Anways, back to one of the main reasons why I withdrew from the pro-domming. It seems that I've become a bit of an arm-chair activist on Twitter since Bill C36, otherwise known as the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, was introduced in June of 2014.
This Bill was slammed through Parliament and became law effective December 6, on the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. Their deadline was December 20, when the Supreme Court would have decriminalized most of the adult prostitution-related activities that Terri-Jean Bedford et al brought to the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.
I will make it very, very clear, that I do NOT offer any sexual services when I offered Pro-Domming sessions. There is never penetration of my body in any way, shape or form and I do not fall under the very vague terms of a 'prostitute' (not that sexual service is clearly defined in Canadian law and open to interpretation). However, I worked independently, created my own ads and placed them where I chose with companies that caters to my niche work, as well as maintained my own website and worked my own hours. There was no coercion, force, or intimidation for getting into my line of work, so I certainly would not be classed as a victim or trafficked. I had the time to interview my clients, and was never at any risk of harm by them in any way. And I loved what I did.
There are certain wordings in the Bill however that raised concern for me, so I chose to step back from pro-domming. I'm NOT removing my website or Twitter account, since I did put a lot of work into both, however, both forums will continue on and will be used as for educational/activist purposes for this point forward until this Law has been revoked. And leaving aspects of any law open to interpretation is a dangerous game to play as everyone will have a difference in opinion. Laws should be consistent and clear, and when they aren’t, people get pissed off and lose faith in those that are placed in position of trust and power.
Besides, poking at the stupidity of the Government has become a new fetish for me. And since they aren't paying me....I have the freedom to express my views and opinions on them.
I don't pretend to know all the key terms in the debate over sex work, TERF, SWERF, etc., I am always looking them up to keep them straight in my head, but what I have been seeing (on Twitter as well as on other media sources) is that there are two distinct issues with this bill that people seem to be confused over in this Bill/Law.
One is trafficking, while the other is sex work.
According to the Wikipedia dictionary, Human Trafficking:
Human trafficking is the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others; or for the extraction of organs or tissues, including surrogacy and ova removal; or for providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage.
Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. Human trafficking is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim's rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation. Human trafficking is the trade in people, and does not necessarily involve the movement of the person from one place to another.
Human trafficking represents an estimated $31.6 billion of international trade per annum in 2010. Human trafficking is thought to be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organizations.
The Wiki definition of Sex Work:
A sex worker is a person who works in the sex industry. The term is used in reference to all those in all areas of the sex industry including those who provide direct sexual services as well as the staff of such industries. Some sex workers are paid to engage in sexually explicit behavior which involve varying degrees of physical contact with clients (prostitutes, escorts, some but not all professional dominants); pornography models and actors engage in sexually explicit behavior which are filmed or photographed. Phone sex operators have sexually-oriented conversations with clients, and do auditive sexual roleplay. Other sex workers are paid to engage in live sexual performance, such as web cam sex and performers in live sex shows. Some sex workers perform erotic dances and other acts for an audience (striptease, Go-Go dancing, lap dancing, Neo-burlesque, and peep shows). Sexual surrogates often engage in sexual activity as part of therapy with their clients.
Thus, although the term sex worker is sometimes viewed as a synonym or euphemism for prostitute, it is more general. Some people use the term to avoid invoking the stigma associated with the word prostitute.
Now a prostitute/prostitution is defined as:
Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment or some other benefit. Prostitution is sometimes described as commercial sex.
A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, and is a kind of sex worker. Prostitution is one of the branches of the sex industry. The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), from being permissible but unregulated, to an enforced or unenforced crime or to a regulated profession. Prostitution is sometimes also referred to as "the world's oldest profession". Estimates place the annual revenue generated by prostitution worldwide to be over $100 billion.
Prostitution occurs in a variety of forms. Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution. In escort prostitution, the act may take place at the client's residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort's residence or a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (in-call). Another form is street prostitution. Although the majority of prostitutes are female with male clients, there are also gay male prostitutes, lesbian prostitutes, and heterosexual male prostitutes. Sex tourism refers to traveling to engage in sexual relations with prostitutes. Some rich clients may pay for long-term contracts that may last for years. (Wiki does not mention trans workers here oddly enough.)
So, now that all those definitions are covered, let's look at this new law as well as how it still is unconstitutional and downright stupid. Lack of planning certainly doesn't play well with me, and this certainly shows it.
I do not support human trafficking in any way shape or form. Forcing anyone into sex work goes against my moral fibre and all that I've been taught about CONSENT in the BDSM world. We already have laws in place that govern that, and you can read it here: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/ntnl-ctn-pln-cmbt/index-eng.aspx#toc-01.3
So, excluding any and all aspects of human trafficking that are already in place, Bill C36's objective was "to reduce the demand for prostitution with a view to discouraging entry into it, deterring participation in it and ultimately abolishing it the greatest extent possible".
I have one thought ...we are a society based on demand: the latest technology, vehicle, item of clothing, hair style, and even sexual desire.
