ok, so this is a slightly leftfield post about how ace iceland is.
and this has been prompted by a couple of things:
firstly, my ace friend, sarah mosca (who took that pic up there) and her partner tim bruniges are over there working their arses off and having an ace time. by all accounts from the mosca project blog, the place is ace. if you’re in iceland, reading this, and you have the chance to work with these peeps, do so. it will change your life.
secondly, clare rae and victoria bennett – the gals behind the feminist project (next wave 2010) – posted the fabulous news (via the guardian) that iceland has started to challenge new zealand in being the country with supreme feminist credentials. they have a female prime minister (hello? australia? you’re in the 21st century now. it’s ok to trust people other than white middle-class men), who is openly gay AND who has taken the bold, but totally righteous step of closing down strip clubs and criminalising the sex trade.
the article is here, for the full story, but my first reaction was ‘like whoa.’ and i read a cracker of a quote: “i guess the men of iceland will just have to realise that women are not for sale”.
this feels very different to criminalising prostitution from a law and order point of view.
i don’t know whether it will make a difference or not, but how awesome would that be if a whole (albeit small) country decided that women’s bodies were not commodities and that the industry shut down. cut out the supply and the demand shrivels up.
even more interesting was to note her acknowledgment of the hard work that feminist lobby groups have done to bring about the change. politically, i’ve never heard anyone say that shit before. wow.
don’t get me wrong – the whole thing challenges my feminist ideas about the unionisation and decriminalisation of prostitution – which, in my mind, always sought to empower the women who decided to take on that profession. but perhaps that’s resigning to the inevitability of an awful role for women in society. and men, for that matter (as poor dears who can’t manage their urges). i don’t know right now. i think i need to hit the books again.
and of course, this whole decision is based on the old-school idea that it’s men paying for sex from women. but i wonder, in terms of queer sexual politics,whether this will be a massively awesome overhaul too.
either way, iceland [up].