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Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution

Legitimating prostitution as "work" does not empower women in prostitution.
As countries are considering legalizing and decriminalizing the sex industry, Janice G. Raymond urge us to consider the ways in which legitimating prostitution as "work" does not empower the women in prostitution but does everything to strengthen the sex industry. Read

The Legalisation of Prostitution : A failed social experiment, by Sheila Jeffeys

Sheila Jeffreys shows that the social experiment of legalising brothel prostitution which took place in Australia in the 1980s and 1990s has failed in all of its objectives i.e. stopping the illegal industry and police corruption, reducing the harm to women, stopping street prostitution. Read

"Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One and Two)", by Janice G. Raymond.

Janice G. Raymond analyses a controversial 1998 report of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the official labor agency of the United Nations, calling for economic recognition of the sex industry. Citing the expanding reach of the industry and its unrecognized contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of four countries in Southeast Asia, the ILO urges official recognition of what it terms "the sex sector." Read

English articles on Sisyphe

Prostitution

- Ten Raisons for Not Legalizing Prostitution, by Janice G. Raymond
- Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work: UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry- Part One and Two, by Janice G. Raymond
- The Legalisation of Prostitution: A failed social experiment, by Sheila Jeffreys
- Prostitution: Rights of Women or right to women ? by Elaine Audet

Feminism Critics

- Elisabeth Badinter distorts feminism the better to fight it, by Elaine Audet
- A report from Status of Women Canada about the discursive denial of gender inequalities, by Micheline Carrier
-The "Stolen Feminism" Hoax: Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes, by Laura Flanders

Health

- Friendships between women good for health, by Gale Berkowitz
- Canadian Women's Health Network, by CWHN
- Good clone, bad clone?, by Abby Lippmann
-Hormone Replacement Therapy, the "Magic Bullet" Ricochets, by Abby Lippmann

Divorce

- Children of divorce need our protection, by Michele Landsberg
- Divorce Bill's flaws inadvertently aid abusers, by Michele Landsberg

Education

- Problem isn't little boys, it's little minds, by Michele Landsberg

Poems for Peace

- Poem for Peace, by Elaine Audet
- Peace Rally Speech of a 12 year old American Girl, by Charlotte Aldebron

- Short cut for all english articles on Sisyphe

Sisyphe home

Volontary translators wanted

Sisyphe is looking for volontary translators to occasionally translate texts from french to english or to revise english translations made by some of our french collaborators. Email

You will never be free 26.Oct.2003 16:28

GPFX

You can not claim to be free if the government can tell you what to do with your own body. That includes not allowing you to get paid for sex.

nonsense: welcome to 21st century ethics and morals 26.Oct.2003 16:58

ndw

Thank you for posting links to Raymond's articles on how selling prostitution has failed. When Sysyphe gets back online I'll read them..

>You can not claim to be free if the government can tell you what to do with your own body. >That includes not allowing you to get paid for sex.

I can tell that comment was written by a pornography-repressed male. Ok, "John" -- try telling that to the millions of women (and children and some men) in places like Thailand and big city America who are trapped in the sex trade (often legal or ignored in their country of origin so sexual perceptions vary but prostitution is prostitution). Women emigrate expecting to get genuine, ethical work and instead get conned into sexual slavery.

READ THIS BOOK!!

 http://www.futurenet.org/Reviews/ehrenreich.htm

GLOBAL WOMAN: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy
Edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild
Metropolitan Books, 2003, 328 pages

"The invisible world of the largely non-white, migrant, poor women who nanny and clean for families across the United States is made strikingly visible in social critics Barbara Ehrenreich's and Arlie Russell Hochschild's Global Woman. This is not just an extraordinary read, but a jarring read. Very few of us readers could be those nannies, maids, or sex workers. Indeed, for most of us readers, they are "the other." But we could—dare we admit it?—be their employers. And that is part of what makes reading this book so thought-provoking. What exactly is the reader's own role in this underworld that underpins the new economy?

Ehrenreich is a prolific writer with a knack for turning difficult topics into popular reading. Case in point is her recent bestseller Nickled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, for which she went "undercover" as a blue-color worker to demonstrate how and why today's working class cannot possibly get by. Her co-editor Arlie Russell Hochschild is a similarly distinguished thinker and writer (author of bestseller The Second Shift, as well as the most recent The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes on Home and Life).

In Global Woman, they have woven together nannies, maids, and sex workers to document the feminization of the new economy. Their joint effort builds on their own individual work but brings in new and exciting dimensions from 13 collaborators--, who include the well-known author Susan Cheever, academic Saskia Sassen, Free the Slaves director Kevin Bales, and Joy Zarembka, who writes movingly of the powerlessness of foreign domestic workers imported to work in the U.S. for employees of agencies like the World Bank.

I am likely to be forever haunted by Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo's chilling "Blowups and Other Unhappy Endings." Hondagneu-Sotelo's series of stories on how the unequal power relations between employer and employee merge with faulty cross-cultural communication to take nannies and maids from seemingly secure jobs to nothing with one wrong sentence.

And what of the children of these nannies whom we expect to love our children as they love their own? Here again, Global Woman enters a largely hitherto invisible world. Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, for example, skillfully digs into the "care crisis" that she finds among Filipino children left behind for years at a time when their mothers travel thousands of miles for jobs.

The essays also remind us of the World Bank and IMF-imposed development models that force governments around the world to tighten their belts and lead Filipino schoolteachers to decide they would be better off as domestics in Hong Kong. These same policies convince engineers and lawyers from Vietnam to become mail-order brides of less-educated Americans—as Hung Cam Thai expands upon in a chapter on "Clashing Dreams: Highly Educated Overseas Brides and Low-wage U.S. Husbands." These unforgettable topics are typically left below the surface in exposés of mail-order brides and mail-order sex.

Together, these essays offer a sobering counter to the popular notion that the "new economy" will replace physical labor with "intellectual labor"—not so for the millions of women who inhabit the pages of this book. And, it is part of the unfinished business of feminism that we are able to use these invisible women to further the myth that today's Western woman can successfully juggle work and family to "have it all" without any changes in social policy.

I loved this book and simultaneously am haunted by it. As someone who lived for many years in Southeast Asia and as the mother of a six-year old, I have met many women like those who are the nannies, maids and sex-workers in Global Woman. I can tell you of a woman in the Philippines who went overseas to work as a nanny in order to pay for the healthcare that her own very sickly young daughter needed. In her absence, her daughter died. And I can tell you of a woman from El Salvador whom many children (including my own son) in my neighborhood adore, but who bears a deep dark secret: her own two daughters, now grown, long ago stopped speaking to her after cursing her for abandoning them in El Salvador.

I even have a file filled with such disturbing stories for a book I had once thought of writing about the women who cared for and educated my son and his friends. But, kudos to Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Hochshild and their collaborators: I do not need to write that book anymore.

So too are Ehrenreich and Hochschild to be applauded, not only for their wonderful essays in this book, but also for mov-ing beyond a focus on their own best-selling work. In what seems a conscious, political act, Ehrenreich and Hochschild have chosen to use their names and reputation to give voice to their other co-authors, who in turn join them in choosing to serve as transmission belts to make the "other" both visible and haunting."


legalized prostitution = return to feudal society 26.Oct.2003 19:02

open mind

In feudal landlords had the right to bed any woman on his property.

With prostitution made legal, the door would be open to all sorts of abuse, from employers rewriting job descriptions to include the requirement for employees to provide sex on demand. If it's no longer illegal, what would stop an employer, landlord, etc. from requiring it, especially in "right to work" states and non-union shops?

What's to stop the state from adding prostitution to the list of jobs required for poor women to take in order to participate in a "workfare" public assistance program? It is already happening in the Netherlands, the so-called "liberal" nation.

A typical interaction with a state social work counselor would turn into, "So you say you can't afford to feed your kids and want to apply for state aid? Here you go -- a list of brothels for you, sweetie. The state will provide your bus fare to and from the whorehouse."

It's a neoliberal's wet dream.

Prostitution is already legal 26.Oct.2003 22:28

emma's ghost

Only sometimes they call it "marriage".

slavery is freedom 26.Oct.2003 22:40

goatlove

GPFX is on the mark... Liberty begins with one's own body and with the ability to choose what to do with it.

NDW... arguments such as yours serve, at best, as thinly veiled prudishness and, worse, as a furtherance of the subjugation of the individual's sovereignty of her own body. It simply does not follow that a particular practice is inherently abusive because those with greater power and influence can use it to abusive ends. This is the "logical" thinking underlying nearly all repressive measures to limit individual autonomy in order to "protect the oppressed" or "protect people from themselves". This is the same "logical" thinking that conservatives use to argue against social safety nets, like welfare, citing that because someone can abuse the system, all those who are participating in that system must be abusing it.

It is unfortunate that many people are trapped in what amounts to slavery, sexual or otherwise, and I think it's right to engage in actions which seek to end that type of abuse... But that doesn't mean that I should be barred (under state threat of fine, imprisonment, and gun) from, of my own free will, fucking whomever I like and getting paid for it.


Somewhat surprised 26.Oct.2003 22:55

B

I'm somewhat surprised by the responses here and perhaps thats just evidence of the lack of unity within the left and the liberal influence on it. I've always understood "the revolution" to be about destroying the state and its laws, not upholding them or adding to them. I question the "revolutionary" motives of those who want to.

Most people despise prostitution, both unconsciously and consciously, not because of the supposed "exploitation of women" and so on, but because of the hate they feel for towards "whores," the women with many sexual partners, a hate pounded in them by Christian shame since childhood, a hate which is so integrated into western culture only a true revolution will eliminate it. After the revolution a person's body will be governed by them alone.

On pornography: yes, some pornography can be "repressive" especially when it comes to body image, -- and as a commodity it isn't something I really want to celebrate -- but pornography can also act as a positive and healing sexual influence which enhances the sexual life of the viewer(s). Pornography can increase curiousity and play, and help the viewer explore areas of their sexuality that shame never let them. It might even change their lives.

Hi 27.Oct.2003 00:43

Susan

I'm 12 and when I grow up I want to be a sex worker. No one should be able to tell me what to do with my body and I can't wait to snort lots of good coke and crank and fuck lots of guys AND GET PAID FOR IT! This guy down on the corner told me he can handle all the arrangments and kind of manage the thing for me. I'm really excited!

Legalize it 27.Oct.2003 01:14

anonymous

Although prostitution is rampant in Thailand, it is not legal. In Singapore, prostitution is legal. The suffering of women and children in Thailand is exponentially higher than that of women in Singapore. There's more than one reason for this difference in these two countries, but I'm just pointing out that it doesn't make sense to use Thailand as a reason for not legalizing prostitution in the US.

The idea that legalizing prostitution would lead to secretaries and other professional women being "forced" to provide sex as a part of their job is ludicrous. Legalizing prostitution will not bring prostitution into the office. It doesn't change society, suddenly compelling men to buy sex everywhere. The women who choose to go into prostitution will be the same women who do so now. The women who would never think of it now, will not think of it if it is legalized. And prostitution will probably be zoned.

