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"The death of whores"

I follow a sex work blogger, who's just posted a much longer piece than usual.
http://www.lauraagustin.com/prostitution-law-and-the-death-of-whores-in-jacobin-magazine

'Infamous statements from police and prosecutors include the Attorney General’s at Peter Sutcliffe’s 1981 trial for the murder of at least 13 women in the north of England: “Some were prostitutes, but perhaps the saddest part of this case is that some were not.”'

'It doesn’t matter which political direction you come from: the topics of sex work, sexual exploitation, prostitution and sex trafficking seem like a veritable Gordian Knot. As long as you listen to one set of advocates and take their evidence in good faith, you are okay. But the minute you listen to another set of advocates with different arguments and evidence, everything falls apart.'

'If prostitution were abolished, whore stigma would disappear, it is claimed. But contemporary movements against slut-shaming, victim-blaming and rape culture clearly show how whore stigma is applied to women who do not sell sex at all, so the claim is feeble. Instead, abolitionism’s aversion to prostitution probably strengthens the stigma, despite the prostitute’s demotion to the status of victim rather than the transgressor she once was.'

'Under prohibitionism, those involved in commercial sex are criminalized, which directly reproduces stigma. In this regime, the woman who sells sex is a deliberate outlaw, which oddly at least grants her some agency.'

'For advocates of the decriminalization of all commercial-sex activities, the disappearance of whore stigma would occur through recognizing and normalizing the selling of sex as labor. We don’t yet know how long it may take for stigma to die out in places where some forms of sex work are decriminalized and regulated: New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Holland.'

'These countries manifest some degree of State Feminism: the existence of government posts with a remit to promote Gender Equality. I do not know if it is inevitable, but it is certainly universal that policy promoted from such posts ends up being intolerant of diverse feminisms. State Feminists simplify complex issues through pronouncements represented as the final and correct feminist way to understand whatever matter is at hand.'

[In Sweden] 'She had persisted in trying to gain mother’s rights and made headway with the authorities, but her ex-partner was enraged that an escort could gain any rights at all and did all he could to impede her.'

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