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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Systematic Subjugation Masked in Morality

The world’s oldest profession is illegal in 49 of the United States. Despite the legal issues, prostitution is still common throughout America; you can easily find their ads in the yellow pages or even on Craigslist. It’s here, it has always been here, and it is not going anywhere, why not just embrace it? Is a prostitute really all that different from a masseuse, a stripper or a pornographer? It is an awfully slippery slope to allow governmental regulation on the goings on between consenting adults behind closed doors. Maybe this is a weak argument, but how about this:

Prostitutes are frequently beaten and robbed by patrons after their services have been provided, they must then return empty-handed to violent pimps only to receive a serious verbal and physical bashing. When something like this happens, there is no legal recourse for these women who have been cheated, victimized, demeaned, beaten, and they have no insurance to allow for medical treatment from injuries, often as severe as broken bones. With this inescapable abuse, the victims of criminalized prostitution are the prostitutes themselves, and by opposing legalization we are condoning, and even encouraging violence against women.

Surely nobody dreams of becoming a prostitute, nor is it a profession we would wish upon a loved one, but as long as there is a rock bottom there will always be women who fall into this sad life, when they do, they can’t wait to get out, but with pimps and clients constantly ripping them off. They are stuck. With legal protection these women could unionize and receive better pay, getting them back on their feet much faster. They could receive health benefits which would help prevent the spread of STD’s, but most importantly legalization would provide protection from abusive clients and pimps.

In Nevada, brothels operate legally, women seeking employment show up wearing tattered rags and fresh bruises, often having been days without a meal. The average term of employment is under two months, because after finding their feet, they get out, safe, healthy, and ready to put a horrific chapter of their life behind them. The system works.

Sex is a wonderful thing, love is even more beautiful, and paying a stranger for a shallow, emotion and meaningless fuck cheapens real love making. No doubt about it. I do not want to sleep with someone who doesn’t want to be with me, who isn’t willing to kiss me or snuggle with me afterward, so I wouldn’t hire a call girl, and if your sensibilities are anything like mine then you won’t either. Luckily it isn’t mandatory. We might not like the idea of tawdry sex, but I think we all ought to agree that slowing the spread of STD’s, letting people lift themselves out of poverty and preventing violence against women is a worth while tradeoff.

How can we to allow oppressively degrading subjugation? How can we let women with no friends, family or other alternatives be left bleeding, beaten and disease-ridden in the gutter, shunned from society with no where to turn? I don’t know. It’s unimaginably uncontainable, but we do.


Steve Ciulla said...

I agree Walt. The problem is that unfortunately the public doesn't look at prostitutes as victims when they get raped or abused. They are perceived to be a cause of their own victimization because of their lifestyle risk. They don't get the same sympathy as the white college girl who gets raped walking to her dormitory. Because prostitution is illegal and it isn't a priority for law enforcement to protect those who are breaking the laws like prostitutes and drug dealers, these groups become the most vulnerable targets for offenders. A lot of offenders use the vulnerability and lack of public sympathy for prostitutes to their advantage. Sexual predators know that they are more likely to get away with raping and beating a prostitute because of the lack of public outcry and prejudicial bias.

Cory said...

Ummmm . . .Embracing costs 15 dollars on my local corner . . .

Andres said...

I just wanted to say that I like how snuggle was a label for this post. So much so that I won't comment on the fact that this is recycled babble that you've published before in the past. I'm overwhelmed by the glee of some little old lady google-ing snuggle and reading that. KUDOS Hodder. KUDOS