Why Ireland Needs the Criminalisation of Demand
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Prostitution – the purchase of another human being for sex, is not and never has been the purchase of sex, because neither I nor any of the other women stand on the street or in the brothels with our genitalia and our mouths and throats in neatly wrapped packages which you could borrow and return to us in 20mins. No, I had go with them, you had to talk to me first, my mind was present the whole time. You always have to buy the person before you gain access to their body. So you must ask yourself one question, Do you believe that people have the right to buy other human beings?When I ask anyone this question, of course they say No but when I ask them Do you believe that people have the right to buy other human beings for the purpose of their own sexual gratification?, they sometimes hesitate, I understand where this hesitation comes from, because they think “well if they are offering it”, what’s the problem, two consenting adults, a business transaction!! I say no, this question requires a yes/no answer, you either believe it or you don’t, end of. I stood on that street selling myself but I always knew they had no right to buy me.
There are many reasons why women find themselves in prostitution and all of them have nothing to do with feeling empowered, and even if they did feel delusionally empowered, I don’t care if she is offering herself up in a gold bikini on a silver platter in the pent house suite of the Berkeley Court Hotel, no one actually has the right to buy her, period!!
Rape does become part of the job, so much so that we don’t really use the term rape, we don’t have permission to, we might allude to it but then its ignored and the subject is changed. Many become desensitised to the pain of others, because if you knowledge someone else’s pain, you may just have to acknowledge your own, and we don’t have anywhere to place or deal with that pain, so some bury it, some use substances to forget it, some disconnect from it and unfortunately some accept it as routine.
I often wonder what people would be saying if they were breaking our bones, because to be honest with you I’d rather be writing this with a few healed bones than half the crap I have to live with in my head. If the offenders were breaking our bones, would the pro-prostitution lobby be fighting for stronger crutches to hold us up while we work? – water resistant plaster casts, support heists in the brothel beds, etc? Rape is an invisible violent crime, so how do people view the rape of a prostituted woman? – And I’m not looking for an answer; I unfortunately already know.
People ask me how many men, I was bought by 4-5 offenders, 2-3 nights a week, at least 45 weeks of the year for 6yrs and that is an equation I will never do in my head. I’m a survivor of a vicious gang rape, an attack which my friend did not survive and I have never seen the world the same way since. I was no “sex worker”, I was a trapped mind who lived in a body that no longer belonged to me, in fact I was a disconnected, drug addicted, walking rape victim, we all were.
Some may say that we will never end prostitution, well that doesn’t mean that we do nothing either, unfortunately in this world there will always be people willing to exploit the vulnerable, to make profit off the bodies of other human beings because nobody, not even the most equal societies in the world have found the cure for the human condition and all its complexities. You can pull the plug on technology, you can open more safe houses and instil support systems but it is only legislation that curbs human behaviour; that is in fact why the justice system exists in the first place. And when a man makes a conscious decision to go out and purchase the body of another human being to do with it what he wants, that is unacceptable human behaviour. We should never be bound by history, Ireland should know this more than most, for history is a series of processes through which humanity must be found and on this issue it is so long overdue and I for one, have had enough.
In the last 3yrs alone 29 children have been rescued from sexual slavery in Ireland, where do you think the children are kept? They are raped and abused in the same brothels as the adults, so I ask you, who pay’s the ultimate price under tolerating regimes? This is not acceptable to me, this should not be acceptable to anyone and on that basis alone prostitution should be outlawed.
Legislation should always reflect the values of a country, at the moment bodily integrity is not valued in Ireland even though the protection of bodily integrity is enshrined in our constitution and gender equality is not possible while women are up for sale, we will never stand shoulder to shoulder with our male counterparts so long as it is still acceptable for us to be on our knees or backs at their mercy.
At the moment our country is also debating marriage and how much we value it and who is entitled to that right, but at the same time we have a system where by it is acceptable for offenders to make a complete mockery of the commitments they made, because although I wasn’t counting wedding rings, I would agree that up to 60-70% of offenders are married or in committed relationships, I have always believed that these women have a right to know, they have a right to know what goes on in the back seat of the car, the very car they might be bringing the children to school in the next morning. The commitments these women have made must be valued and treated with integrity the opposite of which is hypocrisy and this hypocrisy must end.
The sex industry is both a cruel and disturbing place, run by criminals and all efforts must be made to bring it to its knees and the only way to do that is to cut off what makes it exist in the first place, the offenders, men who believe they have a right to buy other human beings. I want legislation that will fine offenders, jail the real pimps and coercers and send a clear message out to the traffickers to start packing and get the hell off our island because women are no longer for sale.
Mia De Faoite