Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Aaro on prositution

He takes the libertarian line, whoda thunkit. The interesting thing for me here is the consistency check - basically, there is decent but not compelling evidence on both sides of this debate, both Aaro's and that of people like his old nemesis Catherine Bennett, who think that prostitutes aren't making a genuinely free and autonomous choice (in which case, obviously, legalised prostitution would be a very bad thing).

There is also decent but not compelling evidence on both sides of the same question with respect to Muslim women who wear various flavours of veil. Once more, it is pretty easy to find lots of heartbreaking stories of compulsion, unfreedom and silent suffering, but it is equally easy to find stories of people who have made a choice that they are happy with and don't appreciate the government sticking its beaky nose in. And it turns out that Aaro took a consistent line on that one. So there you are - Aaro, officially and consistently on the side of treating women as grown ups. Doesn't mean he's right, but it's a much more attractive point of view than the festering pool of authoritarianism that lurks about a nanometre below the surface of all the very many members of the tendence Decent who want to tell foreign women what clothes to wear, in their own interests of course. And the least said about Nick Cohen's occasional musings on "the free market in sexual relationships", the better.

Also, Aaro writes a specific article about the poo-flinging monkeys of the internet and we still can't get a namecheck! Dammit! Craig Murray, who the fuck, etc. Presumably this is at least at one remove a result of the Medialanche (PS Noam Chomsky wears army boots I still regard Medialens' tactics as irritating and counterproductive).

Update: "Prositution"?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In some cases where somebody says something that is clearly untrue as the basis for an argument, it may be worthwhile getting up a campaign to get them to withdraw or to apologise. But in this case, although the article was interesting, it wasn't clear what you were supposed to say when you sent a message to Aaro. There isn't much point saying to Aaro "your stuff about compassion is a load of humbug" because I think he knows that already.


1/22/2008 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, that's it - if Medialens was just a research organisation, I would be a big fan because I actually quite rate some of their stuff. But the way it always works round to "please send an email calling this guy a twat" is ... not so great. Imagine if it caught on.

1/22/2008 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, pretty much the bog-standard version of the better arguments posted on Comment is Free whenever the issue crops up. A few points:

- DA misses the more obvious problem: what exactly are the objectors objecting to? The payment, the sex, the man paying the woman, or the extra-marital nature of prostitution (ie 'real men' get it for free in a committed relationship)?

- What's a 'Scando-clink'? Indeed, is 'Scando-' the correct prefix (or does 'Swedish jail' sound a little too 1970s porno?

- "Experience - and the internet - suggests to me that there is enormous variation in human sexual appetites and interests" The obvious question is 'what experience, David? Do you mean that three-part series you did for Channel Five that involved you being tied up by a Japanese-American dominatrix?' (NB: I am not joking: I'm sure was in the interest of research and good TV.)

- It seems that DA may have changed his position since this AW post (see comments as well) - but then, either New Labour has as well, or Harman et al. want the amendment to be their fox-hunting bill, perhaps with Brown's inner Calvinist giving it his blessing. (It may even be that because Brown's in charge, that allows for DA's shift in the first place.)

1/22/2008 06:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A suitably robust response from Craig Murray on his blog to Aaro's attack. What exactly did Craig say about Aaro in the first place?

1/23/2008 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Craig Murray, I really do. But he can be intemperate. Being rude in a silly personally offensive way to people like Aaronovitch just lets them off the hook. It allows them to say 'look what's been said about me' and distracts attention from their actions.

1/23/2008 04:20:00 PM  

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