Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sex Trafficking Definitions & Disinformationists

How many times has this happened to you? You're talking about sex workers rights and someone who supports the Swedish Model decides to offer their two cents. After talking to them for about 2 minutes you get the distinct feeling you're dealing with someone who doesn't know SHIT other than the propaganda they are spoon fed by the media.

Try this. Ask them:

"What is the official U.S. definition of Sex Trafficking?"

If you're lucky enough to get a straight answer at all it will probably be something to the effect of:

"Sex trafficking is modern day sex slavery"

Sounds about right...right?


According to the U.S. code; as stated by the Cornell University website, the definitions for Sex Trafficking/Human Trafficking are as follows:

(8) Severe forms of trafficking in persons

The term “severe forms of trafficking in persons” means—

(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or

(B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

(9) Sex trafficking

The term “sex trafficking” means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.

(notice there is nothing in this definition about being forced AT ALL!)

So I've chosen to write an entire blog post about something so basic WHY? I wish I had a nickle for ever ANTI
("Antis" is what we on YouTube call the pro-Swedish Model, Anti-porn, Anti-prostitution, Anti-choice, Anti-HARM REDUCTION supporters)
that wanted to engage me in "debate" that didn't even know the basics of what their abolitionist leaders have been fighting for.

Rad-Fems and the Religious Right fought for YEARS to get these definitions made official and now that the ugly true colors of the consequences of the ambiguous wording of these laws is coming to light many of their supporters are simply seeing fit to deny them.

It's funny (in an unfunny way) to me the position I have found myself in with these people over and over again. The last thing I want to have to do is explain to my opposition what they're positions really are. I suspect many already know. It seems to me that some feel content to distract an S.W.R.A. (Sex Workers Right's Advocate) by playing dumb


If you find your self in this tiresome position feel free to direct them to this blog post or simply ignore the pest as my latest video advises.


  1. My personal opinion about these people is that they subscribe uncritically to the age-old idea, based in our more conservative social prejudices (call it 'patriarchy' if you will), that selling sex is 'bad' or 'demeaning' -- so this HAS to be the part that is wrong in this whole 'sex trafficking' thing.

    At first this was wrong because sex is bad (it comes from Satan, the father of lies, etc. etc. etc.), and so the prostitutes, who capitalize on a bad thing, are bad, too (remember expressions like "oldest profession", "woman of easy life", etc.?)

    Now that sex isn't so bad anymore, we've still got the idea that it "defines you". Especially women, in many a radfem's view, seem to be defined by sex (what a 'patriarchal' view, huhn): or else, how can we understand the idea that if she sells sex, then she's "selling herself"? You wouldn't say that a masseuse who sells massages is selling him/herself; you wouldn't say that a doctor who examines you naked and touches your body is selling him/herself; you wouldn't say that a singer who I pay to be entertained by is selling him/herself to me, because these people are not DEFINED by their economical activities: they are more than what they sell. But women who sell sex... no, they are "selling themselves", because "woman=sex", right? It's as if they were saying "of course she's selling herself; sex is all that women are, so after they sell the sex, what else is left?"

    This would be funny if it weren't tragic. There it is: an age-old misogynistic idea, apparently at the very bottom of many a feminist's worldview. Oh, they would deny it, of course, and come up with the "they are prostituted by men", "forced by patriarchy", etc.; but they don't explain why the women who work as waitresses, bus drivers, domestic helps, etc. aren't being equally "forced by patriarchy" to "sell themselves". Nooo, it's only SEX that means a woman is being forced by patriarchy to "sell herself"; and how can you think that without thinking at the same time that women are just sex? How can you think "she's not selling her time, she's not selling her professional skills, she's selling HERSELF" without implying "women = sex" -- one of the most demeaning, misogynistic things I've ever heard?

    Ah me. The world is certainly not a perfect place, far from that.

  2. @Asehpe

    EXACTLY! You mean I'm NOT crazy! Others see it too? Well, thank goodness. I was about to turn myself