31 January 2006

Tuesday Musings

I was going to post about this yesterday, but then I got distracted by something shiny and spent the rest of the day doing that. Something along those lines. Anyways, Adam Radwanski's National Post column was, as usual, top-notch. His tale of being a former Young Liberal resonated with me, largely because you could substitute a few proper nouns and his tale would greatly resemble my own. I never got as involved in the YLC as he did, but I can certainly recall events that demontsrated just how stacked the organization was in favour of Martin backers. Their ideas of legalizing prostitution and marijuana, rejecting BMD, and a schwack of other policies are just not in touch with what I believe in, but just as important in my desire to distance myself from the YLC is something that Radwanski nailed on the head: "It's slightly embarrassing to look back on my time in their party: the obsessing over meaningless youth politics...the unquestioning commitment to whichever politician [happened to be in charge...these guys loved the Martin Kool-Aid...look at Cherniak]...the embrace of a party that was so much more about ambition and opportunism than any sort of values."
Technically speaking if I were to rejoin the Liberals I would be considered a Youth member until after I'm 25. There's nary a snowball's chance in Honolulu I'll be going back to the party until I'm not going to be affiliated with that lot. They've done some good deeds over the years, pressing for equality of same-sex couples under the law since long before Paul Martin thought it was a Charter of Rights issue, and for that I applaud their efforts. But this other stuff, no thanks. Women are not a commodity to be bought for sexual pleasure and summarily discarded. There's a reason prostitution carries a "negative social stigma," because it's a negative social activity that has links to organized crime, drug trafficking, et al. Legalizing it would in no way remove the degrading nature of what Michael Ignatieff describes as a "terrible experience...To be naked before a stranger is to be deprived of decency and also of agency." It would not "empower" women, it would not eliminate or reduce the fear in women of being raped; indeed, for every woman who has ever been raped or sexually assaulted, legalizing prostitution would be a slap in the face because it would be giving legal sanction for men to deprive women of their decency and agency in exchange for a few dollars.

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