Saturday, August 25, 2007

Some Perspectives On Prostitution

"Monogamy and prostitution go together."

- "J", a U.S. prostitute, as quoted by Kate Millet



"To the moralist prostitution does not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells her body, but rather that she sells it out of wedlock."

- Emma Goldman



"When prostitution is a crime, the message conveyed is that women who are sexual are “bad,” and therefore legitimate victims of sexual assault."

- Margo St. James



"Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution."

- Bertrand Russell



"My thinking tends to be libertarian. That is, I oppose intrusions of the state into the private realm—as in abortion, sodomy, prostitution, pornography, drug use, or suicide, all of which I would strongly defend as matters of free choice in a representative democracy."

- Camille Paglia

2 comments:

amuirin said...

Interesting perspectives.

I can see how outlawing prostitution would seem to stem from our puritanical shame of sex, and inability to be honest about it as a culture.

But...

I think prostitution is damaging to a human being. Ever notice how a woman who sells her body has a hardness about her?

I don't think a body is meant to be used this way, the acts of intimacy repeated over and over without the emotional shelter, the real connection so precious to us as human beings. Prostitution cheats a woman of that connection because not only is it not offered by her clients, most people who engage in this activity will not have the emotional offering extended by anyone else who learns of their profession, either.

So I'm glad it's outlawed. Law and logic sometimes hafta stand in when a failure of compassion leads people not to look out for and protect each other.

Paul said...

Hi Amuirin! A very thoughtful comment!

Although I tend to agree with each point you made about the evils of prostitution, I also think that some other evils would be ameliorated if prostitution were legalized, regulated and taxed. For instance, by requiring prostitutes to use condoms and get weekly tests for diseases, society might reduce some of the negative consequences of prostitution. Unfortunately, I see no way to significantly reduce all the evils of prostitution -- just some.