disinformation

On this page I intend to deal with some of the disinformation that some radical feminists and others have given on the subject of prostitution, erotic dancing and pornography. I have done this in many of my posts on this blog, but now I will use this page instead. I will add to it as I find more examples of disinformation (mostly false statistics).

In Britain we have a principle that people can do what they like as long as they don't harm others. So when people want to take away our rights, they have to pretend that these rights harm people. They come up with false statistics, and meaningless concepts such as objectification.

"90% of prostitutes want to get out." They wish to exit prostitution. This false statistic if often seen especially when people like me say we should listen to sex workers. The response is, which prostitutes - the 90% who want to get out? There was a study done involving street sex workers in Toronto, nearly all of whom would be drug addicts. How is that relevant to the vast majority of sex workers, who are not street sex workers, drug addicts, or live in Toronto?

I've found another one that says the same thing but it's by Melissa Farley so it has no credibility. 'Prostitution and Trafficking in 9 Countries: An Update on Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder'. Only 1 of these 9 countries was comparable with Britain, Germany. 54 women were interviewed in Hamburg, 'from a drop-in shelter for drug addicted women'. So it's not relevant to the majority of sex workers in Britain today. Only about 10% of sex workers are drug addicts. This study was mentioned on Woman's Hour (03/08/15) in the context of Amnesty International calling for the buying and selling of sex to be decriminalized.

In the i newspaper 28/07/15 page 20 there was an article about a sex worker in America who managed to kill in self defense a man called Neal Falls. It looks as if Neal Falls was a serial killer. In the top right of the article the newspaper helpfully gave some statistics about prostitution. It was a distortion of some research. The newspaper said "The workplace homicide rate for prostitutes is 51 times higher than the next most dangerous profession, working in a liquor store, while he [sic] average age of death is 34".

The original research was to do with almost 2,000 sex workers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the last century. So nothing to do with Britain in the 21st century. 90% of them worked on the street. So that's nothing to do with the vast majority of sex workers who don't work on the street. The next most dangerous profession wasn't 'liquor store' workers but male taxi cab drivers. So it should have read "The workplace homicide rate for Colorado Springs street sex workers was 7 times higher than the next most dangerous profession, working in a cab".

So let's ban taxi cabs. We've got to save those male taxi cab drivers from themselves. I've got a better idea. Let's ban crappy newspaper articles from people like Tim Walker. They confuse readers and make it more difficult for people to decide what the law should be concerning sex work and how to keep sex workers safe.

Why was 'Heather' alone with Neal Falls? She was alone with him because if she had chosen to work with another woman in the house for safety they both could have been arrested for running a brothel. This happens all the time in Britain and America and it's got to stop. Women are being killed because of the law and those who campaign to keep the law as it is are responsible for these deaths.

We need a change in the law and not the Swedish Model because that doesn't enable women to work safely either. Women in Sweden and Norway are also prosecuted for pimping offences just for trying to keep themselves safe, and they get evicted from their homes. So, not only do women get arrested in Sweden and Norway as in Britain and America, but they are made homeless too.

"We know from countless innumerable studies on prostitution and the sex industry - both on the street and off the street - high class escorts and the lower echelons of the market - that abuse is endemic. That women suffer all kinds of psychological and physical health problems."

Julie Bindel said this on the documentary Britain's Happy Hookers. Perhaps Julie can tell us about some of these studies, because I can't find them. The nearest thing I have found is the 'research' of Melissa Farley who looked at small numbers of drug addicts.

Bindel has form for this sort of thing. She wrote in the Guardian "[S]tudies have found that that at least 70 per cent of women working in UK brothels are trafficked from places such as Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe." Penalising the Punters Guardian G2 21 November 2008. The newspaper had to retract the statement because no such studies exist.

In Britain's Happy Hookers they also had Bindel's friend Rebecca Mott talking. She claims that she used to be a prostitute and talks about regular violence including being raped and suffocated. It was when she said that punters would "knock me unconscious as a way of not paying" that I was certain she's a liar. Anyone who has had any involvement with prostitution knows that men always pay first. They never pay after.

