Alison Wilson On Her Film ‘Horns On The Woman’ – A Documentary On Sex Trafficking & Demand

Authored by Vaishnavi Sundar at Women Making Films (Original Source) http://www.wmfindia.com/blogs/alison-wilson-on-her-film-horns-on-the-woman-a-documentary-on-sex-trafficking-demand/?fbclid=IwAR1u3yxrn9VmilRK0Nm3d5gsLdXUK_9Dq2uANUaxt3oXh679SWmQQGA8Wrg

Alison Wilson – a firebrand advocate who has dedicated her time to ending sex trafficking of women and children – is a force to reckon with. One of the few pleasures of owning a social media account amidst the drudgery of misogyny and trolls is that occasionally I stumble upon gems like her. As someone who has made a conscientious effort to work towards the betterment of the state of women in my country, Alison’s advocacy immediately drew me towards her. In this straight-from-the-heart interview, she talks about herself, her film, and the plague that is the sex trafficking industry of our times. She is relentlessly raising awareness and funds to complete her film, and she could use every little help that she can get. Read on…

1) Tell us a little about you – your childhood, your motivation to pursue filmmaking and about the films you have made so far.

I grew up in the tropics (Australia) and spent most of my time outside. Social justice is a strong thread in my family so I began working in various community-based projects very young with my parents. 

2) Tell us about your latest project – Horns on the woman – how did it come about?

1/4 of Spanish men visit prostitutes, Spain has the 3rd highest consumption in the world after Thailand & Puerto Rico – this is a location for sex tourism as well

It started right where I am living in a small town in Catalonia. I have never seen so much prostitution in my life! Considering, I lived close to the Red light district in Sydney, this says a lot. What bothered me most is the fact that they are viewed as dirty and no one cares to ask about their story. The guys that slow down to take them to a dirty mattress in the parkland nearby or remain in their car are viewed as typical Spanish men (1/4 visit prostitutes, 3rd highest consumption in the world after Thailand & Puerto Rico – this is a location for sex tourism as well) and it’s considered part of their DNA to visit prostitutes on their way home from work on route to their families or during siesta. 

I have asked many of the men if they believe the girls are there by consent or trafficked. For example ‘Your favorite ‘girlfriend is supposedly 18 and from Georgia, do you think she is trafficked?’. Some think and others react angrily… I am not putting the onus all on men either, women drive past them too without a second thought or I find that many immigrant women are viewed with contempt. Not to say this is everyone, of course, Spain is generally a welcoming place to refugees. But, it is a homogenous country and foreigners are on the periphery.

They are there under the hot sun, all day, every day, being watched by their pimps. None of them are Spanish. Some are from non-EU countries, so it’s a no brainer that they are in dangerous position, illegal, working on open highways or locked away in ‘pisos’ (private apartments). Most of the girls in this area are from Georgia, Bulgaria and Romania. I started investigating the macro-brothels in Spain, the corruption, everything just snowballed and I couldn’t leave the story alone. I started local and went global! The film is about the sex industry in Spain, its demand and exploitation.

You can watch the reveal trailer here and learn more about #HornsOnTheWoman a documentary film about the sex industry in #Spain, demand and exploitation (5.0 1 min) https://vimeo.com/324856093

4) Clearly, prostitution and sex trafficking are subjects that are only now being condemned and talked about – how difficult was it for you to start working on a project of this enormous weight?

Well, they are inextricably linked. I find many people who try to draw a line in the sand between both are supposed ‘human trafficking experts’, which you can’t do especially in a Spanish context with less than 3% of ‘Espanolas’ working in prostitution. A further 90% present triggers for trafficking and 61% are minors. As you will see in my reveal, the demand is huge in Spain and human trafficking is the cruelest response to this demand. 

Not just in Spain but the world over there are many criminologists, anthropologists, NGO workers, nurses, etc guilty of ‘entryism’, they work closely with the sex lobby and campaign for full decriminalisation of the sex industry. The general public really doesn’t understand the repercussions of this, they think it is for the women, not the pimps and pimp state. The Nordic Model, is proven to decrease human trafficking it decriminalizes the women (their names should not be on public registrars in my view, considering majority are forced into prostitution via poverty or coercion. They need to move on with their lives without any shame or stigma) and offers sustainable exits programs and the punters & pimps are punished.

We have many refugee women working in this brothels, I visited one recently and 1/4 were Syrian! This is another market for men, something exotic! I have also discovered Pakistani women are being trafficked to Spain for the insatiable sex market.

In Catalonia, the mayor Ada Colau is in favour of fully decriminalizing prostitution she has already handed out licenses for over 100 legal and ‘ethical’ brothels. She loves the $$$ sex tourism and prostitution brings. As a journalist friend told me ‘prostitution’ is the ‘Marca’ brand of Barcelona.

Now, we have many refugee women working in this brothels, I visited one recently and 1/4 were Syrian! This is another market for men, something exotic! I have also discovered Pakistani women are being trafficked to Spain for the insatiable sex market. It is appalling, we need to stop it now. I talk about this a little in the reveal but have investigated further for the documentary. 

5) What were the challenges in getting the needed funding for this project? How is the campaign coming up?

