalised terms. I see there was/is a debate in London between a professional dominatrix and an ex teenage prostitute and it seems as useful as a debate about tech workers between a freelance coder and a foxconn assembly line worker.
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  • Sarah Grey So are you also in favor of criminalizing the purchase of all products produced by workers who often suffer horrific injuries and assault? I hope you’re not debating this on an iPhone then…
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  • Nick Razumic No one thought the solution to black lung was to criminalize the miners. It isn’t clear to me how sex work is different. Sex workers should unionize if anything.
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine And again, Nick – this is northern Ireland – the *sale* of sexual services is not criminalised
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  • Sarah Grey Also, why the concern specifically about injuries to the vagina? Not all sex workers have vaginas, you know. And let’s not pretend that sex work is the only industry in which sexual assault is rampant.
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  • Sarah Grey Very well then, to go with Nick’s analogy, no one thought the solution to black lung was to prosecute people who bought coal.
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine It was a reference to Cindy Gladue, whose preserved genitals were brought into the courtroom where a client was aquitted of her murder
  • Morgane Merteuil well, Mhairi : do you understand that sex work is not the same thing as removing one’s genitals with a stab ?
  • Sarah Grey and that bolsters your argument how?
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  • Sarah Grey In sex work you also don’t get trapped a mile underground in slowly rising water in total darkness for days. So there’s that. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quecreek_Mine_Rescue

    The Quecreek Mine Rescue took place in Somerset…
    6 hrs · Like · 3
  • John Blair Sarah Grey is that question for me? Actually I think the Nordic model is bullshit, criminalising the client is hardly an improvement for sex workers.

    Also there is a distinction between mediated purchases of say an iphone, trainers, clothes etc and john’s who directly use their purchasing power to economically coerce someone into sex with them. I’m not in favour of criminalising john’s under capitalism but they are pieces of shit in a way that someone buying a shirt, iPhone or whatever isn’t because well it’s a direct relationship of exploitation. Though someone told me that even slagging off men who use prostitutes is “whorephobic”…

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  • Morgane Merteuil home still is the first location of women’s murders. do we have to close homes, and criminalize couple life ? or should we support women’s organizing to get more power ?
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  • Sarah Grey John, I’m mostly asking Mhairi but my question about actually listening was general. Not aimed at you.
  • Nick Razumic Logging and fishing are crazy dangerous under capitalism. Even factories catch on fire or collapse and kill people. None of these things would be improved by criminalizing them. I really don’t see how sex work is radically different. You’re just selling a different part of what makes you human. Only criminalizing the buyer seems like a good solution on paper but if it isn’t actually helpful in practice maybe we should listen and not support it.
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  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Mhairi Mcalpine
    “No one ever ended up dying of a 11cm stab wound to their vagina through flipping burgers, Paul.”

    Your trust of men and slut shaming implicit in this is appaling.

    Yes women who flip burgers face sexual violence.

    You know what is the risk factor for sex workers and sexual violence? Illegality.

    This study from queensland australia:

    ” In 2003, 50% of illegal sex workers reported having ever been raped by a client compared with 12% of private sex workers and 3% of brothel-based sex workers (p=&lt0.01).”

    Compare this to the general rape rate in the same social context of around 15 percent. So a woman who is not a sex worker faces less risk than an illegal sex worker, about the same as a legal sex worker, and more risk than a brothel worker.

    Your argument seems very invalid.

    Health, well-being and sexual violence among female sex workers : a comparative study – ResearchGate. Available from: http://www.researchgate.net/…/27475496_Health_well… [accessed Mar 22, 2015].

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  • Mhairi Mcalpine And again, in Northern Ireland there are no “illegal sex workers” because the *SALE* of sex is not criminalised.