One of the main reasons women are victimized so much in regards to prostitution is because it is illegal. Once they have been forced to prostitute themselves, they are criminals themselves. When there is a raid on a brothel, the headline is almost always "30 prostitutes were taken into custody," and almost never "30 sex slaves were rescued from captivity." Once they are considered criminals themselves, their captors have all kinds of leverage over them. They cannot, or feel they cannot go to the police for help.

If it's legalized, a woman who chooses to be a prostitute can have much more control over her life and her safety. Prostitution will never be a respectable career choice, but legalizing it will help women in that line of business to protect themselves.

I don't like prostitution. I wish no woman treasured herself so little to be able to sell herself to strangers. But this is the world we live in. Will laws against prostitution ever stop it? No. It will always exist. If that is so, it is better to provide a situation where women can be more able to use the laws to protect themselves. Right now it is anything goes, it's dangerous, and there is nowhere these women can go for help until the get completely out of the business.

The changes that will occur if it is legalized? More women will be working for themselves and not for pimps. If a woman gets beaten up, otherwise abused, or cheated by either a pimp or customer, she can go to the police. Health and safety programs will be more open to these women.

On Prostitution 27.Oct.2003 06:59

CatWoman

Whether prostitution should be legalized or not is not really the point. Either way, it's pandering to the state to accept their pronouncement over whether something is "legitimate" or not. However, I feel compelled to respond to "goatlove's" comment. Liberty may begin with one's own body, but prostitution is most assuredly NOT liberty. It is not "prudishness" to point this out. Prostitution is nothing more than the commodification of women's (yes, and children's and sometimes men's) bodies.

The urge to eliminate prostitution is not a desire to "protect people from themselves" as this person says. On the contrary, it's a desire to protect people from the predatory, abusive, insane penchant of our culture to sell out women and children in one way or another. It is a desire to protect people from abusive and parasitic pimps who prey on the young, on the impoverished, on people who have few options in life.

I've spent some time working with women escaping the sex industry, and I can tell you I never met one who went into prostitution willingly. That's not to say there aren't any, but I certainly never met any. I did meet young women who had been turned out by abusive boyfriends in their early teens -- this was a very common scenerio. I met women who had found no other way to support themselves and their families. Poverty was a powerful factor in turning to prostitution. We all do things we wish we didn't have to for money because our society is structured to keep us addicted to it.

These women never saw themselves as liberated, never saw their bodies as being strictly under their own control. They lived in fear of pimps and johns alike. They were pressured by pimps and by poverty to sell themselves, and it was always a struggle to get away from those factors. Prostitution was never a matter of their own free will, it was a matter of survival.

It sucks what people have to do in this culture to survive. I can't believe anyone could sit back and believe women are out there selling themselves of their own free will. I can't believe anyone is cool with what these women and children have to go through. And by the way, they don't usually get paid what they make for it either, their pimps do.

The sex industry is rampant in Portland. From "gentlemen's clubs" to the boulevard, women's bodies are nothing more than a commodity. This is not a quaint, harmless practice. Prostitutes are robbed of personhood as anything is robbed of meaning when a price tag is attached to it. Most of the women in this "trade" are abused daily. Many are murdered. Few think twice when they hear of "another hooker" found dead along the max tracks. Often, it doesn't even make the papers. Society treats them as expendible -- disposable.

To legalize or not to legalize, that is not the question. Prostitution epitomizes all that is sick and wrong with capitalism. To overthrow capitalism itself, that is the question.

sex-negative 27.Oct.2003 09:15

goatlove

CatWoman, please explain why it's considered commodification (with the
connotation that this is bad) of a person's body to sell the use of
her sex organs, yet selling the use of different body parts (arms and
legs) for other activities (lifting and carrying) is acceptable. Call
it whatever you will, but the only sound explanation that I've come up
with is prudishness and sex-negativity. I'm not saying that we, as a
society, should pursue the objectification and commodification of sex
organs because we already subjugate their time, energy, love, will,
arms, and thoughts, rather that we should draw no difference between
them as we currently do.

It seems almost tautological that if you're working with and helping
women who are trying explicitly to escape the sex industry that it's
quite likely that those women did not choose to enter into that
activity without some form of duress motivating them. If you want
your example to be anything more than an anecdote, you'd have to talk
to prostitutes who aren't seeking a helping hand from social services.

> This is not a quaint, harmless practice. Prostitutes are robbed of
> personhood as anything is robbed of meaning when a price tag is
> attached to it.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but again, why is this
different from a person selling the use of her strong arms?

> Most of the women in this "trade" are abused daily. Many are
> murdered.

People are injured or killed working in factories, commuting to and
from work, all sorts of conditions that are directly related to their
profession. Should we take up the cause of the poor baristas because
they can burn themselves using an espresso machine? Or the factory
worker who loses a limb or her life in an industrial accident? Of
course we should... and we already have! Workplace safety is an
enormous part of the labor movement. So labor concerns address those
issues by making the workplace safer and, ideally, punishing the
bosses that run them in excessively dangerous or abusive situations,
*not* by telling the workers that they shouldn't be slinging coffee or
working an assembly line.

Though you seem to think otherwise, your statement is not an argument
against prostitution, but against shitty people who are willing to abuse and
destroy the lives of others for their own ends.

prostitution and exploitation go hand in hand 27.Oct.2003 10:59

GRINGO STARS

In speaking to women who still do work in the sex industry as prostitutes, I have *never* spoken to one who enjoys what she does. It is dehumanising in countless ways, small and big. CatWoman is right, "goatlove."

I don't like the criminalisation of prostitution making criminals out of those who sell their bodies, because it is a desperate act. I don't trust the state, as it is now, to help these women. But to pretend that this desperate act is an act of free-will is wishful thinking at its worst.

I think "goatlove" is profoundly ignorant of the realities of sex work, and possibly an addict of prostitution/pornography. It is the sex workers' job to make you believe they enjoy what they are doing. Their fake "sex industry voice" and the things they say and the way they move do NOT bely their true feelings. If that is the only way you interact with these women, you are a dupe. They have *no* respect for johns/tricks anyways.

One of the side effects of sex work is the steady devaluation of their private sex life (they eventually ALWAYS feel like they are turning a trick - even with their boyfriend/husband), as well as a steady increase in hatred for men. Substance abuse in order to get away from oneself is another common side effect of sex work - I know sex workers who are ALWAYS on some kind of substance. I know sex workers who will simply not EVER have sex without getting paid for it. The myth of the "happy hooker" is peddled by the sex industry itself, and is primarily believed by johns/tricks.

Prostitution promotes rape culture by propagandising womens' bodies as commodities, as mere objects, as indiscriminate yet "willing" partners.

Slavery is alive and well in the world today, and the top industries in which slavery exist are mining, agriculture, and prostitution.

If prostitution is so great, why not convince your mother, daughter, or sister to do it? Oh, is that your double-standard showing? Prostitution is to be avoided now that you are related to one? I suppose its best to exploit a stranger instead of your daughter, goatlove?

Sorry Gringo, but 27.Oct.2003 11:51

B

Sorry Gringo, but capitalism and exploitation go hand in hand. The exploitation of sex workers is no different than the exploitation of "any" worker. And your patriarch comment against the voice of the sex worker isn't going to help any more than it would against the voice of the worker.

Again, the reason people focus directly on prostitution as something other than "real work" is because of socially conditioned sexual repression. If you felt no shame about sex it wouldn't matter if your mother (or sister or daughter) worked at the supermarket or the brothel? They are both forms of work, and both exploitive -- in our current social context only shame divides them.

Right On Goatlove and B 27.Oct.2003 11:52

O Yeah

Prostitution should absolutely be legal.So should pot.Mandatory car insurance and seat belts(for adults) should not.My point is, get your damn laws off my body! I dream of a day when I can do whatever the hell I want and then take the natural consequences, not the unnatural "legal" ones forced on me by a sheep-like fearful stupid short-sighted populace. I am a grown-up (and,no,not a male sexfiend abuser) and I demand to be treated like one. As a big girl now, I can make up my own mind and take care of myself. As for possible abuses in the system, they're there now.

Viva la Susie Bright!

To 'anonymous' 27.Oct.2003 12:01

open mind

"The idea that legalizing prostitution would lead to secretaries and other professional women being "forced" to provide sex as a part of their job is ludicrous. "

Nice way to start out a discussion by riduculing your opposition. It reveals how insecure you are in your stance.

Why do you insist on restricting the issue to one gender? Men, women, and children are exploited as prostitutes.

"Legalizing prostitution will not bring prostitution into the office. "

And your evidence for this is _________________________________ ?

The office isn't the only place I was referring to when I brought up "workplace". Low level employees of any industry could be targeted-- hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry employees would probably be the most vulnerable, but it can occur in any workplace. Is sexual harassment limited to one particular type of workplace? I don't think so.

Also, females would not be the only victims as men are subjected propositioning, unwanted sexual attention and harassment as at work as well -by both genders who happen to be in positions of power.

"It doesn't change society, suddenly compelling men to buy sex everywhere."

No societal change would be necessary. Don't we already have people buying sex everywhere they can?

It would only give people who have power over others more power to abuse. Of course there would be some employers who wouldn't change the way they operate but there are no guarantees that many other employers would not seize the upon the opportunity to sexually exploit their workers.

With regard to "sexual freedom", no one is against a person GIVING it away to whomever he/she wants, whenever he/she wants, however he/she wants, and how often he/she wants. It's the idea of people being forced into a state of economic desperation to the point where the only way they can eat and keep a roof over their heads is getting fucked up the ass.

It is also extremely hypocritical of the pro-prostitution types to advocate in favor of this type of exploitation but only for poor people or people whose lives do not touch theirs in any significant way, such as family members, significant others, or themselves. The only time they seem "concerned" about the freedom for the poor and downtrodden is when it affects the pro-prostitution person's ability to get pussy or dick on demand.

more fig leaves... 27.Oct.2003 12:09

goatlove

Gringo...

> I have *never* spoken to one who enjoys what she does.

As with CatWoman's assessment, this is anecdotal. I'll retort by saying that I know and have spoken to those who enjoy their work, spoken to them as peers and friends, not as a customer.

> I think "goatlove" is profoundly ignorant of the realities of sex
> work, and possibly an addict of prostitution/pornography.

Ad-hominem arguments are for sexually repressed wusses.

> It is the sex workers' job to make you believe they enjoy what they
> are doing.

And it's a waitress' job to make you think she enjoys serving you. The sales person is supposed to make you think you're getting a deal. Why not cry foul of the horrible facade these demeaned individuals are forced to conjure?

> If prostitution is so great, why not convince your mother, daughter,
> or sister to do it? Oh, is that your double-standard showing?

Um, what double-standard? You mean the one that says that selling my body to move objects from one place to another or to pack baubles into shipping crates is okay, but selling it for sexual purposes is verboten?

Oh wait... that's you.

> Prostitution is to be avoided now that you are related to one? I
> suppose its best to exploit a stranger instead of your daughter,
> goatlove?

You don't know me, so why do you imply that you're able to answer for me? Just because you abide double-standards in your life doesn't mean that I abide them in mine.

