Hooray for enlightenment and good ideas trumping blind prejudice. And get on board America; you’re in danger of being left behind with the theocracies and military dictatorships of the third world as most other western democracies move to reform their laws regarding selling sex.
In the last three weeks the left-leaning online publication Slate and the conservative/libertarian publication The Economist have both called for an end to the prejudiced, moralistic, quixotic, but damaging prohibition against selling sex. If liberals and conservatives can agree that a law should be repealed, it must be flawed in the worst sort of way.
On July 31, 2014, Slate published an article titled “It’s time for Legalized Prostitution.” The Slate article explained that laws against selling sex are born of prejudice and moralism, and that they put providers in danger. The article discusses recent changes to laws in Sweden and Canada, which came on the heels of new research definitively concluding that decriminalization reduces violence and disease. Governments, at least good, reasonable governments, should not pass, retain, or enforce laws that put people at greater risk of violence and disease merely to pander to the religious sensibilities of others.
The August 9, 2014 Economist article, titled “Prostitution: A Personal Choice” discusses some of the same points covered in the Slate article, but goes a bit further by pointing out that the use of the internet to facilitate meetings between providers and clients has substantially mitigated, if not eliminated, the social problems that attend selling sex on the street. Moreover, and this is the point that is often overlooked but which speaks to me personally. Providers often enjoy their work and prefer it to alternatives. They enjoy the variety, the flexibility, the limited hours, and the opportunity to travel. And some actually enjoy sex.
What adults do with their bodies is a personal choice. My body belongs to me. Not some of it. All of it. I fundamentally reject any government’s attempt to tell me or any other woman what we can or cannot do with our body.
The Economist article also makes the entirely unremarkable observation that prohibition is ineffective. I am amazed that it has taken governments and society thousands of years to figure that out. Next, they’ll find out that water is wet.
I’m encouraged though, that these two thought-leading publications agree on this issue. I’m also buoyed by the rapid pace of change in gay marriage laws and marijuana laws. The world is changing, and the pace of change is accelerating, which is a good thing. Bad ideas that were based on religion and prejudice have a harder time hiding But change cannot come soon enough on this issue for those that live today in the shadows, in apprehension, or in danger.