The Street Hookers of Toronto
I promote professional
consenting adult PRIVATE legal sexwork...Not street hookers
Here is why - Discussions say it best
July 2004 Update - See National Post Article Toward a humane prostitution law
Between Dave in Phoenix and a street hooker advocate in Toronto that seeks to decriminalize street hookers not just private sexworkers.
>who says it is citizens' right to not have street hookers in their faces in
The citizens who elect the people who make the laws.
Including in Toronto:
On June 26, 1995 Toronto city council took a bold step forward when they voted 10-7 in favor of recommending that the Ministry of Justice decriminalize adult prostitution. But it required bylaws to protect citizens from having street hookers in their neighborhoods by requiring them to work in zones of tolerance and it was suggested fining prostitutes $5,000 for working outside the area. The current maximum federal fine for soliciting is $2,000. The issue died since the bylaw would have more penalties than the Canadian Criminal Code. But that was the ONLY way Toronto would decriminalize adult prostitution - by making sure street hookers were only in zones of tolerance by steep fines.
Street prostitution is estimated to constitute only 20% of all prostitution activity (and as low as 5% in winter in Toronto). Public opinion polls conducted by the Fraser Commission on Pornography and Street Prostitution found that while 45% of Canadians found "prostitution in private" acceptable, only 11% are prepared to tolerate street prostitution.
In 2000 this reflects the frustration of Toronto Citizens:
TORONTO — Residents of Toronto's Parkdale area are fighting mad and fighting back.They're angry about prostitution in their neighborhood and they've gone on the Internet to combat it, setting up a website to post vehicle license plates of suspected Johns. A similar initiative was launched in Cabbagetown six weeks ago and residents there say it has been a success.
"Our goal is to keep the prostitutes out via the Johns. Our message to the Johns is if you're looking for prostitutes don't come to our area because if you do your licence plate could be recorded," said Lance Lockwood.
Toronto City councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski strongly supports the website initiative.He said the residents of Parkdale, "feel very strongly about it and they've taken some action. We've been able to reduce the number of prostitutes in our community but there are still a few around."
In Phoenix with the huge uproar about the bust of private sexworkers newspaper opinion pages, boards and editorials are mostly saying the same thing... for example:
"I don't have a problem with putting a stop to prostitution on the streets. Who wants prostitutes soliciting themselves in front of homes, businesses or in front of schools?? But as far as prostitutes operating out of their own homes....How does it endanger anyone else"?
We have an surprising huge backlash against the bust of private sexworkers. But hardly anyone supports street hookers. You may not think its right but that is the fact and no decriminalization law would have a chance of passing if it allowed street hookers other than in special zones, which is unlikely in most U.S. cities.
> Dave. And one wonders why
> you feel so strongly since you've admitted in previous posts that you do not
> have street prostitution in your neighbourhood.
Because I strongly support a women's right to choose prostitution and it can be a valuable asset to a culture. In Canada you are so much better off than in the U.S. where all forms of sexwork are illegal. You have minor issues with bawdy with public support for modifying the current law and have virtually no enforcement unless related to children, drugs, illegals or neighborhood complaints.
In the U.S. a private outcall sexworker, which is totally legal in Canada and most of the world, faces prison for providing sexual services.
In the U.S. we have public tolerance for private sexwork as well as a favorable Supreme Court Decision on gay rights in private which many believe could also apply to private sexwork.
Just as in Canada, there is almost NO tolerance for street hookers. We have a Golden Opportunity to educate and perhaps get laws changed for private consenting adult sexwork. If you insist on including street hookers any such steps are doomed to failure since there is no public support for decriminalizing of street hookers in the U.S. any more than there is in Canada.
On Canbest Discussion Board, Dave in Phoenix said:
I respect the rights of those living in neighborhoods, not just you imposing your choice over others insisting in using street hookers for your own selfishness especially in Toronto where there are so many private options instead of on the streets where its not wanted.
I highly support in private sexwork of consenting adults, but I am very much against "in your face" public solicitation or worse on public streets, unless like in parts of Europe and Australia there are separate zones set up for the purpose of being a safe place for both "john" and "hooker" to meet, without being in any neighborhood to offend others.
Many neighborhoods report condoms left in yards and streets and often drug needles or worse since most street hookers are desperate women usually needing money for another hit.
Sexwork should be an honorable private profession, not on the streets, not working for a pimp, or out of desperation for drugs and associated with "real" crime.
And the street scene is all most people think of when they hear "prostitution" which is why it has such a negative connotation to most and few would support doing away with bawdy laws if all they think about is the drugged out street hooker they connect sexwork with.
Someone said it better than I:
I find that the negatives of street prostitution outweigh the positives and I choose to no longer engage in it, for practical reasons and out of consideration for those who have to live in those areas where the rest of us are just passing through. Another negative we should all consider is the very bad PR it gives the whole industry/hobby as a whole. If there's any one aspect that's slowing down legalization, I'd say the street scene is it.
