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Consent

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An interesting statement from Karen Bradley, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department in yesterday's House of Commons Debate about child protection:

The hon. Member for Stockport ..... was a leader in ensuring that the Government removed the terms “child prostitution” and “child pornography” from the law. I know that the guidance has not yet been updated in some areas but we are working incredibly hard to ensure that that happens and to ensure that all agencies with responsibility for that guidance update it as soon as possible. This is the clear message: a child cannot consent to sex. They are forced into sex, they do not consent to it, and there can therefore be no such thing as a child prostitute.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151217/debtext/151217-0003.htm#151217-0003.htm_spnew16

It is reassuring to note that, contrary to some of the more extreme views of the anti-prostitution lobby, the government's view is that prostitution involves consensual sex. 

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Some members of the anti-prostitution lobby believe that if sex, with an adult, is paid for then there is not consent. This was stated explicitly by one of the contributors, from the anti side, in the BBC World Service documetary "Red Lights and Red Lines" broadcast on Sunday 10 Jan. Any thoughts on this?

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3 hours ago, Dave451 said:

Some members of the anti-prostitution lobby believe that if sex, with an adult, is paid for then there is not consent. This was stated explicitly by one of the contributors, from the anti side, in the BBC World Service documetary "Red Lights and Red Lines" broadcast on Sunday 10 Jan. Any thoughts on this?

I think this is an interesting point from a philosophical standpoint, however I'd like to hear an explanation by those propounding this view and how it applies more broadly to the world of paid employment.  What is it about paid sex work carried out by an adult who has entered that field of work voluntarily that makes it unique in the sense that the (sex)worker cannot be deemed to have consented, as opposed to someone in any other job?

I'm sure that many, probably most people would not do the work they do without payment.  They carry out the tasks directed by their manager because they are being paid, to what extent did they consent to do that?  If not it would appear that all employees could be said to be being abused or exploited.  Some employees are undoubtedly being exploited and abused or pressured or coerced into undertaking often unnecessarily dangerous tasks.  I'm not claiming that sex work is suitable for everyone, but for those that seek to do so voluntarily I struggle to see how they did not consent.

 

 

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also, the narrative that sex workers cannot consent means that when we are assaulted by clients, people are more likely to victim blame. 

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permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. is the dictionary definition for consent. No mention of money.

Of course payment of a fee doesn't automatically mean consent has been given - some escort websites have a sentence stating that any fee is purely for meeting and nothing else.

On the other hand many websites spell out the services available for a given fee. In effect a contract is made. 

In my experience a condom is usually provided by the sex worker. If that doesn't imply consent I don't know what does.

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I find it abhorrent that paid for sex is equated with rape, it diminishes the experience of sex being forced against the participants will - very different to a woman  or a man saying "I will accept payment for provision of a sexual service". This doesn't however mean that I can't decide to not offer a service, and if services I don't provide are forced upon me then that would be in my eyes defined as rape.

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9 hours ago, TheVicar said:

 

I'm sure that many, probably most people would not do the work they do without payment.  They carry out the tasks directed by their manager because they are being paid, to what extent did they consent to do that?  If not it would appear that all employees could be said to be being abused or exploited.  Some employees are undoubtedly being exploited and abused or pressured or coerced into undertaking often unnecessarily dangerous tasks.  I'm not claiming that sex work is suitable for everyone, but for those that seek to do so voluntarily I struggle to see how they did not consent.

 

 

I would have liked this post more than once if I could.

Those that say paid for sex is without consent and therefore rape are really just intent on forcing their moral standards on all.   In their eyes selling sexual services is immoral and therefore should be illegal solely to appease their own moral indignation, nothing to do with concern for others.

 

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3 hours ago, robert49 said:

I would have liked this post more than once if I could.

Those that say paid for sex is without consent and therefore rape are really just intent on forcing their moral standards on all.   In their eyes selling sexual services is immoral and therefore should be illegal solely to appease their own moral indignation, nothing to do with concern for others.

 

Some of the reasoning of the antis is indeed very odd.

If I have a bag of apples and it is transferred from me to you with no money changing hands, it could be a gift (with my consent) or it could be theft (without my consent).

If I have a bag of apples and I sell it to you at a price which I myself set, most people would assume that the transaction had taken place with my consent unless there were clear indications otherwise. But it would appear that the default position of the antis is that, with sex, an activity  is more likely to be a defined as theft if a sale is involved. Defies traditional logic really.

In reality I think many of the antis are starting from a very personal subjective position that says "I cannot imagine how anyone would want to sell sex and/or I disapprove of the sale of sex, therefore anyone who does so must be doing so against their will".

This really is illogical. Personally I cannot imagine how anyone would want to engage in sky diving or school teaching, but I don't assume that those who don't share my aversion to undertaking these activities are doing so against their will. There are many things that people do that I disapprove of, but once again I don't assume that the people who do these things age doing them against their will.  That is just plain illogical.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sure some Radickal feminists (not regular feminists) believe that any woman having consensual sex with a man is effectively collaborating in her own rape! Yet they will maintain that the exact same woman who cannot consensual agree to use her body to have sex has full and total rights to have an abortion!

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