Thursday, July 05, 2012


On Our Guard

Stella Marr, a survivor of prostitution who writes about the brutality of the industry, discusses the repercussions of speaking out against this most vicious aspect of organized crime. As she notes, exposing the pimps and traffickers for what they are involves confronting as well those who naively believe the pimp propaganda.

While it is still popular among some progressive milieus to be seduced by the sex worker mythology promoted by brothel owners in order to undermine prostitution abolition, it is increasingly clear that this myth is full of holes. When former prostitutes like Marr confront madames like the founder of COYOTE and other gangsters, harrassment and threats inevitably follow. Since violence and threats are what make the industry possible, this should come as no surprise.

Years ago when we defeated a proposition to legalize prostitution in San Francisco, I was surprised we were rebuffed by the California Peace and Freedom Party whom I invited to join us in opposing making it easier for organized crime to traffick and abuse women and children. As a feminist socialist political party I expected better, but as I came to learn, ignorance and arrogance aren't limited to the right-wing; when the avant garde is unwilling to examine its habitual opinions, then the rest of us had better be on our guard.


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