Prostitution Should Be Legal
The revelation of the true identity of high class call girl, Belle de Jour, made famous by the blog and follow-up TV series, 'Diaries of a Call Girl', has re-opened the debate over prostitution. Many current and former prostitutes have denounced the government's continued refusal to legalize the world's oldest profession and have called for reform.
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
The law as it stands is wrong and patronising to women
Forced prostitution 'is' illegal ,which means the 'law' does not protect women/men from being forcibly solicited.People dying to be prostitutes cannot do so alone without facing the law, and therefore have to resort to large illegal criminal underground organisations, that exploit them.
Prostitution is one of the oldest ways of making money. Making it illegal does/would not put an end to it.
Bonded forced prostitutes are shipped or urged to come to Europe where it is legal and are then exploited there, in general.
law fails women by its very existence
Much of the abuse suffered by these women comes from the pimps who exploit them and keep them hooked on drugs so as to keep them utterly dependent. Women would be free from such servitude and would have much better access to counseling and welfare services. The industry could be taxed with revenue reinvested in improving the work environment.
One could make reference to the landmark lobbying of the U.N by Cambodian prostitutes for their trade to be decriminalised and for the right to work; [[www.rabble.ca/taxonomy/term/3138/all/feed]]
Keeping this huge and unavoidable industry illegal on nothing more than principle is a narrow minded and obviously counter-productive approach.
Prostitution is not addictive/'a drug' and as long as it is illegal it is costly and the cost does affect demand(since demand is not inelastic).
Help control prostitution
Safety of the parties involved
The opposition say that it would lead to the more vulnerable of society getting involved but the presupposes that all prostitution is harmful to women and that prostitutes' voices are never credible when they defend prostitution as an alternative
Furthermore the fact that prostitutes are not on the whole well educated does not mean anything. Prostitutes often are undereducated and this means that their choices are far more limited, many would prefer to work in an industry where they make relatively decent money, can work child friendly hours and don't come home physically destroyed. The alternatives often are labour heavy, hour intensive menial work which would not necessarily leave them happy or content.
Approximately 25% of prostitutess fare better than the average woman, 50% have similar experiences and 25% have experiences that can be described as nightmareish. However, if you look at this group they are already especially vulnerable and often illegal immigrants or drug dependent i.e. the ready-made victims of exploitation.
Most prostitutes take hard drugs as the result of trying to escape what they have started. They then find that they must continue selling sex in order to pay for their next fix.
The fact that prostitutes are not, on the whole, happy, content, well-educated people should be proof enough that this is not the kind of work we should look fondly on.
Anyone entering this business would, undoubtedly, require a lot of counselling to undo the emotional damage caused by selling sex to strangers.
The war on prostitution
Most Western countries anti-prostitution laws focus on the prostitutes themselves, as they are the most visible target for police to take actions against and secure easy convictions. Any laws against kerb crawling are poorly enforced at best as it is much more difficult to obtain convictions for kerb crawling. This style of policing only creates a revolving door system of justice where prostitutes are soon back on the streets, continuing to employ their trade as they do not have the wherewithal to obtain lawful employment.
Law reforms should decriminalize the sale of prostitution in favour of harsher sanctions on the purchase. This has a number of benefits in that there is now a disincentive in place for the clients where there was no real disincentive before, prostitutes no longer have a reason not to go to the police for fear of being arrested and it allows support services to work with prostitutes with a view to finding them a way out of the profession. This has had marked success in Sweden with no reason why it could not be employed in other countries.
Making it illegal helps exploit those we should be protecting
Point being the sex trade has existed since time immemorial while measures have been taken to shame, vilify and abuse sex workers, the trade will not disappear if the cycle of punishing sex workers when demand famously creates supply, continues.
Unless avenues for safe work alternatives for unskilled workers can be opened, prostitution is here to stay. People need to eat and where and when there is nowhere to turn a murderous filthy racket/mobster/gangster or a sleazy aficionado or a curious college/university student is all there is. There should also be protection mechanisms employed to ensure that a former prostitute has not his/her life to fear before and after entering another walk of life.
Many women who have nothing become prostitutes to survive
"New laws making it a criminal offence to have sex with prostitutes controlled by pimps may be too complex to work in practice, police have warned.
The legislation, which is due to come into effect later this year, aims to protect women forced into the trade.
Gloucestershire Chief Constable Dr Tim Brain said he feared the complexity of the law may make gaining evidence hard...
