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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I've been seeing more and more of these posters around the city (Toronto), and I'm wondering, first of all if this is something that is actually happening, and secondly, if it does, what city will host this fine cultural community. Montreal seems like the most realistic option, considering you feel like you're already there walking down St. Catherine St.

Apparently there's an advocacy group on Facebook in support of it. Wonder if these guys will get any traction.

Facebook - The Red Light District
 

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Montreal does a good enough job getting all the money they can out of you without having sex with you, I can't see them benefiting any if they do get one.
 

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Not sure about the traction part. But maybe some friction?
 

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Montreal does a good enough job getting all the money they can out of you without having sex with you, I can't see them benefiting any if they do get one.
I've never heard any person or organization say "You know what, we make enough money - it's time to stop now."

This seems to be a controversial subject; nobody, so far, has offered their opinion on this one way or the other. What does everyone think about this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've never heard any person or organization say "You know what, we make enough money - it's time to stop now."

This seems to be a controversial subject; nobody, so far, has offered their opinion on this one way or the other. What does everyone think about this?
It definitely is a hot button issue. I'm surprised that people are so reserved when it comes to an opinion one way or another. I guess it's the Canadian way to be humbled by such a bold initiative! I personally think it would be great to centralize an area where people can SAFELY engage in what is otherwise considered dangerous and illegal.
 

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Without sounding too self serving, I think the idea of a governed red light district is a fine idea. Its based on moral issues, and if it properly run you'd not have health issues (see Holland (I think)). It's a victimless crime.
 

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Without sounding too self serving, I think the idea of a governed red light district is a fine idea. Its based on moral issues, and if it properly run you'd not have health issues (see Holland (I think)). It's a victimless crime.
Ask the wives of the Johns if they think it is a "victimless crime". :rolleyes:
 

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True, but it still doesn't make it victimless is all I was saying.
Well, it may not be victimless (I'm sure single people would patronize such places too), but it wouldn't be a crime. It also solves a lot of issues:
- health risks mitigated - customers would not catch STDs and pass them on to others
- no pimps exploiting prostitutes
- eliminates demand for kidnapping or forcing (through drug dependency, violence, etc.) women to become prostitutes
- eliminates street prostitution, greatly reducing opportunities for pimps to kidnap and force underage girls into prostitution
- moves prostitution to one, non-redidential, area of town, so those that don't like it don't have to go there, and don't have to put up with it on their street
 

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It sure would make it a lot easier for a John to find a hooker. with much of the cloths young girls are wearing these days, its got to be hard to separate the working girls from some of the high school and even grade school kid. I'd imagine a prostitute would pretty much need a cardboard for rent sign hung around her neck to stand out on a busy street corner.
We have enough social problems without promoting the objectification of women even further.

Cheers
MacGuiver
 

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Well, it may not be victimless (I'm sure single people would patronize such places too), but it wouldn't be a crime. It also solves a lot of issues:
- health risks mitigated - customers would not catch STDs and pass them on to others
- no pimps exploiting prostitutes
- eliminates demand for kidnapping or forcing (through drug dependency, violence, etc.) women to become prostitutes
- eliminates street prostitution, greatly reducing opportunities for pimps to kidnap and force underage girls into prostitution
- moves prostitution to one, non-redidential, area of town, so those that don't like it don't have to go there, and don't have to put up with it on their street
Well I don't know about the "customers would not catch STDs and pass them on to others" part... maybe yes, most likely not entirely, s**t still happens.

The rest I tend to agree with. I commented only on the victimless aspect. Sure single people would use such a service, they still could have girl friends who wouldn't be too impressed though. And even if you were completely alone, once you start on such a slippery slope I don't think it would be so easy to quit just because you started seeing someone. There is also a certain "commodification" aspect as to how men see women and the attitude that it can engender that is less than desirable and can certainly have consequences not only for the women that the Johns encounter but also for the Johns themselves.

Such a move would reduce the harm of prostitution in all likelihood, but it is a still an unsavoury business to say the least. Selling tobacco, isn't illegal, neither is it to sell alcohol. Both products still have their victims though. A red light district may provide harm reduction but it would not provide harm elimination (i.e. victimless).
 

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I do not think legalizing prostitution necessarily eliminates the criminal element, though I could buy a reduction argument. I mean, you can legally buy things in stores, but that doesn't automatically eliminate a black market.

I have mixed feelings about a red-light district... in Toronto, just about every neighbourhood is residential neighbourhood (or will be one soon) so there's no good place for it.

One of my buildings is in what was once an unofficial red-light district (near the Hooker Harveys) though over the last 10 years or so, things have improved quite a bit. Most of the prostitutes have moved elsewhere, though you can find the odd one or two for the johns kicking it old school.... the Hooker Harveys is getting downright respectable these days.

