Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prostitution

I'm going to warn people up front, this one is going to get ranty. Prostitution is a bit of an odd topic for me to tackle as it's not something I've ever engaged in, nor do I ever plan to. However I've known enough people who have and seen enough news stories about transgendered prostitutes being abused or killed that I've formed some pretty strong opinions all the same. I'll get to the punchline first: legalize it already!

The image of the prostitute is poor, drug addicted abuse victims and I'm aware that does happen. However not all those who engage in the practice do so out of desperation or are forced into it. I've known more than a few who are prostitutes completely by choice because at the end of the day they enjoy it. I'm not trying to belittle those who are abused and forced because I understand that does happen. But part of the reason that happens is because it's illegal. Most of the terrible things about being a prostitute (drugs, rape, etc) either happen because it's an illegal act or are at least made worse by that fact. The reason prostitutes are such easy targets for those who abuse them is that they can't go to the police without incriminating themselves as prostitutes. This means that they won't report if they are beated or raped and their abusers know this.

Despite appearances I'm not working the street corner. Photo by Banafsheh Ehtemam.


In addition to that issue there's simply no logical reason why it is illegal. It is the perfect embodiment of a victimless crime. Some may say that the prostitutes themselves are the victims, but as stated that's a situation caused by and made worse by its illegality. What logical sense does it make for a person to be legally forbidden to do something for money that they can do for free with no reprocussions. Sex is perfectly legal, only the money changing hands makes it a crime. Yet there's nothing illegal about the act in question itself, how does that make sense?

It makes even less sense if you take porn into account. Think about it: if a man meets a woman (or dresser, transwoman, what have you,) takes her back to his place, has sex with her and gives her money for it then it's a crime. But if that same man takes that same woman back to his place, gives her money to have sex, video tapes it, gets her to sign a release and then sells that video it's just business. How does the involvement of a camera and additional commerce suddenly take the curse off it? Again it just makes no sense.

So come folks, can we get off our outdated moral high horse and just legalize it already? Regulate it, liscence it (clean bill of health being the main prequisite,) prosicute those who don't get a liscence, then tax the heck out of it. It's called "the world's oldest profession" for a reason and it's not going away. If somebody of their own free will wants to use their own body and god given talents to make a living who are we to tell them no?

Ok, rant's over. Move along now.

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