Harriet Harman, Labour’s former deputy leader, has expressed support for criminalising men who pay for sex [Image: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images].

It’s rare for the Labour Branch Rep of the Uptight Right to open her mouth in public these days. Trust her to put her foot in it.

Responding to her leader, Jeremy Corbyn’s, opinion that sex work should be decriminalised, she tweeted, “Prostitution’s exploitation and abuse not “work/an industry”. Women should be protected and men prosecuted.”

So, men should be prosecuted for having anything to do with sex work. Does that include men who are sex workers?

See, Ms Harman has made the unforgivable mistake of thinking that only women can or do sell sex, only women can be exploited for it, and only men can be the exploiters. That is wrong.

In fact, done properly, Corbyn’s call for decriminalisation could end much – if not all – of the exploitation she deplores – and free police resources to track down those who are responsible for sex-related offences of violence, against men, women and children (in case anybody has forgotten about that).

It is a difficult subject.

But let’s not make it more difficult by falling into easy prejudice.

Jeremy Corbyn’s support for the decriminalisation of prostitution has been challenged by the former deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman.

Harman… and has previously expressed support for the so-called Nordic model of criminalising men who pay for sex rather than the women working in the trade.

However, this legal framework, known as the Nordic model because of its adoption in Sweden, is largely opposed by sex trade advocacy groups because they believe that it puts workers at greater risk by driving them underground.

[She tweeted] “Prostitution’s exploitation and abuse not “work/an industry”. Women should be protected and men prosecuted.”

Corbyn made the comments during a session with students at Goldsmiths, University of London as he went out on the campaign trail for the local elections in May.

His position appears to chime with that of Amnesty International, which provoked a mixed reaction when it called for “full decriminalisation of all aspects of consensual sex work” last year.

The subject of the law around prostitution is controversial, causing divisions within political parties, charities and the women’s movement about whether tougher or more relaxed legislation is the best way of protecting sex workers.

Source: Harriet Harman hits out at Corbyn’s support for decriminalised sex work | Society | The Guardian

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