Thoughts on Thoughts on Spitzer

I’m fascinated by the Spitzer-inspired discussion of prostitution on blogs that identify as feminist, most of which seem to be conflicted but marginally pro-decriminalization. It’s a surprisingly utilitarian back-and-forth; few posters or commenters are arguing from self-autonomy (OK, none), and most are weighing the obvious harm of denying sex workers access to law enforcement (in the case of criminalization) against the desire not to reinforce patriarchy and/or heteronormativity (in the case of legalization). Everyone seems to assume that legalizing sex work will reinforce all sorts of ugly cultural phenomena women struggle against all the time. Writes one commenter at Feministing, “I’m politically liberal, openly feminist, and opposed to sex work precisely” because of “patriarchy” and “heterosexuality issues.”

I find this incoherent precisely because I share all the poster’s intuitions about problematic cultural norms. Of course sexism restricts autonomy in all sorts of ways that deserve consideration when discussing the prevalence of prostitution or the choice to enter sex work. Of course it’s deplorable that sexually adventurous young women are constantly told they are “degrading themselves” by seeking out various experiences, that every bit of enjoyment eats away at some secret store of purity. This whole tradition–the idea that women need be preserved in glass so as not to “ruin” themselves, lest they diminish their sexual value by “giving it away”–restricts the lived autonomy of women in ways I can’t even begin to articulate. None of the slut-shaming makes sense unless you assume women live to give themselves to men in their purest possible form.

If you find all of these cultural pathologies unfortunate, what is the public policy you should prefer? It seems to me that it is not the policy that deems it a crime against the American people to open your legs. Anti-prostitution laws add a layer of legal sanction to all of our worst intuitions about the treatment of sexually independent women; they strengthen and validate the idea that women who bed men with any frequency are sick, marginal, pariahs. Even decriminalization, which treats Johns as outlaws and sex workers as victims, assumes that all sex workers are damaged, that no woman would ever love sex enough to make a career out of it. And why not? Well, because every woman knows that she is her sexual purity rating. No sane woman would ever choose to mess that up.

In sum: If we are ever going to introduce a conceptual distinction between the moral character of individual women and the integrity of their hymens, it seems extremely important not to criminalize aberrant sexual behaviors.

For a more direct view of sexual autonomy (plus explanatory geometry!), please consult Rev. Moon.

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  • ||

    I was thinking yesterday about how Spitzer reminds me of what Matt Damon's character in The Departed would grow up to be like if he wasn't shot at the end of the movie.

  • JLE||

    Exactly. Let us fuck whom we choose, even if it kills us. Choice is everything if we are talking freedom.

  • Elemenope||

    ...against the desire not to reinforce patriarchy and/or heteronormativity (in the case of legalization)...

    Unless I'm missing something, aren't there prostitutes that service homo and bi clients? How does that reinforce heteronormativity (neat made-up word, BTW...gotta love academics)?

  • Rimfax||

    To put a finer point on Elemenope's point, what makes them think that prostitution is all about women. I don't know the numbers, but my impression is that cultural taboos against homosexuality have kept the numbers of males among prostitutes much higher than their percentage in the general population. The same, it seems, could be said for transgendered prostitutes.

    Why can't the feminists realize that it's about sex, not patriarchy? Why would you assert your dominance over women by paying one to let you have sex with her? That makes no sense.

  • Rimfax||

    $4300?!! I have difficulty seeing how it's the sex worker and not the john getting victimized at those prices.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    These ideas/slants will fall on deaf ears here I assume. They are discussing the social impact of laws in terms of gender relations, whereas most people here are only concerned with the idea that laws are designed to protect the rights of individuals within a society.

    But examing the female relations angle of legalizing prostitution, my guess is there will always be a stigma related to sexually promiscuous girls, and the most guilty party to the source of that stigma will always be other girls. Girls who are "easy" are perceived threats to other girls, it's a fundamental issue regarding male-female relationships.

    Assuming that was what you were talking about.

  • alan||

    One day I hope to see a cultural turn around where virginity would be the scorned condition, and being promiscuous would be considered highly honorable, a generous woman who isn't out to 'save' herself for the man with the highest social position that she can aspire too unlike those closed minded, closed legged virgins who perpetuate classism patriarchy.

