October 6, 2016
Professor Jacqueline Davies
Professor Davies discussed prostitution law reforms, originating in Sweden, that have recently been enacted in Canada and are currently under discussion in the U.S. She elaborated on the “two-pronged approach” that is being used in these cases, which portrays buyers of sex as criminals and those who are paid for sex as victims. She argued that concern for victims is generally a good thing, except that in criminal cases, especially those with a sexual component, legislators and law enforcement treat victims as objects of exploitation. As objects of exploitation they are useful to the state as evidence of wrongdoing. Their status as legal and political subjects, however, is compromised. She claimed that the Nordic model and its supporters, wittingly or not, undermine the subject perspectives of those who are the objects of their concern.
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