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Legalized Prostitution

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Amsterdam To Close Many Of Its Brothels, Marijuana Cafes, Sex Shops.

I’m so torn about this because prostitution is a good way for a woman with no skill to earn a living, but the problem that I see that is most prevalent is that prostitution equates women to objects that can be bought and this mindset can trickle over to women who are not prostitutes. It’s a way of perpetuating patriarchy and I really don’t find it in the least empowering. Most importantly, it also causes problems like enslavement and trafficking of women and children.

It’s great that they’re giving women a legal, semi-protected way of practicing their trade, but how protected is it really? In countries as rich as, say, the United States, women and children are being enslaved for the purposes of sexual services, and yet here’s Amsterdam trying to promote prostitution in a safe, legal environment. How many of those women in the red light district are there because they’re forced? I think that if they were to implement other social programs that would help them out of their situation and get them into a job where they don’t have to sell themselves, that this would be money better spent.

The city is targeting businesses that “generate criminality,” including gambling parlors, and the so-called “coffee shops” where marijuana is sold openly. Also targeted are peep shows, massage parlors and souvenir shops used by drug dealers for money-laundering.

“It’ll be a place with 200 windows (for prostitutes) and 30 coffee shops, which you can’t find anywhere else in the world _ very exciting, but also with cultural attractions,” he said. “And you won’t have to be embarrassed to say you came.”

So basically, they’re going to target businesses that “generate criminality” and will define where you can sell yourself and your body in a way that won’t embarass the “Johns”, continuing to perpetuate crime because of the demand that is then created, whether it is on their land or someone else’s.

I could be totally off here, but sex tourism is a big problem in a lot of countries, and in many of those countries, those who are in the business of sex are enslaved, they’re children who don’t have any other choice or don’t have a say in the matter.  There’s a lot of problems with this, and simply because it works in one country, as far as keeping a close eye on crime, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it works in other countries, and by legalizing prostitution you are creating the demand for sex that trickles over to other countries where it’s not legalized and becomes a big problem.

These are just my random thoughts on the situation, and I’m sorry if they’re a bit scattered, but I would love to hear input from others or be given points of view that I may not have considered.

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Written by Lissette

December 6, 2008 at 1:22 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Enslavement, kidnapping and abuse are all unfortunate activities often associated with prostitution. But the point often overlooked here is the key word – associated. They are not part of prostitution proper, at least from a legal definition, which is the exchange of sexual services for money or goods or other services. No where in that definition is any mention slavery, abuse, kidnapping, trafficking, etc.

    Take an analogy – consumption of alcocol. Each year over 10,000 people die in alcohol related accidents, usually from drunken driving. One could, using the same logic as above, make the case for outlawing alcohol. If we did, we would save countless lives each year. But most people would not support such a prohibition. Why? Because most people understand that there will always be some segment of the population that abuses any priviledge. And the proper response to such misuse is to attempt to control the abusive factors and at the same time protect the underlying right. Argued another way, most people would agree that all freedoms carry some price, as harse as this may seem at first glance.

    So why is the argument against prostitution so radically different? For those who support the keeping of prostitution illegal, would you also support the prohibition of alcohol using the same logic? Or, if we could magically remove the negative associations of prostition such as human trafficking, would they then support the right to sell sexual services? The point I’m trying to make is one has to ask themself if they are against prostition is principle or practice. Perhaps some would, at least, agree that there is nothing inherently wrong with the selling of sexual services, but there is no way to control the abusive factors that so often occompany it. And therefore, to be on the safe side, just keep it illegal. And there will be some who do believe it is wrong in principle, which is another discussion. But to argue against prostitution based solely on undesirable consequences which are not part of prostitution will always lead one down a slippery slope opening the door to the banning of many activites now considered legal.

    Bud

    December 7, 2008 at 9:21 pm

  2. Is state covering up murder of prostitutes?

    http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com/opinion/120708editorial.html

    Frank Keegan

    December 8, 2008 at 9:49 am

  3. You said a lot of what is on mind in regards to the legalization of prostitution. I believe that legal prostitution wast going a reality in either the Federal District in Mexico or in Tijuana. As a means of business whether or not it is legal there are individual who find that they can profit from it were they to create the “Walmart of Prostitution” i.e. human trafficking. Like Bud said it is associated, but in most cases of prostitution it is forced and/or not fully understood by those providing the services and therefore and abuse of the individual is possible and likely. Some level of education needs to exist at least on behalf of those providing the services, furthermore there needs to be some methodology in how it is to be regulated.

    latinitasoyme

    December 10, 2008 at 10:38 pm

  4. Thank you all for your responses. It has given me a lot to think about.

    I do believe there needs to be some more services put in place, and we most definitely need to bring more awareness that trafficking/slavery is a real global problem. My question though is how do you separate those who are self prostituting and those who are being forced, especially when those who are forced are terrified of coming forward and explaining to anyone the situation they’ve been placed in? Not to mention, how do you educate those who are providing the service, when inevitably greed with take over and at some point they truly won’t care. I think we need to educate those who will be using their services about the pitfalls of some of these brothels and what to look for as far as the possibility of kidnapped victims, young girls, etc.

    I would hate to take away a real, viable opportunity for women to earn a living by making prostitution illegal, but I also hate the concept of prostitution and the power dynamics behind it. The sale of one’s body is almost the equivalent of enslaving yourself, albeit temporarily, but by doing so the person is empowering those who are purchasing her services leaving her open to abuse.

    Lissette

    December 11, 2008 at 11:59 am

  5. I think Sweden’s prostitution laws are the answer: the sale of sex is legal, the purchase of sex is illegal. This system has engendered a safer “working environment” for those in the sex trade without actually condoning the practice of prostitution.

    I would never support the full legalization of prostitution because it is the very epitome of patriarchy. You simply cannot degrade and dehumanize women any more than you can by turning them into living, breathing masturbation dolls with a price tag – this is the apex of objectification and the legacy of a patriarchal society that encourages men to use women and encourages women to allow themselves to be used. We can never hope to achieve true equality as long as prostitution exists because it further entrenches patriarchal ideology in society.

    Nanella

    December 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm


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