Politics By Edited by Peter Tremblay 20636 Views

Sex Work in Canada Should Be Legalised for the Same Reasons as Marijuana



When the Justin Trudeau government legalized pot, it should have also sought to legalize sex work for similar reasons. Indeed, the Trudeau government realized that marijuana only hurts people when it is in the hands of organized crime. Marijuana was therefore recognized as not any more inherently bad than, for example, cigarettes or alcohol. Similarly, sex is not inherently bad. It only becomes dangerous when those people who have sex do it under unsafe conditions and don't practice safer sex.

I wouldn't buy sex myself. However, sex is a part of who we are as humans. We breathe, we eat, we need to sleep and we sometimes have sex. Therefore, why should buying sex from a sex worker be regarded as any more "immoral" than your supermarket selling you food, or your hotel selling you a place to sleep? 

In fact, if I used the Canadian government's logic, maybe the selling of food and accommodation could be regarded as an "immoral” act too? Indeed, there are many homeless people living on our streets as a result of what many Canadians might regard as immoral restriction of access to food and shelter based on who can afford it. What about those standards of “morality”?

Why doesn’t the Trudeau government also recognize the immorality of people having to live on the streets during our cold winters, often having to search garbage cans for food, while it spends $4.5B to buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline?

How many Canadian lives would have been saved by diverting some of that money into universal income strategy or other needed programmes in our public healthcare system?

Indeed, the Trudeau government has done many arguably “immoral” things. Its current hypocrisy and implicit oppression against sex workers and sex work in general can be added to the list of these immoralities.

Now, I wouldn't go to an escort company for sex. However, why should escorts—from those in Canada to those escorts in London, for example—be regarded as any more "immoral" than other businesses that offer services which are not inherently dangerous?

In a legalized environment, we as Canadians can ensure that the running of escort businesses is done in an environment where rights are protected and laws abided by, like the pot trade that Canada seeks to facilitate. The buying of sex should be no more illegal that the buying of pot or therapeutic services that seek to improve health associated with mind, body and spirit.

It's apparent that when Justin Trudeau sought to pass legislation to legalize marijuana, it was done because he doesn't view the consumption of marijuana to be an immoral act. But many Canadians do consider the consumption of marijuana to be immoral. What about their “morality”? However, it's apparent that Mr. Trudeau does view sex work  to be immoral, and has sought to champion continued efforts to oppress what is referred to by his and other governments as "prostitution".

It is apparent that the word "prostitution" is used to demonize both sex work and sexuality in general, and its use in this context is a subtle way to brainwash people into conjuring up images of criminality.

No leader in a democracy like Canadaought to make political decisions that are simply reflections of their own personal morality, as Justin Trudeau has done by supporting the legalization of marijuana on the one hand and, on the other, the continued oppression of sex work.

In a democracy, government must provide an open legal context for the expression of personal morality that is consensual and respectful.

It was a much wiser former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, father of the current prime minister, who said during the late 1960s, when he had presided over the decriminalization of homosexuality, that "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation."

Similarly, there ought to be 'no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation' when it comes to sex work.

The legalization of sex work in Canada would not only create a safer environment for the women and men who have been involved in sex work, it would also remove the culture of crime that pervades the current practice of sex work on the street for reasons similar to those the Justin Trudeau government used to get crime out of the pot trade.

The federal government needs to stop demonizing sex through the morality of organized religion and stop practicising duplicity in its legalization of marijuana.

Not even Nazi Germany under its totalitarian regime could get rid of sex work because the Nazis from time to time also shared the human need for sex and would partake in the sex work industry.

Therefore, the Canadian legislative course promises to fare no better in its misguided approach, which have nothing to do with protecting women and everything to do with the efforts of an elite clique to impose a religiously-based fascist construct of “morality” that has no place in a democracy like Canada.

The sale of sex is already part of our culture, seen in everything from corporate advertising to the relationships we cultivate, "marriages of temporary convenience" which are leading to more and more divorces.

Sex work needs to be taken out of the hands of the police and made into a human relations issue, as has been practiced in certain progressive parts of Europe like the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

Sex is a part of who we are as humans, and some of us may need to buy it in a similar way as we buy our food or rent a house or apartment.

It is in our interest as a society that those people who need sex and have no other recourse than to purchase it, due to a lack of interpersonal skills or being otherwise unable to access sex for some reason, do it in an environment which is safe for them and doesn't spread STDs to other individuals and communities.

Those people who offer sex on a commercial basis should also have the right to do so in a safe environment that does not pose a danger to them.

I once saw an interesting documentary about men who suffer from profound physical disabilities and are systematically ignored by ladies. In a legalized context for sex work, these men were able to procure sex in a safe and supportive environment both for them and the willing sex worker.

In a legalized context, sex workers who are currently in Canada as a result of human trafficking or Canadians who have been kidnapped into the sex trade will be able to freely report the infringement of their rights without fear of reprisal for having been involved in “illegal prostitution”.

In an environment where sex work is legalized, women and men could openly create and operate businesses discreetly and off-the-street rather than engaging in current "street prostitution" which undermines communities through a culture of drugs and crime, not because sex work is "bad" but because of anti-sex-work laws based around a fascistic morality. Such a prevailing context of oppression has no place in a constitutional democratic society which embraces a context of freedom and social justice for all, and which recognizes that different views of morality can co-exist, which involve consenting adults.

Our communities would all become much safer places if the sex work that is practiced in the bedrooms of the nations and within legally operating and regulated businesses were legalized with the objective to take the practice of sex work out of the dark alleys and away from criminal elements.