Tag Archives: youth

(1202) A major socio-economic reality so poorly understood and discussed


Any discussion of economic relationships and the character of society needs to fully consider the reality of prostitution or it remains incomplete.  Initially, this can be a fraught undertaking but the honest citizen observing social difficulty with a conscience is obliged to make an effort given the implications of prostitution and human trafficking for women, youth and children within what is a very large, global business.
The essence of prostitution is the purchase of temporary access to the body of another, mostly by a man, for the purposes of penetration and gratification.  While such a transaction seems simple enough it is usually accompanied by a societal smokescreen of ignorance, opinion, financial interest and emotionalism such that the reality remains obscure with a subsequently frustrating effect on creating a general perspective, let alone helpful social policy.
With this difficulty in mind we are lucky to have a generation of individuals giving us their efforts and words.  Some of their urgency about prostitution is a response to recent legalization efforts in a number of countries.  While considered sensible and well-intentioned at first these legalization efforts appear to be resulting in more harm than good.  Prostitution seems to become industrialized where it is legalized.
Simple legalization ignores the direct reality of selling one’s body and little accounts for the behaviour of the male buyer.  This blog recently came across the work of three women activists that offer a high-level starting point for considering this topic.  Their Twitter accounts are a quick way to find and learn from their articles, websites, activism and books.  Natashe Falle is in Toronto (see also her site Sex Trade 101).  Rachel Moran and Julie Bindel are in Ireland and the UK respectively with Caitlin Roper Australia-based.
Through varied paths these women seem to have arrived at a common appreciation for what needs to come after legalization of the kind seen in New Zealand and Germany as well as other countries.
Here is a recent item from the website of UK magazine The Spectator by Julie Bindel with a podcast and other links.
Most ‘sex workers’ are modern day slaves.  Prostitution is rarely, if ever, a choice
(audio 12:17)
Over sixty percent of Canada’s reported human trafficking activity takes place in the Greater Toronto Area.  This CBC piece describes a recent case in Mississauga.  The dull image of a row of motels on Dundas Street, a major artery used daily by a huge number of motor vehicles, gives no indication of the human risk encountered by trafficked women and youth in such places.  While most of North America’s sprawl does not have ‘traditional’ red light districts like those of Amsterdam, for example, these communities are still home to sexual exploitation, pimping and prostitution.
‘Anyone can be a victim’: Canadian high school girls being lured into sex trade. Toronto-area teenager recounts how she was recruited into sex work by peers at 16
cbc.ca/news
Recent attention to the so-called Nordic Model in which the criminalizing of paid sexual activity is transferred to the male buyer has generated enthusiasm and backlash.  Canada is considered a Nordic Model country but it would seem there is still plenty of work to do on all of this.
Taken. I was a teenage runaway struggling to survive when I met a man who promised me love and security
torontolife.com
On prostitution, can Canada learn from the Nordic Model?
thetyee.ca (2012)
The new era of Canadian sex work
vice.com (video 34:41)
image: Victory of the People via Flickr/CC

(1199) Don’t forget the students


At a time in life when we should be building strength many of us are exposed to difficulty.
Unpaid internships damage long-term graduate pay prospects
theguardian.com
The poverty of student experience
sociologicalimagination.org
New study finds higher air pollution at school drop-off zones. Emissions were higher in the winter because of air stagnation around the Great Lakes
metronews.ca
image: Chris Murphy via Flickr/CC

(1111) Toronto gig economy survey

Economic systems tend to be somewhat stacked against young people from the start because they simply have had less time to accumulate things of value in those systems.  With the so-called gig or sharing economy it is starting to look like a significant structural  disadvantage to younger persons has begun to reveal itself.  Many a young worker has education and tech savvy to contribute.  Frustration is rising early on the occupational path as young workers with few options are often encounter the working conditions imposed by app-based and online employers.
“Sharing economy” or on-demand service economy?
A survey of workers and consumers in the Greater Toronto Area
policyalternatives.ca
Toronto’s ‘gig economy’ fueled by young workers starved for choice. A new survey by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives takes the first look at who is working through online platforms in the GTA
thestar.com

image: stavos via Flickr/CC

(1110) Future-proof youth?


Young people are the ones who will be most affected by artificial intelligence and robotics if the electro-technological super future arrives in the workplace in the fashion expected.  With that in mind, there is a new report to direct you to from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship called Future-proof: Preparing Young Canadians for the Future of Work.
The report is HERE and there was a CBC News piece last week covering it that includes 6:18 of audio and other links.
Youth at risk of unemployment with future entry-level jobs replaced by automation
cbc.ca/news

image: Gloconda Beekman via Flickr/CC

(938) US student debt racket

jailWithin the vast net of financial scams and debt-based swindles that compose much of the source code underlying modern American life is an education-related indenture of $1.3 trillion.  This generational thrashing is the stuff of revolutions, surely.  Is there not a single history degree out there in the hands of the direly mortgaged young Americans?  Education was supposed to be one of the things motorizing the new economy.
Wasn’t it?
Stop paying your student loans and debt collectors can send US Marshalls to arrest you
boingboing.net
The feds are now arresting people for not paying their student loans
vice.com

(915) Apres 1976: generational lockdown

UBCAt what point does a society consciously decide to move off of a real estate bubble?  Can we even think of doing so?  Recent data from a University of British Columbia professor reveals the standpoint of Canada’s youth in regard to the “benefits” of home ownership.  A sample: it would take 23 years for a young person in Vancouver to save the downpayment on a typical mortgage from a typical wage.
Young people have it tougher than parents: UBC prof
bc.ctvnews.ca (video 1:40)