The War on Sex Workers

An unholy alliance of feminists, cops, and conservatives hurts women in the name of defending their rights.

On August 30, a 19-year-old woman in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was arrested after a prospective client called 911 on her. He claimed she raised her fee for services after their initial online contact. The cops took her away in handcuffs.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about this story, which initially appeared on AnnArbor.com. It’s one of dozens you can find every day in police blotters and local newspapers around the country, often accompanied by mug shots. No women’s rights organization compiles comprehensive data on how many people are arrested, tried, convicted, and incarcerated for prostitution-related charges. But their names and photos are lodged in search engines in perpetuity, no matter the outcome of their cases. 

The consequences of such arrests can be life shattering. In Louisiana some women arrested for prostitution have been charged under a 200-year-old statute prohibiting “crimes against nature.” Those charged—disproportionately black women and transgender women—end up on the state sex-offender registry. In Texas a third prostitution arrest counts as an automatic felony. Women’s prisons are so overloaded that the state is rethinking the law to cut costs. In Chicago police post mug shots of all those arrested for solicitation online, a shaming campaign intended to target men who buy sex. But researchers at DePaul University found that 10 percent of the photos are of trans women who were wrongly gendered as men by cops and arrested as “johns.” A prostitution charge will haunt these women throughout the interlocking bureaucracies of their lives: filling out job applications, signing kids up for day care, renting apartments, qualifying for loans, requesting passports or visas.

Not all people who do sex work are women, but women disproportionately suffer the stigma, discrimination, and violence against sex workers. The result is a war on women that is nearly imperceptible, unless you are involved in the sex trade yourself. This war is spearheaded and defended largely by other women: a coalition of feminists, conservatives, and even some human rights activists who subject sex workers to poverty, violence, and imprisonment—all in the name of defending women’s rights. 

Off Craigslist and Onto the Streets

A woman dressed from head to toe in khaki was trying to corral the few dozen people who showed up to picket in front of the New York offices of The Village Voice. Her eyes shaded from the blazing June sun by a safari-style brimmed hat, Norma Ramos pointed toward the entrance of the venerable alternative weekly with one hand, gripping a hand-printed placard in the other. It read, in deliberately uneven letters: “The TRUTH behind backpage.com: $2 MILLION PER MONTH by hosting sex trafficking ads.”

Ramos is the executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). According to promotional copy from the speaker’s bureau that represents her, Ramos is at the forefront of “one of the most ignored and tragic social justice issues that affects our world.” She takes credit (with some exaggeration) for shutting down Craigslist’s “Erotic Services” listings, where anyone with an email address used to be able to post an ad offering sexual services to anyone with an Internet connection. After the demise of Erotic Services, which followed years of lobbying by law enforcement agencies and the National Association of Attorneys General, many sex workers opted for Craigslist’s main competitor, Backpage.com, which saw a tremendous spike in new sex work ads. (The site, once owned by Village Voice Media, was recently split from the alt-weekly side of the business, partly due to the controversy over its content.)

Ramos’ Craigslist fight, like the Backpage campaign that followed, drove up the cost of doing business for some sex workers. After opponents used the media and congressional hearings to dubiously link Craigslist to violence and exploitation in the sex trade, Craigslist began charging $5 per post for its Erotic Services ads, arguing that credit card numbers would help police locate advertisers who had been victimized. For sex workers who could not afford the fees, the next best choice was to take on the additional physical and legal risks of soliciting on the streets. All the buzz threw a spotlight on both sites, giving cops an excuse to step up stings that put Craigslist and Backpage advertisers in jail. Now Ramos is agitating for an encore.

Two months before the demonstration outside the Voice, feminist icon Gloria Steinem held court in the brothels of India as part of a humanitarian junket sponsored by the NoVo Foundation, one of the largest private women’s charities in the United States. NoVo’s money is Warren Buffett’s money: $1 billion, transferred by the second wealthiest American to his son Peter, who chairs the effort along with his wife, Jennifer. Steinem accompanied Peter and Jennifer Buffett on a tour of Sonagachi, Calcutta’s biggest red light district. Steinem came away from her visit with an astounding proposal: What would really benefit the women who worked there—whom she described to the Calcutta Telegraph as “prostituted,” characterizing their condition as “slavery”—would be to end sexual health services and peer education programs in brothels, programs that have been recognized by the United States Agency for International Development as best-practices HIV/AIDS interventions. Steinem described the women leading those health and education programs as “traffickers” and those who support them “the trafficking lobby.” 

How have we arrived at this point, that in the name of “protecting” women, or even ensuring their “rights,” feminists are eager to take away their jobs and health care? Ramos, Steinem, and their allies deliberately conflate sex work and what they now call “sex trafficking” for their own reasons, not to advance the rights of sex workers. The result is—or should be—an international scandal.

How Sex Work Became “Sexual Exploitation”

Feminist fights over prostitution and pornography are old news. But anti−sex work feminism has come a long way from the magazine store picket lines of the 1970s and the campus anti-porn revivals of the 1990s. “Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice,” wrote feminist author and activist Robin Morgan in 1980. She is still around today, hosting a radio show on D.C.’s 1580 AM for the Women’s Media Center. “Prostitution is paid rape,” claims Melissa Farley, who has been fighting against sex workers since the 1990s and now produces reports for anti-prostitution organizations such as Demand Abolition. While these women once focused on ending sexual “objectification” in magazines and red light districts, today they are waging a global war that pits one class of women against another.

One architect of this shift is attorney Jessica Neuwirth, a founder of the women’s rights organization Equality Now. In a 2008 interview with Barnard College sociologist Elizabeth Bernstein, Neuwirth described the change as a move away from “an earlier wave of consciousness about exploitation that took both pornography and prostitution almost together as a kind of commercial sexual exploitation of women.” The rewrite was necessary, Bernstein explained in the journal Theory and Society, because the outright prohibition of porn and prostitution was not popular, putting feminists at odds with liberal allies such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “They got battered down by ACLU types,” Neuwirth told Bernstein. “By re-situating these issues in terms of the ‘traffic in women’ overseas and as a violation of international commitments to women’s human rights,” Bernstein explained, “they were able to wage the same sexual battles unopposed.”

These battles were now being fought in the name of combating “sexual exploitation,” “sex trafficking,” and “sex slavery.” The activism has shifted to the realm of international law. In 2000 anti−sex work feminists attempted to push their redefinition of sex work into the U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Norma Ramos and her allies wanted the protocol, which is intended to formally define trafficking across U.N. programs and to promote collaboration among U.N. member states in order to protect the rights of people who are trafficked, to define all prostitution as “trafficking.” According to the Paulo Longo Research Initiative scholar Jo Doezema’s 2010 book Sex Slaves and Discourse Masters, sex workers were supported by the U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women, who rejected the prostitution/trafficking equivalence. Sex workers also opposed the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women’s substitute proposal, which described commercial sex as “sexual exploitation.”

CATW went on a media offensive, seeking to discredit their opponents, even enlisting Sen. Jesse Helms to the cause. It worked. The protocol was approved and is now signed by 117 countries, defining sex for pay as “sexual exploitation.” The protocol has given feminists legal and moral cover to target sex work under the banner of fighting trafficking. 

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  • $park¥||

    If we are going to call attacks on reproductive and sexual rights a "war on women,"

    There really needs to be a new term for this. The ability to have sex and make babies is not a "right."

  • Virginian||

    But the ability to control when and where and how and with whom most certainly is.

  • Hyperion||

    But the ability to control when and where and how and with whom and with whose money most certainly is.

    FIFY

    Not a right anymore, after critical fix.

  • Virginian||

    Eh, you might as well command the tide to recede at this point. Telling people the government shouldn't be paying for the Pill means YOU HATE TEH WOMENNZZZZZZ RIGHTSSS!!!!!

    War's over. We lost. When saying people should pay for their own shit is an unpopular position, it's basically over.

  • $park¥||

    You pretty much just nailed the heart of why it shouldn't be called reproductive rights.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The war is never over. We've won some MJ legalization and some state-level victories against the worst excesses. Gun rights are more solid than they have been in a long time.

  • wareagle||

    War's over. We lost.

    Nope. Not waving my flag. I don't care if it is unpopular or not, telling people to pay for their own shit is the morally right thing to do. And I'll keep doing it no matter how many statist shitheads insist otherwise.

  • Hyperion||

    I'm not waving a flag either, but I am staring reality square in the face.

    We have lost, as far as change by voting is concerned. The freeshitters and low information liberals out number us. It will only get worse.

    State level revolt is the only thing that can save us.

  • wareagle||

    you are correct in being outnumbered. That was my takeaway from the election, too. And states are the new battlegrounds. Maybe closer to home, fiscal conservatives and proponents of limited govt will act like it rather than talk about it. If they could just convince their legislative brethren to stop with the social stuff.

  • Hyperion||

    If they could just convince their legislative brethren to stop with the social stuff

    Yeah, but what I am seeing/hearing from the GOP does not indicate that they are going to change, or if they are, only for the worse.

    It seems like the 2 directions they are looking at going in are:

    1. Status quo, but sell it better. IOW, they think we are all stupid and if they just explain their neocon/socon crap better, that all of us will just embrace it.

    2. Become more like Democrats, IOW, pander to the freeshitters.

    It's lose/lose strategy.

  • juris imprudent||

    I think the Repubs want to double down on SoCon and NeoCon policy positions.

    You are right about lose/lose.

  • LarryA||

    War's over. We lost. When saying people should pay for their own shit is an unpopular position, it's basically over.

    Not really. When femfolks start figuring out that if the government pays for their bc the government will start telling them what kind they can use, we'll have the "told you so" moment.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Rubbish. A war is over when the losing side has conceded defeat or is rendered unable to continue fighting. I see neither of those conditions as having been met.

  • $park¥||

    I agree, but "reproductive rights" is the wrong terminology to convey that.

  • tarran||

    I disagree: the ability to have sex is much like the ability to speak, or tap a keyboard with your fingers.

  • $park¥||

    If you're referring, in a roundabout way, to the First Amendment, it doesn't grant the right to speak. It grants the right to speak freely. Anybody can speak, the FA prevents (in theory) people from being punished for what they say.

  • entropy||

    Wikipedia:

    While the United States Constitution's First Amendment identifies the rights to assemble and to petition the government, the text of the First Amendment does not make specific mention of a right to association. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others.

  • $park¥||

    Interesting, but I'm not sure how it applies.

  • entropy||

    So the ability to have sex is much like the ability to speak freely. Basically sex is speech, which requires associations to be spoken.

  • $park¥||

    First, I would fix this:
    So the ability to have sex is much exactly like the ability to speak freely.

    If (speech=sex) then (free speech=free sex).

    I still maintain that calling it "reproductive rights" is wrong. Naming it that has allowed the people who coined the term to setup the discourse in a manner that can only be advantageous to them. If you want to let people get away with politicizing sex (I know, too late) then there's nothing to do but weep as it gets twisted to fit whatever argument somebody wants to make.

  • entropy||

    I agree. It's freedom of association, not "reproductive rights" which sounds kind of like someone claiming the right to a jerb.

    Except that by "freely" I meant without restraint. "Free speech" protects paid speech too, because it's shorthand for "freedom of speech".

    You're right about the "much" instead of "exactly", that's just me being non-committal and underselling it.

  • Cyto||

    Other than the now-antiquated sodomy laws, most 'reproductive rights' come under commerce. It is more often the right to sell goods and services that impinges on the right to freely assemble in private for the purposes of conjugation.

    Those goods and services being things like condoms, diaphragms, abortion, contraceptive pills, IUDs, HPV vaccine, norplant, etc... Also related are dildoes, vibrators, clamps, whips, chains, rubber dolls, Luther Vandross records.... And sex services like prostitution and "erotic massage"... All of which the state has seen fit to regulate and/or outlaw both here and abroad.

  • tarran||

    If you're referring, in a roundabout way, to the First Amendment,

    Not really... I don't care about that totalitarian POS document. ;)

    Rather, I am talking about rights that everyone understands. You have a right to speak, but not a right to force people to listen.

    You have the right to derive pleasure from rubbing bits of your body against bits of another person's body, but not a right to force other people to present the bits that you desire so that you can pleasure yourself etc.

    You have a right to scream, but that doesn't mean someone must supply you with a mouth. You have a right to have babies, but no right to force the Romans to provide you with a womb, etc.

  • $park¥||

    I agree, and that's why I believe calling it reproductive rights is a bad idea. As soon as you start calling it a right, someone is going to come along and demand all those things you shouldn't have a right to.

  • JW||

    Once something is a 'right,' that should instantly deprive you of the demand that someone else pay for it.*

    *Yes, yes, the right to paid defense council is considered a right, but that is only after the gubmint has taken an affirmative action against you. Similarly, the right to be compensated for the confiscation of your property.

  • Cyto||

    Adding to this: The right to defense counsel is an extension of your right to not be locked in a cage without due process. The right to be compensated for a taking of your property is an extension of your right not to have someone steal your stuff.

