Prostitution’s Victims Ignored by Amnesty International

, Spencer Irvine, 5 Comments

amnesty international photo

Occasionally the Modern Language Association (MLA) actually does look at language, and makes a valuable contribution to the sum of human knowledge.

At the MLA conference this year, Kate Day, a law professor emeritus at Suffolk University, pulled no punches on the issue of prostitution and sex trafficking. She was critical of Amnesty International’s definition of these subjects, which includes language such as “consensual” and “adult,” when the undisputed victims of these crimes “are women and children [who are] overwhelmingly poor.” Day pointed out that “globally, millions are exploited each year” by these crimes and it plays into her “sex equality analysis, which mirrors my own thinking and own work.”

She continued, “Amnesty [International] uses the word adult…undisputed that most people enter prostitution when they are children or in their teens.” She continued, “Upon reaching 18, it would place the burden on the child becoming an adult to establish non-consent.” However, this “could be used to perpetuate violence” and it is a major flaw of the organization’s definitions of these crimes and practices.

Arguably, Day’s pronouncements fall outside the parameters of the study of literature. Nevertheless, so do most of the topics examined at the MLA’s annual convention.

Also, Day is a professor emeritus. One wishes that her peers would also truly question authority.

 

Photo by Steve Rhodes

 

5 Responses

  1. Gnostic

    January 17, 2016 5:58 pm

    undisputed that most people enter prostitution when they are children or in their teens.”

    No that is your fantasy. It most assuredly is disputed.

  2. Tina Trent

    January 18, 2016 10:51 am

    Unless I am missing some irony detector this morning, why don’t you enlighten us with the official version of “sex work” then?

    A handful of historically “second wave” feminist organizations exercised ethical consistency when addressing these issues, but the academic feminists following them plunged into “pro-sex feminism” (a technical term, according to them) with such enthusiasm that these earlier efforts have received neither the academic attention nor the reformist politics they merit.

    Dr. Day would be of the age to belong to that less ethically muddled second-wave feminist movement.

    Good insight, Mr. Irvine.

  3. Gnostic

    January 18, 2016 3:24 pm

    Do you always beat around the bush? I have no idea how what you said relates to the fact that the majority of prostitutes start working after they are adults.

    Your trying to bring in some pseudo-feminist argument is just bewildering. Was that your intent? To distract from the truth?

  4. MarcusAurelius45

    January 18, 2016 11:02 pm

    The following is the URL to an article entitled: “Feminism and Sexuality” which appears in the online Men’s Rights site, The American Gentleman:

    http://amerigentleman.blogspot.com/2014/12/feminism-and-sexuality.html

    The url link to an article supporting the legalization of prostitution in the article no longer works.
    Feminism and Sexuality discusses prostitution and other aspects of sexuality from a Men’s Rights perspective.
    I, personally, agree with Amnesty International on this topic.

  5. Gnostic

    January 19, 2016 12:10 pm

    Thanks for the link. It answers my question about why the abolitionist feminists seem to view sex as dirty in my view…

    “These concerns were reflected in the feminist movement, with radical feminist groups claiming that pornography was a central underpinning of patriarchy and and a direct cause of violence against women.
    Robin Morgan summarized this idea in her statement, “Pornography is the theory; rape the practice.”

    These types of statements radiate a “leave me alone you pervert” sort of vibe instead of a “sex is fun” sort of vibe. At its base it views the very diverse human sexual experience as something that should be restricted.

    The difference of opinion then would be one of “where to set the limits” of human sexuality. In my view there should be limits… But the abolitionists set those limits at an extreme anti-sexual bias as described in the link you provided.

    So to understand the war on prostitution requires an understanding that an anti-sexual agenda lies at its center.!?!!!

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