It seems that the city of Minneapolis has an interesting way of punishing Johns convicted of solicitation. They have set up a website to post the picture and the information of men that have been arrested for soliciting prostitution.
Name: Martinez-Ramos, Erubey
Home: Eden Prairie
Date of Arrest: 09/24/08
Name: Irvin, Andre
Date of Arrest: 08/21/08
Name: Shaw, Jefferson Joe
Home: Inver Grove Heights
Date of Arrest: 08/21/08
I have to admit that I love this idea. To often sex trade workers are slut shamed and held completely responsible for any sexual activity, while the men walk away with little to no punishment. Sex trade workers are subject to high rates of violence and sexual assaults and yet crimes against them are rarely investigated thoroughly. Even when male violence against sex trade workers ends in death the justice system across the western world has a penchant of reducing the seriousness of the crime by issuing light sentencing. When the media does get around to reporting on crimes against them, the stories are often filled with victim shaming bile. The women are reduced to diseased vaginas for hire as though they had no value to humanity.
It is high time that johns be held accountable for their behaviour. Prostitution is not victimless; though there are some women who choose this line of work, it cannot be ignored that many are forced to participate in the form of sex slavery and others are doing it to stem the tide of poverty or feed a drug habit. In times of economic strife there is always a rise in prostitution. Women make up the lowest paid workers world wide and many are forced to turn to prostitution to compensate for low wages.
To these Johns the reasons behind why someone may end up in the sex trade industry are irrelevant. Their actions are the expression of their patriarchal power and are truly reflective of the ways in which women are devalued. The idea that someone can be reduced to a fuckable hole for the pleasure of another is a blight upon our society and until we can eliminate or reduce the possibility that the choice to engage is not made within constrained circumstances, these men need to be held accountable. It is their money that maintains sex slavery, which is one of the worst debasements possible for a human being to experience.
Patriarchy depends on the ability to shame women to control their behaviour. At times the discipline will come in the form of language but it can be expressed through physical violence, or the erasing or purposeful invisibility of the women who have been labelled morally problematic. When men are sexual it is seen as a right of their masculinity or an expression of their potency; whereas women must depend on men to sanction their behaviour.
This program is brilliant because it uses the shaming tactics invented by patriarchy to control women to discipline men. Their actions are predatory and this forces them in some small way to own their behaviour. If a woman can be shamed for participating in an activity that is in some cases beyond her control, a man certainly deserves to own a spoiled identity for his part in the devaluation of women.