    In both cases a 'right' has been created to compensate for the state's violation of your natural rights.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Can one person's "rights" really be exercised at another person's expense (are "reproductive rights" actual rights when some of the parties demanding those rights also demand that they be funded out of the public treasury)?

  • nicole||

    Yes. That's like saying you don't have a right to life just because some people want to live on welfare.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Not at all. It's more like saying "I have a right to free speech, therefore I should be given a radio station." Or I have a right to be secure in my property and effects (I know, the 4th Amendment is dead letter but for the sake of argument), so Uncle Sam should build a vault under my house for me to put them in.

  • nicole||

    Sorry I misread your question. I meant to say that these were still rights even though other people do want someone else to pay for them. So reproductive rights are still rights regardless of the paid-for BC bullshit, just as free speech is still a right regardless of people who want internet access for free and shit like that.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I agree with all of that.

  • Zeb||

    But none of that makes free speech any less of an actual right. And forcing employers to pay for birth control doesn't make using birth control if you so choose any less of a right.

  • ||

    Can one person's "rights" really be exercised at another person's expense (are "reproductive rights" actual rights when some of the parties demanding those rights also demand that they be funded out of the public treasury)?

    Yes

    /T o n y

  • entropy||

    Freedom of Association.

  • entropy||

    It's got nothing to do with reproduction. I don't think anyone has reproductive rights. That's almost like "income rights" or "financial rights" or something. You don't have a right to a specific end result.

  • $park¥||

    I don't think anyone has reproductive rights.

    This is exactly what I'm saying now, and have said before. To call it a right is to say that it was granted by someone or something and thus can be limited. My point is that it's the wrong terminology.

  • Clano'6||

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but isn't that exactly what happened in China? Forced sterilization and requiring permits from the govt to have a child? I understand that you are saying it is biology not something associated with the law of the land, but it can be curtailed.

    That said, i feel the reproductive rights libs refer to generally are bullshit and mostly about what others are required to pay for their choices.

  • $park¥||

    In China, except for in cases of forced sterilization which I've never heard of, people can still, and frequently do, have sex and have children. Even when an authoritarian government takes away the "right" to do so.

  • ||

    To call it a right is to say that it was granted by someone or something and thus can be limited.

    What? It's exactly the opposite. To say it's a right is to say it's a freedom that should not be infringed upon.

    And I've always taken "reproductive rights" to mean "the right to control of your reproductive system". So I'd say yes, it IS a right, but that right doesn't mean forcing others to help you with it.

  • ||

    To say it's a right is to say it's a freedom that should not be infringed upon.

    Forgot the rest.

    To say it's a right is to say it's a freedom inherent in the person that should not be infringed upon.

  • $park¥||

    Do you have a right to breathe? What if someone took that right away?
    Do you have the right to think? What if someone took that right away?
    Do you have the right to control of your reproductive system? What if someone took that right away?

    Would you necessarily stop being able to do any of those things if someone took away your right to do so? I'm not talking about taking away your ability to do these things, just your right to do them.

  • ||

    What if someone took that right away?

    Then they'd be VIOLATING my right.

    Would you necessarily stop being able to do any of those things if someone took away your right to do so?

    My point is that a right isn't something that can be taken away. It's a freedom inherent in the person him/herself, not a power or a privilege that is granted to or taken from a person.

  • ||

    What if someone took that right away?

    Rephrased: A right can't be taken away, just violated.

  • $park¥||

    My point is that calling basic biologic functions rights exposes them to politicization. That is a bad thing.

  • ||

    Calling ANYTHING a "right" exposes it to politicization. That doesn't mean negative rights don't exist.

  • $park¥||

    Sounds like you're fine with the terms "reproductive rights" and "sexual rights." Good luck then, I'll not continue to try to change your mind. Let me know if you ever win a debate using those terms. You have allowed your opponent to set the terms and make definitions that will only ever be advantageous to their side and never to yours.

  • ||

    Bullshit. Using the term "rights" doesn't let the opponent set the terms, unless you REALLY think there's no such thing as rights. The right to to control your own body covers reproduction just as much as it does drugs or anything else a person wants to do with themselves. Stop your pointless whining that everyone doesn't agree what a "right" is. The concept of "rights" is used in both moral and legal frameworks ("inalienable rights"). Talking to you about rights is like talking to T o n y.

  • $park¥||

    Talking to you about rights is like talking to T o n y.

    If you can't even defend your position against me without resorting to name calling, then I suppose you don't win many arguments anyway.

  • ||

    That wasn't a defense, it was an accurate description of how you talk about rights. As if you've never heard the concept of "positive rights", and can only conceive of "rights" as being "whatever people want to have". Just like T o n y.

  • ||

    If you just want to stop using the word "rights", you're basically conceding the argument to them, because they'll STILL use the term rights to describe it. The more you let them get away with inaccurate wording, the more you're conceding the idea that a "right" is simply whatever they want it to mean, rather than an inalienable freedom inherent in people.

  • $park¥||

    The more you let them get away with inaccurate wording, the more you're conceding the idea that a "right" is simply whatever they want it to mean, rather than an inalienable freedom inherent in people.

    Unfortunately, IMO this has already happened and it's now too ingrained to be taken any other way. Just like "organic" and "carbon-free," the notion of "rights" has been given a new meaning. I just think there has to be another way to frame the argument that doesn't automatically give them the upper hand.

  • Jan B.||

    You do have the right to control your reproductive system, it's free, it's always available. It's called self-control. The expression of your reproductive system, however, is not free. Nor is evacuating your bowels or bladder wherever you wish, whenever you wish. We human beings live in a system. We are group creatures and thus the 'expression' of our bodies has rules. In this case, the rule applies to the biological byproduct of reproduction, the human child. It is not good for society to train women to kill their children as a reproductive 'choice.'It's as bad as the worst virus, just ask those countries that are poised on the brink of negative population growth but which cannot convince their ruined women to reproduce again (includes Iran, by the way). That's the reason some people don't want to pay for it,contraception or abortion, because it's wrong, not because they don't want insurance to cover, say, your inflammed tonsils.Because it's wrong for society.

    We humans have never had the 'right' to express everything we wanted to regarding our own bodies, or our own minds. We are not gods.

  • Thomas O.||

    Jan: I get it. You don't want to pay for abortions or birth control. But the solution is not to curtail everyone else's personal freedoms in the name of arbitrary values. People are going to have sex, they're gonna look for sex if they're willing to pay for it, and we might as well let them do it in a legal controlled environment, rather than the more dangerous option of forcing them into an underground black market.

  • Paul.||

    The ability to have sex and make babies is not a "right."

    I disagree, it is a right. Now, if what you're really trying to say is that if having the consequences of your sex and making babies be paid for by your neighbor, then we agree, it's not a right.

    But people have a right to have sex and make babies.

  • HellsBells||

    I always understood it as a "right" is something that you are entitled to. It can be violated or oppressed, but not removed.

    A "freedom" is more of deliberate environment where your rights can be exercised without constraint.

    So you have the right to freedom of speech. And under those guidelines, you would have the right to freedom of reproduction.

  • Guy Laguy||

    First they came for the sex workers, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a sex worker.

  • Hyperion||

    Sex-bots.

    War of the sexes, terminated.

  • juris imprudent||

    Sex-bots

    So Screamers as a porn flick.

  • WoollyMindedLib||

    i agree. this is a human rights issue and in 2013, a group of people are having theirs violated in a western country.

  • nicole||

    “Prostitution is paid rape,” claims Melissa Farley

    Am I the only one who wonders whether "paid rape" wouldn't involve paying the rapist? Fucking retarded.

  • $park¥||

    A woman voluntarily giving sex in exchange for a payment is totally the same as being raped by a guy who then throws some money on her.

  • Radioactive||

    severe rectal cranial inversion...

  • Hyperion||

    Just another misandrist feminazi that deserves no more than to be relegated to the dust bin of one of the dumbest periods in history. In fact, I don't believe we can survive much more stupid.

  • wareagle||

    clearly, you underestimate the public's tolerance for and ability to strive to new levels of stupid.

  • Hyperion||

    No, I don't underestimate that at all. I just don't think we will survive it as a prosperous and free society.

    Both our freedom and prosperity are slipping away right before our eyes, and the ones who caused it, think the cure is to double down on stupid.

  • JW||

    It's femtarded.

  • Virginian||

    Is it sexist to say that there is no more idiotic "ism" then feminism?

  • Proprietist||

    I think you have to qualify that. Not all strands of feminism are the same.

  • juris imprudent||

    I'd say feminism prior to the 60s - then came the Stupidarity.

  • ||

    Prop, you're correct. Different people have different ideas of what feminism is. I'm all on board with some of them, but not with others.

  • Virginian||

    What's the fun in being a glib asshole if I have to qualify my glib asshole statements?

  • Proprietist||

    Hey, just saying there's nothing wrong with individualist feminism.

  • Virginian||

    Eh, I mean not to get all "no true Scotsman", but individualist feminism isn't feminism, but just plain old libertarian ethics of self ownership and equal protection under the law. It's like the "libertarian socialists". Yes a voluntary association of wealth redistribution is libertarian, but that's not what socialism is, in the main. Some words have a meaning in the current social context which is not the meaning they technically have or perhaps should have. The best example of that is "liberalism" now a hundred odd years later meaning the exact opposite of what it used to mean.

  • ||

    I'd say that's feminism, sure. It's just that feminism is part of a larger idea (or set of ideas) about humanity and human rights.

  • Radioactive||

    you say potatoe, I say fucking jerk wad...

  • HeatherDC||

    There are sex positive feminists and they are NOT stupid. They understand that a womans self-determination is only realized when every option of life-style- provided that its not a predatory one, is available as a choice- That includes the right to be a stay-at-home-mom without peer prosecution, AND the right to trade sex and companionship for money, and every choice in between. The Steinam breed of feminist degrades women with a "we know what's best for you honey" type of attitude. Younger feminists seem in many ways to be more libertarian minded.

  • Zeb||

    That would make more sense.

  • ||

    By their retarded logic, we are all "paid slaves" of our employers. Buying groceries is "paid theft." Nothing is voluntary, everything is exploitation, everyone is a victim.

  • nicole||

    I believe they call that "wage slaves" ;)

  • ||

    I have never heard that said sincerely, though. It is always at least partially tongue-in-cheek. This stupid cunt actually thinks that prostitution is a "form of" rape, because "rape" to these people now means any fucking that is unapproved.

  • ||

    stupid cunt

    Look at you, with your false consciousness and your Stockholm Syndrome, using the language of your oppressors.

  • nicole||

    Ask (or not), and ye shall receive.

    Actually I think the most interesting thing about calling this rape is, as always, the implicit connection to consent--why can prostitution not be consensual? Now, think about why consent is impossible in this case (as in so many others, where rape and "feminists" are concerned), but why it is possible WRT to the state...

  • ||

    I think there's a reasonable debate that reasonable people can have about consent, but that's not the debate the feminists are interested in having.

    As far as I am concerned, if a person is physically able to walk, run, or crawl out of the room and chooses not to do so, whatever happens after that may not be pretty but it sure as fuck isn't rape.

  • nicole||

    No, they're not interested in having it, and they're not interested in applying their own ideas to most other things.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I don't think sex performed under threat of violence is any more consensual than giving your wallet to a mugger so he doesn't shoot you.

  • Randian||

    Well, does that require an explicit threat or does previous violence against other prostitutes suffice?

    That's the question.

  • HeatherDC||

    That implies that the only prostitution which occurs is done by threat of violence- but the discussion here is that if it were legalized it would be more likely to be done as a free choice

  • ||

    I have never heard that said sincerely, though. It is always at least partially tongue-in-cheek.

    Even some libertarians use it sincerely. See Kevin Carson.

  • Jordan||

    They probably believe that. Especially the part with respect to employers.

  • entropy||

    Yeah, but what's your point?

  • Clano'6||

    And God forbid you "choose" to stay at home. You are setting back women's rights 50 years!

  • Clano'6||

    Wow. This comment was supposed to link to one waaaay up there ^

  • Loki||

    everything is exploitation, everyone is a victim.

    In the mind of a progresso-tard: yes.

  • po8crg||

    If, as Melissa Farley does, you believe that money is force, then paying people to do something is coercive force.

    So yes, she really does believe that.

    Of course, the real challenge is getting her to say so.

  • nicole||

    I should also note I find this particularly hilarious since we were just recently having a discussion about whether rapists should be allowed to just offer some kind of payoff to their victim, and whether the victim should then be able to stop criminal prosecution.

  • Lyle||

    Legalize paid for sex!

  • $park¥||

    It's the only way some people will get it.

  • Lyle||

    I wouldn't know. ;)

  • ||

    You do it for free? The recession must've been hard on you.