According to the 2001 Forbes data the annual income distribution is like this:
Adult Video $500 million to $1.8 billion
Internet $1 billion
Magazines $1 billion
Pay-per-view $128 million
Cellphones $30 million
So there is an obvious 'demand' for porn, aka visual sexual stimulation. And there is the 'demand' for sex. I doubt that many would disagree if I state that many men get married in the hopes/understanding of continued sexual contact with their partner, instead of the constant 'chase' of dating. It can be draining to find sexual partners to fill that need, want and desire. When a Government takes away a demand/need, people will revolt and find alternative methods to meet THEIR demands, thus, why the internet has exploded with sexual materials.
So, taking the demand away from the people will be an exercise (read financial waste) in futility. Why?
From what I have seen, the Government's research was based on feminist groups that dealt with violence with women in general, they ignored the sex workers.
Marriages and common law relationships have and will continue to be rife with violence against women, as well as men. Yet, the Government does not make marriages illegal. Targeting sex workers and their clients will do nothing to reduce violence against women. Instead of spending money to 'end prostitution', perhaps the Government could better utilize the $20mil they set aside for their 'white knightery' and put those funds towards educating it's people on how to communicate better between the sexes, how to avoid/prevent violent behaviour, better programs to improve on mental health, teaching it's people how to consent properly in a sexual manner to end violence against women in general since they are all keen on keeping 'weak poor women' as victims and men as 'Neanderthals who rape'.
For me, 'targeting' women as victims in the sex industry yet providing money to 'groups' to get women out of their profession without providing adequate financial support directly to the workers is wrong. We have employment insurance when we, as paid (legitimate) workers, get laid off. While many of the sex workers can now file tax returns and claim much of their 'work', I have yet to hear of any that can claim EI because the Government has decided to 'lay them off'.
Forcing sex workers and clients into 'programs' that religious based operations are creating specifically for the purpose of 'converting' sex workers goes against THEIR right to religious freedoms, or did you even think about that?? What purpose do these programs serve exactly? And who is paying for the transportation costs to get them (and their clients) to? The sex workers and clients? You already terminated their employment, so good luck collecting on those costs. Divert funds from health care might be an option to cover it though.
Did anyone think that rent needs to get paid, kids and the sex workers need to eat? I've seen numerous groups talk about the safety of sex workers going back to the streets and getting hurt by clients, but what about the financial repercussions to the sex worker and their families? Sorry, but when one can charge $100/session and have multiple sessions a day is used to that kind of lifestyle, taking it all away from them is going to hurt financially. Not only are sex workers going to be on the streets plying their wares at great risk to their safety, they WILL be ON the streets because they have no income any longer. McDonalds is certainly not an option to replace that income flow. So this bill has certainly influenced the socio-economic factors, such as poverty, and probably death since Winter is here in Canada and people do freeze to death when shelters are full and women have no place to go but to sleep on the streets, when they get kicked out of their place for non-payment of rent.
What some of these members of parliament don't realize is that many women go into sex work because they WANT to. They enjoy sex, control how they decide to do their work, whether it is direct sexual contact or web camming, or selling sexual clips online, as well as how many hours they want to put into it. They need to advertise for the purchase of their work. No matter what mundane or ludarious excuse the Government comes up with, advertising is the way that all business operates, and sex workers are no different. Bill C36 directly interferes with that, discriminates against sex workers from advertising. In any other form of business, that means bankruptcy and the death of a business. There is no way around it in this day and technological age. Don't convolute the issue with discussions on sex trafficking which you have tried to pass off onto the general public as the same as sex work.
What exactly are you going to do to prevent the ads from being run? Sue newspapers? Shut down websites? Especially those in other countries that sex workers advertise in? That requires legal means, and international lawyers to deal with countries that don't support YOUR righteous laws. It also requires money to pay for the services of said lawyers to shut down the ads. Which comes out of whose pockets exactly? Yeah, I'm sure that you can move some of the money out of the military budget for that one. Our veterans certainly won't mind one more budget cut based on your moralistic high horse.
Legally, "everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice". (from that Charter again..)
I think that right there is proof enough that the Government blew it by forcing sex workers to end their jobs based on their own morals, with no regard for personal safety by forcing sex workers on the streets, either by continuing to work in the industry, or complete removal from it effective immediately. Morals do not pay bills, nor do they keep a roof over someone's head. Justice has nothing to do with two people consenting to some sort of sexual release and money is involved. Giving it to them for free isn't an option either for many sex workers and pretty misogynistic to think sex work will disappear based on someone's out-dated patriarchy morals. Because forcing women out of work by any means possible isn't patriarchy at its finest.
Get rid of the Law you forced down our throats, as soon as possible, and allow sex workers to work in peace. Concentrate on sex traffickers, or perhaps peaceful crowd control of your law enforcement agencies. Because what is going on down in the States with race relations is going to ripple upwards to Canada in no time and cops will have much more problems on their than dealing with a hooker and a john.
You think I want to do what I do for free all day long? My equipment certainly is costly, and needs to be paid for somehow. Taking away what I enjoy doing only pisses me off, and that means I'll be a pain in the ass until this bullshit is over.
As with everything in life that I find ironic, one day after the new law comes into effect, Now Magazine has already stepped forward to say they will be ignoring the advertising ban. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/06/now-magazine-plans-to-defy-ad-ban_n_6280224.html?utm_hp_ref=tw They won't be the last I'm sure because a loss in revenue isn't something that any business is going to take too kindly too.