The West Ender
Thursday, March 12, 1998

Guy Bennett
The Flipside

p. 10.

Cute penguins have sex trade

According to British press reports, "South Pole scientists have recently observed male Adelie penguins "paying" for sex with hard-to-find pebbles and rocks that females need to build nests. Some of these Antarctic hookers have even discovered that heavy flirting is enough to dupe the male birds in parting with a precious stone."

Say what? Penguins are supposed to be cute. In fact they have an obligation to be cute (why else would they be dressed in little tuxedos). There's a message here: It's time we legalized prostitution in Vancouver.

One of the political stumbling blocks to the legalization of the sex trade has always been the lack of pleasant images associated with it. Which ever way you look at it, you end up with an emotionally impoverished man on top of a financially impoverished woman.

But now we've discovered that penguins also mix commerce and sex -- we have a whole new set of image to work with. Pebbles for goodness sakes.

Legalized prostitution would be a perfect buffer for B.C.'s notoriously cyclical economy. The wonderful thing about men is that they always want to get laid. Even after major surgery, men still maintain an interest in sex. The forest industry is a rollercoaster ride, but the market for flesh is constant.

For those of you who feel that legalized prostitution might taint Vancouver's wholesome image -- let me remind you of something. We are a port city. Amongst the bustle of sailors, brushed by a cool salty breeze, legalized prostitution would seem modern and practical.

With a little planning, we could be the Whore Capital of Canada. And don't forget it: the customers would need somewhere to eat, somewhere to stay. They'd buy souvenirs and postcards. The economic spinoff benefits would be astronomical.

But the financial advantages are dwarfed by the humanitarian ones. In the last decade, 45 prostitutes have been murdered -- and many more are missing. As long as prostitutes are criminals, they have to stay in the shadows. It's difficult to protect people who are in the shadows.

In the Whore Capital of Canada prostitutes would work in union brothels -- with a ramped pay structure that bestowed extra rewards on those with specialized skills.

Prostitution isn't -- an never will be -- a glamorous industry. But it is an important one. For the sake of our economy and for the welfare of the women who work in it, it should be legalized.

If your are wavering about the morality of this, ask yourself: How bad can it be if those cute little penguins are doing it?

[Vancouver '98] [News by region] [News by topic]

Created: March 21, 1998
Last modified: March 21, 1998

CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710