  • Zeb||

    The "All prostitution is sex slavery/human trafficking" people are awful. There are people who are actually forced into prostitution and pretending that all people who do sex for money are in the same situation can only be making it worse for those who have actually been forced into sexual slavery.

  • ||

    They want more people to be victims. The more people are real or as-defined-by-Newspeak "victims," the better. They are beyond ghoulish.

  • ||

    If they're victims then they can be "saved" by the benevolent hands of their betters.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Zeb,

    The "All prostitution is sex slavery/human trafficking" people are awful.


    Not to mention creepy. In one of Stossel's shows, he invited ex-prosecutor Wendy Murphy who reiterated that prostitution is forbidden in order to "protect" women from a life of exploitation, even when confronted by Stossel's very valid point that many women CHOSE to become prostitutes. She would have none of that, saying that most women would never choose such a profession (a contention presumably based on her ability to read minds) and so they should be protected from such decisions. My skin just curled by the thought that this woman used to prosecute people.

    Another display of pure creepiness was when Stossel invited Lis Wiehl to talk about the same subject, and the Petunia Pig-like blonde just weaseled her way out of a coherent argument for prohibition by saying "well, it's policy!"

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    She did provide a good example of the real meaning of begging the question.

  • wareagle||

    didn't Stossel also have one of the girls from a Nevada brothel saying it was nobody's damn business if she had sex with others for money?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: wareagle,

    He did - twice. In the first show (where Mrs. Murphy appeared) she invited several girls from the Bunny Ranch. The really creepy part is when Murphy responded to the girls' objections to her possition with the collectivist retort "this isn't about you." In the second part (with Lis Wiehl) he invited one of the girls to be on the studio and even when she reassured Mrs. Wiehl that she was more than happy with her decision, Lis insisted with her "it's because it is the policy!" mantra.

  • FreeLibertine||

    They are trying to force their view of reality (it's all sex slavery) onto free individuals engaging in consensual activity.

  • Hyperion||

    everyone is a victim, who is not a white male

    All of this fixin is becoming a full time job around here...

  • ||

    I don't know, Hype, I am sure the mantle of loserdom could easily be extended to include white males, on any number of grievances. Plenty of the Occupy whining was done by just such a demographic. The Oppression (Special) Olympics is a fast growing sport for damn near everyone from what I can see.

  • Hyperion||

    I recall that back during the height of the OWS movement, speakers saying things like 'minorities and women speak first, white males to the back of the line'. I actually recall some even saying that they didn't want white men in the movement at all, especially older white males. So we have all sorts of racism and sexism going on in the movement, and no one seemed to notice it, except those outside of the movement.

    Those males are not exactly what I would call men, or they wouldn't put up with such bullshit just in order that they might get lucky with some greasy hair OWS slut.

  • Hyperion||

    But I get your point. Some of the older white males around where I live, are some of the most self-righteous, whiney ass, I'm a victim, people on the planet.

    I remember after hurricane Irene, the power was out for several days. I was driving around trying to find a gas station that had working pumps, like a lot of other folks.

    I stopped at one because I saw someone inside and tried the pumps, to no avail.

    But this old guy, probably in his 60s, comes up to me, with sour face and went off on a tirade about how all of this was the fault of capitalists like BGE who don't care about people, only about their profits.

    I politely pointed out that BGE was not making money while the electric was off and that they had crews, including from out of state, working 24/7 to restore power, and that I think they cared.

    He didn't like that at all, scowled at me, and went off in a huff, mumbling something about damn capitalist. That's when I saw the Obama - Biden 2008 sticker on his car.

  • ||

    We are seeing the rise of the professional loser class. Pretty soon, simply defining oneself as a non-victim will be considered a form of oppression.

    Seeing an Obmaa '08 sticker is a sure sign of someone who has doubled down on loserdom.

  • wareagle||

    the professional loser class

    I like that and will be using it. It's a nice replacement to congregants in the church of the aggrieved and the offended.

    +1 winner in your life.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Obama '12, you mean? I can muster some forgiveness to those naive in '08 - especially if I see scrape marks near the sticker.

  • Hyperion||

    Nope, it was the old sticker. Said liberal sheep was probably too damn lazy to change it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Ah. I successfully missed the point, then.

  • Hyperion||

    I see a lot more 2008 Obama stickers around here than I do the 2012 version. So my only guess as to why, is that the liberals were waiting for their free were waiting for their sticker to arrive in the mail, and for someone to come over and change it for them.

  • Hyperion||

    Grrr, that is totally fucked up. I meant to say, that the liberals were waiting for their free sticker in the mail and for someone to come over and change it for them.

  • ||

    I saw someone with an Obama/Biden 2012 sticker, and following the election they had written with that windshield marker stuff "We won!"

    Sometimes it's really difficult to follow the NAP.

  • Brandon||

    Or he wanted people to know that he was into Obama before it was cool.

  • Whahappan?||

    Actually, that would be an Obama '12 sticker.

  • juris imprudent||

    Plenty of the Occupy whining was done by just such a demographic.

    White male hipsters aren't white male patriarchs.

  • Hyperion||

    manginas

    I love to say that word, it makes liberals freak out.

  • OldMexican||

    These battles were now being fought in the name of combating "sexual exploitation," "sex trafficking," and "sex slavery."


    The above can only mean that the puritanical Statists have run out of politically-correct excuses to keep victimizing women that way and are now resorting to pure sophisty. Previously, the State victimized female sex workers in the name of public health and morality; now they victimize them in order to "save" them from a fate presumably worse than being incarcerated and stigmatized for life.

  • Hyperion||

    The above can only mean that the puritanical Statists have run out of politically-correct excuses to keep victimizing

    No so fast.

    The ultimate minority

    They can only pray that they won't be smarter than the average low information voter...

  • ||

    Isn't the ultimate minority the individual?

  • Fladnag the Yarg||

    Sex for money is way cheaper than sex for "love".

  • Hyperion||

    Especially if the latter involves marriage.

    Which is why I still cannot figure out the gays desire to be legally married.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Fladhag the Yarg,

    Sex for money is way cheaper than sex for "love".


    Not to mention that sex for cash is a totally voluntary transaction whereas as a married guy I'm expected to perform... at ANY time... no matter how late or how much I just want some shut-eye...

    So if anybody else tells me that marriage is like institutionalized prostitution, I am going to punch that person in the fucking face for not knowing what he or she speaks.

  • H. Reardon||

    OM - you are truly oppressed.

    I wish I had your problem. My wife gets to have it whenever she want's. My problem is that she rarely wants it.

  • H. Reardon||

    Please ignore that stray apostrophe. Who in the hell left the door open?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Marriage/monogamy is worse than institutionalized prostitution; it's sexual monopolisation. Lawfully, the your supply of sex is supposed to be restricted to a single supplier (your spouse), who with this monopoly power can create, or limit, supply as they wish, irrespective of your demand (you require 30 units of sex a month, the spousal supplier is only willing to output 14 units of sex, so you either just come up 16 units short, or figure out a way to make up the difference, such as an alternate supplier or you "manually" produce the units yourself).

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Anonymous Coward,

    Lawfully, the your supply of sex is supposed to be restricted to a single supplier (your spouse), who with this monopoly power can create, or limit, supply as they wish


    You sure take a very cynical approach to marriage, A. I only know that at least I can count on having my socks washed... in exchange for a little sex.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Re: Viejo Mejicano,

    In my defense, I take a cynical view of about 95% of everything in the universe. Where humanity is concerned, raise it to 100%.

  • Clano'6||

    Such a romantic.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Economics IS love.

  • Brandon||

    I'm expected to perform... at ANY time... no matter how late or how much I just want some shut-eye...

    Are you sure you're not gay?

    NTTAWWT.

  • ||

    Not to mention that sex for cash is a totally voluntary transaction whereas as a married guy I'm expected to perform... at ANY time... no matter how late or how much I just want some shut-eye...

    Sort of like how my girlfriend is super hot but unfortunately my dick is so big that it hurts her. We have such bad luck, you see.

  • RandomJackass||

    “It’s fascinating that women who claim to be feminists [...] are willing to use the law to coerce a particular kind of behavior from women.”

    Is it really? It's actually commonplace for illiberal "progressives" to use the law to coerce individual behavior.

    From mandating that we all pay into misguided "insurance" schemes to mandating when and where we can exercise our rights to free speech, self defense, and private property, or even to regulating the size of beverage cups, nobody should be surprised. It's not at all fascinating - it's disturbing to see it happening again and again in a supposedly free country.

  • ||

    The whole 'free country/ supposedly free country' canard should be dropped. I have done it many times myself, but the last time I did I thought " WTF Suthenboy, someone is going to call you on this".

    Does anyone here really believe this is a free country, or even supposed to be one? That it has any chance of becoming one?

  • Randian||

    Me myself, I'm a bit tired of the eschaton/Cassandra levels of handwriging that go on in certain libertarian communities.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    If you're tired of it now, just wait until the $ loses what's left of its reserve status.

  • Liberty||

    It's a freer country than Sweden or Hati. We aren't committing "hate crimes" by saying what we do. The problem with the "I'm so oppressed this is worse than Hitler" rants are that they prevent people from taking action to defend our last few freedoms.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I would argue that free-by-comparison is really free, because then all our government has to do is be slightly better than the worst shithole on Earth to say "look at how free you are! In North Korea, they only 9 grams of coffee a month, but here in America, you get 10!"

  • np||

    Since no country or state takes a principled approach to liberty, that really depends on what specific freedoms you value most. So it's not quite clear cut. Also, the situation on the ground can differ from legislation. Many have exploited holes of freedoms in weaker states.

    Reading around various suggestions about how to get you and/or your assets out of Dodge, you'll see very commonly the 5 flags approach, if not more flags

  • wareagle||

    yes, it is supposed to be free and, yes, when weighed against much of the world, it still is. Doesn't mean we are without forces who wish to change that, but the US is not Somalia just yet.

  • juris imprudent||

    but the US is not Somalia just yet.

    Only because are be-monocled conspiracy to destroy ROADZ hasn't yet come to fruition!

  • Paul.||

    Does anyone here really believe this is a free country, or even supposed to be one? That it has any chance of becoming one?

    When I was a kid, I used to hear that phrase all the time, "It's a free country, brother".

    Don't hear it anymore.

  • ||

    That was my point, but I guess I did come off sounding like a whiner.

  • Paul.||

    Not really, I think you were just being nitpicked.

    Hell, I used to say "It's a free country".

    But it only takes so many Balko articles, so many Kelo decisions, so many Obamacare decisions, so many trans fats or Four Loko bans, so many bizarro Homeland Security overreaches, so many kids' lemonade stand shutdowns by health departments, so much warrantless wiretapping (that thankfully stopped under Obama) until you stop believing it, or at least heavily qualify any statements about this being a free country.

    Just because one says it's not much a free country anymore, doesn't mean that one thinks we're North Korea.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    that thankfully stopped under Obama

    My god!!! I love the Commentariat! Brilliant set-up.

  • Brandon||

    I believe it is supposed to be a free country, and I strongly agree with the ideas expressed in its founding document, despite the hypocritical actions of its author.

  • Randian||

    One place where the argument gets confused and conflated is the "impressment" into prostitution versus the alleged enlightened pro who gets thousands of dollars an hour to be in Vegas.

    As libertarians, we have a bit of an issue when a 14-year-old girl is basically raised in a shitty neighborhood and is more or less effectively sold to the crack-dealer or madam down the street to be turned out starting at the age of legal consent, and works as a pro because that's all she ever has known.

  • AlmightyJB||

    And if prostitution was legal and out in the open we could be using our limited resources to stop actual human trafficing instead of the voluntary adult exchange of money and services.

  • AlmightyJB||

    With legal and open prostitution you could also make sure those women had the ability to seek help with outside groups to discuss getting them out of that life if they so choose.

  • ||

    "...make sure those women had the ability to seek help with outside groups..."

    The worst part of making prostitution illegal is that the women are put outside of the protection of the law. Much of their victimization could be eliminated if they could call the cops when some shithead beats the crap out of them for fun.

  • Ted S.||

    Much of their victimization could be eliminated if they could call the cops

    At least in theory.

  • Randian||

    I think that most of the world's prostitutes are closer to the "not voluntary" side than the voluntary one, unfortunately.

    I should say that I don't disagree with you, but what is and is not voluntary is a sticky wicket on certain issues.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well again , if you have legal brothels where open access to talk to the women is required it would certainly be much easier to help those in the involuntarily situation. If you have one set of legal regulated brothels that johns can go to without getting their name and picture in the paper and another without that issue, you can create a much safer work environment for those women.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't necessarily disagree with what you're saying either but to my point below the current prohibition probably makes things worse.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Exactly. Open up immigration and make prostitution legal, and trafficking either goes away or takes a big hit.

    The parallel with the war on Drugs is obvious.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Nonsense, Penguin. Next thing you know, you'll be telling us some ridiculous story about how there is an additional premium built into the cost of goods and services acquired on the black market.