    But this all seems to be beside the point. What is the human right which the legislation criminalising the purchase of sexual services is violating

  • Richard Seymour Can I just ask a serious question? It seems to me that those favouring criminalisation – albeit arguing that the clients rather than the workers be criminalised – rely upon an unspoken premise that sex per se is ‘different’. That is, it is so different from other human activities and capacities that the commodification of it is inherently problematic, an abuse in itself, something which no one would freely choose, and that the abuses which take place in the context of sex work are second order, a derivation of the original abuse. If that isn’t too tortuously or tendentiously put, is there anyone who wants to make that claim explicitly?
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  • Magpie Corvid John Blair, I am the person doing that debate. There are several other speakers waiting to be confirmed, but there will be full service sex workers on the sex worker rights side of the panel.
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  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Mhairi Mcalpine

    “What is the human right which the legislation criminalising the purchase of sexual services is violating”

    Equality under the laws of commerce.

    In the case of the USA, the 14th amendment of the constitution principally but also some othe commerce related ones.

    I do not believe in human rights just civil rights so that is why my answer is legalistic.

  • Paul Cockshott This whole argument form the anti-Northern Ireland Law camp seems to be on grounds that are 100% libertarian, especially that last post. We are supposed to think that it is a great advance to extend commoditication and alienation into all aspects of life now? It is apparently to be desired that all activities should be subject to the cash nexus?
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  • Magpie Corvid It’s not that it’s desirable for any activity to be commodified – it’s that under capitalism, and until capitalism is overthrown, we should show solidarity with workers and listen to what they say will help them.
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine When workers in ammunitions factories call for embargos on weapons sales to be lifted as the factories are slowing down should we listen to them?
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  • Rosie Alice Do they really all seem like that to you Paul? Because I’ve just read this entire thread and I’d say the anti-criminalisation arguments consist of a) it being safer for sex workers to conduct their work when their client does not face arrest b) it being safer for sex workers to be able to work in brothels – something that is outlawed in this Nordic model of criminalising sale and c) it helping sex workers not at all to introduce the police and courts to their work
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  • Rosie Alice It is notable that you are finding it so difficult to answer the question that has been repeatedly put: in what way does it *help* sex workers to criminalise the buying of sex?
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  • Rosie Alice *nordic model of criminalising purchase, before anyone jumps down my throat. Though, ten minutes on google would educate you on how they are one and the same in countries where this law has been implemented.
  • Richard Seymour I think these terms ‘commodification’ and ‘alienation’ are often thrown into this conversation without reflection. It might seem unduly abstract to say that alienation is constitutive of human subjectivity anyway, but maybe I can ask: if the commodification of human labour in all its forms and all its capacities is a fact of life under capitalism (and far from being an unalloyed ill in all cases – there are worse things), why specifically do we draw the line at sex?
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  • Magpie Corvid This briefing was put out by the English Collective of Prostitutes during the opposition to the November sneaky Nordic Model attempt here. It’s full of truth and facts – new Zealand model makes sex workers safer and Nordic Model does the opposite


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  • Naomi Jones The 2008 New Zealand report of the prostitution law review committee is really interesting
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Richard Seymour and Magpie Corvid

    The example I like to use, because I worked for their union in Puerto Rico, is the high voltage electric transmission line workers.

    These people have to, as part of their jobs, let tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of volts of electricity pass throught their bodies. Due to the remoteness of many of the locations, this work is mostly done via helicopter today.

    So dig this, this people in order to earn a living, have to climb in one of the most unsafe transportation methods in the world, get to remote locations were first aid is hard to get to, and use their bodies as a conductor. And a single microsecond mistake will fry them, either dead or severely burned and with a destroyed nervous system. Even then, a lifetime as a living conductor of electricity creates health issues, with massively higher rates of neurological disorders, nervous system disorders, and muscle/cardiovascular disorders.

    They use their whole body.

    There is no difference other than patriarchal morality between being penetrated by a penis, and being penetrated by massive voltages.

    Sex workers are workers, and that is that.

