(That's a sarcastic title, hope it came off that way)
There's a killer on the streets of the nation's capital. Way back in December, Ottawa police chief Vern White did prostituted women a real solid and tipped them off to what they already knew. There is an escalating pattern of violence against prostituted women in Ottawa. The number of not surprisingly unsolved murders of prostituted women in the last few years has risen sharply. Don't believe me? Let me put some humanity on this issue for you, then.
Kelly Morrisseau was found dead in a parking lot near Gatineau Park in 2006. The body of Jennifer Stewart was discovered at a Vanier parking lot on 120 Alice Street in August, 2010. And most recently, Leeann Lawson was found in September this year in a Lower Town parking lot.
See? Real people, with real names and real faces that had real stories and real lives. Now they're gone. So, it's nice to hear that the police stepped in and asked that prostituted women report their "bad dates" (OPP's words, not mine) and make use of all the resources this great land makes available to them.
Fast forward to today. Nobody's been apprehended for any of the murders. The streets are still increasingly unsafe for prostituted women. The police are still making it seem like there's only one bad dude out there killing these women. As if to say "Oh shit, don't worry ladies, once we get this clown, everything'll be hunky-dory and back to normal!"
But, none of that REALLY helps these women on the streets. They're out there because for all the talk of increased police patrols, the option to report "bad dates" and occasional access to support workers, there are no fucking exit programs. These women are being killed because they're on the streets, both literally and figuratively. The legalization of prostitution would not save these women. Getting them indoors, into legally run brothels, even with panic buttons and the like would not save their lives. I've said it before: No one has ever been beaten or raped or murdered by a street.
These poor, frightened, vulnerable women don't want to be out there. This isn't a fucking lifestyle choice anyone ever wants to make and I'm so fucking sick of that argument. I haven't exactly done a study, but I'll bet the fucking farm that 110% of young girls don't dream about becoming a stripper or a prostitute when they grow up. Childhood sexual abuse, abduction, poverty, addictions, SOCIETY... they make the choice for these women. And men, with their constant demand ensure that choice will always be there. Men and patriarchal society make it so damn easy for women to have no choice but to turn to this lifestyle of abuse (when they're not forcing women into it themselves), just like they make it so fucking hard for anyone to ever leave. It's a trap, and dudes know it, even if they won't admit it.
Making it seem like only one "bad" john is out there is so fucking ridiculous. Quick tip: if you're a john, and that means if you've purchased a woman, ever, on the street, at a massage parlor, in a strip club, via the internet, on DVD, in a magazine, what the fuck ever; you are a bad fucking person. You are capable of despicable, heinous violence because you've already taught yourself how to turn a human being into a meaningless commodity. Johns are killers. The act of purchasing a woman hurts her, harms her, kills her, over and over again in a way that no man can fully understand. Anyone who engages in the degrading and purchasing of human lives is a dangerous individual.
Getting one rough dude off the streets won't save prostituted women. Legalizing prostitution won't save prostituted women. Criminalizing the johns would certainly help, but it's only the first step. The demand has to cease. Or something else has got to change, drastically. While I don't think female separatism is a bad idea, I don't think dudes would be very down with it, and would probably try their damnedest to wreck any happy lady-only communes that sprung up. But, something's got to give. Women are in constant danger, and none more so than prostituted women. People need to start thinking about how to save the lives of these many human beings, not about getting their goddamn rocks off.