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miércoles, 26 de marzo de 2014
En Diciembre el Tribunal Constitucional de Canadá, reconoció el trabajo sexual, como no podía ser de otra manera han aparecido las diferentes opiniones a favor y en contra.
It’s not your typical MP-constituent questionnaire, but the federal government is asking Canadians to voice their opinion on how the law should deal with prostitutes, pimps and johns. Should it be a criminal offence to purchase sexual services? Or sell them? Or make money off the prostitution of another?
One would think that a democratic government in a free nation that values humanity could answer such questions without consultations, simply by doing what it is supposed to do — create legislation that betters Canadian society and works best for all members of that society (rather than laws that benefit a few at the expense of the many).
Several months ago, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down our criminal laws against prostitution because they failed to adequately protect a prostitute’s Charter right to life, liberty and security of the person when attempting to prostitute one’s self illegally.
The court then gave the government one year to create new laws that respect the Charter rights of prostitutes and their owners to make a decent, legitimate living in an office with good mattresses.
If it fails to adopt new laws by Dec. 20, then prostitution in Canada will essentially become a free for all.
The open consultation has generated much discussion about the need to protect prostitutes from the Robert Picktons of the world and whether legalized prostitution would diminish connections to criminal activities. Yet virtually every study from every country that has gone down this road has shown that violence and criminal activity continue, and may even increase.
Those involved in the legal case would like us to focus on the above arguments. But the reality of this particular case is that it centres around the lead applicant’s desire to operate a bawdy house and make money off the sale of sexual slaves.
Terri-Jean Bedford is a retired dominatrix who promotes herself as a champion for the rights and protections of Canada’s sex workers. She operated a bawdy house in Ontario and, in 1994, the police raided it and shut it down. She has challenged Canada’s prostitution laws ever since, saying, “Men and women shouldn’t be punished for obeying their natural instinct” and “you can’t punish men for their natural needs.”
My first response is, God help us if we strike down every law that prevents us from obeying our instincts. Has she ever heard of rational thought — a uniquely human characteristic that prevents us from acting on every instinct?
My second response is, how on Earth are these statements in any way legally or even morally defensible? She expects Canada to legalize the sale of women’s flesh for dehumanizing sexual degradation because she has a notion that society shouldn’t punish men for their “natural needs?”
Canadian law establishes the tone for Canadian society. So what is our ultimate goal in creating laws that relate to prostitution?
If we believe that sex trafficking can/should be regulated like any other business, and we can control the industry with licensed brothels, then we will be creating a society where women (who constitute the vast majority of prostitutes) are just another commodity for sale. This hardly seems a proper direction for our country, given the extent it has gone to in establishing equality for women in every avenue of society.
In contrast, if we want a society that values women, offers them freedom and treats them with respect and dignity, then we cannot have laws that tolerate, in any way, whether on the street or in a brothel, the sale of one individual to another for sexual purposes.
Most women involved in prostitution want a way out, and society should assist them in getting the medical, social and psychological help they need to do that.
Our laws should have one target only — the men who enslave women by buying or selling them.
Susan Martinuk is a Vancouver-based columnist for the Calgary Herald