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  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones This conversation is made possible by the bodily sacrifice of those workers. We need socialism to develop the productive forces so that their work is abolished, much in the same way we need to abolish patriarchy so that sex is no longer a commodity, but something we all share in.
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  • Anne Mulhall ^^ Mhairi (and Jon) – I can’t find the specific case/s but I know I have the link here somewhere – but in the meantime, in Sweden, the Aliens Act is used to prosecute migrant sex workers. See the last paragraph here eg. Quoting here from the study the researchers link to there – “The Aliens Act (2005:716) contains provisions which, inter alia, relate to the right of aliens to enter, reside and work in Sweden. Foreigners who have residence permits may be refused
    entry if it can be assumed that the person will commit a crime or that he or she will not support themselves “by honest means” during their stay (Chapter 8 § 2.2). This includes engaging in prostitution.” http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/…/the-nordic-model-of…/

    The ‘Nordic model’ of prostitution policy has often been…
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine Annie – the Aliens Act 2005, Chapter 8, Section 2.2 states

    if it can be assumed that during the stay in Sweden or in some other Nordic country he or she will not support himself or herself by honest means or will engage in activities that require a work permit, without having such a permit, See More

  • Anne Mulhall Mhairi, this law is used to target migrant sex workers. here is another report on similar uses of the law by the police in Sweden – “the police have been actively deporting prostitutes from Sweden, regardless of their citizenship, arguing that they represent a threat to the basic interests of society.” http://www.thelocal.se/20111011/36664

    A Swedish court has ruled that prostitutes from other…
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  • Mhairi Mcalpine Yes, but that is a case of the police acting in contravention of EU law, and when challenged in court, free movement being upheld – without any change to the laws regulating the sale of sexual services
  • Anne Mulhall But in relation to this view of the law as somehow doing what it says on the tin, this is a somewhat naive view of the law. the idea that ‘the sale of sex is not criminalised’ means that sex workers are not criminalised just simply doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny. In the republic (of Ireland), the sale of sex is ‘legal’, but ‘profiting from the proceeds’ by a third party is illegal. However, the majority of prosecutions for profiting are of sex workers, largely because if a group of people rent out a premises together for their own safety, then the person who has signed the lease can be done for profiting, ie ‘keeping a brothel’. In the case of NI, I don’t know if you know this but the PSNI initially advised against implementing the sex purchase ban in NI. As the cops are the arm of the state with most on the ground contact with sex workers in general, this is very significant. This advice was also based on consultative work they had done in relation to trafficking with the police in Sweden and the conclusion that they reached that the law made no difference to the numbers of people trafficked. They published this in their initial report but unfortunately it appears some considerable political pressure was exerted on them to change their position on this quick smart.
    5 hrs · Like · 1
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Lets make dangerous jobs illegal!

    Carlos A. Rivera-Jones's photo.
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Mhairi Mcalpine

    ” Yes, but that is a case of the police acting in contravention of EU law, and when challenged in court, free movement being upheld – without any change to the laws regulating the sale of sexual services”

    Lol so because the cops disobey the laws, it means the laws work?


    Do you have any idea of the sheer amount of violence cops exert on sex workers? All, and I mean all, sex workers I know would rather spend a week with their worst client than ten minutes with a cop.

    World wide.

    Really, that is what all this legal mumbo jumbo debate boils down to: a ton of academic petty bourgeois academics and poverty pimps (pun intended) who either have never had to face cop violence or cynically ignore it, want to put cops in charge of sex work.

    I believe in strong laws against trafficking and sex slavery, and full labor law protection and unionization, as well as small business protection for independents. Keep cops away from sex workers, because they are immensely more a clear and present danger than clients will ever be.