  • alan||

    forgot my sarcasm tags there. Rereading it, I mimiced the phoney lingo of left bent academia all too well.

    Seriously, I'd prefer to leave the choice entirely up the individual whether they want to be a virgin, a monogamist or a swinger without any social stigma driving the individuals preference than what I described above.

  • Bingo||

    Has anyone said "all women are whores" yet?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Sex workers, like the terms green and sustainable are on my short list of words that induce fits of bulimia.

    What is with the modern American penchant for finding some other word to describe something when there is already a word to do so?

    They are not sex workers. They are prostitutes (one could look it up). Or is that just a little too blunt for our delicate sensibilities?

  • ||

    Brilliant post, Kerry. At some level, perhaps some of these women are products of the society that seeks to keep women pure, and are jealous of the women who are able to break away from said society.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    The other thing that grates is that we are not content with just opting for freedom, we must brand those who voluntarily choose the puritanical route as hopelessly unenlightened. For, if only they could just see the way, their backwards little mores could be thrust aside and they too could bask in the sunshine of promiscuity. As we cast off our oppression we become the cultural oppressors. Got dam virgins.

  • thoreau||

    $4300?!! I have difficulty seeing how it's the sex worker and not the john getting victimized at those prices.



    You can't come to a libertarian site and complain about the price that a seller charges the buyer. Surely you must realize that this is the market price, and the market has decided, so quit being a socialist.

    DEMAND KURVE!

    :)

  • OGRE||

    I fail to see the basis for the state prohibiting prostitution. If two people have sex, thats not the state's business. But as soon as one of them gives the other money for it, its a crime? Punishable by loss of freedom? Ridiculous.

    Likewise, its ridiculous to start asking about "public policy" to change "social stigmas." I find it a much graver infringement upon individual autonomy for the state to began molding people's minds rather than just punishing their actions. The former tends to the latter in any event...

    I fail to see any distinction between criminalizing or legalizing something if for the purpose of altering the public's perception about that thing. It is the same: using the state to impose one's own will on others.

    To sum up: if you want to bang your brother or sister, go for it. Its not for the state to regulate. But don't whine if people think you're a sick pervert; they are free to feel about it how they wish.

  • ||

    Well, the whole illegality thing has to distort the market to some degree (restricting competition and advertising, putting a premium on discretion, overage for 'protection'), which undoubtedly affects pricing.

    There's no telling what a really free market in top quality whores would look like, but I'd guess some would become available at less ridiculous prices. Of course, the services of such a professional could be considered a luxury item, and as with all luxury items price is part of the point. So you might still be able to get away with charging $31k a day, servicing a niche that sees hiring the most expensive prostitutes as another form of (literally) dick-waving conspicuous consumption.

  • megs||

    Well said, Kerry. I don't ever want to dismiss entirely the harm prostitution can do to women practicing it, especially if there's coercion, but it doesn't do them any favors to think it's only women who are prostitutes. Sometimes I think patriarchy-centered feminists perpetuate the patriarchal culture because they frame everything within its confines. But then, the last time I read a Pandagon thread, there was such a swelling of individualism that I nearly thought I was reading a libertarian blog. It can happen.

    I went to a woman's college and we once had a symposium on prostitution. I remember being very surprised how many young college women, thinking about the arguments on legalization for the first time, quite easily realized that all the dangers fell under the same sort of laws protecting plumbers or nurses from abuse and immediately set about thinking of ways a prostitute might protect herself while plying her craft.

  • ||

    Agreed, OGRE.. if Spitzer picked up a woman at the bar of the Mayflower hotel and brought her to the room, there would be no issues of legality. But heaven forbid he pays her for it.. they were both there out of their own free will, by all accounts. It's just absurd.

  • ||

    Well said, Kerry. I don't ever want to dismiss entirely the harm prostitution can do to women practicing it, especially if there's coercion, but it doesn't do them any favors to think it's only women who are prostitutes. Sometimes I think patriarchy-centered feminists perpetuate the patriarchal culture because they frame everything within its confines. But then, the last time I read a Pandagon thread, there was such a swelling of individualism that I nearly thought I was reading a libertarian blog. It can happen.