    Man can be perfected. We just need to make enough laws for him to obey.

  • juris imprudent||

    Screw looking at the rest of the world. Compare Nevada to NYC. Which one is really acting in the interest of women?

  • Brandon||

    Well, the historically-accurate detectives on Law and Order SVU are so damn earnest in wanting to help those poor women, so...NYC?

  • wareagle||

    I would hope that having "an issue" with the 14-year is not confined to libertarians; that as human beings, we would have a problem with that.

  • Randian||

    The issue, to be a little more clear, is that (a) we relatively speaking want parents to be able to raise their children how we wish and (b) want the State to leave people who are "of age" alone with their choices so long as they aren't harming others.

    On a psychological level, I have a hard time saying that a pro who has been doing it since she was 16 because she's hooked on crank is doing it "voluntarily" and with full and robust consent.

  • wareagle||

    I am perpetually amazed at the things the state will and will not involve itself in over parents. More than a few folks using film have had to explain the pics of a two-year old playing in a bathtub or get reported if not accosted for smacking little Johnny in the ass at the store. Meanwhile, four kids on free lunch and no one utters a peep.

    We seem to have a problem with A, particularly where "how they wish" crosses lines. Some folks just are not cut out to be parents.

  • Randian||

    The standards for the State to get involved with parents should be very, very high, however. On net, that's more freedom-inducing and protecting than policing parents on a routine and general basis.

  • wareagle||

    there is a huge disconnect between the state's standards on paper and those standards in practice. Sorry, but multiple kids by multiple fathers, all of plus you are now on the public dole, tells me you have no business being a parent and that your sperm donors are a crappy lot, too.

    I doubt that there is a workable solution. No amount of money could convince me to be in social work or child protective services; how those folks don't kill some of their clientele is award-winning levels of self-restraint. Getting far off topic, so I'll stop by saying I'm with you on high standards but a sane effort at enforcement would be nice.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "to be turned out starting at the age of legal consent"

    Trust me, they don't wait two years before pimping her. I've known case managers who have pulled 13-year-old strippers out of strip clubs. Owners just say, "She showed me her ID and it said she was 18.

  • Randian||

    I know, but from a Libertopia standpoint it's a little bit easier to talk about the psychological "impressment" if we stipulate that the prostitute grew into it but is now past the age of consent.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Randian,

    One place where the argument gets confused and conflated is the "impressment" into prostitution[...]


    Who is confused? You? "Impressment" is initiation of force, aggression, and a violation of the self-ownership principle. If people conflate that with voluntary prostitution, then that is their problem.

    As libertarians, we have a bit of an issue when a 14-year-old girl is basically raised in a shitty neighborhood and is more or less effectively sold to the crack-dealer or madam down the street


    What's with this we business, Kimosabe? Maybe you're the one confused, but do not take all libertarians in your trip to the bottom. If a person is sold into slavery, that's force, that's aggression and a violation of the self-ownership principle. There's no ambiguity here. What exactly are you talking about?

  • Randian||

    It really doesn't surprise me that you are incapable of understanding the discussion. Your half-cocked malarkey is indicative of the intellectual level at which you operate. I explained myself perfectly well, to the point where others understood. You're just looking to be Aggrieved because something sounded vaguely unlibertarian (even though it's the exact opposite).

    Dumbass.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Randian,

    I explained myself perfectly well,


    You must be joking, Randian. If what you were trying to say is that some people conflate the two, that's different than saying that the argument gets confused, because it is NOT.

    to the point where others understood


    The others are just being kind to you, R. Too kind.

  • Randian||

    Right. It's the other people who were too stupid to understand or are just condescending to me. It couldn't possibly be that you're dumb.

  • Liberty||

    I think these women have the liberty to live their lifestyle, to sell themselves. But they aren't "sex workers." They're hoes. And trannies should be treated as men, that's what they are, biologically. And I really don't see why we should have sympathy for these women. Last year I paid tens of thousands in taxes to support their food stamps. Let's talk about that.

  • ||

    I actually agree with you. Just because it should be legal doesn't mean we have to impart some kind of dignity on it. And probably, if the movement to legalize whoring just fucking left it at that and didn't try to cram a lot of PC terminology and free shit down our throats, it would be a lot more palatable. Society is going to continue to judge whores as whores, and that is fine.

  • Liberty||

    Objecting to labeling prostitution as "exploitation," then referring to it as "work" is hypocritical. It IS exploitation. It is harmful to the women who participate in it, anyone in touch with the American masses knows that. Anyone who understands biology knows that, but biology is a dirty word around here. These people are cosmatarians, simple as that. They promote their cultural liberal view on this site. They should admit it.

  • $park¥||

    Shorter Liberty:

    Sex is bad, m'kay.

  • Randian||

    I don't think that's true at all. I'm a pro-sex, pro-legalization "cosmo" and I recognize that there could be coercion problems with prostitution even as it would be practiced in Libertopia.

  • $park¥||

    Then you're not agreeing with the point "Liberty" is trying to make. Unless you're saying that because there is a chance of coercion, it shouldn't be allowed at all ever.

  • Randian||

    I didn't see Liberty saying it should be illegal. Just that's it a loathsome industry. A point with which I by and large agree with. He said:

    I think these women have the liberty to live their lifestyle, to sell themselves. But they aren't "sex workers." They're hoes
  • Hyperion||

    No matter how loathsome you see it as, it is still a service being offered, and supply will try to meet demand. Sounds like another free market solution to me.

    Lots of conservatives that I know condemn pot smokers and call them worthless potheads, while they themselves would go to any means necessary to keep their fridge full of beer, or their whiskey cabinet full of the poison of their choice.

    We can't advocate some personal liberties and restrict others. That is what progressives do.

  • Randian||

    I can advocate your right to do whatever you wish. It doesn't mean I have to put my moral approval on it.

  • Hyperion||

    Of course not. I have the utmost moral objection to abortion, but I don't want the feds deciding the issue, and I sure as hell don't want to fund it.

    When prostitutes start asking for tax payer money, then I have a problem with that also.

  • Proprietist||

    Hyperion, I see it as: in a libertarian society, heroin would be legal. Yet, junk and junkies would still be disgusting to most of us. Same with beastophiles, crackheads and married siblings.

    I don't particularly agree with generalizing about prostitutes since there are probably a lot of different types and motivations. A full GFE escort seeking a little extra cash to help herself through school is a little different from the methhead on the corner by the burnt out $10 flea motel.

  • Randian||

    I agree with Proprietist in part.

    Prostitutes are lazy and are peddling to people's baser instincts. Gee golly, you can make money spreading your legs? You're a real winner, lady. Enjoy the herp.

  • Proprietist||

    And athletes can make money running and throwing balls around. Models and strippers make money solely on the basis of their bodies. If you have a natural talent, why not cash in? Not that it's the wisest life decision or career, but under certain circumstances I could understand it, especially if you enjoy the work.

  • Ashlyn||

    Would anyone pay you for sex?

  • Hyperion||

    Hyperion, I see it as: in a libertarian society, heroin would be legal. Yet, junk and junkies would still be disgusting to most of us. Same with beastophiles, crackheads and married siblings.

    I agree with this, but it is not that which I am opposed to, it's the state getting involved that I strongly object to. I think most folks know that heroin is bad for them, but I don't think the cure is to throw them into prison, or even to fine them.

  • ||

    I think prostitution is a "loathsome industry" the same way the liquor industry used to be a "loathsome industry". I don't think there's anything inherently unsavory about paying or being paid for sex, it's the criminalization of it that makes the prostitution environment terrible.

  • Randian||

    We can be political allies but we disagree morally. I have no respect for prostitutes or their clients.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't think anyone is saying that you don't have a right to have that opinion, or that anyone is even trying to change your opinion.

    We are just saying that, ok, you don't like it, but it's both the payer and the payees right to engage in a mutual transaction. If we make it criminal to do so, we are basically saying that you do not own your own body. It's no different that the WOD.

  • General Butt Naked||

    What part of having sex for money is immoral?

  • ||

    The SEX part. Duh.

  • Randian||

    No, wrong. It takes a really ignorant yet smug dude to simply presume that I'm some sort of anti-sex crusader. Really, it is to laugh.

  • ||

    What part of having sex for money is immoral? That's all prostitution it. You claim to have a problem with prostitution in itself. It's hard to to come to a different conclusion about your issue with it.

  • Randian||

    Yeah, it's gotta be the sex. Not the fact that more likely than not an intelligent person is pandering to baser instincts instead of engaging his/her brain and making an honest living.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Not the fact that more likely than not an intelligent person is pandering to baser instincts instead of engaging his/her brain and making an honest living.

    Ok, so that's your feeling on Liberty's/Slappy!'s trolling, but how do you feel about prostitution?

  • ||

    But why do you not consider it honest?

    How is being an architect or an IT guy any more "honest" or "noble"?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Indeed. One is reminded of the story of the Buddha and Ambapali:

    16. Then Ambapali the courtesan came to know: "The Blessed One, they say, has arrived at Vesali and is now staying in my Mango Grove." And she ordered a large number of magnificent carriages to be made ready, mounted one of them herself, and accompanied by the rest, drove out from Vesali towards her park. She went by carriage as far as the carriage could go, then alighted; and approaching the Blessed One on foot, she respectfully greeted him and sat down at one side. And the Blessed One instructed Ambapali the courtesan in the Dhamma and roused, edified, and gladdened her.

    17. Thereafter Ambapali the courtesan spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "May the Blessed One, O Lord, please accept my invitation for tomorrow's meal, together with the community of bhikkhus." And by his silence the Blessed One consented.

    Sure, then, of the Blessed One's consent, Ambapali the courtesan rose from her seat, respectfully saluted him, and keeping her right side towards him, took her departure...
  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Indeed. One is reminded of the story of the Buddha and Ambapali:

    16. Then Ambapali the courtesan came to know: "The Blessed One, they say, has arrived at Vesali and is now staying in my Mango Grove." And she ordered a large number of magnificent carriages to be made ready, mounted one of them herself, and accompanied by the rest, drove out from Vesali towards her park. She went by carriage as far as the carriage could go, then alighted; and approaching the Blessed One on foot, she respectfully greeted him and sat down at one side. And the Blessed One instructed Ambapali the courtesan in the Dhamma and roused, edified, and gladdened her.

    17. Thereafter Ambapali the courtesan spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "May the Blessed One, O Lord, please accept my invitation for tomorrow's meal, together with the community of bhikkhus." And by his silence the Blessed One consented.

    Sure, then, of the Blessed One's consent, Ambapali the courtesan rose from her seat, respectfully saluted him, and keeping her right side towards him, took her departure...
  • Heroic Mulatto||

    2. Thereafter the Licchavis spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "May the Blessed One, O Lord, please accept our invitation for tomorrow's meal, together with the community of bhikkhus."

    "The invitation for tomorrow's meal, Licchavis, has been accepted by me from Ambapali the courtesan."

    Then the Licchavis snapped their fingers in annoyance: "See, friends! We are defeated by this mango lass! We are utterly outdone by this mango lass!" And then the Licchavis, approving of the Blessed One's words and delighted with them, rose from their seats, respectfully saluted him, and keeping their right sides towards him, took their departure.
  • Proprietist||

    Aww you poor little baby, aggrieved by those meanie nihilistic cosmotarians and their stinky liberal social views. How dare they have different values from you, especially on their own site that you choose to keep going to.

    Do you want a lollipop? Maybe that will make your boo-boo feel all better.

  • Liberty||

    At least you admit it's a cosmo site. They (the people who run it) don't ever admit it. They claim to be libertarian and for some reason there is a perception of libertarians as "republicans with herpes. Wonder why...

    P.S. I only come to this site for the comments and the occasional good economic stuff, my favorite site is Taki's Magazine.

  • ||

    my favorite site is Taki's Magazine

    Well that explains it.

  • Proprietist||

    "They claim to be libertarian"

    What about "cosmotarianism" is any less libertarian than homophobic, racist (Taki's blog? jesus fuck) paleoyokeltarianism?

    "and for some reason there is a perception of libertarians as "republicans with herpes. Wonder why..."

    I thought your schtick was that we're all a bunch of cocktail-swilling, politically correct wannabe Democrats with a decent grasp of economics? So now we're making libertarians look like Republicans with herpes? I'm so confused.

  • ||

    homophobic, racist (Taki's blog? jesus fuck) paleoyokeltarianism?

    Prop, there's already a word for what Taki's is: crazy.

  • Liberty||

    Wow, even homophobia? Why do you guys even care? Would you have cared four years ago? When your back wasn't up against the wall?

  • Loki||

    Society is going to continue to judge whores as whores, and that is fine.

    [insert Firefly quote of Malcolm Reynolds calling Inara a whore here]

  • Paul.||

    This is beginning to sound remarkably like a drug-legalization argument we've had around here.