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  • Anne Mulhall Mhairi, there’s little point in this back and forth. I’m trying to make the point that the law does not act in this transparent way to ‘protect’ and that the law saying sale of sex is legal does not mean that sex workers are not in actual fact criminalised because of their work. The majority of people who sell sex in Europe are migrants. For many, this is because it is one of the kinds of work available to people without papers, or to people who face huge obstacles to finding work in the ‘official’ economy because racism (a big issue in Ireland). Brothel raids, in the climate of the EU war on migrants, are in effect border control operations. The ban on purchase both makes the lives of people who sell sex – especially those who are already in precarious situations – more difficult, but it also obfuscates the political issues involved in the global ‘anti-trafficking’ drive.
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  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Mhairi Mcalpine

    ” When workers in ammunitions factories call for embargos on weapons sales to be lifted as the factories are slowing down should we listen to them?”See More

  • Anne Mulhall ^^ well said re cops and violence against sex workers Carlos.
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  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones I used to support anti-client laws until I heard argument’s like what Anne Mulhall makes and read and listened to sex workers.

    As mentioned above, one can still think clients are the scum of the earth and not want them banned because it harms sex workers, who are not the scum of the earth.

    The issue is the patriarchial, misogynist, and whorephobic contention that sex workers are the scum of the earth, which hides this woman hatred behind a smokescreen of man hating.

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  • Anne Mulhall Exactly. A brilliant lawyer and sex worker ally I know once said that the problem – well one of the problems – with the Nordic Model advocates is that they hate the men who purchase sex more than they care about the women (for it is always women who are the object of ‘concern’) who sell sex. They have it arseways, basically.
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  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones That is a problem of sex class analysis in general. Not coincidentally, I and other trans people are having a discussion with Mhairi Mcalpine over their transphobia at another group. They are borderline TERF, which is not an uncommon venn diagram with SWERFs.
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  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist here let me translate this passage:

    ” I was living in Barcelona and was sharing a flat with a woman who was selling herself on the highway outside the city. So I was seeing everything that was going on first hand. She was staying with a boyfriend who was something like a pimp and who, in the beginning, claimed he was living off bank robberies, though I figured out this wasn’t the case because was never out — he was always at home on the computer or taking her to the highway and back. I soon realized he was living off of her.

    I was seeing the reality of this life as well as how others around her were getting into the business of selling sex. Most of them weren’t from Europe — she was Russian and there were some South American women as well. Early on they would claim they were making lots of money but that clearly wasn’t the case. You know, they’d make 10-20 Euros a night, come home, get piss drunk, pass out and then the whole thing would start again the next day.

    The reality of the situation didn’t mesh with what was being said in the debate around “sex work” — it was two different worlds. So I started writing about it.”


    “I am not a sex worker, but my experience of lumpenized, illegal sex work via a roomate (for which I cared so little for I did nothing to provide solidarity for) makes me a complete expert not only on lumpenized illegal sex work, but all sex work. I now peddle a book to a receptive audience, enriching myself on account of people I dislike but pleaded to simply want to help. I support laws that put sex workers in the hands of police, who I trust to not be patriarchial and much less rapists.

    My experience with a slice of sex work is enough, no need to listen to narratives from sex workers, who should just shut up and listen to me.”

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  • Jon Hallqvist Wow, you got through the whole first paragraph of a pretty long interview, while at the same time constructing a straw man out of thin air. Good for you! If you’d care to read on just a few sentences you would see that she spent many years doing research. What motivated her to begin is, of course, of less importance than that research, is it not? You’re reaction might be worth analyzing though…
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist I read the whole thing and the book and her “years of research” amount to nothing but whorephobic saviorship.

    What is worth examining is your misogyny who wants to throw women into the hands of the police state with no recourse to even the limited rights other workers have.

  • Jon Hallqvist Then you would know that we don’t put prostitutes in jail in Sweden, wouldn’t you?
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist no, but they are deported even of they are citizens. They have no right to unionize. They are frequently extorted by cops so cops wont arrest their clients. They are subjected to additional violence by customers fearful of arrests.

    Simply put, the face additional oppressions and exploitations other workers do not, in spite of being “legal”.

