Sex Work

'This Is a Culture War': Sex Work Decriminalization Bill in D.C. Draws 14 Hours of Passionate Public Testimony

From morning till past midnight, supporters and opponents of a bill to decriminalize prostitution offered starkly different visions of safety and rights.

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For more than 14 hours on Thursday, D.C. officials heard impassioned public testimony about decriminalizing prostitution.

The Council of the District of Columbia's Judiciary and Public Safety Committee has been considering a measure (the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019) that would remove criminal penalties for commercial sex between consenting adults.

Right now, both selling and paying for sexual services in D.C. is illegal. So is "arranging" prostitution, receiving anything of value from prostitution you helped arrange, or occupying or using a space deemed a house of "lewdness, assignation, or prostitution." All of these laws are used to go after sex workers and people they choose to associate with for normal, non-exploitative arrangements and activities.

The proposed decriminalization measure would not legalize prostitution in the District. In other words, it would not set up a sanctioned brothel system, red light district, sex work registry, or anything like that. And it would not touch existing prohibitions on sex work involving children, coercion, fraud, abduction, or violence, nor other criminal laws surrounding sexual assault, labor exploitation, or activity involving people under 18.

You might not have guessed that last bit from listening to some of the testimony at yesterday's hearing. The speakers included several representatives from "anti-exploitation" groups that view all sex work as damaging and inherently abusive. Their speeches were rife with refusals to distinguish between voluntary sex work and human trafficking, or between what the bill would actually do (decriminalize the former) and the detailed tales of trauma they told.

Again and again, nonprofit representatives invoked trafficked children and raped women, taking for granted that these things would escalate if we stop caging adults for consensual sex.

The president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Toni Van Pelt, worried aloud that the bill would let people abduct kids with impunity. She also called all prostitution a form of gender-based violence and said—inaccurately—that all NOW chapters across the country agreed.

Another speaker worried that the change would somehow ruin sexual assault cases for non-sex workers.

Councilmember David Grosso, who introduced the bill and is now among four sponsors, stressed repeatedly that, if anything, this measure would give police more capacity to handle the sex crimes that should actually be sex crimes. "We should arrest someone for assault," he said. "But when it's two adults engaging in a consensual sex act, I don't see why that should be an arrestable offense."

This position earned Grosso—a white man—a number of direct and indirect accusations of only sponsoring this bill because he didn't understand life in black and brown communities, didn't care about the girls from them, and wanted to make rich white men happy. But Grosso only brought forward the legislation after being approached by a coalition of activists working in local LGBTQ, racial justice, harm reduction, and related realms.

The campaigners from this coalition, DECRIMNOW, are overwhelmingly young D.C. residents of color, many with personal experience in sex work or who have otherwise been affected by its criminalization (such as getting profiled and harassed by police simply for being a transgender woman). They went door to door in D.C., conducted social media outreach, and otherwise put in a lot of effort to see that this bill got to where it was yesterday and that so many people showed up.

"It's clear that Grosso is a white man. Ok. But 'Black & brown girls' developed this legislation and folks opposed to #DecrimNowDC keep furthering their erasure," tweeted Black Youth Project (BYP) 100 organizer @youngstalli yesterday. "Stop it."

During the hearing, many DECRIMNOW representatives offered powerful testimony about their own experiences with arrest, police abuse, or being victimized by a partner or customer yet unable to report it because of our current laws. They testified to myriad reasons for starting sex work; what it has meant for them in terms of survival and opportunity; and what it would mean for sex work to truly be treated as a job like other. Some talked about how the lines between coercion and consent are not always neat and bright—but on either side, criminalizing sex workers and their customers does not help.

The anti-decriminalization folks' usual lines about this being pushed by the "pimp lobby," "white men," or only the most privileged and elite sex workers rang especially hollow in the face of the firsthand, often raw, and unwaveringly pro-decrim message from current sex workers—including many who are trans, street-level, or otherwise especially vulnerable.