    Drugs should be legal, but let's not kid ourselves that someone addicted to legal heroin will be a happy, productive citizen, fully in command of his destiny.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Actually, there are many pain patients that take a shitload of opiates everyday and lead normal lives. Some are bedridden by pain, but many work jobs, have families, and are generally productive. If they didn't have opiates for a few hours they would be in extreme pain and be very sick.

    The junkies problems are usually from the paucity of supply. Heroin is a very cheap drug to produce and could be made by the ton if legal. If it were legal, the addict could judge doses for different parts of their day with accuracy and assurance of dose.

    The addicts that I have known have mostly had jobs and would try to do small amounts before work to keep away the heeby-jeebies and would do a larger dose at night to actually get high, but when you are unsure of the strength this can be difficult.

  • Paul.||

    All of which you said is true, except it whistles past the point that most people, when addicted to a perfectly legal drug (alcohol) are more often not, not leading very stable lives.

    The legality of a substance will make a difference in the paucity of the supply-- except when it doesn't. Ie, there are plenty of rich folks that get addicted to illegal substances and due to their resources and connections, are able to get it regular intervals and relatively predictable strenghts-- yet at some point, they'll voluntarily seek rehab, suggesting that they weren't entirely happy being addicted.

    Unfortunately, this discussion is almost always confused with the desire to make or keep these substances illegal.

    One can occupy both points of view at the same time: Drugs should be legal. Being addicted to legal drugs may not be a day at the park.

    I see legalized prostitution in a similar light. Making a thing legal doesn't imbue it with a magickness that makes it a good choice. It just removes the uglier black-market side effects-- which are alas, usually worse than anything that occurs when it's made legal.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Being addicted to anything, legal or not, sucks. I just wanted to dispel some of the notion that somehow the drugs we're taught to be very afraid of aren't the demons portrayed.

    Ironically, I'd say that the drug that does the most damage to one's life and family is alcohol, the legal choice. To put in terms related to life: if heroin were legal, and I was hiring for a position, in general I'd chose the junky over the alcoholic.

  • Paul.||

    Being addicted to anything, legal or not, sucks. I just wanted to dispel some of the notion that somehow the drugs we're taught to be very afraid of aren't the demons portrayed.

    I certainly agree that heroin, made safe, legal and rare is not the demon street heroin is. Just not sure I'd want to be addicted to it.

    To put in terms related to life: if heroin were legal, and I was hiring for a position, in general I'd chose the junky over the alcoholic.

    See, I'm not sure about that.

    I know functioning alcoholics. Most are perfectly reliable people, and some are more reliable and predictable than their square counterparts.

    I've known some people who had drug problems-- most of which were addicted to legal drugs (prescription). While they're not anywhere close to the street junky most of us are familiar with, I don't put them in the same functional camp as the alcoholics.

    But I admit my perceptions are pure anecdote.

  • Ted S.||

    If you need more alcohol, you can go down to the liquor store and get it.

    If you need more pills, you need the government's approval, in the form of that prescription.

  • Brandon||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Even if you think drugs and prostitution are terrible things, it should be blatantly obvious that the statist "cures" are far worse then the "disease".

  • ||

    "... it should be blatantly obvious....statist "cures" are far worse...".

    It is. However, making things better is not the goal of the statist.

    Using arguments of reason, logic and fact is pointless against prohibitionists because their opposition is not based on reason, logic or fact. In the same way you will never get anywhere arguing with a statist by pointing out that their proposed solutions are worse than the status quo.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah and those are frustrating conversations. So we need to destroy peoples lives by sending them to prison so that they don't make what you consider to be bad choices? And you're not willing to try any alternative to prohibition even though you admit it's not working? Ok then.

  • ||

    Huh?

    "And you're not willing to try any alternative to prohibition even though you admit it's not working?"

    I think all prohibition should be done away with. Well, I am not an anarchist, but basically yes.

    Where did you get the notion that I support prohibition? I am drinking this evening....did I word my previous post badly, or are you drinking also?

  • Randian||

    I think he was speaking out loud to the Frustrating Prohibitionist, not you.

  • ||

    I hope so. Maybe I have had too much vodka. Or maybe not enough.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I was having an imaginary conversation with a statist based on what we were discussing. Totally not aimed towrds you SB:)

  • Liberty||

    Feminists hate competition. If there is prostitution, maybe men wouldn't put up with their crap. But at the same time I could see their point. It IS exploitation. These women are not enlightened rational actors providing a service in a wonderful capitalist paradise. They are poor, drug addicted, disease ridden women. We should condemn them whenever the subject comes up even as we argue for their rights, especially when they reproduce and raise their children up to live in that lifestyle. They are why I gave money to Project Prevention.

  • wareagle||

    many a large city is full of attractive, smart women who are highly-paid escorts. In practical terms, they are still whores, prostitutes, or whatever basic term you choose.

    I fail to see how they are exploited. They appear to understand capitalism perfectly well. Doesn't mean I want my daughters doing it, but free will means NOT doing something, too.

  • Zair||

    They are poor, drug addicted, disease ridden women

    The prostitutes on Stossel's show a while back certainly didn't look poor, addicted, or disease-ridden. They looked healthy, happy, well off, and like they enjoyed their work.

  • A Serious Man||

    My guess is if prostitution were legal sex workers would form guilds to ensure worker protection, higher standards, and other benefits.

    Johns would feel much better if they knew the bordello they were going to only had clean women that won't steal their wallet to pay for their next fix.

  • Liberty||

    You are all wrong. I don't know what "large city" you talk about but in the vast majority of prostitutes in non-1% areas are poor, miserable people. They probably don't even know what capitalism is. If your view of the world comes from what you see on some show, you are not worth saving. These workers would never form guilds. They'd still be miserable, it's an issue of supply and demand, as well as an issue of low-IQ.

  • Randian||

    I don't know what "large city" you talk about but in the vast majority of prostitutes in non-1% areas are poor, miserable people.

    Exactly so.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Liberty,

    I don't know what "large city" you talk about but in the vast majority of prostitutes in non-1% areas are poor, miserable people.


    So fucking what? In the first place, calling them "poor and miserable" is nothing more than expressing your opinion, it is not an expression of an objective determinant.

    They probably don't even know what capitalism is.


    AND??? Many businessmen don't have a clue, either. That does not mean they deserve to have their rights curtailed.

    You're morally obtuse, L.

  • Randian||

    You can call something exploitative while still supporting the freedom to do it.

    Libertarianism is not libertinism, Old Mexican. I think people have the right to have sex with whom they wish, but adultery is shitty behavior. So is pimping, for the most part.

  • tarran||

    Brokering deals connecting clients with service providers is shitty behavior?

  • Randian||

    That's definitely what most pimping is.

    Is it Deliberately Obtuse Day? Someone call the Warden.

  • tarran||

    From Defending the Undefendable

    The actions of any one, or even of all pimps together, cannot legitimately be used to condemn the profession qua profession, unless the action is a necessary part of the profession. Now the profession of kidnapping small children for ransom is an evil profession, qua profession. Even though some kidnappers may perform good deeds, such as contributing a part of the ransom to charity, or even if all of them do so, the profession does not thereby become less of an abomination, because the action which defines it is evil. If the action which defines the profession of pimping were evil, then it should be condemned also. In order to evaluate pimping, any extraneous evil acts which may be committed by some pimps must be ignored as having little to do with the profession as such.
    The function of the pimp qua pimp is that of a broker. In the same way as do brokers of real estate, insurance, stock market shares, investments, commodity futures, etc., the pimp serves the function of bringing together two parties to a transaction at less cost than it would take to bring them together without his good offices. Each party to a transaction served by a broker gains from the brokerage, otherwise they would not patronize him.
  • tarran||

    And so it is in the case of the pimp. The customer is spared useless or wasteful waiting and searching time. It is easier to phone a pimp for an assignation with a prostitute than to spend time and effort searching one out. The customer also has the security of knowing that the prostitute comes recommended.
    The prostitute benefits too. She gains the time that would otherwise be spent in searching for the customer. She is also protected by the pimp—from undesirable customers, and from policemen, part of whose profession, qua profession, is to prevent prostitutes from engaging in voluntary trade with consenting adults. Assignations arranged by the pimp afford the prostitute additional physical security over street walking or bar
    hopping.
  • Randian||

    In order to evaluate pimping, any extraneous evil acts which may be committed by some pimps must be ignored as having little to do with the profession as such.

    That's just question-begging. People like me who find pimps loathsome are explicitly saying that there is necessarily more to pimping as it is commonly understood than being a middleman for poon.

    That's why I said you're being deliberately obtuse, and so was Mises.

  • tarran||

    So, since Al Capone was a bad guy, engaging in the alcohol distribution trade is a scummy profession?

  • Randian||

    All you're doing is engaging in special pleading. You want to discard the bad parts that come (again) NECESSARILY with the practice as it is practiced in the real world.

    So, since Al Capone was a bad guy, engaging in the alcohol distribution trade violent gangsterism is a scummy profession?

    I can sell your point the other way by changing words too, you know.

  • tarran||

    So, since Al Capone was a bad guy, engaging in the alcohol distribution trade violent gangsterism is a scummy profession?

    OMG. You posting that right below the quote from Walter Block's monograph on the subject is not irony - irony isn't sufficiently superlative; it's goldy.

    Dude, thanks for amusing me with your mental gymnastics. You really are like that lubed up midget some regular was describing last week: when cornered you become positively acrobatic trying to escape.

  • Randian||

    I said very explicitly that I disagree with the notion that violence is "extraneous" to pimping. I have said that from the beginning: clearly and consistently.

    Where you get this weird notion that you're "winning" and you get to spike the ball is beyond me. I am saying nothing different than what I said at the beginning: the violence is inherent in the act of pimping as practiced.

  • Brandon||

    I said very explicitly that I disagree with the notion that violence is "extraneous" to pimping.

    And you're wrong about that. What about Madams at Nevada brothels? They don't engage in violence, generally. But they provide the same services as pimps in black markets. It's the black market aspect that necessitates the violence, not the profession.

  • ||

    being a middleman for poon

    This is commonly called "pimping". By claiming this as something separate from "pimping" you miss the point entirely that the act of being a "middleman for poon", otherwise known as "pimping", is not something loathsome in itself. The acts that come of prostitutes having no protection under the law which are associated with illegal pimping are loathsome, but saying those acts are inherently an aspect of pimping is incorrect.

  • Randian||

    By claiming this as something separate from "pimping" you miss the point entirely that the act of being a "middleman for poon", otherwise known as "pimping", is not something loathsome in itself.

    I am very explicitly saying that pimping necessarily involves keeping your girls in line through violent ends. That's it's definition as well.

    You can try to separate the facts from the theory, and that's fine, but pimping as it is practiced is a loathsome profession.

  • Randian||

    Also, please be aware that I said "most pimping" at the very beginning of this thread, and have reiterated that statement.

  • ||

    I am very explicitly saying that pimping necessarily involves keeping your girls in line through violent ends.

    Except that pimping DOESN'T necessarily involve using violence, since the act of pimping itself is just being a "middleman for poon". The acts of violence by these people in a criminal environment don't reflect on the act of pimping itself any more than the acts of violence by drug cartels reflect on the acts of making and selling drugs.

    That's it's definition as well.

    No, it's not. From Merriam-Webster:

    pimp
    noun \ˈpimp\
    Definition of PIMP: a man who solicits clients for a prostitute
    You can try to separate the facts from the theory, and that's fine, but pimping as it is practiced is a loathsome profession.

    As it is practiced. That isn't something about the act of pimping itself any more than criminal violence by drug cartels is about the making and selling of drugs. Reprehensible conduct in support of a profession is NOT the same thing as the profession itself.

    Also, please be aware that I said "most pimping" at the very beginning of this thread, and have reiterated that statement.

    Again, acts of violence in support of the profession is not the same thing as saying that the profession in itself is bad. That it's "most pimping" rather than just "pimping" supports rather than undermines my argument.

  • Randian||

    Reprehensible conduct in support of a profession is NOT the same thing as the profession itself.

    If you want to find me a pimp who doesn't have to resort to violence to ensure s/he gets paid, by all means, go ahead, but the courts are not available as a recourse, so what is it you think they are doing to get paid? Begging?

  • ||

    You mean, like, the ones in NEVADA?

  • Randian||

    This is basically an act to try to separate the denotative use of a word for its connotative one and winning on the point of semantics.

    So, OK, if you want to separate the word "pimp" from all context and declare it a noble profession, have at it.

  • ||

    This is basically an act to try to separate the denotative use of a word for its connotative one and winning on the point of semantics.

    No, this is all about what the word ACTUALLY MEANS rather than trying to pin it to a certain environment in order to connect it to actions extraneous to the act itself.

    So, OK, if you want to separate the word "pimp" from all context and declare it a noble profession, have at it.

    There is neither anything noble nor ignoble about acting as a middleman for sex.

  • Randian||

    No, this is all about what the word ACTUALLY MEANS rather than trying to pin it to a certain environment in order to connect it to actions extraneous to the act itself.

