I don’t know if you noticed – or much less care – but Canada just enacted a new law outlining the illegalities associated with prostitution. The dubious premise of this law is that it is not illegal to prostitute oneself; but it is illegal to offer to purchase the product. Now, if you are trying to make sense of this law, good luck with that.
Now let me get this straight. Here is a woman who makes her living selling sex, but she is the ‘victim.’ The ‘john,’ on the other hand, who makes his living as a bank-teller or auto mechanic and who accepts an offer from a ‘woman who makes her living selling sex’; well, he goes to jail. OK. I’ve got it. I guess.
How this new law squares with the commonly accepted legal provisions of ‘entrapment,’ I have no idea.
So, how might this work? Perhaps, you are a tourist walking down the street in Vancouver, BC doing a little shopping or planning to stop off somewhere for a spot of tea and a crumpet. Mind you, I didn’t say strumpet, I said crumpet – which is entirely innocent and can be quite tasty.
As you stroll along, a young, attractive woman approaches you and says she is selling sex for money – or she might even be holding a sign that says she is selling sex for money. Now, up until that point, a roll in the hay was not something you had considered (not sure if they have hay in Vancouver, but you get the idea). However, you, in a joking sort of way, not meaning to be rude, respond with, “How much will it cost me?” Mistake! Coincidentally, a shopkeeper overhears the conversation and summons the police. Very shortly, you find yourself at the local jail. Whereupon, with typical Canadian civility, before locking you in a cell, the jail staff allows you to call your wife who is taking a nap at the local Sheraton. She, the wife, is not happy about your confused and feeble explanation.
This got me thinking about other laws that the Canadian authorities should consider enacting. How about these:
- It’s not against the law to sell illegal drugs; but it is against the law to purchase them. Justification: Many ‘dealers’ come from broken homes, hardscrabble lives, and might (in some cases) be minorities – therefore victims in their own right.
- It’s not against the law to sell stolen property, but it is against the law to buy it.
I can think of other possible scenarios, but I will leave it at that. I just wanted to say to the Canadian legislators who enacted this prostitution law: ‘Thanks for giving me a good laugh.’