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Trudeau has empowered Canada’s pimp lobby Objectification is never empowering


June 19, 2024   5 mins

“You’re all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists!” shouted Marc Lépine as he gunned down 14 female engineering students in Montreal in 1989. I first visited the city in 2012 to write about this particularly horrific, misogynistic massacre. And every time I return, I see the terrible toll that unbridled male violence takes on women and girls.

Justin Trudeau has been a disaster for women here. He has done nothing to stem the violence and abuse faced by indigenous women, has made single-sex shelters illegal while supporting the blanket decriminalisation of pimping, brothel-keeping and sex-buying — and all in the name of “freedom and choice for women”.

This makes their resistance here that more powerful. I see it in full view when I return for the World Congress for the Abolition of Prostitution and march alongside survivors of the sex trade. Women of all ages, all nationalities, march and shout in unison: “What do we want? An end to prostitution!” We are rowdy, blowing whistles and singing in the vibrant and colourful demonstration. Placards bearing slogans such as “No john is a good john”, and “Prostitution is bought and sold rape” jostle above the throng.

There is, inevitably, a counter-demonstration. Whenever sex-trade abolitionists gather, rival activists who consider prostitution a “choice” and a legitimate form of  “work” turn up to shill for the pimps and punters. They refer to us as “carceral feminists” because we believe that the law should intervene to stop men from buying and selling sexual access to women and girls.

And so, a wall of mounted police is mustered to protect us from a group of women and men shouting through megaphones. Some of these protesters are draped in blue and pink trans flags, and many wear keffiyehs covering their faces. One man wears a T-shirt that reads: “No Swerfs, No Terfs”. Another, dressed in a tartan skirt, holds up a placard: “It’s pride month: fuck a tranny”; while a woman waves a sign which reads “Fuck TERFS”. There are shouts of “Real work sucks! Blowjobs are real jobs”, and “No room for whorephobia, no room for transphobia, terfs and swerfs”.

Then, I hear my name through the loud hailer: “The fact they invited Julie Bindel to speak says everything we need to know. She hates trans people and sex workers.” I’m not surprised. Wherever feminists gather to discuss the threat to women’s rights, the masked marauders show up.

It’s true there are key similarities between the movements promoting gender ideology and “sex work”. Both argue that they are motivated by liberation from oppression and stigma; both are fuelled by misogyny. Their arguments rely on sexual objectification, male supremacy, female subordination, and rigid stereotypes about masculinity and femininity.

Liberal advocates of prostitution counter that it is a liberatory practice and a sexual identity — a stance which allows them to piggyback on the lesbian and gay movement. No wonder one of the many flags covering the busy streets of downtown Montreal to celebrate Pride month is that of sex workers’ rights. But this stance ignores the toll both take on women’s rights and women’s lives — especially upon the most vulnerable, who do not have the luxury of liberatory freedom.

For standing up for these women, many of those who have gathered at the conference have been subject to abuse. Reem Alsalem, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, has been targeted by transactivists for arguing that it’s dangerous to allow trans-identified males in women-only spaces. In a recently published report on prostitution, she condemned the practice of men paying for sex. The backlash was swift and brutal: sex workers’ rights activists accused her of supporting the criminalisation of women in the sex trade, even though she has made it clear that she considers them innocent victims of sexual abuse. Alsalem is not an uncontroversial figure. She came in for harsh criticism following her comments on the 7 October pogrom perpetrated against Israeli citizens by Hamas. When questioned as to why the UN had not (at that time) made a statement condemning the atrocities, Alsalem said she had not seen enough evidence to prove the terrorist group had used systematic rape and other forms of sexual torture during the attack. She has, subsequently, condemned any and all of the sexual violence being perpetrated during the current war.

Alert to all instances of female oppression, Reem does recognise that the sex trade is “a situation of extreme violence, to which many women and girls are subjected [to] systematically across the world”. But she also pinpoints another, more political, problem: “the drive to decriminalise prostitution, and the drive to demonise the victims and others that speak out against its normalisation is part of an incredibly dangerous, large-scale offensive that is being launched right now by evolved patriarchy against the rights of women and girls”.

