Why the Image of the Sex Worker is So Often Taboo

A difficult question. Taboos of all types are very uneven. Some people condemn birth control. Some people condemn pre-marital sex. Some people condemn anonymous sex. Some people condemn cross-dressing. Some people condemn homosexual encounters. Some people condemn bondage and consensual and safe torture. They may see these things as degrading. They may see taking money for doing these things as degrading. The current laws leave matters confused. Prostitution is legal, but there is no clear definition of what it is. Public policy and the laws around prostitution were themselves ruled unconstitutional by the judge and we will soon hear from the appeal court on the matter, or will have heard from them by the time you are reading this. However society’s perception, whatever that is, will not be changed by the court’s ruling. When Parliament gets involved the real issues will emerge. It will be like the internet monitoring and minimum sentence bills. There will be blowback from the people and the judges and the discussions the government is desperate to avoid will begin in a big way. Meanwhile, people in private will continue to do what they want because they want to be free. That is what this country stands for and Mr. Harper will once again have to take a stand against freedoms if he wants to take a stand against prostitution. The media and public will pick up on that and it will be historic.

Terri-Jean Bedford

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