Roxanne

Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light…

– The Police

This song is a funny one.  Is the guy being selfish, kind, or both…

It doesn’t even drive towards the question of ‘why’.  Why is she putting on the red light?…does she need the money?…does she enjoy it?

I recall my first ‘red light’ district.  Was rather a shock when I first discovered it in Winterthur, Switzerland…just outside of Zurich.

It was the second time I was there for work.  The first time I had been, we had been staying somewhere else, so I hadn’t noticed.  We were walking back from dinner one evening, it was dusk, and there was what appeared to be an apartment building across the street from our hotel.  There were a few orange-ish street lights around, so it almost camouflaged the red bulbs in a couple of windows.

At first I didn’t even think much about it…but the next night, again upon our return, they were on again but in different windows.  The realization as to what this place was shocked me…just the show of how open it was there.

Here, in Toronto, prostitution was recently decriminalized, though the conservative right is hard at work to correct this “massive error”.  Even with this, we still tend to find sex sold by drug addicts on street corners and high end websites promoting the girl or guy of one’s dreams.

I like the idea of the red lights as it strikes me as safer…more out in the open and not hiding in the dark so much.  Between the health issues, and the mental issues, and the drug issues…voyeurism aside, wouldn’t it be better if we kept an eye out rather than turning the blind one here?

I don’t judge either side in this…hooker nor john.  First, not my business…but I do judge the pimps and criminals who take advantage of the needs of both sides.  Those shady characters that get the young women hooked on some drug and then push them into this life with no other alternative.  The other shady characters who make sure they are watching every car that pulls up to the corner to talk to her.

I joke sometimes, on Twitter, about how I cruise the hookers…I pass through a certain area of Toronto for work a lot that does have a number of them, during the day even, and it really is sad to see the situation.  To know that these women or men would blow a guy for $20 just to get their next hit.  This shows me one major flaw in the conservative arguments…capitalism is wonderful, but the flaw is that someone somewhere is taking advantage of someone else in order to get paid.

Ah well, all I know is Roxanne, somewhere, just turned the red light on again.

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