The contrast was made even more stark by the fact that so much of the opposition came from people at big organizations whose whole business model is proselytizing against sex work. This professional anti-prostitution gang was unmistakably older, whiter, and less local than those testifying in support of the bill.

It included Swanee Hunt, the oil heiress and Clinton-era ambassador who has spent the past decade or so attacking "sex buyers." Hunt—who long sponsored a "National Johns Suppression Initiative" and was recently outed for paying police departments to conduct prostitution stings on her terms (including framing them as sex trafficking busts)—told a local trans sex worker sitting next to her yesterday that they both wanted the same thing.

They most certainly do not. But Hunt wasn't the only opponent of decrim trying to co-opt the language of the sex-worker rights and decriminalization movements.

Few opponents to the bill mentioned morality or religious values, as would have been the case not all that long ago. Nor did anyone but a handful of local residents and neighborhood leaders bring up "quality of life" concerns (such as worries about loitering, appeals to community morale, or fear that decriminalization would cause other crimes to go up).

Even NOW-style arguments about the "message" this sends to men about women's bodies, how it advances The Patriarchy, etc., were relatively rare.

Overwhelmingly, opponents of the decrim bill—especially those speaking as professional advocates—framed their opposition as a concern for sex workers themselves, and particularly concern for women and girls of color, transgender women, and gay people. A lot said they supported "partial decriminalization," where customers and associates of sex workers would still be prosecuted but sex workers themselves would not.

This is known as the "Nordic" model—or, sometimes, the "End Demand" model. It's been the subject of a slew of negative studies since taking effect in various Nordic countries and spreading to Canada and throughout Europe.

Proponents now are trying to rebrand it as the "Equality" model. But whatever we call it, the logic upholding it is paternalistic and twisted. It relies on the underlying assumption that sex workers (who in these narratives are always women or girls) are victims regardless of what they say about it and that anyone who pays them for sexual companionship is guilty of violence against them. Hence, arresting those who pay for sex (who in these narratives are almost always straight men) is only right and also the key to stopping human trafficking.

Several speakers yesterday pointed out that under the Nordic model, police still surveil sex workers and conduct prostitution stings, customers are still too worried to submit to screening procedures, the work still has to be done underground, and sex workers still face unsafe conditions and diminished economic prospects.

But since the end goal of the Nordic model is the eradication of sex work, keeping those in it from feeling fully safe or making too much money is hardly a flaw for its advocates.

Some supporters of the idea undoubtedly do care about decreasing police intervention and jail time in sex workers lives, and some truly believe that all sex workers are victims at heart. But promoting the Nordic model also lets them lay claim to a compassionate, "feminist" stance while largely still sticking up for the status quo—and, as at yesterday's hearing, actively working against existing efforts to stop sex workers from being rounded up and thrown in jail.

The upside is that this shows how far things have come and how fast they're moving. It's no longer acceptable to openly scorn and dehumanize sex workers, it doesn't cut it to cite '90s-style crime fears and broken-windows policing theories, and no one's getting anywhere with appeals to religious values or community standards.

Not even treating sex workers as an acceptable sacrifice to the criminal justice complex in order to protect kids is getting as much bang for their buck.

Now the only tenable way forward for sex-trafficking-awareness professionals and all these groups that depend on promoting themselves as protectors of women and girls (while ignoring what real women and girls say) is to partially give in to the decriminalization movement's goals. Whether that works out for them depends on how convincingly they can sell the myth that everyone's on the same side here. If yesterday was an indication, they're in for a tough battle.

For a much more detailed play by play of testimony yesterday, check out this Twitter thread from sex worker rights activist Kate D'Aadmo. (I also shared some good and bad from the day's testimony on Twitter, starting here.) You can find more under the #DecrimDC, #DecrimNow, and #DecrimNowDC hashtags.

