PURITANS AND FEMINISTS VERSUS PROSTITUTES

Another mainstream publication has joined the fray where  legalizing prostitution is concerned. In a relatively recent article, the author questioned the validity of the moral view that “women selling sex are sinners”, and that all prostitutes are victims. It is agreed that some women selling sex suffer from exploitation and violence, but this occurs in large part, because the stigma attached to the prostitution business, is heavily promoted by Puritans. The combination of these moralizers who cast prostitutes in a low light, and feminists who relentlessly crusade against the trade, claiming that the women are all victims, causes lawmakers to increase penalties for those caught in the act. It is true that some of the focus in the laws has been redirected toward the customers (“Johns”) while the prostitutes are then considered innocent victims. But such laws are specifically targeted towards cases where women are induced into prostitution through abusive means: Pimps use drugs, intimidation, beatings and the victim’s vulnerability to force women to engage in prostitution. Few people would argue against criminal penalties for those who engage in such behavior. The problem is, the laws also ensnare women who are sex-trading solo; these women lose the victimization shield afforded them by feminists, and still wear the quintessential badge of shame pinned on them by do-gooders. It is no wonder that many sex-workers are driven into some of the most dangerous, isolated, and dark crevices in the country to practice their trade. In the article mentioned above, the author says prohibiting prostitution has proven to be a “dud”. But it is worse than that—criminalizing prostitution has never worked, the process is way too expensive, and too many women have been injured or killed because the police have driven them underground. If regulated and taxed, prostitution would increase tax revenue over $10 billion dollars per year. Mandated health tests would help prevent the spread of disease. Counseling and education costs could be shared by those making money from the business—this would assist the women by easing the stigma and anxiety now connected to the business (The same rationale would apply to male prostitution as well). It would serve to decrease drug use and psychological problems, and put pimps out of business. This country should not allow rigid ideologies to continue to punish sex-workers.

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  1. […] on in much of Europe primarily because experts fear that such laws serve to drive sex workers underground thereby subjecting them to greater harm. In countries like the United States, where prostitution is […]

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