JENNI MURRAY: Sex work isn't a valid job – it's abuse

JENNI MURRAY: Do shut up Louis, sex work isn’t a valid job – it’s abuse

  • Louis Theroux has compared porn to ‘junk food’, argues sex work is valid work 
  • Jenni Murray says the men, the pimps or punters, should be treated as criminals
  • Is yet to meet prostitute who feels she would benefit from legalisation of trade
  • UK-based columnist argues the sex trade in whatever form is abuse  

How has it come to this? Just as the Government is trying to prevent young people being polluted by online pornography, respected commentators and purveyors of the finest arts and culture are promoting the dangerous idea that sex work is an acceptable alternative to a traditional career.

I’m thinking of you, Louis Theroux. He’s hugely popular, but admits to having used porn, compares it to ‘junk food’, argues sex work is valid work, but warns his children that, when they stumble across porn, they should know it’s not how people have sex. Does he not think those performing for his titillation are real people?

Some years ago, I spoke to the American journalist Peggy Orenstein, the author of Girls & Sex, about what she’d learned from interviewing teenage girls across the U.S.

She was horrified at the damage to girls’ ability to find and express pleasure in a sexual relationship because of the bizarre and unpleasant acts performed on them by boys who thought their girlfriends would enjoy being treated like pieces of meat in a porn movie.

Louis Theroux (pictured) admits to having used porn, compares it to ‘junk food’, and argues sex work is valid work

I’m also thinking about the Institute of Contemporary Arts granted £2.7 million for an exhibition called Decriminalising Futures. It will feature work by sex workers, more correctly known as prostitutes, a porn star and strippers alongside works of ‘art’ featuring sex, nudity and violence.

The publicity material states that full decriminalisation is the rallying cry that unites the sex worker rights movement across the world. I have yet to meet the prostitute who feels she would benefit from decriminalisation or legalisation of the trade.

In my early days as a reporter, I met numerous women in Southampton who spoke of cruelty and abuse, and offered themselves for sex for only one reason — they had no means of support but needed money to feed and clothe their children.

A young woman from Romania who was trafficked to Ireland’s sex trade told me the most horrific stories of rape and beatings.

Fiona Broadfoot is one of two women who were groomed as girls into prostitution by men they thought were boyfriends. They have escaped the trade and are trying to get criminal records of arrests for soliciting removed from their history. I have no doubt they would wish the money spent on the ICA’s exhibition had been used to help women get out of the sex trade.

Jenni Murray (pictured) said the sex trade in whatever form is abuse, and women must know their bodies are not objects to be bought and sold 

The feminist journalist Julie Bindel has travelled the world talking to women who have described the suffering they have endured in countries such as New Zealand and Australia where the trade has been decriminalised or legalised. The only benefit she sees is they don’t get arrested.

The men, as they do the world over, get what they want. The girls are getting younger, punters often demand sex without a condom. It is, says Julie, the world’s oldest oppression. There is only one way to put an end to these horrors. It’s the men, the pimps or punters, who should be treated as criminals.

The pimps should never be seen as legitimate businessmen. The punters are not buying a service. Pornography is not ‘junk food’, as Theroux describes it, ‘like when you can’t get a decent meal or you’re in a rush or you’re just trying to get a need met’.

The sex trade, in whatever form, is none of those things. It’s abuse. Women and girls must know their bodies are their own, not objects to be bought and sold.

Adele’s made a vital stand for women

Jenni said it must have taken huge courage for Adele (pictured) to stand up for herself as a woman at the Brits

I was not kind at all to Adele when we witnessed her ‘the show need not go on’ philosophy in Las Vegas. I called her a diva, a self-obsessed narcissist and a pain. She came home for the Brits this week, won three awards — Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year — and completely won me over with her critique of the new gender-neutral categories.

‘I understand why the name of this award has changed but I really love being a woman and a female artist,’ she said.

I could barely believe my ears. It was the Brits. It was an audience made up of the kind of young people who have been utterly seduced by the trans activists. We live in an atmosphere where womanly words — mother, breast — have been replaced with terms reflecting gender not sex — parent, pregnant person, chest feeding.

Academics have been threatened and cancelled for saying that while you can alter the gender you present as, you can’t change your sex.

Since the Brits, Adele has been trolled by trans activists and called a Terf (Transgender-exclusionary radical feminist), just as J.K. Rowling has. It must have taken huge courage to stand up for herself as a woman in such a huge forum, but she did it.

Let’s hope her young fans were listening and getting the point. Adele is a megastar with fans far and wide. No one will dare to cancel her.

  • Beyonce is beautiful, talented and one of the most popular and powerful women in the world. Why does she, a mother of three at the age of 40, feel she needs to bare her breasts and wear the shortest of skirts? 

Who would be a teacher in these weirdly woke times?

Some £11 million is to be spent on ‘reducing parental conflict’ and teachers will be trained to watch out for children who may be suffering because their parents ‘occasionally bicker’. Teachers are not social workers or therapists. Aren’t they supposed to teach?

Use your loaf – put it in the fridge

In the week the boss of Tesco tells families to keep their bread in the fridge because it lasts longer, I give you my comparison: bread kept in the bread bin, mouldy in 24 hours; bread kept on the kitchen counter, dry in 24 hours; bread kept in the fridge, fresh for a week or more. No contest.

Time for your P45, Cressida

I had high hopes when Dame Cressida Dick became Metropolitan Police Commissioner. At last a woman in the job, she should clean things up. Yet, rapes, domestic violence and teenage homicides are all rising.

A vigil held after Sarah Everard’s murder by a policeman was a PR disaster for the Met. Then there’s the toxic culture at Charing Cross police station.

In a letter to 43,000 officers and staff, the Met chief says homophobia, sexism and racism will not be tolerated, adding: ‘If this is you, I have a message . . . leave now.’

No news so far of a mass exodus of guilty parties! She should root them out and sack them.

I hate to be the one to tell another high profile woman to pick up her P45, but Dame Cressida, it’s time to go.

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