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Buying Sex looks at the contentious debate over pending reforms to Canadian prostitution laws, which are being challenged by both pro- and anti-prostitution forces, with no evident consensus about which way forward is either best or likely. Would decriminalizing prostitution free sex workers to take more control over their activities, run legal brothels and manage their own procurement businesses without fear of punishment, or would it give male buyers and sex-trade business owners even more power and opportunity to benefit from and possibly exploit the sale of sexual services?
Buying Sexbrings forward the voices of sex workers, formerly prostituted women, policy-makers, lawyers and even the male buyers. All agree that they want to improve the workers safety, but have polarized philosophies about how that can be best achieved. Respecting differences of ideology and opinion as Canada works its way toward an uneasy consensus Buying Sex challenges us to question whether prostitution is the oldest profession or the oldest oppression. p>
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"Meticulously made. Guaranteed no two people will walk out agreeing on the issue." (Four Stars) --Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine
"Buying Sex does what many films on the topic don t: it lets the women speak for themselves." --Kiva Reardon, Torontoist
Top Customer Reviews
The film features academics, politicians, members of the public, and the women themselves and their customers offering their views on whether prostitution should be legalized. There is extensive discussion with the litigating teams in the case and with their clients. Broadly, those in favor of legalizing prostitution argue that the women will be safer if the trade is regulated, that many of the women in the business are articulate and knowledgeable and enjoy substantial independence and that prostitution cannot be stopped in any event. The opponents in this film consist of academics and former sex workers, among other people. They argue in this film from a broadly feministic perspective.Read more ›
Whatever opinions the BUYING SEX filmmakers have are not apparent. If sex is an elephant in the room to some then prostitution is an elephant stampede in the room, and I give credit to this film for nudging people into facing reality while keeping its creators' opinions quiet.
To me, the most salient point of view in BUYING SEX comes from a sex worker who says, in so many words, "If you want to call me exploited and rescue me from this, then next you'd better save all the underpaid and abused fast food restaurant and discount store workers, too." Now you're talking.
I for one used to think along the lines that prostitution can be an empowering experience for the women, and as a feminist myself, my thoughts were - and still is - that women should be able to do whatever they so choose to do (like the application to the rest of the society, so long as this freedom doesn't include harming others); however, after reading articles after articles, watching films after films, the picture really became clear: if there is not the demand for objectification of women's bodies, women will not feel the need - just as men rarely feel the need in our society - to value themselves in accordance to the rest of the society's judgement. You can argue the demand for sex is biological, yes, but money isn't; to argue that sex and money always go together is fundamentally wrong. Sex and money goes together like peas and carrots is a result of hundreds and thousands of years of human society, of political and social struggle; no other animal on this planet will exchange an artificially created value - aka money - in exchange of sex.Read more ›