Monday, June 10 2013

Paul Sullivan, Urban Compass

p. 12.

The Prostitution Solution

When you live or work in downtown Vancouver, especially within hailing distance of the Vancouver Art Gallery, street protests are a daily thing.

There's always someone marching down the street, beating the drum for this or that cause, and they always end up on the steps of the Art Gallery, where they subject themselves to an extended harangue from the most articulate of their number, and then disperse to march again another day.

Quite often, the same fierce and sincere advocates are at the front of the parade even if the cause changes. Some people just can't resist the appeal of the drum and the bullhorn.

I have to admit, I'm jaded. You've heard one bullhorn and drum song, you've heard them all.

Except for Saturday's sex trade worker march calling for the decriminalization of prostitution.

I mean, let's have more protests where they march under bright red umbrellas in bright red boots, sporting devil's horns or wearing jaunty hats that read: Bad Girl. And one of the main activists, Toronto's Terry-Jean Bedford, is called a "retired dominatrix." I wonder if they gave her a goodbye golden whip?

You have to be an expert at the Pivot Legal Society to figure out the nuances of the Supreme Court deliberation coming up this week, but as far as I can tell, the eminent justices are charged with sorting out the rules governing sex for sale.

Good luck with that one, your eminences.

Currently, prostitution is kind of legal but most of the activities surroundingit aren't. The government can't run a peanut stand, and apparently, it's not much of a pimp either.

It's legal to be a prostitute, er, sex-trade worker, but it's not legal to "communicate" for the purpose or do it in the warmth, comfort and safety of a "bawdy house."

And its not legal to buy sex either. It's like Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups. At least, everyone says they're over 18.

So you can see why they put their red boots on and march.

As amusing as all this seems, there's a deep dark side — Willie Pickton was able to prey, apparently at will, on sex workers on the street because so many were alone and vulnerable. A regulated sex industry would make it tough for the sickos to operate.

That's reason alone to decriminalize the sex trade.

Set up the brothel next to the casino and hire a retired dominatrix or two to run things. And while you're at it, stock the shelves at the liquor store with government-regulated marijuana.

If this doesn't take care of the deficit, nothing will.

"My bawdy. My business," reads the sign.

Over to you, Supreme Court of Canada.

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Created: June 10, 2013
Last modified: June 27, 2013
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