Some feminist friends pointed this out on Twitter, raising various objections to it. I do not disagree. There are issues here that I do not feel qualified to comment on. For example, is sex work (a term that includes pornography, prostitution, &c) inherently degrading to women, inherently degrading only under capitalism, or something that ought to be socially acceptable? And the issue of male and trans sex workers is another. But there are things I do feel I can talk about, and that I think ought not to be left out of the conversation.
It is the poorest women (men too, but for now I’ll keep the discussion confined to the terms RadFemUK laid out) who have the least choice about livelihood. It is criminal that we live in a society where women can be forced into sex work out of economic desperation (much less by violence!). But to attack prostitution and pornography without attacking the root of the economic desperation is to be part of the problem. Even if RadFemUK does not overtly support laws that will harm the poorest sex workers, their activity can, and almost certainly will, be used by right wing forces to pass and enforce such laws. And laws against women engaged in sex work serve to punish the poorest women for their poverty, by threatening them with arrest, removing their means of making a living, or both. As always, the higher the economic status of the woman, the more she can shield herself from the effects of such measures as these so-called “Leftists” propose.
So, yes, in this case, I agree with my feminist friends; but I also feel obligated to point out that the attack is not simply on women in general, but is above all another case of using a Left cover to aid anti-democratic and anti-working class measures.