She’s right. While those promoting these ideas claim to be progressive, they are actually reinforcing rigid, antiquated, anti-woman stereotypes. Men who pay for sex believe that they have both a need and right to do so, and rarely take into account the women involved. The same could be said for those men who wish to enter female-only spaces. While prostituted women are required to conform to an image of extreme femininity, men claiming to be women wear the trappings of female oppression like a costume.

“Men claiming to be women wear the trappings of female oppression like a costume.”

As Andrea Long Chu illustrates in Females, many trans-identified men seem to aspire to the worst kind of sexual objectification: “The “barest essentials” of “femaleness” are “an open mouth, an expectant asshole, blank, blank eyes”. Similarly, Paris Lees, the trans-identified journalist, wrote: “Last summer I went to Ibiza, where I was catcalled, sexually objectified and treated like a piece of meat by men the entire week. And it was absolutely awesome.”

This kind of language is incredibly damaging for feminism. It conveys the idea that all women enjoy being objectified. At the conference, Kimberly, a sex-trade survivor from Vancouver, reflects on the horrors of such objectification: “I was so tired of being treated like a piece of meat, each and every day. “It makes us feel subhuman.”

As in life, so with prostitution: it is the weakest and most vulnerable who suffer the most. If the West decides that prostitution is moral and acceptable, it will have a devastating impact on other women living in precarity around the globe. In countries such as Holland, Germany and Switzerland, all with legalised regimes, significantly higher numbers of men solicit sex for money. And, in order to meet the rise in demand that legislation incurs, women have to be trafficked in from other countries. They are being legally bought and sold as commodities — treated as subhuman.

This attitude is borne out in the way they are treated by punters. Women speak of the horrendous smell of the men, and the pain of being penetrated by a queue of them. They tell me about the horror of having his semen or other bodily fluids anywhere near their faces. The whiplash as they snap their head away as he tries to kiss them.

There are wider harms perpetrated by prostitution, such as the detrimental effect it has on women’s rights. The conference stood united in condemning so-called human rights organisations that claim selling sex is merely part of the economy. Sanitised language, such as “sex work”, is today used by the majority of police officers, media outlets and medical professionals. There are those who use the term “juvenile sex work” to describe sexually abused children. The term “forced sex work” has become widely used among some international non-governmental organisations (including, for example, Action Aid), which strikes me as an oxymoron.

By its very nature, prostitution is a cause and a consequence of women’s oppression by men. It is the driver for sex trafficking, and a hugely profitable trade in which money is made from the commodification of human beings, mostly women and girls.

The march through the city of Montreal on the first day of the conference was led by some of the bravest women I know — those who endured the hell of prostitution and lived not just to tell the tale, but to fight against the creeping influence of the pro-prostitution lobby, including those on the counter demo shouting about “blow jobs” being real jobs. These women stand tall against the wealthy and powerful pimp lobby, and without their voices and the resistance of those represented at the conference, we would be seeing far more countries introducing a legal model such as that in Holland.

The ever-present irony is that men would never dare campaign for their right to buy sex. In fact, they don’t need to: they get women to fight for prostitution on their behalf. Why do these men refuse to show their faces in support? Perhaps, it’s because they know exactly how sinister prostitution really is.


Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.

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Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
1 month ago

Logically speaking, if a woman chooses to sell her body, then she is exercising agency over it. Preventing her from doing so is denying her this. At which point, who exactly is exercising control over women’s bodies.
Obviously the realities behind the decision of an individual woman to do so are in many cases grim indeed. (It could be pointed out that the realities behind men who do backbreaking work in poorly regulated mines are grim).
And perhaps there is a case for somehow trying to prevent pimps profiting from it. But define a pimp – is helping a woman market herself in a contractual agreement pimping? Is that what OnlyFans is doing?
I just find it very difficult to see how you can square believing in the right of women to control their own bodies with the belief that the law should intervene to prevent them from willingly doing so for financial gain.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Many prostitutes start out as girls—14-17–because some men like them young. Do they have agency? Also, prostitution has gone international. Women think the are getting work permits—even though their pimp has taken away their passports. Many Ukrainian women and girls (and young boys) disappeared at the beginning of the war. Authorities are pretty sure that they were sold into sexual slavery. These women, girls and boys are trapped. They are given drugs to keep them docile. Maybe some high-end call girls like what they do, but 96 percent of prostitutes want out.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Any genuine research to back this up? Especially the 96% claim. And does that mean they want to get out provided they can find a nicer job which pays the same.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

