Kathy Garcia, a trans community leader at Make the Road, started trading sex when she was 15. She ran away from home because she was not accepted for her gender identity, and employment discrimination against trans communities meant she had no option but to trade sex for survival. Two decades late
Two women state senators (@jessicaramos & @salazarsenate) want to decriminalize sex work in NY. Their rationale is a well-informed breath of fresh air as FOSTA/SESTA continue to put people (& internet free speech) at risk. Godspeed! https://t.co/kOpZ0ACyob
There's a growing body of evidence gathered by organizations like Amnesty International and the UN's World Health Organization that third party criminalization is still extremely harmful:
Check out the links to all the orgs in the bottom here to read their research and policy positions
And beyond this, IF (and I recognize this is a big if potentially) we can establish a regulatory system which ensures that people participating in sex work are doing so of their own volition, what reason is there to prohibit two consenting adults from exchanging an agreed upon payment for sexual activity? We not only allow but encourage people to do that for pretty much every other good/service out there which is also lawful to exchange for free.
Look towards to New Zealand, where after decriminalization a woman in a brothel sued her manager for verbal abuse and won, something people find hard to do in any job.
There are no circumstances where rules specifically to do with sex for money make sense, harassment, violence, kidnapping, forced labor, those are all still crimes.
Wow. If legalizing sex work becomes a rallying point of democrats, they can count me out. That might finally be enough to convince myself and many other black women to have a seat for a few elections. If “my party” is advocating for selling the bodies of the disenfranchised, I don’t have a party.
A significant proportion of the population will not concent to the full legalization of it on moral grounds. Policy should reflect the will of the people, so I believe a compromise is best to actually protect the sex workers in the immediate future.
You're literally talking about endorsing 'the will of the people' over people's lives, which is what all social justice movements are about. The majority of people don't understand how their ignorance on a matter gets people who are more marginalized killed. We need to focus on the needs of the marginalized, not the feelings of the majority.
I understand your passion to advocate for those who are being victimized by the current practice. But your views in the legal system seem to slant towards ideas that are not shared by the majority of people, and the law is intended to reflect the will of the people who abide within them. I'm trying to work with your position, of which I fundamentally disagree, in an attempt to better protect the very same people as you. We're currently communicating on a few threads and I wish to show you the utmost respect while maintaining my difference in ideals. I'd hope that you'd work with me in a joint effort to actually agree upon strategies that help people.
You're not really suggesting any strategies, though, you're just telling me to come up with a compromise. But I have literally sent you links to policies already implemented that are helping people, so I'm not sure the point of you telling me that they are not possible to implement and that they won't help people.
I suggested an amnesty program which you shot down in a different thread, asserting that decriminalization was the only route you would accept. You're free to clarify your position if I misinterpreted you.
Speaking of amnesty, Amnesty International has detailed recommendations on the subject, which include decriminalization:
Cool, not what I asked though.
I'm asking is there a compromise on the topic that you'd accept that falls short of decriminalization. I mean, a good portion of the public will disagree will decriminalization on principle. I'd prefer to prioritize protecting the women and men engaging in sex work who would otherwise not be protected during the continued criminalization debate.
Soooo, no? Are you saying in effect that you are unwilling to work with compromise in your position? If so, I think you should reconsider. Because in effect, compromise would actually be a public policy that could realistically pass through American legislation, thus giving immediate relief to the victims for whom you voice concern.
The compromise IS decriminalization policies - they are SUPER easy to start implementing and don't even require legislation:
I feel like you may not be understanding what we are asking for.
That's literally not compromise.
I'm telling you, you won't get legal prostitution. It will be opposed based upon the perceived moral harm. Whether or not you believe this is the case, it is a view that I am not alone in. I'm asking you to engage with me to find common ground that can actually assist people.
I guess we could start with the fact that pimps don’t have lobbyists and lawyers, but the corporations who will run the industry certainly will. Corporations don’t go to jail if they kill you or cause you to die. They’re *less* accountable than a pimp or John.
The fact that prostitution is illegal renders everyone making money from selling the bodies of poor women a criminal subject to arrest. It means a woman pushed into prostitution is a crime victim eligible for compensation. Criminalization is why the many former sex workers who fill domestic violence shelters are eligible to be there at all.
That's ridiculous, you're eligible for a shelter without an arrest, why would you want them to be arrested to have to find a shelter? It doesn't make any sense.
Plus, the people who get arrested under third party laws are often other sex workers, or even the children or disabled partners of sex workers. Landlords won't rent to a sex worker because they get arrested for profiting off the proceeds too. This literally all already happens, so there's no excuse for pretending it doesnt.
You're saying a bunch of stuff but it's not true and it's not based on evidence. You have to be working off your own quickly made conceptions, because literally no one who has lived experience in the sex trade or who does on the ground research would say that. please look into it.
