In contrast to the perpetual barage of propaganda that portrays all prostitution as human slavery by both conservative moral authoritarians and liberal women’s non-rights crusaders, there is an occasional exhibit of actual intellectual discussion on the topic.
Ms Healy, on a team led by the Women’s Institute, was up against a police officer in charge of Ipswich, where five prostitutes were murdered in 2006.
Both sides debated with passion, she said, but she believed her team was successful – by 127 votes to 90 – because it provided solutions backed up by real experiences and research. Prostitution became legal in New Zealand in 2003, and in her argument she had highlighted the shame of the old law.
“Decriminalisation has worked. It’s worked really well in giving sex workers rights and the ability to report wrongs.”
Kudos to Ms Healy and the Women’s Institute for daring to bring a dose of rationality to the subject. It’s a shame that such rationality is nonexistent in any mainstream women’s rights organizations in the United States where panic and hysteria are the tools by which society ensures that women who choose to work in the sex trade are rabidly vilified and persecuted by the overwhelming majority of their own gender.