Protest the Police: Have Safe Sex. . .

Who knew that simply HAVING some of those items in the image to the left could be grounds for being arrested? I sure didn’t, but it seems that authorities in several cities in the USA disagree with me.

When I saw in the news that aid and health agencies were handing out condoms to sex workers to help minimize the risk of HIV and STI transmission (as well as the risk of pregnancy) I thought; “that’s amazing! Finally moving past stigmas and making decisions based on basic human health needs.” Then I saw that police and public authorities were confiscating those condoms essentially giving women the option to hand the condoms over or go to jail and I was enraged. I was even more enraged when I found out that this was happening in the USA – which in my opinion is a country that is quickly and systematically removing basic health and rights from women. What is most sad about this, is that I wasn’t even surprised to hear about it.

What I find worst about this scenario is that possession of condoms isn’t illegal, yet authorities are making women scared to have condoms, scared to use them, scared to have safe sex. Instead of protecting women and allowing safe sex options and transitional methods to give women alternatives to sex work, authorities are making sex work even less safe and even harder to get out of.

People should be praising women around the world who make the effort and insist on condom use, yet women are being punished for trying to protect themselves. So everyone who has access and ability, use condoms, be safe. Not only are you protecting yourself, but you’ll be sending a message to authorities worldwide who seem to want to limit women’s access to safe and affordable contraception.

The irony of this situation is that Washington D.C. – one of the cities where Human Rights Watch has documented this ridiculous condom possession and jail scenario – is actually hosting the 19th Annual International AIDS Conference.

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10 responses

  1. Pingback: Where Have All The Condoms

  2. That’s ridiculous. Do people really think that taking away condoms will discourage the act of prostitution? Why do we do nothing to target the customers? Where there is a demand, a method of supply will inevitable be established. These women should not have to suffer the consequences of the police’s lack of proper protocol.

    • I agree with you 100%, its genuinely appalling the ways in which women are being treated and further victimized by the law.
      Some element of regulation and safety protocols should be put into place: economic and sexual protection instead of the current model.

  3. Reblogged this on heather in hanoi and commented:
    Just the day after I post my concerns about present day society manifesting into the fictional dystopian society in The Handmaid’s Tale, my brilliant classmate Steph posts this captivating read about a truly terrifying situation in the US. My heart cries for women everywhere. We have a difficult road ahead.

  4. Wow, that’s crazy. Just because someone has possession of a condom doesn’t make them a prostitute. I still don’t agree that prostitution should be illegal; I think it should just be highly regulated, but maybe that’s a different argument.

  5. Reblogged this on A Day in the Life and commented:
    My mom always told me that if we weren’t careful, the rights that our mothers and grandmothers fought for would be taken away. If this story (blogged by my classmate Steph) doesn’t convince you on the war on women, nothing will.

  6. Thank you for sharing this Steph – it is actually disgusting. Having condoms isn’t illegal. Having sex isn’t illegal. This story is just further evidence about the War on Women in the US – and it scares me that it is only a short jump to Canada. As far as I’m concerned – it’s time to get angry. It is time to write letters, inform other women and protest. Our mothers and our grandmothers fought for our rights and now they are slowly being taken away.

    • It terrifies me, legitimately terrifies me that rights are systematically being removed. And it seems that theres so little that can be done about it. You should check out this blog (http://uswaronwomen.wordpress.com/) it’s pretty fantastic and provides daily updates of legal changes in the USA (and some from other nations) where women’s rights are either being supported or removed.

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