Monday Open Thread NO MRA’s Allowed

UPDATE: #C36 passed the House’s 3rd reading just moments ago.

Prostitution is a Human Rights Violation: C36

I haven’t been posting MRA shit because I’ve been doing something much more important. I’ve been watching both the House and Senate hearings on Bill C36. C36 is a response to the decriminalization of prostitution in Canada. Three laws were struck down in Dec 2013 to this effect. This bill is similar to the Swedish model which criminalizes men for buying women but also criminalizes prostituted women, which almost everyone opposes, including me.

Not one woman should be criminalized for being a victim of male violence. That would be like arresting and charging a battered woman or a rape victim. It’s foolish. I have my doubts that the police will crack down on the men. I highly doubt it. However, the great part of the bill is addressing the human rights aspect in the sense that women are not objects to be bought and sold just as we don’t allow people to buy organs, limbs etc. Prostitution is a result of patriarchy, the second class status of women in relationship to men. This is why most prostitutes are women and most buyers are men.

The NGO’s and individuals in the hearings come from everywhere. Bridget Perrier, an aboriginal woman who was prostituted reads off a statement from a young woman whose mother was murdered by Pickton, Canada’s serial killer of prostitutes. He admitted to murdering 49 women from my neighbourhood,dismembering them and feeding them to pigs. Aboriginal women are overrepresented as prostituted women as are Chinese women. The racism inherent in prostitution is just another layer that adds to the fact that this is a human rights violation.

Face to Face With Canada’s Serial Murderer

I remember when I got back from Boston one year and my street was cordoned off. They had arrested Pickton that day and I remember the haunting feeling knowing there were body parts and bone fragments all over the place. The vigils and candles quickly lit up the night at the entrance to his pig farm. There were two large white tents marked ‘victim services’ while crime scene tape blew in the wind. The ground was hard because it had been cold, unusually cold. The backhoes and the sifting machines worked all day finding teeth and jawbones. The media was everywhere and I could barely drive out of my neighbourhood and could only get back in with ID.

Happy Hookers with Internet Connections

A few years ago, on Youtube, a bunch of ‘sex positive’ women, two of which wanted to own a brothel, bullied the few radical feminists who made videos against prostitution. Our premise was radically simple: in an unequal world where women are the lower socioeconomic class, prostitution is a human rights violation against women. I don’t expect that many of you will disagree with me but if you do disagree feel free to make your case in the comment section.

Arguing for prostitution on Youtube is like fishing in a nest. Since Youtube is predominately male these few ‘sex positives’ didn’t have to do much to have lots of men doing anything and everything to please them and bully for them. These men became johns and pimps, gratefully abusing a few radical feminists who didn’t sugarcoat, smile, and cater to their feelings and the idea that women’s bodies are commodities. We few radfems were attacked every single day.

The leader of the sex poz bullies made a sock account and emailed a radical feminist pretending to be an abused teen in order to get dox on this radfem. It was quickly discovered and a whole slew of them gaslighted us by changing their profile pics and generally just being foolish. We radfems knew these people would stop at nothing to harm us. These bullies would stalk us around Youtube and, like MRA’s, would take an innocuous comment, blow it out of proportion, turn on the fauxrage, and make endless videos about it. They accused us of dropping dox, which we never did and of course the same old slurs like TERF and sex-negative.

Eventually, the few radfems, being exhausted, started fighting each other. The whole debacle was terribly sad. We divided. This taught me many valuable lessons which I won’t outline here except to say that whenever the subject of prostitution comes up on Youtube it has the effect of dividing women. Men get involved to protect their interest and women who are friends with these men are too afraid to speak up and stand with the sister the male just denounced.

Currently, the prostitution debate, which isn’t really a debate, has creeped back on Youtube and this past week has been very revealing to me as to who is an ally and who isn’t. Self professed socialists won’t take a stand against the human rights violations of women and pay lip service to pro exploitation folks. It’s disgusting. Of course, I don’t listen to men on this subject because they have a vested interest in making sure women’s bodies are on the market for them to buy, whether they ever do or not. If these same men think it’s wonderful to sell then I’d like to see them sell their ass to larger, stronger gay men for a year and then tell me how great it was while being force fed drugs. I’d love to see that.