Finding money is hard. I am actively writing for grants and crowdfunding.

Well, it was minimal in Catalonia. The government gave money to the sex lobby recently for some courses. So, I doubt they would pass it to a project that is illuminating all of the corruption not just in Catalonia but all of Spain and further on. Meanwhile, we have many kids going hungry here, running water over stale bread, I think that money could be better spent opening up school canteens for kids. Ok, off topic, yes finding money is hard. I am actively writing for grants and crowdfunding. 

Ethics are very important to me and I dumped a producer very early on after finding out she thinks there are zero correlations between consuming porn and prostitution. I have had great support from many groups and individuals, but I need to raise more funds. So, yes, please donate a few if you can.

6) What were the sort of backlashes and controversies you faced when you started campaigning against prostitution? And based on your own personal experience of talking to a large number of survivors, do you think  “sex work is work”?

The lobbyists & cam girls are usually who represents the sex industry. You can’t compare their lives to anyone working curb-side.

I don’t think you can compare a cam girl to a young girl that has been trafficked through Libya and raped, tortured and broken down along the way. The lobbyists & cam girls are usually who represents the sex industry. You can’t compare their lives to anyone working curb-side.

We need to listen to survivors, and never to these people that just care about $$$. If we don’t have our humanity we have nothing.

The most important thing I can share from this is: not one person has told me they dreamed of being a prostitute, they all want (ed) to do something else. So, no, sex work isn’t “work”. It’s something physically and psychologically dangerous, the counter-argument is that of firefighting being dangerous, etc but these people chose this as a vocation. Who chooses prostitution as a vocation? The backlash is from the sex lobbyists and the trolls that try to silence the survivors. We need to listen to survivors, and never to these people that just care about $$$. If we don’t have our humanity we have nothing.

7) What has happened to our third wave feminism that harps on undermining women’s rights? What is this culture about claiming prostitution as liberating? What are your thoughts on this?

*Eye roll*

Economic empowerment, physical empowerment, etc, etc. I think it is sad. I see much of this in Spain, half the country lives on 1000 EUR per month, (whole families) then these lobbyists advertise economic empowerment & jobs in clubs for 40,000 EUR a year. The youth get sucked in, it’s a lot of money! Especially when they are told they don’t have to have ‘sex’ but what a load of shit. So, they are going to pay a kid 40K a year to just to serve drinks?  Nope, lies.

8) How many people have you spoken to for your film? Was it overwhelming? How do you keep your spirits high?

I have my days. But the most generous people in the world you will find are survivors. They don’t want anyone else to go through what they have. They want to share their stories, the majority of the time with some anonymity but they want to prevent anyone else from this pain. So, I continue for them. I have made a promise, and I am not the type to back down.

9) Do you think there will be oppositions once the film is made, with regards to distribution? 

Of course, there is with anything. But not bothered in the slightest. Some producers specifically have/do ask for spectacle and I have heard some comments at pitching tables that I do not agree with on any level. It comes back to ethics, I won’t sacrifice ethics. The audience for this film have an invested interest in the topic and I also aim to open as many eyes as I can. We need more people to join the movement and push for action and push our governments into action.

10) Have you wondered about the correlation between pornography and prostitution? This is another concept that liberal feminists are propagating – feminist porn they call it – what are your thoughts?

There is no such thing as ‘ethical porn’ or ‘ethical prostitution’ it is VAWG (Violence Against Women & Girls). The ethical porn thing is almost a catchphrase in Barcelona. People want to hold on to all of their freedoms and have lost their ability to think critically (and with compassion).

The road doesn’t stop with this film being completed. I want to connect with as many like-minded, individuals and groups as possible. I firmly believe if the Nordic Model was introduced throughout, we would see a dramatic reduction in sex trafficking and human suffering.

11) Anything else you wish to add?

The road doesn’t stop with this film being completed. I want to connect with as many like-minded, individuals and groups as possible. I firmly believe if the Nordic Model was introduced throughout, we would see a dramatic reduction in sex trafficking and human suffering.

Of course, until governments take action and they commit to fighting human trafficking like they do terrorism we will still have a huge problem. Because of the corruption and turning a blind eye, this has let mafia networks flourish, they are now so sophisticated and have such a foothold globally it’s hard to reverse. The first steps are moving towards ending demand and educating ourselves, our families and communities. I think these changes will be led by women.

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~ Alison’s crowdfunding campaign can be found https://gogetfunding.com/hornsonthewomandoco/

WMF hopes and beseeches our readers to contribute generously.

Their web and blog page https://www.discourser.online/horns-on-the-woman/

Join the Conversation at https://twitter.com/DiscourserES

Donations of $25 and over receive a digital copy of the film when released. You can organize a watch party for your organization, university or community. Help complete “Horns On The Woman” – Documentary Film.


Original Source @ Women Making Films: http://www.wmfindia.com/blogs/alison-wilson-on-her-film-horns-on-the-woman-a-documentary-on-sex-trafficking-demand/?fbclid=IwAR1u3yxrn9VmilRK0Nm3d5gsLdXUK_9Dq2uANUaxt3oXh679SWmQQGA8Wrg