If a close friend or relative of mine were a sex worker out of desperation, then I would certainly seek to help her arrange her life such that she could sustain herself in another fashion. But I'd do the same for any occupation that made someone I love feel exploited or any situation that she reached through dire straits and desperation.

And if another were a sex worker and enjoyed it, I would unwaveringly support her in her choice. It's her body, her life, and her will. If she takes joy in her work and isn't destroying the world in the process, why should I seek to deny her her pleasure?

If still another did it primarily to pay the bills but didn't feel it unusually demeaned her, then so be it. I'd say that this is where most people stand in relation to their work, whether it's sex work, an office job, or whatever. While this is arguably an unfortunate state of affairs, it is a statement about our culture and our society, not about revealing some intrinsic element of sex work.

........ 27.Oct.2003 12:17

anonymous

Goatlove sounds so removed from reality he/she may even believe it's okay for his/her sister to be a prostitute.

"CatWoman, please explain why it's considered commodification (with the
connotation that this is bad) of a person's body to sell the use of
her sex organs, yet selling the use of different body parts (arms and
legs) for other activities (lifting and carrying) is acceptable. Call
it whatever you will, but the only sound explanation that I've come up
with is prudishness and sex-negativity."

I have to say the above sentences made me want to vomit. Seeing prostitution as the selling of the use of sex organs only shows a great lack of understanding of what sex is to a woman, both biologically and emotionally. Either Goatlove has never had sex, is a man with little or no empathy and understanding, and refuses to admit that women experience things differently than he, or is a woman who has been victimized to the extent that she has totally desensitized herself. Desensitization is something that women have to do if they are to continue as sex workers, and often do if they have been victimized. It is a form of protection and coping.

Go ahead and accuse people of being prudes. That is a very convenient accusation which allows you to keep from really understanding yourself and others, but has little to do with the issue of sex work.

I still believe women are better off if prostitution is legalized however. Right now prostitutes are the least protected and most easily victimized people in society. I would urge anyone in this life to leave it, but I'd rather they be more protected while they are in it than they are now.

true, capitalism is exploitation 27.Oct.2003 12:20

GRINGO STARS

As long as the inequal distribution of wealth is in place, as long as the economic and social inequalities are maintained by a ruling elite, prostitution, which is an act of desperation, will continue - whether it is illegal or not.

Capitalism and exploitation go hand in hand, but prostitution goes deeper than a supermarket job. A supermarket job is exploitative of your time and effort, but not of your sexuality, which to many is considered a deeply personal part of ones life. Lifting boxes is not nearly as personal an act as having sex. Your argument of sexual repression being the reason selling your body is not accurate - it is the selling of something personal. If you are the kind of person for whom sex has no meaning, and is akin to playing racquetball for example, then you might be right. But no sex worker I've spoken to has been affected postively, sexually-speaking. That is apart from legality and society - their sex lives were slowly yet surely ruined because at one point they placed personal importance on their private sexual lives - and prostitution erodes that away. Prostitution systematically destroys any trust and respect a sex worker might have once had in men, destroying personal relationships because personal sex feels like turning tricks. The usual end result is for the sex worker to never waste time having sex that isn't paid for.

My comment on the sex industry voice was actually borrowed from a female sex worker - she calls her sexually-available baby-talk voice her "sex industry voice" and it is effective for duping her johns towards thinking she is a valuable sex object. Tell *her* its a patriarchal term. She speaks from experience.

As long as you consider sex a meaningless physical act, B, then go on thinking that it is only sexual repression that would make you think sex work is a bad idea. But for those who consider sex something more than sports, it demeans the prostitute to sell her body to strangers. Ask a sex worker how she feels about men in general after she's prostituted for a couple years.

Shame Culture 27.Oct.2003 13:00

B

I never said sex was a meanless act, or a sport. YOU seem to assume that sex without spirituality is a meanless and shameful act. This is the heart of the problem, the culture of shame. Sexuality is an instictual act. With love it can be wonderful. But without love it can be just as wonderful, and is not demeaning but expressive and liberating.

Obviously, as someone with anti-work ethics, I'm against prostitution, but only because its another type of work, not because its sexual. What about you?

re: ........ 27.Oct.2003 13:04

goatlove

> Goatlove sounds so removed from reality he/she may even believe it's
> okay for his/her sister to be a prostitute.

False dilemma.

> shows a great lack of understanding of what sex is to a woman, both
> biologically and emotionally.

How is it that you can claim to speak for all of womankind and dictate how they do and do not feel about sex? From what great pinnacle of authority do you speak such unmitigated truths? If you were to poll ten woman about what sex means to them, you'd likely get a hundred answers, yet you manage to boil it down to one simple (yet mysteriously unstated) platitude. I don't think it's that simple.

To clarify somewhat, I wrote hyperbolically in terms of sex organs, arms, and legs because I was responding to arguments about people selling their bodies, not about people selling their emotional responses. It was not intended to assert that I think there's no psychic or emotional investment in sex and sex work, nor potential and corresponding harm or healing from the same.

> Go ahead and accuse people of being prudes.

I use the term "prude" in a descriptive fashion, not a prescriptive one. I'm not accusing anyone of being a prude any more than I'm accusing the Sun of shining brightly.

> I still believe women are better off if prostitution is legalized however.

Amen.

Open mind 27.Oct.2003 13:40

anonymous

I didn't ridicule you. I said "the idea" is ludicrous, not you. I'm not at all insecure about my stance. I am perfectly secure in my stance, because I have seen it work. I didn't restrict my opposition to one gender. I mentioned women only because there are more women involved in sex work than men. If prostitution is legalized it would be done so for adults of both sexes, or all sexes if you want to be really specific. It would not be legalized for children. I don't think anyone seriously discussing this issue would consider otherwise. That includes me and you.

I don't think legalizing prostitution would bring it into the office because it is done in other countries and it is not brought into the office. Prostitution is legal in Singapore. You don't see it in the office place or anywhere else where it is not the main business operation. There are perfectly understandable reasons for this. Society is still essentially the same. Prostitution is still not an admirable profession. People don't want to see it next to their grocery store, near the schools, in other parts of their everyday life. People who engage the services of sex workers go to those establishments. They don't expect to find it in the office, in the hotel, in the barbershop, or anywhere else. They go to the brothel. They go to the strip club. An analogous, although not equal example would be liquor. You have to have a license to sell it. Only certain types of establishments want to sell it. Only certain types are allowed to sell it. If you sell it without a license, you are breaking the law.

I used the term "office" for expediency sake, as an example, not to imply that it was the only place you were indicating sex could be required. You mentioned "employer" and curiously "landlord" but I didn't feel the need to address every possible type of job you might be referring to. The idea is the same regardless of which or how many are mentioned. We are talking about sex being a part of businesses that are not in the business of sex.

Legalization of prostitution would require that licenses be taken out. A hotel couldn't require it's workers to provide sex as part of their employment unless, they get a license. In that case they would no longer be a hotel, they would be a brothel. And in that case they would not get legitimate hotel business. Real hotels would not want to engage in this business, for it would chase away the kinds of customers they want. If someone were "required" to provide sex as part of their employment when that establishment is not licensed, that would be illegal, and the employee could turn them in for it. Legalization is not a wild "anything goes" endeavor. It is one that involves controls and rules. It would involve controls and rules because the majority would not accept anything less.

"Also, females would not be the only victims as men are subjected propositioning, unwanted sexual attention and harassment as at work as well -by both genders who happen to be in positions of power."

You are right about that. That happens whether or not prostitution is legalized. The legalization of prostitution as I see it does not throw away any rules of sexual harrassment. It will still be unacceptable for sexual harrassment in the workplace or schools. We know this doesn't stop it from happening, but still the rules are there, and lawsuits are still powerful. Legalization of prostitution doesn't have to change this.

["It doesn't change society, suddenly compelling men to buy sex everywhere."

No societal change would be necessary. Don't we already have people buying sex everywhere they can?]

I'm not aware that we have people buying sex everywhere they can. My reference is to the buying and selling of sex being done in places that are designated for other kinds of business or activity. If you are talking about people buying sex on the streets. I know that happens, but that has little to do with it infiltrating other places of business. I am not aware that people are buying sex everywhere. I don't see it happen in my everyday life.

"It is also extremely hypocritical of the pro-prostitution types to advocate in favor of this type of exploitation but only for poor people or people whose lives do not touch theirs in any significant way, such as family members, significant others, or themselves. The only time they seem "concerned" about the freedom for the poor and downtrodden is when it affects the pro-prostitution person's ability to get pussy or dick on demand."

There may be people like you describe above, but I am not one, and I don't know any like it. First of all I am not advocating exploitation only of the poor or those who are not close to me, or anyone for that matter. Legalization means anyone can do it if they choose. It will turn out that more poor people will do it, as is the case now, because it is not enviable or enjoyable work. Legalization doesn't change any of this. The only thing it changes is it legitimizes what the women do, and gives them legal protection. As long as they are considered criminals, they are not protected, rather they are persecuted and prosecuted.

I would not advocate that ANYONE go into this profession, whether it is legalized or not. It is not healthy. But women are healthier when it is legal, because they are no longer underground. They no longer have to fear the law, and are more open to take part in health and other services.

You blanket me as "pro-prostitution." In my case that is wrong. I don't like the profession. I wish it didn't exist. But all my wishing won't change a thing. I am pro-legalization of prostitution because I can see that it will be helpful to women who are in this profession. They should not be considered criminals.

Your thinking that anyone who is for the decriminalization of prostitution is one who wants pussy and dick on demand is really off base. I am sure you know some awful people like this, but being for the decriminalization of prostitution does not indicate this. I would never buy sex from anyone, and I would never sell it. That's my personal choice. And I would counsel anyone, rich or poor, not to engage in this lifestyle, but I would not put them in jail for it, fine them for it, or harrass them for it.

What about me? 27.Oct.2003 16:05

GRINGO STARS

Every single person I know that sells their body has regretted their decision to prostitute themselves. Without an exception. This is proof enough for me. It has affected their sex life for the much, much worse. And it has *nothing* to do with shame. It might make it easier for you to dismiss those you disagree with by saying that anti-sex work people have shame issues, but that is simply not true. Prostitution drains the beauty out of prostitutes' sex lives, no matter how they considered sex before. Other jobs do not do that.

exceptions 27.Oct.2003 17:18

goatlove

> Every single person I know that sells their body has regretted their
> decision to prostitute themselves. Without an exception.

I'll happily serve as your first exception.

And there goes the utility of anecdotal evidence...

> Prostitution drains the beauty out of prostitutes' sex lives, no
> matter how they considered sex before.

Even if this were unequivocably true, why do you think that's the case? Is it something innate to sex work, or is it the culture within which the sex work occurs or the circumstances of the individual?

> Other jobs do not do that.

Um, who are you kidding? The stresses of many jobs can drain the beauty out of anyone's sex life, their family life, private life, what have you... If you hate the activity that occupies half of your waking life, chances are you're not going to feel very sexy.

to goatlove 27.Oct.2003 18:33

webster's

>> I think "goatlove" is profoundly ignorant of the realities of sex
>> work, and possibly an addict of prostitution/pornography.

>Ad-hominem arguments are for sexually repressed wusses.

