This BBC article makes for disturbing reading. It's focus is on the plight of women who have been trafficked into the UK to work in the sex industry. And the situation is genuinely shocking whichever way you look at it.
The "incidental" information in the article is pretty shocking too: one in ten guys in the UK visits prostitutes. How does that affect the way they subsequently deal with and react to women in their workplaces and homes (the typical prostitute-visitor is married)? The report suggests that visiting prostitutes is increasingly becoming "normal" behaviour. "Divorce rates, sex tourism, stag weekends, lads' mags and the ubiquity of internet pornography have all been blamed." Of course any rational person will realise it's the guys who visit brothels who are to blame... Apparently there are even websites on which people can write reviews of prostitutes they have visited!
Now the point of the article is that there is a campaign underway to encourage guys who visit prostitutes to report to the police if they suspect that the women may have been trafficked. Hmmm. So what are the signs to look out for? "Not only is there likely to be some distress on the victim's part, but there are other clues - like being offered an Italian woman, but finding an Albanian who speaks no English. Other clues might be that the price quoted is lower than normal, or unprotected sex is offered". Right so we're asking guys who want to pay the minimum price to have unprotected sex with clearly distressed women who don't speak English? Are these guys really the best people to turn to for help? Shouldn't the police be identifying and searching brothels, putting these men into jail for rape (if she doesn't speak English I don't see how she can consent - and if she's clearly in distress I'd take that as a no) and getting the women into safe, secure homes where they can get medical treatment and counselling?
Worse still we're told that some of the punters are aware that women they're having sex with are illegally trafficked and working under duress and "Some enjoy the women's plight, police say". Police say? If the police hear of someone who enjoys having sex with a woman under duress then they should surely arrest them for rape immediately...? What planet are we on? And again I'm not sure I want to work and live around these people.
Finally the campaign betrays itself with a piece of classic misogyny: "Awareness campaigns have emphasised their status as unwilling participants and men have been reminded of how they would feel if it were happening to their own sister, girlfriend or daughter." Yes suddenly we're expected to believe bthat men will not want to rape women who might have an older male family member who might be upset. Don't rape her - she might belong to someone else... And it's not about how she might feel being raped up to 30 times a day, it's about how other men who know her might feel. Screw that. Women have rights, even women without older male family members or long-term partners. I don't have any problem perceiving male suffering as part of human suffering which affects me. I do have a problem understanding how this sort of project gets underway without someone noticing that's it's implicitly condoning the misogyny which is at the root of the problem itself.