A woman will never ever sell her own body. Pimps do. Women do rent rather than sell. Most prostitutes work on their own without a pimp. They charge for their time. OnlyFans is a marketing platform for self-employed women.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
1 month ago

I don’t think prostitution should be legalized, liberalized, or made more socially acceptable.
But the reason it is the oldest profession in the world is not because of ‘the patriarchy.’
It’s because human beings are animals, the male of the species has an overwhelming biological drive to reproduce, and markets will always emerge to sell sex through those women less fortunate in any society.
By all means help the women with support networks and aid to assuage the root causes and don’t puff up the ‘business’ with hyper-liberal propaganda.
But it’s never going to disappear.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 month ago

As you say, this is not a problem anybody should expect to solve. I think the imperative should be to protect the rights of women, particularly the poor and vulnerable. Whether criminalizing and prosecuting the practice of prostitution actually accomplishes this purpose better than legalization and regulation is debatable. There are legitimate arguments both ways. Shrieking activists with equally unrealistic expectations screaming at one another in the street are not where anybody should expect to find sensible arguments or pragmatic policy solutions.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Great comment.

Buck Rodgers
Buck Rodgers
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Exactly. It’s easy to recognise that prostitution is a net negative when weighing up human flourishing / suffering. But a ban on the oldest trade in the world seems unrealistic.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago

…human beings are animals, the male of the species has an overwhelming biological drive to reproduce, and markets will always emerge to sell sex through those women less fortunate in any society.

Males of all mammals have an overwhelming biological drive to reproduce, but only human females (and perhaps of very few other mammal species) are almost always ready for copulation, which is, for the most part, is used as reward. This is not an accusation against women; none of us are to blame for the fact that God or nature created us this way, with our species hyper-sexuality and its consequences.
I think this is something to keep in mind when dealing with problems related to prostitution. Women are mostly not victims, and men are mostly not predators.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

Used as “reward”?! Only a man could say that.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 month ago

Is everything that’s wrong always the fault of the ‘patriarchy’? Or could it be that some women choose prostitution out of greed or laziness or lack of self control?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

A common reason is to fund a drug habit. I met quite a few female addicts in Montreal funding their habits by prostitution and dealing. They didn’t strike me as victims (they didn’t see themselves as victims even if they had hard lives), rather they were very strong characters who took responsibility for their choices despite being slaves to their addictions. I found their world fascinating. I don’t think they had pimps. There was quite a strong sense of community: dinner parties etc (A woman high on cocaine spent 90 minutes talking, at speed, about parrots without repeating herself. I was amazed by her knowledge). The women had connections to men higher up in the drug chain who didn’t treat them badly, in fact they were friends. I think life is much more complicated than the way Julie Bindel sees it. She is too hung up on the victim/villain dichotomy.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl on Netflix starring Billie Piper is one long advertisement for prostitution presenting prostitution as a way of extremely earning large sums of money for a few hours of work. I suspect, prostitution turns many into drug addicts as drugs numb the senses and makes the task less repellant.

I don’t know why but I find surrogacy more repugnant than prostitution. For me it is pure Handmaid’s Tale.

Martin Goodfellow
Martin Goodfellow
1 month ago

“…they were very strong characters who took responsibility for their choices despite being slaves to their addictions.”
Eh? Could this be an oxymoron?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 month ago

No! It emphasises life is complicated. People are not one dimensional, they are full of contradictions.

