When I heard that the Women’s Institute were forming a campaign to legalize prostitution in Britain I was shocked.
However, after watching a Channel 4 documentary on heroic Shirley Landels, 73, and Jean Johnson, 62, it confirmed to me what power and empathy the establishment has as a band of women.
A far cry from jam and Jerusalem, Shirley and Jean weren’t frightened of being knocked back. Their idea was thought off as ludicrous at first, yet they fought on.
With their token upper middle-class accents, I couldn’t help but feel instantly warmed by their characters as they politely greeted the girls in the Bunny Ranch, Nevada.
A moment where I sat alone laughing out loud was when the two grandmothers sat in the window of the red light district in Amsterdam.
“Do I look sexy, Shirley?”
After watching the programme, I now believe that prostitution should be legalized in the UK. As the oldest profession, we may not like it but it won’t go away. What we can do is make it safer for girls, by offering regular sexual testing and a comfortable environment. Women should have panic buttons incase things turn nasty.
Girls should be able to say ‘no’ to men if they don’t like the look of them, yet so many young prostitutes are succumbed to rape.
Prostitutes whose jobs involve working at night and getting into cars with strangers can be, and often have been, easy pickings for serial killers and other sociopaths. James Alan Fox, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University, says prostitutes are the most frequent targets for serial killers.
As we have seen from stories such as the Whitechapel murders, groups of prostitutes are targeted, and sadly people don’t seem to care. It is almost as though people don’t pay attention to a murder unless it’s someone from a good background, praised on the news by their headteacher for being an “A* student who everyone loved”.
Jean raised this issue in a local WI meeting in Hampshire:
‘These girls were from all strata’s of society,’ she says. ‘They were somebody’s daughters, somebody’s grand-daughters and somebody’s sisters.
‘If it could happen to them, it could happen to anyone. My concern was that if women were to work as prostitutes – and there will always be prostitution – then they should be able to do so in safety. I wanted to get prostitutes off the streets, where they have no protection”.
Granted, I don’t want London to turn into a red light district. After visiting Amsterdam myself, it really upset me to see these young girls advertising themselves in a window, that is certainly not something I would like to see. I’m not condoning prostitution, but no one could possibly say it will go away.
But if prostitution were to be legalized, the streets would be generally safer and women would be more likely to report rape cases. Think about it.