Hmmm. Wasn't that you, "goatlove," accusing anyone who doesn't agree with your misguided point of being "prudes"? Yes, I believe it was.

Goatlove: n. sexually repressed wussie.

"unequivocally anecdotal ad homeneim dilemma" 27.Oct.2003 18:45

to Goatlove person

You know, many of the people who read this site went to college too. So your dazzlingly pedantic, first year vocabulary isn't actually mystifying enough to obscure the fact that your arguments are no more substantive than anyone else's. This is actually an interesting discussion, and even goatlove has made some interesting comments. But the "that's merely anecdotal" stuff is detracting from the whole string. Goatlove, you're not actually being rational and scientific here either, so stop pretending you hide behind the sacred mantle of objectivity.

shortcomings 27.Oct.2003 19:57

goatlove

While I welcome criticism of my arguments and will respond to flaws or gaps in my logic, you have to actually point out the flaws. Simply stating that I'm not "being rational and scientific" (because I'm unconvinced by anecdotal evidence... WTF?!?!) doesn't serve to help me understand the shortcomings of my thinking. Since my "first year vocabulary" doesn't obscure my faulty reasoning, you should experience little difficulty citing specific examples.

Uh 27.Oct.2003 20:15

duh

-----> Every single person I know that sells their body has regretted their
> decision to prostitute themselves. Without an exception.

I'll happily serve as your first exception.-----


If you are an exception, then this discussion is not about you. And you don't change the experience of the majority.


-----I use the term "prude" in a descriptive fashion, not a prescriptive one. I'm not accusing anyone of being a prude any more than I'm accusing the Sun of shining brightly.-----

I just put that there because I love it. It's so you. You are so in control. Don't lose it. It's for your own protection. But don't try to argue this away as if it doesn't hurt others. Not everyone has the same level of protection that you do.

work 27.Oct.2003 20:45

B

Goatlove wrote: "The stresses of many jobs can drain the beauty out of anyone's sex life, their family life, private life, what have you... If you hate the activity that occupies half of your waking life, chances are you're not going to feel very sexy."

This was what I was getting at as well. Sexual energy gets sublimated for work energy regardless of the type of work. Work is inherently sexually repressive, so why single prostitution out, if not for psychopathological reasons influenced Christian capitalism.

thank you 27.Oct.2003 23:29

goatlove

duh said:
> But don't try to argue this away as if it doesn't hurt others.

You make a good point, and one that I don't keep in mind often enough. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I don't intend to bring unwarranted pain to others, though my words do not always fall into line with that intent.

At the same time, I don't think it's inaccurate or out of line to describe as "prudish" the reasoning of an individual who just described another anonymous IndyMedia participant as being a "pornography-repressed male" for no greater reason than the latter having stated that freedom demands that the state can't tell a person what to do with her own body. Whatever. That sentiment is prudish, sex-negative, and misandrist, to boot.

B said:
> Sexual energy gets sublimated for work energy regardless of the type
> of work. Work is inherently sexually repressive, so why single
> prostitution out, if not for psychopathological reasons influenced
> Christian capitalism.

Word. You state this understanding very eloquently here and in your other posts.

If you don't seek to take charge of your own libido, someone else surely will.

Keep your head in the sand if you want to, B 27.Oct.2003 23:36

GRINGO STARS

Yes, sexual energy is sublimated no matter what type of work. But you are missing the point. The main destructiveness of prostitution has nothing to do with religion or economics nor any other system of control. If you are fucked by 15 gross, clumsy, disgusting, ugly, uncaring, unsatisfying guys a day (no matter how many other guys were decent), then it has a much, much more profound negative effect on your private sex life than working at any other job ever will. To deny this simple fact is dogmatic on your part. Sex-positive does not mean prostitution-positive. In fact, the sex-positive position is to be against anything which demeans the beauty and respect of sex, whether sex has emotional meaning to you or not. It is about respect, not religion. Your comfortably middle-class belief system upholds the misery of sex workers everywhere, "B" and "goatlove".

comfortably middle class 28.Oct.2003 00:12

B

So you're resorting to this. It easy to call someone names. I could just as easily dismiss your opinions as "liberal" -- in fact, I think I'll do just that.

are you positive? 28.Oct.2003 02:37

goatlove

> the sex-positive position is to be against anything which demeans
> the beauty and respect of sex

Actually, Gringo, you're confusing sex-positivists with religious fundamentalists. You know, the ones who are against anything that demeans the beauty and respect of sex... against profane acts like copulating out of wedlock or for non-procreative purposes, spilling one's semen on the dirt, sodomy, masturbation, and, of course, prostitution. These folks are keenly interested in keeping sex positive and go to great lengths to fulfill their vision. And those who don't agree with their vision they call terrible names, like "slut", "homewrecker", "whore", and "middle-class".

Sex-positive means nothing more than claiming your sexuality as your own, to dictate its expression in accordance with your own will and to recognize that same right in others, _just_like_ so many other creative human endeavours. It's the recognition that, while having its own unique qualities, sexuality is no more or less sacred than painting a portrait, shitting in your toilet, running a marathon, or cooking a healthy meal for your household. It is a perfectly normal part life, not one "deserving" its own, seperate value system.

precisely; sex-positive means *YOUR OWN* sexuality 28.Oct.2003 07:14

GRINGO STARS

"Your own sexuality" - you should pay attention to your own words. If you don't want to do something, you must be induced to do it anyways by... money. Selling something is not done for the sake of the act, as you absurdly suggest, but because otherwise you would not take part in the act. Selling sex is a desperate act. Prostitutes do not enjoy indiscriminately fucking strangers, or they would not do it for money.

The fallacy of Guilt By Association...
 http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/guilt-by-association.html
...is the one B and goatlove are employing. Since religious fundamentalists believe in a kind of sacredness of sex, then it must be wrong to suggest that sex is anything more than a physical exercise, right? BS. For most people, including the middle-class anti-religious types (yes the two often go hand in hand) sex is more than a sport - and their reasoning has nothing to do with religion.

The fact that B and goatlove ignore anecdotal evidence is further proof of their dogmatism. Many people can cite similar anecdotal evidence as mine. They will continue to call anyone who disagrees with them religious fundamentalists (I am not even religious) meanwhile acting the victim ("don't call names! gasp") when someone correctly notes their privilege-riddled class-based belief system.

Agreeing with GRINGO 28.Oct.2003 09:49

CatWoman

Goat says:

> "Sex-positive means nothing more than claiming your sexuality as your own, to dictate its expression in accordance > with your own will and to recognize that same right in others...."

And you've been arguing in defense of prostitution? Because this is an argument against prostitution, not for it. Recovering from the sex industry is all about reclaiming one's sexuality as her own, reclaiming the right to dictate its expression in accordance with her own free will. These are precisely the things taken from a woman by the sex industry. Being coerced into selling sex, into performing acts against her will, and being subjected to violence or starvation if she refuses -- that's what prostitution is about.

As B points out, other labor can be demeaning and exploitive under capitalism as well. No arguement there. But since we're talking about prostitution, I must second Gringo's statement that prostitution is qualitatively different. I think he's already done an admirable job of explaining just how different it is, so I won't elaborate, other than to point out that it's the only form of labor I can think of off hand where the integrity of a person's body is invaded. Goatlove, you come off as one who is trying to protect your own access to cheap sex with prostitutes, and not as one who is sincerely interested in "freedom" for women. As a woman, let me say I don't need your brand of "freedom."

This is a complicated issue, precisely because it's so hard to define exactly why the sex industry is any different from any other. As B says, all labor is exploitive in a capitalist system. Once something is for sale, it is robbed of intrinsic meaning and only valued in terms of its pricetag. Again, this isn't an argument in favor of prostitution -- it's an argument against capitalism INCLUDING prostitution.

a lesson in logic 28.Oct.2003 11:31

goatlove

> Prostitutes do not enjoy indiscriminately fucking strangers, or they
> would not do it for money.

Would you say the same about an artist, that she doesn't really enjoy painting, otherwise she wouldn't do it for money?

> The fact that B and goatlove ignore anecdotal evidence is further
> proof of their dogmatism.

I guess I'm not being clear enough when I dismiss your anecdotal evidence. There's nothing intrinsically wrong, useless, or misleading with employing anecdotal evidence in logical argument. In fact, one is usually required to do so when trying to say most anything about the world. Where employing anecdotes becomes problematic is when they're used to generalize the specific by saying "some A are B, therefore all A are B". This is exactly what you're doing when you state that since every prostitute you know (only some A, until you can display otherwise) is miserable and demeaned in her work, all prostitutes are miserable and demeaned in their work. You can find a longer explanation of this fallacy under "Hasty Generalization" at the website you linked previously. You should study it well, lest you continue to delude yourself into thinking your argument makes sense.

Nowhere have I denied that there are some/many/most prostitutes who suffer under the oppression of the sex industry and who are seriously harmed because of it. I have in fact stated just the opposite, that suffering is quite likely the norm and that right action requires that mindful individuals seek to act in ways that stem that suffering. From what I've been able to ascertain, the only difference in our conclusions is that you insist that *all* sex acts that involve the exchange of money are done out of desperation and coercion and result in harm. Until you can show that this is the case (including convincing me that my own experiences were coerced and demeaning) by either definition or induction, your conclusion just doesn't follow.

> They will continue to call anyone who disagrees with them religious
> fundamentalists (I am not even religious) meanwhile acting the
> victim ("don't call names! gasp") when someone correctly notes their
> privilege-riddled class-based belief system.

Dude, I think your repressed sexuality has left you rather humorless. I thought my ribbing was pretty funny. If my humor is lost on you, please accept my direct statement that I would never truly mistake a godless commie fundamentalist for a religious fundamentalist.

choice 28.Oct.2003 11:57

goatlove

CatWoman said:
> I think he's already done an admirable job of explaining just how
> different it is, so I won't elaborate, other than to point out that
> it's the only form of labor I can think of off hand where the
> integrity of a person's body is invaded.

If you do have any further insight into this, I wish you would add it to this discussion because Gringo's explanations seem to rely an awful lot on "because I say so" or "people I know say so."

All occupations have their unique qualities... Why is sexual penetration a quality more unique than others? Why must this extra-uniqueness be universally applicable to every person? And is it really something intrinsic to sex itself? Is it socially conditioned? Or does the individual get a say in how she chooses to understand her sexuality?

> Goatlove, you come off as one who is trying to protect your own
> access to cheap sex with prostitutes, and not as one who is
> sincerely interested in "freedom" for women.

Alas, my middle-class-privileged budget does not afford me the luxury of employing prostitutes.

Again, I'm not advocating for the continued subjugation and coercion of people for sexual purposes (or any other purposes). Far from it. I'm advocating for the individual's right to do as they wish with their sexuality, whether it be to remain forever chaste or to sell it to the highest bidder... It's a personal choice.

prostitution should be abolished 28.Oct.2003 12:13

open mind

"You don't see it in the office place or anywhere else where it is not the main business operation. "

"You don't see it in the office place or anywhere else where it is not the main business operation. "

"We are talking about sex being a part of businesses that are not in the business of sex. "

Again, you have failed to demonstrate that it is NOT occuring. You keep saying "you don't see it" "you don't see it". Anyone can figure out that "you don't see it" does not mean the same thing as "it is not happening".

