The Israeli Strip Clubs’ Swan Song

In this article, Israeli abolitionist activist, Luba Fein, discusses the recent announcement that signals the end of legal strip clubs in Israel and the long history of women’s activism behind it.

In September 2020, about two months after the Israeli Sex Purchase Ban came into force, the Tel Aviv municipality made a dramatic announcement: all the strip clubs in the city would be closed and no new clubs would receive a license. This meant the elimination of all the legal strip clubs in Israel, because Tel Aviv was the only place that still had them. Read More

Ireland must invest in services to help people exit prostitution

This piece was sent in anonymously through our Share Your Story page, which provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.

“I am a 43 year-old Irish woman who was actively involved in prostitution for five years from 2008 to 2013. My involvement in the sex trade came about as a result of my chronic addiction to heroin. I was not a victim of trafficking, nor was I being controlled by a pimp… Read More

Porn, Violence and Consent

By Michelle Kelly

As a trafficking survivor who later went on to enter the UK porn industry, I have been following the recent media focus on trafficking in porn with a lot of interest, even though, as I have previously expressed, I am highly cautious of the influence of what is often termed the ‘religious right.’ Nevertheless I believe that calling for — as a bare minimum — greater regulation of sites such as PornHub to be a matter of urgency.

This is why… Read More

Medical risks of surrogacy and egg harvesting

This is a transcript of Liz Purslow’s talk at the What’s wrong with surrogacy? webinar on 6 September 2020.

In this powerful talk, Liz looks at the health risks for women involved in surrogacy and the egg harvesting on which most surrogacy is predicated, along with the inevitable conflicts of interests and safeguarding issues that may arise. She asks, Should the NHS pay women to put themselves at risk of harm to breed babies for others? Read More

The Law Commissioners’ Key Proposals for Surrogacy Law Reform in the UK

This is an edited transcript of Anna Fisher’s talk at the What’s wrong with surrogacy? webinar on 6 September 2020.

I’m going to very briefly run through the law as it currently applies in England and Wales and then I’ll explain the key features of the proposals for change that the Law Commissioners put forward in their recent consultation and what we expect to happen next. Read More

What are we talking about when we talk about surrogacy?

This is a transcript of Heather Harvey’s talk at the What’s wrong with surrogacy? webinar on 6 September 2020.

First, I have to state our position which, is uncompromising. There is no human right to have and rear a child at all, let alone to have one with a genetic connection to you. And, notwithstanding our sympathy for those who desperately want, and are unable to have, a child of their own, our position opposes both the proposals in the consultation and the whole concept of surrogacy. This position arises from the belief that surrogacy is incompatible with women’s rights and equality. Read More

What FOI requests revealed about the Law Commission’s surrogacy consultation

This is an edited transcript of Lexi’s talk at the What’s wrong with surrogacy? webinar on 6 September 2020.

Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for joining us today. My name’s Lexi. I submitted a freedom of information (FOI) request to the Law Commission on 27 August last year (2019) and it concluded with an internal review that finished on 9 July this year. So, it was almost a year for the entire process. Read More

What’s wrong with surrogacy: Recordings of the webinar

This page provides access to pre-recordings (and links to transcripts) of the talks from our ‘What’s wrong with surrogacy?’ webinar that was held on 6 September 2020, along with practical ideas for how you can push back against the Law Commission’s proposals.

This webinar aimed to balance the one-sided picture of surrogacy that is mainly provided in the mainstream media with a feminist analysis and a look at the risks and abuses that can be involved. We also provided a brief overview of the proposals the UK Law Commission put forward in its public consultation last year and consider what they might mean for women and children. Read More

Unmasking the sex industry in Scotland

This is an edited transcript of a powerful and informative podcast, in which Siobhan from Nordic Model Now! talks with Linda Thompson about her work with women who have lived experience of prostitution in Scotland and why Scotland must urgently address the desperate poverty and inequality that is the backdrop to women’s involvement in the sex trade and introduce the Nordic Model without delay. Read More

Surrogacy at the crossroads: The lure of commercial baby farming

This is a transcript of a podcast interview with Anna Fisher, in which she provides a feminist critique of surrogacy and a brief overview of the proposals that the UK Law Commission put forward in its public consultation last year and the grave concerns they throw up – including the risk that the UK will become the commercial baby farming centre of western Europe. Read More

PODCAST: Surrogacy at the crossroads: The lure of commercial baby farming

In this podcast, Anna Fisher provides a feminist critique of surrogacy and a brief overview of the proposals that the UK Law Commission put forward in its public consultation last year and the grave concerns they throw up – including that the UK will become the baby farming centre of western Europe. Read More

PODCAST: Unmasking the sex industry in Scotland: A conversation with Linda Thompson

In this powerful and informative podcast, Siobhan from Nordic Model Now! talks with Linda Thompson about her work with women who have lived experience of prostitution in Scotland and why Scotland must urgently address the desperate poverty and inequality that is the backdrop to women’s involvement in the sex trade and introduce the Nordic Model without delay. Read More

PODCAST: How the Modern Slavery Act 2015 fails women and girls

This podcast explains our grave concerns about how the Modern Slavery Act 2015 frames human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It asks how this legislation could have been passed when it so spectacularly fails to meet binding obligations under international law and shows that as a result, there is a failure to deal effectively with the forms of human trafficking that particularly affect women and children, and that this has profound implications for how society understands prostitution and how the criminal justice system deals (or fails to deal) with it. A video essay is also available. Read More

Wahine Toa Rising launches brilliant new website

This week, Wahine Toa Rising, a New Zealand grassroots organisation led by sex trade survivors, launched its website. Here members of the organisation explain what it is about.