Martin Goodfellow
Martin Goodfellow
1 month ago

Contradictions ideed! That’s the problem with logic today. I hope you’ll agree that contradictions don’t make good sense. ‘Strong characters’ are unlikely to be slaves to addiction, since addiction is a weakness. Pursuing illogical thinking is what has led to confused people unwarily believing that falsehood is truth. Many examples exist in our current society and that is why we have ‘culture wars.’ (With respect.)

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 month ago

I strongly suspect I am actually far more logical in my thinking than you and consequently am far more aware of the contradictions of human nature.
According to Zen Buddhism the truth lies beyond the contradiction.

You call yourself good fellow which suggests you are a ‘do-gooder’ who refuses to see people as they are preferring to rely on stereotypes of the villain and the victim so you can feel heroic.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago

Lots of projection going on there, Aphrodite Rises.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
29 days ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Not at all. I am not a do gooder or a sycophant and never have been. Any projection is on your part. As to my ability to think logically it is far superior to most and I have the qualifications. As to you, I know nothing about you apart from your comment. It suggests you are profoundly ignorant.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

I think the point is that many people fail to take responsibility for their own actions but prefer to blame others. We would call these people weak.

These women perhaps have more reason than most to blame their circumstances – and a whole movement encourages them to do so. But instead they take responsibility. Making them strong.

Martin Goodfellow
Martin Goodfellow
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

They’re not really capable of responsibility if they are impaired by addiction. This leads to denial as a form of self-protection, and this is a hard thing to break.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 month ago

And the last thing they need is protection and support in their addiction as breaking an addiction requires acknowledging the addiction, desiring sobriety above all else and taking responsibility. It is generally recognised most addicts will not seek help until they reach rock bottom. You may have good intentions but to support addicts in their addiction and deny them autonomy is to do them a disservice: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago

Exactly!

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
29 days ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I guess your income requires you to deny reality.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

It’s pretty classic for pimps to give the women drugs and turn them into addicts. It’s easy to control the women if they are always looking for their next hit.q

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

They dealt as a sideline. The dealers were not their pimps. In fact, I don’t know which was their main line of business: prostitution or dealing. I think it was easier for the women to raise the funds for their next hit than men as prostitution was always an option. Sometimes they would quit and try and going straight but they lacked the skills for well paying jobs and found waitressing both boring and ill paid. They tended to find ordinary life dull. If a do gooder came around, such as the author, they would tell them exactly what they wanted to hear. Life is complicated if you can be bothered to go below the surface, particularly if you bear in mind for every sob story that is used to explain drug addiction and prostitution, there are women with very similar back stories who follow a completely different path.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

They tended to find ordinary life dull.

It’s hard not to have some sympathy there. Perhaps what Jesus should have said is “let whoever amongst you is happy throw the first stone”. My own life is pretty good, but I do sometimes look at ordinary middle class lives and think “how can you possibly be happy with this tedium?” And by the look of them, many simply aren’t.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Interestingly, Billie Piper’s character – Belle – found ordinary work dull and ill paid.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago

One sex worker biography is hardly representative of a whole industry. I wonder if Piper had access to interesting work, might she have felt differently about it?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
29 days ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I never claimed it was. I just pointed out it supported my claim that life is complicated. I guess you are one dimensional. I could elaborate but I cannot be bothered.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago

It takes two to engage in prostitution. I don’t hear you being judgemental about Johns. Btw there are also male prostitutes.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
29 days ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

They pay. Nobody forces them to buy. I am not being judgemental, you are.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Is it classic, or is it a stereotype? Women, like men, are quite capable of getting into drugs on their own.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

A common reason is to fund a drug habit

Yes, there’s a kind of symmetry there. The women sell sexual pleasure in order to buy chemical pleasure.

Theres really no reason for us to be surprised if these women’s lives are 80% just like everybody else’s.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

As soon as the drug habit turns into addiction it is not about pleasure anymore but about avoiding pain.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

The Billie Piper series was based on a blog Belle de Jour which caused a fair bit of controversy at the time. Feminists claimed it was written by a man, and could not be written by a woman, so far was it from their own victim narrative of prostitution.