  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones If you listened to actual sex workers instead of peddleling whorephobia, Jon Hallqvist, you would know these things.
  • Jon Hallqvist Oh, you got that from a post in this thread referring to the made-up stories of Petra Östergren, whom, incidentally, Ekis Ekman deals quite extensively in the book you claim to have read.
  • Jon Hallqvist There’s a difference between listening to prostitutes and listening to brothel-owners-collective purporting to be unions for so called sex-workers. But you would know all about this because you’ve already read Ekis Ekman’s book.
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist lol so because brothel owners misrepresent themselves, it means sex workers have no independent voice?

    Whorephobia is a hell of a drug.

  • Jon Hallqvist How is basing your judgment on what prostitutes actually say instead of what brothel-owners-collective say on their behalf whorephobic?
  • Paul Cockshott Richard Seymour alienation is not something subjective, the term entered political economy from Scots law via Adam Smith, alienation is literally the sale of something by which it becomes alien to the seller. Prostitution is alienation in the classical political economy sense. You asked earlier why sex is different. It is because capitalist society consists of more than one mode of production. In addition to market economy it entails domestic economy. Domestic economy is not based on the principle of anonymous alienation and precisely calculated monetary exchange, it is indeed unsustainable on that basis since its key beneficiaries – dependent children have no independent income. Sexual activity is of necessity predominantly carried out within the domestic
    economy and as such, mainly escapes the logic of commodity exchange.

    The only mode of economy in which this dominance of the domestic
    over sexual activity would fall would be in an economy based on
    the commercial breeding of slaves for profit.

    That is why, in almost all societies, the commodification of sexual
    activity has been considered abhorent.
    The reason why the purchasers of sex should be criminalised is that
    by their actions they undermine the principles of one of the key
    modes of production on which contemporary society is based.

    In the case of some productive activities ( which prostitution is
    not ) that have shifted from domestic economy to commodity economy –
    production of butter, grinding corn etc, the shift to capitalist
    economy goes along with an improvement in productivity and
    an increase in the overall product brought about by technology
    that can not be operated within the household.

    The commodification of sex produces no advancement in the state
    of technology or productivity that can offset the growth in alienation
    and treating others as just instrumentum vocalis – talking tools, ie

  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist actual strawperson. I am saying claiming only brothel owners speak against your kind is whorephobic.

    But who cares, you hate women who do sex work.

  • Jon Hallqvist Why is that? Because I think it a good thing them having a leverage against buyers? Because I won’t believe in fairy tales about how glamorous prostitution in general becomes by legalization? Tell me?
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist where had anyone claimed sex work is glamorous?

    I actually compared it to maintaining the electric grid.

    Your reading comprehension level is clearly very low.

  • Jon Hallqvist Thank you for your opinion. Now, did you have anything substantial to add?
  • Paul Cockshott The comparison with the electric grid is to say the least non-obvious.
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Paul Cockshott I now it is not obvious, but the point is is it glamorous?


    So Jon Hallqvist makes a false claim and lies in order to justify his misogynist hatred.

  • Jon Hallqvist No, I posed a question, which, incidentally, means that you’re lying right now. I wanted to know what classified me as whorephobic and misogynist. You keep saying I am, but you do not explicate the content of this claim. So this thing about ‘reading comprehension’, which I’m sure you know about since you pointed it out for me two posts ago, turns out it can be a good thing.
  • Paul Cockshott “In prostitution, we’re talking about a kind of “sexuality” where one person doesn’t want to be in a sexual situation and so the other has to bribe her. That’s the basis of prostitution. Now why is it so important we hang on to that? Why is that the height of free sexuality? A situation where one person doesn’t want to be there? And why doesn’t that bother people? Why doesn’t it bother them that one person actually has to be bribed to be in a sexual situation?”( from the Ekman article)
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist I explained very clearly what made you whorephobic.

    Let me repeat in different words: you support a legal regime regarding sex work that harms sex workers and does nothing to eliminate sex work.

  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Paul Cockshott that quote perfectly illustrates what is wrong with whorephobic arguments.

