Just turn a blind eye

So I was reading The Globe and Mail and came across this article.
margaret-wente - forget-legalization-of-prostitution-just-turn-a-blind-eye/article1738924/

In context, it concerns the prostitution.  It's not really illegal per se in Canada, but all acts associated with it are.  Making it hard to run an open prostitution business.  Wente suggests it might be good to just leave the situation as is... a vague legal concept.  Keep prostitution taboo and even in legal limbo.  It might be better than trying full legalization and all the unknowns that might open up.

Surely not something legal purists would want.  People all want the law to be clear and cut.

Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I realized there is value in turning a blind eye... in keeping the law vague.  I'm not suggesting I support turning a blind eye... just that it is a policy worth contemplating.

Don't Ask Don't Tell... a Good Policy
Don't ask Don't Tell was US government policy for several years.  It basically stated that homosexuals could be in the US military as long as they kept their sexuality private.  Of course it was challenged in court and people felt it discriminated against homosexuals.

It was in a sense a legal version of 'turning a blind eye'

The interesting thing about getting rid of don't ask, don't tell is that is actually brings about another kind of discrimination.  It creates discrimination against heterosexuals.

How... well follow the logic here.
Why do we separate Men and Women?  We do so as we desire privacy.   There is a certain reality of sexual tension.  Now maybe you wish this wasn't the case, but it is the reality of the world we live in.  We have men/woman washrooms, separate sleeping areas...

Now then, how does this reality  blend with homosexuality.  If we would think it 'wrong' to force men and women to shower together due to the sexual tension... how can we then force women to shower with a lesbian... or how can we force men to shower with people who are gay? 

It is a logical conundrum.  Well there are ways to resolve this in typical liberal accommodation.
Well we can have separate washrooms, sleeping areas for men/women/homosexuals... or maybe even men/women/gays/lesbians.

We could also resolve it by getting rid of men/women separation and telling people to get over their sexual tension.

Great... now imagine being the US Military and have to design these separate areas into your military bases, equipment...  It's a logistics nightmare.

Look at the can of worms just opened by getting rid of don't ask don't tell.  Maybe turning a blind eye was a good idea.  It's not perfect.  Just don't publicize the fact that you're homosexual and people won't know to feel sexual tension.  Sure, someone could be homosexual... but you would not be confident and thus would not feel as much sexual tension as knowing someone is for sure.

Now of course, all this is a non issue if we get rid of the entire separation of the sexes :P  Yet are we prepared to do that as a society?  Don't ask don't tell, makes a lot of sense when viewed from this perspective.

Indeed, maybe we should have left don't ask don't tell in there for a while...a couple of generations.  Maybe we'd get over this whole sexual tension issue.  We should also remember that the military remains a voluntary force, so if you really have a problem keeping your sexuality private, you don't have to join.

Other Areas
Indeed, while I am a libertarian, the reality is we sometimes don't know what a world of legal prostitution, drugs, no speed limits... would bring.  Such a world has not existed.  Maybe we should move slowly on such issues and part of that process is the old turning a blind eye.  Sure the official speed limit is 100 Km/h on the highway, but 'we all know' you can drive 120 km/h.  The world isn't ending because of this legal vagueness.  It leaves you with a bit of fear to watch your speed.  You never know when a speed trap might be there.  You certainly wouldn't tempt a police officer by blatantly driving past them at 120 while they're driving 100.

Indeed, we might not want to be so quick to seek legal purity in these areas.  We might wish to trust our democratic and legislative institutions to wobble our way through.  We can and should experiment and see how things turn out... but lets not seek legal purity in all things.  Maybe let a city/state/province try out legalization... see how it works.  lets other try it and different kinds of controls.

Yet, let's not take everything through legal purity and impose policies that we have no idea what the consequences will be.


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