Men’s Voices, The Real Ones

Prostitution is driven by demand. Johns don’t care about the women they buy. Men who buy women or support buying women are the most insidious male supremacists and racists because they view women as something they can buy for the right price. This is what one john says about buying women:invisible men canadaIf you want to see the full project it’s here. Not one john appeared for C36 to tell the Canadian government how nice they are and how they need to buy women.

Canada, I hope, will make herstory. The key elements to C36 revolve around the basic premise that prostitution is male violence against women and violates the Charter. This is important and I expect that the preamble to the bill will be modified to clearly reflect that so it will survive a court challenge.

House hearing videos are here.

Senate videos are here.

These are hours upon hours of video. Some of the best interviews are in the House because they have more time to speak than in the Senate, plus the questions in the House are much more detailed. Some of these presentations are morbid. There are parents of girls who were murdered and indeed they drown out the voices of happy hooker NGO’s and ‘researchers’ like Chris Atkinson who say this is all consensual and great fun. He says the Johns are nice people but when asked if he interviews the girlfriends and wives of these men he’s silent. Seriously, I wanted to punch the screen when he spoke as well as when a couple Adult entertainment lawyers spoke who actually said that strippers don’t sell sex in the clubs they represent. Thankfully, there are presenters who are well researched and who don’t lie to the committee.

An older prostitute, when asked if prostitution was inherently violent, stated that only 20% of women have that experience of violence and then went on, in the same thought, to say she had several episodes where she was beaten. I couldn’t believe how normalized and compartmentalized these women thought about the violence directed at them. They put on a good face to the committee saying how happy they were but cavalierly revealed they were abused. You could tell the MP’s weren’t buying their stories of happy hooker.

One of the applicants on the Supreme court challenge was a minor when she was pimped into prostitution! I watched some of the pro-exploitation NGO speakers making disrespectful ‘rolling eyes’ at witnesses who contradicted them. The Swedes were interviewed too. They said quite clearly: this is a human rights violation against women. Men do not need to buy sex and they aren’t entitled to sex. The demand is the problem.

I’ve been on Twitter tweeting under the hashtag #C36 and there are john’s on there simply don’t give a fuck whether they buy underage kids or trafficked girls/women. It’s frustrating and I’ve had to block a few people who can’t argue their case and who resort to low tactics or silly analogies. One john told me I needed to get out more.

One NGO that focuses on how Chinese women are exploited really had serious impact on me. The racism that is enacted on Chinese women’s bodies was clearly stated. Chinese women are sex trafficked to Canada and forced into ‘massage parlours’ where men want them to act like children and obedient, which is a racist stereotype. I think it really impacted me because I live in Chinatown and I interact with so many Asian women on a day to day basis and it made me wonder how many of the women I see are here in Canada because they’ve been sex trafficked.

On Channeling Your Inner Cheech

Lastly, and with more happiness, I have a new young buck (male mouse). I’ve named him Cheech. He’s really a fool. He runs with his tail in the air and is extremely playful. It took a while to gain a bit of his trust. He comes when I call him and then acts silly. He reminds me of a hobo. His ear is bitten and he’s thin. He’s the goofiest mouse I’ve ever met but also very friendly. I sort of feel like I need to protect him because he does crazy things. One night he climbed up a wall hanging while I watched him. He sat up on the thin wooden rod looking down at me and then climbed down only to go back up again because he could. He’s a clown.

Shortly before discovering he could literally climb the wall he climbed a wire behind my desk, sat on top in the corner and stood infinitely still while scanning me with his black beady eyes. Cheech knows I won’t harm him.

Yesterday evening I got down on the floor with peanut butter on my fingers. I’m training him to come eat from my hand. I call him and he comes with his nose moving rapidly while he stretches his body like an elastic when he gets closer to me. His game is to make me sit there while he sniffs the floor for 15 minutes pretending he’s not really interested and not really hungry. He’s bad at this game because he never stops looking back to see if I’m still there. So I wait, silently, while he goes through his own psychological torment.

Eventually he makes a loop near me. His nose pushes forward as he smells my legs. Yes Cheech, that’s Mum. He pops, landing a few feet away and continues looping back and smelling me. Sometimes I think he might be more interested in me than the peanut butter but that’s Cheech trying to fool me.

