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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Canada strikes down Anti-Prostitution Laws

20 replies

GothAnneGeddes · 28/09/2010 20:16

here

I am so torn about this. I do think the sex industry is very harmful to women, but I also think that sex workers should be safe.

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StewieGriffinsMom · 29/09/2010 09:01

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dittany · 29/09/2010 18:09

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ElephantsAndMiasmas · 29/09/2010 18:55

" ...and in a way that may not be in the public interest"

WTF does that mean? No 241 on Tuesdays any more?

I'm struggling to think of a way in which unlicensed brothels could be run in the public interest.



Nope.

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chibi · 29/09/2010 19:31

to provide some context for this, canada has just recently finished the trial of robert picton, serial killer of prostituted women

i do not recommend you google it, fucking ghastly

at any rate, the status quo regarding prostitution and the legal system was epic fail and a change needed to happen

is this the change? there is room for vigorous debate, i think

at any rate, this ruling is not coming out of nowhere, and not (only at any rate) at the behest of those powerful in the sex industry

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Bue · 29/09/2010 20:30

As a Canadian, I am disappointed to see the country go down this route. But chibi, I think you're right that this has at least something to do with the Robert Pickton case. I mean, something is terribly wrong when crimes like that can happen. I still really don't think this is the answer, though.

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StewieGriffinsMom · 29/09/2010 20:41

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chibi · 29/09/2010 20:42

fwiw i don't either

but

the situation as was = untenable

interesting article in the globe and mail about it today - negative reactions/fallout

what confuses me though is that the law has only been overturned in ontario - i would have thought that this (being as it relates to criminal offenses) would come under federal jurisdiction

anyway, it is complicated

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StewieGriffinsMom · 29/09/2010 20:50

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dittany · 29/09/2010 20:54

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chibi · 29/09/2010 20:59

it's not something i would fight for dittany so i won't attempt to make the case for it

but i do think the context matters here

this was one of the biggest things to happen in the country in a long time, the fallout was both wide and deep, and i think it has left some feeling like drastic change is needed

i am not convinced that this is the drastic change

some good arguments against it here

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dittany · 29/09/2010 21:01

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dittany · 29/09/2010 21:03

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chibi · 29/09/2010 21:06

i know we have a few canadians rattling around, i don't suppose any are legal bods

i don't see how this can stand, bad decision or no

basically, some things in canada are under provincial jurisdiction, some federal

all crime is federal, so what is illegal in one province is illegal in all, sentencing guidelines are the same etc

licensing issues/non criminal stuff (civil law) is provincial, so the drinking age can vary between provinces for example

given that all of the offenses 'struck down' are in the criminal code, i don't understand how this can stand in one province only

anyway the crown has 30 days to make appeals so we shall see

i don't think this is a done deal

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chibi · 29/09/2010 21:07

dittany i don't mean the context justifies this but rather a lot of people were shocked into thinking 'holy fuck we better do something' and this was the something

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StewieGriffinsMom · 29/09/2010 21:11

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StewieGriffinsMom · 29/09/2010 21:13

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dittany · 29/09/2010 21:18

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witlesssarah · 29/09/2010 21:22

Another Canadian here and really proud of this ruling. Anti prostitution laws have never been about protecting women - they've been about protecting people from facing prostitution and they've been about controlling prostitution.

I really feel I need to point out that the case was brought by three women who have been harmed by the current laws. They are based in Toronto, so while I'm sure that Pickton is part of the context, the case is not the driver in this one.

This is a very similar situation to the anti-choice legislation which was also struck down by the courts, and parliament didn't know what to do.

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sprogger · 29/09/2010 22:33

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nooka · 30/09/2010 02:33

It is being appealed. Although it would be better if they went back to the legislation and wrote something more effective (criminalising the men who use prostitutes woudl be my personal choice). The responses to it are also odd, according to one of the women bringing the case the judgement means that "We don't have to worry about being raped and robbed and murdered," whereas the lawyer involved was at least more truthful "So what's happened is that there's still going to be many people on the streets and many survival sex workers who are motivated by drugs and sometimes exploited by very bad men. That's not going to change"

Picton's victims were all street prostitutes, but the issue there was more to do with effective police investigation and liaison, which is highly unlikely to change (especially as the investigation just launched is specifically not going to recommend any changes). Of course if the earliest victim had been listened to and her very serious allegations (and injuries) taken seriously things would have been very different. But she was a prostitute and a drug addict and therefore dismissed.

It is also interesting to see how as usual the whole debate is phrased in terms of the womens right's to sell their bodies, not on the more fundamental issue of why men should have any right to buy them. Plenty of other civil liberties are denied.

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