Yesterday the French Senate removed the clause criminalising the purchase of sex from proposed new sex work legislation.
It is not final, the assembly could vote down the amended bill and, if so, the bill could be redrafted, but it is a very strong message that is very hard to argue against without admitting callous indifference to the well being of sex workers. The argument of the French Senate is common sense applied to simple truth, sex buyer laws do “not work” and expose sex workers to negative impact and greater danger .
Proposed legislation will retain the decriminalisation of street workers and the provision of even greater support and exit resources. Sadly, in the real world, this will probably only wind up misdirected as a sop to the usual abolitionist NGOs in the rescue industry and be about as much use to French sex workers desperate for other solutions to their problems as a chocolat théière, but hey, this is real life, you cannot have everything.
The only argument anyone can make against the proposed French legislation as it stand involves admitting that it was never about sex worker’s welfare anyway, as the Swedes often have to concede already, it really is all about making sex work as difficult and dangerous as possible as a deterrent.
The abolitionist movement has persistently (and irrationally) insisted that we need sex buyer laws because most sex workers want out of sex work…it would make a laughable U-turn from that position to trying to claim that a deterrent for sex workers is needed. As I have always said, if sex work is so horrible and traumatic, surely that, in itself, is all the deterrent anyone will ever need?
It was certainly all the deterrent I needed.
Talk your way out of that.