On the BBC Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour on 21/05/12 there was a discussion about the legalization of brothels. The two guests were Julie Bindel the radical feminist and Dennis Hof owner of one of the legal brothels in Nevada. Julie stated this about her trip to Nevada to look at legal brothels:-

"I actually met learning disabled women who had been double pimped, who had been taken by their pimp to the legal brothel and delivered to the brothel owner - who then becomes a business man or business woman - and they were working those women in prostitution despite their deep learning disabilities and trauma. It's horrific."

When Julie came back from America and reported on what she had seen, she didn't mention these learning disabled women. She wrote that she had met one learning disabled woman, called Sindy in Julie's report. This woman had not been 'double pimped'. So it seems that Julie has invented these other learning disabled women, she didn't meet them as she said. If she had actually met learning disabled women in the plural why did she not put that in her original report? It is inconceivable that she would not have done. I believe that Sindy exists but I don't believe that these other women existed.

Earlier in the discussion she said this:-

"Everywhere where legalization has been tried, it has failed. In Australia - in some states where it's legal - the illegal sector has grown. For example in Melbourne four times the number of trafficked women have been found in legal brothels than illegal. In the Netherlands they're actually closing down the window brothels, closing down the tolerance zones, because they realize that it encourages illegality and it encourages all kinds of abuses towards the women.
Now, nobody wants to see the women put at risk. What we have to do is recognize that this is not a safe trade, that when you legalize pimping all you do is make it easier for men like Dennis to profit from it, for the customers to buy the women, and for it to be normalized. We need to help women exit the sex trade."

And earlier still she said this:- "

...where there's a legal system of prostitution the illegal sector grows massively, and that's been proved in Nevada where the illegal trade is nine times bigger than the very small legal trade which is only 24 brothels..."

There is no evidence that I am aware of that says that when brothels are legalized the illegal sector grows massively. She doesn't mention New Zealand, which is the best example of legalization. In the Netherlands they may be closing down things but that's not because they have evidence that women are not safe. It's because the social conservatives are taking over. They have lots of opinions about illegality and abuses but they cannot back them up with facts. Prostitution can be safe. Women do not get killed in New Zealand, or in the Netherlands, as they do in Britain.

She also wrote in a recent Guardian article "New Zealand is cited as a paradise of egalitarian prostitution, but according to its own government report, that is not quite the true story". This is what the report concludes "On the whole, the PRA [Prostitution Reform Act 2003] has been very effective in achieving its purpose, and the Committee is confident that the vast majority of people involved in the sex industry are better off under the PRA than they were previously".

Julie wants to decrimalization prostitution in the sense that she doesn't want prostitutes to be convicted. She does want criminalize 'pimps, traffickers and exploiters who run brothels'. What she doesn't always mention is that she wants to criminalize men who pay for sex. Neither does she talk about the fact that when two or three women choose to work together from a flat for safety it is technically a brothel and is illegal. In Britain and in Sweden sex workers are arrested for pimping offences if they try to work together for safety, and in Sweden  the landlords of a sex workers are threatened with pimping offenses if they don't evict them.

"People don't want to think about the fact that down the road there's a house with a 14-year-old Ukranian girl being raped by up to 40 men a day." So says actress Emma Thompson in the Metro newspaper 02/07/14. She does like to think about it, despite the fact that there is no evidence at all that this goes on. For a start, sex workers in brothels would consider themselves lucky to get 3 or 4 customers a day. None of them get 40 a day. The busiest sex workers in Soho walk ups might get up to 40 some days but there are no underage girls. The police check Soho walk ups.

When the police raid brothels or when researchers look into it they don't find any 14 year olds. So how does Ms Thompson know that this is going on? It seems that the Radical Feminists have got to her with their propaganda. She goes on to talk about pornography, saying that sex has been 'commodified' and 'women have been reduced to objects'. The usual Radical Feminist nonsense.

It's funny to think that 40 men every day can find a child to have sex with locally and yet when the police look for them they can't find them. I think celebrities have to realize that if they are going to start campaigning on an issue they should get their facts straight first because if they don't people are just going to laugh at them and think they are out of touch with reality.