I had signed up to give an official statement but I was the 120th person on the list and my name wasn't called until around 9 p.m. By then, having shown up to the hearing not long after it started at 10 a.m., I was watching along from home at that point. (You can read what would have been my statement here.)

Some tireless advocates, for and against, stuck around all day and night and into the next morning, still snapping in silent support (no clapping was allowed) or shaking their heads in alarm as the last set of witnesses finally had their say just after midnight. Video of all the testimonies can be viewed through the D.C. Council website.

"The fact that this #decrimnowdc has garnered this much attention and so much national opposition by carceral feminist is a testament to how much power we have built," tweeted* Nnenna, an organizer with BYP 100. "They are scared. They are frightened. This is a culture war."

Similar legislation introduced by Grosso back in 2017 failed, but this time he already has more backing from his colleagues. As of now, no date has been set for next move, but the bill must first make it out of a vote by the Council's Judiciary and Public Safety Committee before it can be put up to a vote by the full, 13-member council.

The measure is open for public comment through the end of the month. Instructions on how to do so are here.


* CORRECTION: This post previously attributed Nnenna's "culture war" tweet to the sex-worker outreach group HIPS, when HIPS was merely retweeting Nnenna's original statement.

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  1. Its always nice to see some moral busybodies losing their grip on power.

  2. Agency is simply not something women can be trusted with. Not when they’re making choices that I have judged harmful to them.

    1. I like to imagine that Mrs. Fist was yelling at you to take out the garbage as you were typing that.

      1. Au contraire . I am taking full advantage at home of the Handmaid’s Tale society that Trump has created.

    2. Uhh, they can’t be trusted with agency when they’re making choices that you DON’T judge harmful to them.

  3. How can something supposedly so pervasive be so unseen?

    “Over 200,000 victims are trafficked in the state of Texas at any given time, nearly 80,000 of them minors, according to a report by the state attorney general’s office.

    Letta’s experience in the dark trade of sex trafficking is an all-too-common tale in Texas and across the United States.

    The United States has been ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. According to a report by the State Department, the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines.”

    Houston teen takes own life after surviving sex-trafficking ring, highlighting ongoing US epidemic

    1. How can something supposedly so pervasive be so unseen?

      Patriarchy

    2. Good thing this bill has nothing to do with human trafficking.

  4. Recently went to DC. Had a nice trip. Went to the museums. Had a good time. Saw a lot of homeless people hunched over and walking like Skeksis. I’m sure if they can perform fellatio for money without fear of being arrested it would really help them out and improve their lives. Right?

    I’ve been noticing this pro-prostitution thing a lot lately. I don’t really care, but I see a lot of unintended consequences no one talks about. For one, being a financial floozy is only doable for a few years. What happens after that if you don’t OD?

    Discrimination laws? What if you won’t do black?

    Taxes?

    What is the left going to do when people start photographing and outing those that they had sex with for money on social media like the left does to racists?

    What about syphilis or antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea? If I get it can I sue? If I went to McDonalds and got a Daily Double and wound up with syphilis then I could sue.

    1. For one, being a financial floozy is only doable for a few years. What happens after that if you don’t OD?

      This bill isn’t about legalization, but if it was, the above really isn’t any of your business, is it?

      Discrimination laws? What if you won’t do black?

      This bill isn’t about legalization, but if it was, this becomes an interesting question, but ultimately irrelevant at this time considering the fact that no one is proposing keeping paid sex illegal because some people might discriminate when choosing their Johns.

      Taxes?

      This bill isn’t about legalization, but if it was, yes.

      What is the left going to do when people start photographing and outing those that they had sex with for money on social media like the left does to racists?

      This bill isn’t about legalization. But if it was, it sounds like something between the company/sex worker and the John.

      What about syphilis or antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea? If I get it can I sue?

      And these aren’t already problems? Or is it preferable to keep paid sex illegal so you can continue ignoring the fact that these problems are already occurring?

      1. ” Or is it preferable to keep paid sex illegal so you can continue ignoring the fact that these problems are already occurring?”