You seem to make the assumption that there is some clear line of demarcation between businesses that do not sell sex openly and those that do. How could you possibly know unless you are physically inside of each and every office inside an office building 24 hours a day and seven days per week? How do you know some people aren't being asked to service a client? How could you know?

If there is such a clear line of demarcation between sex and the office, then what is sexual harassment doing there? The harassee can attempt to sue...but good luck to the poor person who needs to find a better lawyer than his/her million-dollar employer that can actually win the case.

In societies where prostitution is legal or illegal, who is giving voice to the individuals who have been required to perform sexual acts to keep their jobs? Singapore is the one of the most politically repressive regimes on the planet, so how likely is it that a victim of sexual exploitation on the job, where prostitution is legal, is going to be taken seriously enough by the authorities to document and prosecute the abuse?

"Legalization is not a wild "anything goes" endeavor. It is one that involves controls and rules. It would involve controls and rules because the majority would not accept anything less. "

Legalization as a way of "protecting" a prostitute is a misguided approach. Protection from what?? So you follow every single "regulation" to the letter. So you get rid of the mob bosses who smack the sex workers around and replace them with supervisors, managers and a human resources department. La dee da! He/she still has some greasy, smelly, demanding, verbally abusive jerk that he/she must "service" in the most personal manner. He/She still has an immune-system destroying job. He/She still has a dignity-stripping, soul-killing job. Regulated sexual exploitation....Yeah, that's the ticket!

If you find prostitution so personally unpleasant, why not fight for outright abolition? Oh that's right. For the typical bourgeoise liberal, that would take too long...it's too difficult to accomplish...excuse a...excuse b...excuse c... blah blah blah. If John Brown, Nat Turner, and other brave abolitionists had taken that approach, slavery would gone on a lot longer than it did in the southern United States. It's easy to hold onto those excuses as long as one's sister, brother, niece, nephew or parent isn't the one doing sex work. The pro-legalization-legitimization types have the typical bourgeoise liberal NIMBY mentality: As long as someone I'm close to isn't affected by it then it can go on, but just make a few cosmetic changes and we'll all be happy.

"I'm not aware that we have people buying sex everywhere they can. My reference is to the buying and selling of sex being done in places that are designated for other kinds of business or activity. If you are talking about people buying sex on the streets. I know that happens, but that has little to do with it infiltrating other places of business. I am not aware that people are buying sex everywhere. I don't see it happen in my everyday life."

Oh I get it. If I don't see it, it must not be happening. Maybe you should get out more. Try branching out of the middle class enclave and mixing with working class folks. You will likely meet quite a few who at least know of someone who is or had been in the business voluntarily or otherwise.

"First of all I am not advocating exploitation only of the poor or those who are not close tome, or anyone for that matter. Legalization means anyone can do it if they choose. "

"It will turn out that more poor people will do it, as is the case now, because it is not enviable or enjoyable work. "

Aw gee, that's just too bad for the poor, isn't it? Well those are the breaks. Tough luck.

"Legalization doesn't change any of this. The only thing it changes is itlegitimizes what the women do, and gives them legal protection. As long as they are considered criminals, they are not protected, rather they are persecuted and prosecuted. "

They'll feel legitimate. How "liberating".

"And I would counsel anyone, rich or poor, not to engage in this lifestyle, but I would not put them in jail for it, fine them for it, or harrass them for it. "

How insulting to call someones' sexually exploitative, demeaning job that they hate with a passion a "lifestyle"

"I would not advocate that ANYONE go into this profession, whether it is legalized or not. It is not healthy."

Yeah, poor people don't already know that. They need someone like you to show them a better way, right?

"But women are healthier when it is legal, because they are no longer underground."

Health benefits of legal vs. illegal exploitation. Both are highly stressful and can destroy the immune system. That's just like saying a smoker who smokes 2 packs of cigarettes per day is better off than the person who only smokes 3.

"They no longer have to fear the law, and are more open to take part in health and other services. "

If only the exploited had health insurance, they'd be much healthier. Very Pollyanna outlook. It's not like they're constantly exposed to free radical damage from drug abuse and constant exposure to different sexual partners and constant stress due to emotional trauma, which will kill them anyway.

Question: Would you call slavery a profession? Remember, it was at one time "legalized" or "decriminalizes" right here in the US of A. So how is prostitution, a job of last resort, a "profession"?

How is prostitution a choice? How is it a lifestyle? If this is something people truly voluntarily do, then why is it that people in show biz who have become big stars but who started as strippers or doing some other kind of work in the sex industry do not, at the height of their show biz success, go back to the strip clubs or the brothels and do it on the side?

Obviously, it is not a choice.

You can say that a poor person with no marketable skills who needs to pay skyrocketing rents could "choose" to take two jobs-- a file clerk by day and a waiter at night, rather than sell sex for a living. What kind of "choice" is that, especially if you have kids that must be picked up from daycare and you have no partner? For people like this, one job is all they can handle and the only job that they can get that would keep a roof over their child's head is prostitution. You call that choosing a profession? They're just "misguided"?

The 19th century slavery abolitionists didn't settle for mere reforms, why should prostitution abolitionists?

Maybe 28.Oct.2003 12:29

duh

Maybe Goatlove is not protecting access to sex. Maybe *she* is protecting herself. Some use drugs and alcohol to kill the pain or fuzz out the details. Some use a great big wall of denial.

Goatlove, I think you may have misunderstood my earlier post. When I said that not everyone has the same level of protection as you, I was talking about people in the sex industry. Your comment about not accusing anyone of being a prude any more than accusing the sun of shining brightly is an example of your stubborn strength. Although I find the comment a little nasty, and very tactical, I realize that it is a part of your strength that you probably need.

If you want to say that the sex industry doesn't hurt you, and that you enjoy it, fine. But for the vast majority of people that is not the case. When there is a discussion like this, people are talking about the vast majority. We are talking about people who don't have the same level of protection that you do.

For you to try to argue all this away, calling people "sex-negative" when they may be merely "sex-industry-negative" only serves yourself, and does nothing for the vast majority of people who suffer in the sex industry. And it seems to me that your compulsion to do this shows a need to shore up those walls of yours even more.

Blast me away Goatlove. But I'm not hostile to you at all. I don't think you mean any harm either, only defense.

I agree that much of the source of pain people suffer has to do with shame. But maybe it is more because someone they trusted put them in that place deemed by society as shameful, and not just that society sees them as shameful.

I wouldn't mind 28.Oct.2003 16:17

B

I wouldn't mind Gringo explaining how MY position is middle class (that is things I've said in posts, not things "goatlove" has said or anyone else). I would like to see him explain what a middle class position really is, and what makes a position middle class. For example, I could make the claim that those in favor of laws against prostitution are "liberal" because they are not acting as an enemy of the state. They are supporting the state, and are counter-revolutionary. Now, Gringo, how are my comments middle class?

As I said before, prostitution is bad because it is work, not because it is sexual. Through Gringo's comments it is evident to me that his inability to see how prostitution is bad (because of the plan fact that it is work) is directly connected to his unconscious attachment to Christian shame. It doesn't matter if he's Christian or not, this shame is woven into western culture and he has absorbed it. For him prostitution is bad because all things sexual that aren't accepted by the majority are bad. I understand how you might be insulted by this, Gringo, but how is this view of mine about you and your motives middle class?

Open mind 28.Oct.2003 17:13

anonymous

<"You don't see it in the office place or anywhere else where it is not the main business operation. "

"We are talking about sex being a part of businesses that are not in the business of sex. "

Again, you have failed to demonstrate that it is NOT occuring. You keep saying "you don't see it" "you don't see it". Anyone can figure out that "you don't see it" does not mean the same thing as "it is not happening".

You seem to make the assumption that there is some clear line of demarcation between businesses that do not sell sex openly and those that do. How could you possibly know unless you are physically inside of each and every office inside an office building 24 hours a day and seven days per week? How do you know some people aren't being asked to service a client? How could you know?>

Well you're asking me to do the impossible. Of course I can't go into every office and know whether or not it is happening. I know people who work in offices in Singapore, where prostitution is legal and it doesn't happen there. It is just a matter of common sense that if prostitution is legal, someone who wants to use there services (even if it is in this scenario for a client) they would use the services of a professional. They wouldn't demand that workers in their companies who were hired to do other things provide that service. In fact, in Singapore that would be against the law. And if prostitution were legalized here I'm sure that would be against the law because people would demand nothing less. Making prostitution legal doesn't make all manner of professional protocol fall apart.

<If there is such a clear line of demarcation between sex and the office, then what is sexual harassment doing there? The harassee can attempt to sue...but good luck to the poor person who needs to find a better lawyer than his/her million-dollar employer that can actually win the case.>

Good professional standards make a clear demarcation between sex and the office. Harrassment occurs because there are people who are weak, unprofessional, unethical... I can think of more words because this is a behavior that I particularly despise. I can't solve this problem. All we can do as a society is keep demanding higher standards. Companies who care about their reputations will be better than those who don't make this a priority. This is just how it is, legalizing prostitution doesn't have anything to do with this.

<In societies where prostitution is legal or illegal, who is giving voice to the individuals who have been required to perform sexual acts to keep their jobs? Singapore is the one of the most politically repressive regimes on the planet, so how likely is it that a victim of sexual exploitation on the job, where prostitution is legal, is going to be taken seriously enough by the authorities to document and prosecute the abuse?>

I have to repeat that when prostitution is legal, if people think they require sex for pay, they hire a prostitute. I don't know why you imagine it would be different. Prostitution in Singapore is legal, but controlled. I really can't imagine where this idea you have that making prostitution legal means making it okay to occur everywhere and all the time. People have more on their minds and in their lives. I didn't want to make this all about Singapore, but I'd like to explain some things to you. Prostitution is legal. Mostly what that means is that women who engage in prostitution are not criminals. That doesn't mean that the government thinks sex should be everywhere. Singapore is not a sex destination. Thailand, where prostitution is illegal is very much a sex destination. Prostitution is not rampant in Singapore. You won't see it unless you look for it. There are no streetwalkers. Most people are not involved in that life. But it exists. If a man wants it, he will find out where to go to get it.

As for Singapore being politically repressive... what's that got to do with sexual harrassment? Is it your contention that the government likes sexual harrassment, that that is a part of their political scheme? That's not true. Who gives voice to anyone who suffers sexual harrassment in the work place? It is handled the same way it is here. People who suffer from harrassment have to handle it themselves either by refusing, complaining to a superior, if they get fired, they get fired... luckily Singapore is a country that is not in dire economic straights... so they can work elsewhere, and if they want to make a lawsuit they get a lawyer. It is the same as it is here. If you have a good company that will back you up you are lucky, if you don't you have a tough road ahead, either forgetting about it and getting on with life, or looking for a lawyer. It is no different than it is in this country where prostitution is illegal. I have seen cases where Filipino maids were abused by their employers. Some have been raped. This might come under your scenario of an employer requiring sex as a part of her job? Well it's illegal! Why would you think it wouldn't be? She is not a prostitute. She is a housemaid. She gets a lawyer and charges him with rape. And by the way, even a prostitute has the right to say yes, or no.

