What’s Current: Edmonton billboards remind public that buying sex is a crime

Image: CBC/Susan Holtby

Billboards remind johns (and everyone else) in Edmonton, Alberta that buying sex is a crime in Canada.

Donald Trump just keeps getting caught on tape being sexist, this time he visited France for Bastille Day and objectified First Lady Brigitte Macron.

A 28-year-old man, Brendt Christensen, has been indicted on one count of kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Yingying Zhang, a University of Illinois student from China. Zhang has been missing since June and police believe she is dead.

The conviction of Code Pink member Desiree Fairooz, who was convicted of disorderly conduct after laughing during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing, has been overturned. But a retrial has been ordered, meaning she could very well face a second prosecution.

Jocelyn Macdonald asks: Could the L Word revival be the answer to lesbian erasure?

Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • M. Zoidberg

    >>”It’s about educating those inclined to buy sex, how they are contributing to the victimization of women, ” said Johnson. “Perhaps people looking at the ad will re-evaluate their behaviour.”

    Lol, no. Men know exactly what they’re doing is illegal and they don’t care. They don’t see buying a girl or woman as anymore illegal than smoking pot or parking in a fire-lane.
    I used to live in Ed, and the EPS is pathetic. The billboards are a lazy attempt to appease those who care about the prostituted, but does nothing to actually help.

    • fxduffy

      I agree. But the billboards buck the tide normalizing prostitution (sex work) and by extension, porn. And I do think there are certain kinds of men who do respond to this public commentary. It confirms what many men know, at least at a deeper level, that paying money for sex is hardly different from rape.

      I think the billboards are a boon. Notice that they show only male figures buying sex. And notice that these are billboards not only say something, but say something of immense importance

      • Wren

        The billboards also send an important message to prostituted women that they are indeed victims of crime. It’s an important shift in their self-awareness to take if they ever want to get out.

    • Hanakai

      It is a small but positive step. The more the cultural belief systems can be changed so that men who seek to buy or buy sex are seen as disgusting pathetic loser criminal undesirables, the better it will be and the lower the demand will be for buying sex.

  • Meghan Murphy

    After Ellen is doing great stuff these days, imo, and share lots of radical feminist stuff on their twitter account.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah I was pretty stoked to see Jocelyn Macdonald writing for ’em, and I’m impressed by their current editor.

  • lk

    I loved the L word!!!

    I saw a reunion thing on Youtube and the creator of the show said that she thought the popularity of the show would lead to lots more shows that featured lesbian characters ..but that didnt happen.

    “The show is under no obligation to represent all lesbians at all times.”

    I hope if the Lword comes back they do not cave to the pressure to include MTF’s…My worry is that the show will be labeled transphobic for focusing on women who love women.

    The show did feature an FTM who was in the process of transitioning and taking hormones, she becomes pregnant and can’t have an abortion b/c she is too far along when she finds out she is pregnant.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I loved it too! I would be SO stoked if it came back…

  • lk

    The show definitely was not without its flaws.

    And yes, the sexual female nudity was really not necessary (is it ever?). Cable tv has become more raunchy since the Lword was originally on, so I worry that the Lword will feel the need to be even more sexual than it was before.

    Still, I think there are so few shows that focus on lesbians that I would welcome the show coming back.