        With paid sex comes liability. You and I both know that people want it to be fully legal and that’s their goal in the end.

        All that will do is make it even more illegal because the number of permits, licenses, etc will be limited and the costs of an operation like this are expensive. (See Nevada)

        That means only the prettiest girls benefit and everyone else is open to charges for prostitution without a license, prostitution in an area not zoned for it, health code violations, tax evasion, etc.

        Use your head. It’s more beneficial to whores to keep it illegal.

        1. You continue to other-talk over people about legalization (Nevada health code violations, tax evasion,) when no one is proposing that.
          I will tolerate your creepy need to control the sex lives of people you have never met for the sake of conversation, but this is useless if all you are willing to discuss are the straw men you seen determined to argue over.

          1. I’m all in favor decriminalizing and legalization. I think Nevada is doing a great job. In fact, I think it’s as perfect as it can get.

            I’m just not going to lie and act like this is beneficial to hookers because it isn’t.

            Whenever the law touches this industry it hurts those in it more. Criminalization did have aspects to it that were beneficial since it often forced people to find a more legitimate way to go about their business out of fear or being tired of getting arrested. Those ways were “safer”. (Not really though.)

          2. {golf clap]

          3. I don’t like the way he denigrates the hookers. But other than that, he makes some good points that none of you seemed to want to argue back.

            For one thing, what are the chances of things stopping at decriminalization? It’s like expecting weed to stop at decriminalization and not go to legalization; it was never going to happen.

            Second, legalization = regulation. And regulation = greater liability/responsibility on the prostitutes. Some dude got an STI? It’s on you. You refuse service to a particular demographic? It’s on you. And not to mention the raised costs and barriers to entry of getting permits, health insurance, being restricted to certain zones, and God-knows how many other regulations Dems will dream up in state legislatures and city councils. Would all of this really make the prostitutes’ job easier, or would it make it harder?

            Also, speaking of Nevada, something like 80 percent of the prostitution in it still happens informally, outside of the legal brothels. And one of those cathouses even went out of business recently. What does that tell you?

            For the record, just a few hours ago, I posted a fully supportive comment for decriminalization on this very thread. But some of the arguments by that dude have made me reconsider. And now I’m more on the fence. I wish Reason would do a piece on what would legalization really look like, or how it would impact the sex trades in general. I mean, much of stripping is legalized, so it’s not necessarily the end of the world. And also, on what are the chances of it remaining decriminalized (I think low).

            1. If you think the biggest problem with his post is denigrating sex workers them I’m afraid you’re hopeless, but since I don’t believe you were anything other than anti all along, let me address the series of non sequitur you raised for others:

              “For one thing, what are the chances of things stopping at decriminalization?”

              Well, both New Zealand and Rhode Island achieved decrim without legalization and the facts are in. Less STI’s, rape and sexual assault (especially by vice cops that basically become vice cops because they know it was a license to rape sex workers using tax payer money to do it) for both sex workers and non-sex workers.

              “Second, legalization = regulation. And regulation = greater liability/responsibility on the prostitutes. ”

              What an idiotic comment. I’m against legalization, but where it has been used (Germany, Nevada, The Netherlands) higher sex worker liability has not followed. That pure made up bull shit on your part. Try again and try harder.

              Also, speaking of Nevada, something like 80 percent of the prostitution in it still happens informally, outside of the legal brothels.

              Yes, this is why legalization is a bad idea. Where the government becomes the pimp for the sex workers (legalization) they do such a shitting job with it that the majority of sex workers remain outside the system. making government the pimp solves nothing and creates additional problems. It also does nothing to stop rapey cops, which sex workers will tell you is their biggest challenge.

              For the record, just a few hours ago, I posted a fully supportive comment for decriminalization on this very thread. But some of the arguments by that dude have made me reconsider.

