Saturday, March 31, 2012

Legs are optional

A sorry face book update from my daughter, and responses from friends and my son.
Her post was about being approached by a John, despite her conservative manner of dressing, and the fact that she's NOT stationary on a corner. Apparently this is not the first time.
My son's response was something like, "Have you seen what those guys will pick up? They will go for anything with legs, but even that is optional."

It's little consolation to my daughter. She's been offended, and rightfully so, but...

In our country, we are continuing the "indoctrination" of people. I heard a guy today talking about how we've had a ruling from the Supreme Court that is a "win win for everyone, but a lot of people just don't see it yet".
Oh good...Someone else telling our community what's good for it.

Our area Councillor Harvey was also quoted as saying he'd support brothels. Good idea Harvey, but...

Harvey... I like you. I may not always agree with you, but I do think you actually consider your opinions. I must protest, and disagree on this one, in fact Harvey, you'll be seeing me at the first Committee Meeting where you consider putting a brothel anywhere near me or in the West End aside from an industrial area. Your thinking seems to be hatched in a vacuum this time. Let's go for a walk Harvey. Just you, me, and all the readers.

Let's go from your house, down the block to Sargent. The thing is, we're going to walk  the lane between Simcoe and Home, OK? What do we see?

Aside from unkempt yards the Bylaw officers ignore, trash that has been there, in some cases for almost a year (yes Harvey, I'm talking about that TV) a keen pair of eyes will spot the colourful objects discarded promptly after using. They are yellow, red, and "natural". Condoms, and their recognizable "Lifestyle" packaging.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the crack whores in the area are being "safe", and as much as I like the idea of having the girls ply their trade in a nice, respectable building, with clean sheets, and a washroom facility, I'm just not sure the girls who "assisted" the "customers" with their "needs" and then dropped the condom in the lane next to the fence (pick a fence... any fence) are going to be moving to the newly established brothel.

These "ladies" are concerned about getting their next rock, or where they can score some more meth. Who thinks the brothel Madam will be tolerating girls who can't make it to work because they are all strung out, doing the "crank walk", talking to the "person" next to them (who may even be themselves in an out of body experience) in an animated, loud fashion? Hands up... c'mon... just you Harvey?

I'm sure that even the congregation of Mission Church would embrace the idea of a brothel if the girls would stop doing deals in the doorway, or around the corner of the lane in the parking lot, except that they already KNOW that "trolling" the low track for a BJ won't stop because there is a legal brothel somewhere else in the area.

The notion that the "girls" are out on Ellice and Home next to Papa Guidos will suddenly be able to have a "safe" environment by virtue of legalizing a brothel is so ludicrous that it could only be subscribed to by some white bread, silver spoon, suburban living twit who hasn't been to the area and only knows what goes on by reading the paper. Actually living in the 'hood makes a difference in your thinking, and recognizing that these "girls" are un employable in a brothel makes you realize that it is NOT a cure to the "evils" of prostitution.

At the head of the line for "maybe you need an education" are the avowed feminists who applaud this type of thing. An article in the Montreal Gazette has a number of interesting ideas... none of which translate into a safer work environment for the local crack hoe.

Next we'll be thinking, "Maybe give them crack... or meth... then they won't have to "solicit for the purposes of prostitution" ".

Ya. Great idea. Maybe give them food too, and bus fare, and smokes, and alcohol...

In the end these girls will remain on welfare, because they can, they will turn tricks because they can, and they will continue to "supplement their income" as self employed sex trade workers, regardless of the hand outs society will offer them. Until they decide to clean up their lives and get out of the mess they are in, we will enjoy their colourful condoms, the "Lifestyle"wrappers, the late night cruising, the unwanted propositions from Johns trolling the street... and maybe one day you'll read about me, having smashed the window of a passing car because the occupant spoke in an unwanted, unsolicited, and disrespectful manner to my wife or my daughter as they exercised THEIR RIGHT to walk down the street.

Where are these feminists when these women are held hostage in their own homes, not wanting to go out and get groceries at the Safeway because of unwanted advances? Why is it that I won't allow my wife to go to the Husky or 7-11 on Ellice to buy a lotto ticket or get 250ml of milk after dark? (I suppose the same feminists would argue that I'm oppressing my poor wife).

The feminist will answer that Sweden has the answer. Make BUYING sex a crime. Ahh! Excellent idea! Choke off the demand side of things.

While I'd take that idea over  the current "it's illegal to TALK about exchanging sex for money" laws, the current law really does prohibit the "low track trolling" we have a problem with right now, and can result in charges to both offenders. Isn't that FAIR? That BOTH parties are found to be engaging in an illegal act?

When OUR RIGHTS as members of the community are disregarded, we have a problem, and Harvey, if you want a guy to pick a fight with on this issue... you just wait.

I'll make the time, I'll walk to every house, I'll get every signature I can, and I'll do whatever I need to to fill the gallery with people who are AGAINST your idea that this is a "good thing". Not because I'm a prude, not because I'm naive, not because I have a certain religious belief I feel the need to foist upon the poor disenfranchised women plying their craft behind my house, not because I don't understand that the "complex social issues are disentangled from patriarchal moral norms", not because I know that there are men out there who really need to buy the service because they clearly can't get a woman in any other way to satisfy their needs...

No, I'll fight you because all you'll be doing is ADDING to the sex traffic in the area already, and be doing NOTHING to make the community safer for the women in my life, who deserve to be able to walk to work or school without the thought of a John approaching them... ever.

How about you stand up for their rights Harvey?


  1. Well this post certainly hits close to home (or Home). As someone who lives in a house backing on this lane, I know all too well the experience of cleaning up condoms from my driveway. Between my neighbour and myself, I think 10 was the count from cleaning up after the snow melted.

