Why stigma persists against women involved in prostitution in New Zealand

In this post, Chelsea, who has had many years’ experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand (NZ), makes a searing critique of an article by Lynzi Armstrong that laments the ‘stigma’ that results in banks denying services to ‘sex workers,’ even though profiting from women’s prostitution is entirely legal in NZ. Chelsea argues that the ‘sex workers’ in question were in fact pimps, and the stigma against women involved in prostitution is intrinsic to the system of prostitution itself. Read More

What is feminism and why do we need it?

This article draws on the work of key feminist thinkers to provide a brief introduction to feminist theory and to show how many of the things we struggle with as women are not personal failings but are consequences of a system that is rigged against us – simply because we are female. That system has many threads – including the systematic deprivation of resources from women, men’s impunity to rape and abuse women, and the system of prostitution. Read More

International call for a global ban on womb rental (surrogacy)

Hundreds of women’s human rights organizations from 18 countries have released an international statement to request a global ban on womb rental (‘surrogacy’). In an unparalleled global call for action, these feminist organizations ask heads of Government and State to deliver public statements calling for a global ban on surrogacy during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. They also exhort governments to consider withdrawing funding support to the United Nations agencies that are supporting the legalization of surrogacy. Read More

Minimizing the harms of prostitution

This is the text of a short talk Anna Fisher gave at a Public Policy Exchange event, called “The Future of Sex Work in the UK: Working in Partnership to Support Sex Workers and Minimise Harm,” on Wednesday 19 September 2018.

When the state sanctions prostitution as work, it institutionalises male domination and female suffering, and motivation to address women’s poverty and fix the broken benefits system is lost – because prostitution is institutionalised as welfare for poor women. Read More

Survivors speak out about what prostitution is REALLY like

As a group campaigning for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution, people often berate us for not “listening to sex workers.” If we did, they say, we’d know they all want full decriminalisation of the sex trade and not the Nordic Model. But our group includes survivors of the sex trade and we know that the reality is a little more complicated. In this article we explain why we created our Share Your Story page and distill some of the themes that have emerged from the moving and heart-breaking stories we’ve received so far. Read More

No, decriminalisation of johns and pimps has not improved our safety or lives

Chelsea Geddes has had many years experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand, whose fully decriminalised approach to the sex trade is often held up as the most enlightened solution to prostitution. In this article, she begs to disagree and explains that, on the contrary, it has made punters more demanding and entitled, and has done nothing to make conditions safer for the women like herself. Read More

Hate crime as expression of dominance and inequality

This is the text of our submission to the APPG on Hate Crime’s inquiry into hate crime in the UK. We argue that hate crime is typically the behaviour of members of a dominant group towards members of a less powerful group – usually with the motivation of maintaining their collective and individual dominance; that the hate crime framework must never be used to silence respectful debate and dissent; that porn should be considered a form of hate propaganda; and that the hate crimes that are centrally monitored and for which perpetrators can get an increased sentence should be extended to include misogynistic hate crime. Read More

#MeToo stories of the sex trade: Collection #4

This is another collection of #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story page.

“That was the end of my life and the start of the trafficking for the next two years. […] Getting beaten all the time by pimp and johns. Johns were more dangerous than the pimp sometimes. Did the math and almost slept with an entire football stadium full of people. Disgusting. Made him millions and never touched a penny.” Read More

Nordic Model Now! signs the VictimFocus Charter pledge

We are proud to announce that we have signed the VictimFocus charter pledge. Set up by Jessica Eaton, the charter is “the first set of standards for professionals, organisations and individuals to combat victim blaming in abuse and trauma.” As a campaigning group, some aspects of the charter are not applicable to our work – we don’t do case work, for example. However, as a whole it is directly relevant, because trauma, abuse and crime are rife in the sex trade. Read More

How the Swedish Sex Purchase Law moved the shame of prostitution from the women to the punters

Simon Häggström talks with Francine Sporenda about his work as a Swedish Detective Inspector in the Prostitution Unit enforcing the Sex Purchase Law in Stockholm. He now heads the Swedish Police Trafficking Unit, which tracks trafficking and pimping networks. He is the author of “Shadow’s Law: The True Story of a Swedish Detective Inspector Fighting Prostitution.” Read More

#MeToo stories of the sex trade: Collection #3

Here are some more of the #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story page.

“If sex work is work, then why does our value as women who may work in the flesh trade go DOWN over time? Why are there no increased rates and certain employment securities for long-term employees? Why do the owners of flesh trade establishments PREFER young, naive and inexperienced girls to work for them?” Read More

Working as a receptionist in a legal brothel proved to me that prostitution is anything but a normal job

The media glamorises prostitution and presents the illusion that it’s sexually liberating for women, and sex industry lobbyists claim that it’s just regular work. For a long time Jacqueline Gwynne accepted this without question even while working as a receptionist in a legal brothel in Melbourne. It was only two years later that she began to see the dark, seedy and dangerous truth. Here she explains what it was like so you can decide for yourself whether prostitution can ever be considered a normal job. Read More

#MeToo stories of the sex trade: Collection #2

This is another selection of the #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story page. Profound thanks to everyone who has shared their story. Every single one is powerful, moving and courageous, and shines a much-needed light on what the sex trade is really like. Read More

#MeToo stories of the sex trade: Collection #1

A few days ago we published a new Share Your Story page. We asked you to help us gather real experiences of the sex trade, to help put the record straight, to counteract the “Happy Hooker” myths and explain the truth, to say #MeToo, and #TimesUp for the sex industry. The responses have been overwhelming and heartbreaking and we want to thank everyone who has shared their story. This is a selection of the responses we’ve received so far. Read More