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The Forum > Article Comments > No young girl dreams of being a prostitute > Comments

No young girl dreams of being a prostitute : Comments

By Wendy Francis, published 21/5/2014

600,000 - 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 per cent are women and girls trafficked into the commercial sex industry.

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It's hard to take this article at all seriously. It's simply false equivalence to draw human trafficking with legal prostitution. The question isn't even whether children grow up with dreams of being a sex worker(although, it certainly isn't the case that absolutely no one has such aspirations). No one dreams of being a toilet cleaner, or living off the welfare state either. It's a question making the best choice for a person given a range of sub-optimal options. Even in a perfect utopia, with great shared wealth and minimal class hierarchy, some people would still choose sex work, while rather less would choose to be cleaners.

If you really want to see how to deal with sex work in a egalitarian way, Sweden, with all the problems it's introduced, is not the place to look. New Zealand is. In New Zealand, brothel workers can even sue for sexual harassment by management and win. Whereas in Sweden, if you do have to engage in survival prostitution, you can't go the police without endangering your family, who can be charged with living off the proceeds of a sex worker.
Posted by SilverInCanberra, Wednesday, 21 May 2014 9:39:37 AM
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Additionally, 'trafficking' is an incredibly nebulous word. The author's meaning of the word should be better defined. Every country and NGO has a slightly different definition, which produces vastly different statistics. The ILO, for example, claims there are over 21 million people worldwide who are victims of forced labour, which would completely dwarf the trafficking statistics presented here, and vastly tip the problem away from sexual slavery. 'Trafficking' as being heavy on sexual slavery seems suspect, given the now common huge police operations based on such assumptions around major world sporting events. These always fail to turn up more than a handful of extremely tenuous cases. This is in spite of claims of thousands of women being 'trafficked' to the event's city before hand.

It should also be pointed out that 60 boys were killed by the same group that kidnapped the 200 girls in Nigeria just a couple of months before. Maybe if the world paid attention to the death of so many boys and young men in February, the girl's kidnapping would never have happened.
Posted by SilverInCanberra, Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:21:28 AM
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What happened in NZ after prostitution was decriminalized in 2003? According to the NZ Law Review Committee - “The majority of sex workers felt that the law could do little about violence that occurred.” (page 14) 35% reported in 2007 that they'd been coerced to prostitute with a given john in the past 12 months. (page 46) A majority of respondents believed decriminalization made no difference with respect to the violence of johns in prostitution – they felt that it was inevitably a part of the sex industry. (page 57) The Report noted “few” sex workers, regardless of whether they were prostituting indoors or outdoors, reported any of the incidents of violence or crimes against them to the police. (page 122) Many owners of brothels have the same exploitive contract arrangements that existed before prostitution was decriminalized. Often no written contracts or their questionable quality. (page 157) The Report is available at

In 2006, an Auckland lawyer declared decriminalization a “disaster” which had resulted in an “explosion” of children in prostitution in Auckland and Christchurch, three murders of people in prostitution, and local businesses complaining of prostitution occurring on their premises and used condoms littering streets and doorways. (“Barrister labels prostitution law ‘a disaster’”,2106,3640007a11,00.html April 17, 2006

Mama Tere Strickland, a Maori street outreach worker stated that in 2005, the numbers of those prostituting on the street in Auckland have increased by 400% since decriminalization.

The New Zealand Prostitution Review Committee states that street prostitution in Auckland more than doubled in just one year, 2006-7. (page 118). “Estimates indicate that the number of street workers in Manukau City may have quadrupled since June 2003….”
Manukau City Council, Report of Manukau City Council on Street Prostitution Control available at

The Trafficking in Persons Report of the US State Dept notes that New Zealand has internal trafficking of women and children for commercial sexual exploitation, and that there are instances of debt bondage and document confiscation, and women from Asia, the Czech Republic, and Brazil “working illegally” as prostitutes. OneNews (NZ) 2008 NZ a sex
trafficking destination.
Posted by wendy4senate, Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:22:49 AM
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If people consent to have sex that is nobody’s business but their own; and whether or not they agree to some kind of material exchange – which they usually do – it also none of the government’s business.