              No one is buying this load if shit. If your anti sex worker just come out and admit it. Stop pretending like you were converted by a line of shit only someone who is an anti would ever buy to begin with.

              1. First off, fuck you for questioning my intentions! You don’t have to “buy it”, you just needed to scroll down your lazy fuckass and see my comment on why prostitution is normal and inevitable.

                Second, the Nevada brothels are going out of business. And a big reason why is that regulations drive up the costs like crazy, the inconvenience for both the prostitutes and the customers, not least of which zoning laws. So no need to try to pass this legalization as perfectly great and a better solution for most people. It’s not; if it were neither Nevada nor Germany would have large black markets of them.

                Also, I just checked Rhode Island, and prostitution there has been made illegal again, proving once again that mere decriminalization isn’t all that durable, and can’t be counted on. WHICH IS WHAT I SAID!

                You don’t have to sell me that legalization is a bad idea. I told you it was myself!

        2. Use your head. It’s more beneficial to whores to keep it illegal.

          Okay buddy, I’m sure you know better than the actual sex workers themselves.

          I would tell you to use your head, but now I see it’s so far up your ass that your Adam’s Apple is actually your nose. No one is interested in supporting your weird obsession of intervening in people’s sex lives. We tried your way and discovered it’s evil.

          1. “Okay buddy, I’m sure you know better than the actual sex workers themselves. ”

            I don’t care what people do when they fuck. Just don’t lie about something being beneficial when it isn’t. This kind of shit is never that simple and when it comes to something like this it always has unintended consequences and the girls always are the ones that suffer while people virtue signal about how they did the right thing.

            Also, I would know better. I made more per scene than the girls would because I owned an adult company. I worked in the fucking industry for almost 15 years.

    2. What happens if you hire a plumber to fix your toilet but the plumber instead breaks everything and floods your house? Can you sue the plumber? Answer: yes. It’s the same basic idea for legal prostitution. If you hire a prostitute to perform a service, and that prostitute either doesn’t perform the service, or winds up harming you as a result (i.e. giving you a disease) then yes you can sue the prostitute. You can’t do that now of course because it’s illegal.

      1. So will they have hooker insurance?
        If you sue a ho you aren’t getting shit because the money is spent in their heads before they earn it and they wouldn’t be able to afford the insurance because the costs would be too high due to the risks. Porn stars bitch about having to pay for their own tests. You think they’ll buy insurance?
        It would be a disaster and all that would do is encourage a girl to go with a pimp because he’ll make sure to cover all those costs for her so she keeps making him money.
        It literally just helps pimps.

    3. Recently went to DC. Had a nice trip. Went to the museums. Had a good time. Saw a lot of homeless people hunched over and walking like Skeksis. I’m sure if they can perform fellatio for money without fear of being arrested it would really help them out and improve their lives. Right?

      So you’re arguing that if we add incarceration to their existing challenges (homeless) that will help their situation? So a blow job is bad, but a blow job followed by incarceration is better? Consent can be complex, but a cop raping the homeless sex workers with impunity (as they now can under criminalization of buyers and sellers) meets no definition of consent.

      I’ve been noticing this pro-prostitution thing a lot lately.

      Yes, that’s because it’s been shown in repeated peer reviewed studies to decrease rape and sexual exploitation of sex workers as sex workers themselves will tell you

      I don’t really care, but I see a lot of unintended consequences no one talks about. For one, being a financial floozy is only doable for a few years. What happens after that if you don’t OD?

      Wow, financial fluzzy. You are literally using white slavery panic language from the 18th century. Do you think we should castrate and incarcerate gay men too? That was popular around the same time frame.
      Most people have a limited number of high earning years in their career. Professional Athletes are an extreme example, but do you think we should ban them too? Hint, if your comment sounds dumb as shit when money is not involved in sex, it hardly sounds better when money is involved.

      Discrimination laws? What if you won’t do black?