    What does the word 'gay' actually mean, darius?

    Like I said, this is a simple logomachy, but for whatever reason a few have their knives out about it.

  • Randian||

    I mean, when most people use the word "pimp", do you get in their face and sputter "but he's just a middleman!"

    I bet that's effective.

  • ||

    Because they associate the act of pimping itself with the acts of violence done by pimps in a criminalized setting, thus setting the tone in regard to the usage of the word "pimp". The same thing happens with the term "drug dealer". Block's point was that this was an incorrect way of looking at it.

  • Randian||

    Well, yes, because that's how it's encountered over 90+% of the time.

    Can you blame them?

    I don't find it terribly effective to try to retake the word "pimp".

  • ||

    Can you blame them?

    No, but that doesn't mean they're right.

    I don't find it terribly effective to try to retake the word "pimp".

    It's not about trying to "retake" the word, it already means what we believe it means. It's about the way the word is used to further delegitimize prostitution and the other professions supporting it as a way to convince the public it should be illegal. Boiling the word "pimp" down to it's constituent parts shows that's it's no different from other economic interactions, not a boogeyman to be stuffed in prison cells.

    The same struggle of rhetoric is happening with drugs. The book being quoted above uses similar arguments for drug dealers, loan sharks, and others.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't find it terribly effective to try to retake the word "pimp".

    Why? It worked for Black pop culture (and by extensive suburban White pop culture).

    Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go pimp my ride.

  • entropy||

    Yeah really. Where do you people live that you think pimp is pejorative?

  • Proprietist||

    Especially because the pimp usually provides protection. Being a black market however, many pimps just happen to be crappy people who abuse their "product."

  • ||

    Should we then abandon the word capitalism? Which has already been "retaken" once, by the way.

  • Hyperion||

    Should we legislate morality? I say nay.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Randian,

    You can call something exploitative while still supporting the freedom to do it.


    What exactly does this have to do with L's contention that people who are poor, addicted to drugs and "miserable" are precluded from making commercial decisions or from being rational actors?

  • Randian||

    He didn't make that contention, and you can't read. Quelle surprise.

    We should condemn them whenever the subject comes up even as we argue for their rights

    Again, you are stupid. Please understand your limitations and stop talking while you're behind.

  • ||

    He didn't make that contention

    He most definitely made that contention:

    These women are not enlightened rational actors providing a service in a wonderful capitalist paradise. They are poor, drug addicted, disease ridden women

    The less you make sense the more insulting you become.

  • Randian||

    OM said "Liberty" said they are "precluded from making commercial decisions", which he very clearly did not. "Liberty" said they have all the right in the world to do what they do, but we shouldn't pretend they are Hollywood-glamorized genius businesswomen or some such.

  • ||

    You are correct about the "making commercial decisions" part, my mistake. The assertion about rationality was made, however.

  • Randian||

    I could quibble on the "enlightened" part, but OM seems to be saying that we shouldn't morally or ethically concern ourselves with decisions that are reached by adults because...adulthood!, and that's just fallacious. I can every concern in the world that poor, ill-educated, disease-addled drug freaks are spreading their legs for $5. That isn't really my vision of capitalism, not that I would use force to implement it.

  • ||

    That's not what I got from him at all. He simply seems to be questioning the assertion that a woman being down on or luck or on drugs means she's an irrational actor who is being exploited.

  • Randian||

    There comes a point where it's OK to morally judge the actions of others as questionable, wanting, or in some other way deficient. I find a teeming underclass that is drug-addled and sick that sells itself for sick to be one of those times where it's OK to say "hey, wait, something isn't right here".

  • ||

    There DOES come a point, but I object to the idea that a whole host of people I've never met can be generalized as mentally deficient victims.

  • Ashlyn||

    I know that "everyone knows" prostitutes are mostly ill-educated, disease-addled drug freaks... spreading their legs for $5.

    But how do you know?

    We can't look at tax records or census data to find out how many prostitutes are low-income, drug-addicted, or left-handed. Anti-prostitution organizations have scary numbers, but sex workers' rights organizations take issue with their estimates.

    We don't really know.

    I get that you don't like prostitutes, because SLUT SLUT WHORE UNCLEAN and all that. But how do you know?

  • Virginian||

    Another thing is that there is certainly a continuum between "it's on the nightstand" and absolutely no money changing hands whatsoever. If I buy a girl dinner, and we end up in bed, does that make her a whore? We don't really need to get into the economics of marriage, but they're certainly an interesting topic.

    There's plenty of women who meet a married man a couple nights a week, and just coincidentally they live in an apartment he pays for or drive a car he leases. They're not a whore though, they're a "mistress" or a "kept woman".

    I know of one guy who picks the au pair he and his wife hire every summer, and his wife is either ok with it or totally oblivious. Lucky bastard.

  • Paul.||

    So is pimping, for the most part.

    But it's necessary.

  • Virginian||

    But not easy.

  • np||

    You'll see where you're wrong when you look at countries that have legalized it and treats it as any other legitimate business. e.g. Germany, Brazil, etc

  • np||

    When that happens, instead of the problems with the underbelly of trafficking or coercion, which as tarran rightfully quoted are NOT inherent in the profession, these are the kind of "problems" you face instead:

    Munich brothel cries foul over Oktoberfest taxi driver bribes

    Upscale Munich brothel Pascha complained this week that its competitors are stifling business during the lucrative Oktoberfest season by paying taxi drivers large sums to bring customers to their establishments instead.

    Hockey team brothel sponsor turns others off

    A German ice hockey team which signed a shirt sponsorship deal with a local brothel and revelled in the attention the arrangement attracted, has lost another sponsor which left in disgust.
  • np||


    The Pascha and the poster during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, with the Saudi Arabian Flag and Iranian Flag blacked out after protests and threats.

    You want guilds? Here you go:

    Brazil prostitutes learning English for 2014 World Cup

    Prostitutes in one of Brazil's biggest cities are beginning to sign up for free English classes ahead of this year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

    Cida Vieira, president of the Association of Prostitutes in the city of Belo Horizonte, said Tuesday that 20 have already signed up for the courses and she expects at least 300 of the group's 4,000 members to follow suit.
  • ||

    "These workers would never form guilds. They'd still be miserable, it's an issue of supply and demand, as well as an issue of low-IQ."

    Sounds exactly like the type of people that end up forming unions in the first place.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Liberty,

    These women are not enlightened rational actors providing a service in a wonderful capitalist paradise.


    Which women? There's a difference between using force and coercion to make a woman prostitute herself, and becoming a prostitute by choice. Even if you do NOT agree with the decision, it is still as enlightened and rational a decision as any other we make every day.

    They are poor, drug addicted, disease ridden women.


    Again, who are they? And another question: How is placing them in jail to be brutalized or humiliated supposed to help them?

    Another very important question: How does having a disease or an addiction preclude one from making commercial decisions? When I have a cold, I am not placed in jail for going to work or selling my old jacket on e-Bay, nor does my disease preclude me from making those decisions; when I drink cola - and I am addicted to cola - I am not placed in jail for then mowing someone else's grass or having a garage sale. So why would it be different if I decided (if I were a woman) to sell sex?

  • ||

    How is placing them in jail to be brutalized or humiliated supposed to help them?

    A bit of a leading question, considering he says we should "argue for their rights".

    How does having a disease or an addiction preclude one from making commercial decisions?

    Again that's misleading, as he didn't say they can't make commercial decisions. He said that they're exploited and they aren't rational.

    I disagree with the contentions he makes and agree with the general drive of your comment, but these two questions read into his words what he didn't say.

  • Liberty||

    "Even if you do NOT agree with the decision, it is still as enlightened and rational a decision as any other we make every day."
    Depends on your definition of enlightened and rational. If these people were as smart as any of us they would not be prostituting themselves. They'd start a business and "build that." They aren't going to be able to take care of themselves or negotiate better prices or healthcare or something.
    "who are they?"
    They are the vast majority of prostitutes. I know there are parts of Vegas where you can find 2000$ hookers who at least look clean and happy. They are not the vast majority of prostitutes who live in the under-world. If you are addicted to heroine you make moronic commercial decisions, like paying 50$ for a product that slowly kills you.

  • ||

    Heroin is much cheaper than that, $10 a day will keep you high. And alot of people can function pretty well on heroin. There are people on heroin doing their day job right now.

  • entropy||

    This strikes me as so much bullshit.

    1%ers don't hire diseased crack whores. They want 1% prostitutes.

    Middle class people don't use diseased crack whores either, but they can't afford 1% prostitutes, so they use middle class prostitutes.

    There are lower class hos, middle class hos, and upper class hos. There are lazy hos and there are ambitious hos. There are druggy hos and drugless hos. You can't generalize that much, it's just BS.

    As to where the "vast majority" lies, cite your source. I haven't actually seen you use any numbers.

  • Bradley Strider||

    I'm too late to beat the crapflood of social conservative posts, but I'd just like to say that this was a great article and thanks to Reason for publishing it.

  • Loki||

    it is our willingness to abandon sex workers to violence in an attempt to control their behavior

    Modern Progressivism in a nutshell. Everything they do is about controlling people's behavior in some way.

  • Enough About Palin||

    ^^THIS^^

    I have a relative that post stuff on Facebook from progressive orgs that call for boycotting businesses they don't like. The really want to hurt the business, but they know that if they just quite buying stuff there that it wouldn't make a difference, they try to force others to do it. I used to regularly send stuff to their kid from Amazon, until they called for a boycott against Amazon, at which point I thought, no more shit for your kid from me.

  • $park¥||

    I don't have a problem with boycotting. Other people can still refuse. I don't think it's much different that giving negative reviews of something you didn't like.

  • Loki||

    I used to regularly send stuff to their kid from Amazon, until they called for a boycott against Amazon, at which point I thought, no more shit for your kid from me.

    See I'm the type of asshole who would keep sending their kid but as well as them stuff from Amazon, and continue doing it no matter how many times they tell me in their ever so self-riteous holier than thou way about their Amazon boycott. But I'm kind of a dick.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm sure you could find whores and pimps who operate on strictly libertarian principles - no force, no fraud, adults only.

    At the same time, there is a strong underground which doesn't respect these libertarian ideas, and which recruits underage, defrauded, and coerced women and girls into prostitution. A government enforcement agency which devoted its resources to this underground would never lack for work.

  • $park¥||

    Do you think legalizing prostitution would have the same effect as legalizing drugs? Do you believe that legalizing drugs would reduce the violence inherent in the War on Drugs?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You may well be right on that. As Yogi Berra said, it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future.

    Letting consensual adult prostitution into the open might make it easier to target the non-consensual, non-adult kind. It's certainly possible.

  • Proprietist||

    If a prostitute could go to the police and turn in her abusive pimp or madame without getting in legal trouble for prostitution, that would change everything.

  • tarran||

    In MA, hand gun sales are effectively against the law, so the guy wanting to buy a hand gun in Boston often has to resort to doing business with some very sketchy people to acquire the tools to defend himself.

    In VT, that is not the case, and people buy their guns from reputable sales channels.

    Get rid of the prohibition on prostitution, and the ability of guys who point a gun at a 14 year old and force them to walk the streets to earn a living off of it will be greatly curtailed, most clients will prefer to go to Lady Sally's brothel where the times are more fun, the chance of getting robbed and picking up exotic diseases is much lower.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If ADM and Monsanto had patents on marijuana and coca plant gene sequences, I guarantee you that the Mexican cartels would be out of business by the end of the year.

  • tarran||

    How so?

    The government would more vigorously crack down on the MJ trade?

    IF Monsnato claimed a patent on MJ, I think nothing would change. Because the state has been trying to stamp out the devil weed since my grandfather was a wee tyke, without much success.

  • $park¥||

    I could be wrong, but I'm guess that AC was talking about what would happen after legalization.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Yes, in my artless way, I meant after legalization.

  • Thomas O.||

    That'd be like trying to claim a patent on dandelions or crabgrass. There's a reason it's called "weed". :P

  • Hyperion||

    I can't weigh in on the topic of whether most prostitutes are poor, dirty, drug addicted women, or not, since I have never been around that business, or its employees.

    But I sure as hell do not think it should be illegal.

    Again, who are they? And another question: How is placing them in jail to be brutalized or humiliated supposed to help them?

    This. This is really the only point that needs to be made. Prohibition is always worse than the what it is prohibiting. It didn't work with booze, didn't work with drugs, doesn't work with prostitution. That is if you consider 'works' to be an improvement, which is my interpretation.

  • Clano'6||

    At its most basic I would say it boils down to: if you truly believe the "my body, my choice" mantra, then it entails just that. The freedom to choose to prostitute it out, have an abortion, have kids until your uterus falls out, commit suicide, use birth control, get tattoos, use drugs- whatever you choose so long as you are not infringing on the rights and pocketbooks of others- should be your choice.

  • Hyperion||

    I'm not sure how any Libertarian can see it anyway other than that.

