Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Prostitution and Pimps

A parliamentary subcommittee is going to recommend legal reform to the justice minister regarding solicitation of sex. Specifically, they are going to recommend targetting pimps.

The pimps for too long have run the sex-trade industry in some of the most violent and brutal ways possible. Women are forced to work, trafficked, beaten, raped and have their lives destroyed - and all the while in our modern pop-culture, "pimps" are glorified.

Now, as usual the conservatives' solution to something they don't like (ie: SEX) is to push for further criminalization. On the front of pimping, a violent and harmful business, I could not agree more. However, their usual prudish ignorance is on full display in their refusal to endorse an overhaul of the sex-solicitation laws.

And as usual, they just don't get it.

The reason that violent pimps are allowed to operate so freely, despite the fact that - lest we forget - pimping is already illegal, is because women who could otherwise make a legitimate living willingly selling sex to willing customers in a safe and mutually beneficial way are instead forced by our outdated, prudish and draconian anti-sex laws to seek out dangerous clientelle, and protection from that clientelle.

People need protection, especially those in a dangerous line of work. And if the government is unwilling to provide such protection, they must seek it elsewhere. So, they turn to their only other option for protection from their clients - the pimps. Unfortunately, pimps are even less benevolent than the government, and while some do actually protect the women, many abuse them in ways best left unsaid.

The solution is so simple it is amazing that so many people allow puritanical attitudes to overrule their reasoning. The same happens with regards to drug laws - that is, the only reason there is a violent and dangerous drug trade is because the people who want drugs have to either go without, or seek them out outside of the legal world. Prostitutes face the same challenge.

The government has a clear choice - it can refuse change, succumb to the puritans and the conservatives and allow violence against women to continue; or it can offer its protection to these women, and create safer communities for everyone.


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