For those that are curious, here's a writeup from another attendee of MacKinnon's presentation who totally bought into all the BS she was preaching- http://imo.thejakartapost.com/pramoctavy/2011/11/15/mackinnon-prostitution-inequality-and-a-bit-of-economic-analysis/
Andrea made one on 11/17/2011 @ 11:42 pm
Yes, I'm familiar with that article and study. I think it's really important to realize that even these juveniles they are holding up as "victims" are mostly all working for themselves as well. I knew most of the findings already from working with a couple of organizations that work with youth in the sex trade here who were also opposed to End demand because it treated all youth as victims instead of recognizing that many are capable of making their own decisions. Additionally, many are thrown out and run away from abusive homes and choose to support themselves in sex trade. An excellent organization here in Chicago is Young Women's Empowerment Project (YWEP) and one of their research projects was entitled "Girls Do What They Have To Do To Survive."
Additionally, I like that it pointed out that male sex workers make up a large potion of the industry but are often left out of the conversation with these "rescue" groups who don't seem to feel a need to rescues the males as much, assuming they are capable of making their own decisions. Yet another thing Mackinnon left out of her presentation, which focused only on females as prostitutes and males as pimps/johns.
Sinful Sinthia made one on 11/17/2011 @ 09:54 pm
Another interesting and informative blog about the people behind the End Demand movement. These people have already made up their minds and the truth and facts have little to do with how they arrived at their decision.
xrayeyes made one on 11/17/2011 @ 01:24 pm
Hit send prematurely.
In other words, the feminists are making this up as they go along. They have "scholars" who concoct studies with no validity, whose only purpose is to be quoted to support delusions.
I think feminists are sincere in their beliefs. The problem is, there's too many of them who are not above lying to spread these beliefs, which has to effect of bolstering other feminists. It really works like a cult.
xrayeyes made one on 11/17/2011 @ 12:31 pm
Did you ever hear of this article or the studies its based on?
*There are apparently far fewer underage prostitutes than everybody thinks. This study reaches an estimate there are about 4,000 underage prostitutes in New York City.
*45 percent are boys.
*90 percent are US born, suggesting international trafficking is less a problem than thought.
*Only 10 percent have pimps of any kind.
*45 percent got into the business through friends.
*They started on average at 15.
*70 percent sought aid through a youth service agency at least once.
*Almost all said that they exchanged sex for money as the surest way of supporting themselves.
These weren't a part of the study, but it's in the article: NY police have made a total of 31 arrests for underage prostitution in a 4 year period.
northshorealan made one on 11/17/2011 @ 12:21 pm
Thank you for your frequent and well thought out commentaries on the "hobby" scene". You are an articulate reporter and analyst whose contributions are very much appreciated.
Seems the anti-trafficking hysteria is in full force once again, with a protest at Village Voice's headquarters by several feminist and anti-trafficking groups yesterday and a big push by Attorney Generals to take down Backpage's erotic services section, similar to the Criagslist debacle. On tonight's evening news was yet another story about teens being snatched off the street and sold into sex slavery just blocks away from their own homes. And yes, things like this can happen but not so frequently as to put every parent of a teen girl on high alert so that they never let their precious babies leave the house. If you believed all the media hype nowadays (Aston Kutcher/Demi Moore, Mira Sorvino, et al), you'd think sex trafficking was happening everywhere.
Two nights ago, I ventured out to see one of the ringleaders of a lot of this anti-sex industry hysteria, Catherine MacKinnon, give a lecture at Universoty of Chicago called "Trafficking, Prostitution, and Inequality." If you know anything about the history of radical feminism, you may remember MacKinnon from the 80's and 90's when she teamed up with now-deceased uber rad feminist Andrea Dworkin to crusade against pornography. Since that battle went so well, she's now crusading against prostitution under the guise of "sex trafficking" as she believes that it's all one and the same.
While I missed the first half hour of her lecture, I was informed by friends that it seems MacKinnon started out the lines of debate with a bomb stating that it's not about "trafficking vs prostitution, adult vs child, indoor vs outdoor, illegal vs legal and voluntary vs forced", because they're all the SAME. Yes, that there's no distinctions between any of these things in the sex trade. She then went on to say "sex workers create other names and other identities in order to distance themselves from the profession because otherwise sex workers won't be able to cope with it...how when sex workers go into public and defend the profession they do it under these false names because that's the only way sex workers can psychologically say those things -- through this false persona. She implied that if sex workers were *really* okay with sex work, then no false names would happen." Ummm, actually no, they do it because it's a highly criminalized and stigmatized type of work and need to protect their identities because it's not always legally or socially acceptable.
She then went on to drop a few gems such as "In the sex trade, adults and children are not separate people, they are the same people at two separate points in time", "prostitution cannot be made safe and those in it cannot be protected," and "illegal prostitution increases when prostitution is legalized. Legalization is a failed experiment" (which I agree with in some ways). She went on to criticize johns saying they are buying "you do what i say sex" and that "most johns know the women don't enjoy it. they are there buying their poverty. That is what they call consent."
It was the same old rad-feminist rhetoric re-hashed over and over (20 years ago you could have inserted "porn" for "prostitution" and she probably gave the same speech) to an auditorium full of U of C professors and law students who were hanging on her every word, possibly the most disturbing aspect of this whole presentation. They all ate it up and based on the post-lecture questions, seemed to agree with her. or at least those that did disagree were afraid to ask questions. One person asked about how she felt about other types of harm reduction programs such as needle exchange programs and she stated that they didn't compare to distributing condoms to prostitutes because "women are not a drug" and that condom distribution programs "supported the brothel system."
Most of the research she cited seemed to be from India and Africa, where the working conditions of many prostitutes is very poor, but likening that to ALL types of sex work worldwide, not matter where it is performed, just doesn't add up. She states that nearly all the sex trade is controlled by "pimps," but doesn't really give any evidence on how she came across this generalization.
In the end, she promoted the Swedish model (called "End Demand" here in the states) and claimed that it is an adequate solution to the exploitation of prostituted people and asked us to "imagine a world without prostitution." Good luck with that lady.
And believe me, while all this was hard to listen to and many friends asked "why would you go see her speak?", it is important to know what these people are saying to better defend ourselves from their agenda to try to eliminate this industry that supports many of us. Not to mention that it's good research for a presentation that I'm putting together with a friend on how the feminist, "anti-trafficking" agenda actually turns women into victims rather than empowering them like they claim to. If MacKinnon and he cohorts are spreading the message that we're all victims incapable of consent because we've all been abused in the past whether we know it or not, what kind of message does that send out to women?
While I do agree that trafficking and coercive practices are an issue in this industry and seek to find ways to put an end to it, the strategies taken by many off these anti-prostitution crusaders have been way off the mark and oftentimes hurtful to the exact people they're supposedly trying to help. MacKinnon's ideologies are quite archaic, but looked to as gospel by many who have joined the fight in the new "national hysteria" of sex slavery. While some may choose to ignore these folks, it's important to realize that the changes in Illinois law a few years ago (and soon many others) came straight down from the campaigns of these folks.