Presenter Jane Garvey asked Rachel Moran on Woman's Hour "If the punters are criminalized, won’t this drive them and the prostitutes to even more risky circumstances?" To which Rachel replied "Well you only have to look at the difference between Sweden and Holland to get your answer to that. There’s been 127 women murdered in Dutch prostitution in the last 15 years. Now in Sweden there’s only been one prostituted woman murdered."

I've found out about the 127 statistic. Laura Lee on this page states:-
"the statistic relates to 118 murders that occurred between 1985 and 2012 being investigated by a police cold case team in the Netherlands. In 25 of the cases, the victims were not sex workers, or it is not known if they were sex workers or not. Most of the sex worker victims were working illegally and outdoors, not indoors. Eighty-six of the murders took place before October 1, 2000 (i.e. before prostitution was legalised in the Netherlands)."

The feminist Natasha Walter has written a book called Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism. She writes that the number of sexual assaults increased in Camden Town in London after lap-dancing clubs opened. Dr Brooke Magnanti has shown in her book The Sex Myth this research (done by the Lilith Project) is false and in fact the opposite is true. Other 'facts' in this book are:-
  • two-thirds of prostitutes have been assaulted by clients
  • 85% of prostitutes reported physical abuse in the family
  • 45% reported familial sexual abuse
  • a majority of prostitutes involved before age of 16 or 17
  • all have a problem with alcohol misuse
  • majority used hard drugs
These 'facts' seem to be about prostitutes in general. She then goes on to mention street prostitutes specifically. She writes that 96% of street prostitutes in Merseyside are using heroin and 81% using crack, 84% of these gave their reason for entering prostitution as getting money for drugs. I can well believe that this is true for street prostitutes - my experience is that when the police crack down on street prostitution it's only the drug addicts who keep on doing it. Before a crack down perhaps a majority are not addicts and eventually even the addicts give up - there is next to no street prostitution in London today.


On this page Dana Popa says that she met Eastern European sex slaves.

"They are supposed to be free after they pay back this debt, but they invariably get sold to another pimp. It’s a vicious circle that generates a lot of money. It keeps the business running and the girls in captivity. Every day they are raped, fisted, bent backwards, pissed on, badly beaten up. They never receive money from the client or the pimp. They are not allowed to contact anybody. Escaping traffickers is not easy. It’s not a simple case that one can just jump out of a window and she is free, especially when some of the regular clients are police officers. Being illegal out there can be more dangerous than living in a brothel. Most of the time their visas get renewed even though they are kept in captivity."

I don't know if this really happens in some parts of the world, but Ms Popa is saying that it is happening in Soho. That might sound credible to people who don't know much about Soho, but to me it is clearly false. She says 'Every day they are raped, fisted, bent backwards(?), pissed on, badly beaten up'. The reality is that in Soho walk ups women are willing to much less than in brothels.

In brothels oral sex without a condom is standard. So too is kissing and fingering. Most women in Soho don't do this. The few that do charge extra for it and it is at their discretion. It isn't on their menus. In fact, a typical menu for a Soho walk up states 'no anal or french kissing or 69'. In most brothels anal sex is available for an extra amount, but in Soho it is extremely rare. You have to pay extra if you want a different position. Clearly, the women are in control. Nothing happens to them if they don't want it.

Here is another paragraph from Ms Popa.

"In London I met Svetlana, a young Moldovan who was sex trafficked into the UK. She took me by my hand and pointed at specific windows of Soho flats. In her knowledge, the cracked window was a “stinky” place; the red light one, a bit trendier. I entered five workrooms, all alive. Many of these rooms hosted sex slaves, brought in daily and obliged to do prostitution. In one hour, I encountered two Romanians. One was wearing tiny white socks and a pink house-robe thrown over the black spandex costume. She was from a city two hours from my native town."

There are no flats in Soho with cracked windows or red lights (it's a myth about the red light). None of them stink. If you don't believe me then you can go and look for yourself. The addresses of all the Soho walk ups are listed here. There's even a map showing nearly all of them here. And if you hang around at 10 am or 11 or 12, you can see the sex workers turning up, they are not slaves and they are not 'brought in daily'. There are no vans parking up outside with shady-looking men bundling women up the stairs. This is a complete fabrication.

