No Solution in Bourgeois Society

Last December, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down sections of the Criminal Code relating to prostitution and gave the government one year to adopt a new provision that would be “valid” according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Bill C-36, which is already at the second reading stage at the House of […]

Last December, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down sections of the Criminal Code relating to prostitution and gave the government one year to adopt a new provision that would be “valid” according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Bill C-36, which is already at the second reading stage at the House of Commons, would criminalize johns and pimps, but also a part of street prostitution—in public spaces where minors may be present.

If the intention to decriminalize women involved in prostitution is good news, the fact that some will still be threatened with criminal charges is totally unacceptable. In fact, all of these women should be able to file a complaint if they are stolen or attacked without fearing legal repercussions. Again, in the voice of conservatives, the Canadian bourgeoisie has no consideration for the poorest.

On the other hand, the debate on Bill C-36 highlights several problems related to prostitution, for example:

  • The inherent violence and dangerousness of prostitution;
  • The deadlock when prostitutes are victims of aggression;
  • The significant involvement of minors in this activity;
  • The shameful enrichment of pimps at the expense of prostitutes;
  • The link between organized crime, the drug industry and prostitution; and
  • The lack of resources available to women who want to get out of this environment and how difficult it is to break the resulting dependency relationships.

Obviously, the law alone—especially in a system that obnoxiously benefits from the “sex industry”—cannot be the solution for sexually exploited proletarian women. The bourgeois state apparatus does not recognize the existence of social classes, nor the relations of power and domination on which the activity of prostitution relies, involving the exploitation of proletarian women.

More than ever, the political struggle against the macho, violent or humiliating behaviour towards women must be a priority. These types of behaviour are unacceptable because they undermine the capacity of all women to emancipate and develop themselves, especially those from a proletarian background. Moreover, such behaviour is not simply intrinsic to prostitution itself; it is at the heart of the daily reality of poor women who are sexually exploited. It is for these that we fight for a world without classes, without exploitation, without racism and without male domination.