<Legalization as a way of "protecting" a prostitute is a misguided approach. Protection from what?? So you follow every single "regulation" to the letter. So you get rid of the mob bosses who smack the sex workers around and replace them with supervisors, managers and a human resources department. La dee da! He/she still has some greasy, smelly, demanding, verbally abusive jerk that he/she must "service" in the most personal manner. He/She still has an immune-system destroying job. He/She still has a dignity-stripping, soul-killing job. Regulated sexual exploitation....Yeah, that's the ticket!>

Legalization provides protection from all kinds of abuse that prostitutes are subjected to simply because they are considered criminals. Yes, if she is smacked around by anyone, she is less likely to go to the police. The abuser can always threaten to turn her in for prostitutioin. A customer can easily refuse to pay her, knowing that she will not go to the police. A corrupt police officer can demand money or sex from her, in return for not arresting her. Anyone can demand things from her in return for not turning her into the cops. Being illegal, she has no legal standards to her job that must be followed. Prostitutes, because they are considered criminals are the easiest target for any kind of crime you can imagine. Because they are criminals, they are less likely to go to the police any time they are victimized. If prostitution is decriminalized a lot of this kind of victimization can be reduced, and when it happens, she has the power to report the crime, like any other citizen, without fear of incarceration. I think that's a whole lot of protection they are not getting now. Yes, even with all this protection, if they are still in this line of work, they have to have sex with strangers who may be greasy, or smelly, or any other thing you want to ascribe. That's not a problem I would even pretend to solve. Also legalization simply means that a person can legally engage in this business, it doesn't mean that he or she has to. It would still be illegal to force anyone to do this. And there would probably be a lot of women working on their own, or with other women... that's just my guess. And eventually they would probably have unions and standards just like any other profession. Much of their concerns would be about making their job more safe. They can't do that now. They could do it if their profession was legitimized.

<If you find prostitution so personally unpleasant, why not fight for outright abolition? Oh that's right. For the typical bourgeoise liberal, that would take too long...it's too difficult to accomplish...excuse a...excuse b...excuse c... blah blah blah. If John Brown, Nat Turner, and other brave abolitionists had taken that approach, slavery would gone on a lot longer than it did in the southern United States. It's easy to hold onto those excuses as long as one's sister, brother, niece, nephew or parent isn't the one doing sex work. The pro-legalization-legitimization types have the typical bourgeoise liberal NIMBY mentality: As long as someone I'm close to isn't affected by it then it can go on, but just make a few cosmetic changes and we'll all be happy.>

Why not fight for abolition? Well... isn't it "abolished?" I mean it's against the law. If you mean completely wiping it away, getting rid of all illegal prostitution. It won't happen. I realized that a long time ago. All you can do in your own life is not live that way and try to influence friends and family not to live that way when appropriate... as for society... it is already against the law, what else are you going to do to abolish it? I know of no way. My only reason for thinking legalization is a good idea is so the quality of life for those involved will be better, while they're involved. If they get out, that's even better for them, but I can't force anyone to do that. If I had a relative involved in the business, I would rather it be legal, for she would be safer. I still wouldn't want her to do it. I still would try to get her out of it when and if I could. But I'd rather she be legal than be considered a criminal and be exposed to more dangers. I don't know why you would make assumptions otherwise of me.

Wow. That political stuff is weird. I don't consider this stance as liberal. I consider it to be pragmatic. But this country is not pragmatic, so prostitution will never be legalized. I don't know why you're so threatened by my opinion, because it's just that, and it has no chance of passing into law in this country. Singapore is not a liberal country by the way. Politically they are conservative. But they are also pragmatic. And it was never my intention to cite Singapore as all good all the time. It is just one country where I saw this legalization seem to work well, and where people seem to not suffer as much. Oh and these would not be cosmetic changes, they would be fundamental.

<"I'm not aware that we have people buying sex everywhere they can. My reference is to the buying and selling of sex being done in places that are designated for other kinds of business or activity. If you are talking about people buying sex on the streets. I know that happens, but that has little to do with it infiltrating other places of business. I am not aware that people are buying sex everywhere. I don't see it happen in my everyday life."

Oh I get it. If I don't see it, it must not be happening. Maybe you should get out more. Try branching out of the middle class enclave and mixing with working class folks. You will likely meet quite a few who at least know of someone who is or had been in the business voluntarily or otherwise.>

No I didn't mean that because I'm not aware of it, it doesn't happen. It meant that you saying that it happens "everywhere" is something that I don't see, so I can't comment on it. What I have seen are propositions on the street. So I did mention that. I don't think legalization would change that. And you haven't explained how it would. You just seem to think that it would. I don't why you mention that I would find people who have been in the business voluntary or otherwise if I got out more... of course I would if I looked for them. But what does that have to do with prostitution infiltrating other areas of business? How would it be different if it were legalized? It wouldn't. You would have some people who follow the rules, and some who don't. Again legalization does not make it legal to force someone into the business. It just decriminalizes people who are in the business.

<First of all I am not advocating exploitation only of the poor or those who are not close tome, or anyone for that matter. Legalization means anyone can do it if they choose. "

"It will turn out that more poor people will do it, as is the case now, because it is not enviable or enjoyable work. "

Aw gee, that's just too bad for the poor, isn't it? Well those are the breaks. Tough luck.>

Why are you make it seem as if I'm prescribing this for people? I don't have that kind of power. I was just addressing your accusation then stating how things are. There are lots of jobs that poorer people do because that's all they can get. I didn't make it that way. I'm just trying to address your accusations as thoroughly and respectfully as I can. And whether or not it is legalized this will be the case, so my position here doesn't change anything. It wouldn't affect anyone for the worse.

<"And I would counsel anyone, rich or poor, not to engage in this lifestyle, but I would not put them in jail for it, fine them for it, or harrass them for it. "

How insulting to call someones' sexually exploitative, demeaning job that they hate with a passion a "lifestyle" >

Oh, now I get it. Anything I say is bad because you hate me. I'm not a dictator to anyone. If they hate their demeaning job with a passion, they should find a new one. If they are being forced into it, then they should go to the cops. No, none of this is easy or pleasant, but I didn't cause it, so you can stop pointing your finger at me.

<"I would not advocate that ANYONE go into this profession, whether it is legalized or not. It is not healthy."

Yeah, poor people don't already know that. They need someone like you to show them a better way, right?>

Well no, no one needs me to tell them anything. And I am not a preacher. I don't go around forcing my opinion on people about what they should do with their lives. If someone asked me, I would advise they get out of that business. I don't know how this turned into a poor people against me. I'm the bad middle class person who hates poor people. You did that. Shame on you. I told you that I would advise anyone against that kind of life if asked because you seemed to be under the impression that I liked prostitution, like it had something to do with my desires or something. Uh, that's wacked. So I thought I should clear up my own attitude toward prostitution for you. Now that you know I have nothing to do with it you accuse me of prescribing an inferior life for "poor" people. Uh, wacked again. Oh, and you also imply I'm condescending to think I can tell "poor" people what they already know? Wow.

<"But women are healthier when it is legal, because they are no longer underground."

Health benefits of legal vs. illegal exploitation. Both are highly stressful and can destroy the immune system. That's just like saying a smoker who smokes 2 packs of cigarettes per day is better off than the person who only smokes 3. >

I didn't say that paid for sex was healthier if it is legal. What I was alluding to, which I thought most people could figure out without me having to write a paragraph, was that if people working as prostitutes are not considered criminals, they will be more free to access health services, they will have more power to set their own working conditions, they would be less subject to the physical abuse of oppressors or blackmailers... that kind of stuff. Those things would help them to be healthier.

<"They no longer have to fear the law, and are more open to take part in health and other services. "

If only the exploited had health insurance, they'd be much healthier. Very Pollyanna outlook. It's not like they're constantly exposed to free radical damage from drug abuse and constant exposure to different sexual partners and constant stress due to emotional trauma, which will kill them anyway>

Now I'm a pollyanna. First I'm bad because I'm a nasty person who wants dick and pussy on demand. Then I'm a pollyanna who thinks impossible dreams can come true. I'm despicable for being a creep, and for being an angel. Do you like anyone?

Back to the subject. If they are taking drugs of course it will affect their health. If they have multiple sex partners, of course it can affect their health. That's why it is better if they are not considered criminals. In either case, anyone would be better off seeing the doctor more often and getting more regular medical advice. I don't understand how you could argue against that if you really cared about people, which you seem to be implying.

<Question: Would you call slavery a profession? Remember, it was at one time "legalized" or "decriminalizes" right here in the US of A. So how is prostitution, a job of last resort, a "profession"?>

No I wouldn't call slavery a profession. And if you were using your rational mind, you would know that I wouldn't. Forced prostitution is also not a job, that is also slavery. Prostitution by choice might be considered a profession if it were legalized and I would use that term out of respect for the people involved if that's what they preferred.

<How is prostitution a choice? How is it a lifestyle? If this is something people truly voluntarily do, then why is it that people in show biz who have become big stars but who started as strippers or doing some other kind of work in the sex industry do not, at the height of their show biz success, go back to the strip clubs or the brothels and do it on the side?>

In my opinion prostitution is a choice when people have few other choices. It becomes a lifestyle when people engage in it continuously. I never said it was a wise choice, or an admirable lifestyle. I just don't think these people should be considered or treated like criminals. For some reason you do. That seems kind of cruel.

<You can say that a poor person with no marketable skills who needs to pay skyrocketing rents could "choose" to take two jobs-- a file clerk by day and a waiter at night, rather than sell sex for a living. What kind of "choice" is that, especially if you have kids that must be picked up from daycare and you have no partner? For people like this, one job is all they can handle and the only job that they can get that would keep a roof over their child's head is prostitution. You call that choosing a profession? They're just "misguided"?>

Well here you are describing a very dire situation. And no it's not really a choice if the person feels she has no other choice. But if she is forced by circumstance to do this, wouldn't it be better if she didn't have to fear being incarcerated for it? Wouldn't it be better if all the other dangers that being illegal brought to her could be avoided?

<The 19th century slavery abolitionists didn't settle for mere reforms, why should prostitution abolitionists?>

Well you got me. Slavery was abolished when it was made illegal. Prostitution flourishes in most countries where it is similarly illegal. I know I can't find a way to abolish illegal prostitution, and you haven't offered one yourself. I do think there is something that can be done to ease some of the fear and suffering associated with illegal prostitition by making it legal and giving them the same powers of protection that others have. If you can come up with something better I support you. Beating me up sure ain't doing it.

the best offense... 28.Oct.2003 17:22

goatlove

duh said:
> When I said that not everyone has the same level of protection as
> you, I was talking about people in the sex industry.

This was actually my initial interpretation of your post, but, since it seemed like a response to something I hadn't stated (i.e. that no prostitutes are harmed through their work in the sex industry, or that my experience was even typical), I decided that I was misreading you and chose the alternate interpretation. I guess my initial assessment was correct.

> When there is a discussion like this, people are talking about the
> vast majority.

