Progressives in Burlington seek a charter change to legalize prostitution to protect women from “stigma and discrimination,” while a tandem bill in the Legislature calls to legalize “sex work” but criminalize “sex-trafficking.” The common theme in progressive theoretical experimentation – on children with sex education, gender, and racialization of everything, but also in hunting bills, abortion efforts, etc. – is a stunning disconnect between reality and their dreamland stupor. These efforts to expose young women to predatory pornographers and pimps is a stellar example of how extraordinarily dangerous and ill-considered are all of these abuses of Vermonters.
The underlying, shockingly absurd premise of both the Burlington and state initiatives is that “sex work” and “sex trafficking” are separate activities that can be differently regulated, and thus women will be “free” to commercially rent their intimate sexual body parts for others’ pleasure, while spared the horrors of enslaved abusive sex trafficking. This unfathomably vapid effort reflects how dangerous this is – not just to women, but to societal functioning.
The Burlington charter initiative haughtily proclaims that criminalizing prostitution is “an insidious and problematic campaign to conflate sex work and human trafficking.” This is patently idiotic – as is typical for progressive initiatives, it conjures nonexistent oppression as moral justification for its cause, here implying there is a deliberate “campaign” to harm women by “conflation of terms.” But the precise opposite is true, just as when this effort initially proclaimed prostitution was prohibited in Vermont because racists didn’t want black men to date and marry white women – the original statute actually incorporated this fiction! In truth, prostitution was banned at the behest of women’s suffrage groups around 1915, as part of a national effort. But now history is re-written: there is a “campaign” to conflate terms. When facts and logic fail, progressives obfuscate with emotions and fabricated indignation. (Next thing they’ll be saying Vermont is white supremacist and all white people are racists, so they can gain even more power.)
Quebec allows prostitution for women; men soliciting sex get arrested. Bypassing the intriguing sexually binary nature of these laws (and the overt binary context of the Vermont initiatives, in which progressives who deny binary genderism invoke women victims to attack men), it is interesting to note the realities of both facts and law recognized by Vermont’s northern neighbors:
Sexual exploitation involves a person profiting from the use of another person’s body in a sexual manner in order to benefit (financially or otherwise). In general, the perpetrator of sexual exploitation takes advantage of their victim’s vulnerable or dependent state, including addictions to drugs or alcohol. … Although there are people who choose to engage in prostitution, in the majority of cases, people engaged in prostitution are being exploited by someone else in order to extract profit for themselves, a street gang or organized crime.
The first delusion of Vermont progressives is that the “commercial” transaction of intercourse-for-cash can be separated from the conspiratorial or exploitative pressures that lead women to consent to this disgusting “business.” This is comparable to the laughable modern notion that “feminist pornography” is acceptable, defined as “women depicted enjoying themselves physically.” Yet, the porn industry is steeped in drugs that coerce or deaden young women into acts that are absolutely disgusting – how will Vermont’s legislators, police, prosecutors and judges “know” when a woman is smiling on the outside but roiling in despair within? And the idea that young women will set up shop without protection of pimps is absurd – Vermont’s effort invites pimps to relocate here to seek young victims, unless the state is to fully regulate whoredom like Amsterdam.
It is not just the factual, but the legal problems presented by these proposals that shock the conscience. Conspiracy and other crimes require intent, but also an underlying crime – in this case, sex-for-money. If there is no crime of sex-for-money, what is the victim being coerced into? And if there is no criminal charge against the pimped woman, why on earth would she report her pimp?
I spoke to an experienced sex-crimes police officer for this article, who told me he never secured a warrant for sex trafficking that did not originate from evidence of a crime of prostitution. He also said trafficked women reluctantly gave evidence against traffickers, but often did so when faced with criminal charges, which generally involved drug charges because drugs are so intertwined with the sex trade. Prostitution in Vermont is merely a misdemeanor offense, but that is still a vital tool in the law enforcement toolbox, and is the necessary link to conspiracy and coercion convictions of the true bad actors.
Importantly, this officer explained the crux of H.630’s problem:
The myth of consent in these situations is the most dangerous idea. I interviewed dozens and dozens of women who had engaged in prostitution. Every one of them had been a victim of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. And when asked, every one of them said that they would never have engaged in such activity if they felt they had any other choice. … When it comes to sex work, consent is a myth. When it is your only choice … is it really a choice? … This legislation will make it vastly more difficult to investigate and prosecute human trafficking (which is already very difficult to investigate.)