      Ya, you decrim. types are always obsessed with inter racial sex. You talk about your fear of being taken by another race with one hand down your pants moving furiously the entire time. Decriminalization doesn’t remove consent, it improves it. A sex worker can pick her clients the same way any independent sex worker does. In my experience, most sex workers aren’t as hung up on race as you apparently are, but whatever.

      Taxes?
      This is the second biggest lie out there. Most of the sex workers I know already pay taxes. I doubt that would change with decrim.

      What is the left going to do when people start photographing and outing those that they had sex with for money on social media like the left does to racists?
      This is already happening and it’s worse with criminalization. Because sex work is illegal, not only is that socially embarrassing, but children are taken from parents by the State and employers fire workers for “breaking the law” under criminalization. Decrim would actually lesson the harm of being outed. Decrim would also allow the sex worker to make a legal case against those who attempt to do this. They currently have no recourse.

      What about syphilis or antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea? If I get it can I sue? If I went to McDonalds and got a Daily Double and wound up with syphilis then I could sue.
      This would be the biggest lie. Sex workers actually have far lower rates of STI than dirty civilians because their career depends on being healthy. There has been an exponential explotion is STI across the country over the last 20 years with the increased criminaliztion of sex work. That’s why The Lancet and the AMA are both for decrim.

      1. Correction
        “Ya, you crim. types are always obsessed with inter racial sex.”

        Damn Auto correct.

        Criminalization of sex is always rooted in bigotry just as it was during the last “white slavery panic” when the Mann act was passed to incarcerate black men for having sex with “pure virgin white women.”

      2. Everything you say is the jibberish spout out by whores that is parroted around for PR purposes. They don’t even agree with it. They lie. Porn stars get STD’s like every other week and that’s with both people tested twice a month. They stay off the PASS database (Which is a HIPA violation, in reality) by getting treated by a doctor outside of the system. That’s where the stats are coming from. It’s a joke. A lot of the diseases come from them doing privates with non performers (escorting) and bringing it to work where it is spread around like wildfire before the 2 weeks before testing ends.
        Since CALOSHA decided to make them be safe they’re now shooting without permits and shooting in states where it isn’t legal.
        When it becomes legitimized it becomes very hard to make any money off of it. As a result, people will skirt the laws and you wind up right where you started.
        Trust me on this. I made a fortune off of these people. I know the sex industry inside and out. You could say I’m an expert.

        Let’s not forget the rape aspect as well. All it’s going to show is that sex happened. Not malice unless she’s beat up. If she’s paying taxes then there will even be receipts showing she agreed to sex.
        How does that help? If I was her lawyer I would let out a huge sigh and sit back in my chair wondering how I’m going to proceed.

        1. You know he has their best interest at heart when he calls them “the whores” and brags about the “fortune” he made off these people.

          A real class act, this guy.

          1. My mom was proud. That’s all that matters.

        2. It’s HIPPA. not HIPA and HIPPA has nothing to do with reporting STI. HIPAA was designed to ensure patients are aware their information can be shared with 3rd parties and what the rules for sharing that information are. Like the rest of your unsubstantiated claims above, you have clearly pulled them all out of your ass.

          I would avoid using terminology you clearly are illiterate about since it makes the rest of your argument look less credible.

          “Trust me on this. I made a fortune off of these people.”

          So you belonged to the pimp rescue industry? Don’t tell me. You were a member of Polaris with that shit stain bigot Brad Myles.

          You’re obviously useless, but for those who are interested, The Lancet, AMA and USAIDS all have argued for Decrim to lower STIs. I know, all these respected medical organization with actual medical professionals are lying simply to thwart your dumb ass.

          “LIE: Prostitutes spread disease.
          TRUTH: Only about 3-5% of all STIs can be attributed to either side of a sex work transaction, and the rates of infection among professionals are much (often dramatically) lower than among promiscuous amateurs.”
          https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/resources/frequently-told-lies/

          1. Now you have me doing it: HIPAA

          2. It’s access to the medical records available to us to see who is available to shoot and who isn’t. A doctor gives access to patients’ medical records. They can easily be posted online (and often are). Both Cali and FL turn the backs on that and let is slide.

