Now I’m amazed at what Harriet Harman has been quoted as saying it’s her personal view that we should follow what they’ve done in Sweden and make it illegal to pay for sex:
Can’t be a bad thing surely, but it came as a surprise after a BBC article feebly wondering whether it’s “empowering” for women to be portrayed the way they are in lads’ mags. The answer is no, obviously:
Once women burned their bras, today they send photos of their breasts to lad mags and call it liberating. Is this really a new form of feminism or just the old objectification?
Just more of the same old objectification, even if slightly less far down on the scale than prostitution. But as Harriet Harman says, “Do we think it’s right in the 21st century that women should be in a sex trade or do we think it’s exploitation and should be banned? Just because something has always gone on, it doesn’t mean you just wring your hands and say there’s nothing we can do about it.”
(And given the success of some campaigners in the past, I’m even inclining to a little glimmer of optimism on this – I can’t resist reminding you of Josephine Butler, inspirational mum who battled for women’s rights in spite of serious illness and personal difficulties of her own, in an at least equally uncongenial atmosphere.)