It is both legally and factually impossible to draw the line proposed by H.630. As I explained in a previous article, there is an exploding industry of pornography targeting high school graduates for exploitation. H.630 would nurture that nasty business, in which young men are becoming rich overnight pimping dozens of women – legally! The Canadians explain the factual reality and law for the progressives fantasists who seek to serve up our most vulnerable and naive girls for trafficking and sexual exploitation, on steroids:
It is essentially impossible to discuss sexual exploitation without first defining prostitution, in order to better contextualize related concepts. … Prostitution is offering sexual services in exchange for compensation, usually in the form of money but, occasionally, as services, drugs, etc. … Prostitution may be less visible on the street now than it has ever been, but it has not disappeared. On the contrary, it has diversified, and the demand for sexual services provided by increasingly younger people has risen. Buying and selling sexual services takes place largely online, which makes it even easier for abusers to control their victims. … In Canada, procuring (pimping) and human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation are comparable, since in both cases, a victim is coerced into providing sexual services. The difference between the two concepts is essentially a legal matter.
Vermont seeks to “legally” differentiate prostitution from trafficking by making pimping legal and trafficking illegal. Yet both practices exploit women equally. H.630 naively provides:
Data has consistently shown that the criminalization of voluntary sex work is associated with increased risk of sexual and physical violence from clients, domestic partners, or other parties; increased risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; and a disruption of sex workers’ support networks, workplace safety, and risk reduction strategies, resulting in reduced physical and emotional health for sex workers.
We must surely make brothels safe “workplaces!” But then H.630 gets super-duper stupid:
It is the intent of the General Assembly to repeal the laws prohibiting “indiscriminate” sex and voluntary sex work between consenting adults while retaining strict prohibitions and criminal penalties for human trafficking of persons for sex work.
This is an impossible line to draw, whatever the Legislature’s dubious “intent.” It is revealing that there are people this incredibly incompetent who think police can enforce this fantasy – have any police been consulted? Do we have anyone in Vermont drafting laws who understands law?
We presume a 5-year-old cannot consent to sex, so all sexual activity by children is deemed trafficking (“statutory” rape). But with an 18-year-old girl, the progressives will say “Did you want to have sex for money?” And the drug-addicted, starving waif will say “Yes, I needed the money.” Is this informed consent? Is this a protection for women, or exactly the opposite?
These laws are so disgustingly out of touch that they should give Vermonters pause about everything these deluded villains propose – this is total insanity, pretending to be salvation. These wolves in sheep’s clothing seek to throw young vulnerable women into the waiting arms of perverts and malicious criminals. And once they are 20 years old, these girls (whose brains, like progressives, are not yet fully developed) are used goods and only “saleable” for sadism and bondage films – their professional skill set is rather narrow, so they won’t apply for a job at Walmart (where they can’t support their drug habit). Can girls “consent” to snuff films, or is that a porno-bridge too far even for progressives?
If H.630 becomes law, Vermont should enact specific criminal laws to incarcerate everyone who voted for it, when the cows come home to roost in Vermont – rampant sex and related gang, drug, burglary, and other crimes. Porn is Big Business, whether consensual or coerced – and it is not possible for deluded zealots to legislate the difference. Blurring the line will advance harm, not reduce it.
But the “Johns” don’t care – they love progressivism. And that raises the obvious question – who are the progs kidding with an age of consent for prostitution in H.630? It is evident progressives seek via Proposal 5 to “guarantee” young girls of any age the “right” to abort even viable babies; 12-year-olds the “right” to obtain sterilizing gender hormone therapies behind their parents’ backs. Other efforts in Vermont seek to grant children the right to vote. Are we really going to pretend that the progressives would allow 13-year-olds to secretly convert their gender or execute a viable baby, yet not have premarital sex with old white men for quick cash? On what illogical argument will progressives assure us that they care about protecting children, versus assisting even little girls to have all the “human rights” to get rich quick? – surely those pedophiles will pay even more for a 14-year-old’s first time than an 18-year-old’s.
Burlington’s proposed charter change says “We believe in the inherent dignity of all human beings.” There is no dignity in these efforts to expose women to the indignities of commercialized sex work. The effort in H.630 to segregate sexual consent from sexual exploitation is lipstick on an ugly-as-hell legislative pig. This bill is disgusting in its ignorance, and the threat it invites for young women.
Take heed Vermonters! Something evil this way comes.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.