lipgloss*suicide

A very UN-glossy look at popular culture... and whatever else takes my fancy.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Suffolk Murders

Right now I am back at my parents' house in Ipswich, Suffolk. I'm sure you've all heard about the terrible events in our town recently. I'm going to try and avoid talking about the fact that the women are constantly referred to as 'prostitutes' instead of people - you don't hear Luke Durbin, who went missing here earlier this year, referred to as 'shop assitant' instead of 'young man'. I'm going to avoid complaining about how the national media didn't bother reporting the case until a third body was found and the magic words 'serial killer' uttered. I'm not going to express my anger at the way the tabloid media have jumped on this case like vultures once they knew they could paint a picture of the 'ripper' targeting 'vice girls'. I'm not going to pass too much comment on the fact that Suffolk Police didn't say they were dealing with a 'major inquiry' until 3rd december, nearly a month after the first victim went missing. They've been spoken about enough by various commentators. I don't feel I have too much to add to what's been said.

But what I AM going to get mad about is the fact that no one seems to be addressing what was really responsible for these tragedies, what is responsible for the women selling their bodies in the first place, what is responsible for other sex workers being trafficked in, beaten and raped. And that is: the men who pay them for sex. The men who create the demand that fuels the supply. The men who continue to use brothels when they know many girls are trafficked in and held against their will. The men who pick women up off the street, carry on providing business even though they know it is dangerous for them to be working in such conditions. Why, amidst all the media talk about opening legal brothels and tolerance zones for the women to work in has nobody suggested that maybe, perhaps, men should consider whether it is really morally right for them to sleep with prostitutes?

We are used to campaigns telling us not to buy products or services when they use unethical working practices. Nike, Gap, Tescos, Starbucks; the message to stay away from these companies unless you wish to fund their workers' abuse is one that's vocalised quite frequently. So why, despite knowing the dangers street workers encounter, and even high-profile dramas such as 'sex traffic' on our TV screens, am I still not hearing any condemnation of the men who use these services? They are the ones who fuel the trafficking of women, who encourage them to work on the streets and place their lives in danger. It looks like there will be a reform of the laws surrounding prostitution shortly (don't get me started on the fact that it took a frenzied killing spree for this to really be discussed properly) but that is still not enough. There has to be a focus also on helping the women who want to get out of their situation. If it becomes a fully legitimised and respected profession, then what message will that be sending out to the next generation? That is normal, regular behaviour for a man to buy sex with a woman, to buy her body like a posession? What will this do to gender relations? Yes, whilst women are still working as prostitutes we need to make it as safe for them as possible, but this will not be enough. We need to help them escape when they want to and we need to teach men that it is NOT ok to buy women's bodies like disposable objects when they are in such a vulnerble position through lack of choice. Women are more than a collection of body parts and men are more than animalistic slaves to their sex drives. We cannot accept these gross and degrading stereotypes. We are human, we have brains and minds and we must use them.

9 Comments:

  • At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Jackamo said…

    If it becomes a fully legitimised and respected profession, then what message will that be sending out to the next generation? That is normal, regular behaviour for a man to buy sex with a woman, to buy her body like a posession?

    What is the moral difference between paying a woman for sex, paying her for a foot massage, or paying her to cook me a meal of roast chicken?

    I HIRE women for sex. I give them money in exchange for sex. Doing so is not "buying" a body any more than I "buy" a plumber by paying him to clear a blocked loo.

     
  • At 4:18 PM, Blogger Jess-Gloss said…

    Are plumbers working in the same conditions as trafficked women held in brothels? No, didn't think so.

     
  • At 5:05 AM, Anonymous Jackamo said…

    Plumbers are most certainly not working in the same conditions.

    The traffickers are the ones who buy the women. The customers only rent them.

    And why are we call them traffickers? I prefer the term "slave traders", and they deserve all the mental baggage that term implies. Trafficking sounds like something you do with drugs or stolen car parts.

    These women are slaves. Sold and purchased like so much livestock. We insult drug smugglers by using the term "traffic" to describe what is actually a trade in slaves.

    And NOBODY likes a slave trader.

     
  • At 2:33 PM, Anonymous alyx said…

    What is the moral difference between paying a woman for sex, paying her for a foot massage, or paying her to cook me a meal of roast chicken?

    Lying on your back and going off somewhere else in your head while some guy fucks you as you try to suppress sobs is a little different from baking a cake, stronso.

    Doing so is not "buying" a body any more than I "buy" a plumber by paying him to clear a blocked loo.

    Right then, jackamo. You rent your mouth and arsehole out to another guy and then tell me it’s no different from a plumbing job.

    Here’s another question: Why do socially maladjusted men think they have a moral right to purchase sex they’re too much of a scumbag to acquire for free?

     
  • At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here’s another question: Why do socially maladjusted men think they have a moral right to purchase sex they’re too much of a scumbag to acquire for free?

    Being male, but not socially maladjusted, I can only partially answer your question with the following response: What makes anyone think they have the moral right to tell a woman she cannot have sex with a man unless she does it for free?

     
  • At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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