Prostitution

Posted on 24. Jan, 2009 by in Feminist ethics

Punkerslut asked:

Prostitution

By Punkerslut

I must say that the practice of prostitution has been given a very bad name. Yet, I see it everywhere. Men who pay for sex are simply either pre-occupied or too lazy. If they wanted to save some cash, they could simply spend 15 minutes everyday grooming themselves, and then hitting up the clubs every night. Sure sure, they would be spending about $20 to $40 on drinks and maybe three or four hours of hitting on a girl, but they would still get sex. And, honestly, what is the difference between simply paying a woman to have sex, and looking nice and buying them drinks to have sex? I can extend this analogy even further. What if someone decides, in fact, to spend several hours every day or week in courtship, for weeks or months, until marriage? In such a case, they would have achieved the required social steps for sex. In that case, they are still just giving in a certain amount of time and effort to satisfy their sexual libido. If a man spends hours laboring at his profession, is paid, and then spends this money on a prostitute, how does this differ from a man spending hours hitting on a woman and then her finally accepting the sexual proposal? I cannot find one difference in any of these circumstances that would make prostitution immoral or unethical.

Yes, there is the difference that in one of these cases, money is specifically offered for the action of sex. I am not denying this at all. The only thing I am denying is that the exchange of money for sex matters. Whether sex was paid for or whether it was obtained through that clever game of sexual selection and competition, it is all irrelevant. Just because sex was paid for in one instance, I do not think that it ought to be outlawed or even condemned. As humane and rational men, the source of our ethical imperatives comes from one idea. It is the idea that our actions improve, better, and aid the lives of those around us. This can be done in a number of ways. If our actions can be judged as increasing the pleasure of others, and decreasing the misery of others, then it ought to be said that our actions are ethical, that they have done some good, that they have decreased misery and increased happines. With this ethical ideal understood, there can be no argument against prostitution. The system of buying and selling sex has been and will continue to be a means of mutual satisfaction: the cash for the prostitute, and the pleasure for the customer.

In all honesty, I believe the greatest amount of opposition to prostitution that comes today is simply an animosity against the sex act in general. Those same individuals who oppose prostitution probably support the law of statutory rape. They believed that if a consenting 18 year old had sex with a consenting 17 year old, that it was a tragic act, that it permanently scarred the 17 year old and that the heart of the 18 year old was stone cold. The same people who oppose legalizing prostitution also oppose distribution of contraceptive devices, arguing that “if sex is safe, then more sex will be committed.” These people would rather that disease infest and destroy the bodies of young people than allow them to take happiness in the warmth of each others’ bodies. The puritanical spirit is still among our society, unfortunately, and it is the people who are paying for it. Venereal disease and unwanted pregnancy effects all ages, all races. By doing all that we can to eliminate these social ills, we are elevating the spirit of humanity, the creed of kinship, the bond that may be called our experience together.

Among the primary arguments of those who oppose prostitution, there is the purity argument. It is not a question of the disease spread by illegal prostitutes, or of the criminal element associated with it, but rather, it is a matter of purity. By allowing people to exchange sex for cash, we are allowing people to engage in impure acts, which are destructive towards themselves. My response to this is simple: irrelevant. It is irrelevant whether an action is judged to be pure or impure. Personally, I believe that allowing children to live in poverty, allowing armies of unemployed to starve, and restricting the flow of information is impure. It is impure to build palaces when there are still men and women without homes. If it was impure to feed the poor and homeless, should we make it illegal? If it was pure to murder and rape, should we make it legal? Of course not. The terms “pure” and “impure” are meaningless. If conservatives are simply going to apply it without any purpose, then it is with complete disregard for morality and the goodness of mankind.

A real question that I would like to ask these conservative thinkers is this: by what standard can you define anything as pure or impure? What is the scale? And, once this is decided, how is it relevant to anything? If it happens that murder is impure, that holds no relevance over whether it is legal or illegal. Murder is illegal because it causes suffering and misery, and so is the same reason why rape or assault are illegal. It it happens that helping the innocent escape an evil fate is pure, it has nothing to do with the law. It is legal to help innocent people because it eliminates misery and suffering. So, when we decide to judge something like prostitution, and if it weighs out to being impure, why should this even aid in our decision? After all, prostitution, much like the sex act alone, creates happiness and pleasure for many. It is a mutually benefiting relationship. That is why it must be legalized.

There are still some other considerations to think about. For example, what about those prostitutes who are not willingly prostitutes? What of those prostitutes who engage in the practice for the sake of obtaining food and not for the sake of choosing it as a profession? Some will argue, very rightly too, that prostitution allows people to sell their bodies, even though the practice scars their mind. I admit, this is very true. Yet, it cannot be denied that every profession contains people who are scarred by their labor. Consider the Mexican laborers, whose rights are violated daily as they are forced to work 14 hours a day. Consider the American laborer who lives in a closet and works 10 hours a day so he can have nothing. The decades and decades of their lives spent living in such poverty and misery, inflicted on the lives of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people. There is no doubt that professions all over the world have allowed for so much misery, so much pain, so much cruelty. They exist solely because of the exploitive, oppressive relationships that are allowed to flourish in society. The problem is not prostitution. The problem is the poverty of a Capitalist economy. If the scarring of prostitution, or any other profession, is to be eliminated, we need Socialism on our law books. It is the only savior of the proletariat.

Before ending, there is one other matter that ought to be discussed. It is the matter of the rights of women, of Feminism, of sexism versus sexuality. Feminists will argue that prostitution will only make women seem more like objects and less like individuals with interests and emotions. First, there is a double standard. There are gigolos, or male prostitutes, and one might inquire how this impacts the image that women have of men. Some might agree, and believe that both institutions should be abolished. Yet, such an action would be too hasty and too reckless. Sex, whether paid for or not, is usually about satisfying an urge. A Feminist might as well say that men and women shouldn’t have sex with each other at all, to prevent them from having sexual thoughts about each other, or from developing ideas about the other gender. No doubt, everyone will disagree with such
a social plan. Eliminating sex will perhaps cause the greatest misery in society. And, the fact that nobody wants to eliminate sex, is fair and good evidence that the spirit of Puritanism is slowly but surely dying. Whether or not prostitution will put a prejudice in the mind of men is not something that can be battled by prohibiting prostitution, but only by a real and honest education given to all people, so that they can appreciate the relationships they have with each other.

If society were to accept prostitution as a valid form of pleasure, entertainment, and employment, then the ills commonly associated with it would become nonexistent. The disease that is spread through unprotected sex would become extremely limited and restricted. With regulatory law, these sex workers would be required to have protected sex. And, with safe sex, those who purchased the services of these employees would be safe. There is no doubt that prostitution should be legalized. For some time, casual sex without commitment was a matter of law. It was illegal. But today, we are smart enough to understand and believe that what two consenting people do behind closed doors is their business and their business only. It is not a crime to make awkward artwork or read obscure literature, but for a long time it was illegal, punished with death and torture. Yet as time has worn on, we have become more humane, more rational, more passionate about the rights of the people and the liberties of the individual. It is no longer a crime to read banned books, it is no longer a crime to revel in obscure artworks, it is no longer a crime to have consensual sex. Yet… It is still a matter of law when it comes to exchanging sex for cash. As the spirit of progress is guided by the flame of reason, we must change these laws.

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