The government's planned change to the law in England and Wales aims to protect women forced into the trade by traffickers and pimps.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith launched the new legislation with an unequivocal message, saying 'there will be no more excuses for those who pay for sex'.
At present it is not illegal to pay for sex. Under the new legislation a man will face prosecution if he pays for sex with a woman who is being 'controlled for gain' by someone else...
The Home Office says more than 160 victims of sex trafficking were rescued by police in a six-month period last year.
The bill also includes tougher controls on kerb crawlers."
As bad as they are today? uh many countries including the UK have legal prostitution, while certain countries such as the USA have limited legality on prostitution. How people handle being prostitutes depends on them, there are all kinds of prostitutes I think it is safe to assume the high class prostitutes are doing much better than low class prostitutes irrespective of the level of legality in their country.
Prevent Prostitution From Going Underground
Prostitution is simply an issue of individual liberty.
Prostitutes have performed a valid social function for thousands of years.
Many feminists consider that prostitution reflects the independence and dominance of modern women.
Prostitution is responsible for preventing some incidence of sex crime.
Legalisation of prostitution would break the link between their managers or ‘pimps’.
The problem of a high concentration of ‘sex tourists’ in a small number of destinations will disappear.
The law should not condone illicit behaviour
To go beyond this position raises a number of issues:
1. Whose morality?
The most obvious point is that in a pluralist society this cannot be an obvious answer. We have multiple value systems operating at any given time, and the state proclaims no business in determining which of these value systems is correct. The state starts to go down a shaky path if it starts to endorse one of these value systems over another on grounds greater than the maintenance of public order.
One may counter this by arguing that this is a country of Christian heritage and institutions, and that the common good is thus defined by the intellectual underpinnings and legacy of the Christian faith. This only raises further problems. "Whose morality?" becomes "whose Christianity?" Is it the Anglican Church, which has never been in the majority of this country? Is it that of the evangelical or liberal wing? I may find as easily find one churchman vehemently opposed to the legality of prostitution as I may find one in favour of its legalisation. To effectively determine public policy on this basis of a fundamental Christian morality would require the active involvement of the state in church politics and the endorsement of a particular theology. The arrangement would be beneficial to neither the state, nor society, nor Christianity itself. The basis of secularism is that the church and state are separate. The law and general morality operate in separate spheres accordingly.
2. Where do we draw the line?
This question is present in many legislative issues, but raises particular problems when it comes to the imposition of civic duties. Who owes the duty? At what point is it owed? Trying to adequately define the boundaries of acceptable moral behaviour is ultimately futile as human behaviour is fractal in nature. The result will always be that some people end up on the wrong side of the line. Legislating in fields better suited for public opprobrium simply risks criminalising people unfairly. One need look no further than the opposing argument on this topic: the writer's words could easily be interpreted as arguing in favour of the criminalisation of speed-dating. To suggest that a professional draftsman would be able to draw the line more easily than the (I assume) layman who wrote this is disingenuous.
(For a more detailed discussion, see Smith and Hogan's "Criminal Law: Cases and Materials, 10th Edn., Chapter 4: Omissions").
3. Law and morality are never in lockstep.
This is where I have to disagree with the person who wrote what is below, for two reasons. First, legislation does not drive a change in social attitudes. Think about it for a moment: if people's minds were only ever changed by changes in the law, then there would never be any changes in the law in the first place. Changes in general moral understanding have to occur first, otherwise there is no impetus to alter legislation. A reforming spirit is required before the act of reform occurs. Where legislative reform appears to change general attitudes, one is actually seeing simply a greater communication of a change in the general morality. The law is far more dependent on what people's sense of morality is than vice-versa, as can be seen in any purposive judicial interpretation. To suggest otherwise is, logically speaking, to put the horse before the cart.
Second, the process of legislation is fundamentally slower than that of the individual or public opinion. As soon as a law is passed it is, in effect, out of date. Think of an Act like a newspaper: it does not tell you what the news is _now_, simply what the news was at any given time prior to the publishing deadline. So it is with legislation. Statutes and cases are snapshots. They may well be out of step with public opinion and morality. Even if there was a universal consensus in favour of changing a piece of legislation, it would still take time for the legislative process to give effect to that will. The law is thus out of step with general morality at any given time.
One need look no further than Blasphemy laws: they are at odds with the general public opinion that such behaviour should not be subject to criminal (or possibly even moral) sanction, yet they remain on the statute book. Is it true to say that this is synchronous with public morality, let alone to say that that morality is influenced by the letter of the law?
The law is not there to serve the whims of those who would impose their particular view of morality upon us. To do so is only to invite disaster.