Should it remain illegal, even if incall, outcall (outcall already is fully legal in Canada) and MP's are legalized? I think so. Either that or establish zones for it like Dave in Phoenix mentioned.
Does that mean I think streetwalkers (or their johns) should be thrown into prison? Not necessarily. You yourself implied that ticketing them might be acceptable, which of course would mean that it would still be illegal. That might not be a bad idea, but we both know the end result would be the same. A strung-out "crack whore" is never going to mail in the fine or go to traffic/streetwalker court, so of course her ticket will go to warrant, and just like those who ignore their traffic tickets, next time the cops stop her, off to the pokey she goes.
The thing to consider here is this: Her problem is not her
job or going to jail. Her problem is her drug habit and lifestyle in general,
which are going to be there no matter how she makes her money. Desperate people
will do what they feel they have to in order to survive, but that doesn't mean
they should be free to do so at the expense of other people. And frankly, I feel
that the quality-of-life impact they have on the neighborhood should not have to
be tolerated by its residents.
I'd like to say that I resent even considering that the Providers that I've seen are remotely connected to what we are calling todays typical streetwalker. Those providers are all warm, sensitive, and compasionate ladies, and I love them all.
The streetwalker is a thing of the past. They need to evolve along with the rest of society or they need to go the way of the dinosaur. Todays streetwalker is a haven for, women abusing pimps, drug dealers, unprotected sex, thieves, you name it, and you'll find it around the area of a streetwalker. It may not be their fault but then again they can't control it, thus they can't eliminate it. That is why it needs to be outlawed.
Response By JB on Saturday, February
17, 2001 - 03:13 am:
Further to Dave's post and on the subject of whether it is good idea to partake in Street Action:
The prostitutes typically seen on the streets of Toronto are merely the tip of a very dangerous and destructive drug-trade iceberg.
Obviously, working the streets is not a preferred means of making a living. The rates are much lower than in/outcall service and the women must put themselves at risk of arrest by being "out-there" in plain view and even more at risk when they get into the car of a stranger who may be psychotic.
So why do they do it? The answer, as most of us already know, is that most of these women have severe drug addictions which force them to seek out any money they can as quickly as possible.
The drug lifestyle also makes it difficult for many of these women to keep a place of their own, be reliable in making appointments, or even practice personal hygiene; other reasons why they can't use safer and more profitable means of making their living as prostitutes.
The $40 (for example) that you may pay for a blow job in your car will, within minutes of dropping the girl off, probably be traded for a few pieces of crack that are consumed in even fewer minutes. As soon as this is gone, the addict needs to score more cash to get some more rock. The cycle can continue for days until she finally collapses; when she wakes up, it starts all over again.
As outsiders to this lifestyle driving along in the city, all we see are women standing on the street. What we may not see (just in the background) are all the front-line drug dealers and their suppliers, and so on.
Many dealers make a practice of recruiting vulnerable women and hooking them on drugs because they know the girls will have no choice but to hit the streets to feed their habit. This creates a captive market for the dealers' product.
When 'Johns' pick up these girls, they are not only putting money right into the hands of crack and heroin dealers but they are also encouraging the dealers to actively create more addicts by reaffirming the process as profitable.
This whole dynamic is what makes most street prostitution in Toronto a very different issue than escorts or MPs.
Street prostitution should be discouraged and outlawed: not because sex-for-money is wrong, but because this industry helps support and increase the drug problem in the city and it helps ruin the lives of the girls who are the victims.
I happen to believe that a sex-for-money transaction between truly consenting adults is acceptable and should be legal. It's part of that whole mind-set that goes with the statement that "the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation."
However, this statement only applies when no one is being hurt or exploited.
It's impossible to classify most of these girls as consenting adults (even those who are over 18) because their addiction has taken away their ability to make an objective choice or give their consent in a meaningful way.
I know that street prostitution is not the only cause of Toronto's drug problems and that if we could stop it, the drug trade would still exist. However, it is a big part of the problem and anyone who engages in it is contributing to the potentially deadly addiction of another human being.
Aside from this issue, I also think that the danger to the customer from disease, arrest, and a potentially violent addict prostitute, far outweighs the benefits of a cheap sexual gratification.
So you see, it's in the best interest of both the hooker and the John for street prostitution to go away.
Now this is meant to be an open forum and I certainly would respect anyone that wishes to post alternate opinions. I ask, however, that (if you chose to take issue with this post), you address the points I have made and not engage in name calling or random abuse.
Thank you for reading.
Dave in Phoenix adds: Even if the street girl isn't on
drugs it is disrespectful to the residents in the neighborhood. Further,
with it so easy for a girl to get a job as a dancer, adult massage parlor girl
or ran an ad for legal outcall, it seems to me the only reason to be on the
streets is if you have been fired from legitimate places, are too immature to
show up for work or make outcall appointment, or too drugged out to do so.
I see no reason any women who I would want to be near should be on the streets
and making a nuisance of herself in a neighborhood where she is unwanted and
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