Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who needs Fox North when we already have CBC's The Current?

The radio was on this morning with CBC's The Current. The topic was municipalities and the licensing of massage parlours that range up to places that offer body rubs. In the wake of some narrow aspects of prostitution laws being struck down by an Ontario court, it is now in vogue to have talk shows where people express their views on this topic. There was the ludicrous suggestion by some social conservatives that if a municipality made any money from licensing activities of a sexual nature that they are essentially pimps. CBC's The Current decided to expand on and do a show promoting this ludicrous suggestion. Normally a journalist will find a variety of people with a variety of views, and allow them to have a discussion. Unfortunately in this case Anna Maria Tremonti decided to impose her own morality onto every question, essentially having her and her social conservative guest from out east gang up on a Guelph city councillor. I didn't even hear the Guelph councillor express her moral views on the subject, only the practicality of issues that a municipality should be dealing with. She took the high road, when Anna Maria and her other guest took the low road. I found the whole show embarrassing. I find it funny that some social conservatives claim that the CBC is not centrist but left-wing. I think there is a wide variety of political views expressed by persons on the CBC, and I think Anna Maria demonstrated where she stands on this particular issue. So, where do I stand on this question? Each of us has professions we don't agree with, or sometimes even find morally offensive. I am a make love not war person living in a make war not love country. North Americans are very forgiving and even promoting of violence, but can't handle sexuality. Violent professions from the military to some sports are promoted as things we are supposed to be proud of, while anything even remotely sexual is something we are told we should be ashamed of. I don't think that way. I believe that sexuality between consenting adults is a wonderful thing. I am always very clear about the words "consenting", and the related word "adults" given I don't think younger people are mature enough to be considered consenting. In my mind legalising and licensing sex related professions is the only reasonable way forward. It not only legalises activities which should never have been illegal in the first place, but it also allows for necessary monitoring of these professions to verify the "consenting" aspect. The more these things are driven underground, the more dangerous these professions become, and the more instances we will see of non-consensual activities. While I will express my views, I do not try to impose my views on others. It would be nice if other people did the same thing, and stopped attacking anyone who has a different set of professions they disagree with or trying to create laws which impose their own particular morality on society.
Update on Oct 14. Show titled Municipal Pimping is posted to the CBC site. Vicki Beard was the City Councillor in Guelph, Ontario. Gloria McCluskey was the City Councillor in Halifax.


Unknown said...

I heard that interview too and I didn't notice any bias. She was just trying to get a straight answer from the Guelph councillor. She started by saying that the city licences body rub parlors and then denies it at the end of the interview. The interview was embarrassing but it's that councillor that should be embarrassed.

tosbourne said...

I too heard the phone interview. Biased I think not. Embarrassing most definitely. The Guelph city councillor stumbled through several questions from start to finish and finally recanted having made any comment that the city Guelph licensed body parlors. If you are willing to put yourself out there to answer questions on the radio and work as a public servant, be prepared to answer the tough questions and be knowledgeable and confident to speak on the topics at hand. The councillor's presentation during the interview lacked confidence and loss of direction - the only direction I saw was backwards after she took back all statements she made at the start of the interview. With city councillors like that - I'm just glad I don't live in Guelph.

Russell McOrmond said...

Only those who think body rub parlours are a bad thing will think that the councillor was not giving a straight answer. The questions weren't straight, and I think she did a good job in trying to provide good answers to bad questions.

Anna Maria Tremonti was asking questions in the form of "Have you stopped beating your wife: yes or no". She refused to allow an answer in the form of "I have never beat my wife, and stop insinuating that I am".

She was asking questions about licensing certain types of lawful businesses in a manner that presumed that licensing these business that exists within every municipality is somehow a bad thing.

I think that all lawful businesses in a municipality should be licensed. Having different fees for different types of businesses which may require different amounts of municipal services is also appropriate. Since any business involved in anything remotely sexual is going to attract negative attention because of the backward social stigma in North America, that will mean that the license fees for businesses involved in sexuality will be higher.

That's the simple and unbiased version of things. Whether you think such businesses should be legal is an entirely different question. I think they should be legal, and others clearly disagree.

Only two anonymous cowards, unwilling to discuss this issue as actual citizens, replied so far. Given I live in a country of prudes, part of a sub-continent of prudes, I expected to read more people trying to impose their morality on others.

Unknown said...

It was not "have you stopped beating your wife" type of question. It's more of a "do you beat your wife" question. It's only a few words different but it's quite a different kind of question. The actual question was "do you licence body-rub parlours: yes or no". I think that's a fair question to ask. The councillor answered yes at the start of the interview and then no at the end.