            Decriminalization is the “pimp rescue agency”. It’s incredibly hard to convict them and police have enough trouble getting the girl to admit she has a pimp. Without the women getting arrested the pimp knows his girl will continue to work, she won’t rat him out, and the police will have a harder time trying to prove he is doing what he is doing. Since the chances of the law intervening and finding the girl help decrease dramatically she can continue to make her pimp money.

            See how beneficial it is?

            1. The more you talk about HIPAA, the more ignorant you appear. That is a wildly inaccurate explanation of how HIPAA works.

              Your shit story about “I was a pimp daddy adult film star” smells of dog shit too. Try to study up on your subject more if you want to fake it, because you aren’t making it.

              Now fuck off slaver.

            2. FL and CA have absolutely nothing to do with and no say in HIPAA, you colossal dumbass, it’s a Federal Law

  5. What an odd coincidence. The LP since 1972 has successfully pressed for repeal of comstockism. Suddenly Gary goes pro-choice and the LP vote share rises 328% to 4 million presidential votes. Then the explicit planks from 1972 were again added demanding the legalization of consent. And Lo! The LP nationwide pulled in nearly 13 million votes in 2018. Now alluva sudden the looters are feeling the 2×4 clout of 13 million spoiler votes upside the head. Troops are pulled out or Syria and codgers are “rethinking” sending cops out with guns and money to entice ladies into legal fees, bail, imprisonment and the Scarlet Letter of a criminal record. There is clearly nothing “wasted” about those Libertarian votes after all. They are keeping our young people out of kleptocracy jails, VA wheelchairs and graveyards.

  6. A long time a go, on a planet far, far, away, I read something about a woman having a constitutional right to choose. A slogan like “my body, my choice”.
    Does that not apply here? Why not?

    1. Good point. All the paternalistic supposed worries about a woman’s well-being, safety and all that could easily be slapped on the pro-choice position of abortion. But for some reason, they become irrelevant when it comes to that issue.

  7. “[Swanee Hunt] told a local trans sex worker sitting next to her yesterday that they both wanted the same thing.”

    So Swanee Hunt thinks that trans sex workers next to her wants to be raped by police with impunity before having all of her money stolen from her through civil seizure? Then with the Nordic Model if I client feeling this is wrong attempts to prevent that rapist cop from passing screening in the future, that trans-worker just like Swanee Hunt wants that rapist cop to get a free pass while the client is arrested under the Nordic Model and charged with promoting prostitution?

    Let me guess, it’s all for the children!

    Not inheriting 500 million dollars from myself and lacking Swanee’s creepy obsession with how other consenting adults choose to have sex, it’s hard for me to imagine what type of insanity such blood money can lead you to. Now I have my answer.

    Make no mistake, crony philanthropist profiteers (she bought all those cops through Demand Abolition with a large grant from the MaCarthur foundation. Sleazy profiteers like Swanee never play with their own millions) like Swanee Hunt fear decriminalization in places like DC not because it decrim will cause harm, but because it will reduce harm.
    Swanee understands that all her power of influence is based on bigotry, panic, and the joy many of her fellow rich privileged American’s take in using incarceration to control poor black and brown people. Her worst fear is that decrim will lower rape, police corruption and sexual abuse as it has in places like New Zealand. Once people realize the problem is not sex, but criminalization of sex, her sick game is up.

  8. The Wizened Christian Temperance Union used the same tactics as NOW. First they lied about EVERY women’s organization wanting kids shot and jailed and property confiscated over beer. Then they inflated the lies by making three matrons out of a single hag belonging to a quilting bee, a tea club and a precinct gathering. The Women’s Organization for Repeal of the Prohibition Amendment, armed with the vote and the Wet Plank imported from the Liberal Party the Wikipedia denies, soon freed the US from the Depression of despair, just as in Ireland women now make their own birth control decisions, the Pope be buggered!

