Prostitution & Consent: Answering a Critique of the Nordic Model

Of the many people I follow on twitter, one of the is Megan Murphy, a contributor to Feminist Current who’s work provides a very interesting mix of feminist commentary and activism. In the last couple of weeks, I have noticed that every time some one talks about prostitution or the ‘Nordic Model’ (here’s an explainer for those unfamiliar with the term), someone asks but ‘what if the woman consents?’ ‘What about women’s freedom to choose what she does with her body?’ ‘Why should the government stop consenting adults from engaging in a orgasm-economic exchange?’ Or some variation of that theme.

My thought piece for the month is a little ambitious, but bear with me: I will attempt to demonstrate that criminalising the purchase of sex (as opposed to the selling of sex) gives women (and men) greater human dignity and rights than any other approach we have had to dealing with prostitution.

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Why I’m okay with dead body bits in Churches

Catholics are weird… Really weird. We keep whole dead people, or bits of dead people in our Churches, on display and people pray in front of them, or worse… touch or kiss the actual bit or the fancy boxes they are stored. Some of these bits and bodies are centuries old and they don’t look too good for their age, despite the elaborate casing they are stored in.

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The Machine’s Long Shadow

Today is Remembrance Day. It’s also St Martin of Tour’s Feast Day, and has been long before the First World War was even a remotely imaginable possibility.

St Martin of Tours lived and died in the 4th century. He was the son of a solider, became a Christian as a teenager, served in the Cavalry for 25 years before becoming a priest and, reluctantly, a bishop of Tours. It is entirely fitting that he shares his feast day with the end of the most devastating war that swallowed an entire generation of young men from the whole of Europe and left it shattered.

Australians tend to have a bit of a myopic perspective on the Great War thanks to our woefully inadequate history curriculum that focuses on the Gallipoli campaign. What changed my entire perspective on the Great War began first,

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Literary Rant #2

***Contains Spoilers***

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

This is a classic novel in the dystopia genre that was published in the 1930s. It is one of my favourite books and was enormously influential in my philosophical and theological formation. Given that this novel is such a classic, and it is not long, you should go read it. Or you can listen in to the plot summary here:

Catholics Read… Brave New World

I should also warn you, if you’re literary reading list is mostly composed of  Little Women on the Prairie, the Anne Montgomery series, Pony Pals and the The Babysitters Club, this will book will be a rude and possibly confronting shock. If, you are a jaded, tired post-modern gal like me, very little in this book would surprise you, and that, is probably a worse position to be in.

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The Religion Debate – A Response

In my flitting around the internet, I came across an opinion piece by a former classmate of mine at Notre Dame on 5Why.  It is entitled The Religion Debate and I have taken that as an invitation to do just that. The piece a response to the terrible happenings of the 15th of December, which also happens to be the anniversary of the passing of Christopher Hitchens. Events that would seem to vindicate his well-known view that…

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When nonviolence is not an option…

Ghandi, Mandela, Dalai Lama

In between studying for my upcoming economics exam and consuming lamb, I came across this piece from Crux: Is non-violence the solution to all of the world’s problems? It is an excellent question. One instinctively wants to say ‘yes’. Non-violence should be the preferred method in resolving disputes and grievances in all circumstances. Getting bloodstains off you and your community’s collective psyche is almost entirely impossible. Especially since one cannot soak their brain in cold water and bleach.

If there is, what would it look like? How would one nonviolently resist Islamic ‘State’? If you were a citizen of Mosul and this army swept through your town and set up shop what would you do to depose them?

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