bacchus

Polictics.co.uk: The coalition's new puritanism

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A comment piece by Ian Dunt, editor of politics.co.uk on what he sees as the current government's continuation, under a difference guise (i.e. conservative rather than feminist) of the last's approach to the sex industry in general and prostitution in particular:

This approach is most dangerous when it comes to prostitution. Efforts to prohibit prostitution put sex workers in ever greater danger of rape, violence and murder by driving them further underground. When it comes to strip clubs and webcams, the stakes are not so high. The principle is the same, however, and the cultural aim - to cement the idea of the sex industry as something innately sordid and shady - is identical. The talk of "exploitation", without any evidence to back it up, suggests that many politicians still refuse to accept that a woman would ever willingly choose to make her livelihood in this way.

But there is nothing morally wrong with women - or men - earning money in the sex industry. Today's announcement is simply another tired resuscitation of an outdated prissiness, a desire to interfere in how people chose to make money (or spend it) when it comes to their bodies.

Read it all here: Comment: The coalition's new puritanism

B

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Not entirely sure I agree with this analysis. Its right that sex-work vacancies should not be advertised in job centres because of the coercive element that exists in job centres, which in most cases are also benefit offices. People can be pressure into applying for jobs advertised with the implicit threat of benefit sanctions if they refuse.

It is bizarre that Labour wanted to criminalise consenting escort/prostitution work by stealth, yet allowed these ads to be displayed in a coercive environment where women could potentially feel pressured into applying for them.

Arse-backwards. I see no evidence of a puritanical agenda from the current government as yet. This is not a puritanical measure, they haven't banned such advertising from anywhere else but job centres. If they do, then would be the time to start making a fuss!

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IIRC, the previous government banned sex work job adverts being accepted by Jobcentres, but as the article points out that was ruled illegal by the high court.

B

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I think unquestionably that an unemployed person shouldn't lose any benefits for refusing to work as a lap dancer.

I'll hold judgement on whether the new coalition government in the UK is puritanical until the proposals for the upcoming freedom bill when it's published, and what actually gets through in the final draft.

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