This would have been an argument made by those who were not in favour of legalising homosexuality in the 1950’s. What needs to be realised is that people’s moral views are dependant on what the law states. Homosexuality was made legal when people still did not agree with it but a few people were beginning to change their opinion. The change of the law resulted in people being a lot more open to homosexuals. If we were to legalise prostitution much the same thing would happen. People are beginning to see the sense of legalising prostitution for protection and if the law was changed this view would consequently become more widespread. Our ‘moral fibres’ are mere sheep that follow what is written.
Legalised prostitution still victimises the vulnerable.
While the idea that women in prostitution are the 'Weak ones' not only comes from a very moral perspective but also a very subjective value system, Karina Schaapman has fallen into the trap of pigeon holing and casting a vast generalisation over a large segment of society.
Despite the fact that women (by definition) are more than just their career choice and also (by definition of being human) are abjectly incapable of making the 'strong' choice every time in every period of their lives,Schaapman has tared them all with the same brush.
Having been forced and chosen to associate with people from 'all walks of life' it has been harder to hold my intellectual prejudices which were fostered and supported in public school . Because of this it became much harder to view the parade of prostitutes marching through Soho in defence of the expression of their life choice to be a symbol of ignorance, weakness and low intellect.
While the definition of weak and strong is still highly debated across cultures, philosophies and religions its actual existance is strongly questioned in many psychological fields.
I do wonder how Schaapman can work for a news paper who hasn't once questioned (and has even supported) the surge in recruits to the British Military in recent years despite the highly dubious reasons for the deaths we are causing in the ME( you would have to be strong to publicly pick that one though!!!). From all the past articles Schaapman has never targeted these trained killers as subjects of weakness.
I'm not a hippie but (whether I agree totally with the life choice or not) I lean towards chosing to make love not war while exploring God's Green Earth.
Would lead to similar policy towards drugs
Surely the only reason prostitution is illegal, is that the House has needed the votes of those who claim to 'morally object' to prostitution (and drug users). Are there any other reasons?
Only a brave and radical House would legalise both. It would put and end to the damaging state of denial the nation wallows in. Both could be dealt with - rationally. The difficult part would be dealing with the moral objectors outrage and the inevitable booting out of the House at the next election. So be it! Legalise it!
It would not solve the violence of prostitution.
[[Marlise Simons, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/world/europe/24amsterdam.html?_r=1, February 2008]]
Bad for Business
Amsterdam has its legalised prostitution and it works fine, yet it is mainly a tourist attraction and the men that do use prostitutes in Amsterdam do it as it is a form of souvenir, something to cross off the list. Because of the way that the girls are advertised and portrayed they can charge large amounts of money. This would not be the case in the UK. The UK would not embrace ideas of sexuality like Holland and this advertising and promotion of the girls would not be the same if legalised in the UK. With this in mind prostitutes would not have the same ability to charge as they do.
Also, would leglising prostitution mean that people could manage prostitutes in a harsher sense than pimps or madames? Charging as they wish and possibly giving a wage rather than commission based pay? These would all need to be taken into account and if so the reason that people go into prostitution is usually because they are forced into due to lack of money. If it was a wage based system there is nothing then stopping people from getting another job that puts them at less risk. Legalising prostitution should not happen, not due the fact that it would make prostitution seem morally acceptable but that it would not help the people involved in the industry as well.
No, can you imagine the ADS on TV?
The big global multi conglomerate supermarket chains would get in on the act.
I don't want to go into Walmart for a loaf of bread and be harangued by desperate females eager to know if I needed 'a bit of company' or be offered Buy One Get One Free, or double loyalty points if I go for a threesome....
Don't take that seriously. Anything that happens in a decent country takes into consideration everyone, not just companies wanting to get into the act for a bit of $$$
Unless if it could take on the form of cigarette advertising. The closest thing to an advertisement is the logo on the packet behind the counter. There's not even a picture of what a cigarette looks like. And that's how it should be. B)
Legalisation or Decrimilisation
Decriminalisation has recently (2004) occured in New Zealand and also occured in New South Wales; however there are still substantial regulatory differences and these regulations give substantial differences in outcome
Morality of Prostitution
Most of the people trafficked into the country are girls who are sold into prostitution. Can you imagine how many more innocent girls will be promised a better life, taken from their homes and then sold into a profession like prostitution in developed countries across the world?
By legalising prostitution, traffickers will have a get-out clause with the law and the people they traffick will suffer. Surely we can't allow this?!
What do you think?