    I keep tabs on Pandagon every now and then, ever since they did the piss job on Libertarianism (for some reason) any thoughts on this bit?
    They make some great points, along with some really shitty points;
    http://pandagon.blogsome.com/2008/03/11/6882/

    Most men who go to prostitutes can get sex, even strings-free, no-commitment sex, from other women. They want something else. For some, like David Vitter, I think it might just be a need to have some weird kink fulfilled. But I suspect for many, if not most, it's the idea of buying a woman that's

  • ||

    the allure

  • Econo-Darwin||

    None of the slut-shaming makes sense unless you assume women live to give themselves to men in their purest possible form.

    If you've noticed that women nearly monopolize slut-shaming, while men, when not trying to gain the favor of slut-shaming women, mostly engage in mere slut-mocking, and don't actually reject too many sluts either socially or personally, then yes it does.

    You can find an unpleasant answer to the perennial "Why are there so few female libertarians?" somewhere nearby, too.

    But, you know, don't.

  • a Duoist||

    Charles Fried at Harvard Law School has a recent book, where he argues that the enemies of freedom invariably seek to control sex. That said, to suggest that we should ignore the deep primal human instincts, fears and hatreds that ground 'purity' and 'honor' codes, for an open standard of consenting rational adults, would be to further adopt a standard that, in the end, must result in approving nihilism.

    Sex is an instinct. A pleasure, too, for the human animal, but very foundationally, sex is an instinct. For both good and ill, animal life--all animal life--is at its most savage about procreation. That savagery is primal--often not amenable to rational thought--and because it is so often so savage, it is something to be teated with utmost care and respect.

    Without some system--moral codes, social strictures, etc.--of 'respect,' our sex lives would release the ugliest and most destructive instincts we are all capable of expressing. Just as the 'puritan' is too extreme for a mentally and emotionally healthy sex life, open sex is also an extreme full of self-destructive, unintended consequences.

    The key is 'respect,' at the very minimum, self-respect. If we have a very willing and even enthusiastic mate at home, on what level of self-respect or respect for others are we paying for sex?

  • Attila Girl||

    I like the distinction between "slut-shaming" and "slut-mocking." It strikes me as . . . subtle.

  • ||

    The issue of exploitation vs. opportunity is complicated by the possibility that prices (and therefore wages) for prostitution services would drop significantly if prostitution were legalized. Supply would almost certainly increase -- fewer sex workers in jail, fewer women considering the trade deterred by the legal risks -- but would demand? I don't know.

    The effect of public scandals -- from Spitzer and Vitter to Sizemore and Charlie Sheen -- on the demand for prostitution is also a wild card. Do prospective johns react with fear, or does this heighten the excitement and sense of danger? Very likely some of both; in terms of market forces, which is more significant?

    A final point that muddies the waters. There are women (and men) in the sex trade who entered voluntarily, but are more or less coerced to continue. Typically these are women who have little savings, interrupted education, and a questionable job history (either because they tell the truth, or because they have a years-long unemployment or marginal "side job" record). Many have paid nothing into unemployment, which ordinarily provides (though through the mechanism of a welfare state) an important incentive to innovation and experimentation. Clearly many of these people should have known what they were getting into, but they didn't or they made a bad call. For them, one would think legalization would help somewhat -- but the cultural stigma probably wouldn't go away overnight. If this is a concern, a gradual legalization makes the most sense; legalizing in the first instance the earning, saving and paying taxes on sex money. Some would be able to save up in advance for a rude market transition. How many? Of those, how many would be wise? If the number is very few, I suspect that leaving alone the niche market of a criminal enterprise could be the most humane solution.

  • Sean Healy||

    So, Kerry, given that you reject both the legal and moral codes with regard to prostitution and sexual purity, what's keeping you - given the attractive rates vis a vis what you get paid as a journalist - from "opening your legs" for money? Surely not some atavistic notion of "purity" or "respect". Heaven forbid.

  • ||

    So, Kerry, given that you reject both the legal and moral codes with regard to prostitution and sexual purity, what's keeping you - given the attractive rates vis a vis what you get paid as a journalist - from "opening your legs" for money? Surely not some atavistic notion of "purity" or "respect". Heaven forbid.

    She has a higher paying job on average that's not stigmatized by society and easier on the lower back?

  • Rimfax||

    quit being a socialist.

    Now that would be a sweet entitlement program.

