Vigilante FAIL

Something that will probably never cease to amaze me is the ability of people to simultaneously see something as the biggest, worst, most horrible threat facing society and something that is only indulged in by a freakish, deviant minority who Aren’t Like Us.

It was perfectly illustrated in this story about an unfortunate elderly couple who have been targeted by self-righteous anti-sex-work vigilantes who apparently can’t even be bothered making sure they’re writing down the right rego plate number as they Make The World A Better Place:

An upset Otahuhu resident is to lay a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner after her elderly parents were mistakenly sent a “pink letter” by the Hunters Corner anti-prostitution patrol.

Street prostitution only survives because of people like you,” the letter [from Papatoetoe Reclaim Our Streets] says.

Ah, yes, people like you. People who use prostitutes and must, therefore, be … what? Shady? Horrible? Too ugly to get laid by normal women? Unsuccessful (but simultaneously flush with enough cash to afford professional sex workers)?

Whoever they are, we (and the good folks at PROS) can be sure of one thing: they’re not people like us.

They’re not successful businessmen blowing their end-of-year bonus on living it up with some friends.

They’re not young guys out on a mate’s 21st and showing him a good time.

They’re not single guys who actually quite like what they perceive as the honesty of the sex industry compared to the peer-pressure-rife societal farce of working out how many drinks you need to buy that chick at the bar before she’s obliged to put out.

Nonono. The idea that average guys – your own father or brothers or partner or friends or coworkers might actually have paid for sex at some point in their lives can not be countenanced. They’re good guys. They’re normal. It’s only some bizarre, asocial minority – people like you – who patronize sex workers.

Sex workers who are, at the same time, so insanely prevalent that they’re threatening the entire moral fibre of the shining beacon of enlightened civilization that is Papatoetoe.

Not that their prevalence can be explained by a lot of men paying for their services or anything, because we all know it’s just people like you who do that.

Disclaimer, ’cause I know I’m going to need it: human trafficking is wrong. Child prostitution is wrong. Enforced prostitution is wrong. Patriarchal bullshit about sex and gender contributes to many of the ickier dynamics of sex work and is also wrong.


  1. Emma

    Oh god, the angry, it burns. They said in the letter they’d put the details on a website that they didn’t have – so these fine upstanding citizen are fucking LIARS – and that they’d reported it to the “appropriate authorities”. What appropriate authorities? Being a client of a prostitute is as legal as going to the supermarket.

    I’d like to suggest every single member of this arsehole collective put their lives where their very big mouths are and join the police if they’re so concerned about keeping people safe from… um… crap, I can’t actually work that one out.

  2. QoT

    What, you mean, do actual work contributing to their communities instead of feeling smug and self-righteous through borderline stalking?

    I noted later in the article PROS has said they’ll tighten their practices by also noting the make of car and the ethnicity of the driver. Just a wee bit telling.

  3. Pingback: Weird Tales of Epsom: the brothel-seeker at the threshold | Ideologically Impure