  • Libertarians4Freedom||

    Easy: it isn't a choice when you're infringing on the rights of a yet-to-be-born human being. Abortion is a Holocaust, with no greedy ethnic groups standing by to puplicize it and make money off of it.

    Everything else in his post is spot-on.

  • ||

    But if personhood doesn't begin at conception, then no one's rights are being infringed upon. A collection of cells does not a person make. I'd go with something a bit more tied to brain activity. I'm sure you disagree, of course.

  • Proprietist||

    Aborting a pre-pain receptor/brain function zygote with the morning after pill is little different in morality or effect than exfoliating. Once it hits brain function and develops pain receptors, the morality becomes much more gray.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The latest prolife initiative is to ban abortions for pain-capable fetuses. This is opposed by the choicer crowd as an intolerable interference with choice. It would in fact represent an improvement over the status quo. Currently, most states allow the killing of such fetuses and the federal courts may still declare it a "constitutional right."

    What I'm trying to say is that the abortion status quo is currently skewed heavily in an extremely "prochoice" position - which ought to annoy the professed moderates.

  • Randian||

    The anti-abortion fanatics always beg the question. Always.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Abortion is a Holocaust, with no greedy ethnic groups standing by to puplicize [sic] it and make money off of it.

    Fuck you. Seriously, I hope you and everyone you love die long, slow, and painful deaths from bone cancer.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    You're a really nice person. How come no one likes you?

  • Liberty||

    "Abortion is a Holocaust, with no greedy ethnic groups standing by to puplicize it and make money off of it."
    I don't like the holocaust industry, but calling an ethnic group "greedy"(that's not what it's about) and implying that it simply "stood by" crosses the fucking line. Fuck you.

  • Calidissident||

    Not that I disagree with your assessment of Libertarians4freedom's post, but it's a bit rich that you're calling someone else out for a racist comment

  • ||

    Hmm, greedy ethnic groups profiting off of the Holocaust...

    Germans?

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    I have to agree with Liberty on this one. Prostitution should be legal. That does not change the fact that violence and coercion are part and parcel of the industry, and making it legal doesn't instantaneously transform all those who have been psychologically brutalized into rational agents of free will. Seems some here are trying to whitewash the nasty business.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    That was supposed to appear higher up in the prostitution segment of today's discussion. Carry on.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Prostitution should be legal. That does not change the fact that violence and coercion are part and parcel of the industry,

    Actually, it does. Or do you still buy your liquor from Sammy Cohen and his Purple Gang?

    and making it legal doesn't instantaneously transform all those who have been psychologically brutalized into rational agents of free will.

    That's true, and it would be naive to claim otherwise. The whole thesis of the article was that the quicker legalization happens the quicker the end of current brutalization will come, and the quicker one can begin on transforming the industry.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    My point was that violence and coercion are part of the industry NOW. Some posters upstream seem to think it's all Pretty Woman, upscale and genteel. That's naive bullshit.

    Hopefully, legalizing would shed some much needed light.

  • np||

    Where it's fully legal, yes, a significant chunk of it certainly is "all Pretty Woman, upscale and genteel."

    It's the same contention people think of when thinking of legalized drugs. That somehow places will be full of crackhouses. Have you been to Amsterdam? As you walk or bike (can't drive most places last time I was there) there's nothing violent or rundown or anything but exactly what you think it's not.

    You are implying that violence and coercion are somehow inherent in the industry. But how can that be the case? when, as you can see for yourself where prostitution is completely legal, the violence stops for legitimate businesses.

    You're making same irrational arguments drug warriors use, that violence is part of the business. But that is merely a consequence of being an illegitimate business or pushed underground by law, and certainly not part of the profession. How then, would you explain, the drastically different results in countries that have legalized/fully decriminalized? It is exactly the same situation with prostitution, as I have shown you above with just a few examples.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    English is the only language I know, so I really don't know how to make this more clear. I'll try one last time. My post said "violence and coercion are part of the industry NOW." yes, that means now. Legalization of prostitution would remove some, perhaps a significant portion, of the violence and coercion, and that would be a wonderful thing. I understand the consequences of prohibition. On a related note, just like legalizing pot will not end the illegal drug trade and its violence, because there are other drugs, part of the prostitution business involves things that should never be legal, and won't go away with legalization.

  • Clano'6||

    Very true. Legalizing prostitution won't eradicate the darker parts of it such as pervs who want 12 yr old girls and authentic snuff films since that will remain illegal. I like to think it would free up the cops to go after the more insidious elements and maybe even free up the legal prostitutes to turn in those who were doing true trafficking.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Martin Luther King charged in triple shooting.

  • BakedPenguin||

    There were a ton of acronyms in the article, but I didn't see COYOTE.

  • PapayaSF||

    Craigslist began charging $5 per post for its Erotic Services ads.... For sex workers who could not afford the fees...

    I don't know what sex workers charge these days, but it's hard for me to imagine that they charge so little that a $5/day advertising budget is unaffordable.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Let me get this straight, HyR commemorates MLK day by being too god damned lazy to post A.M. or P.M. Links? Man, are you fuckers blind.

  • Homple||

    One could compare exploitation of and violence against horizontal entrepreneurs in countries where such traffic is illegal with that in jurisdictions where such business is legal and open to see how effective criminalization really is in protecting those engaged in the business.

    Has anyone done so?

  • ||

    I believe so, though I don't know where to find such comparisons.

  • waaminn||

    Wpow you have got to be kidding me, they gotta mamke a buck too you know.

    www.Private-Web.tk

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    Just as the war on drugs is in many ways a war on black people…

    Fuck you, you race hustling piece of shit. Turning a piece on prostitution into a treatise on the victimization of transgender people was OT enough. Take your race card, roll it up really tight, and shove it up your ass.

  • lap83||

    I agree. The whiny manipulative tone of this article is a bit vomit-inducing.

  • Liberty||

    It's called cosmotarianism. We can care about rabsgender people too!

  • Dweebston||

    I'm not sure what to make of sentiments like yours. Don't you feel even the slightest hint of schadenfreude in handing ideologues a delicious platter of irony? I don't know whether Grant is concern trolling with statements like these, but I enjoy seeing leftists' supposed causes célèbre shoved back into their faces when their policies run counter to their hand-wringing theatrics.

  • ||

    Dweebston, these guys are too caught up in their culture war nonsense to care. Some people aren't happy if they can't complain.

  • Redmanfms||

    It's "KULTUR WARZ!!!1111!!!1!1!" you cosmmietarian weasel.

  • Sordid Business||

    Yes, I often see perfectly normal posters here become batshit insane when they encounter 'dirty hippies', 'hipsters', atheists or indeed anyone who doesn't regard guns, football and machine tools as the apex of civilization.

    It's kind of a shame, really.

    I used to think that libertarianism was really the common sense choice for most people, and I wondered why it is so completely marginalized as a belief system, when so many profess to agree with most of its stated aims.

    Since I started lurking here, I no longer wonder. Curmudgeons just aren't sexy.

  • ||

    I think it's more that some people feel a need to attach a label to everyone. I've heard before that a lot of people on the right and left desire to place everyone into boxes, and libertarians don't fit those boxes. Turns out that sort of person exists in libertarianism as well, and the desire to place people into neat ideological boxes is just as strong.

  • ||

    **Looks up and down this thread. Shakes head.**

    I see a lot of stated v. revealed preferences here. The Pinkotarian* is strong in this thread.-(((

    Maybe Tony is right. Maybe it is time to collectivize medical risk so everyone's social issue-y hobby horse is included.

    *Defined as a libertarian advocating for both "positive rights" and someone else, public, private, or otherwise, paying for it.

  • ||

    Really? While I didn't read the entire thread, I don't recall seeing anyone advocate for government(taxpayer)-paid goodies, medical or otherwise..

  • ||

    "...public or private..."

    If someone else is either paying your bill outright (CMS) or private (Private Third-Party Insurance, where they pay ~80% of the bill), for your private, voluntary health* decisions and the resultant consequences, then they have every moral, medical, legal, and fiduciary right to dictate your behaviour** and care.

    *Health == the decisions you make on a daily basis managing the congenital cards you have been dealt.

    **See also: Lifestyle.

  • Sordid Business||

    I am not sure if I understand you (perhaps a clause is missing here?) but how is expecting a woman expecting her insurance to pay for a her birth control any different than a horribly overweight person expecting insurance to pay for their heart medication.

    How would one avoid being a 'pinkotarian' short of either:
    A:not buying insurance and refusing all government assistance?
    B: never needing any medical care?

  • Sordid Business||

    So the preview doesn't work here does it?

    Let's try that again:

    I am not sure if I understand you (perhaps a clause is missing here?) but how is a woman expecting her insurance to pay for a her birth control any different than a horribly overweight person expecting insurance to pay for their heart medication?

    How would one avoid being a 'pinkotarian' short of either:
    A:not buying insurance and refusing all government assistance?
    B: never needing any medical care?

  • ||

    "Also, you don't have to drink orange juice."

    The highly vaunted Planned Parenthood makes a mint providing BC, and will price set for those in need.

    A private sector solution to this problem, no?

  • Homple||

    Also, no subsidies for the gheys who contract AIDS. They made their choices, had their fun, and should be responsible for the costs incurred in staying alive.

    Just like the people who won't control their eating.

  • ||

    I agree, except for those who are the victims of sexual assault, as men do get raped.

    Just like the people who won't control their eating.

    Depends on what they eat. Unlike the other examples you have provided so far, food is necessary for survival.

    So, are you ready for Tony's grand vision of collectivized risk?

  • ||

    Also, no subsidies for the gheys who contract AIDS. They made their choices, had their fun, and should be responsible for the costs incurred in staying alive.

    Rape, by definition, is a crime and unforeseeable and actionable. The blood supply is amoungst the safest and most screened in the world.

  • ||

    a woman expecting her insurance to pay for a her birth control == (barring sexual assault) lifestyle, as per my definition of health. Unless you believe in the stork. This is not limited to women, by the by, as men can contract STD's quite easily as well.

    Does not equal:

    a horribly overweight person expecting insurance to pay for their heart medication? == the etiology of the essential hypertension can be potentiated by obesity, which may or may not be under the control of the patient. Also depends on the type of obesity (fluid retention, excess muscle mass, etc.)

    A bad ticker can kill you, and may not be related to weight (I did say congenital meaning "born with it". Can you control your heart rate by sheer will? Show me one, one person that died from a lack of sexual contact.

    How would one avoid being a 'pinkotarian' short of either:
    A:not buying insurance and refusing all government assistance?
    B: never needing any medical care?

    A: Pay for it yourself, or accept the terms of the employer if the employer tells you to: stop smoking, eat better, lose weight, or anything else that can mitigate the price of medical insurance. CMS also. Insurance is for situations where the problem is out of the control of the insured.

    B: See A.

  • Sordid Business||

    You prevaricated a bit there when you wrote that obesity 'may or may not be under the control of the patient'.

    I am sure there are numerous medical conditions that can cause people to become overweight, but I have known a whole bunch of fat people in my life, and all of them ate way too fucking much, which is definitely a lifestyle issue. The fact that this lifestyle choice results in death doesn't make it any more my problem than Sandra Fluke's sex life is my problem.

    But I agree about buying your own insurance and screwing the ridiculous employer based health plans with all of their attendant annoyances. I also saved money when I switched, which surprised me.

  • ||

    You prevaricated a bit there when you wrote that obesity 'may or may not be under the control of the patient'.

    Medically valid and accurate (I'm a physician, DO and surgeon specifically). There was no prevarication or goalpost moving.

    I am sure there are numerous medical conditions that can cause people to become overweight

    There are. Many.

    but I have known a whole bunch of fat people in my life, and all of them ate way too fucking much, which is definitely a lifestyle issue.

    So have I. Many of them were my patients requiring surgical intervention. Define "too much", and what did they eat? You are aware people do require food to eat, no? And whoever is paying for their medical care has every right to tell them to lose weight, change their diet, and get the problem fixed.

    The fact that this lifestyle choice results in death doesn't make it any more my problem than Sandra Fluke's sex life is my problem.

    I agree; however the etiology of Sandra Fluke's problem is strictly (when consensual) voluntary.

    But I agree about buying your own insurance and screwing the ridiculous employer based health plans with all of their attendant annoyances. I also saved money when I switched, which surprised me.

    Then congrats!-D

  • ||

    Also, lack of sex will not kill Sandra Fluke (or anyone else).

  • Sordid Business||

    "Also, lack of sex will not kill Sandra Fluke (or anyone else)."

    This is true.

    "Define "too much", and what did they eat? You are aware people do require food to eat, no? "

    Too much: 3500+ calories a day.

    What they eat: Donuts, 4 egg omelettes with extra cheese, fried chicken; typical American food in too great a quantity. And of course there is the whole 'never exercising at all' bit that is usually mixed in there.

