Though the feminists' camp is split on the issue of prostitution, I think it is important to listen attentively to the testimonies of these women who admit having been hurt and victimized by prostitution.
“This isn’t a choice and it’s not a job,” said Julie (not her real name). “There’s no more security in doing this inside a bordello.”
"The violence against women is not on the street, it’s between four walls,” said Marie. “There are escort services, massage parlours, all operating now with organized crime and street gangs. Bordellos will be the same.”
Notice that Marie (not her real name) clearly calls prostitution "violence against women." The fact that Marie and Julie had to appear incognito infront of the press, covered with hats and sunglasses, reveals that these women feel imminent danger of harrassment and stigma.
The issue with legalizing bordellos is not only that it will fail to protect women from sexual predators - it will also give power to the consumers, making them feel that they have a right to use the bodies of others for their own pleasure, thereby giving them greater authority to abuse the 'commodity' they have paid for.
Finally, Marie and Julie both emphasized the fact that bordellos will lure in a great number of young girls which may dramatically increase the number of underage prostitutes.
"Bordellos will attract the young, the thin, the cute – and the laws making solicitation a crime will still target the older, less attractive women on the street", Marie said.
“Minors are going to still be in prostitution and their numbers will increase,” said Julie, who was a sex worker from 16 to 18.
I thank these two women for voicing their concerns and expressing the pain of their personal experiences. I hope that more women (and men) who have suffered from the damage of prostitution will speak up against this terrible issue which scars our society.
Last week, a government-sponsored commission recommended that assisted-suicide be legalized in Quebec for certain groups of people. As if that were not enough bad news, yesterday, an article in the National Post informed us that prostitution has been legalized in Ontario. The article states: “the Court of Appeal for Ontario swept aside some of the country’s anti-prostitution laws saying they place unconstitutional restrictions on prostitutes’ ability to protect themselves.”
Specifically, this decision implies that within a year, the Canadian Criminal Code will be amended to allow the existence and operation of brothel houses for prostitutes.
“The landmark decision means sex workers will be able to hire drivers, bodyguards and support staff and work indoors in organized brothels.” Nonetheless, exploitation by pimps and soliciting customers on the streets remains illegal.
This decision truly shocks me. There is no logic in claiming that we can protect prostitutes by legalizing brothel houses. This will only increase the number of prostitutes, underage sex workers, pornographic pimps and sadomasochistic activities in our society. It is terrifying to see the twisted mentality that pervades our country today. Prostitution is illegal and dangerous for everyone involved - it is not a personal choice - it is the result of an aura of oppression, misogyny, mental disorder, and abuse of the body. Though I can understand how the legalisation of brothel houses deceitfully resembles a solution on the surface, it really opens the doors to so many further problems.
First off, what kind of an image do we give off to other nations if we legalize prostitution houses? We are saying “This is fine. We support prostitution. We even defend it in our laws.” Second, how can our children be protected from the risk of prostitution if their own nation makes it legal to work in a prostitution home? Clearly, legalizing prostitution means that more future children will be dragged into a lifestyle choice that is degrading and sinful. Third, the allowing of brothel houses will encourage prostitution simply because it will be deemed socially acceptable and it will be more readily available to any member of the public. Finally, it saddens me to say this but it is true: prostitutes, pimps, and customers need serious mental help to receive healing for their unhealthy, harmful lifestyles. Not only does the rate of sexually transmitted disease increase with the number of partners, but countless cases of physical abuse and mental agony result from the crime of prostitution too.
Let us not forget that even if prostitution becomes legalized in Quebec, it will remain forever a crime against God. Prostitution harms yourself and your neighbor. It does not respect the dignity of the human body with which we are created. It turns the body into a slave of sexual pleasure. We are in great need of renewal- please pray for the conversion of hearts.