Sunday, 25 October 2009

Prostitution Part Deux

Ok, so let's suppose we legalize prostitution. Then what?

Rather than giving it our official stamp of approval, we could simply decriminalize the act of communicating for the purposes of prostitution. Politically, this is more realistic because the government doesn't have to be seen as actively supporting a controversial and immoral activity, but simply acknowledging the reality that they have no control over it. This approach doesn't really change a whole lot: there will still be girls on the street involved in what is, after all, a dangerous activity. One thing it does do is divert police resources away from busting Janes and Johns and on to other things. However it may also increase the amount of hooking going on because some fellas who might have been avoiding it because they didn't want a criminal record or their name on a John list might decide to treat themselves now.

Option 2: legalize it, requiring a vendor license, much like a hot dog stand. Except, you know, without the food and the cart, and with a different type of buns. Require annual renewal, including medical exam. In this case you would have your legit hookers and your non-legit ones. Hopefully johns would tend to seek out legit ones (maybe we could give them red umbrellas or something) thereby cutting off supply to the non-legit ones who would tend to be of the higher-risk 'crack ho' variety. That's a good thing, but you will still have hookers littering the streets, which some people see as a problem.

We get hookers off the street by making it legal to operate a "common bawdy house" (a.k.a. house of ill repute, a.k.a. brothel, a.k.a. whore house, a.k.a. fuck factory, a.k.a place where Michael Ignatieff goes every Thursday night. Haha just kidding, Mike. Please don't sue me.) There are big advantages to this, the tops of which is providing the girls with a safe place to ply their trade. They also don't have to stand outside in -20 degrees wearing little skirts and vinyl jackets, poor things. Johns might have to register just in case something goes wrong. Not sure about that part though, because even with the most bullet-proof confidentiality agreement in the world, a lot of dudes won't want to put their names on a list.

Do we restrict where brothels can be located? By most accounts, the brothel that was busted in the Wolseley area recently was not causing a problem for the neighbours. I'm not sure a brothel in, say, River Heights would be as welcome. Sure, at first it may seem convenient to only have to go next door to get your rim job, but that convenience will probably be far outweighed by other factors, including the possibility of your wife watching you go there. Also, not every whore house might be as "low key" as the Wolseley one. Which brings us to ...

The Red Light District. This will never ever ever happen here, but for the sake of argument ... The key here is putting it in the proper place. If you thought NIMBYs got upset about apartment buildings, just wait until you try putting a red light district next to their neighbourhood. You would have to stick it in the middle of the Inkster industrial park or something. However a red light district might encourage sex tourism. Friendly Manitoba? you bet. Spirited Energy? Yup ... in bed. Think about the potential! We could have hundreds of guys, each with their own personal stimulus packages, helping to boost our economy. What, you say that we don't want that kind of tourism? Why not? Are sex tourist dollars different than regular dollars?

Alas, a red light district will never come to be. There is nowhere to put one, and no political will to create one. What is the best solution? You tell me. I'm just a guy rambling about stuff he knows nothing of. I do think that a new approach is required versus the status quo. The current laws allowing prostitution but not communicating for the purposes of prostitution or operating indoors don't make any sense and leave the ladies exposed in more ways than one.

next up on my list of controversial topics: should we require leashes for bunnies?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's a little backgorund for you:
http://ius.uwinnipeg.ca/pdf/Kohm_Selwood_ResearchWorkingPaper42.pdf

You are treading a well-worn path!

cherenkov said...

I'll bet you Kohm and Selwood haven't written a paper on bunny leashes!

Thanks for the link. It is silly that we can't face this issue. We use terms like "massage parlours" and use ambiguous language in the legislation to avoid the actual subject matter that we're trying to control. Like all problems, unless you are able to recognize it and speak openly about it, you won't be successful dealing with it.

 
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