Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Contemplation and "Criminals"


Good evening and greetings from Aberdeen where the snow is belting down. I'm driving home tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to the road conditions. I'm also not looking forward to driving to Leeds on Friday, but I'm looking forward to being there as I'm off to a social event where I can spend time with some true friends I've made with within the industry.

I am in quite a contemplative mood this evening. I have spent a large portion of the day lobbying other escorts for support for some forthcoming proposed legislative changes to the law in Scotland. In short, here is the news I have been spreading ;

"This is the proposed amendment to the Scottish Police Bill. It has been tabled late as a minor amendment, and therefore does not require proper scrutiny. It could almost go through with just a few minutes mention. This criminalises all selling and buying of sexual services, (prostitution, could apply to strip clubs, peep shows, lap dancing. All Saunas and Agencies would be illegal. No advertisements in any paper, or Internet. (Sport would be illegal, only foreign websites would work). Escort sites would have to be hosted offshore. Landlords would have to be ignorant of what you were using the flat for.

Engaging in, advertising and facilitating paid-for sexual activities

11A Engaging in a paid-for sexual activity

(1) A person (A) commits an offence, to be known as the offence of engaging in a paid-for sexual activity, if A knowingly engages in a paid-for sexual activity with another person (B).

(2) A sexual activity is paid for where B engages in that activity in exchange for payment.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), it is immaterial whether the payment is made—

(a) by A or by another person, or
(b) to B or to another person on B's behalf.

11B Advertising paid-for sexual activities

A person commits an offence, to be known as the offence of advertising paid for sexual activities, if that person knowingly advertises, by any means, the availability of sexual activities that can be engaged in for payment.

11C Facilitating engagement in a paid-for sexual activity

(1) A person (A) commits an offence, to be known as the offence of facilitating engagement in a paid-for sexual activity, if A knowingly facilitates the engagement of another person (B) in a paid-for sexual activity with another person (C).

(2) A sexual activity is paid for where C engages in that activity in exchange for payment.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), it is immaterial whether the payment is made—

(a) by A, by B or by another person, or
(b) to C or to another person on C's behalf.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1), facilitating the engagement by B in a paid for sexual activity includes (but is not limited to)—

(a) arranging B's engagement in the activity,
(b) making payment to C or to another person on C's behalf,
(c) making available premises in which the activity takes place, or
(d) transporting B, or arranging transport for B, to where the activity takes place

If it goes through, this will effect all of us.

WHAT YOU CAN DO :

1.) Immediate action. Wednesday/Thursday write to justice.committee@scottish.parliament.uk

2.) Make yourself known to ScotPep and volunteer what you feel able to do.

3.) Spread this information around to every escort who works in Scotland.
This is a serious threat to our earning powers and safety."


As you can see it's a pretty serious issue, and in fact effects a lot of escorts all over the UK, if they plan to tour Scotland. I also emailed Baroness Helena Kennedy and asked her to meet me, as she is to conduct an independent investigation on commercial sexual exploitation in Scotland. Sadly, it's been over a week now and I have had no reply.

So, I have put my name forward as being willing to go and meet MSPs in an effort to show them that there are some women who enter the sex industry of their own volition and are independent. More importantly, I need to make the point that we as independent escorts care more than most for the welfare of trafficked women, but the current proposals as they stand are not the solution.

Prohibition of any industry does not work, fact. All that happens is the real nasties come out to play and offer "protection" and the industry becomes more clandestine.

I really am reaching the point where I am starting to completely and utterly despair. To me, regulation makes perfect sense. The tax man benefits from the revenue and the women benefit from the full protection of the law. All brothels registered and routinely inspected. It's an ideal situation but one which I don't know if I'll ever see in my lifetime.

So, why am I in such a contemplative mood ? I was thinking tonight about why I had a sudden desire to stand up and start shouting about our rights as sex workers. I have come to the conclusion that it's largely down to the treatment I experienced as a lady who was "outed" in her former home town. I STILL will never fathom why a man who had recently been released on charges of child abuse was welcomed back into the town with open arms ( "He's done his time, leave him alone" ),whereas I, as an escort, felt the full brunt of isolation and stigma.

"I always knew there was something strange about her."

( to a child ) - "Come away from that dirty hoor."

I had eggs thrown at my car and dog poo through my letter box. Why am I sharing this with you now ? Because if the current proposals go through and the industry is driven further underground then the women who choose to work in the sex industry will never be able to go to their local supermarket and hold their heads up high. They will always feel isolated, tainted and in some way branded. That's wrong. Very wrong. Women who provide pleasure to a consenting adult for a fee should never be placed in the same category as criminals.

Nite,

LL xx

1 comment:

  1. The "Scottish Parliament" (if you think it deserving of such a grand name) has a web page on this exasperating bill at
    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/bills/24-CrimJustLc/index.htm

    I am embarassed to admit that I voted in favour of devolution, so this graunch is at least partly my fault. Sorry!

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.