'I don't need to be saved,' male sex worker tells Senate committee
"I don't need to be saved, and all my friends who are in the sex work industry don't need to be saved," Maxime Durocher, 40, told a Senate committee hearing into Bill C36.
The Toronto Star, website published on Thu Sep 11 2014, print newspaper Fri Sep 12, 2014, By Tonda MacCharles, Ottawa Bureau reporter
OTTAWA-Gigolo. Escort. Prostitute. Sex worker. Whatever you call Maxime Durocher, don't call him a "victim."
"I don't need to be saved, and all my friends who are in the sex work industry don't need to be saved," Durocher, 40, told a Senate committee hearing into Bill C-36, the Conservative government's anti-prostitution bill.
Durocher testified against the bill Thursday along with Tyler Megarry, an outreach worker with Montreal's Sex Workers Program, RÃ‰ZO, a support group for male prostitutes who sell sex to other men.
"Our clients, men and women, are not perverts or criminals, and we are not victims," he said. "What we need is to be part of society just like everybody else: have law enforcement on our side."
As the first to represent male sex workers, Durocher and Megarry brought a new perspective to the parliamentary debate, but not a new message. "This bill is intended to stop trafficking and wanting to equate prostitution with trafficking, and the two are very different," said Durocher.
Both echoed the advice of several other groups advocating for current female sex workers: Bill C-36 will make life harder for male and female sex workers by scaring away good clients, and rushing communications with sketchy ones - meaning the work will become riskier, with little motivation to go to police.
But there is a big split among those who claim to advocate for sex workers.
Many advocates who have left the sex trade who call themselves "survivors" have made emotional appeals to the federal government to see sex work only as a dangerous, coercive and violent occupation, and its practitioners as victims. They disagree it can ever be a "free choice" but see it as forced on women, mainly, as a result of poverty, addictions or mental health issues.
The federal bill entitled The Protecting of Communities and Exploited Persons Act embraces that viewpoint. It targets clients and pimps as criminals, and casts individuals who sell sexual services as victims, along with communities and children who are exposed to prostitution.
Its critics have slammed a double standard - its continued criminalization of sex workers who communicate with would-be clients in a public place - and say it will reproduce the same risks and dangers to the safety and security of prostitutes that the Supreme Court of Canada denounced in its Bedford ruling in December.
Durocher described most of his female clients as "just sweet women."
It was a glimpse into a world that was clearly a revelation to many senators. They sat with bemused looks on their faces, some of whom questioned them closely.
Durocher said male sex workers are not "extremely prevalent" in Canada, but said there are more than senators might imagine.
Durocher said in an interview after his appearance that he got into sex work after he lost his job as an IT project manager in 2009, after the 2008 economic crash.
Though he'd received a severance package, he also wanted to write - fantasy is his genre - climb and continue to practice yoga. He couldn't get another job, needed money, and was introduced to sex work by a girlfriend who was an escort. He's not dating her anyRead More ..but Durocher was hooked.
"It's not negative. It's just a way to make a living," he said, adding he likes women, and to bring them sexual pleasure.
"There are great perks. One of my favorite one is to see a woman moan, to bring a woman to ecstasy. Is there a greater perk than that? And you get compliments - 'Ah, you're so beautiful, I like to be in your arms' - also there's travel."
He said he travels to meet international clients, has been to the U.S. and Europe, though business slowed in 2013 when he didn't always have a client a month, but it had begun to pick up this year. He does mostly "out-calls." Sometimes it's a weekend gig, sometimes one day or a night. However, the advent of C-36 has already cut into his income, he said.
Durocher told senators he had not been subjected to violence in his job, but he's had experience with "psychological violence" - women who "flip out" or had a "panic attack."
He said he opposed any form of violence or coercion of sex workers and believes no one underage should be involved in the sale or purchase of sex.
Megarry said part of the Conservatives' problem in the bill is it lumps everyone together, when the sex trade is as diverse as any other. "Male sex workers don't fit the ideal image of a victim."
He said C-36 will have a dangerous impact on the health of male sex workers who are at high risk for HIV and hep C infections if negotiations over condom use are too rushed, and targeting, criminalization or incarceration leads sex workers to miss any part of their daily anti-viral treatment regimes.
Durocher and Megarry said Canadian criminal laws already exist to cover violence, rape or murder of sex workers - an argument others have made during summer hearings at the Senate and by the Commons justice committee - but one the Conservatives have rejected as insufficient to eradicate prostitution.
UK National Survey
Scotland's National Newspaper
5,000 women polled
Half the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.
Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.
An indepth look at paternity fraud, men's and children's rights. 10 minutes.
This segment of CBC News: Sunday was on a paternity fraud case in which the husband was ordered to pay child support for 2 children which weren't his biological children.
The article contains info about children's identity fraud at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
December 14, 2002.
Includes interview with employees of Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada who admit they deny children's identity information to husbands/male partners of mothers who want to hide the real identity of their child because they had an affair. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of The Child specifically supports a child's human right to have a relationship with both his/her biological parents. In addition, this article is proof that The Hospital for Sick Children ("Sick Kids") supports paternity fraud.
Further "Sick Kids" supports a mother's rights only, which they view, supersedes 3 other people's rights, namely, the rights of the biological father, the rights of the mother's male partner/husband and the child's identity rights.
