Measure for Measure
By Elizabeth Swan onLast night I saw Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at The Young Vic theatre. Now I know this play very well. When I was at drama school I understudied the part of Isabella, the soon to be nun. (I know, I know. It took some bloody acting) I also took the part of the pimp Pompey. Life does have a perculiar sense of humour sometimes, doesn't it? This play was first performed in 1604 and is about the authority of the land agressively laying down new laws in regards to the adult industry with no thought or care given to the consequences. I am so glad that Britain has moved on to concentrate on more relevant and pressing matters in regards to law making. Oh. Hang on. In the last few years we have had; The porn law passed which means we can't sell internet content that shows watersports, ballbusting, squirting, fisting, facesitting and nothing more than a gentle spanking. Fiona Mactaggart MP added an amendment to the modern slavery bill aimed to criminalise the purchase of sex. It was dropped after John McDonnell MP said “It drives prostitution further underground, making it more dangerous and stigmatising for women” Thank goodness that there are some politicians that care enough to make a stand. We had to endure actresses such as Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt and Lena Dunham signing an open petition against Amnesty International for wanting to decriminalise sex work. Because they know more than us right? Amnesty passed the proposal anyway. And just last week a private members bill to “make it an offence to publish....an advertisement of a brothel or the services of a prostitute” has been put forward. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2015-2016/0015/lbill_2015-20160015_en_1.htm Again, I hope that common sense prevails when the government makes its decision on this bill but who knows. People who don't know anything about the subject have said to me in the past 'we have to stop the trafficking/underage/exploited etc etc'. But there are laws that are already in place that DEAL with those issues. Also haven't the police got enough to do? Though the Nottingham police force would disagree. They want to criminalise the men who are visiting flats http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-34595753 Although they should be looking at their murder statistics. 17 in 2011 (the latest statistics I could find) http://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/sites/default/files/documents/files/FOI%20006169%2012%20Murder%20statistics%202003-2011.pdf But much as it's irritating when people who don't know about this industry give the above opinion what troubles me the most is the people who do know. And don't care. They know that criminalising will increase attacks on women/men/trans workers. Rhoda Grant MSP said in 2012 it was a “price worth paying” http://sexonomics-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/my-response-to-rhoda-grants.html But I would end with a quote from Pompey in Measure for Measure “Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the youth of the city?” Sex work can't be stopped. The urge for sex, can't be stopped. So decriminalise and make it safer for us all.