  9. Once attacking freedom directly is no longer in the vogue, the only thing to do is attack freedom in the guise of expanding it, or in the guise of “safety.” Or even better, combine them and say that anything that makes you unsafe is a form of oppression!

    That seems to be the route the anti-prostitution lobby is going.

    1. Attacking a freedom is extremely en Vogue. It’s all the rage amongst the swells.
      1A, 2A, every economic choice we make, etc

  10. “”pimp lobby,” “white men,” or only the most privileged and elite sex workers”

    So it’s official – calling somebody a white man is like calling somebody a pimp or a high-priced call girl.

    1. “Calling somebody a white man is like calling somebody a pimp.”

      So now I get to wear long coats with fur collars, sport rings on every finger, and walk with a diamond-head cane? Sweet!!

  11. Stop torturing the language, sex work activists. Legalize = make legal, i.e. not illegal. Decriminalize = make not a crime, but could still be illegal, i.e. civil violation.

    1. “Stop torturing the language, sex work activists.”

      What if the language consents?

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  13. I’ve been all over the United States. The only towns I’ve seen which didn’t have women and girls walking the streets are those in prostitution-legal counties in Nevada. Who would want to take their chances in a back alley or hourly motel, rather than going to a safe social club, where the workers have frequent medical exams and tests for STDs?

    Many of those pushing to keep prostitution illegal feel a moral imperative to help women, and think that this is the way. The money behind the movements, however, comes from those who want women to remain fearful and compliant followers and victims.

    DC, however, has another group opposed to prostitution — our Elect Officials and the Deep State. However, unlike the government, most prostitutes only take money from willing participants, and rarely screw millions of people at a time.

    1. “I’ve been all over the United States. The only towns I’ve seen which didn’t have women and girls walking the streets are those in prostitution-legal counties in Nevada.”

      Wow. I’ve been all over the United States too. Add to that a dozen foreign countries. I’ve never seen a woman or girl walking the streets that way. It must have to do with which kinds of towns, which neighborhoods, which times of day you and I do our visits.

  14. All in all, it’s going in the right direction. However, just because we’re moving away from a puritanical opposition of sex work doesn’t necessarily mean we’re moving towards decriminalization. And that’s what we’re seeing here.

    All too often, the paleoconservative kind of opposition is merely replaced by a lefty kind that either objects to it from supposed worries about safety (yeah, because it’s illegal), or from a more Marxist, class-based objection, that prostitution is just another manifestation of women as a whole being victimized by the Patriarchy, being kept in their historical role as the sexual playthings of their wealthier and more powerful male counterparts.

    And since the leftist/feminist arguments have become more predominant in recent years, I’ve seen a lot of conservatives hide under them in trying to stamp out any kind of sex work.

    My usual response to those is that you CAN’T stamp out prostitution. It’s like trying to stamp out the profit motive, or self-interested behavior. It’s so ingrained in us, that drive for men to seek sexual favors from women, or to just plain sexualize them as dancers or whatever, and for said women to seek to put out in return for getting a taste of that man’s power, influence, resources, security, excitement, or any value from his life she wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

    And whichever route you take socially, you get the expected results. If you allow the voluntary transactions to take place, you get a greater number of people who are satisfied sexually, financially, or in whatever needs and wants they had in life. And if you crack down on the trade, you get more frustration across the board and more poverty (financial and other), with only the illusion of safety and security as consolation.

  15. With all that hot air from both sides, were sex robots mentioned?

    Logically, if robots satisfied the desires, it would seem to end the problem. But I understand that the anti crowd wants to treat robots as no different than live women.

  16. A victimless crime, but until society changes, it shouldn’t be legalized.

  17. Just don’t want the politicians paying for it with public money.

    1. “Just don’t want the politicians paying for it with public money.”

      Like they don’t already?

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