24 October, 2008

Prop-K - it's just a bad, bad idea.

Proposition K - which is on SF ballots this fall, would, “effectively decriminalize prostitution in the city by preventing the Police Department from arresting and prosecuting prostitutes; the measure, however, does not go so far as to actually legalize the sex trade because state law still prohibits it.”

Proponents of the bill point to the “legitimacy” of prostitution as a career choice (which is laughable and false for more reasons than I have time to spell out, but, for a start go here). Now, in time of economic instability they are pointing to the supposed 11 million it would bring into the city – as if pimps and madams would file accurate taxes (if they file at all). Supporters of this bill have the delusion that suddenly this is going to make sex trafficking and exploitation legitimate or visible (then again, they probably think prostitution doesn’t hurt anyone so why not take away protection for the girl who “choose” this life).

“Gregory Carlin of the Irish Anti-Trafficking Coalition told LifeSiteNews.com in 2007 that the legalization of prostitution just doesn't work. "No model of 'prostitution management', not in Europe, Australia, or New Zealand has ever migrated street prostitution into a viable off-street or brothel model. That is simply not the way prostitution works."

“In many countries where prostitution has been legalized, such as the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland and Norway, governments already have or are currently reconsidering their decision after rates of child prostitution, sex trafficking and organized crime increased dramatically."**

Um, what did you think was going to happen?

Or, perhaps more importantly, what did you think sexual exploitation was?

“Additionally, the SF Chronicle reports the measure would prohibit the city's Police Department from accepting any federal or state funds to investigate alleged trafficking victims using racial profiling.

City prosecutors said that the measure would cripple human trafficking investigations, which almost exclusively arise from prostitution arrests during raids on brothels that masquerade as Asian massage parlors.” **

One article I read (I can’t find the URL for) said that K would help because one, “persistent problem in combating trafficking is the lack of willingness of victims to report the crime. One of the reasons is the fear to be prosecuted themselves for prostitution…”

Ok, most women who are trafficked don’t want to be there. If you sat down and talked to them long enough to a) build a rapport and b) get them to relax they would say they want to be doing something else. And b) more women who are trafficked don’t know that there is a name for it, or c) they’ve been raped by men since they were 12 (the average age of an girl “entering” prostitution) so that’s all they know.

And, what would there be to prosecute? All the pimp has to do is say she asked him to come. He offered her a job and she took it, she asked him to get her out of Chicago or wherever he coerced her from. So if you’re that girl and it’s your pimp who you fear (or have severe Stockholm syndrome with) vs. the police who you have been told can’t protect you, won’t work for you and are actually bad – who are you going to believe?

This entire ludicrous and insulting proposition is based on the idea that prostitution is a victimless crime or that a woman being degraded into sexual objects to satisfy a man’s sick desire is somehow women’s liberation or a positive step. Both of which are so misguided.

"The proponents usually paint a fairly rosy picture of two consenting adults and a monetary exchange at the end," Pardini said. "They don't factor in the people that are being exploited and people that are being controlled, the ones manipulated both physically and chemically."

For more info go here or here or here or here or here.