No, they're not. Gringo, open mind, anonymous, and others are making claims about *everyone* and that affect *everyone*, not the majority. And if they were truly talking from a sex-industry-negative perspective rather than a purely sex-negative one, if they were truly interested in the welfare of those endangered by the current state of the sex industry, wouldn't they be asking how to make sex work safer and healthier rather than making blanket statements about how it's wrong and unhealthy for everyone? But they don't. Open mind (oh, the irony!) offers no solution more insightful than "abolish it!" (even though it's already abolished) and Gringo offers only a general condemnation and slurs.

They've just been given new information (that not all sex workers find their work demeaning), information that might help aid them in their understanding of what exactly it is about prostitution that harms so many people and they don't even care! They won't even acknowledge the possibility! For a scientist or critical thinker, finding new information is like finding gold. But these folks don't give a damn and, in fact, *resist it* because they're only interested in arguing for their preconceived notions.

Gag me, goatlove 28.Oct.2003 19:23

even your name sucks.

Goatlove, your clueless yet ironically pedantic drivel makes me just sick. Trust me, you don't know what you're talking about. How do I know? Call it "anecdotal" experience. You're just plain wrong. And you've been called on a very important point: You're criticizing people for being "sex -negative" when, in fact, they are only being sex-industry-negative. Try to explain it away, but you can't.

YOU live the life for awhile, and see how much you appreciate people defending your right to the "freedom" of prostitution. I bet you just love those "gentlemen's" clubs, don't you. Hell, you probably own one.

sex workers 28.Oct.2003 19:27

B

Goatlove,

You make some good points. Its interesting how the sex-negative types, time and time again, refuse to see sex workers as "workers" and individuals. Legalized, unionized sex work would be much safer for the sex worker than the current conditions, and might be a giant step towards eroticizing the proletariat.

Goatlove 28.Oct.2003 20:23

duh

I think most of the people posting here do so with good intentions. It's hard to change an ingrained view when the person presenting you with an opposing view is not known to you. As you've seen, people thought you were a man who wants to keep your supply of women and sex, etc. So their reaction to you and your view is based on that somewhat. If they really knew you and your experience, they might be able to accept your opinion more readily... if they truly have an open mind anyway. ;-)

I thought you were a woman all along, but didn't like that "prude" business. That's kind of like calling a person a slut in reverse, don't you think? :) Once I cut through that I felt I had a better insight into what you were trying to say, and who you are. Then it was easier for me to accept and respect your view.

I can't say for sure if the others really meant "everyone," as you say, or "the vast majority" as I contend, but either way I think you may have influenced people a little along the way. I think they are thinking about some of the things you've said.

Um... I feel very, very anxious about this issue right now. I wish there were solutions to make things better for everyone immediately. I don't see them coming. Things are so off-kilter.

Thanks for being brave enough to express your view and for hanging on throughout the hostility.

Re: Gag me 29.Oct.2003 00:12

goatlove

EYNS, it sounds like you've survived some very painful experiences, and I think that's tragic. But please understand that nothing I've said is seeking to take that away from you. I'm not trying to argue you or anyone else out of your pain. You can think my points suck and that I'm some asshole who doesn't understand what I'm talking about and that's fine, but I'd rather have you not suffer further than you already have by thinking that I'm trying to explain away your experiences or say that they're not real, because I don't doubt that they are.

regime change begins within... 29.Oct.2003 00:19

goatlove goatlove.die.spammer.die@khephera.net

B said:
> ...a giant step towards eroticizing the proletariat.

There are prostitutes who view their work as urgent and necessary for this very reason, that the key to the amelioration of our world's ills lies in the sexual liberation of the individual.


duh said:
> I think they are thinking about some of the things you've said.

I hope so. I mean, I sometimes enjoy arguing simply for the pleasure of pitting ideas against each other, but I really do think that sexual liberation and the points I've discussed here are essential to positive, enduring social evolution and that those who are seeking to radically change the world would do well to be aware of them.

Thanks for your kind words.

Open your mind and make new friends, B 29.Oct.2003 09:51

GRINGO STARS

B, as I have already said, it is your condescendingly anti-religious views that are middle-class. It is primarily the middle-class "activist" who seek to invalidate religious thought. And it is middle-class types who do not see first-hand how sex work is inherently harmful to the sex life of the sex worker.

If you had sex industry worker friends (like I do) then you would know all the ways that sex work is worse than work because of the boundary violating nature of prostitution. I am not a Christian nor am I religious, but I respect those who hold such views, and don't feel threatened by their belief that sex is more than a sport. I don't feel that sex work "eroticizes the proletariat" at all because I have witnesssed how it, in fact, de-eroticises sex workers. Sex workers are friends of mine, and they are the first to say how ANY sex work, legalised or not, unionised or not, steadily destroys their sexuality. Your defense of the sex industry, B, seems more like you want steady access to paid-for sex than anything else, even if only for your false hope that it will somehow "eroticise the proletariat." And that is yet another reason I see your views as influenced by your class privilege.

Keep up your ad hominem of calling people "sex negative" - but you are referring to people that seek to stop the de-eroticizing of the proletariat, which is what prostitution does. When you fuck for money all day, no matter whether you want to or not but you have to for money, your view towards sexuality changes for the worse. It is not "sex-negative" to acknowledge this fact. But it is sex-negative to deny it and to "defend the right" for people to destroy their sexuality by prostituting themselves.

So, my views are middle class because they're anti-religious? 29.Oct.2003 10:17

B

Shit. You are liberal.

Question 29.Oct.2003 11:12

anonymous

I'd like to challenge anyone to tell me why it's a good idea to put women who do this in jail, make them pay fines and court costs, give them a criminal record, etc.

Hate 29.Oct.2003 12:06

open mind

Goatlove (Goatlove? is that your name or a personal description?), you seem to think that being in favor of sexually exploitating people makes one open-minded.

Webster's dictionary definition:

open-minded adj. Receptive to new ideas.

What "new ideas" have you presented here? Since when did prostitution become a "new" idea? The legalization argument isn't exactly new either, and it does not deal with the fundamental issue of exploitation, poverty, desparation, etc.

It would behoove you to take a remedial reading course, Goatsex.

Anonymous and Goatsex seem to rely heavily on drama to get people to take their stances seriously.

*Supposedly, people who don't support pro-legalization or pro-prostitution "hate" prostitutes.

*People who don't support pro-legalization or pro-prostitution "hate" sex.

*Anyone who exposes prostitution or the sex industry in general as nothing but a dumping ground for a capitalist society's throwaways (the poor, abused children) "hates" legalization proponents.

*Anyone who exposes the sex industry as a dumping ground for capitalist society's throwaways is accusing pro-legalization proponents of "hating" the poor.

Overuse of the word "hate" sounds like propaganda to me.

The issue here is the abolition of prostitution, not the criminalization of sex workers. I don't think anyone here wants prostitutes treated like criminals. Everyone else helping to maintaing the status quo of sexual exploitation should be targeted, not the exploited individuals. Slavery abolitionalists were not in favor of criminalizing slaves, only abolishing the institution of slavery.

"Anonymous",

I was merely reflected back to your arguments for supporting legalization. However, in the process of mirroring your comments and responses back to you, I left out your euphemisms and sugar-coating of your position which you seem to heavily rely upon, such as "profession", "choice", "lifestyle", etc.

But since YOU brought up the word "hate", not me, and since YOU accused me of "hating", it seems to indicate that you have a nagging guilt about the very existence of prostitution in our society which you feel compelled to project onto me. Does your conscious bother you? Now tell the truth.

Also your need to keep insinuating that the sex industry is a "choice" for most sex workers and that it is somehow rare for someone to be forced into the sex industry out of sheer economic desperation reveals how desperate you are to assuage your guilt about supporting a system which allows this type of exploitation to occur.

By the way, I see you have still ignored my comments about the Netherlands where prostitutes have all the goodies you want extended here but the sex workers there are still experiencing many of the same problems as sex workers in non-legalized countries. You also never addressed the neoliberal policy of the Netherlands that forces poor immigrant women with no skills to take sex work in order to recieve public assistance.

In the United States, the number of jobs available for unskilled workers has continued to steadily declining since the 1960s. It's a myth that there are enough jobs out there to keep most of the poor out of the sex industry. You need to tell yourself that there are enough non sex-industry jobs available for the unskilled so that you can rationalize and say that most sex workers have "chosen" to go into the sex industry. It also prevents you from re-examining the myth that the capitalist sytem "works".

Your long repetitive paragraphs in every response consist of nothing but rationalizations for maintaining sexual exploitation in a society. These rationalizations don't change the simple facts that prostitution, and the sex industry in general, is inherently exploitative no matter what form it takes or how much money the sex worker receives, that it is unhealthy even with the "best" medical care offered, and it is abusive and traumatizing for the worker regardless of how one became a sex worker or whether or not the sex worker is in a union shop and protected by laws. No matter how many rights and benefits you extend to sex workers, they still never experience TRUE liberation, real choices and equal relationships with people.

No human being should ever be in a position to resort to this type of work. But the fact is that all capitalist societies will always guarantee that the vast majority of it's poor (throwaways) will end up either in the military, in the prisons, begging on the streets, committing theft, muggings and robberies, or in the sex industry. If the sex industries didn't exist to give capitalist Ameria a way to hide away its poor, the streets of every American city would look like Calcutta-- teeming with lots of visible squalor and filth.

That's why you were compelled to respond to the article in the first place. The idea of abolishing prostitution is a little too "subversive" for you because it hits too close to the question of whether capitalism truly is the best system out there or is that just a myth we've been fed all our lives.

It is also a myth that societies need prostitution. There are plenty of people who are wealthy and good-looking by society's standards, who can practically get anyone they want to have sex with them for free, who exploit sex workers. So it's not a question of "lack of options" either. For person who's not a "catch", if they can't find a sex partner they can always use their imaginations and wax the carrot or get a vibrator.

Hate? 29.Oct.2003 12:43

anonymous

But since YOU brought up the word "hate", not me, and since YOU accused me of "hating", it seems to indicate that you have a nagging guilt about the very existence of prostitution in our society which you feel compelled to project onto me. Does your conscious bother you? Now tell the truth.

As far as I can tell, I used the word "hate" only once, and I did so in a quiet, calm sarcastic way. This was after answering your exhausting onslaught of accusations very calmly and rationally and realizing that it didn't matter what I said, because you were plainly hostile. Hostile to me. That was the only place I used the word hate, and it was used with a little humor.

Nagging guilt... about the very existence of prostitution... that I'm projecting on you? How so? I don't think I'm projecting anything on you. I'm just answering your questions. Conscience bother me? About what?! I am a very powerless person. I didn't create prostitution. I've had nothing to do with it in my life. I'm just a person with an opinion who saw people in a better condition in another place where things are done differently.

Now I've answered so many of your questions. Please answer one for me. What good comes of putting a woman in jail, making her pay fines, and giving her a criminal record when she has engaged in prostitution? What good comes of it? How can YOU continue to support that kind of system?

the little GRINGO that could 29.Oct.2003 12:45

goatlove

Gringo said:
> ...sex work is inherently harmful to the sex life of the sex worker.

Your resolve is almost endearing, that you continue to insist upon this false axiom when there is no shortage of testament that directly controverts it.


