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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #287 - Claudine Legardinier (Nest Movement): " Prostitution is an unworthy archaism " (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]
Thu, 1 Nov 2018 07:35:25 +0200
A journalist, Claudine Legardinier has been collecting the testimonies of prostitutes for
thirty years for the Mouvement du Nid. She has written several books, the last one being
Prostitution, a war against women (Syllepse, 2015). We contacted her in order to shed
light on the law of April 13, 2016, " aimed at strengthening the fight against the
prostitutional system and accompanying prostituted persons " , and in particular its
impact more than two years after its adoption. ---- Libertarian alternative: What are the
main elements of the law of 13 April 2016 on prostitution ? ---- Claudine Legardinier:
This law puts an end to the repression of prostituted people, considered for centuries as
guilty and penalized for soliciting. It makes them real subjects of rights and engages the
company with them by developing exit routes of prostitution for those who wish it. It
provides protection and support to victims, including foreign victims, by providing them
with a residence permit if they engage in an exit route. For the first time, it addresses
the demand of " clients ", those we call prostitutes, by giving them a criminal sanction.
Since we do not impose a sexual act by violence, we do not impose it on money, a form of
economic and social violence. Finally, the law provides for a national policy of
prevention, training and sex education with the aim of reducing new entry into
prostitution. Internet pimping is further suppressed, with pimping as a whole remaining
more severely punished than in the rest of Europe.
This law has a revolutionary significance in overturning the eternal patriarchal point of
view: guilty prostitute, invisible and innocent client. It marks an important step in the
fight against all forms of the right of cuissage and against sexual violence. It is part
of the great advances for women's rights that have marked history. This abolitionist
movement is crossing Europe. Sweden, Norway and Iceland, the most advanced countries in
terms of equality between women and men, have opted for the same policy.
The objective of this ambitious law is to roll back this conservatory of sexism, racism
and violence that is the prostitutional secret session. At the time of the Metoo movement,
penalizing prostitutes is a requirement of coherence. Women and girls, who are the
majority of the victims of the system, are not objects of release. The harassment they
undergo does not have to be excused on the grounds that it is paid. But the attachment
remains strong to a social order that leaves men the " right to annoy " and sexually
exploit others against a ticket. Hence the incredible resistance that the law raises. But
it was the same thing at the time of the criminalization of rape.
What assessment, two years after its establishment ?
Claudine Legardinier: The application remains insufficient and random, depending too much
on the personalities of prosecutors and prefects. Nevertheless, around a hundred exit
routes are engaged. It's little, but it's a start. A young Congolese woman told me
recently that she could finally sleep, for the first time in years. In prostitution, she
lived a nightmare. This journey, without miracle, makes him his place in society. She is
proud, she regains hope. Who will dare to say that it is derisory ?
As for prostitutes, most departments do not apply the law. All over France, we are talking
about 2,800 men arrested. The fines are low. But the sensitization courses are promising:
" survivors " of prostitution engage in dialogue with them and this is an opportunity
for awareness. Unfortunately, these courses are still counting on the fingers of the hand.
Overall, the lack of political will is obvious: associations strangled financially, lack
of information campaigns, almost non-existent prevention. The road is long. This law is
for the medium and long term, a real civilizational change. How to achieve it in two years ?
Has the law not reinforced the endangerment of people in prostitution ? Associations like
Doctors of the World have reminded him of the murder of Vanesa Campos in the Bois de
Claudine Legardinier: In countries that have legalized prostitution and pimping, violence
is increasing because of increased competition. Is this a way to go ? French law makes the
opposite bet. With the difficulties of any law, at least in the short term. The end of
slavery may have weakened former slaves. Should he give up abolishing slavery ?
The important thing is that by decriminalizing prostituted persons, the law increases
their ability to file a complaint because they are no longer prosecuted. It's a huge step
forward. But everything is good for the opponents to have the skin of a law that dares for
the first time to question the " customers ". Where were those who scream so loud today
in the murders of the last decades when they had all the rights ? The milieu of
prostitution is of nameless violence. Since always, not for two years ! It has always been
the place of insecurity, insults, aggression, humiliation and even murder. We hold the
terrible catalog in our section Témoignanes sur Prostitutionetsociete.fr .
How can a humanitarian association like Doctors of the World manipulate the murder of this
trans woman and rely on a pseudo " study " conducted only with associations hostile to
the law ? Yes, prostitutes are in danger, yes they are assaulted, raped, killed ; most
often by " customers " and wherever they operate.
Why do they pretend not to see that it is the very status of prostitute, the indulgence of
payment that " authorizes " some men to engage in violence ? It is the reduction of a
person to the state of sexual object bought on the Internet or in the street, rented,
exchanged, commented, despised, which allows some to feel the rights of owner and thus to
cross the limits . No, it's not the law that kills these women. It is the insurance of
impunity, it is the machismo, it is the hate.
What do you think could improve the situation of prostitutes ?
Claudine Legardinier:The implementation of protective provisions of the law to reduce
their vulnerability, improve their access to rights and if they wish to exit prostitution.
We who meet them every day know in what confinement they struggle. Frankly, beyond the
speeches of facade, they hold for legitimate concern for dignity, I do not know who wish
to stay. They have skills, they deserve something else. For those who do not wish to
embark on exit routes or who are refused, it requires a real training of social actors to
be welcomed and respected (there is still some way to go). And for those who want to
change their lives, real means, including accommodation solutions that are sorely lacking.
But we must also think about future victims. There is urgency ; the rejuvenation is
blatant, the prostitutes wanting " fresh flesh ". At a time when small macs, and large,
abound where 14-15 year old girls think that prostitution is fun because the sex industry
has been lobbying by touting the " sex work " and that the media has promoted the Zahia
or Pretty Woman version, it requires full enforcement. Prostitution is an archaism
unworthy of our societies. Liberal capitalism is the best ally of patriarchy. In this
fight, to fight against one is to fight against the other. We must not let go.
Interviewed by Flo (Lorient)
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