Beatrix Potter studied mice so well she even drew the usual crook in wild mice tails.

Beatrix Potter studied mice so well she even drew the usual crook in wild mice tails.

You can learn a lot from Cheech. He’s just so pathetic that you want to love him. That bitten ear marks him as a troublemaker among his own kind. His young skinny frame, while muscular, pops when he moves as if he’s the oldest mouse alive. He wears a black spot between his eyes. Looks like someone took an ink pen to him. I love little Cheech. He needs his own hashtag on twitter.

#ilovecheech

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18 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread NO MRA’s Allowed

  1. I really hope this passes in Canada. Maye it will set a precedent for the rest of the Americas.

    Although, here in the U.S., women still have never been declared full citizens. We lost hope in that when the ERA failed to pass. So, we’re not whole humans here with full human rights, therefore, whatever men to do to us is all right as long as it it doesn’t lead to immediate death. Until we clear that hurdle, I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like C36 here.

    The men really reveal themselves when subjects like stopping them from buying women like were livestock or putting an end to pornography come up, don’t they. If you think liberal men are friends to women, are “feminist allies,” now is the time to take a closer look. You’ll see what they really are.

  2. So it passed? I don’t know Canadian legal procedure.

    I was just listening to another vid about it at YT. It includes provisions to help victims get out and re-establish their lives. I think this is probably the scariest aspect for women involved. Will they be treated fairly at their normal jobs, will they be treated like people, will they be paid fairly. These are problems for all women and the reason many women have to turn to prostitution in the first place.

    I heard one of the proponents urging Christians to get use their voices. The Christians have made my life a living hell – I have a long, long story about this, in fact, which I have not yet told – but, when it comes to ending prostitution and pornography, they could be allies. They don’t really respect women as people, but they think it’s all an offense to God. Whatever! It needs to stop and women need to be treated like people. So, if they can be brought in to help this happen, then I think they should be encouraged to help.

    • Hey WotW,

      Can u give me the link to the vid? I’d love to see it.

      Something many victims rights groups brought up was the effect of pornography on prostitutes. Of course any reasonable person understands that johns watch porn, get stimulated and go find a woman to buy to enact that violence on.

      I think we’ll be seeing some legislation around porn in Canada in the near future.

      • When they interviewed Ted Bundy before his execution, he said that porn played a role in men’s violence against women. I think he mentioned that this was something that is not talked about, too – as if it’s some big secret.

        It is absolutely true that men who view porn want to act out what they see on whatever woman is handy. If you have a dude in your house or you have a “friend” who is a dude and he watches porn, he’s going to try it out on you.

        I think it explains the warp speed acceleration of violence and perversion being perpetrated on us – along with the backlash, of course.

        • Your last statement is profoundly true. With the invention of porn at a click online men are becoming programmed at a young age to only get aroused at sexual violence. This is well documented as well.

          Of course the argument to that is ‘but the rape rates are going down!’

          That’s true but women are also getting ‘normalized’ into this behaviour too. It’s another male dominated invention that infests women’s psyche to the point they think it’s ok. Gail Dines talks about high school girls getting talked to like a ‘porn actress’ and the rising rate of anal sex that the boys want and of course ejaculating on her face.

          This is another way to rob people of their authentic sexuality and to marry violence and sex even further.

          • No way rape rates are down in the U.S. nor any way that they are as low as the Feds claim. I have met very few women who have not been brutally raped by, at least, one man. Almost no one reports it because doing so would only make things much worse.

            I do think there’s a problem with it being normalized. I used to just accept the fact that rape was part of the cost of living in the U.S. If you have to be around men (if you work around men or you have to deal with men to get to work and back), then it’s going to keep happening to you and it’s just part of life here. Everyone else accepts it. If you complain about it, then you’re the problem. So, that’s just how it is.

            Of course, I know that’s wrong. But, it’s the only way I could cope with it when I had to be around me all the time.

          • It is a good point that we don’t know the unreported rates and of course there are studies that show women who are raped don’t consider it rape because they’ve been programmed or taught to think it isn’t rape.

          • Yes.

            Although, in my case. I knew it was rape. I also knew – as do the perpetrators – that there’s not a damned thing the victim can do about it.