  • Abdul||

    None of the slut-shaming makes sense unless you assume women live to give themselves to men in their purest possible form

    There are plenty of reasons why society "shames sluts" other than the assumption that women must preserve their purity for men. Foremost amongst them is that sex is tied to emotional intimacy, and we feel weird about people who are willing to give up that intimacy with no reservations. I mean, if there's no other reason to have moral reservations about "sluttiness," why doesn't Kerry hook or strip? Is it only because writing for Reason is so much better compensated?

    It's not like the prostitutes are the the only ones being shamed here, either. Spitzer was the butt of most of the jokes, not "Kristen". People seem to regard Spitzer's transgression as worse than Bill Clinton's. While it's plausibe that clinton sought some emotional intimacy in his adultery, it's almost impossible to find any such redeeming feature when you're paying for it.

  • Biology101||

    OGRE typed:
    To sum up: if you want to bang your brother or sister, go for it. Its not for the state to regulate.

    Right. Let's leave it to DNA to regulate the outcome.

  • tarran||

    Sean, sweetie,

    I'm sure that neither notions of law nor purity are keeping you from being a realtor, and insurance salesman, a lumberjack, airline ticketing agent, boy scout troop leader, clergyman, librarian, or stock broker.

    I guess that makes you some kind of hypocrite huh?

  • Abdul||

    I'm sure that neither notions of law nor purity are keeping you from being a realtor, and insurance salesman, a lumberjack, airline ticketing agent, boy scout troop leader, clergyman, librarian, or stock broker.

    But Sean isn't the one asserting that only law and purity stand in the way of women being able to seek out hooking as a career choice. Kerry is the one asserting that. If she's totally over the archaic concept of "purity," why shouldn't she put her money where her mouth is (so to speak)?

  • tarran||

    Because, abdul, she likes being a journalist more than being a prostitute? Because she does not want to get involved in a profession that has armed gunmen trying to kidnap you and lock you up in cages?

  • MikeT||


    But Sean isn't the one asserting that only law and purity stand in the way of women being able to seek out hooking as a career choice. Kerry is the one asserting that. If she's totally over the archaic concept of "purity," why shouldn't she put her money where her mouth is (so to speak)?



    One of the ironies of feminism is that they have the freedom to do the things they want to do, but need the approval of society. This is why they must fight "the patriarchy." Last I checked, the "patriarchy" wasn't using anything other than words against their behavior. In truth, most feminists are incapable of just doing as they please because they desperately seek the approval of society for their behavior, and when they don't get that approval, they turn like good little collectivists on society with a terrible fury.

    Ultimately, all railing against "the patriarchy" in a country like the United States is just inability to accept the fact that daddy doesn't approve of your lifestyle and you want him to.

  • Jennifer||

    So a woman who thinks prostitution should be legal is a hypocrite if she's not a hooker herself? Wow, it's not even nine a.m. and I've already read the stupidest thing I'll see all day.

  • MikeT||

    I agree that prostitutes aren't inherently victims. If anything has contributed to making most prostitutes victims, it's the black market culture created by outlawing prostitution and drugs.

  • Episiarch||

    So, Kerry, given that you reject both the legal and moral codes with regard to prostitution and sexual purity, what's keeping you - given the attractive rates vis a vis what you get paid as a journalist - from "opening your legs" for money?

    I would also like to know the answer to this question :-)

    Kerry, your ideas are good, but I think you are fighting against biology here.

    Males have a primal instinct to spread their genetic material as widely as possible, but they also have an instinct to control access to their brood mares to ensure that any children that pop out are theirs, because that is the true success when spreading genes.

    Therefore, men have a dual approach to "sluttiness". Their bitch should be chaste, preferably a virgin when they get together, to ensure that any children are theirs. All other women should be sluts so that when (if) they cheat on their woman they can bang (and theoretically sire children with) as many other women as possible, hopefully sneaking their genetic material in front of another male.

    Women's approach to this is very different. As goldberger said above, "sluts" are competition for other women--their man might go sleep with the slut! Or they feel that men are unduly attracted to the slut (because of easy sex) and feel that to compete they would also have to be easy, and they don't want to (for varied reasons).

    Honestly, though attitudes to this may change over time, I don't think they will ever become totally equal, because of the biology involved.

