In one of my early posts on the blog I shared about a fundraiser I organized with one of my best friends. The two of us had both stumbled across the shocking reality of human trafficking and been horrified. Most of my experience was just through reading about it (primarily in Benjamin Perrin’s book Invisible Chains), whereas she had met human trafficking survivors while attending Salvation Army War College.
We felt frustrated, and helpless, but we wanted to do something, anything to prevent it from happening to more vulnerable individuals.
After discussing it a few times, we decided to create some kind of event where we could raise awareness for human trafficking here in Canada. We even created a petition that advocated for the “Nordic Model” of prostitution law. This model was advocated by Perrin in his book and basically entails attacking the demand side of prostitution rather than the supply, specifically by making the purchase of sex illegal, rather than the sale. In theory, this means that the individuals who are victimized by the sex industry would be protected, while those who are perpetuating human trafficking or contributing to the prostitution demand would be punished.
So I should be really excited now that Canada is currently debating a bill that would change our current prostitution laws to something much more in line with the Nordic Model, right?
Well, I’m suddenly not so sure.
Bill C-36 was introduced by Justice Minister Peter McKay near the beginning of June. Continue reading
Posted in Canada, feminism, government, morality, sex
Tagged Benjamin Perrin, Bill C-36, brothels, children, clients, criminal, danger, death, escort, exciting, feminism, human trafficking, human-rights, Invisible Chains, Johns, judges, morality, morals, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Nordic Model, Pete McKay, pimps, prostitution, sacrifice, safe, Salvation Army, sex work, solicitation, Sweden, victims, Violence, women
Sweden’s pretty liberal when it comes to copyright laws, as a government and as a culture – it’s the home of the thepiratebay.org and there’s a healthy anti-anti-piracy-movement movement in Sweden that’s been active since 2001. Further proof of piracy as culture in Sweden is the fact that the Swedish government just officially recognized the Church of Kopimism.
Kopimism’s central dogma centers around the idea that information is a holy thing, and copying information a sacrament. CTRL+C and CTRL+V are considered holy symbols. The English page of the church’s website says:
We challenge all copyright believers – most of which have a great deal of influence in politics, and who derive their power by limiting people’s lives and freedom.
Isak Gerson’s personal website (translated by Google) says that a Kopimist a “person who has the philosophical belief that all information should be freely distributed and unrestricted. This philosophy opposes copyrights in all forms and encourages piracy of all types of media including music, movies, TV shows, and software.”
So Gerson (who, weirdly, is also a member of the Christian Student Movement in Sweden) took this philosophy and pasted some “ritual” labels on everything and got a religion (after petitioning to the government 3 times, to his credit). The result is both a straight-faced mockery of the difficulty governments face w/r/t defining ‘religion’ (on the Kopimist website, the first line of one of the definitions of Kopimism is the defense “A religion is a belief system with rituals.”) and a strange manifestation of a strongly held belief.
Religions rooted in the internet are not a new thing. With all those people registering as “Jedi” in the 2001 census, Pastafarianism, and the prevalence of Cthulu worship, the appearance of a semi-ironic religious movement started by otherwise apathetic 20 year old males is becoming a pattern.
Maybe it’s just another irony-soaked fad, like speaking with ridiculous grammar or posting hilarious misquotes – or maybe the semi-ironic religions created will garner more earnestness and lose some irony and become, weirdly, a real way that people define their philosophies. The definition of the word “religion”, in the context of recent events and the influence of internet culture, is changing, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens to it.
Posted in bizarreness, internet, language, politics
Tagged copyright laws, Cthulu, Isak Gerson, Jean Luc Picard, Jedi, Kopimi, Kopimism, Pastafarianism, Sweden, thepiratebay.org