After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

The Conservatives don't have this one

 I had a hard time sleeping last night thinking about the possibility of sex workers being free to work, without the fear of arrest, abuse and serial killers.  I was tossing and turning from feeling as though my right to a free and happy life had been somehow trampled on.  The definition of work does not include selling sex.  Sure I don’t actively support the abuse of these women and men but that’s the risk they’re taking by trying to sell their bodies. 


I’m actually having a hard time writing this satire, mostly from trying to channel the logic that people have when they support the criminalization and abuse of people who are engaging in consenting behaviour.  Are they worried about their kids getting addicted to buying sex from a sex worker instead of downloading porn?  Does it inhibit their ability to have an orgasm when they’re having consenting sex that doesn’t involve a cash transfer?  When they drive on Clark do they feel bad for that woman standing on the corner, say to their friend that they could never imagine themselves doing it and then “naturally” come to the conclusion that the only way to help them is to lock them up?


Lucky for us the Conservatives will be appealing the Ontario court decision to strike down the federal prostitution law because the moral compass, as we know it today, will be broken if we don’t make sure that we foster a culture that allows countless women to go missing without doing anything to find them.  I won’t be able to go to Starbucks to order a Venti Frappuccino without having ten women harassing me, trying to sell their bodies.  I’m also anticipating a 25% increase in divorce, as husbands will be too busy paying for the girlfriend experience that they’ll just leave their families.  I think my friend told me about a study that said that.


The more garbage I write down, the easier it seems to be to come up with more garbage.  Justice Susan Himel came to the obvious conclusion that current laws do not protect sex workers and unless you’ve never heard of Robert Pickton then I don’t know how you can you conclude anything else.  The Justice Minister, Rob Nicholson says that it’s the federal government who gets to decide how to protect sex workers but apparently he’s never heard of Robert Pickton either. 


I urge everyone who’s reading this to contact Rob Nicholson and include a link or two about this Robert Pickton fellow and the zany case of how he got away with murder for so long.  Not that we owe anything to all of the women and men, and their families, who have been abused or murdered while selling sex because the Conservatives and the Liberals have been doing a great job protecting them in their workplace.

More in The Gender Files

Ghosts of Violence Ballet Comes to Vancouver

The Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada is bringing its Ghosts of Violence ballet to Vancouver in early December.

Designer Lisa Bohn shares tips on success and on giving to community

Bring your sketchbook everywhere. Catalogue anything and everything that inspires you. Write down your ideas and never think that just because you are done school means you stop learning.

Book review: Feminism For Real

This year's must-read is Feminism for Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Copy of Feminism, edited by Jessica Yee, founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.