Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dear Iceland: My feminism includes pasties

I was directed to this article by a friend on facebook: Iceland: the world's most feminist country |Life and style |The Guardian

And my first thought was: wait, what?*

Did the whole sex-positive movement skip Iceland? What about the personal liberties, the government has no place in our bedroom movement? Granted, sex-workers do seem to be the world's primary target for exploitation, but I was under the (apparently mistaken) impression that we had figured out a while ago that criminalizing sex work is not the way to go, because (a) some people like it and it's really none of our business, and (b) it makes a kabillion times more sense to regulate the industry so no one is getting exploited any more (or at least as few as possible as little as possible, since no government system is perfect).

Maybe I'm biased by my respect for Canadian sex columnist Sasha, a long-time advocate of sex-positivism and sex-workers rights, but this seems like a giant mistake to me, both in terms of principle and practical effect. And yet, the media appears to think this is entirely a plus in the empowerment of women column. While I obviously support the attempt to get the government behind efforts to end the exploitation of women, I vehemently oppose the state putting limits on sexual behaviours that do not hurt anyone else. Harm principle, anyone?

I smell disaster...

More news coverage indexed here: Iceland Bans Strip Clubs; What If The U.S. Did The Same?

* As an aside, I have long toyed with the idea of creating a Twitter feed or mini blog called "Wait, What?" that just includes links to randomness which elicit that reaction from me.

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