Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon, upon setting foot on the lunar surface said; “That’s one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.”  History need not be made in full strides nor is history always magnificent.  Sometimes mankind makes small shuffling half-steps that continue a chronicle of  miserable exploitation and injustice.

Canada’s Bill C-36  which is based on the Nordic Model approach to  the ‘sex trade’  is an example of a ‘half step’ to a continuation of misery.

Some, like Meghan Murphy,  champion Bill C-36;

This law constitutes an enormous step in working towards gender equality in Canada. By criminalizing the pimps and johns, the new legislation directly targets male power and male violence against women. . . . By criminalizing the exploiters and perpetrators of violence, and by decriminalizing those who must resort to selling sex (which continues to be primarily women), we challenge men’s sense of entitlement to female bodies and an institutionalized misogyny that turns women and girls into commodities.

Bill C-36 passes senate, receives Royal Assent, will become law in 30 days BY MEGHAN MURPHY, NOVEMBER 6, 2014, rabble.ca

Setting aside the feminist rhetoric and looking at the issue of prostitution from a common sense perspective we can ask; How can one-sided injustice be remedied by ignoring the supply side and focusing on the demand side? Buying sex is wrong and being in a situation where you have to ‘resort to selling sex’ is wrong.  Is the buying of sex  a greater evil than being forced to sell sex? Common sense should tell you that choosing the lessor of two evils – still leaves you with evil.  Also one wrong can’t be cancelled out with another wrong.  Bill C-36 is a half step away from decriminalizing prostitution in Canada and even if this is a half step it is just a smaller step in the wrong direction.

Chris Hedges in his article; The Whoredom of the Left, makes a compelling argument that any step, even a half step, to legalizing prostitution will yield the very results all seek to redress;

If we accept prostitution as legal, as Germany has done, as permissible in a civil society, we will take one more collective step toward the global plantation being built by the powerful. The fight against prostitution is the fight against a dehumanizing neoliberalism that begins, but will not end, with the subjugation of impoverished girls and women.

The Whoredom of the Left, truthdig, Posted on Mar 8, 2015

Chris Hedges compares the results of two legislative models dealing with prostitution – one for full  and the other for partial legalization;

Sweden in 1999 criminalized the purchasing of sex. Norway and Iceland have done the same. The two responses—the German model and the so-called Nordic model—have had dramatically different effects. The German and Dutch approach normalizes and expands human trafficking and prostitution. The Nordic approach contains it. Sweden has cut street prostitution by half and freed many women from sexual slavery.

What about the remaining half of the women who are still in some form of sexual wage slavery?  The actual results of Nordic model type legislation is still terrible exploitation and suffering.  Chris Hedges cites many stark realities of ‘normalized’ prostitution.

“Third World women are used in the developed world for domestic labor, the care of the old and the undisciplined sexuality of the men,” Lakeman said. “Our liberty as women cannot rest on this deal.”

Many indigenous women on the streets in the Downtown Eastside have been severely beaten, tortured or murdered or have disappeared. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in May 2014 issued a report that said that 1,017 indigenous women and girls in Canada were murdered between 1980 and 2012, a figure aboriginal women’s groups contend is too conservative. As prostitution and pornography become normalized, so does male violence against women.

“When some women are bought and sold,” said Hilla Kerner, an Israeli who has worked at the shelter for 10 years, “all women can be bought and sold. When some women are objectified, all women are objectified.”

What are the root causes of sexual exploitation (or any exploitation)?

For Chris Hedges the root cause is capitalism gone pathological and  out of control;

Prostitution is the quintessential expression of global capitalism. Our corporate masters are pimps. We are all being debased and degraded, rendered impoverished and powerless, to service the cruel and lascivious demands of the corporate elite. And when they tire of us, or when we are no longer of use, we are discarded as human refuse.

As a simple vegetable gardener I know some roots run deep.  Toxic capitalism may be the root but where does it get its nourishment from – what draws the root ever deeper into the dark?  What dark subterranean sludge draws societies and individuals to sink roots deep into its embrace?  I believe it is a cavernous selfishness and indifference to others that the Bible describes.  I call it the spirit of Cain which led to the first murder recorded in Scriptures;

So the Lord said to Cain,”Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Now Cain talked with Abel his brother and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:6-9)

Am I my brother’s keeper?  Am I my sister’s keeper?  What about you?

How can we even ask?

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