• AI for legalizing prostitution, misogynists oppose

    I don’t understand why prostitution is illegal. Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal? You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away? I can’t follow the logic on that one at all! Of all the things you can do, giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing in the world. In the army they give you a medal for spraying napalm on people! In civilian life you go to jail for giving someone an orgasm! Maybe I’m not supposed to understand it..

    ~ George Carlin

    Thanks to ridiculous puritanism, in many countries prostitution is forbidden and is punishable by imprisonment (or worse).

    Now, it seems that Amnesty International began to worry seriously about the rights of sex workers and is considering taking a clear stand in favor of legalization:

    At an international conference next week in Dublin, about 500 Amnesty delegates from more than 80 countries will vote on whether to advocate the elimination of all penalties for prostitution, based on “evidence that the criminalization of adult sex work can lead to increased human rights violations against sex workers.”

    […]

    But Amnesty International, formed in 1961 to bring attention to political prisoners, argues for a different approach in a leaked proposal that has circulated widely. That document contends that sexual desire is a fundamental need and that punishing buyers “may amount to a violation of the right to privacy and undermine the rights to free expression and health.” The group also cites the benefits for buyers with physical and psychological disabilities who “feel safe to express their sexuality” and “develop a stronger sense of self with their relationships with sex workers.”

    Amnesty also sides with the argument, made recently by prostitutes in France, that penalizing customers would drive prostitution further underground, making the workers more vulnerable to dangers.

    The initiative has been strongly opposed by ridiculous pseudofeminists who don’t understand that prostitution is not sex slavery.

    I have yet to understand how can anyone say that they stand up for the rights of women, while telling them what they can or can’t do with their bodies. Actually, I don’t: turns out anti sex-work activism is a way too profitable career.

    Anyway, telling women (or men) what they can or can’t do with their bodies is denying them agency over their own lives — classic objectification!

    I hope common sense, reason and civil liberties trump the neopuritan stance, and Amnesty International does the right thing. Sex workers deserve having their rights acknowledged and protected by the law.

    By the way, there’s now a letter to AI by all the sex workers and their advocates that is well worth reading.

    Category: PhilosophySecularismSkepticism and Science

    Tags:

    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Fact-checker

    One Pingback/Trackback

    • Good post, but why call the opposition misogynists?

      • ronmurp

        I was wondering that too.

        But the term has been so well appropriated by feminist theorists that it’s not merely about the hate and dislike of women, but the mistrust and belittlement of women too, and indeed the objectification women. So, one could like women very much in some respects, while belittling and objectifying them.

        But its multiple meanings make it one of those convenient words where the target for it can claim to like women, and yet still be labelled a misogynist with all the implication that he not only does not like them but hates them.

        It’s one of those duplicitous worlds loved by the pseudo-liberal ideologues that gives them the satisfaction of playing heads I win tails you lose.

        In that respect it may be worth turning it upon them, to point out how their ideological determination of what’s right for ‘all women’* (or specifically what’s not right for any woman because it would coincide with what some men want) is itself an objectification of women, and therefore misogynistic, by their own measure.

        * ‘all’ X – that other word used duplicitously, when one implicitly but obviously means ‘some’ (women, Muslims, …) but is taken by pseudo-liberals to mean ‘all’.

      • Because if you think you know better than women what’s best for them and want to make such opinions to be made into the law you’re certainly not a feminist.

        Misogynist suits.

        • I’m not keen on demonizing opponents, unless they have truly malicious intent.

          Misogyny is about hatred, not well-intentioned but wrongheaded policy.

    • Time Walker

      The right to sex ? So my tax money should go to getting someone laid ? Amnesty International is getting dumber.

      • Shatterface

        Your tax money is currently being spent on prosecuting people for having sex.

        You don’t seem overly concerned with paying money to the State to stop something which doesn’t concern you.

        You’d rather invent something to be pissed off about.

        • Time Walker

          Going by the logic you displayed I shouldnt worry about murder if they dont bother me. Again why should my tax money go to this ? The only people being prosecuted are those breaking the laws which we have to abide to.

