Buying sex, fine. Buying this bill, NO, June 16
Justice Minister Peter MacKay thinks I am a pervert. A Star columnist called me pathetic. And if the prostitution laws in Bill C-36 pass, I will also be a criminal.
Most of the criticism of Bill C-36 rightly points out that the bill endangers precisely those whom it purports to protect. Moreover, it flies in the face of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Bedford decision. However, I would like to address the issue from the rarely expressed point of view of the customer.
A ‘John’ states his case
I am a “john.” I am a client of prostitutes. The women I meet for sex are intelligent, independent women who voluntarily choose to have sex for money. They are not coerced into prostitution, they are not drug addicted and they are not pimped. Of course, this is not true for all prostitutes, but there are already laws protecting those that are coerced or abused, and such laws should be more vigorously enforced. However, many, including those I meet, freely choose to engage in prostitution.
An acquaintance with oodles of charm and Brad Pitt looks, considers seducing women a sport. He lies without compunction and frequently succeeds in his quest — usually with insecure women — without feeling any pangs of guilt.
A colleague repeatedly violates his marriage vows and the trust of his wife by engaging in a string of workplace affairs. A young woman I know openly admits that she married her older husband only because of his wealth.
I do not have the good looks or charm that these acquaintances do. I have not had the luck or self-confidence to find a conventional partner. Nor do I have the ability to act with a disregard for others in order to fulfil my needs. Instead, I have honest and forthright agreements in which I exchange money for sex with women who willingly participate.
But Mr. MacKay thinks I am the pervert.
Ian Wou, Toronto