Malta Diary Should prostitution be legalised in the Maltese Islands – controversy rages
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… and when you think you have heard them all, something else crops up that leaves you totally speechless and completely dumbfounded about how ignorant you really are of the warped and weird tendencies of some human beings.
A couple of weeks ago a case before the Malta Courts was simply astounding, a case in which a man, a father, was jailed for eight years for….forcing his seven-year-old son to have sex with a prostitute. The father’s reasoning – two of his brothers are gay and he did not want his son to become gay. The case came to light when two prostitutes spoke out the father had forced them to have sex with his son.
Totally and absolutely beyond all realms of belief; I will not relate all the details here but believe me, they are atrociously numbing.
Although not in this context, the question of prostitution has once more become a topic of high debate.
No matter that over many centuries Malta and Gozo have always had a very high profile of being a very religious and conservative country imbued and dominated by the Roman Catholic religion, prostitution has always had a high and leading profile.
Let’s face it, in truth the islands are one large sea port and sea ports have always been a high breeding ground for the desires of the flesh. In the past, the all male crews of sailors often spent many weeks at sea and on reaching land the first priority was … sexual satisfaction of the flesh as dictated by the wants of the desires of human and animal nature.
When the employment of women was unheard of in virtually any capacity except to be toiling servants, the sole outlet for many was to provide sexual services and earn money. Some did it willingly and others were forced into it by unscrupulous males making money without their having to actually do anything to earn it.
As far back as the time of the Phoenicians and their arrival in Malta, that is almost 2,000 BC, a temple-brothel already thrived in Malta’s southern regions. When the Romans arrived, this became the Temple of Juno, assuming religious as well as sexual services.
Down through the centuries the country was continually colonised because of its Central Mediterranean commanding position and prostitution played a major role for sailors and military administrators and their soldiers but equally important for the economic survival of the inhabitants.
Some port side areas were notorious for prostitution during various eras, including the Cottonera areas of Cospicua, Senglea, Vittoriosa and Kalkara but mainly Cospicua, the Marsa Waterfront and later with the arrival of the British, the Valletta port side and the famed “Gut” in Strait Street which developed during the times of the Knight in the 15th and 16th Century, as well as the Gzira Waterfront.
At times prostitution and brothels were banned, at others ignored. The British opened a hospital to treat their military personnel for sexually-transmitted diseases. In later years, it was accepted as a state-of-fact and prostitutes were obliged to take regular medical inspections and if free from disease were given a metal disc to show “clients” they were not infected.
Moving to the more modern era, the advent of “Gentlemen’s Clubs” and “Massage Parlours” replaced street-walking and made it slightly more respectable but simultaneously gave rise to the human trafficking of women from other countries to work as prostitutes.
Hence the latest controversy; now, it is being proposed that prostitution be legalised and as in some Nordic countries, prostitution be regarded as “a job” for those who freely want to exercise it as a means of earning money of their own free will and without being forced to do so.
For some groups this has become a traumatic development that a person may legally trade their body for sex; for others, this has been going on for millenniums and there is little use in continuing to deny it or pretend it does not happen, so better legislate it then turn a blind eye.
Some warn this will result in brothels being legalised while their opposites deride the concept of allowing it to continue by turning a blind eye.
Prostitution has always been rampant in the Maltese Islands and elsewhere around the world and pretending otherwise does not make sense.
There was a curious Court decision some 60 years ago that having sex with a prostitute in a vehicle was illegal but having sex with a prostitute on a boat was not!
Curiously too, the Law actually stipulates it is not the sexual act that is illegal but street walking and thus loitering for prostitution purposes is.
Whatever, the time to continue hiding prostitution under the carpet or turning a blind eye to it has long passed.
The time has come to face reality – and to deal with it.
In some Nordic countries, voluntary prostitution is regarded as “a job” and carries with it all the social benefits and protection of Labour Laws.
Malta is heading that way and living the year we are in – 2021.
“His tongue is not stitched up”
Said of a person who is outspoken and wants to have their say regardless of consequences that may sometimes occur and may result in their being offensive, or damaging, or causing litigation.