    Are other workers being bribed to do something they do not want to do? Most are. What is so special and different with sex work?

    Calling remuneration for work performed a bribe requires one view this work as morally reprehensible to begin with. Such logic is whorephobic.

    Most sex workers are “coerced” into sex work by the same dynamics as all other workers are “coerced” and “bribed”.

    I mean, would you climb into a helicopter and work on high voltage lines out of the goodness of your heart?

  • Jon Hallqvist Well, there you have a claim. Now back it up with facts. For, since your argument about me being whorephobic hinges on that being the actual case (that I’m supporting a legal regime which harms prostitutes), it would first have to be established that that is the case. If it is not, then the opposite happens – you become whorephobic. So, let’s take an actual quote from an official report on the effects of legalization in Germany:

    “Although it has been possible to create the legal framework to enable contracts of
    employment to be concluded that are subject to social insurance, few have as yet made
    use of this option. The Prostitution Act has thus up until now also not been able to make
    actual, measurable improvements to prostitutes’ social protection.

    As regards improving prostitutes’ working conditions, hardly any measurable, positive
    impact has been observed in practice. At most there are first, tentative signs which point
    in this direction. It is especially in this area that no short-term improvements that could
    benefit the prostitutes themselves are to be expected.

    The Prostitution Act has not recognisably improved the prostitutes’ means for leaving
    There are as yet no viable indications that the Prostitution Act has reduced crime. The
    Prostitution Act has as yet contributed only very little in terms of improving transpar

    ency in the world of prostitution. “

    Now, I truly admit that the results are not wholly conclusive in Sweden, but our results are much more positive than that. So, judging by official statistics, you’re the misogynist one.

  • Paul Cockshott What is different is that the vast majority of sexual activity is voluntary and non commercial, which can not be said of clerical work, bus driving, school teaching. It is this anomalous position of prostitution vis a vis (statistically) normal sexual activity that makes it an political issue.
    2 hrs · Like · 1
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist there is no measurable difference between Germany and Sweden. In the end both treat sex workers as special workers for no other reason than morality and whorephobia.
  • Jon Hallqvist But that wasn’t your claim. You claimed that I supported a legal regime that harmed prostitutes. This was what made me whorephobic and misogynistic. Now, statistics don’t back that claim up, and you suddenly change your strategy into calling both models whorephobic and thus, by implication, anyone supporting either one of these models is whorephobic. Nice move, only it tends to be a bit vacuous.
    1 hr · Edited · Like · 1
  • Paul Cockshott Carlos Rivera-Jones, what do you think is the economic and social basis for social disapproval of prostitution? Such moral beliefs arise from the social relations of production and reproduction – how do you explain them? You use the term whorephobia which involves a sleight of hand by which you seem to assume that putting a greek ending on a description of it is enough to exempt the issue from critical examination, and convince others to support what appears to be a particular trade ideology.
    1 hr · Like · 1
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Paul Cockshott

    ” What is different is that the vast majority of sexual activity is voluntary and non commercial”

    Since Engels brilliantly argued that marriage was private prostitution, we know your contention to be false.

    Sex under class society is largely transactional, contrary to what you argue. It doesn’t make it work in the sense of being a commodity, but it is labor that is transactect as part of the reproduction of labor.

    So your premise is not only wrong, but we have known it wrong since the 19th century.

    (I do disagree with Engels on the role of the family per se, but not on the concept of private prostitution as a key pivot of both public prostitution and the reproduction of labor).

    ” which can not be said of clerical work, bus driving, school teaching”

    You could have picked other examples, but all three are incredibly useful to undermine your general argument.

    All three are indeed performed domestically for “free” in most familiar units, even single parent ones. All clerical, driving, and teaching labor perfomed as part of reproductive labor is unpaid or indirectly paid for, and thus performed for “free” and non-commercially.

    “It is this anomalous position of prostitution vis a vis (statistically) normal sexual activity that makes it an political issue.”