  • Jennifer||

    Not to mention the troglodyte attitudes of the Sean- and Abdul-types, who definitely take the Madonna/whore dichotomy to extremes: if you're not advocating all women be perfectly chaste before marriage, why don'cha be a whore, you hypocritical slut?

  • Dickin D\'Ass||

    u win Episiarch

  • tarran||

    A person with plenty of time on their hands could check out all the Sean and abdul posts on threads advocating drug legalization.

    If they did post on one of those threads, I wonder if we would find any pro-legalization advocates being challenged as to why they weren't injecting heroin into their veins... ;)

  • Jennifer||

    Can you support equal rights for homosexuals if you're straight?

  • ||

    seriously, sometimes the wear ain't worth the wear and tear on the hen's ass

  • ||

    son of a bitch, i done fucked that saying up.

    eh he hem

    sometimes the egg is not worth the wear and tear on the hen's ass

  • Dickin D\'Ass||

    Jennifer ... the answer is YES

    I'm reasonably straight...and I think homos should be treated fairly.

  • ||

    (neat made-up word, BTW...gotta love academics)

    Elemnope, which are the words which are not made-up?

  • Dickin D\'Ass||

  • Fluffy||

    So, Kerry, given that you reject both the legal and moral codes with regard to prostitution and sexual purity, what's keeping you - given the attractive rates vis a vis what you get paid as a journalist - from "opening your legs" for money? Surely not some atavistic notion of "purity" or "respect".

    Maybe because your average john is gross?

    Let's not confuse the concepts of "impure" and "gross" here.

    When I was single, I wasn't avoiding sleeping with ugly chicks because they were "impure". I avoided sleeping with them because they were gross.

    Maybe Howley just doesn't like ugly guys and doesn't think that the money would be enough compensation.

    That gives her a perfectly good reason to not hook that has nothing to do with morality or purity.

  • robc||

    Jennifer,

    So a woman who thinks prostitution should be legal is a hypocrite if she's not a hooker herself?

    Kerry wasnt (just) supporting legality, she was supporting anti-shaming. The following:

    None of the slut-shaming makes sense unless you assume women live to give themselves to men in their purest possible form.

    has nothing whatsoever to do with legality of prostitution.

    Personally, Im pro-stigma and pro-shaming (in more areas that just sex). Legalize and stigmatize.

  • Guy Montag||

    Not sure if this fits as an unstated suspicion by the Pandagon and other Femanistas, along with the Left in general, but some of the complaints about this case and the conspiracy theories could be rooted in the odd occurance that the party affiliation of Gov. Spitzer (D-NY) has been prominant since the story broke.

    If that D were an R it would be prominant in news stories. The case that it is a D makes it seem odd that it is prominant, thus fueling the conspiracy proponants. Nevermind that party affiliation is not equally reported in general for matters like this.

    Had not seen that angle addressed, but if it is true it will be revealed by our Leftist friends in short order.

  • Amanda||

    If you set a price on a woman's supposed puriety, and American society has, then why the furor when she decides to cash in on that price? What's the difference? Everyone is already rating her value based on her sex anyway. It's really up to her to decide what she wants to do with it.

    Thanks for the article. It was good.

    XX

    PS: Sex work is an accurate term. It is work. Not all sex work requires intercourse, but it does require work -- just like any physical or mental labor. (And if you don't think it's mental labor, The Wine Commonsewer, then imagine someone trying to verbally entertain you for a couple hours. They'd want paid.)

  • Charles||

    robc,

    Personally, Im pro-stigma and pro-shaming (in more areas that just sex). Legalize and stigmatize.

    Exactly how I feel. A better America would have more things we could do but fewer things we felt like we should do. Or, as inevitably happens, when I explain drug decriminalization, someone asks if I'd like my kid going down to CVS and buying crack. No, but I don't think they should get a prostitute or a mistress or a tattoo, either, and I think all those things should be legal.

  • Guy Montag||

    Maybe Howley just doesn't like ugly guys and doesn't think that the money would be enough compensation.

    How about it is just not a line of work that the person is interested in? Tower crane operators make a better living than a majority of reporters too, but many people are not interested in that work either.

  • robc||

    Charles,

    I blame my Mom for my view and me being a libertarian. She made it clear to me when I was young that there were plenty of things that were legal and/or being done by my friends that I was not allowed to do. I somehow internally took this as "just because it is wrong, doesnt mean it should be illegal".

