Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Straight Dope on Prostitution

(Apologies for the paragraph-long sentence, but I've always been a sucker for a well-constructed run-on). :p

Can we just acknowledge that:

1) prostitution may not be the most glamorous job in the world, and it's probably not anybody's first choice for a career, but that doesn't change the fact that people can consciously (and sanely) choose to engage in it, and still maintain a personal sense of dignity, and even take pride in their vocation; and

2) if we want to help prostitutes, it's better to improve the conditions of prostitution (starting with not automatically making anyone who engages in it a criminal, thereby giving them no recourse to the law) than it is to forcibly take away their livelihood (either by "rescuing" prostitutes from their jobs, or by stigmatizing and even imprisoning their clients, who are only expressing a basic human need); and

3) if we want less people involved in prostitution, then we need to confront the issues that lead people to resort to prostitution to make a living in the first place (chief among them most likely being poverty, drug addiction, and poor education), instead of obsessing over the sensationalized narrative of "human trafficking" (a.k.a. so-called sex slavery), and focusing on abolition, which targets the symptom - out of a misguided sense of moral obligation (sacrificing civil liberty in the process) - rather than the disease.


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