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What's The Point If No One Pays Attention?


HollyInGriffith

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A little while ago there was an awesome report done on the New South Wales Sex Industry. It was called the Lash report and it was for the Minister of health (which can be found here-> http://nothing-about-us-without-us.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/LASH_NSW-Sex-Industry-Report_2012.pdf ) .. It was a good report and it was done by a University who studied sex workers and by golly, they did an awesome job!

After the report came out, it made the papers!

Media was saying great things about the NSW sex industry, saying as a sex worker, we have it so good and we are healthy and pretty balanced.. We don’t have any more sti’s or std’s than the general population.. It was a huge deal and it was a great example of how decriminlisation is working in this particular state!

YAY NEW SOUTH WALES!!!!

I got kinda excited when I first read it… it made me personally feel that our industry had been validated, like we could maybe be taken seriously… professional people had had an inside peak into our world and it wasn’t as nasty or seedy or sordid as perhaps they once had thought!

On an international level, I could see how the NSW sex industry could well be a great example to other countries.. Or on a smaller scale, a great example to the other states in Australia, as not all states are as liberal with their thinking and laws yet!

Then we come to the present day……

A new “Research Report” has been unveiled… one regarding “The role of Local Government as Regulator of Brothels” (you can read the report here, the bit that concerns sex workers is in section 10: Public health and safety http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/study/regulationbenchmarking/localgov/report )

This report.. Well… I don’t know where they find their information but there are a few things that pissed me off personally and in general could be detrimental to the Sex Industry Australia wide! The claims that they have made are ridiculous!

Id like to go over a few things that really got me fired up!

* They talk about wanting “illegal brothels” to be dealt with by Police instead of Local Government.

Do other business get dealt with by Police? If I am a hairdresser and I don’t have a registered business and I am operating “illegally” is it council or cops that deal with that? Whats that? Council? Hmmm interesting! So whilst brothels in some states are legal, why would you have Police acting in those areas? Is it because *shock horror* sex workers are criminals? Well… no, that cant be right, because in NSW, VIC & QLD it is legal.. So um… I don’t understand…. Until the industry itself is illegal, then I believe we should be treated like any other small business that has not made the right moves to conduct business in the way set out by the state they are in.

*They say there is “corruption, health and safety risks for Local Government Officers.

Er and the Police force is never corrupt is it!! Of course not!! Pffft.

* ”A lack of strict enforcement & monitoring of unregistered brothels discourages legitimate brothels being established.”

Now this one confuses me. If I was going to open a brothel, I know that some people do so illegally BUT if I do it legally then I am able to promote my business in ways that the “illegal brothels” cant. I can only see that by going legit is more beneficial to myself and the people that work in it. Any fool with half a brain can see that the “illegal brothels” do it tough! They cant advertise like I would, they live in fear on a daily basis of an official someone coming in and closing them down… any clued on person would know, with any small business there are headaches and that headache is one that not many would want!

*They think that “illegal brothels” provide services that are illegal and in turn is an unfair advantage to legal brothels AND “poor health outcomes for sex workers and their customers’

WTF? I have worked in “illegal” establishments before.. Let me tell you, the respect the workers have for their own body does not differ whether you are in an “illegal” or “legal” brothel. Regardless of legal or not, sex workers use condoms! Are they implying that because we work in a place that’s not regulated that all of a sudden we forget about our own health and decide “sti’s, oh yes please I want them” Get lost! Using condoms for safe sex or sex acts has NOTHING to do with the establishment you are in! Its all about personal choice!

Unfair advantage? Pfft .. Are they trying to tell me that “illegal service” are not ever available in “legal brothels”??? That has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! There is a market for safe services and there is a market for what the government call “illegal” services and this is no way defined by the legalities of the premises. Two words - PERSONAL CHOICE!

Its not like the “illegal brothels” can advertise “Bare back blow jobs! Bare back sex!” So where is the advantage????

OK rant over

The point to all this, they want police to be the ones to go in and stop illegal businesses in the sex industry. If sex work is seen as real work by the Government, then why would you have the cops involved in this one industry. Every other industry is looked after by the Local Government..

Why are they discriminating against the sex industry?

How long will it be before they actually start treating us like the other industries?

“Oh yes we see sex work as work.. But we still are going to treat you different cos we still think that the only way to handle you is via the Police”

This latest report mentions the state Victoria, who does have coppers as their main avenue of targeting “illegal brothels” and such. This is the example they are using and I guess trying to impose Australia wide…

This brings me back to the original report I mentioned, the LASH report… why the hell would Australia want to follow VIC lead when NSW has proven that the way they do things, is not only working for the sex workers but Government alike?