            Rape is just part of life for most women in the U.S. – unless you are really lucky, I think. Maybe if you’re in a non-abusive family or you have a non-abusive protector. I can think of very few such cases, though, and you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

  3. I was about to post a video of Bridget Perrier speaking at an event on Friday, but the video has been taken down for editing. If it goes back up, I will link it. It was a panel in Toronto organized by Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution and two survivors spoke. They were both totally in favour of Bill C-36.

    I’ve had such a hard time understanding the circumstances of this bill. Article after article tells us that women in the sex trade “don’t want to punish the johns” because it will “make it harder to screen clients” and “push the trade underground.” This seems to be the only opinion getting any air time, and a lot of people are swallowing it whole. The exited women who became abolitionists after years of abuse are constantly silenced and no-platformed. As a result, the information going to the public is always biased toward the needs of the pimps and johns. For a long time I was convinced that there was some truth to the claim that women didn’t want the johns punished, and so I didn’t think I could support the bill.

    I asked the two survivors at the recent panel what they think of the women who write articles saying they love “sex work” and are not being exploited. They said that women still inside the trade often believe this, and it’s not until after they get out that they can process what happened to them and articulate it truthfully. They also said that it’s not true about the screening clients thing. For a lot of women in the trade, they have no say in what clients they see, it’s their pimps who decide. For women working independently, you can try and guess which clients will be violent and which ones won’t but you never know for sure. Clients can appear “nice” and can act nice for a while but then suddenly turn violent. The idea that we shouldn’t punish johns because it will make it harder to screen them is just a diversion from the real problem—that johns are inherently violent, that their violence is unpredictable, (it comes out whenever their masculinity is threatened) and that it’s actually impossible to screen them even at the best of times. And regarding the trade moving “underground” where it is purportedly more “dangerous”, they said there is no “underground” for the sex trade to move to. The sex trade occurs in body rub parlours, strip clubs, apartments, condos, hotels, and in the street, and whether the johns are punished or not, it occurs in those same places.

    We’re being fed a lot of myths about prostitution and it’s really hard to separate fact from fiction. I was referred to a documentary from the National Film Board of Canada called Buying Sex. According to the woman who recommended this video, Allan Young admits on camera that it was he who created the case to knock down the old prostitution laws and he recruited women (Bedford et al) to help him out and make it look like it was their idea. It was men who tried to decriminalize prostitution, not women, but the way the media tells the story it sounds like it was women. I haven’t seen this documentary yet but I’m told you can get it on ITunes, at Canadian public libraries, and from the National Film Board.

    I’m really glad I went to that panel on Friday. Listening to survivors speak is the only way to find out the real facts. I’m looking forward to this law being passed.

    • I did get to see it earlier today. Just Bridget’s presentation but not the rest.

      What are every1’s thoughts on the bill? Any changes? What you like/dislike? Will it be challenged if it goes through? What will be challenged?

  4. Since you have concerns about enforcement, thought you might be interested in this. Describes enforcement/political attitudes in Sweden/Norway/Iceland.

    http://lawc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2013-The-Crusade-of-the-Pro-Prostitution-Lobby.pdf

    Even though enforcement is low or sporadic, politicians oppose the law, and the sex work ideologues continue to shout from the rooftops, the laws are still working. There is no doubt that the law directly communicates that prostitution is wrong, it influences society’s attitudes and changes behavior.

    Imagine what could happen if laws were enforced.
    Imagine if politicians gave it 100% backing.
    Imagine if all countries in the region adopted the same approach.
    Imagine if Hollywood stopped trying to glamorize prostitution as salacious.
    None of these have happened, but the Nordic models still works.

    Canada has just taken a step that will influence other countries that are considering changes, France, Ireland, Malta, Lebanon, Israel, Estonia, South Africa,….

    • I’m thinking of making a world map with countries that penalize johns highlighted. Rosen Hicher is still doing her march over in France to lobby for abolition. It’s happening all over!

  5. It’s a ray of hope whether or not it passes now. In the US where I live such a bill could never even be brought to discussion.

    Thanks for telling us about your new pet mouse Cheech. What a perfect name. And I enjoyed the Potter illustration.

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