Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Paying for Sex a Crime in France?

with one comment

Le manifeste des 343 « salauds » casts a shadow over the debate on Prostitution. 

The BBC reports today,

Can a country eradicate prostitution by punishing not the people who sell their bodies for sex, but the people who buy them?

That is the ambitious premise behind new legislation to be debated soon in the French National Assembly.

The bill tabled by the ruling Socialist Party (PS) contains more than 20 articles. Most of them are aimed at disrupting foreign pimping networks, or helping sex workers who want to stop.

There were two pages of  extremely rigorous debate in le Monde on Friday.

 Nathalie Heinich made a well-argued feminist case against the law.

But these exchanges  have been  overshadowed by this,

Le manifeste des 343 « salauds »

A “Manifesto of the 343 bastards” against laws seeking to punish prostitutes’ clients has caused an uproar in France amid an intense debate over legislation on buying and selling sex.

The movement’s slogan, “Hands off my whore” (“Touche pas à ma pute”) echoes the catchcry of a 1971 campaign by 343 women supporting legalised abortion. The men’s group opposes government moves to punish the buying of sexual services.

The petition says some of the signatories, who include prominent figures such as author Frederic Beigbeder and lawyer Richard Malka, are men who “have used or are likely to use the services of prostitutes”.

“We do not defend prostitution, we defend freedom,” reads their petition, to be published in monthly opinion magazine Causeur in November. “And when parliament gets involved in adopting rules on sexuality, everyone’s freedom is threatened.”

The text continues, “We consider that everyone has the right to freely sell their charms – and even to enjoy doing so. All together, we declare: Hands off my whore!”

Some of the ‘signatures’ complain that they didn’t sign the declaration.

We note that the magazine that published it is Causeur, founded  Elisabeth Lévy,  for the “réacs en tout genre” (reactionaries of all kinds) ,  (she comes from the nationalist ‘chevènementiste’ left). It is inspired by  The Spectator and  The American Conservative. (Le Monde).

The greatest offence is caused by the name of the Manifesto, inspired by this,

 Celui des “343 salopes”, publié en avril 1971 dans Le Nouvel Observateur, pour défendre la liberté d’avorter (“Je déclare avoir avorté”).

That of the 343 “slags”, published in April 1971 by the Nouvel Observateur. It defended the right to abortion (I declared I’ve had an abortion).

Anybody familiar with the history of feminism in France know the importance of that brave act.

The 343 « salauds » …well, where to begin……


One Response

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  1. Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of paying for sex I wonder how this law will work in practice. It is, I asume relatively easy to apprehend people paying for sexual services on the street but what about escorts? The encounter between escort and client takes place in a hotel room or private residence so how, exactly will it be proved that payment for sexual services was made or that any sexual activity took place?


    March 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm

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