Sitting on a goldmine
I am glad to note that MSP Rhoda Grant's attempt to "fast-track" her bill to turn prostitutes' customers into criminals has been unsuccessful, and one hopes that common sense will prevail when it gets a full debate. Because dissuading customers from seeking healthcare, breaking down trust between sex workers and police, and lowering the barriers to violence against prostitutes (because if you're already committing an offence why not go a bit further and knock them around?) are all really sensible, right? FGS, these are economically disadvantaged women trying to scrape a living.
I recommend the SCOT-PEP site, incidentally, as a place to read sound sense on issues surrounding sex work. (The site of the umbrella body NSWP is also excellent.) Yes, sex workers are at risk of violence. Yes, they are at risk of exploitation, and not all sex workers are in the business voluntarily. But making an entire industry illegal because criminals become involved in it is like making armies illegal because in some countries children are forced to become soldiers. Most sex workers, while they may not enjoy their work much, are in the business because they need the money. And that, after all, is why most people, in most jobs, turn up for work every day. (And let's also remember that "sex work" is not all about prostitution, and not all about women.)
This film is also recommended for a lighter (though not trivialising) look at prostitution. I love the scene in the pharmacist's.