 

If the police are going to be the watchers of the adult industry, doesn’t that mean that if sex workers are caught doing something that is “illegal” it would then go on your police record? Doesn’t that then mean that sex workers who have sex industry related charges etc they will no longer be able to get into some countries ie: America. The travelling thing to me is a big deal. I have many plans that involve international travel..

Does the hairdresser who is working illegally get a police record? Do they then get limited as to where they can travel?

Sex workers have more to lose than anyone!!

Why the hell are we focusing on a state that makes their workers licenced and discriminated against when we have PROOF that NSW is doing great things? Why are we even bothering to publish and promote things like the LASH report when all it does it get ignored by those with the powers to implement change??

Why are we going backwards and turning sex workers and the industry into a criminal act?

Oh yeah sure, on paper, its all legit, but when you start having police enforcers, all that says to me is “we are saying one thing but doing another”

To that I say - Go F yourself because there's not a sex worker in Australia who is going to do it for you!

 

 

P.s Shout out to Elena Jeffreys for an awesome quote :P

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Totally agree Holly. I hope that you posted this at http://www.pc.gov.au/publications/feedback. Send them a copy of the LASH report as well.

 

You may feel that nobody pays attention, but it's like a dripping tap and the more sensible feedback they get, the better the chance that the message will get through eventually. Changing entrenched prejudices like these is never going to be easy. You just have to keep going.

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They just want it to appear to the general public, who have a very different opinion about the industry compared to what we do, that they are actively doing something to make the world a better place.. In reality it's just full of untruths!

 

Bit like that MP from Western Australia that was happy to help pass the new laws over there if a few changes could be made to it.. One of them being, providing a shelter for women to live in to get out of the industry and to be saved. Umm, yeah right?! Because I am going to leave my waterfront apartment to live in a shelter! And Saving me? Well I saved myself, and made something of my life, by getting into this industry! It's given me opportunities I could have only dreamed of before..

 

Yes, there is a need to provide assistance for "some" sex workers to exit the industry.. But to think its the majority is just dillusional. I'd say 99% of sex workers I know, do this by choice and don't need to be saved!

 

Rahhh! There's my rant for the day!

 

:)

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HollyInGriffith

Posted

henry, i just sent it to your link :) wont do any bloody good but hey :) worth a shot

 

Nia, that MP from WA sucked and now things in WA look to be getting even worse...

No one is listening....

 

GRRR

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I first heard of this about three weeks ago (and I admit to being remiss in not posting about it at the time ...) on the ABC news one morning. Link Here. I looked at the Productivity Commission report and found it curious that the four pages or so relating to brothels out of 700 pages was what made the news report. I note that in the Productivity Commision Report, they quote from a paper by William Albon (the Victorian Chris Seage ...).

 

But the basic theme of the report was how differing Local Government regulations make it difficult for businesses and ways to get around that. Except when the business is a brothel.

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HollyInGriffith

Posted

its always a case of "except when the business is a brothel or has sex involved"

 

GRRRR

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Holly, I read the Lash Report and was very impressed with it. I noted that Victorian Legislation fell way short of "Best Practice".

 

I can only sympathise with your frustration at the underlying mentality of ignorance behind the new report.

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henry, i just sent it to your link :) wont do any bloody good but hey :) worth a shot

Don't think like that Holly (won't do any bloody good). Learn the lessons of history. If people in the past who were against seemingly insurmountable odds had thought like that, India would still be a British colony and Africans would still be slaves in America. Ghandi and Martin Luther King (and others) were dripping taps.

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I'm afraid I can't get as angry about it as you.

 

The report gives a number of reasons why local government authorities are not the appropriate agency for dealing with illegal brothels.

 

The argument is complicated by the fact that there are different sorts of "illegal brothels" in Australia.

 

In Victoria, it's probable that if a WL hires a hotel room and meets a client there for a single booking and then leaves, that hotel room is an illegal brothel while the lady is in it.

 

There are also illegal brothels that are RnT parlours offering happy ending massages and often more.

 

Then there are illegal brothels where underage sex slaves are employed: hopefully there aren't many of them, but there are some.

 

Personally, if underage or coerced women are involved, I'm more than happy for the police to be involved and to prosecute the perpetrators as hard as they can.

 

With the private WL in a hotel situation, the real problem is that it shouldn't be illegal at all; the problem is not whether the local council or the police are the ones to worry about it. As a matter of fact, there never is a problem in that situation because nobody knows about it, unless the WL stays for a week and sees streams of drunk and unsavoury clients. Even then the hotel is only likely to kick the lady out rather than call in the police or the council and out itself as an illegal brothel.

 

RnT parlours also, again there's not much difference it seems to me whether the local council or the police close them down.

 

The report reads to me like local councils looking for an excuse not to have to worry about sex workers.

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