Eventually the author revealed herself as a highly educated professional woman, working, if I recall, in a STEM field.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yes. I always find it odd when feminists argue against the autonomy of women. It’s just hypocrisy really.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago

Why would women willingly choose a job that is “repellant”? Research has shown that overwhelmingly sex workers were sexually abused as children.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
29 days ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Many children who were sexually abused as children are not prostitutes.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Only a man could that.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago

If men have such an “overwhelming biological drive to reproduce” why don’t they march and advocate in support of prostitutes who cater to alleviating the biological drive? The fact that there is a greater demand for oral sex than intercourse from sex workers, would seem to belie the “overwhelming biological drive to reproduce” claim.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
29 days ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Biology cannot distinguish between which method of sexual satisfaction disperses the seed.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago

Men crave feminine companionship. As the feminine becomes masculinized, hypergamic, and increasingly mercenary, men at the bottom end of the sexual market will fill the feminine void in their lives with their own idealized version of women.

A society that turns against its men will eventually turn against its women.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago

Geez Unherd. Get your poop together when it comes to headlines. They’re important.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s click bait.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

My body my choice is a popular feminist mantra. The problem is that choices are never made in the void but in the context of the circumstances of a particular woman’s life. For some prostitution is a freely chosen choice for may others it is coerced or the lesser of unpalatable choices. But then so is abortion. Many children would not be aborted if the women were better placed to support a child and in some cases no doubt it is coerced.

A blanket judicially enforced ban on all prostitution is clearly contrary to feminist bodily autonomy. Would it not be better to concentrate on providing protection and assistance to those women who wished to abandon the trade even if it bears the taint of a Gladsonian desire to save “fallen women”.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

And perhaps greater opportunities for women to develop skills so that prostitution ceases to be the best amongst a bad set of choices.

LeeKC C
LeeKC C
1 month ago

Like all things we are all dealing with right now culturally, we need to be very very careful about what we actually do and the natural consequences of doing so. These things never in reality get thought out.
A Substack article by Yoshi Matsumoto refers to the recent legalization of prostitution in Belgium I think it was and what would be the consequences of doing so. In effect, it would render power to The Pimp who as an employer would set a contract of rules and laws that as an employee (as in every other industry has to do) comply. This makes sense. So in that sense, the Pimp, as employer can state what the prostitute must perform regardless of whether she wants to or not, how many ‘Johns’ she must take for instance in a day…..etc etc. This then becomes a further form of sex slavery – much more entrenched than before and absolutely legal with no come-back right or right to say no. Fabulous article. Really takes it to its obvious end.
Excerpt:
Contrary to popular belief though, laws don’t actually exist on paper. The document is nothing. The execution and enforcement, everything. See, the new law also grants protection to pimps. Yes. And, honestly… That just makes sense. Afterall, is that not what everyone wanted? A decade of women repeating (I must say, often seemingly mindlessly) that, “sex work is work” set the stage for this exact scenario. As I said, employee / employer contracts are never one sided. They can’t be. If you demand things in writing from the people that pay you, rest assured, they’re going to demand things of you in writing in return. People maybe don’t think about that when they’re busy spray painting their signs and protesting but… that’s the tragedy of Democracy.
Talk about the further denigration of the most vulnerable………
Sex is never just Sex no matter how hard we try to wrap it up…..
we never seem to want to learn. In our ever demanding right to complete so called ‘freedom’ – you become the slave.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  LeeKC C

it would render power to The Pimp

The traditional brothel system was largely female run, often by older women who had once been prostitutes. This was the case, for example, in Ireland before the brothels were closed and the women sent to work in the laundries. The Japanese Geisha system is female run. Often there are social services aspects to these systems.

There is evidence (from Chicago University I think) that women with pimps make more money. They may also be safer. It’s not a simple exploiter/exploited relationship.

Im not arguing for prostitution, but we need to be sure we have an accurate view of how it works, and why we have it – and not just take the propaganda from one side or the other as fact.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Does the “evidence” from Chicago University say why women make more money with pimps? Since pimps always get the money perhaps they force the women to work more than they would if self-employed.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  LeeKC C

In Germany a legal brothel is a place that rents spaces and provides infrastructure and (in larger establishment) security to prostitutes who are self-employed. Pimping is illegal, at least in theory.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago
Reply to  LeeKC C

I don’t understand why there has to be a pimp as an employer. If prostitution is legalized why can’t women be free to be self-employed?

