Slap the Pimps on the Back: Prostituted women Don’t Matter in Australia

Sitting in front of the select committee in South Australian parliament to testify against the decriminalisation of sex-buyers, pimps and profiteers in 2016 I could have been forgiven for thinking the sex-trade was comprised of women with disabilities buying sex from men. My experience of being bought by men along with that of currently and formerly prostituted women seemed to disappear in a puff of smoke.

Not all of the bill is problematic. On paper it has some healthy rhetoric around removing restrictions on the prostituted on the basis of stigmatisation and discrimination. It is ‘fluffy’ language and meaningless in terms of efficacy but at least it looks like they tried. Scrolling through the proposed bill nothing seems untoward until one finds the clause protecting pimps,sex-buyers, advertisers and procurers. That they are added under such protections is a dangerous and unnecessary inclusion in an otherwise harmless kind of document.

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