Scott Lemieux

Maybe I should post about this--I already have--but I think that while the feminist critique of prostitution is right I still think that decriminalization is obviously right as a policy matter. The reason that prostitutes are particularly subject to exploitation and abuse is precisely because they essentially forfeit access to legal protection by being involved in an illegal trade. I just don't see any way that the remedy does anything but exacerbate the problems it's trying to solve.

rape, emotional violence, other forms of abuse.



There is much talk about decriminalizing it in the sense that the women are no longer being put in jail. But, in the same token, we criminalize the act of buying sex. Thus, we get the Johns, the ones who really need to be put away and leave the women the heck out of it.

Personally, I adore this proposal because goodness knows that prostitutes don't need anymore flack than they already get.

Righteous Feminist

I very much disagree with decriminalizing prostition, with would be tandamount to legalizing the consumption/ownership/degradation, slavery in part, of women's bodies, sexuality, spirits. Why not instead look at what in our society makes prostitution possible, tolerated. What makes men use women in prostitution both individual and societal responsiblity, and what makes women and children resort to prostitution. There's a study somewhere (can't remember where, COYOTE possibly?) where they interviewed adult female prostitutes about their childhood. 95% stated they had been molested as a child by a male family member. The other 5% said they couldn't even remember their childhood (hum, what could have caused that lack of memory). The majority of prostitutes get turned out at a young age, and quite often, it's by a family member. If you had to choose between getting raped by a family member, and getting fucked by a stranger for money, which would you choose? Do people understand that this is the "Choice" wommen who are prostituted have made? Is this really choice? Then there's the question of whether the drug addiction began first, or if the women resorted to drug abuse just to be able to go out on the street night after night. Bottom line is, it appears to be pretty hard to stay in one's mind and body while being prostituted. I did it several times as an undercover officer, and I can tell you - the looks, the language, the intentions of the Johns - made me feel like shit, and my night always ended happily - I wasn't robbed, assaulted, raped, tortured, murdered like so many prostitutes are, although I suspect that this could have happened on more than one occassion had I not had a band of arresting officers with me. Oh yes, I also got to arrest the Johns - lots of them. If anyone is interested in the idea of going after the Johns as a way to fight prostitution - look at what Sweden has done, they've been very successful. Go to: www.justicewomen.com/cj_sweden.html. If anyone can help me with this problem/issue - I'd be greatful. Seems there's a lot of lesbians who are so anti-feminist (not sure what their idea of feminism is), and they think there is nothing wrong with going to strip clubs. They consider it empowerment to have the female sex workers dance for them for money - just don't get it. I tried to talk to a friend about it, and ended up in her girlfriend's blog with lots of offensive comments towards me: recoveringstraightgirl.blogspot.com. I just don't get why some lesbians think being a homosexual female means adopting the worst, most oppresive practices of male hetersexuals. HELP!

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