“Wahine Toa Rising is a voice for vulnerable, exploited women and children in Aotearoa/ New Zealand, who are overrepresented in the sex trade. Like us, they deserve to know they are WORTHY, VALUED, HEARD, SEEN, and LOVED.” Read More

What price for ruining the lives of 100s of young women?

Sex trade survivor, Dana Levy, writes from Israel about a sex trafficker, dubbed the ‘greatest pimp in Israel’s history,’ who trafficked hundreds of vulnerable young women and has recently been granted early release from jail. She asks, why does society place so little value on the lives of poor young women? Read More

PODCAST: The Colonisation of Intimate Life – The Mainstreaming of Sexual Violence and Hazard

In this podcast, Esther, who has a longstanding interest in research on legal and public policy approaches to sexualised violence and domestic abuse, uses her own experience of porn and prostitution to reflect on consent, the global reach of depictions of sexualised violence and what this means for women and girls. Read More

PRESS RELEASE: Independent Review into controversial Holbeck red-light zone in Leeds failed to consider equality implications & made claims NOT backed up by data

After pressure from local residents, last year Leeds City Council commissioned a so-called ‘Independent Review’ into the operation of the decriminalised red-light zone in Holbeck, Leeds – officially known as the ‘Managed Approach’. This was undertaken by the University of Huddersfield and their final report was released on Friday, 10 July 2020.

The report claims that the Managed Approach is a significant success. However, the Nordic Model Now! campaign group has identified numerous flaws in the report. Read More

NMN response to the ‘Independent Review’ of the Holbeck red-light zone in Leeds

This is the Nordic Model Now! response to the ‘Independent Review’ commissioned by Leeds City Council into the operation of the red-light district in Holbeck (known as the ‘Managed Approach’), where street prostitution is permitted to operate more or less free from interference during certain hours.

We point out many very basic failings in the report and show that, far from proving that the scheme has been a huge success as it claims, the reviewers made claims that are not supported by the data, and they seem to have been unable to read between the lines or to consider the wider context and the very serious equality impacts on women and children. Read More

Interview with Rebecca Mott

We are honoured that sex trade survivor activist, Rebecca Mott, has been a member of Nordic Model Now! from the very beginning. Many times her insight and wisdom have helped us to keep our focus. Here she talks about blogging, sex trade activists, what being an abolitionist means to her, and advice to other women who want to speak out about their experiences in the sex trade. Read More

VIDEO ESSAY: Prostitution and pornography: Have they always existed?

Also available as a podcast, this video essay provides a historical overview of prostitution and pornography and the position of women based on the work of, amongst others: Gerda Lerner, Marilyn French, Sylvia Federici and Andrea Dworkin. It is a re-recording of the first presentation at the webinar we hosted on 14 June, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women. Read More

The Colonisation of Intimate Life

The Mainstreaming of Sexual Violence and Hazard.

By Esther

This article is based on the second presentation at our recent webinar, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women.

“Expressions of fear and distress on the faces of porn performers are deliberately induced. The cruelty is the point. It associates sex as something painful for women in the eyes of the viewer…” Read More

Israel becomes the 8th Nordic Model country as it implements its Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Act

I’ve been waiting for thirty years for this moment. The Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Act will be enforced in Israel on 10 July 2020. The law imposes fines for consuming prostitution and attempting to pay for it. The aim is to reduce prostitution by prohibiting the purchase of sex as part of an integrated process that includes public education, and the expansion of services for the population in prostitution – including trauma-informed care and practical help to rebuild their lives, while recognizing the harmful nature of prostitution and the damage it causes. Read More

Why I nearly turned my back on feminism

In this important post, Ally-Marie Diamond explains how she was introduced to a feminist analysis of prostitution as a form of violence against women, her first tentative steps into the feminist movement for the abolition of the sex trade, and her desire to share her own painful experiences as a way of helping others understand the reality. She then goes on to describe how she was silenced and ostracised within the movement and her determination to put aside division and work with other women to bring about real change for the most vulnerable women and children. Read More

PODCAST: Dr Jacci Stoyle talks about a Scottish fact-finding trip to Sweden

In this fascinating podcast Siobhan from Nordic Model Now! talks with Dr Jacci Stoyle about a Scottish parliamentary trip to Sweden to find out more about how the Swedish prostitution law works in practice. The trip took place on 22nd and 23rd August 2019.

The trip was part of the work of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Commercial Sexual Exploitation in the Scottish Parliament, of which Jacci is the secretariat. Read More

Prostitution and pornography: A historical view

This article is based on the first presentation at our recent webinar, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women.

“It’s very easy to think that the world we know is normal and is how human beings have always lived. But what if that’s not true? What if the social structures we now live in are an anomaly in the long history of the human race? That’s what we’re going to explore in this presentation. We’re going to investigate the origins of patriarchy and capitalism, with a focus on the role of prostitution and pornography.”
Read More

“Murder Porn”

In this ground-breaking and harrowing article, Esther, who was herself involved in prostitution and the making of porn, shows how the eroticisation of cruelty in both the political and personal arenas is fed by the global sex industry’s violence and cruelty, and she reveals the hypocrisy of those who insist that ‘sex work’ is a private matter of no consequence to anyone else and who wilfully ignore its devastating consequences for both individuals and society. Read More

Josephine Butler: Pioneering feminist activist

Josephine Butler was a pioneering Victorian feminist who was famous for her activism against the sex trade and the punitive, sexist laws known as the Contagious Diseases Acts. This article provides a brief outline of her political awakening, her involvement in the campaign for women’s suffrage, education and employment, and her leadership of the ultimately successful campaign to overturn the Contagious Diseases Acts. Read More