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

men would never dare campaign for their right to buy sex. In fact, they don’t need to: they get women to fight for prostitution on their behalf.

Ahh – so it was mostly women on both sides then, with the putative “powerful pimp lobby” not bothering to show up.

Presumably the punters don’t show up because there is more shame involved in buying sex than in selling it and it might put careers and families at risk. Fair enough perhaps – but not really consistent with the idea of an all powerful patriarchy (and powerful pimp lobby) backing the sexual exploitation of women.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Justin Trudeau is an odd poster boy for the oppressive patriarchy. I assume that his policies are based on an attempt to make prostitution safer rather than to promote it.

I already know JBs opinion on all major issues, I don’t need to be told it again. Could we get some more balanced pieces, so that we are left more informed. And with a less propagandist style.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yes – and let’s hear no more about ‘patriarchy’. Use of the term signifies a failure to grasp basic historical reality.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
1 month ago

Well, aside from the Middle Eastern sects that surround Iran, Trudeau and Biden are the strongest emissaries of the Dark Lord on the mortal Earth today so nothing they could do would surprise me.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago

Isn’t this dilemma just the predictable result of a Liberal, post-moral, consumer world ?

If there’s no other moral framework and everything on the planet is a potential product for somebody else, and there’s moolah to be made……

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

This article does a fine job of illustrating the confusion that is modern-day feminism. The movement has made common cause with people who are bent on erasing womanhood itself. To wit, Some of these protesters are draped in blue and pink trans flags, and many wear keffiyehs covering their faces.”
and ““No room for whorephobia, no room for transphobia, terfs and swerfs”.
On what planet do trans flags, or rainbow flags, go with keffiyehs? Accompanied by the ever-elegant attacks who think ‘woman’ means something, like the absence of a male appendage, for instance.
The “our bodies, our choice” crowd has some decisions to make. It would be better served to make those decisions through reason rather than emotion. When everything is branded as some form of phobia or ism, nothing good will follow. That’s the language of the intellectually stunted.
Lastly, there is this: Justin Trudeau has been a disaster for women here.” —->Many Canadians think him a disaster for all Canadians, yet he is the standard-issue progressive spear carrier who is friendly to all of the leftist social causes. Who could have possibly guessed that some of those causes would be at odds with each other.

Ted Glen
Ted Glen
27 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The common thread is a hatred for traditional western culture. LGBT for Palestine can only escape cognisant dissonance if you believe the enemy of my enemy is my friend absolutely and hate the west. Victimhood narratives and utter lack of gratitude through ignorance have resulted in superficial spasms of emotion.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

is there a reason why comments are being deleted? One gets the sense that getting too close to the target draws the heaviest fire.

Martin Goodfellow
Martin Goodfellow
1 month ago

While I can agree with Julie Bindel that prostitution is a bad thing, the reasoning presented here is full of contradictions. As much as I dislike Justin Trudeau, I don’t think he is an advocate for prostitutuon. Canada’s prostitution laws (Bill C36) forbid the purchase of sex, but (contarily) not the sale of it–supposedly this is meant to protect women and others. Living off the proceeds of prostitution is also illegal. As regards the influence of the imagined ‘Patriarchy’, and the feminist cry of ‘my body, my choice’– which is applicable with moral flexibility, apparently, I find there is too much confused thinking to sort out. Instead, I would simply say: whom do you love that you would wish to participate in prostitution? I can’t believe that anyone could conscientiously answer that question affirmatively.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Canada’s prostitution laws (Bill C36) forbid the purchase of sex, but (contarily) not the sale of it

Which is a bit like forbidding the purchase of drugs, but not their sale. Bizarre.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

It is a bizarre and inept concept.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago

Good observation.

