RFT Rant – Ep 238 – Supreme Court and the sex trade
Posted by Don McLenaghen on January 3, 2014
Well it seem the Supreme Court of Canada has lifted the shadow that forced practitioners of a particular profession to find the most hidden seclude police free environment to do their work.
I work in computers…imagine if I had to take a valuable laptop out to a park late at night, making sure that no one can seem me, especially the police, so that I can service a client’s needs for a PC.
That’s not the end of it. I am forced to use cash because if authorities find out my source of income I could be arrested. So, I besides the valuable pc, I am also forced to carry around large amounts of money.
What happens if I get robbed to the money, a client refuses to pay for the PC and just ‘takes it anyway’, what if there is violence? Again I cannot go to the police because what I am doing is deemed illegal.
And why is it illegal? Well, the official reason is that the business is risky and poses potential health dangerous…which of course only largely exist because it is deemed illegal.
IF I could sell PC’s in the open, I could, like any other merchant, rely on the justice system to protect me from crooks.
Of course, the real reason we ban this profession is because it is deemed immoral…goes against god’s law.
Now, some of you maybe a little confused, so let me start this again…hoping lights in heads will go on.
Well it seem the Supreme Court of Canada has lifted the shadow that forced sex workers to find the most hidden seclude police free environment to do their work.
1. Communicating For The Purposes of Prostitution in a public place (section 213)
Repealing section 213, “communicating for the purposes of prostitution in a public place” allows sex workers to openly negotiate services. Removing this law means potentially allowing sex workers to no longer work in areas that are isolated and under-protected.
2. Living off the avails of prostitution (section 212)
Repealing section 212, “living off the avails of prostitution” allows sex workers to make decisions about who they want to work with and potentially remove the exploitation of sex workers by bosses.
3. Keeping a common bawdy house (section 210)
Repealing section 210, “keeping a common bawdy house” would allow workers to create their own collective workplaces run by and for other sex workers, which are potentially safer for sex workers.
A bawdy house is…was, defined as a place for “the purpose of prostitution or the practice of acts of indecency”, but now it’s only illegal to practice acts of indecency. There seems to be no definition of “acts of indecency” but when mentioned in the criminal code, they are paid with rape, and child abuse.
And in a moment of eureka, the vote was unanimous.
It’s, I think, important to note, the prostitution or sex work in and of itself is not technically illegal, and these always are intended to make the practice of said profession impossible under the law.
Now those who may thing this is a bad thing, let’s go over the arguments that would hold prostitution or sex work SHOULD be illegal. I am going to start with the easy ones…
Prostitution put women (rarely is it mentioned that male prostitution is a major industry in its self)…that women are physically assaulted.
Yes and no.
Yes because this is true only because they CANNOT go to the police, if they do, they risk being arrested for prostitution. It true because they are FORCED to work in high risk areas because again the risk of being arrested for prostitution.
No, because if they could set up as a regular service…think hairdresser or masseuse…they could operate in safe areas, knowing they could…like any other citizen…they could call on the police for help if someone does endanger their safety.
Think for a moment, someone walks into a 7-11, beats up a clerk, steals all the money from the till, grabs a case of smokes on the way out…they would call the police, a warrant would be issued and steps could be taken to ensure the safety of the employee. Sex workers are…er, were denied this…they were on their own and YES, abuse occurred because they were on their own.
Prostitution force women into slavery by johns who get they addicted to drugs, beat them up and take all of their money.
Yes and no.
Yes, because if you can’t call on the police for protection, you call on whatever else is available…people willing to work in an illegal profession. So, you get gangsters and other lowlifes who will protect their ‘girls’ from the johns but of course this is still a shadow land, so who protects the worker from their pimp? Who can they call if the pimp beats them…steals their money?
No, because again if you made this a regular business the sex workers could use law abiding protection…rent-a-cop for example…
And with regards to drug addiction, studies have shown that most sex workers did not become addicts because of sex work but from other factors…think abusive parent or partner…that they turn to prostitution to feed their habit. It is one industry where anyone can make a lot of money with little effort or experience.
The studies I have read have it anywhere from 60 to 80% addicted prior to becoming sex worker. Correlation is not causation.
And before someone points to an oppositional study, I agree that prostitution AS CURRENTLY established…ie, illegal…leads to greater levels of drug use to deal with the stresses of the job. Let us not forget that one might want to take the edge off if one is working in an environment where we could be hurt and if we call the police WE would be arrested…that would drive me to drink.
And on that regard, most people tend to think that prostituted are somehow damaged…that it was addiction, child abuse or some other factor the FORCED them into sex work. The truth is that it’s easy money, its good money…in one study in Denmark, 85% said they did it for the money…and according to research a number of people are just enjoying the sex. Yes, sex works may actually enjoy their jobs…unlike the rest of us working at “respectable” industries.
In Germany, were prostitution is completely legal, the one issue that has arisen is that quote vulnerable immigrant are brought in and abused by pimps. In response to this, I point out that our foreign worker program in Canada, has created a situation…I am sure not uniquely…where a Tim Horton’s in Fernie or Dawson Creek in BC has abused a ripped of its workers. Should be make donuts illegal?
Abusive and exploitative employers is not a feature of the sex trade but of capitalism.
Another straw-man…er…maybe I should say straw-woman or perhaps straw-girl, is that if we allow prostitution to be open and legal, then the flood gates will be open for ship millions of pre-teen girls from the third-world to satisfy the pricks of Canada.
Why is that a sex trade issue?
Is it any more moral…right if they are shipped over here to work in sweat shops? The issue is not the kind of work but the exploitation. Anyone who raises this as an issue is either ignorant, stupid or just lying about their intent.
I am not saying that explosion for sex work is okay, but that exploitation for work of ANYKIND is wrong. Eye on the prize folks.
The biggie of course is that women are objectifying their bodies…that prostitution dehumanizes women and makes them into object to be used…selling your body for money is modern slavery.
Now, this argument has some merit, but I don’t see how it’s a sex trade issue but a capitalism issue.
I sell my body every day to an employer who gives me money in exchange for me performing curtain acts. Okay, my job is not a physical as prostitution, but what if I were a model…that pretty similar.
What about gay men who are prostitutes…how does the “turning women into sexual objects and not people…leading to ALL women being objectified…denigrated”…how does that work. Male johns turning male sex workers into objects to objectify themselves??? In philosophical terms, it’s incoherent.
Just to exemplify the mental contortion one must go through to separate sex work from any other kind of work, in Germany where there is concerns about the exploitation of foreign workers…there is a move to amend the laws to…and I quote the CBC here…
“In fact, the newly elected German government is looking at revising the law to make it illegal to buy sex from women who have been forced into prostitution.”
Really? There need be a separate law? How legal would it be I were force to work at Walmart? Or is it currently against the law for an business to operate that force its employees to work at a job they do not want to work at?
I blame the pope…Jesus and the entire fecken religious morality. I sell my body 8 hours a day and I hear no uproar…it is not prostitution that is the crime…prostitution is the oldest profession…the criminal is capitalism that turns a human into a commodity.
Find out more:
- Supreme Court prostitution decision: 5 questions
- The Supreme Court and prostitution: the decision
- Unanimous Supreme Court ruling strikes down prostitution laws
- Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s prostitution laws
- Canada’s prostitution laws: What the court said
- Canada vs Bedford Lebovitch and Scott
- Prostitution laws: Europeans debate whether criminalization or legalization works better
- Substance abuse and prostitution
- What drives a prostitute
- Associations between childhood maltreatment and sex work in a cohort of drug-using youth
- Criminal Code
- The real link between drug use and sex work