    As I showed, this is a false assumption.

    1 hr · Unlike · 1
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Paul Cockshott the dual pressures of whorephobia and whorephilia under patriarchial capitalism are well studied in feminism.

    And it extends well beyond the issue of sex work.

    Women under patriarchy are constantly placed in a position of never being proper – if they work outside the home, they are called out for abandoning their families, if they stay home they are called leaches, etc.

    Capitalist patriarchy has no problem with contradictory ideologies existing within its own structures and ideological state apparatuses and market dynamics.

    It can both have the Westboro Baptist Church and the Human Rights Campaing.

    So the issue is, who do not orient towards the oppressor, but the oppressed. In this case sex workers.

  • Jon Hallqvist Wow, this is getting way too student-like and self-refuting for me.
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Jon Hallqvist lol I have not been a student in almost 20 years.

    But self-refuting how? You are the one claiming sex work is special, not me.

  • Paul Cockshott Well it is pretty obvious that sexual activity is the foundation for the reproduction of labour, tell us something new! Unless industrialised cloning were to be developed this is innevitable. But you admit that it is not commodified, nor, in contemporary society is it other than, in the main voluntary. What may have applied under 19th century conditions can not be simply applied to today.
    It is true that both car driving and bus driving, and home education
    and school education similar concrete outputs, but these
    are examples of what I mentioned earlier when I was discussing
    technologically progressive instances of the shifting of activities
    from the domestic to the commercial or social economy. In both bus
    driving and school teaching, distinct social means of production
    which differ from those in the household ( buses, school buildings )
    are used to carry out the activity. People are transported and children
    are educated in both cases but the concrete character of the work
    changes with the new means of production. The productivity of the
    labour rises and this social gain offsets and historically justifies
    the alienation involved. But neither driving a bus nor standing in front
    of 30 children is something that would be
    done voluntarily, so my choice of topics is not unfounded. Clerical work
    is obviously something which only occurs outside the domestic economy
    as the labour processes in the domestic economy do not depend on
    the keeping of extensive written records.

    Statistically of course, home education can only be an unrepresentative
    and unsual occurence, since the demands it makes on social labour
    are so great that it can not be generalised.

  • Paul Cockshott “Women under patriarchy are constantly placed in a position of never being proper – if they work outside the home, they are called out for abandoning their families, if they stay home they are called leaches, etc.” This in no way addresses the specific issue of prostitution and why it is soccially disapproved of and legally constrained. There is no equivalent disaproval of or legal regulation of other work by women.
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones The fact you think keeping a household running doesnt require clerical work leads me to believe you have never performed this work yourself. I am single and quite poor but the sheer amount of files, paperwork, and other clerical work I need to do amounts to a significant part of my life.

    Bills, permits, taxes, banking, budgeting, etc are clerical work.

    So yes, as I suspected, what we have in you Paul Cockshott is just an ignorant patriarch.

  • Paul Cockshott Well we with families are all familiar with having to fill in tax forms, school permits for trips, paying bills etc but these are not voluntary activities. They are imposed on us by the state. I think I am not alone in saying that I enjoy sex more than filling in tax forms, and would volunteer for one and not the other. It is the fear of the law that forces me to do the one and not the other.
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Paul “This in no way addresses the specific issue of prostitution and why it is soccially disapproved of and legally constrained. There is no equivalent disaproval of or legal regulation of other work by women.”

    This absolutely false. Women have been banned or severely restricted from work outside the home or homestead until very recently under most class societies. To this day in most of the world, regardless of legal regime, women who work outside the home are subjected to massive amounts of direct and indirect disapprovals and hurdles. Even in societies with legal emancipation of women in terms of work, such as the USA and the UK, we find vast wage inequalities compared to men (and if we intersect with ethnicity and race it is even worse). The idea of women’s work not relatef to sex being free of ideological and structural prosecution is risible.

