The arguments to legalize prostitution are:

  • It makes it safer for prostitutes (it doesn’t, since police check the business even less when it’s legal)
  • Disabled people can find sexual relief in a legal way, because they can’t get a real date (can a man with his legs blown off in Iraq really not get a date?)
  • You get to tax prostitution
  • Sexual relief is a right
  • It makes it easier to contain the spread of aids, etc
  • It helps against sex trafficking (it doesn’t, it does the reverse, as it’s like giving a green light to drive more people into prostitution)

Against:

  • Pimps make more money, in a legal way, and with money comes political clout, since we live in a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy
  • You don’t get to tax them, because most brothels stay underground even when they are legal
  • Sexual relief is -unfortunately- not a right… Just like getting a Ferrari when you turn 18 is not a right. If sex were a right we could walk up to anyone and demand sexual gratification from them. Nurses in hospitals could have the sexual relief of their patients added to their job description
  • There’s such a stigma on prostitution that even when it’s legal prostitutes don’t register as prostitutes
  • It sends a signal to men that the exploitation of women is ok
  • Most prostitutes end up in prostitution because of severe economic deprivation and/or because they were sexually abused
  • Poor women end up as prostitutes in wealthier nations, disrupting their family ties, and allowing richer nations to put the stigma on foreigners. In the Netherlands you will have a hard time finding a Dutch prostitute as most are from Eastern Europe and Asia. The label ‘NL’ is considered a marketing bonus, becaus it’s so rare to find a Dutch prostitute in The Netherlands
  • Working as a prostitute puts you at risk for developping bordeline personality disorder, dissassociative disorders, self-harming tendencies, and ritualized comfort seeking (commonly known as addiction)

In Sweden they have a better solution. Being a prostitute is not illegal, but having sex with a prostitute is. This does make it safer for prostitutes, and it does diminish the sex trafficking numbers. Criminalizing the ‘johns’ is far better than legalizing the business. Only a tiny minority of sex workers earns a lot of money and has a lot of control over how they earn this money. Although most prostitutes prefer to get out of the practice when offered the chance, some do like what they do. By criminalizing the ‘johns’, they can still continue, but it puts their clients at risk. Prostitution is paying for being allowed to sexually abuse a fellow human being, who, if given a real choice, would not agree to this at all. En passant: people who visit prostitutes usually end up feeling more depressed. According to police reports male suicide victims surprisingly often visit a prostitute before taking their own life. All the men I have spoken to who regularly visit prostitutes do so because they are unhappy and by seeking short term relief they perpetuate the circle of unhappiness they are in. All of them were in some financial trouble because of their habit.

You can learn more about it through this excellent interview on Chris Hedges’ show ‘On contact’.

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