Finally some Justice as kerb-crawlers have to pay more than just cash

It shocked me a couple of years ago to discover that women (or men) could be prosecuted for prostitution but yet those who paid for their services had no censure.
It seems crazy in this scenario that one of the two parties is doing something illegal and the other isn’t, that there is such a disparity. Either they are both ok, or both deserve censure.
But then I guess for too long its been the men that make the laws, and men who use and abuse prostitutes, men who keep women in the vicious circle that prostitution becomes. So obviously they didn’t want to make kerb crawling illegal.

Its not too dissimilar from that story in John 8 (the dubious part of John). Reading it and using it for some stuff with students it really struck me how one of the things Jesus seems to be doing is challenging the injustice of the situation. This woman was dragged in to be stoned having been caught in the act (of adultery). Now if she was caught in the act it would seem to be normal that the guy was also caught in the act but what happened him? Why wasn’t he dragged out to be stoned? Because it was the woman’s fault? The innate sexism in the society of the time maybe isn’t too different from today in many ways. As Jesus challenges whichever of the religious leaders who was without fault to throw the first stone, I wonder if in that he was challenging the injustice of women being punished for the same thing that the guy managed to get off Scot free with.

It seems to have taken 2000 years for the same sense of injustice to hit the UK with Home Secretary Jacqui smith announcing a range of new laws to deal with those paying for sex, and especially with trafficed sex workers. Still not a crime to be a pimp and pimp out women though. It seems we still have a way to go…

For another perspective from someone who spends time with many of the women ‘working’ on the streets of Belfast check out a Velvet Bridge.

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3 thoughts on “Finally some Justice as kerb-crawlers have to pay more than just cash”

  1. There’s a whole school of jursiprudence (the study of the nature of law) dedicated to how women have been mistreated by the law. In fact the best essay that I ever read in my college years was about such things and her name was Katherine Bartlett. Clearly it is all in a name and I am now going to change my name to Mark Bartlett. By the way did I tell you that I had a dream that I was marrying a certain someone but more significantly she was Jed Bartlett’s daughter in my dream! I need to stop watching the west wing…

  2. I also should have said that it was a good post and thanks for drawing further attention to the injustices that go on in the name of justice!

  3. It seems crazy in this scenario that one of the two parties is doing something illegal and the other isn’t, that there is such a disparity.

    Strictly speaking this isn’t the case. As the law stands in the UK, neither participant in the prostitute/client transaction is doing anything illegal. It’s not illegal to pay for sex or to sell sex. Why would it be, when sexual intercourse between consenting adults is legal and it’s OK to charge to perform any other legal act, from cleaning to personal training? (This opens up a can of worms about whether or not a woman in a brothel is really consenting of course.)

    What is illegal is soliciting for sex, ie standing on a street corner touting for business, or indeed running a brothel. It’s why escort agencies are often a cover for prostitution. So at present kerb crawlers aren’t breaking the law, but kerb crawlees are – not because they’re selling sex, but because they’re soliciting to sell sex. Of course all that will change if the laws announced are enacted.

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