Dave Canuck
Dave Canuck
1 month ago

Prostitution has existed for 10,000 years or more, good luck with eradicating that, it’s like trying to end drug use or alcohol use, prohibition failed and led to a huge black market and fuelled organize crime networks, where there is a demand for something, there will be suppliers, legal or illegal. I don’t condone it, but it’s economics. Where there is money to be made, someone will step up.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Canuck

It appears in the Gilgamesh epic, the earliest piece of writing we know of. And under a pretty positive light. As does sex, which is seen as having a humanising, civilising effect on men.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Good luck with that!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Canuck

Prostitution is but one facet of the undeniable transactional aspect of human sexuality – marriage is another one. And: sex in its crude and basic form is but one motive for males to see a prostitute.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

That’s a huge generalization.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
1 month ago

I am a bit surprised that the Nordic solution to the problem isn’t invoked: criminalising the purchase of sex.
Experience of legalising prostitution doesn’t eliminate human trafficking or sex slavery, rather it takes the stigma from the consumer. The Scandinavia approach seems to have some effect in reducing the trade. As observed, it’s never going to entirely disappear, but this does not exonerate us from finding a solution. And in this case, among many, many others, Justin Trudeau’s approach doesn’t inspire confidence but provokes opposition.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

The Nordic Solution isn’t helpful as it forces prostitution underground, into areas with even less protection from harm.

laura m
laura m
1 month ago

Truth!

Giles Toman
Giles Toman
1 month ago

What is wrong with legal prostitution? So long as both buyer and seller are adults, obviously.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago
Reply to  Giles Toman

Some marriages are legal prostitution.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

Handy that Paris Lee was in Ibiza at the exact same time as a convention for the visually impared. That can be the only reason for the catcalls as no one who has ever seen that dude in real life has ever mistaken him for a woman.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Catcalling can be more about agression than adoration. Apart from that, todos los gustos no son iguales.

Rory Hoipkemier
Rory Hoipkemier
1 month ago

I knew Trudeau was more than an idiot on so many fronts, but had no idea I could add the destruction of true feminism to the list. Thanks, Julie. You are a rock star.

David Harris
David Harris
1 month ago

So why do millions of women vote for him? And why are there near zero women commenting here?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
29 days ago
Reply to  David Harris

You can’t tell the sex of everyone from their user name. That said the comments here tend to be male-heavy.

David Walters
David Walters
1 month ago

Bindel is right on trans but utterly wrong on prostitution. It is ineradicable and a certain level of it is desirable. There will always be women willing to voluntarily supply sexual services for cash and it is their right to do so. There is no corporate right of one sex to control the behaviour of others of the same sex.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago

The trafficking of women is done by intelligent ruthless criminals many from Eastern Europe often have military and/or intelligence background. The only time a Police Force had the capability to defeat such well trained criminals was during the Malaya Emergency where The Special Branch recruited higher calibre people and then were put through close quarter combat training by Ex Commandos/Special Forces.
I am sure the criminals have infiltrated international police organisations. Human Rights Law makes it almost impossible to defeat these criminals couple with the fact they come from countries where they have bought politicians, legal system and Police. To defeat such organisations western countries need to recreate the Special Operations Executive / Special Forces where leaders are killed and premises destroyed such as when the Allies attempted to kill Rommel on two occasions and they killed Heydrich. This is highly unlikely to happen.
The film ” Taken ” is stomach turning.
Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich – Wikipedia
The immune system of the West has become so weakened it is no longer able to protect itself.

Ted Glen
Ted Glen
27 days ago

Bindel too often pre-determines the answer to all her questions as being ‘because men are b******s’. It does somewhat undermine her arguments. It is also not offering a solution, unless she envisages a Two Ronnies type world where, “The Worm has Turned”.

https://youtu.be/GcMd1F1acSo?si=P2n147IVY7uPF9BN

g Hamway
g Hamway
14 days ago

‘The term “forced sex work” has become widely used among some international non-governmental organisations (including, for example, Action Aid), which strikes me as an oxymoron.’ I’m trying to understand this as an oxymoron. Do you mean tautology?

Julie Bindel
Julie Bindel
10 days ago

It is true though. I do hate trans people