    Again, your narrative of sex work being subjected to some sort of global, transhistorical, disapproval that is separate from a general disapproval of women’s work is just false.

    That said, there is indeed a particular moralistic perspective on sex work rooted on Abrahamaic religions that we are under. Ideology’s relations to class formation are dialectical, not linear.

  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Paul Cockshott

    “I think I am not alone in saying that I enjoy sex more than filling in tax forms, and would volunteer for one and not the other.”

    This is precisely the moralism of the antisex work argument: that sex shouldnt be commoditized because we enjoy it.

    I enjoy playing video games, watching tv, reading books. Do we ban their commodification under capitalism?

    At best your argument amounts to something we all agree on: sex shouldnt be a commodity.

    But we live under capitalism. If you ban a commodity all it does is increase its value and rise the stakes of participation. So we should be very careful when taking prohibitionist approaches.

    Furthermore, your claims of transhistorical, universal condemnation of sex work are just false, and you dismiss hypocrisy’s value in class domination all too easily.

    59 mins · Like · 1
  • Paul Cockshott You are skirting round this Carlos. Of course we know that in the past there were legal restrictions on some other forms of female paid labour – generally high status forms – but (a) these have been abolished, and (b) that does not explain why prostitution is still the subject of legal regulation or proscription or (c) why it is of almost uniquely low social status. You yourself admit that this is true by useing terms like ‘whorephobia’, yet you are no closer to a materialist analysis of it.
  • Paul Cockshott I am about to turn of the internet to make sure my kids dont stay up too late using it, so will leave the discussion shortly.
  • Paul Cockshott Carlos, the only victim in playing video games is the children who waste their time and dont get enough sleep. Nobody is being trafficked and kept under conditions of servitude to support video games in which people interact only with a machine.
  • Rosie Alice I’m not going to make some huge intervention but Paul Cockshott, please tell me you are not seriously arguing that we should keep sex work illegal in order to *prevent trafficking and keeping people against their will*? How is that going as a strategy?
    50 mins · Like · 3
  • Richard Seymour Paul Cockshott, you have just been Salvaged.
    49 mins · Like · 3
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Paul Cockshott kidnapping and sexual slavery are not sex work. They are kidnapping and sexual slavery.

    By which process does a sex worker like Magpie Corvid get lumped in the same category as someone who is subjected to rape for profit? That is the essential category mistake.

  • Rosie Alice WOAH “Sexual activity is of necessity predominantly carried out within the domestic economy and as such, mainly escapes the logic of commodity exchange.” Huh. Sexual activity mainly escapes the logic of commodity exchange. I mean sure, if you want to literally erase the entire history of women’s sexuality (not in the least the historic presence of sex workers!) since the dawn of feudalism, sure it does. Who ever heard of a dowry?
    37 mins · Like · 4
  • Carlos A. Rivera-Jones Rosie Alice this dude argued there is no clerical work in running a household. We clearly dealing with a pampered boy that thinks sexy time is all pleasure freely sought and given, because he likes it. So there.
  • Rosie Alice Sorry, it appears perhaps I lied about the huge intervention. I am still reeling from that little nugget. Please, Paul, correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears to me that you are arguing that the “domestic economy” “mainly escapes the logic of commodity exchange”. I mean, this is a truly fascinating theory I’d love to hear you expand upon. Precisely how does it make such a brave escape?
    34 mins · Like · 4
  • Rosie Alice Carlos A. Rivera-Jones, I wish someone would just come out and say “Sex work is different because sex should be about wuv”
    32 mins · Like · 5
  • Richard Seymour Isn’t that more or less what Gail Dines argues?
  • Rosie Alice I have a shred of respect for people who will just come out and say that. I think their miserable sex lives are punishment enough.
    20 mins · Like · 2
  • Samuel D Barnard Sick burn. I always wonder how these people don’t crumple under the burden of claiming radicalism whilst maintaining beige social conservatism.
    17 mins · Like · 2
  • Martin Luiga
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