Justice For Sex Trade Workers

image Emma Caldwell’s  was strangled and dumped in the woods in May of 2005.  Today the men that were responsible for her death, Huseyin Cobanoglu, 55, from Irvine, Halil Kandil, 34, from Cadder in Glasgow, Abubekir Oncu, 31, from Springboig in Glasgow, and Mustafa Soylemez, 36 , from Glasgow  were released. The Crown has reserved the right to proceed on another occasion.

I am not privy to the details of this particular case but what I will point out is that it seems no matter what region these women live in, what they have in common is that they never seem to get justice.  There always seems to be some reason why their murders, or rapes are not able to be resolved. 

This is not at all accidental.  The truth of the matter is because they are prostitutes society has decided that their lives don’t matter. There is always some justification as to why their rapes cannot be prosecuted or why their murderers are walking the streets.  We are quicker to lock up people that abuse animals than we are to imprison men that prey upon these vulnerable women.

The deaths of sex trade workers is something that I have yet to see feminism fight against.  It seems that they are only useful as a tool in describing the ways in which patriarchy can use sex to exploit women, but when it comes to the crimes committed against them there is a resounding silence. Feminism is supposed to be about validating women, fighting for our right to live violence free lives, equality, and agency. Why aren’t these women accorded this respect?  We rail against patriarchy for its role in diminishing women, but when we refuse to acknowledge the global slaughter of sex trade workers as an attack on all women, we are working in the cause of our own diminishment.  Silence is collusion, silence is the explicit approval of these actions.

When I read about these deaths and I write posts on them, it is my hope to raise the visibility of how far reaching these murders are. They are not restricted to one section of the globe.  So many women go missing daily never to be heard from again. Countless women are raped and brutalized and then they must deal with the futility of  reporting these incidents to the authorities. No one wants to be associated with the Jezebels, forgetting that women turn to prostitution for various reasons. Feminism seeks acknowledgement of the fact  that women constitute a vulnerable class in society, it is hypocritical to not acknowledge the vulnerability of prostitutes. In a world that values masculinity and money what chance do these women have? If we are truly interested in justice we must seek it for all women and not just the loud squeaky wheels that preen in front of the hot lights of the cameras.  These women matter.  They have always mattered.

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