Monday, 11 July 2011

Okay, What The Fuck....

Alright. I'm back. Nevermind where I was, or what I was doing, it's not important. Let's just be glad that the royals are gone and we can get back to our lives now. There's lots to talk about. Let's start with this goddamn travesty. Here we are, ever on the cusp of legalizing the action of men purchasing women with no consequence to themselves, and some group in Halifax comes out with an ad campaign reminding us that prostitutes are people, too? This group, Stepping Stone Nova Scotia, is a non-profit organization providing services and shelter to prostituted women... just not exit strategies. Because sex work is just work after all, only a little more dangerous. So they do the nice things, like giving condoms to prostitutes, giving them the odd check up if their pimp lets them have the morning off and promoting propaganda such as the one about most women prostituting themselves independently, from the "myth versus reality" section of their website. The website also features black and white photos of women who are not prostitutes, but airbrushed models who will more than likely be prostitutes one day, due to how the fashion/modelling industry chews up and spits out the young women that don't die from modelling first. But I'm getting away from the issue here.

Prostitutes are mothers/daughters/sisters/aunts/nieces too. Well, no shit. So, would you want your mother/sister/daughter/aunt/niece out there, "servicing" however many men a night, even if she did choose that life for herself (which remember, happens only so rarely, it's not worth counting)? Of course not. But putting up these little posters which are supposed to remind johns that while they're raping these women they probably shouldn't beat the hell out of them or kill them, because they might have families, is doomed to failure right from the start. If a man is capable of purchasing a womans' body for use, he has already ceased to see that woman, indeed all women as human type people. The fact that this thing he has purchased may have relations to other similar things, or to other men even, matters not to the john. The john knows what he wants, and what the john wants is all the john cares about. To surmise, I think aiming PSA's at people who are already at the level of inhumanity that they can purchase women is about as effective as patching the hole in the ozone layer with saran wrap.

The article even acknowledges that serial rapists/murderers often target prostitutes because they are looked down upon by society and often go unmissed. But rather than, oh I dunno, trying to come up with exit strategies and getting these women off the streets, the easier route is to put up posters asking johns to exercise their humanity when dealing with prostitutes. The message is stated with all the gusto of a "Be Kind, Please Rewind" sticker on an old VHS tape, showing that even the outreach programs could give a damn about getting these women off the streets. Stepping Stone Nova Scotia thinks prostitution is honest work, using the tired "world's oldest profession" line once again. I'm so fucking sick of hearing that garbage. Prostitution is NOT the world's oldest profession. Slave trader, however, might be, or as they're called these days, pimps.

It's not that I think the idea of viewing prostituted women as humans is a crappy idea, I just can't believe that we need a PSA to tell some of us that. And that the people putting these posters up supposedly talk to these women all day long. They really have no idea how shitty the life is? They really think they're doing anyone any good by letting women stay on the street? They really think anyone would stay on the street if they had just One. Other. Viable. Fucking. Option? There should be groups vying to provide these other viable options to women. Telling johns to see their victims as people does not an exit strategy make.

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