Well, it may not be victimless (I'm sure single people would patronize such places too), but it wouldn't be a crime. It also solves a lot of issues:
- health risks mitigated - customers would not catch STDs and pass them on to others
- no pimps exploiting prostitutes
- eliminates demand for kidnapping or forcing (through drug dependency, violence, etc.) women to become prostitutes
- eliminates street prostitution, greatly reducing opportunities for pimps to kidnap and force underage girls into prostitution
- moves prostitution to one, non-redidential, area of town, so those that don't like it don't have to go there, and don't have to put up with it on their street
 

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Well I don't know about the "customers would not catch STDs and pass them on to others" part... maybe yes, most likely not entirely, s**t still happens.

The rest I tend to agree with. I commented only on the victimless aspect. Sure single people would use such a service, they still could have girl friends who wouldn't be too impressed though. And even if you were completely alone, once you start on such a slippery slope I don't think it would be so easy to quit just because you started seeing someone. There is also a certain "commodification" aspect as to how men see women and the attitude that it can engender that is less than desirable and can certainly have consequences not only for the women that the Johns encounter but also for the Johns themselves.

Such a move would reduce the harm of prostitution in all likelihood, but it is a still an unsavoury business to say the least. Selling tobacco, isn't illegal, neither is it to sell alcohol. Both products still have their victims though. A red light district may provide harm reduction but it would not provide harm elimination (i.e. victimless).
I also have a hard time believing the government would suddenly take control of a sex trade run by Mafia and bike gangs. Heck in Montreal, the Mafia owns the construction industry. Do you think they'd just let prostitution be taken over by the Ministry of Sexual Services?

Cheers
MacGuiver
 

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I'm going to agree with MacGuiver on this one. While I like the idea of legalization (and heavy taxation) of the sex industry (along with the drug industry), the problem is that the government is not going to be able to compete effectively with the criminals.

The criminals are ruthless, efficient and intelligent. The government is legal. Who do you think is going to win?
 

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Government is legal... yeah, technically they're legal, but who doesn't believe that a lot of crooks pass through public office?

You would cut down on a lot of STDs, certainly, but a real red light area won't happen here as the johns would be deathly afraid of being exposed. Some of those johns are important people in high places. Too, lots of them are suburban types seeking a quickie before the long drive home. Nor would I expect that a bureaucracy created specifically to take care of the legalized sex trade would strive mightily to keep from growing fat and complacent.

I'm also in agreement with Sonal that the entire downtown of this burg is gentrifying at a rapid pace... lots more residents are pouring in. Even the grotty, gritty old industrial districts are changing up.

The Hooker Harvey's... geez, I remember that so well. I used to live at Maitland and Jarvis for three years in the early 80s. I remember hot summer nights in that 'hood where feisty landlords were using hoses to keep the hookers away from the fronts of their building. I also remember that Harvey's very well. Talk about skanky. Closer to where I am now, the portlands was home to some very dubious activities for decades. But that too is rapidly going away. I don't think that prostitution itself is less a factor than it was, but other things are happening to switch the profile of such 'commerce...' I'm thinking of the euphemistically named "massage parlours" that are all over the place. As well, many more sex workers are working from out of their own digs, or from rented digs. Lots of ads in Craigslist and the weekly downtown rags... lots of business going on still, no doubt.
 

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My folks took over a building near the Hooker Harvey's about 10-12 years ago. We have a couple of prostitutes living in the building (though fortunately, not doing business there) and every night there were drug deals in the lobby. Things have cleaned up considerably since there.

Ironically, I just met with someone who pulled up the history of that street. Apparently, it was notorious in the 60s for prostitution.
 

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But long before that it was a grand street serving the elite of the city back in the day. Look at some of the gigantic old houses yet standing there. It was a pretty tony address, once upon a time. Sort of like Parkdale - that too was an upscale nabe at one time... and now it's gentrifying, yet again. Funny, the cycles that unfold.

I was in the twin building edifice on the west side beneath Maitland. It was a grand old dame of a building back when I lived there but it had slid a long way into decrepitude. For some years it sat empty and forlorn but someone has since ploughed money into it. I'm guessing it's a fairly expensive address these days. I had a gigantic two-bedroom unti overlooking Jarvis on the second floor - it was heaven. Yeah, a raucous neighbourhood, but I didn't mind. I was young and raucous myself.
 

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We have enough social problems without promoting the objectification of women even further.
I don't buy the "objectification" argument for a couple of reasons:
- we're all assuming female prostitutes here - nobody said it would be female-only
- is it really objectification any more than any other service where you are not expected make a personal connection with the provider of the service? Does a house-cleaning service objectify women? Does a bar or night club objectify women?
 
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