Every day I am reminded of the issue of prostitution as I drive to and from work. I see women and girls selling themselves on the corners of my neighbourhood. I see the johns cruising and sometimes stopping to pick a girl up, or drop one off. I have even seen prostitutes who are pregnant getting picked up.
I myself was a severe sex addict. I even went so far as to prostitute myself and that experience was so degrading I never did it again. Yet, I knew the desperation of wanting to know love and to be known by someone else.
We live in a highly sex-driven culture. There is something wrong when we begin to validate sex as just an act. To say that sex is just sex goes contrary to how our bodies react to sex and how it impacts our emotions, our thoughts and our sense of being. We can glorify it by saying women and men have the choice to sell themselves but it is just that, selling themselves means to give a part of themselves away each and every time, until, they walk away feeling used up, broken, discarded and old beyond their years.
This issue is important and Joy Smith is doing amazing work.
Re: the editorial Ms. Smith's crusade misguided (Dec. 8). The ugly truth is that the numbers of women who engage in prostitution for fun and profit cannot begin to meet the demand for paid sex workers. There is a reason why human trafficking for the sex trade is expanding rapidly and will soon surpass the trade in small arms and drugs as the most lucrative criminal enterprise worldwide.
The notion that since some women choose of their own free will to work in prostitution, the trade should not be illegal is paternalistic, degrading nonsense. The notion that some women have decided to capitalize on their "sexual power" is not just stunning, but an indicator of our ingrained refusal to accept that prostitution is a vicious trade enslaving girls and women.
Nine days ago, Winnipeg prostitute Leanne Freeman, 23, was found shot and left to die in the middle of a street in Toronto. Leaving her body in the middle of the street is a trademark of criminals sending a message to other women in their bondage. The sex trade in Canada has brutal and deadly components that we ignore through deliberate and studious avoidance of reality.