Kvinnor till salu

Vill man ha liv i ett blandat sällskap som sitter och kallpratar och har tråkigt ska man försynt nämna ordet ’prostitution’.

Prostitution är ju inte riktigt comme-il-faut eller PC så det blir först dödstyst. Sen bryter det ut. I synnerhet de manliga pannorna läggs i djupa veck och börjar sen producera långa utläggningar om i synnerhet kvinnans rätt att prostituera sig. Inte ens brösttoner bryr man sig om att undvika. Det blir mänskliga rättigheter hit och stigmatisering dit, kvinnans rätt att bestämma över sin kropp hit och än-manlig-prostitution-då dit.

Amnesty Internationals Londonkontor har nämligen beslutat att man för att värna om de prostituerades mänskliga rättigheter ska gå in för att dekriminalisera prostitution. Worldwide liksom. Londonkontoret har uppenbarligen ingen som helst uppfattning om hur de nordiska länderna fungerar i det här fallet och har säkert aldrig hört talas om kriminalisering av sexköp, dvs den s.k svenska modellen, numera också norsk och förhoppningsvis snart också finsk.

Tar man i diskussionens hetta till metaforen om slaveri är man djupt och i grunden orättvis och har inget förstått, i synnerhet inte att prostitution absolut inte är jämförbart med slaveri. Det vill säga, om man för att driva Amnestys frågeställning till sin spets ersätter ’prostituerad’ med ’slav’ så att frågan lyder ”hur kan vi bäst värna om slavarnas mänskliga rättigheter”, så kommer ju de flesta, förhoppningsvis, att svara att man förstås måste avskaffa slaveriet. Men analogin går inte hem när det gäller prostitution. Den hamnar liksom i den blinda fläcken. Att sälja sex har nämligen blivit en mänsklig rättighet, enligt Amnesty.

Men egentligen vill Londonkontoret ju inte försvara de prostituerades mänskliga rättigheter, utan deras ekonomiska rättigheter. Ett köpförbud slår nämligen mot efterfrågan och minskar på kundkretsen och vill den prostituerade sen fortsätta med sitt fnaskande aus Liebe zur Kunst kan hen ju göra det genom att erbjuda sextjänsterna gratis. Men se det går inte för sig eftersom ekonomiska rättigheter i just det här fallet enligt Amnesty är mänskliga rättigheter.

Nu har jag varit fruktansvärt orättvis och provokativ. Vill man ytterligare bli provocerad kan man gärna gå och se Kvinna till salu på Svenskan.

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One Response to Kvinnor till salu

  1. Ernst Mecke says:

    How very true! One can indeed discuss endlessly about prostitution. And the discussion in the Helsinki office of Amnesty International (with Bert being present) was certainly not the first one in which I have been participating in my life. And my experience says that in such a discussion never anybody has ever changed his preconceived opinion … . And things being so, for what now to write an answer to Bert’s piece? Well, there may be the odd chance that somebody reads this (without having him/herself already exposed as a representative of one or another opinion) who is still undecided and by that still sufficiently open-minded to consider some reasons. Thus:
    If Amnesty International (with its vast international experience) sees reason to consider picking up a fight for the human rights of sex workers, and this especially after proper consideration (at the meeting was distributed a paper of 6 pages plus 2 pages of references), then I do not think it adequate to deal with the topic in the more-than-a-bit ridiculing way which Bert is applying. Nor do I think it adequate to use simple and straightforward insinuations (e.g. such that all sex workers were slaves) which are not even true. And especially disgusting I think the impression from the discussion that some seem to think it simply convenient to disregard the situation of the sex workers involved and instead stick to “principles” (especially those bourgeoise principles which help one to feel good about what one is doing anyway: selling sex does not feel good to me, and as I presumably never will be in the situation to have to consider selling sex let’s simply forbid it; and just imagine if somebody would publicly argue along this line that abortions should be forbidden … – the situation to want an abortion could after all hit even a financially well-up woman, couldn’t it). Another example of this bourgeoise attitude we have quite sufficiently experienced in the form of the attitude and comments of the Helsinki town government concerning Rumanian beggars …
    Thus, let’s have a look at the situation in which human beings in fact do find themselves: A woman in e.g. some of the poorer countries in Eastern Europe might in fact get into a situation where she has to consider whether to try some criminal activity to get money, or instead to turn to selling sex. It is her decision, and certainly not an easy one (same as a decision about abortion). Of course it would be much better if there were a social system which would help her, but the EU seems in no hurry to get going about these matters, and our neoliberal economists are anyway preaching unhindered that social support should be cut down. Thus, it is quite possible that in a given situation selling sex is the most reasonable thing to do. A market for it is certainly there., and in order to earn money one has to go to places where the money is, i.e. Western Europe. All very logical.
    Thus (all this happening in our civilized EU), should somebody who is selling sex perhaps be protected by the same basic human rights as anybody else – such as guaranteed police protection against violence and physical harm, against being treated in high-handed ways by authorities, against being insulted, etc. etc. I think there should be this protection, and I also think that factors which weaken this protection should be reconsidered or abolished. As a special comment on the Swedish system which criminalizes only the customer, just two points: (a) it makes very clear that the selling of sex is an unwanted phenomenon (which very much encourages the moral labeling of EVERYbody involved, thus also the sex worker, with consequences how the sex worker is treated by police and authorities), and (b) it hinders the police in the fight against traficking, as the customers cannot admit to the police that they have been buying sex, thus cannot announce any impressions to the police that they suspect sex slavery (this factor might also help to make the police statistics very good-looking without the police having to lift a finger …). And if Bert feels like making fun of the point that the Swedish system in fact hinders the sex workers from earning: well, if they joined the profession because of economical hardship it is no harm if they get the needed money fast, i.e. one should not hinder them from earning.
    Still something? Well, I think that the German system of legalizing prostitution (which gives a free rein to a sexual business in its crudest Early-Capitalist form) would certainly need to be corrected by a whole bunch of regulations. I also think that Jeanette Björkqvist (on whose research the piece “Kvinna till salu” is largely based) has done a good and valuable job (this I say without having seen the piece yet, but I remember what she occasionally wrote in Hbl). And I should very much like if more contributors could join this discussion (though preferably not in a mocking-bourgeoise spirit). Even Amnesty International could think that good.


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