samedi 5 septembre 2015

Sexual serfdom ?

No, thanks !
Lettrine des casses de l'alphabet d'Anastasia Mastrakouli

Press release by AERAFEM[0]
n° 1

-Traduction anglaise par notre brillante étoile traductrice Alcaïd  du communiqué premier en son billet enrobé[0'

At pimps’ beck and call?

        On August 11th 2015, Amnesty International made a resolute public statement in favor of the full decriminalization of “consensual sex work”. According to the organization, the alleged “human rights of sex workers” would be best guaranteed as state interference remains minimal.

Based on such rationale, and considering that prostituted women are therefore identified as mere “sellers” – would it be fair to conclude that the Commercial code should insure sex sellers’ security when it comes to renting their body parts? Are we even to assume the law should go as far as to assimilate free cessions to organ donation?

AERAFEM could not possibly endorse such a corrupted perspective on women’s fundamental rights. In fact, the non-governmental organization uses doublespeak, which actually reveals its main concern towards sex buyers’ interests. 

On the one hand, it appears that Amnesty International’s take on human rights turns the right to privacy into the foundation of the essential dignity of women and men, as well as their right to life- meaning that the right to safety and freedom are also to be understood as privacy “by-products”.  Now, if trade is indeed regulated by private law, it certainly does not fall under the sanctified provisions of privacy: streets, shop windows, open centers well confirm this aspect.

Amnesty International deliberately shrugs those points off and suggests that regardless of the actual hierarchy of principles, full decriminalization does not violate any of those fundamental rights since sexuality is a « human need » - as if any need were a vital need, in other words, as if the absence of sexual activities led to death- and alleges that in those circumstances, prostitution could barely be akin to subservience. To put it in a nutshell, prostitution is just a matter of individual preferences, and as such, state interference is unacceptable.

On the other hand, Amnesty International acknowledges the imperfect economic context in which women « choose » prostitution. But the organization also contends that prostitution is a valid and pragmatic choice on the part of poor women. As a result, Amnesty intends to legitimize johns’ sexual demands under the pretense that they are an expression of their irrepressible urges, while professing that this liberal logic does have a humanitarian end. In truth, las-resort prostitution is touted as the ultimate salvation for poor women, therefore taking the food off their table would be most despicable. Similarly, sex buyers are righteous benefactors and providers to be unconditionally supported.

As an organization working for the worldwide eradication of feminicides, we definitely object to this sanctimonious stand. Women have an uncompromisable right to life, safety, security, freedom and dignity.

Furthermore, those fundamental principles, by definition, are not meant to condone the status quo-but they were precisely designed to set up a state of affairs in which political leaders are enabled to draft effective public policies. The effectiveness of those policies lies in their core ambition: the end of a dreadful customary licentiousness whereby men pay to reduce women and girls to disposable tools. Suffice it to say that this mechanical and utilitarian perspective regarding the female body might also lead to the backing of “reproductive pimping”[1]. Oddly enough, in both cases women are supposed to feel honored to be used as implements to satisfy male desires.

At any rate, this is a principled position: the human body is no trade product. The human body is no transferable property. What is a bodiless subject of law? Apart from an obvious denial of each principle’s order of primacy, one could hardly argue the idea of “consensual subservience” finds any more justification in the Declaration of human rights than trafficking in women.

If spending money in optimal conditions becomes the only criterion to determine an act of subordination or exploitation, there is no doubt trafficking may easily meet the requirements related to workers’ freedom of movement. All the more so as Amnesty International strongly urges states to grant immigrant prostituted women the same rights as the local ones. In other words, trafficked women could be taken from one place to another, and maybe appear in the remittance[2] statistics of the World Bank as full-fledged professionals in business cooperation?

Amnesty International blatantly blurs the lines - though the implications are very clear: the more extreme, i.e. deadly, the constraints imposed on prostituted women are, the more « reasonable » it is for them to hope for any alternatives and security. Amnesty based its recommendations on pimps (aka « travelling salesmen ») and sex buyers’ good will or so-called ethics- which all comes down to making women’s fundamental rights negotiable. Women’s rights are then simply up to the masters’ benevolent moods. Amnesty international confuses survival with the right to life, while the primary condition of life itself – body integrity – is vulgarly merchandized. 

AERAFEM literally does not buy into this managerial renunciation[3]. In the name of pragmatical relativism, Amnesty International perpetuates and contributes to archaic feminicidal practices against prostituted women, but also against women and girls in general.

There is no way a minimal commercial supervision could alleviate women’s plight in prostitution. Such policies are inefficient and prove to be in line with a historical pattern of immobilism. Thus, Amnesty International’s stance is in absolute contradiction with a coherent and dignified promotion of women’s rights across the world. In addition, Amnesty shared no evidence vouching for the rigor of its scientific methodology. In that respect, AERAFEM denies the NGO any credibility.

AERAFEM would like to thank and pay tribute to the countless national offices affiliated with the association that publically discarded the official stance on prostitution. Amnesty International’s recommendations flout the sovereign and democratic legislations of the UN member states, as well as the Conventions and International treaties ensuring both sex equality  and the protection of women and girls.                                                       
 AERAFEM Paris, siege & Marseille office, September 4th 2015

[1] Commonly referred to as “surrogacy”. 
[2] Geographical notion for the sending of money made by migrant workers to their home- country relatives.
[3] This is a reference to the « New Public Management » tendency, according to which policy making should follow the procedures implemented in the private sector. Citizens become mere consumers whose divergent, though profitable, interests must be « managed » by public authorities. The law is a management tool, it sets no limits aside from extreme violence. The ultimate goal is public efficiency and cost reduction. This is a contemporary reuse of the old liberal concept of « negative freedom ».
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A - Féminicides -
B - Androcides -
Mais plus encore :
Des preuves ?
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Message - AERAFEM, ONG française, remercie tous les blogs féministes et plateformes numériques qui projettent sur la Toile son communiqué et espère que de nombreux liens vigoureux de protestation se rajouteront en commentaires ci-dessous...

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