Just ducked 'round the corner for a half hour or so, with the rest of the family, to be part of a photo of a protest about a brothel application. There was an older Mediterranean man there from across the street who was complaining in a loud voice that he didn't wanta the place to end up like Marrickville. A couple of local politicians were there and made some impromptu speeches. And a bunch of kids, along with their parents and various others. Two reporters from two local papers. Bit of a street party feel really, except with placards instead of balloons. And we had to be told not to smile for the cameras.
Off the top of my head I thought of three reasons why I don't like the idea of a brothel 'round the corner. Although there was one legal one, in Brunswick where we were for years, and Brunswick was a great place to live (don't tell anyone).
Firstly, the women. Whether they are involved voluntarily or not (but especially if not), there is exploitation involved. People who see no problem with women choosing to be prostitutes would be repulsed by the thought of their wives, sisters, mothers or daughters making such a decision. Many women who make these choices are either desperate, or from sad and abusive family backgrounds.
Secondly, the men. Men who use prostitutes are creeps. I walk my daughters to and from school, and I don't want men who want to pay for sex walking or driving past my girls, regardless of whether I'm there but especially if I'm not.
Thirdly, marriage matters. Men who visit prostitutes are undermining marriage through adultery and fornication, and a society that tolerates such behaviour, to the extent of legalizing it, is not doing well by the people in it or in the sight of God.
I suppose there is the argument that places that are really interesting and enjoyable to live in, like Brunswick or Marrickville for that matter, need to accept that brothels are part of the scene. But those places are interesting and enjoyable despite the prostitution, and their interest and enjoyment would be increased if local sexual harrassment and exploitation was reduced.