    We need to not lose the concept of wrongness.

  • ||

    "None of the slut-shaming makes sense unless you assume women live to give themselves to men in their purest possible form."


    No it assumes that women have a different view of their bodies and sex than men do. It is not about women saving themselves for their men. It is about women saving themselves grief. The fact is that more men seem to have the ability to screw multiple partners like rabbits and not ever feel bad about it than women. Maybe that is due to our cultural patriarchy. Maybe that is due to evolutionary differences between men and women or some combination of the two. I don't think we know. But, it is a fact nonetheless and nothing is going to change it. If I had daughter, I would tell her not to screw around not because I didn't want her to be damaged goods to her husband but because the chances are that doing so would cause a lot of psychological damage and heartbreak for her. It probably isn't very fair that as a women she faces such harsh consequences for screwing around when most men don't. But, fair or not that is the way things are.

  • Dickin D\'Ass||

    What Men really like !

  • ||

    Dickin,

    Now there's a girl who had a happy upbringing. Just like a whole lot of "sex workers" who didn't get the attention from Daddy she needed.

  • Episiarch||

    To expand on my earlier post:

    Men and women both treat their attractiveness to the other sex as a commodity--the more you have, the more you will be able to get in exchange.

    Women who are very good looking already have a high value. Women who are not need to boost their value. One way to do this is to be relatively chaste, and it has value because of my aforementioned observation about men wanting their woman to be pure because of genetic protectionism.

    In looking for a mate, chaste women are saying "you won't need to fear me sleeping around and possibly having a kid that isn't yours". This raises their value above their pure attractiveness, and increases their ability to get a better (wealth, looks, provider) man.

    Since this approach works (many men do not want to have a wife that is known for sleeping with everybody), it will continue to be used.

    Women also reinforce this, because if you emphasize and denigrate promiscuity, it raises the value of your chastity. So of course chaste women are going to rail against sluts; it's in their best interest to do so.

    This isn't going to change.

  • ||

    I was just watching the tape of Spitzer's news conference (whichever one it was), where his wife is standing behind, and to the right of him. She keeps looking at the back of his head, as if she is trying to decide whether the bullet should enter above, or below, his right ear.

  • ||

    "This whole tradition-the idea that women need be preserved in glass so as not to "ruin" themselves, lest they diminish their sexual value by "giving it away"-restricts the lived autonomy of women in ways I can't even begin to articulate. None of the slut-shaming makes sense unless you assume women live to give themselves to men in their purest possible form."


    What Howley is argueing here is that shaming women for having multiple partners is wrong. She is probably right about that. We shouldn't do it. But should we not do it because we don't want to shame people or because there really is nothing to be ashamed of? If it is the latter and Howley really believes there is nothing wrong with selling yourself for money, then it is a valid question to ask why she doesn't do it or if not for money why she doesn't sleep with any and every attractive guy she meets? The answer I think is that Howley does find it shameful to do such things. So if it is shameful for her to do it, how does Howley find it so a ok for other women to do it?

  • ||

    Of course this all could just be much simpler:

    Feministingists object to prostitution because is is an activity enjoy primarily by straight white males.

    Heaven forfend we have sex in any manner they don't approve of...

  • Guy Montag||

    John,

    I thought the preserved in glass passage was a breath control reference.

  • ||

    Also... no hat tip for the SugarFree? I'm in the trenches over there, people!

  • Episiarch||

    You only get a cookie when you bring us something really good, NutraSweet. You must work for your treats.

  • ||

    "Feministingists object to prostitution because is is an activity enjoy primarily by straight white males."

    They object to that and they really object to attractive women having power. The old canard about feminists being the ugly girls who never got asked to the prom is largely true.

  • ||

    Epi,

    OK, fine:

    please, oh please, tell me when we will all stand up and claim our true power as women: to DENY men the sexual attention they crave, to IGNORE their out-of-control egos, to STOP allowing ourselves to be used and treated as sex objects, to EMBRACE our independence from men, and DECLARE ourselves free from their ownership of our self-worth and identities to SHINE as the amazing, intelligent, productive, no-nonsense, compassionate natural leaders we were born to be??