I think you misspelled "goatse.cx" 29.Oct.2003 13:06

goatlove

open mind said:
> a whole lot of crazy shit with a dash of hubris.

While it's true that I'm a drug-addled, sex-addicted, pornography-repressed pervert who just desperately wants to guarantee my access to cheap and abundant ass, cock, and goats, I think this discussion would be better served if you were to address statements I've actually made rather than making them all up on your own. For example, please point out a single instance of where I have used the word "hate" in any of the contexts you cite.

> The idea of abolishing prostitution is a little too "subversive" for
> you because it hits too close to the question of whether capitalism
> truly is the best system out there or is that just a myth we've been
> fed all our lives.

Since when did reinforcing the power monopoly of the state by making something illegal become "subversive", especially when it's *already* illegal. Of course, I guess "abolish" does mean something different from "prohibit" or "to make illegal", but through what means would you suggest total abolition? Slavery could be reasonably abolished because there just weren't many people willing to be taken into slavery without having guns pointed to their heads, so it was relatively easy to stem the supply once the legal apparatus was in place. Not so with prostitution, since the threshold of duress is much less rigorous for most folks to be willing to enter into it.

More 29.Oct.2003 13:28

anonymous

"By the way, I see you have still ignored my comments about the Netherlands where prostitutes have all the goodies you want extended here but the sex workers there are still experiencing many of the same problems as sex workers in non-legalized countries. You also never addressed the neoliberal policy of the Netherlands that forces poor immigrant women with no skills to take sex work in order to recieve public assistance.

In the United States, the number of jobs available for unskilled workers has continued to steadily declining since the 1960s. It's a myth that there are enough jobs out there to keep most of the poor out of the sex industry. You need to tell yourself that there are enough non sex-industry jobs available for the unskilled so that you can rationalize and say that most sex workers have "chosen" to go into the sex industry. It also prevents you from re-examining the myth that the capitalist sytem "works"."

I never said de-criminalizing prostitution would make it a great thing to do. I never said it would solve every bad thing in life. I told you already what it could help solve.

If the Netherlands forces poor women to work as prostitutes, that's disgusting and criminal.

I need to tell myself that there are enough non-sex-industry jobs available for the unskilled so that I can rationalize and say that most sex workers have "chosen" to go into the sex industry? I do? Then I made a mistake. I never told myself that. I never even rationalized this chosen thing you keep talking about.

I don't know how many jobs are available. The whole US labor situation is so messed up I couldn't even begin to solve that one. Lots of Americans are out of work, skilled and unskilled Americans. Yet we still have thousands and thousands of immigrants streaming up from Mexico who are getting jobs. This is crazy. Yes, they are taking jobs that Americans don't want... they are paid low wages... but some of these people are thriving... could some Americans have their jobs if they wanted them? I don't know. A lot of things don't make sense.

Are there poor people who would never turn to prostitution? I'm sure of it. And it's a rough life whether or not they do.

"No human being should ever be in a position to resort to this type of work. But the fact is that all capitalist societies will always guarantee that the vast majority of it's poor (throwaways) will end up either in the military, in the prisons, begging on the streets, committing theft, muggings and robberies, or in the sex industry. If the sex industries didn't exist to give capitalist Ameria a way to hide away its poor, the streets of every American city would look like Calcutta-- teeming with lots of visible squalor and filth.

That's why you were compelled to respond to the article in the first place. The idea of abolishing prostitution is a little too "subversive" for you because it hits too close to the question of whether capitalism truly is the best system out there or is that just a myth we've been fed all our lives."

You don't have much insight into me. You attribute much to me based on your own preconceived notions. The reason I felt compelled to respond to this is because I've seen solution that works in another place. I see a lot of hypocrisy here. Well, it's everywhere, but when you visit other countries, you get to compare many things. "The idea of abolishing prostitution" is not subversive at all. It is a great dream. Please tell me how you would do it? It has been done by law, the same way slavery was abolished by law. But it hasn't worked for prostitution. IT is abolished by law, but not in reality. What are you going to do? How are you going to do it? The only places I know that come close to abolishing it are fundamentalist Islamic states. Even most of them have it. Maybe the Taliban eliminated it for awhile.

Capitalism is the best? Did I ever say that? All systems work if they don't go too far to the extreme, and all have their pros and cons even at their best. We have gone too far with our capitalism. That's my opinion. I know people who have lived in communist states who when when they went too far also. What are you gonna do? I don't have the answer. I'm not silly enough to attach myself to a system at this point. I know I don't have a better solution. And I know you don't.

If you don't want to answer my question posed earlier, let me word it differently. When a woman is forced to prostitute herself because she has no skills, and no money, and children to feed, how is it a good thing to put her in jail, fine her and give her a criminal record? How?

"It is also a myth that societies need prostitution. There are plenty of people who are wealthy and good-looking by society's standards, who can practically get anyone they want to have sex with them for free, who exploit sex workers. So it's not a question of "lack of options" either. For person who's not a "catch", if they can't find a sex partner they can always use their imaginations and wax the carrot or get a vibrator."

Well I agree with you there. But there are so many who don't. I don't know how you can force people who are totally different than you to follow your line.

If I could dream up the perfect society, people would be nice, hard-working, respectful of others, kind, self-sacrificing, always searching for new ideas, always looking for beauty, always caring about others... there would be no poverty, bitterness, prostitution, cheating of any kind, no assaults... everyone is so nice, they would never resort to violence...

But that's all a dream. I have to come out of my dreamworld once in awhile and confront reality or it will hit me hard. We can have all those things in that dream a little bit at a time, because they exist in this world that way. If we all worked hard at it we could have much more of it than we do now. But how do you get people to do that? How do you make them do what you want them to, when not all believe the same way? The minute you start to be a dictator you have lost he whole essence anyway.

abc 29.Oct.2003 13:52

anonymous

Why don't you tell us about Nevada? I don't know enough. And I'm pooped.

Yes, B, one of many reasons you are typically middle-class 29.Oct.2003 14:25

GRINGO STARS

There were also other obvious signs of your class privilege in my previous post, B. Also, I can't see how I am "liberal" since I am espousing the RADICAL feminist viewpoint on this issue. I am not necessarily espousing the illegality of the sex industry, but I can definitely attest to the sex industry's harmfulness to its workers.

Goatlove, please explain how it is that the sex life of a sex worker is enhanced by her job. I'd love to see how you justify your absurd belief. If you can do it, I would obviously have to recant.

Open Mind's point about how abolitionists dealt with the slavery problem is completely valid. Instead of reforming slavery to make it into a cuddlier, friendlier institution, as many middle-class activists of that day were proposing to do, other camps of abolitionists sought to make it illegal.

Slavery was finally made illegal. Now it still exists, but it is much, much rarer in the US. Anytime in a capitalist society that you use the state to make something that the market provides illegal, that thing will still exist. But I am certain that by making buying sex a far bigger penalty than selling it is healthier than things stand now. Money spent on sex will then be spent elsewhere, creating jobs in a different market.

I'm not certain how the US fits in, but states that are not as corrupt as the US have been successful in eradicating entire markets.

the world is spinning 29.Oct.2003 15:38

goatlove

Gringo said:
> I can't see how I am "liberal" since I am espousing the RADICAL
> feminist viewpoint on this issue.

Let's cut through your spin... Unless you have your own special definition of radical feminism or have only had very limited exposure to feminist literature, you're being misleading here. You're espousing *a* radical viewpoint on this issue, not *the* radical viewpoint. This issue is not just contentious here on PDX-IMC but is vigorously debated by feminists of all stripes, and there is no consensus in sight.

> Goatlove, please explain how it is that the sex life of a sex worker
> is enhanced by her job. I'd love to see how you justify your absurd
> belief. If you can do it, I would obviously have to recant.

More spin. This is not what I said. By disputing your claim, I said that the sex life of a sex worker is not inherently damaged by her work. I have made no claims that it is necessarily enhanced. I have made no claims that it won't be damaged.

As far as proof, I don't know of any vetted sociological research that claims one way or the other, though it's likely that it's because I am not familiar with the literature. However, aside from my own experience and the experiences of those whom I know personally, there are a number of written accounts from sex workers who do enjoy their work and who suffer no unusual ill effects it. Carol Leigh, Tracy Quan, Susie Bright, and many others have spoken and written at length of their experiences in the sex industry, positive and negative, with nary a complaint that their personal sex lives were damaged or that they were demeaned by the work.

Poor 29.Oct.2003 18:06

anonymous

"No human being should ever be in a position to resort to this type of work. But the fact is that all capitalist societies will always guarantee that the vast majority of it's poor (throwaways) will end up either in the military, in the prisons, begging on the streets, committing theft, muggings and robberies, or in the sex industry. If the sex industries didn't exist to give capitalist Ameria a way to hide away its poor, the streets of every American city would look like Calcutta-- teeming with lots of visible squalor and filth."

Your paragraph is quite insulting to poor people. Muggings, robberies, theft... there are many poor people who woud NEVER do this. It is an insult to say that just because they are poor, they will be reduced to this. Some poor people do, and you know what? Some wealthy and middle class people are thieves too! Do not blame thievery on poverty. All over the world there are honest, dignified poor people. Not all poor women will resort to prostitution. There are other things that can be done. None of them pleasant. Life is hard, especially when you have to work hard for little. People have been doing that forever. At least in the US, as many immigrants show us over and over again, if you work hard, and concentrate on educating yourself and your family, you can improve your situation in life, and not be reduced to such a desperate place where you feel pressured to sell your body, or the need to steal from others.

B is a wife-choking piece of shit 10.Mar.2005 15:24

a former family friend

"B" is a pampered, wealthy white man who married a sex worker then proceeded to torture her emotionally and physically. I personally have witnessed his abuse on many occassions and don't doubt he married J. because she agreed to swing with him and let him sleep with any man or women he wanted so long as he acted as her sugardaddy with the large sums of money he inherited from his family.

They're divorced now and he's never going to be able to choke her again, and I know for a fact B is a paying john when he can't arrange free fucks over the internet.

SEX is God designed!!!!! 09.May.2005 23:44

jo16 mameebertt@yahoo.com

Always remember what are the purposes of SEX in the context of marraige...
SEX only happens to both individuals who are mature, in - love and married!
EVERYTHING that has been said in the other articles are just merely LUST of the eyes and of the flesh... Beyond 'SEX in the context of marraige' is nothing but LUST!!!

SEX per se is not bad! God gave to us the freedom abut it... Only human beings make it so complicated and destroyed the perfect design of SEX...

PROSTITUTION does not make a lot of sense or even any sense at all!!! May it a child, a woman or man, or perhaps, gay or lesbians it does not manifest the actions of a moral and rational being that GOD created in the beginning...
It only tells us that human go down to the lowest level, which is an ANIMAL level...

Furthermore, one must know and understand fully that it is SIN that makes all of GOD's design into ruin!!!

If one knows and treasures Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior, not even a thought of being a prostitue will come out from his/her mind and mouth.

The LORD will help those who are sinful as long as one will allow Him to. And by His sovereignty, grace and mercies-God will always hear each one of us.

May God be your strength in times when you face adversaries...

God will always be with you all...