Wednesday, January 18, 2006

License to Pimp.

As the oldest profession in the world, prostitution will always be with us. In response to public disquiet about prostitutes openly soliciting in residential areas, the Government has introduced legislation allowing two prostitutes to operate from one premises.

This is tantamount to allowing mini brothels. The logic behind this decision is that prostitutes will be able to operate out of public view, and they will also be safer. The inherent danger of violence, or even murder, faced by prostitutes walking the streets has been recognised for years.

The only problem with this legislation is that it assumes that prostitutes will operate independently. The more likely outcome is that pimps will seize the opportunity to establish chains of these mini brothels, hiding their criminality behind a fa├žade of legality. How many east European prostitutes, I wonder, will end up in servitude and bondage as a result?

Edinburgh has effectively had full scale licensed brothels for years. They operate as saunas and are effectively invisible. They are regulated and inspected on a regular basis. I suppose it’s typical of Presbyterian Scotland to conceal what is distasteful from view. Even so, I think it’s a more sensible solution. Nobody has to tolerate prostitutes plying their trade on their doorstep, and the women are in a safe environment.

We can’t legislate away immorality; but at least we can ensure that it isn’t on flagrant display, and protect the women – often as a result of poverty and drug addiction – who are drawn into prostitution.


Sniffy said...

Everybody knows what a massage parlour is, you can tell by their ads in the personals. You're right in that massage parlours and saunas have acted as a front for brothels for years. I suppose the government wants to create yet another peace of legislation to make it look like it is tackling the problem.

I'm sure Tony Blair's mantra is "I have legislated, therefore the problem is solved."

I'm sure there are better ways to ensure the women are not being exploited and are receiving proper medical attention.

garfer said...

It's just another half arsed measure.

Look like you're tackling a problem and people will assume that you are.

garfer said...

And a loyalty bonus (whatever that might be).

S.I.D. said...

And here's me thinking a brothel was a saucepan for soup.

Wonder if they will go like Tesco's?

Finest range and Valu pack.

With points?

S.I.D. said...

You clairvoyant garfer?

garfer said...

No, just quick on the uptake.

Faltanus said...

gay men have "saunas" too. in the US we call them bath houses. of course they work a little differently. for a nominal entrance fee you go in and have all the sex you want with other paying customers, not "employees" of the sauna. so it's not prostitution, it's a way of keeping anonymous sex out parks, alley ways, etc. essentially out of the view of the public.

Kyahgirl said...

Life expectancy of a prostitute on the streets here is about 4 years.

You're right, its not going to go away, and, while it may be marginally safer to get it off the street, how do you really get rid of the exploiters?

There are desparate people everywhere and others who will take advantage. There was recently a scandal uncovered where Canadian businessmen were bringing in women from eastern Europe and supposedly helping them immigrate to a secure job. In reality they were just brining them in as sex trade workers, with no rights, no recourse, and no freedom. This is pretty common. (Just in case you think that Canada doesn't have its fair share of scum).

MHN for short said...

Dang, Garfer...
It's scary how close we are on morality issues. I concur.

Rowan said...

I hear ya, there will always be prostitutes whether we legalize it or not. I wish we could monitor them, mandatory std testing, and have them taxed (as a casino, bar or any other fun establishment might be) however, I also believe advertising for these places should be illegal, akin to smokes.