Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation targeted by sex industry lobbyists

Caitlin Roper and Sabrinna Valisce write in Feminist Current:

Last month, the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation (ASASE) was held at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). The conference hosted presentations from a range of speakers, including radical feminists and abolitionists like Julie Bindel, Dr. Renate Klein, and Sarah Mah, as well as sex trade survivors such as Simone Watson.

The event was an amazing success, with powerful speeches and discussions. Unfortunately, the conference was targeted by pro-sex trade lobbyists associated with Vixen, a Victoria, Australia-based red umbrella group that lobbies for the full decriminalization of prostitution (meaning they would like to see pimps and punters/johns decriminalized, as well as prostituted people).

Holding signs with slogans like “Fuck you pay me” and “Blowjobs are real jobs,” they shouted abuse and obscenities at Professor Taylor and members of the audience, trashed display tables and threw objects at members of the audience.

Two of the slogans written on red umbrellas read, “No bad whores, just bad laws,” and “Rights Not Rescue,” so I attempted to open a dialogue on that basis. Simone and I made clear that we were in full agreement with both these slogans. (In fact, Simone’s brilliant speech only hours earlier was titled, “Rights Not Rescue.”)

Through this dialogue, it became clear that the protesters had no real idea what they were protesting. They believed ASASE was a religious right organization, with membership, that was also anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage. Absolutely none of this is true. ASASE has no membership or particular religious or political position.

Yet again, the pro-sex trade lobby have exposed themselves for their callous disregard for the wellbeing of women with their tactics of verbally abusing, intimidating, and harassing survivors of prostitution and child sexual abuse.

https://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/08/07/australian-summit-sexual-exploitation-targeted-sex-industry-lobbyists/

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