Culture

Safety shoes for prostitutes

If one thing has been made clear to us via years of television shows, news reports and movies like "Time After Time," it's that prostitution is a very dangerous profession.

Out on the streets, ducking the law to begin with, ladies of the night are prone to face violence at a moment's notice.

And that's why the Aphrodite Project has developed platform shoes stuffed with technology that it says can protect prostitutes from all kinds of danger.

On the one hand, the shoes have a built-in GPS receiver and emergency button "that relays both the prostitute's location and a silent alarm signal to public emergency services."

The shoes will also transmit their location using APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) technology developed by the U.S. Naval Academy Satellite Lab in the 1970s, the project's site said. And in this implementation, the technology can be used to alert sex workers' rights groups if a prostitute is arrested.

"Using APRS brings sex workers on par with other public workers," the site said, "whose lives are valued highly because they work in dangerous professions that serve the needs of the community."

To be sure, that statement is not likely to make a lot of people happy, but it has a point: Prostitutes are, as they say, the oldest profession in the world, and the women (and men) doing the work are, in fact, serving the public. And as it does for firefighters, police officers and others, APRS could be used to help sex workers stay safe.

In any case, it's not clear how far along the Aphrodite Project is with its shoes, but one thing is clear: they could have a serious effect on the storylines of the movies.