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Who do you listen to? On ‘listening to sex workers’

There’s one guaranteed pro-sex-work response whenever you write something unenthusiastic about prostitution, and that response is: listen to sex workers. It was the dominant theme of critical replies to my review of Melissa Gira Grant’s Playing the Whore: listen to sex workers, then you’ll see how wrong you are. In some ways it’s a peculiar logic ...
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Arguing Against the Industry of Prostitution – Beyond the Abolitionist Versus Sex-Worker Binary

Introduction Prostitution has long been a contentious issue in the Women’s Liberation Movement, splitting feminist individuals and groups. This is largely because the debate is often reduced to an either/or argument between what is called ‘harm minimisation’ in a legal ‘sex industry’ – the legalisation argument – and on the other side, arguments for the ...
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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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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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Who does decriminalization leave out?

This article was originally written for and published in Sister Outsiders, issue #4: What you won’t hear inside the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.   Decriminalization is touted, by many, as the most progressive way to address prostitution. From our local left-wing politicians to feminist academics to the media, this option is often presented as ...
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Partying and playing at Piggy’s Palace: Men’s silence about men’s violence

Jacqueline Guillion is a collective member at Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter. This article was originally written for and published in Sister Outsiders, issue #4: What you won’t hear inside the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.   Mainstream media like CBC, The Tyee, Vancouver Sun, and Seattle’s weekly, The Stranger, easily uncovered the fact ...
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Why reproductive rights and prostitution are not the same thing: A response to one decriminalization argument

I received a link to this blog post just hours ago via a feminist listserv; a listserv that has, just like much of the feminist community elsewhere has, experienced A LOT of heated debate around prostitution, sex work, abolition, and decriminalization. The author claims to desire a ‘genuine’ answer to some specific questions she puts ...
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