Jody Paterson, a managing editor and columnist for the Victoria Times-Colonist is trading in service journalism for servicing men as a madam at a co-op brothel, run by and for prostitutes. (Leave it to the Canadians to try and level the playing ground of the pimp-ho game.) Paterson said that her work for the paper—stories about sex workers—is what led her down this new career path. Through interviewing them, she got to know prostitutes in Victoria, and was touched (figuratively, of course) by the women and their struggles. Feeling she needed to make a difference, 50-year-old Paterson—who once was opposed to the sex trade, deeming it exploitative of women—quit her job at the paper and joined a prostitute support group: Prostitutes Empowerment Education and Resource Society (PEERS). At PEERS, Paterson discovered that prostitutes are actually most interested in making their jobs safer.
The time has passed for moralizing about why men buy sex and why people sell it. Let's step forward and into the reality of it and have a safe, fair, good workplace for it.
Paterson said that once the brothel is up and running, she will be working there as a volunteer only, and will not be paid for her time. As a co-op brothel, it's a bit hippy dippy in that it will be run and funded by the women working there, and a portion of the profits will be used for issues like drug detox and helping women get out of the industry if they so choose. The only real problem with Paterson's whole plan is that prostitution remains illegal in Victoria, but she plans on getting around that by registering the brothel as an escort service.
Brothel will empower women, ex-writer says [Globe and Mail via Salon]