I’ve worked in domestic violence shelters in southern states, and I am speaking from personal experience about our policies. Beds are limited. The woman doesn’t have to have been arrested, but losing housing due to fleeing sex work was a qualifier for a spot. Being pressured into sex work allowed a woman to petition for compensation through the crime victim’s compensation fund in our state.
I understand that you disagree with me, but it’s pretty unreasonable to take my commentary about the status of criminality and turn it into promoting the arrests of sex workers and those connected to them. I am coming from a different angle than you, but you’ll notice that I am able to engage with you without insulting your position on the subject or demeaning the route you took to come to those opinions.
Then it sounds like your policies are insane, not like it has anything to do with sex work criminalization. Kidnapping and forced labor are still crimes, why not focus on that?
You literally said that your bed policy has to do with the legal system, and we're pointing out the legal system itself kills people, so you have to understand that.
I think you and OP are both saying positive things, but are talking about slightly different things. You, tux, are advocating for those who have been "pressured into sex work". if the sex work is decriminalized, she is still being pressured into work she doesn't want to do and is still a victim.
Signal, on the other hand, is advocating for those who *willingly engage* in sex work. For them, getting sex work decriminalized will help and benefit so many people.
That's not true. I'm advocating for the safety of people in the sex trade, which also includes forced laborers and underage laborers. None of them benefit from the first point of contact with services being the police, all of them suffer from it.
Lets look at this from another direction though: On what grounds do we have the right to tell a consenting adult woman that she cannot enter into a business venture selling sex? Aren't we still supplanting her judgement for our own as a society? How is that less demeaning to women?
Hey you raise a fair point, "is it okay for laws to restrict personal choice?"
I mean, laws already do this to a large extent. Laws on gambling for example restrict two privately concenting adults from agreeing to a trade that is based upon the outcome of chance. This is done to discourage what many feel to be an unethical practice concerning exploitation and addiction.
I personally feel that in the case of prostitution the exploitative harm outweighs the freedom of practice, in a similar precedent. Whether or not you agree is your business, but in short, I don't think your argument is legally compelling.
Ok, but I would like to set aside this entire argument to look at studies that show that criminalization of the sex trade results in the abuse and death of victims of prior exploition *as well* as creating instances of trafficking and vulnerability to abuse among consensual workers. The moral implications of it simply do not matter, what matters is that criminalization has been shown to increase risk, lesson community health (by making disease more rampant by usually using things like condoms as evidence), and raise fatalities among women nationwide. That's literally all shown by evidence.
I've read your article and agree that is isn't right that people are unsafe. I disagree that decriminalization is the only route towards safety, based upon the fact that the sex trade is exploitative to both clients and patrons. Can we discuss solutions that we may both find palatable?
You just said "the fact that the sex trade is exploitative to both clients and patrons" which isn't really something that you're going to sell me on, it's not possible for it to be inherently exploitative. If I see a client with a disability, we're both consenting adults, we both come away with feeling we did something good that day, how is that inherently exploitative? it's just not.
Now, I would never say that the majority of the sex trade is that utopian. We don't suggest that at all. What we DO know is that criminalization makes things worse for every laborer in the sex trade. It's been showed by over a hundred studies globally and is why the UN's health organizations and most major health organizations support decrim.
You're saying that it isn't the only route, but you haven't suggested any other. If you have another proposal you are backing, I can address it.
The position I have that it is exploitative to buyers is that it is a business model akin to recreational drug use and gambling in a way that sells an addictive practice that generates the greatest profits through repeat customers who might better benefit from counseling. In this case, regulatory experts would need to heavily weigh in on how to improve the quality of the business for the public's benefit.
The position I have that is exploitative to sellers is that it is a lucrative business. So much so that young women can make it easier profits from selling their body to make an learning skills to advance civilization. Here, I am more skeptical regulation can offer benefit. I'm not comfortable in society that teaches women that the greatest asset is to allow the objectification of their body. It, to me, seems to be a concept against feminine empowerment; the implications that they are to be used by men for recreation.
My ideal is a world without sex trade, I understand your ideal to be a world with legal sex trade. This is a fundamental difference in our beliefs, and I don't expect to change your beliefs as you should not expect a change mine. Now, I do think that those who do engage in sex trade ought not to be readily victimized, as one would do with an object, without repercussions.
Again, I suggested an amnesty program in a separate thread.
It seems like having a world without a sex trade is a lot more of a utopian fantasy than a world with a legal sex trade, considering it's only been illegal in this country for a little over a hundred years.
The thing people on the left don’t understand about this issue is that if you legalize sex work **in america** it will be ugly. If we already lived in a just society, I would be all for it but idea that it will somehow withstand the the pressures of the our society and economy and be the one industry with an ethical back bone is laughably misguided.