          • Shatterface

            If you can’t tell the difference between sex and murder I’m glad I’m never going to be on the end of your cock.

            • Time Walker

              Point is that are against the law. I like the general idea of trading pimps and drug dealers for the goverment. Whats next ? FYI prostitution is legal where im from but only indoors and for people who pay for it. Key word they pay for the service not the people.

            • Shatterface

              Homosexuality used to be against the law. So did abortion.

              Your argument, such that it is, is that prostitution should be illegal because it’s illegal.

            • Time Walker

              Again depending on where you live its legal. Most countries still dont have abortion or approve of homosexuality. And even in those countires that dont consider them against the law there are lots of people who oppose them. In my country we dont approve of abortion as we see its as murder of the child and homosexuality (while we dont imprison them) is not considered marriage as our constition defines marriage between man and woman.

              You still have not brought up a point as to why the people should pay for this.

            • Shatterface

              ‘The people’ aren’t paying for this.

              That’s some shit going on entirely in your own head.

              ‘The people’ are currently paying to prosecute other people for having sex.

            • First you need to present supporting evidence that taxpayers’ money will pay for this, which is something no one other than you has said.

            • Circular reasoning. Why am I not surprised?

          • So having sex is hurting who exactly?

      • Your tax money? What?

    • Ann

      I wonder if everyone knows the background principle for making or keeping prostitution illegal.

      The reason is to give the community and the police some enforcement power regarding the control and containment of prostitution and its related activities.

      If, on Sunday mornings, there are prostitutes screaming “Yoo hoo! Wanna fuck? Hey! You! Grandad! Twenty bucks for a blowjob!” at passing cars outside of churches — or at the churchgoers themselves … if that happens, we can either accept it because it is legal, or empower ourselves with a way to stop it (by threatening arrest.)

      > Prostitutes servicing customers in cars parked outside of schoolyards
      > The association of drug dealing with prostitutes (because recreational drug buyers approach prostitutes as intermediaries for drug purchases and want to use drugs to enhance promiscuous sex)
      > The association of prostitution with crimes such as robbery and assaults against the prostitutes or the customers
      > Public drunkenness
      > Increased street traffic as men slowly troll up and down soliciting prostitutes and
      > Soliciting innocent girls, boys, and women
      > The yodeling and screeching at passing men
      > The turf wars of organized gangs controlling the drug trade
      > The fistfights and armed fights that break out so frequently when alcohol and women are involved
      These are activities that accompany street prostitution.

      The purpose of keeping prostitution illegal is to suppress these activities, or at least to confine them by redirecting them to specific areas (a red light district, a main drag) of reduced enforcement where the activities can be supervised. policed, and controlled more easily, and sequestered away from the majority of the citizens who don’t want half-naked street whores screaming inside their shopping malls, movie theaters, and restaurants, and outside their schools, churches, and homes.

      As long as it’s legal, male and female street whores can’t be told to move along

      There are also some concerns about “public policy”
      > Innocent women will be exposed to more STDs when it is entirely legal for their husbands to stop off after work for a beer and a bj
      > Legalized prostitution may increase the marital unhappiness and divorce associated with adulterous men
      > More young men and women may be drawn into this poor lifestyle
      > It may disorder municipalities by increasing undesirable sex tourism
      > Sex trafficking of children and addicted or impaired adults may increase

      There are legitimate objections to maintaining a Red Light district that contains “illegal but tolerated” sex-oriented activities such as X rated movie theaters, sex shops, live sex shows, and prostitution.
      But on balance, large cities have often decided that it is a better municipal response than just legalizing it so that these activities flourish everywhere and anywhere.

      • jjramsey

        First, just because an activity is legal doesn’t mean that anything goes. As an example, selling food is obviously legal, but that doesn’t mean that one can legally spit in the food, or neglect keeping rats and other vermin out of one’s restaurant kitchen, or disturb the peace in order to advertise. Just about all legal commerce is subject to regulation of some kind. Given that, it makes no sense to say that one needs to make something illegal in order to control or contain it.