She says that she 'entered five workrooms'. In Soho only one prostitute works in a flat and there is a maid on the door who certainly isn't going to let anyone (especially a woman) come in to just have a look around. I was contacted by a photographer who wanted to photograph some of the women, not showing their faces and keeping their anonymity, and she told me that she went to lots of the walk ups and none of them let her in even though she was willing to pay them the going rate for their time. Dana Popa is a photographer but I haven't found any photos on her site of the inside of a walk up.

It is possible that a few years ago 21 Greek Street was something like that, but it isn't like that now. I also suspected 11 Brewer Street might be too. I think that the police are very effective at putting a stop to that sort of thing. The police do go to Soho walk ups and talk to the women there. Sometimes they manage to get a flat closed.

It could be that she is talking about saunas or massage parlours but I don't know if there are any non-gay ones in Soho. I have been unable to locate any. I don't think there are any.

another false statistic from a feminist "The third biggest cause of debt amongst men is frequenting strip clubs and pornography." Turns out that in this study there are only 3 causes.

documentary on BBC Radio Leeds today Prostitutes who haven't been coerced are a tiny minority? Not true, coercion is rare in Britain.

debate on Woman's Hour this morning "New Zealand in its government report ... admitted ... that the women feel no safer under decriminalization..." I can't find where it says this.

worst example of telling lies Prostitutes today have no choice but to do unprotected sex and anal sex? They also have to endure caning and whipping? Completely untrue.

sinister journalist uncovered "It is estimated that 4,000 women a year are trafficked into the country, many of these pass through London forced to work as sex slaves against their will, seeing up to a dozen men a day." It's official, the Home Office have said this. Actually, they didn't say that. What they did say was untrue anyway.

The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers There are 4,000 sex slaves in Britain? Not true.

Are the prohibitionists in retreat? The number of women involved in street prostitution in Denmark and Norway has seen a sharp rise? The statistic for Denmark is false, and Norway has similar draconian laws to Sweden.

debate in the House of Lords about new legislation The average age in Europe for entry into prostitution is 14. Seventy five per cent enter before their 18th birthday. Ninety-five per cent become hooked on class A drugs. 70 per cent of the women involved in prostitution were drawn into - bullied into - prostitution as children. 85 per cent of women in prostitution say that they were physically abused as children; 70 per cent spent time in care; and 45 per cent have experienced sexual abuse. 90 per cent of prostitutes say that they want to escape prostitution. All of this is false.

prostitution debate on Woman's Hour this morning Prostitution can never be driven underground because if punters can find them then so can the police and support services? This is as stupid as saying that if drug addicts can find drug dealers then so can the police. Or that if a pregnant woman could find an abortionist then so could the police. It doesn't work that way. Prostitution is already underground in the West African community, where information is spread by word of mouth.

BBC report: prostitutes on Tooting Bec Common
A news report said that Tooting Bec Common was strewn with used condoms and drugs paraphernalia. This was never true. There were never any needles. As for the used condoms, there are just as many there today as there ever was, but only in the undergrowth on a particular part of the Common. You won't see it if you don't know where to look. There are no prostitutes there during the day, so it seems that all the campaigners have achieved is to force the women to come there at night when they face increased danger. I hope these campaigners are proud of themselves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi

I find this a very informative site. I've just been reading about disinformation. I shouldn't do it because it makes me so angry!

I have a similar site to this one; I found yours by checking a search phrase that a visitor had used recently. Glad that I followed it up. My comparable page is Myths and Legends!

Meanwhile, I have recently been advised of a leaked Amnesty International paper on the issue of Human Rights violations against prostitutes (by governments). There is also a petition aimed at encouraging Amnesty International to turn thoughts and reflection into policy. Hopefully, it will build on the recent Canadian case where the government was found in breach of Human Rights. I've signed it. I thought that it might appeal to you as well. If so, tell a friend! The link is on a blog page at theamsterdamdiaries.net/blog and it is entitled The evil that men (and women) do dated 02/Feb/2014.

If you get to the petition page you will see a lot of very useful links to research papers.Why useful? Well, it's sensible people saying sensible things for a change.

Regards.

Marcus