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"Mean Girls"

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News item:

In a shocking case believed to be a first in Canada, Ottawa police have charged two 15-year-old girls with forcing other girls into prostitution.

Police are seeking a third female suspect who is 17, making this alleged ring of pimps almost unheard of in its under-age, all-girl makeup.

“Shocking is a great word, because that was our reaction,” said Staff Sgt. John McGetrick of the Ottawa Police. He added that local officers have never seen anything like it, nor have their counterparts across the country — including the RCMP.

Police allege the three victims, ranging in age from 13 to 17, were lured to a residence in a public housing development in southeast Ottawa on three separate occasions in May and June for what were billed as innocent social reasons, but then were driven to other locations for the purposes of prostitution.

The suspects are too young to be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, but they face multiple charges including human trafficking, robbery, procuring, forcible confinement, sexual assault, assault, uttering threats and abduction.

Police have said there is no indication any men, or known pimps, or gang members or anyone else at all was involved.

Let me repeat this: “Police have said there is no indication any men, or known pimps, or gang members or anyone else at all was involved.”

These were not pranks. And as far as I know, the movie ‘Risky Business’, while tacitly sanctioning procurement and prostitution as amusing peccadilloes for boys who will be boys, does not actually provide a practical step-by-step model for adolescents bent on exploiting such ventures to supplement the allowance their parents give them.

Well. Perhaps if those adolescents grow up in a 1% world.

What “shocks” me about the news story is that it appears that cops are giving a complete pass, aka “Get out of jail free” card, to clients involved in these crimes.

Before these three girls launched their start-up company, they were knowledgeable about the market for their “products”. How did they acquire this information, and how did they arrange for their “goods” to reach the customers?

Best case scenario: the police are deliberately spinning a media tale in order to eventually obtain the evidence required to charge others involved in this criminal organization.

Worst case scenario: the girls will be the scapegoats and the police will allow the men involved immunity from legal prosecution in return for their testimony.

There is much about this story that piques my cynicism.

I wonder how the release of information about this investigation was engineered, and whether it assists those who prop up the sanctimonious theatrical posturing and abject rhetoric that has become the Harper Regime’s standard operating procedure.

Most of all, I wonder how quotidian heterosexism might have contaminated from start to finish every sordid, tragic and violent detail of these adolescents’ involvement as well as the manner in which the police investigated.

In my humble opinion, the focus of the police spin would have been quite different had all the participants in these illegal activities been male instead of female.

In a current political social environment where the closing of Nelson House can occur and the toxic and systemic misogyny of the RCMP prevails, the demonization of three teenage girls becomes instrumental in creating a distraction from those realities.

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This page contains a single entry by published on June 12, 2012 1:35 PM.

Hunger in Nunavut--where's Leona? was the previous entry in this blog.

Equity in Ontario--a little further off for the ladies is the next entry in this blog.

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