        Second, several of the problems that you mentioned are a by-product of illegality. For example, why are prostitutes, as you put it, “easily-available prey for kidnap and murder”? Because they’re not in a position where they can readily call the cops! Turf wars are another consequence of illegality; since black-market disputes can’t be settled by courts, they get settled by guns. Indeed, illegality can exacerbate problems like STDs, since it’s not like the government that bans prostitution can then, say, mandate the use of condoms or regular checkups for diseases.

        If you’re trying to present good arguments in favor of keeping prostitution illegal, you aren’t doing that good a job.

        • Ann

          Hi, jj ~

          Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

          > The obviously legal activity of selling food routinely sickens and kills people, in spite of the fortune spent in its regulation.
          According to the CDC, about 40 MILLION Americans are sickened by legally-purchased unclean food every year, and about 3000 die.
          That’s a lot of avoidance of the regulations.
          http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/

          In addition, regulations and inspections are not enough to prevent the unbearable cruelty inflicted on food animals.
          * * * * WARNING * * * *
          Graphic video of horrific animal suffering
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jujQ5ntP1NM

          Even the regulation of the processes involved in the raising, harvesting, shipping, and selling of plant food is insufficient to prevent major outbreaks of serious diseases.

          George Orwell, in Down and Out in Paris and London, after working in the kitchens of high-end restaurants, said that even the filthiest and least-educated household would not treat food in such disgustingly dirty ways — (such as cleaning things with spittle, for example.) Nor is home-prepared food — no matter how filthy — kept warm and stewing for hours. Instead, it is served up as soon as it is ready, so that bacteria cannot grow.

          The disgusting food practices revealed in The Jungle were the result of the commercial preparation of food. Home processed food would never rise to the levels of filth and danger in commercial food, nor have the ability to reach so many people all at once.
          —————-

          The reason for my saying all that is to point out that your touching faith in regulation is misguided. The activity of commercial handling of food (or sex) is in itself such a huge temptation and opportunity to defeat the regulations that serious — and even lethal — violations occur faster than the regulators can catch them.

          Regulation is better than nothing — but it may not be better than “no regulations at all are necessary.”
          —————–

          The reason that prostitutes are often the victims of choice for kidnap and murder is because they will indiscriminately get in the murderers’ cars.
          —————–

          The Netherlands has come to regret its legalization of prostitution.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_the_Netherlands#21st_century:_reducing_the_size_of_the_red_light_district

      • You need to fact-check your data.

        Teher are still street whores. STDs rates among sex workers are one of the lowest, it is a poor lifestyle according to you, and I could go on and on, but you’re just repeating conservative memes that are so out of touch with reality that I wonder if you feel you’re sinning everytime you’re on Internet.

        • Ann

          Hi, David ~

          Thanks for your response.
          Your post is a little short in specifics. I wonder if you can give any details for your ideas?

          The CDC does not agree with you
          http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/sexworkers.html
          According to the WHO, sex workers are the most vulnerable population for contracting AIDS, along with regular users of prostitutes and their legitimate partners.
          http://www.aidsmap.com/Female-sex-workers-have-14-times-the-risk-of-having-HIV-as-other-women/page/2457223/
          http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/sex_work/en/
          http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/documents/2014/Sexworkers
          Notice how rapidly the incidence of AIDS ramps up with such factors as societies unable to control prostitution, drug addiction, poverty, and other factors associated with street prostitutes.

          Really, I don’t see how any STD can ever be initially transmitted except through promiscuous sex. After a while, of course, STDs are spread through marriages, childbirth, and medical care.
          ————-

          Before I posted my concerns with legalized prostitution, I was aware that there were going to be some men who are greedy — even desperate — to get legal access to whores, and who will therefore be strongly in favor of such legislation, while denying all objections.

          These are the men who have made Reno such a lovely town, and many cities in Mexico. They are not interested in livability, property values, street peace, or any other values. All they want is plenty of whores.
          http://www.wikisexguide.com/wiki/Mexico_City

    • Pingback: AI votes to legalize prostitution (and that's the right call) - Avant Garde()