12/18/2006

Sex Workers to Sue

Prostitutes should not be referred to as sex workers. Prostitution should not be referred to as the "sex trade" or the "sex industry." There is nothing empowering about prostitution. Decriminalizing it will NOT make it safe. Without exception, every country in the world that has trade it has failed miserably. Prostitutes end up in worse situations than they were before.
But really, I don't expect people to listen to my common sense. I expect them to believe garbage like this.
OTTAWA -- A leading advocacy group for decriminalizing prostitution in Canada is planning to take the federal government to court over laws that it says endanger the lives of sex workers across the country.
Valerie Scott, executive director of Sex Professionals of Canada, says the legal action will go ahead in January.
"The communicating and bawdy house laws are arbitrary," Scott said in an interview from Toronto.
"They do more harm than good, and we'll be filing in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. We're hoping to get a judgement from them within two years. Then we'll go to the Supreme Court of Canada with it."
The common bawdy house laws can evict women from their homes, since landlords receive a notice of their alleged activities, said Wendy Babcock, spokeswoman for the Sex Professionals of Canada.
Scott, who expects to be one of the plaintiffs in the court case, says the group will challenge the country's solicitation laws on constitutional grounds.

Constitutional grounds?
What? You want to argue that the law should protect your "right" to be treated like an object? You want the law to abandon all pretense of protecting the weak and helpless who get dragged into this life of depravity?

The sex trade in Canada falls into a legal grey area because, while prostitution itself is not illegal, activities related to it are. Individuals who communicate for the purpose of prostitution or who sell sexual services can be charged under the Criminal Code.
"It's really unfortunate that our profession is one of the few professions that doesn't have any legal protection to it," Babcock said. "Making it illegal is just forcing women into dangerous situations."

It's not a profession!! Stop calling it that. You are there at the beck and call of men who don't give a rats ass about what happens to you. Rape and abuse are rampant. Decriminalization will only encourage this.
News of violence against sex trade workers has garnered headlines in recent weeks. The slayings of five women in Ipswitch, England, triggered warnings for prostitutes there to stay off the streets.
In Canada, a seven-months-pregnant mother of three was stabbed to death in Gatineau, Que., after an alleged "bad date." And jurors have just been selected for the trial of Robert Picton, the alleged serial killer of at least 26 sex workers from Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside.
A 2006 Statistics Canada report said women in the sex trade are extremely vulnerable to violence which "often goes unnoticed."
"According to police reports submitted to Statistics Canada, between 1991 and 2004, 171 female prostitutes were killed and 45 per cent of these homicides remain unsolved," the report said.
Statistics on the homicide rate of sex workers are "almost certainly lower than the real figures," according to a report issued this month by a Commons subcommittee. Three-quarters of the homicides reported to the panel took place in Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, Toronto, Winnipeg and Ottawa-Gatineau.

But none of these things are good arguments for decriminalizing prostitution. If anything, they are arguments for stiffer penalties for pimps and johns. The men who commit these crimes need to pay. They do NOT need an environment which will encourage their bad behaviour. If you remove all penalties for their crimes, their behaviour will only get worse. They will still rape and abuse you. They will still kill you.
Only now, they will be doing it in a "safe" environment.
Safe for who?
Not you, the prostitute.
Safe for them, the deviant.

4 comments:

Neo Conservative said...

I'm thinking having "crack whore" on your resume may be a career-limiting, not to mention personally debilitating move.

"Well, lemme see... the Libs are in favour of enabling intravenous drug use and giving the vote to imprisoned murderers and rapists."

Looks like this one fits right in there... no pun intended.

Anonymous said...

An author recently coined the phrase "hooker culture" to describe the 21tst century West. Fake porn star star size implants, fast sex without emotional attachment, sex trade fashion, kids exposed to a constant on-slaught of sexual material in the media--the sex trade better look out--their turf is being taken over by the general public. What will they do then?

colin said...

The only thing wrong with prostitution, over and above any other form of casual sexual contact, is that prostitution violates some people's religious and moral codes. The approach you advocate is hopelessly naive, and will forever establish an economic concession for organized crime. Your approach only affects cost. I say we should make the industry safe by legalizing it, taxing it, and regulating it. I hope the constitutional challenge succeeds.

Ruth said...

And you figure what, colin? That if prostitution is decriminalized there will no longer be any illegal forms of prostitution?
Let's examine who is being naive here. Prostitution is lucrative "work." If the government regulates it then pimps, brothels and prostitutes will have to charge and pay taxes. This is expensive. What will happened is what is happening in every other country where this is being tried. There will be two streams of prostitution: the legitimate version and the underground one. One will be regulated and "protected" by the government. The other will not. In some cases, a pimp may have both an underground and a legitimate face to his operation.
Women working in the underground version will not only NOT have the protection the government will be pretending to give them, but because all the laws surrounding prostitution will have been struck down as "unconstitutional" the worst any of their clients and agents can be charged with tax evasion. Police will no longer pick up ANY pimps or johns at all. There won't be a reason to unless the prostitute can provide concrete evidence of abuse and prostitutes are already loathe to come forward with charges against any of their attackers. There is no reason at all to suppose this situation would improve. In fact, all evidence indicates the contrary.
If you need said evidence, please read up on the legitimized sex industry in the Netherlands and Australia. In both cases, violence against prostitutes has dramatically increased since regulation.

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