No-one dreams of being a fast-food worker, a tax accountant, a taxi-driver, or any number of jobs either, but the question is not whether people dream of doing a particular job, it’s whether they consent. Rape is already against the law, that is at it should be, and no-one is suggesting otherwise. Wendy’s article is about trying to ban consensual sex that she morally disapproves of, simple as that.

“In a society where everyone is equal, you cannot have a situation where you can buy a person's body and neither can you sell yourself.”

In a society where everyone is equal, you also cannot have a situation where anyone can buy anything from anyone else. You’re talking about a situation in which no-one could obtain any benefit from anyone else and human society would collapse, or perhaps a society of non-humans, disembodied wraiths. It might sound good in the abstract at first glance, but it’s actually anti-human.

Wendy of course doesn’t know every woman in the world who exchanges sex for material favours, and merely projects her own moral horror onto other people. Perhaps it’s right that no girl dreams of getting paid for sex. Perhaps it’s wrong. But plenty of girls dream of having a mobile phone or any number of treasures they can get with money, and the sexual nature of consensual services is not a warrant to use force and threats to try to suppress it.

It is nonsense to try to identify sex work with “slavery”. It is also false to say that sex workers sell “their body”. Yes a prostitute needs her body to provide the services she is selling, but so does a doctor, a waiter and a parliamentarian, and but we never get this absurd hyperbole of calling other services slavery – it is reserved for sex where people’s animal and irrational passions run highest.
Posted by Jardine K. Jardine, Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:25:31 AM
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Same with the expression “trafficked”, which suggests images of people being packed in shipping containers. Of course people who travel to work are no more being “trafficked” than employees are being trafficked when they travel to work. Employment agencies and the Department of Employment are not facilitating “human trafficking”. Its hyperbole.

Christians of course have always regarded human sexuality as sinful, dirty, loathsome, vile, repugnant and just horrible in every way. And throughout history they have always been active to try to suppress it. This article is just a novel attempt in that chronic line of intolerance backed by violence.

In any attempt to find the origin of this mysterious river of hatred, I followed the stream back up to its source in the book of Genesis.

The starting point is that God made everything, and behold, it was very good. Then there was original sin (eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). Many Christians and Christian denominations have historically treated original sin as being intimately connected with sexs (even mentioning it is bad) even though Genesis doesn’t explicitly say the original sin was sex. Anyway next thing you know, Adam and Eve are ashamed of their nakedness. No reason why. And its downhill from then on. Everything that is not married monogamous heterosexuality is castigated and persecuted , including by killing gays and adulterers and prostitutes and even masturbators for God’s sake - literally. And can you imagine how many prostitutes have been persecuted by the Christians throughout history? But the interesting thing is, no *reason* is ever given in the Bible for this blind hatred of everything sexual. It just starts out sex-hating, intolerant and violent, and it goes on that way, and it continues sex-hating, intolerant and violent to this day up to and including Wendy.
Posted by Jardine K. Jardine, Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:30:21 AM
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Christians often say that non-married sex as a “distortion” of sexuality, which they define as monogamous heterosexual marriage by virgins for life. But in reality, only a tiny minority of Christians, let alone anyone else, actually complies with that concept idea of human sexuality. This is because the Christians’ theory of sexuality is wrong, which is because they’re taking a non-factual source as their guide. Yet they keep wanting to force everyone else into complying with it.

Having persecuted women for prostitution for centuries, the anti-sex brigade now want to persecute men for it. The concept of not attacking people for consensual sex never occurred to them.

And this latest form of censorious intolerance finds support in the alliance between the lemon-sucking Christians, and feminists who regard prostitution as abusive. But if women paid for sex are being exploited, it’s hard to see how women who aren’t being paid for sex can be in any better position. So it’s hard to follow their logic, but no doubt all sex should be criminalised.

Wendy’s entire argument depends on her supposition that no-one could sell sexual services voluntarily. But of course if that is true, then the law against rape is sufficient to satisfy all her concerns. The consent of the parties answers all questions of morality, and that is the end of the matter.

No doubt there’s lots of human misery in marriages. Should that be banned too? Oh that’s right, the answer is yes – but only for men!
Posted by Jardine K. Jardine, Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:30:43 AM
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