Prostitution General Nonsense 04 JAN 2008

ProstituteProstitution is an ugly face of capitalism and as much as I dislike it, disagree with it and condemn it, there is no denying the fact that it does exist, it always has existed and it will always exist.

In the past, I was pretty sheltered from this activity as our family home was situated in a pretty clean and decent suburb and my current flat’s positioning is in a pretty decent part of Voortrekker road, just alongside the Post Office and Sanlam Head Office. However, I remember with much shock posting about the first prostitute that moved into my territory way back in June this year, and I am sad to say, this trend has just steadily worsened. So much so that my late night forage walks to Spar or to the garage for my customary Skittles don’t pass by without one or two late night propositions from these so-called Ladies of the Night.

In fact, just last week on Sunday evening, just after 22:00, I counted 4 prostitutes in the space between my flat and the Caltex garage, literally an area of a couple of hundred meters. I think the problem stems from the large number of low-cost high density housing complexes that went up all around me these last couple of years – basically we now have a bigger, low-income population living in the vicinity which unfortunately does seem to breed prostitution.

Stranger still, that same Sunday when we helped Claire and Riley move house early morning, the drive along Claremont main road turned up more than one prostitute plying her trade – in BROAD DAYLIGHT! It was 11:00 in the morning for goodness sake, and we still had these half-dressed girls chasing after any car that dare pull off the side of Main Road!

I understand that for some of these women this is the only way out of their current position – they need the money to live, support their families or worse, support their habits, but what I don’t understand is the fact that prostitution is a crime – so why is it occurring so out in the open in very accessible public places? Police are forever patrolling the area so why aren’t they moving these women along? I know that they probably can’t charge them with anything besides solicitation, but still, they can warn these women off the street can’t they?

Apparently there is some legislation being pushed around which will make it possible for both prostitutes and their clients to in fact be charged, a bill that may help drive down the number of men who stop at the sides of roads to pick up these women, but in all honesty, I think we all know that this won’t help solve anything.

The only way forward, the way I see it, is simply to zone certain areas as red light districts and restrict street prostitution to these areas, keeping a strong police presence to deter the other crime that usually comes associated with prostitutes. Prostitution could then tentatively be …legalised’, if restricted to these zones, which could hopefully force illegal prostitutes out from our streets and allow us once more to enjoy late night strolls without too much interference.

I don’t know. Prostitution is an ugly problem that will never go away. I just wish there was something we could do about it to lessen its impact on the rest of our society. I don’t want my children someday to be questioning me on just why that nice lady is standing on the street corner or why that lady is not wearing any panties. Even worse, I don’t want my kids to be tempted into the dangerous world of paid sex, simply because it is now so available. Something must be done, but as usual, I’m not holding my breath for anything concrete from those we have elected into power. :(

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.