delve a little deeper....
You may remember last year I wrote about The Invisible Man project? It was also written about here. Well it transpires that the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art (GoMA) are hosting an exhibition based on this.
According to a spokeswoman from Glasgow City Council..."We would encourage as many right-thinking adults in society to see it as possible. It does provide a unique insight into the reality of prostitution and how horrendous it is for the women involved."
Hmm. So an exhibition to promote what is wrong with prostitution with NO input from actual sex workers, using cherry picked quotes from reviews without context and without the consent of the women who are referred to?
Many women do not have reviews, some ask not to have them displayed on Punternet (the site the text is stolen from). Some women recognise they can help establish a good reputation and some don't give a toss either way. Of course this is not mentioned anywhere. We have no idea what is said is true or not. They could have been written by a rival escort or agency or be exaggerated or made up. Yes, some of the things written are horrible, but hey, it's the internet, man writes mean thing about woman is hardly exclusive to sex workers and the preposition of the Invisible Man project is that these women are forced or coerced or unhappy in their work is of course a pile of shite.
There are many more great reasons why this project is so wrong that have already been written by me and others but please go HERE to read about why GoMA should remove the exhibit and sign the petition whilst you're at it please!
In the meantime I shall leave some reviews here...
On entering the main lobby and walking toward the main hall, I was stopped with an outstretched arm by an Eastern European piece of hired muscle. "Where are you going" he demanded. "For a drink" I replied. "Zerr ar no valk ins allowed" he told me..... translation "There are no walk ins allowed"!!! I therefore informed this gentleman wearing the cheapest suit I had encountered for some time that I would take my business elsewhere.....and I did.
This is definitely the place to be (the lounge) if you want to compare dirty jeans, trainers and the constant flashing of mobile phone cameras. The attitude of some of the staff and their inability to clean their shoes were another highlight.
Now this woman has a serious attitude problem and does not speak perfect english we are in England after all. I am fluent in 3 languages and my husband in 2 but she doesn't either want to understand us or just can't.
Lobby is nice, but rooms are not. I even switched rooms and still bad. Stained walls, carpet, and bathroom. Loose floor boards under the carpet, it took 15min to get hot water, and the water pressure was so bad it was hard to get the soap out of my hair. The bath towels smelled of urine.
It's like expecting a trip in a Rolls Royce and then being ferried around in a Toyota, even though you've paid Rolls Royce rates. This place lacks typical hotel infrastructure and must be very cheap to run. There is little character and atmosphere. The big trick is how the staff like Monica and Magda are constantly all over you, distracting you from pondering the shortcomings.
The bathroom was cheap. The toilet didn't flush properly and the shower and tray were akin to something out of a budget hotel, very cheap and plasticy. Not what you expect at an advertised room rate of around £2,000 per night
And the reviews? From Trip Advisor about top London hotels.
1. The Ritz, London
2. The Savoy
4. Le Meridien, Piccadilly
5. Hotel 41 (Trip Advisor's #1 rated luxury hotel in London)
6. The Berkeley.
I am off to Amsterdam from April 1st for 3 nights. It's really a little mini break, but I thought I'd mention it in case any of my Dutch readers- or indeed if anyone who might be in Amsterdam at the time would like to book me!
I will only be taking advance bookings so I can plan my days (sightseeing and eating out!) so don't wait until I get there to book!
There is a joke about tulips (two lips) in Amsterdam somewhere but I can't quite form it! :)
Last week the European Parliament voted on Mary Honeyball's motion for a
resolution on sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality. In other words she was recommending the Swedish (or Nordic) Model that criminalises the clients of sex workers.
The motion was passed with 343 MEPs voting for, 139 against and 105 abstentions.
It is worth remembering that this is not a legislative vote. It doesn't mean any laws will change and it is still down to each individual state to make it's own laws regarding the issue of prostitution. However, it felt like a huge kick in the teeth for many sex workers and their allies. It feels incomprehensible that ANYONE could not see that criminalising clients is not a way of making sex work safe for anyone however they got into it and whatever type of sex work they do. The problems with the Swedish model have been well documented so will not repeat them again and I expect I am preaching to the converted here, but just for the record:
Sweden's Sex Trade Laws: Not the Answer by Wendy Lyon and Stephanie Lord on Feminist Ire.
If Europe votes for the 'Swedish model' on prostitution, women will be at risk by Diane Taylor in The Guardian.
A response to Mary Honeyball on Total Politics by Alex Bryce et all
And my thoughts here!
So whilst many sex workers were gutted at the results and that it would impact on the possible (likely) recommendation by the APPG report next week to criminalise sex work. Last weeks vote does not bode well. Or does it?
Looking more closely at the votes from last week from UK MEPs the result doesn't seem so bleak.
Of the 73 UK MEPs only 7 voted For, 15 against, 25 didn't vote and 26 abstained.
So, more UK MEPs voted against Honeyball. This is good.
I'm not entirely sure about the difference between not voting and abstaining to be honest (I've never claimed to be a politics expert!) but the reasons this may happen are:
They disagree with their party line but do not want to vote the other way (rebel)
They do not feel informed enough about the issue
They can not make their mind up
They agree and disagree with parts of the motion
They are ambivalent about the issue
This means that with 51 of UK MEPs not making a yes or no vote there is certainly much uncertainty about the belief criminalising sex worker's clients is the way forward. If this attitude runs through MPs as well there is certainly a nice big fat space for those campaigning for sex work laws to become safer to get their voice listened to and understood.
The ECR (European Conservative and Reformist party) party line was to abstain, and all 27 of their MEPs either abstained or did not vote. This may be due in part to Marina Yannakoudakis's strong and open opposition to Honeyball. Here is her open letter to her.
Yannakoudakis sit's on the European Parliament’s gender equality committee alongside Honeyball. Interestingly fellow Brit MEPs who sit on this committee Godfrey Bloom, Nicole Sinclaire did not vote at all (so not in favour) of Ms Honeyball either. One of the Vice Chairs of the European Parliament’s gender equality committee Barbara Matela abstained, also going against her Party's line (The ECP).
It's also interesting to see that Honeyball's own party S&D (The Socialists & Democrats) did not do what it was told. The party line to its 13 UK MEPs was to vote in favour. Only two voted for (One was Honeyball obviously!) 10 either abstained or didn't vote and one (Brian Simpson) voted against.
So I don't think all is lost. I think from what our UK MPs have behaved should be seen a positive thing. It does bode well for the UK. There is room to change minds if/when it comes to campaigning against the criminalisation of sex work. I also think it demonstrates a lack in faith of Ms Honeyball's report, her flawed stats and outrageous lies. I think knowing that The UN, Amnesty and over 500 NGOs and 90 researchers have rejected Honeyball's report any MEP with half a brain is bound to be cautious! Read this from the ICRSE (International on The Rights of Sex Workers in Europe) to see who and how many have rejected and refuted Honeyball.
Don't lose heart, use that anger and upset to rally together against any future action against sex workers! Honeyball, like Rhoda Grant will be seriously discredited over this!
Love to you all!