Wait until a president with the ethical qualms of Donald Trump comes into office and deregulates it and then tell me how just it is that you legalized it. You’ll have nationwide chain brothels with all the appeal of a Roy Rogers for sex. And sure you might get some boutique kale eating brothels where your workers are paid well and can send their kid to school but it won’t negate the low end of the scale. Your high moral standards don’t count in the face of corporatocracy
Fine. Pressure the existing power structure to make it just. Don’t role over and accept that 30 miles away from your super woke metropolis you could easily see workers donating plasma in their lunch hours and returning to work.
right now people donate millions of dollars to organizations run like billionaires that then pay their staff 50-150k a year to hand out christian literature to people
these organizations then pay law enforcement to call things trafficking
then journalist places copy paste their press releases and everyone gets more donations and increased funding
while sex workers die
And your solution is to legalize the process And that will put a check on billionaires, Christianity and shitty journalism and give sex workers great jobs where they’re given respect as human beings.
And not treated like Wendy’s workers.
So we’re not going to change anything else about society, but this industry is going to magically be an economically and racially just market... even though no other industry in America is...
Have you read any of the studies about the racial effects of cannabis legalization? Fun fact: cops don’t stop arresting black and brown people, they just stop arresting white people.
The argument for legalizization is essentially that the women on the bottom rungs of society should be subject to *even more* exploitation so that the rarefied ‘happy hookers’ in the middle class can live more comfortably.
How will they be subject to more exploitation if they can go to the police without fear of being charged with a crime?
You're just assuming things that don't make sense without evidence.
And are you really arguing that cannabis legalization was bad because minorities still get arrested? Obviously we still have a long way to go, but I don't understand how legalizing, and in doing so taking away at least one pointless way to arrest minorities, was anything but good.
Nope. Not arguing against legalization. Just stating that legalization is a movement that disproportionately benefits white people, in spite of criminalization being most detrimental to black and brown people. Black and brown people are still being arrested while while kids aren't. We didn’t decrease inequality in arrests, we increased it.
Also, lol! Black people never go to the police to report a crime without fear. That’s just... not a thing. My point is that just like cannabis legalization, the benefits will accrue at the top of the social ladder and the costs will (continue to) accrue at the bottom.
You're saying this benefits white people but the push to decriminalize in NY and DC is completely run by women of color, mostly black and hispanic and a majority of the leaders on it trans women.
Will you PLEASE actually read some of these articles. I don't feel like you're responding to us AT ALL.
I'm sure I can't begin to imagine how aggravating that is.
But I guess it seems to me like changes like this will make things strictly better for people, even if some aren't as affected as others. So why not do it, and continue making efforts to attack racial discrimination at the same time? It's not a step backwards for anyone, is my point.
This person is shifting the dialog with no real reason, this movement is being lead by women of color.
The article we are commenting on was written by two women of color.
I hear this argument from white people a lot, and the answer is no. I do *not* prefer that white people benefit from new laws while black and brown people continue to suffer. An increase in inequality *is* a step backwards for us, it’s just not a step backwards for *you*.
Are you reading the articles? They literally suggest diverting the funds currently going to arresting sex workers to programs 'changing anything else about society." they're pretty specific on it.
read the article, it's two women of color representing women of color in their districts who are talking about being arrested, abused and raped by cops, it has nothing to do with being happy.
the difference between legalization and decriminalization is exactly why we are not recommending legalization like happened with pot
You may think that but you haven't shown it to be based on anything. You don't need funding to remove criminal enforcement around sex work. Simply a policy of not arresting sex workers when they come forward to report violent crime is already a HUGE positive and requires nothing in the way of investment. You need to argue this based on evidence.
hey, you gotta make up all that lost tax revenue somehow since the socialists chased Amazon out of town. Although you are going to need a hell of a lot of hookers to make $27 Billion in tax revenue... maybe the socialists will finally find a career worth pursuing
This is an op ed by two state senators, Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar
we, along with Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, are working with Decrim NY to introduce a bill to rewrite the state’s penal code to decriminalize the sex trades in New York State. We aim to repeal statutes that criminalize consensual sexual exchange between adults and create a system that erases prostitution records for sex workers and sex trafficking survivors so they can move on with their lives.
How does that work though. You're making the transaction illegal so you are blocking the sex workers from being able to do their work because their clients are still committing a crime. So I'm essence you are keeping it an underground/illegal operation.
this came out today alongside this:
and deals with that. Most orgs don't recccomend the nordic model:
There's a huge debate raging on this at the UN CEDAW literally today, New Zealand and the Netherlands are reporting on their decrim efforts alongside countries like Cyprus that are about to try nordic.
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