    I do see your point, mind. I just have trouble believing that most fat people are fat because they haven't any choice in the matter, even though I don't have any evidence for this that isn't anecdotal.

    And I really don't care what they do if their lifestyle makes them happy. Some fat people are gourmands who contribute to culture through cooking and food writing. More power to them.

    I just think that paying to keep willingly obese people alive is every bit as much a waste of MY money as helping women pay for birth control.

  • Homple||

    Sounds good to me, stop any insurance or government healthcare benefits for people who are too fat. Also, none for rock climbers, skiers, or softball players who are injured playing at their favorite sport. Nothing for joggers whose knees go bad or drivers hurt in car accidents. Pregnant and having a kid? No obstetrics coverage - you could have prevented that pregnancy. Got food poisoning? Hey, you weren't careful enough in your dining choices. Leukemia? You have electricity, right? Scientific studies have linked leukemia to low level 60 Hz electromagnetic radiation. Tough on you.

    And so forth.

  • ||

    stop any insurance or government healthcare benefits for people who are too fat.

    Agreed. Except they are medical care benefits, meaning a good or service. Health is their problem and their choice if the condition can be directly and demonstrably linked to lifestyle as opposed to a congenital condition.

    Also, none for rock climbers, skiers, or softball players who are injured playing at their favorite sport.

    Injuries happen even at the professional level. They also don't require another actor. In the case of team sports, you are insuring against the other players and their negligence.

    Nothing for joggers whose knees go bad

    Degenerative joint disease is not dependent on jogging. If DX'd. before they jog, then I agree.

    or drivers hurt in car accidents.

    Can't control other drivers; you are insuring against someone else's negligence.

    (cont.)

  • ||

    (cont.)

    Pregnant and having a kid? No obstetrics coverage - you could have prevented that pregnancy.

    You are however insuring the child. It's a two-fer. Otherwise, I happen to agree with you.

    Got food poisoning? Hey, you weren't careful enough in your dining choices.

    This is actionable and dependent on the proprietor. Cross-contamination can be proven for damages. However, how far do you want to go to prove damages from infection via sexual contact, for either male or female?

    Leukemia? You have electricity, right? Scientific studies have linked leukemia to low level 60 Hz electromagnetic radiation.

    Also can be actionable depending on the circumstances. Otherwise, insurance would be applicable.

    Tough on you.

    Now you're getting it.-) Or are you ready to collectivize all risk as Tony suggests?

  • Homple||

    What I'm driving at is that there are many risks that are collectivized right now. Following that, if we want to stop collectivizing some of the risks, how do we decide which quit subsidizing and how do we go about applying these decisions to individuals.

    Your responses above sound like setting up a system that is a bureaucrat's wet dream. Are you kidding, or do you believe the stuff you mention actually makes sense in the real, hopefully more libertarian, world?

  • ||

    What I'm driving at is that there are many risks that are collectivized right now. Following that, if we want to stop collectivizing some of the risks, how do we decide which quit subsidizing and how do we go about applying these decisions to individuals.

    This is precisely the argument for centrally planned medical care. Since we cannot roll back what is already covered, just cover the whole damn thing. Like folks above have argued in various incarnations. I'm tired of fighting a losing battle when people will not admit they are 100% responsible for their choices for either side of THE KULTURE WARZ! coin.

    Your responses above sound like setting up a system that is a bureaucrat's wet dream. Are you kidding, or do you believe the stuff you mention actually makes sense in the real, hopefully more libertarian, world?

    All of them are demonstrable in the real world. My point is that a free-market oriented medical care system depends on each actor assuming their own risk. The American People will not do that. Enjoy the Pinkotarian medical care to come where every social issue-y medical care concern is covered.

    Also, the act of eating (in normal, functional people), or food preparation done independently, does not require another actor. My logic is solid and demonstrable; you just don't like the sad truth.

  • Homple||

    Are you arguing against all kinds of insurance?

  • ||

    Are you arguing against all kinds of insurance?

    Not at all, but the term insurance has been bastardized beyond anything like the original, dictionary definition.

    "Insurance" means now (and has meant for a while) "payment assistance". That's my point. I'm not for illegal prostitution, and unless I am treating a patient where it is my direct concern, one's sex life doesn't concern me either. Until I am mandated to pay for it (and men's sexual health is not covered one scintilla in the mandate regs).

    However, and I have railed against centralized medical care for years on these threads (I live in a former Soviet bloc country now), when people will not admit the simple truth that sex is a lifestyle decision, and totally under their control under consensual circumstances and yet expect others to pay for something that is not demonstrably necessary to survive, the battle is lost for any sense of free market medicine.

    People take my argument and think I am prude. Hardly. I simply am demonstrating, by strict medical definition, that sexual behaviour is lifestyle and should not be covered. Because most, if not all, people who read and comment here have sex, NOW they are gonna get pissy and accept centralized care.

    Which was the point of Sandra Fluke in the first place.

  • ||

    Also, not one scintilla of men's sexual health is mandated coverage absent ED drugs (I'll have to check again on those just to make sure. I don't think so, but Medicare and private insurance does cover them AFAIK).

    These are legitimate insurance in most cases, as no man intends (that I know of) to become impotent and ED/impotency has many distinct causes, outside of being secondary to an related primary condition, and some of them are lifestyle dependent (those shouldn't be covered).

    Women, by strict medical and anatomical definition, don't require these.

  • HellsBells||

    Birth control is like elective surgery. You may not like the alternative, but if obtaining it is too expensive, you can abstain. There are no other bodily chemistries or metabolisms involved like with diet/health/genetics, etc. No sex, no babies.

    And I managed to buy my own bc for years despite the whole starving student situation I had going. No matter how its phrased, I just do not buy into any argument (besides rape) where bc should be covered by everyone else.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    Y'all do realize we're apes, right? All this morality talk is making me ill. Don't pretend like you're not a monster.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I'm on a libertarian-leaning web page that is discussing prostitution and if all the orange wasn't around I'd swear some of these posts would be fodder being spat from a neo-conservative/anti-porn feminist cluckfest. I see smidgeons of reason- beyond that it's mostly a pile of sticky fucking morality-slash-elitist doodoo.

    Yup, let's make it legal. A nasty, filthy, rotten, and disgusting business of sexual pleasure that is a means of cash only for the retarded dumbshits. Fuck, professional sex work may as well languish in the prisons and wallow under chains of stereotypes if even Libertarians can't escape the Puritan clutch.

    Either some of these posters are under 23 and still trying to figure out what reason is or I'm a goddamn ultra-Libertarian on the fringe.

  • suicide_blond||

    M.
    such a great article...
    sorry the comments went all cray cray....
    nature of the beast i suppose :-)
    xoxo

  • Retropundit||

    100 years ago, law enforcement was much more enlightened in declining to arrest sex workers. Here's a summary of a speech by the Republican police chief (later mayor) of Cleveland, in January, 1913:

    http://retropundit.wordpress.c.....rostitutes

  • Stella Marr||

    We are an organization of over 80 survivors of sex trafficking/prostitution. We are not fighting 'against' sex workers, we are fighting for all survivors. Nothing makes you a stronger feminist than having survived the sex industry. We are in favor of the nordic model of legislation, which attacks the demand which fuels the sex trafficking engine. We believe strongly that no woman should ever be arrested for being in prostitution, and that it should be a crime to profit off another's sexual exploitation, or to use those in prostitution.

    Gira Grant's article ignores our existence -- but but she certainly knows we're here. We are Sex Trafficking Survivors United. Our survivor leadership board includes these extraordinary women who've built the anti-trafficking movement: Vednita Carter of Breaking Free, Kristy Childs of Veronica's Voice, Tina Frundt of Courtney's House, Bridget Perrier & Natasha Falle of SexTrade101, Trisha Baptie of Educating Voices, and Marlene Carson of Rahab's Hideaway.

    Instead of listening to Gira Grant on the issue -- perhaps it would be better to listen to women like us, who've actually been there?

    www.survivorsconnect.wordpress.com
    www.sextrade101.com

  • Antonio Lorusso||

    Advocating the criminalisation of sex worker's clients and the people they work with, but not sex workers themselves, EXPLICITLY denies the ecistance of sex workers making a voluntary choice, which is no different from denying their existence.

    Claiming to be not against sex workers whilst advocating making criminals out of everybody they do business with, is like claiming not to be against factory workers whilst making criminals out of everybody who employs factory workers or buys products made in factories, regardless of whether the purchasers bought from employment factories or slave labour factories.

    By talking about the conflation between voluntary and involuntary Gira EXPLICITLY acknowledges slavery's existence. It's narcissistic to conflate not being talked about with being "ignored" when the article was about a real war being waged on sex workers by the advocates of criminalisation.

    Did you actually read what she wrote? And yet you expect people to read what you have written and linked to. Perhaps people can "read" those articles like you read Gira's and misrepresent it like you have.

    There are women that have "actually been there" and don't agree with what you say or your legal agenda, so saying that you have been there doesn't make you right and Gira wrong.

    Not that you actually pointed out anything that Gira said that was incorrect, which would have been more useful than "I'm right because I say so, and Gira should be ignored because I say so."

  • Antonio Lorusso||

    I just noticed something I missed something that by your own argument means people should listen to Gira and further confirms that you barely read the article (at best)

    Gira has "been there"

    From the article:

    "Melissa Gira Grant ... FORMER SEX WORKER"

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "Instead of listening to Gira Grant on the issue -- perhaps it would be better to listen to women like us, who've actually been there?"

    Using your victim status to connect men and women who wish to legally sell their personal sexual services to criminal and socially-offensive behavior is an outrage to me.

    I feel zero sense of compassion on people who use their victim status to tear down honest people who just so happen to have a general association with a category that has an abusive fringe. This is no different than victims of parental abuse advocating AGAINST parenthood. You should be ashamed, frankly. Your ignorance is disturbing.

    FOCUS on sex trafficking WITHOUT stigmatizing the professional sex worker who engages in his/her business honestly and circumspectly. THEN and ONLY then will your specific org have my support.

  • Stella Marr||

    [www.veronicasvoice.org]
    [rahabshideaway.homestead.com]
    More great survivors words' above

  • Stella Marr||

    Find out what more sex trafficking survivors think
    [www.breakingfree.net]
    [courtneyshouse.org]

  • Stella Marr||

    More survivors' thoughts and words here:
    http://www.sextrade101.com/
    www.educatingvoices.ca

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Let us also shut down parenting because some parents are scumbag abusers of their children.

    Way to play the victim card and look like an ignorant douche in the process.

    It's people like YOU who are destroying the capacity for ethical theory to assist those in the sex business. You assist the pimp and trafficker when you alienate those who actually WISH to work as a professional because in doing so the true professional that can create an ethical and violence-free work environment through developing standards and positive relations with the public MUST operate secretly to avoid detection because of the social hatred your type engenders.

  • Stella Marr||

    The responses to my post are as ridiculous as I expected. News flash: There's no shame in being a victim. It means something bad has happened to you - that's it.

    In Oslo rape has gone down by 48 percent since the introduction of the Nordic model -- which means its never a crime to be in prostitution, but its always a crime to buy others in prostitution or make a profit off another's prostitution. Scandinavia has the highest degree of sexual freedom in the world, the laws don't restrict sexual freedom -- just sex trafficking.

    http://feministcurrent.com/703.....o-silence/

  • Antonio Lorusso||

    "The responses to my post are as ridiculous as I expected."

    Again you give no actual argument to counter what is said.

    "News flash: There's no shame in being a victim. It means something bad has happened to you - that's it"

    Nobody argued that it was shameful. But you are using your "victim" status to advocate more than the very obvious position that slavery and rape are wrong - we already have laws against those and have for a very long time. You are advocating and supporting the criminalisation of consensual behavior - prostitution. It would be like a victim of a homosexual rape advocating that consensual homosexual sex be made illegal and claiming there is no difference between the two, and then saying consenting homosexual sex is the cause of homosexual rape, as you try and imply with the study you cite.

    "Scandinavia has the highest degree of sexual freedom in the world, the laws don't restrict sexual freedom -- just sex trafficking."

    Criminalising consensual paid sex is THE definition of a restriction of sexual freedom that goes beyond criminalising rape and slavery.

  • Stella Marr||

    The nordic model is the best, safest, and most humane solution. The members of Sex Trafficking Survivors United support the Nordic model.
    www.survivorsconnect.wordpress.com

  • Stella Marr||

    Under the nordic model, no person will ever be arrested for being in prostitution.

    Check out this interview with extraordinary sex trafficking survivor Nikolaos Al Khadra
    http://ruthjacobs.co.uk/2013/0.....interview/

  • Bradley Strider||

    Of course, only their clients will be arrested. I'm sure that won't affect sex workers at all.

  • HeatherDC||

    So in the Nordic model can a prostitute be made to turn in her johns? If so that is hardly a protection of the sex worker- for it forces her to go against her own moral code of protecting her business partners.

    How can prosecuting those who she rely's on for business be good for her?

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