Canadian prostitution bill C-36 a fusion of right and left lunacy

Jun 16, 2014
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The Supreme Court wanted something that would reduce harm to women. Peter MacKay’s Bill C-36 isn’t it. “C-36 is an act of regression” and “codifies paternalistic attitudes toward women,” says Rosie DiManno

Prostitution bill C-36 a fusion of right and left lunacy

Demonstrators in Toronto stage a protest Saturday against the Harper government’s proposed prostitution legislation.


Men who buy sex are neither “perverts”, as described by Justice Minister Peter MacKay, nor “pathetic,” as described by my usually astute Star columnist colleague Heather Mallick, oft- and self-professed feminist.

I’m a feminist, have always been a feminist, will forever remain a feminist, though no longer find it necessary to bleat and brandish that term as if firing off an F-word fusillade. It’s in my bones, my DNA, my O-positive blood type and every word I’ve ever committed to paper. What I’m most adamantly not is a feminist evangelical who will find concordance and compatibility with preachy prudes, whether the REAL Women subset of Stepford Wives or the do-gooder Agony Aunts pushing condoms and exit strategy, each end of the ideological spectrum stiff and unyielding and witheringly judgmental.

Where doctrinaire feminist meets evangelical moralist is a squishy, fetid place; the underbelly domain of male-on-female coercion and extortion where sex outside of conventional relationships always has a long slithery tail.

Lord save us from the unholy alliance of liberals and illiberals.

Why does sex — the arranging for it, the negotiating of it, the supply and demand economics that drive it — turn even clear-minded thinkers into starchy puritans?

I will not demean men who purchase sexual services as pathetic perverts, smugly assuming they’re either deviant — wanting sex doesn’t make a person creepy — or hapless losers incapable of striking up a “buy ya a drink?” conversation with a potential leg-over partner.

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