Blog

In prostitution, ‘race, class, and sex intersect in the worst of ways to subjugate Native women’

Last month CTV News aired a short documentary as part of their “First Story” series, called “Stepping from the Shadows,” which looks at indigenous women and prostitution, the Bedford decision, and how the future of Canada’s prostitution laws could impact indigenous women and girls in Canada. The documentary features women such as Jackie Lynne, Cherry ...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Amnesty International supports legalizing prostitution & Canada strikes down their current laws. What’s next?

Last month a proposal from Amnesty International advocating for the legalization of prostitution was leaked. Feminists and women’s rights organizations around the world were appalled — why was an organization that had done so much work for human rights legitimizing a violent and exploitative industry such as prostitution? Why were they advocating for men’s “right ...
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Blog

Press release: Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry Continue to Fight for the Abolition of Prostitution

As Indigenous women and girls who have experienced centuries of colonial male violence, the decision by The Supreme Court of Canada to strike down the existing prostitution laws comes as no surprise. Our histories, our laws and traditions, and our worldviews have been purposefully omitted from the Supreme Court decision. Once again, not only our ...
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Blog

Elizabeth Pickett reflects on the future implications of Bedford v. Canada before the decision

Before the Bedford case comes down to us from on high on Friday, I have a few reflections. I’ve said since the case came before the courts that I think the timing of the constitutional challenge just couldn’t be worse — not just for all those women (and young men) in the sex exploitation industry ...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Reflections on Bedford v. Canada: An interview with Janine Benedet

On June 13th, Bedford v. Canada was heard before the Supreme Court of Canada. The case is a legal challenge to Canada’s prostitution laws. Currently, in Canada, it isn’t technically illegal to buy sex, but many of the laws surrounding prostitution criminalize it: communicating for the purposes of prostitution, operating a bawdy house (brothel), or ...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: An interview with the directors of ‘Buying Sex’

Filmmakers, Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason set out to explore the various models of prostitution law across the world and the impacts on women in the industry. They spoke with johns, sex workers, law enforcement officers, academics, experts, and government officials. Much of the film is focused on the Bedford v. Canada case, scheduled for ...
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Blog

Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution granted leave to intervene in Bedford case

The Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution, a pan-Canadian coalition of equality-seeking women’s groups, has, as of today, been granted leave to intervene in the Bedford case, scheduled for hearing on June 12, 2013 at the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court will decide whether or not to keep the current prostitution laws (which ...
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Blog

Is this journalism? A response to DiManno and The Toronto Star’s falsification of the prostitution debates

A piece published in the Toronto Star over the weekend may have led you to believe it would, as the headline: “Feminists take opposite stands on prostitution” alludes, explore different feminist positions on prostitution and prostitution law. The author, Rosie DiManno (“one of the Star’s best and most prolific writers“!), immediately trips all over herself ...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Indigenous women & prostitution: An interview with Cherry Smiley

Prostitution is a gendered issue, but it’s also an issue that is very much tied to class and race. Canada’s history of colonialism is not something to be ignored when looking at both causes of and solutions to prostitution. In this episode, I speak with Cherry Smiley, co-founder of Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry ...
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My response to the Simone de Beauvoir Institute's statement on the Bedford decision and on prostitution law in Canada

The Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University  is “a college of Concordia University dedicated to studying feminisms and questions of social justice.” It is, essentially, the Women’s Studies Department at Concordia University. Following the Bedford v. Canada decision, they released a statement “applauding” the ruling. Here is the response I sent earlier today: I ...
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Bedford v. Canada decision: Ontario Court of Appeal strikes down provision restricting "bawdy house" law

At long last, a decision has been made in the Bedford v. Canada case. This morning, the Ontario Court of Appeal declared the Criminal Code provision restricting “common bawdy houses” unconstitutional. This would mean that johns cannot be criminalized if found purchasing sex in a brothel. The court found that “living on the avails” of ...
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Who is the real enemy in the prostitution debate? A response to one argument against abolition

Earlier this month, rabble.ca published a response from a sex worker named Sarah M. to, not only the abolitionist argument as a whole, but to me in particular. Having written several blog posts, cross-posted to rabble.ca (as F Word blog posts are) on the topic of prostitution which address and challenge arguments for decriminalization and/or ...
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