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Marc My Words...


Marc My Words.

From Marc Alexander MP

United Future NZ-Christchurch Supplement

The Prostitution Reform Bill passed the second reading in Parliament last Wednesday by the slimmest of margins (56 to 62). Those who believe that prostitutes are free agents exercising their right to sell their bodies in a transaction not that much different from any other commodity, couldn't be more wrong. They have, I believe, only a small respite before sense, common and otherwise, returns to defeat their ethically bankrupt thinking. This Bill deserves the contempt of all those who truly value the place of women.

If the Bill eventually passes, one of the consequences which supporters must accept is that the job market will widen for women. They will be able to choose between 'Prime Minister' and 'prostitute' as role models. And for what?

In 2001, of the 8,000 prostitutes scattered throughout our country, there were only three convictions for living off the earnings of prostitution, five convictions for 'brothel keeping', and 19 convictions for soliciting. The industry can hardly be said to have been targeted by the Police.

Supporters claim the Bill will stop child prostitution. it's already illegal! Decriminalising the sex trade for those over 18 will do for underage prostitutes what lowering the drinking age has done for underage drinkers.

And just how are we expected to restrict the proliferation of brothels with this proposed law change? The rampant drug usage within the industry will surely have more locations to operate from. Or will this be a first step to the decriminalisation of drugs?

Prostitution is a degradation and, in most cases, a violence against women. While some reform is clearly desirable to help as many women as possible opt out of the sex industry, this Bill is not the answer. And that's because what society makes un-punishable by law, society inevitably makes 'acceptable'.

The women of New Zealand did not become the first to demand their right to vote only to vote themselves into a lessening of their true worth and value, by normalising their status as sex-objects.

How did we get to such a ridiculous state where valiant women fought for the right to stand on their feet, only to be given the right to be on their backs!

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