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Marc My Words: How much is a woman worth?

Marc My Words.

How much is a woman worth?

The passage of the Prostitution Reform Bill this week was the lowest point in my year at Parliament. Rather than ennobling society it enshrines soliciting, running a brothel and pimping, as legitimate enterprises.

Brothels, as with other hospitality businesses, will be licensed, come under local bylaws and be operated by certified individuals without a serious criminal record. Gangs and organised crime will put stooges as front of house people while they count their cash in the back.

What is truly unpalatable is the lack of democracy involved in the passing of the Bill. There are 8,000 prostitutes in the country of which at the most, 5,000 wanted the law change. That's my best estimate based on the number of prostitutes who lobbied me and the split between those who wanted this Bill and those who didn't.

Add to the mix a strong rumour that at least a couple of the Members were told in no uncertain terms that, despite their personal convictions, they should consider voting for the Bill, or consider their careers to be heading nowhere fast.

The point is, should four million Kiwis have to accept a fundamental ethical shift in a law that sees prostitution, pimping and brothel keeping as legitimate, based on the perceived needs of about 5000 'sex-workers', and dubiously passed by a majority conscience vote of one?

What's worse is that responsibility will now be placed on Local Councils who will have to exercise bylaws to decide where brothels may operate and be accountable for the impact of location, parking and noise! The sad truth is that Councils do not want to be saddled with a problem not of their creation. Besides, legal opinion is that they couldn't ban brothels anyway, since they are now legal activities protected by our Bill of Rights!

As to the voting itself, I'm none too surprised that the pro-prostitution pro-cannabis anti-science and anti-family Greens voted en masse to support the Bill. It's clear that their concern for every twig and nematode in our flora and fauna far exceeds their lack of concern for the well being of people. Will they be giving up their weekends rolling whales back into the ocean to pick up the pieces of the increasing number of families who will be destroyed as their daughters take up employment at the local whorehouse?

While most Parties were somewhat fractured in their vote, except for United Future who consistently voted against the Bill (albeit for different reasons), and the aforementioned lime-coloured Luddites, one salient fact emerged; 57% of the male Parliamentarians voted against the Bill whereas nearly 70% of the female Parliamentarians supported the right of a woman to be traded as merchandise by a pimp.

Kate Sheppard would be turning in her grave.

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