    You'll see prostitutes standing on the street waiting to get picked up in front of a school, church, or playground. (Yes, I've seen them all, and 2 out of the 3 on a regular basis.) I came home one day and there was a man in a truck getting some 'services' in front of my garage. I talked to the police. I asked if there was anything they or I could do? They said no.

    Although I would support a red light district in some industrial area, I don't believe it's the answer to the area's issues. What the answer is, I'm not sure, but I would like to find out. Even with the problems, I love the neigbourhood and would like to do what I can to improve it.

  2. Great blog post, and I strongly agree with you and our other neighbour who commented previously. Legalized prostitution will do nothing to improve the area, nor the lives of the girls on Sargent. There already are brothels or "massage parlours" operating in grey areas of the law, and nothing much happens to the owners when caught (see:

    As you point out, these places and the establishments Coun. Smith wants to open will impose expectations and standards that the girls on Sargent can't meet. What madam would hire a pregnant 17 year old with HPV high on meth? For that reason these streetwalkers will always exist and cost less than the parlours. They'll continue to ply their trade as close to their dealers as possible. Shut down the drug houses and the hookers will leave and the johns will follow.

    Sitting here in my home (Home) office overlooking the aforementioned back lane, I regularly see the shady characters you don't see on the front sidewalk and often find condoms and wrappers behind my garage. My wife has been propositioned by johns on her way to the bus stop. Though I have been threatened when photographing or confronting johns, most of the time they scurry off once they notice they're being watched.

    It is difficult to engage the police to do anything about this. If anyone has been successful please let me know! They've responded when I've called to complain about hookers on Wellington when the schools are letting out, they've responded when I say they're being belligerent or are walking into traffic. They come and chase them away. I've had no response when reporting johns.

    With all the above being said, I too am an optimist and love living in this area. The neighbourhood continues to improve as it has for the four years since we moved in. It seems more good people are moving in and bad people out as houses get fixed up. There will always be setbacks (like yesterday's firebombing of another Home down the lane), but hey it is the West End after all and bad things happen in good neighbourhoods too.

    Looking forward to seeing you lead Harvey down the lane!

  3. Summery: Legalizing prostitution is not meant to give the people currently operating in it a way to do it legally. It's meant to setup a legal alternative for the patrons, so that the money will go to the safe regulated brothels, instead of a human trafficker (pimp) and drug addicts (prostitutes).

    If a legal system is setup, this would mean laws could be passed to prosecute those participating in the non-regulated industry. This will dry up the money for the people you are mentioning and they will quickly move on to an area further away from the legal brothel, seek out treatment, or end up in jail.

    If anything, the closer that brothel is to your place, the less prostitutes and johns you would see, since they would have to compete with the easy, safer, legal option that is sitting nearby. I don't employe prostitutes, but if I did, I wouldn't want one that looked like she'd been using needles all day. You are not adding to sex trafficking in an area by adding a legal brothel. Sex trafficking by definition consists of forced slavery. That would not be the case with a regulated brothel.

    I'd like to see a worker run brothel, like the one in Reno, Nevada. There are enforced regulations such as minimum and maximum number of days on and off, health checkups (S.T.I. screenings, etc.), and VERY tough anti-pimping (you cannot profit from someone else providing sex services) and anti-solicitation laws (I believe you can advertize on billboards, newspapers, etc, but not in person.)

    I agree with your point about people suffering from drug addiction not being prostitutes under a legalized system. The women (and men, you didn't mention them in your article) currently working in the industry as it stands now would, generally speaking, not be the ones switching over, at least not without going through a treatment program. However, this would also mean the system under which they currently operate would being to fall apart, and could open up opportunities to help them seek out the treatment they need.

    Once a system was setup however, the litter and Johns issue would become moot. There is a building for providing services, and it is no longer financially viable to solicit in the area with a legal brothel.

    The tax money generated from these business's could go to the social services for the actual victims of human trafficking, drug programs for those currently working in the system now, enforcement of the new regulations, and crack down on offenders (since, of course, even with legalization, you would still have people trying to operate outside the law.)

    Location of the brothel IS always a concern, especially for the surrounding community. No one wants to think of their community as a red light district, and I FULLY support a community's ability to block developments (although in this city sometimes it seems impossible.) But prostitution is happening, whether you like it or not. Why not aim to curb the negative effects of this unregulated industry, instead of just hoping the problem goes away? Why not try out this alternative?

  4. So ya figure a legal brothel will muscle out the $20 BJ action huh? I can just imagine a solid, healthy price competition being waged on the part of a brothel and a dope head who'll do whatever she needs to for her next hit.
    The idea that "laws could be passed to prosecute those participating in the non-regulated industry" is laughable. It's ALREADY illegal to stand on the corner and TALK about it. How's it working so far?
    Let's try these ideas in your 'hood, somewhere close to your kids school, then if your thinking is wrong, no harm done... right?

  5. SeaP.....The women (and men, you didn't mention them in your article)......

    I've NEVER seen a man hanging anywhere near our hood, not ONCE, or anywhere else for that matter. Not saying that they aren't out there, but the ones 'round here are cranked out women.

    I just can't see how what you suggest would help. How is opening a brothel close to home going to push out the "unregulated" offerings? Do you really think the police are going to put pressure on that side of things? REALLY? The people taking a fancy to these "ladies" are not the customers of your so called brothels. You will not extinguish the demand for the quick and cheap.

    This is not the solution, but if you are so sure it would work, I agree with the author's suggestion, let's try it in your hood and you let us know how that works out (and I sure hope you don't live any where close to me :-))

    Who knows....maybe a brothel could work, but let's put it somewhere outside of our residential areas please.