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Two Strikes Against Ignorance, Prejudice, and Moralism

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 If liberals and conservatives can agree that a law should be repealed, it must be flawed in the worst sort of way.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.

3 Responses to Two Strikes Against Ignorance, Prejudice, and Moralism

  1. This is the best blog you’ve done to date. Fun and informative. It must’ve been a thrill to write this.

    • Laura Bentley

      Will,

      I am so sorry for not responding to this comment. I am still learning how to best go about bringing my message of healthy, open sex and sensuality to as many people as possible. This blog is going to be an increasingly big part of it, and I hope that I can spark a dialogue about the ideas and issues that are important to me and to others that share our world view.

      Thanks so much for your kind words. A big part of what I am trying to do with my life, as part of my calling to educate and facilitate healing, is change how people view sex and sensuality. When mainstream journalists are coming over to my side, and on both sides of the political spectrum, I have to be encouraged!

  2. DocDrew

    Laura,
    I couldn’t agree more. I am about as conservative politically as possible, or so I thought after voting for Reagan twice and GWB twice. But really true conservatism is more like today’s libertarianism. I believe in true freedom, with the caveat that your freedom to swing your fist ends at the other guy’s nose.
    We need to learn to butt out of other’s business. Like you said, its your body to do with what you like (or possibly what you let someone like me do with it ;) ). I didn’t spend 20+ years in uniform serving this nation to have any one group, religious or otherwise, enforce their rules of morality on the rest. An enforced morality (like mandatory volunteerism) is not a true morality based on inner virtue but on intimidation, threat and fear.
    Like the theocracies in the Middle East, our own theocrats love to spew their vitriol against others while allowing themselves their own little exceptions, ie. Spitzer, Baker, Swagert etc. It is time to quit the idea of a “Nanny State” to keep us from ourselves. Politicians are a poor choice to assume the mantle of being the Lord God’s warriors of morality and many of the clergy are not much better.

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