September 20, 1997

Mark Tonner,
Out of the Blue, The Province

Re: Calling a spade an earth mover
Friday, September, 19, 1997

Hi Mark,

About the word "prostitute."

First, let me say that I don't really care if you use the term "prostitute" or not. It is feminists and social workers that keep trying to stick us with the title "sex trade worker." In fact, the word "trade" is redundant. "Sex worker" is the preferred term among prostitute activists internationally.

I do, however, take offense to to some of your comments that follow. As an officer of the law, you should already know that prostitution is, in fact, not a crime in Canada. What we have instead are the remnants of old nuisance laws that forbid the keeping of bawdy-houses and communicating for the purpose of prostitution in a public place. The federal government already recognizes that it has no place legislating morals.

I myself will rejoice the day that school counsellors present sex work as a "legitmate" a career choice as, say policing.

Given the size of my newsclipping files on police corruption and misconduct, which includes several cases of officers extorting sex from prostitutes using the threat of arrest, I can't imagine police officers being any more moral a bunch than prostitutes. In fact, some people might be appalled that law enforcement would be presented to a child as a "judgement-neutral" career choice.

I suggest that in the future, you follow the lead of the federal government, which sets the laws for this country, and keep your morals to yourself.

Have an arrest-free day!


Andrew Sorfleet
Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver


A follow-up letter... [SWAV Letters] [Rights Groups]

Created: September 20, 1997
Last modified: June 17, 1999
SWAV Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710