Tuesday, March 27, 2012

By Hook or By Crook (III)

The difference between a liberal and a conservative, I've come to believe, is that liberals have ideals.

I spend a good deal of time, if not outright angry at the world, at least mildly disgusted and contemptuous of it. That's because it so often fails to live up to my idea(l) of How Things Ought To Be. Whereas conservatives of my (online) acquaintance have been mildly disgusted and contemptuous -- sometimes not so mildly -- of me because I dared to voice the opinion that human nature evolves, that we're getting better.

Albeit oh-so-slowly.

"Better" is, of course, a judgment call: ask many a social conservative and you're apt to hear that things are wrong and getting wronger all the time. Depending on just how socially conservative you are, the wrongness started when the faggots began "getting married"...or when God was thrown out of the schools...or, if you're Rick Santorum, when people started using contraceptives (which means soon after babies started being conceived). Damnit, the next thing you know, they'll start treating towelheads like human beings, killing people just because they're in so much pain they're begging to die, and legalizing prostitution.

Wait a second...

The reaction in our national newspapers runs the gamut from incredulity to inevitability. Both columns are worth the read.

Father Raymond J. deSouza used to write for the Sun and I've always enjoyed (though rarely agreed with) his columns. He is much more considered and considerate than, say, Michael Coren, who makes my blood boil three sentences in. Indeed, as I recall, it was deSouza who wrote a passionate defence of 'traditional' marriage that didn't fall into the usual traps of "marriage is for the begetting of children" and "if we allow gays to marry, then we'll have to allow incestuous  and bestial marriages". I had to actually think to rebut him. I respect that.

Here, too, he makes a persuasive argument that prostitution,  almost always borne of tragic circumstance and perpetuating same, has no place in a compassionate Canada. He's right--if you accept that prostitution must always be borne of, and perpetuate, tragic circumstances. I, personally, don't. It may be my ideals talking, and disdain those if you will, but the sex trade hasn't always and everywhere been held in such low regard. Indeed, as the other linked column shows, historically, prostitution has been sanctioned and regulated by municipal authorities, academia...even the Church.
And in other cultures sex is viewed almost as performance art and its practitioners as artists.

That's not where we are today, in many--not all--cases. (Some hookers genuinely enjoy their work and are in no way exploited.) But many in 'the trade--workers and clients both--hate themselves. Hate creates hate: it's a cosmic law. It's also reversible. A good first step would be to consider prostitution as a public service, not a public nuisance. It is, you know: countries where whoring is legal have a much lower incidence of rape, for one thing.

I'm a liberal: I have ideals. Ideally, prostitution would be a respected profession. I've always thought prostitutes were something akin to psychiatrists who just happen to work naked. Maybe, eventually, they'll be seen that way by more than just me...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Review: Two Thumbs Up!