Thursday, February 08, 2007

Legalized Prostitution?

Driving home I listened to Liberal MP Keith Martin promote the idea of legalized prostitution. I don't know the subject very well, but I do know that prostitution is considered a 'forgettable' crime by many in the police forces across Canada. And I would say that most Canadians 'forget' prostitution too.

Until 50 or so prostitutes are brutally murdered.

With Pickton's ugly mug pasted over every daily newspaper, prostitution is suddenly back on everyone's minds. Legalized prostitution, it is often argued in the media, would provide the women (little if anything is ever mentioned of gay male prostitutes) with access to 'safer' sex and legal protection. MP Keith Martin, after telling his radio audience that he doesn't moralize, then told us that 'prostitution has always been with us, and that it's time we accepted that'.

Now whatever ivory tower dwellers like Martin may say, legalized prostitution is a zero sum victory, that is, it brings absolutely no positive ends other than the satisfaction for those who wanted it in place. As studies in the Netherlands and Germany have shown, legalized prostitution has little effect on reducing prostitution, which should be the goal of any new legislation. Even more so, legalized prostitution nevertheless posits us with the same problems as illegal prostitution. Women are still 'indentured', pyschologically, emotionaly and physically abused, and often left with nothing once their bodies are regarded as being no longer useful. In Germany, one of the richest countries in the world, young unemployed women are fearful of heading to employment offices because 'sex worker' is given parity with other professions under the law, meaning that they have to consider entering the sex industry in order to qualify for unemployment insurance.

Thus we'll still be faced by the same problems if prostitution is legalized, but for one difference. Legal prostitution is taxable, illegal prostitution is not.

The truth laid bare for all to see.

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