(Continued from here)
I find it significant that Thursday's unitary anti-poverty demonstration -
organized by a number of Quebec labour & community organizations - will
be crossing Montreal's traditional red-light district, where so many women impoverished by the Great Depression had to come seek means of survival - at the cost of their dignity, their health and of justice - since rich males and the tourist trade were allowed to buy their sexuality.
seventy-five years later, as "agency" pimps again enjoy total immunity - in
blatant disregard of the law -, is it only novelists such as Francine Noël
and Michel Tremblay who dare recall this long appropriation of Quebec women
by a rapacious industry, which some would paint as a tool of liberation?
By claiming the right to a decent income, the right to
health, the right to housing and the right to justice, Thursday's
demonstrators will be challenging a system that enshrines one of men's
sexual privileges by denying each of these rights to the most dispossessed
of women: runaways and homeless, indigenous, racialized women, pressured
into drug abuse and
sacrificed to chronic illness.
More and more of us
are convinced that a world without prostitution is possible and that it will
become a reality when our political parties are no longer allowed to protect
This is the decision taken last week, on November 20,
by the Norwegian Parliament. Following Sweden's example, buying the
sexuality of women and youths will no longer be a prerogative of Norwegian
men, either at home or abroad, starting this January.
Just who is
keeping us from instituting similar reforms here?