Up to one in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another man's child, UK health researchers estimate.
Increasing use of genetic testing for medical and legal reasons means Read More ..uples are discovering the biological proof of who fathered the child.
The Liverpool John Moores University team reached its estimate based on research findings published between 1950 and 2004.
The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Professor Mark Bellis and his team said that the implications of so-called paternal discrepancy were huge and largely ignored, even though the incidence was increasing.
In the US, the number of paternity tests increased from 142,000 in 1991 to 310,490 in 2001.
The Daily Mail, UK
18th February 2009
An adulterous Spanish woman who conceived three children with her lover has been ordered to pay £177,000 in 'moral damages' to her husband.
The cuckolded man had believed that the three children were his until a DNA test eventually proved they were fathered by another man.
The husband, who along with the other man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the children's identities, suspected his second wife may have been unfaithful in 2001.
Paternity fraud: Is it or should it be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada?
You be the judge. Read More ..
Independent Women's Forum
Feminist organizations including the National Organization of Women (NOW) has objected to legislation that requires the courts to vacate paternity judgments against men who arent, in fact, the father.
Think about that. NOW wants some man, any man, to make child support payments. The woman who doesnt even know who the father is, should not be held responsible for her actions, is a sweet, loving, blameless mother who seeks only to care for her child and if naming some schmuck as father who never saw her before in his life helps her provide for the innocent babe, well then, that's fine.
Innocence is no excuse. Pay up. Read More ..
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
TV PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT
Broadcast: November 22, 2004
Last year, more than 3,000 DNA paternity tests were commissioned by Australian men, and in almost a quarter of those cases, the test revealed that not only had their partners been unfaithful, but the children they thought were theirs had been sired by someone else. Read More ..
The Sunday Times
March 27, 2005
IT sounded too good to be true and it was.
The fairytale that saw Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott reunited with the son he thought he had given up for adoption 27 years ago, ABC sound-recordist Daniel O'Connor, ended this week when DNA tests confirmed another man had fathered Mr O'Connor.
The revelations were devastating for all involved, not least Mr O'Connor.
Still reeling from the emotional reunion with his mother, Kathy Donnelly, and Mr Abbott a few months ago, a simple test of truth has thrown the trio into disarray a situation familiar to thousands of other Australians.
Paternity testing in Australia is a burgeoning industry.
The simplicity of the test cells are collected from a mouth swab grossly underestimates the seriousness of the situation.
18 March, 2005
Proposed new laws will make it easier for fathers to recover child maintenance payments if DNA testing reveals that they are not the child's father.
The Family Law Amendment Bill 2005 allows people who wrongly believed they were the parent of a child to recover any child maintenance paid or property transferred under an order of a court under the Family Law Act 1975 .
"The bill is intended to make it easier for people who find themselves in this position to take recovery action without the need to initiate separate proceedings for an order from a court of civil jurisdiction, such as a State, Local or Magistrates court," Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said.
USA TODAY, by Martin Kasindorf, December 12, 2002
An acid sense of betrayal has been gnawing at Damon Adams since a DNA test showed that he is not the father of a 10-year-old girl born during his former marriage.
"Something changes in your heart," says Adams, 51, a dentist in Traverse City, Mich. "When she walks through the door, you're seeing the product of an affair."
But Michigan courts have spurned the DNA results Adams offered in his motions to stop paying $23,000 a year in child support. Now, Adams is lobbying the state Legislature for relief and joining other men in a national movement against what they call "paternity fraud." Read More ..
Up to three million Britons may be wrong about who their real father is , experts claim. But using DNA paternity tests to discover the truth can cause its own problems.
BBC, U.K., May 16, 2003
Dad's got blue eyes, Baby brown...
When Tessa found out she was pregnant after fertility treatment, she felt a mix of delight and doubt.
This wasn't simply pre-baby nerves - she suspected that her husband might not be the father. For Tessa had started sleeping with a colleague when the stress of the ongoing treatment became too much.
Keen to build a family with her husband, she let him believe the baby was his. But her lover threatened to reveal all if she ended the affair, and Tessa soon fell pregnant again. This time, her lover started to make nuisance calls to her home.
Tessa had no choice but to tell her husband. "I said to him, 'I've had an affair and you may not be the father of my children.' So with that, he went up the stairs, got dressed and left. And that was it," Tessa says in Women Who Live a Lie, a programme for the BBC's Five Live Report.
THERE IS A story I used to find hilarious in my high school years about a not too bright man. He was light skinned, his wife was of similar hue, but their first child was born with very dark complexion (darker dan Bello, blacker dan Blakka).
When the man wondered aloud about the baby's complexion his wife assured him that the child was born dark because the child was conceived in darkness (they had sex with the lights off). The man accepted the explanation. Because he loved his wife dearly, he also ignored the fact that the child had other obvious signs of resemblance to the young dark skinned man who did their gardening. To fix the problem, the husband put flood lights, strobe lights, spotlights and forty other lights in the bed room so there would be no more darkness to create dark babies.
"Supporters of paternity identification bills point to a 1999 study by the American Association of Blood Banks that found that in 30 percent of 280,000 blood tests performed to determine paternity, the man tested was not the biological father." Read More ..
Volume of testing 310,490 for the 2001 study