  • dhex||

    If it is the latter and Howley really believes there is nothing wrong with selling yourself for money, then it is a valid question to ask why she doesn't do it or if not for money why she doesn't sleep with any and every attractive guy she meets?

    no, that's dumb.

    if you think guns should remain free and legal for citizens, do you have to shoot every one you come across?

    if you think drugs should be legal, does this mean you have to smoke crack?

    etc etc and so forth.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    shaming women for having multiple partners is wrong

    In a free society, we can shame anyone we want to, so long as we leave them legally free to pursue desires that do not infringe on other people's rights.

    What you don't get in a free society is the blessing of everyone else for the choices you make.

    I happen to agree with you John and with Kerry that shaming women for doing the very thing that we men find most interesting about them is at the very least, unenlightened.

  • Abdul||

    Not to mention the troglodyte attitudes of the Sean- and Abdul-types, who definitely take the Madonna/whore dichotomy to extremes: if you're not advocating all women be perfectly chaste before marriage, why don'cha be a whore, you hypocritical slut?

    If there's no shame in being a "slut," why are you offended? I guess you buy into the whole assumption that "women live to give themselves to men in their purest possible form."

  • Episiarch||

    OK, that's damn good.

    to DENY men the sexual attention they crave

    That'll work. Such a scheme would require all women to do this at the same time, otherwise the non-deniers would get even more attention.

    Do these people think? At all?

  • Abdul||

    If it is the latter and Howley really believes there is nothing wrong with selling yourself for money, then it is a valid question to ask why she doesn't do it or if not for money why she doesn't sleep with any and every attractive guy she meets?

    no, that's dumb.


    I agree dhex (and evereyone else who wrote some various of his arugment) that there's plenty of reasons not to be a prostitute even if you think there's nothing morally objectionable about it.

    The point of the question, however, is that we question Kerry's assertion that not only does she find nothing morally objectionable about prostitution, but the only people who do find prostituion to be shameful are ones who insist that women live to give themselves to men in their purest possible form.

    That's pure BS. Even gay men criticize the more promiscuous members of their community. And it's not because they think men live to give themselves to other men in the purest possible form.

  • T||

    Epi,

    to DENY men the sexual attention they crave

    Also implies that she's fine with not getting any sexual attention from men, as that's a two-way street. This strongly implies sexless or lesbian, which just further reinforces all the old jokes about feminists, doesn't it? Damn, those people parody themselves and all we have to do is show up and laugh.

  • ||

    "Legalize and stigmatize."

    Why would you stigmatize? The only reason I can think of would be negative externalities, but then why wouldn't you just tax? It's more efficient (we actually get tax revenue) unless you actively enjoy making people feel bad about their preferences.

    For those who think sex is a savage act which needs to be regulated, and those who think the regulation is in-line with our nature; discuss. May I suggest that nature should have little to do with it.

    For those who think it's wrong but want to legalize anyway, why? I think murder is wrong and don't want it legalized, I don't think its wrong for one person to pay another for sex, and I think it should be legal. Why just because you don't like something doesn't mean it's wrong, I don't like tobacco, but I don't think it's wrong for some else to smoke it.

  • ||

    Epi,

    How about this (emp mine):

    Actually it is true - by the definition of the law you cannot consent to sex when you are drunk. Certainly you can have sex when you are drunk - but it can still legally be termed rape. Just like you can't get married if you are drunk - you can do it, and nobody would really question you - but technically it's not legal. When I talk to men about sexual assault I always tell them that the good rule of thumb is to think about whether or not they would let this girl drive their car. If the answer is no, she's in no condition to drive, she's in no condition to have sex.

    So, if you've ever had sex with a girlfriend, wife, date whatever and she was too drunk to drive, no matter how often she said yes, you are a rapist. Under this crazy logic, how many men is she calling rapists? Millions? WHAT THE FUCK?

    And then combine it with this charming sentiment:

    Every rapist should be killed.

    Jeez, I've said that so many times it barely even seems radical anymore.


    I both cases nary a peep of dissension from following commenters.

  • Episiarch||

    Under this crazy logic, how many men is she calling rapists? Millions?
    ...
    Every rapist should be killed.


    It's a plot to kill us all!!! Get the guns which these women want to ban! It's all so clear now!

  • T||

    Even gay men criticize the more promiscuous members of their community. And it's not because they think men live to give themselves to other men in the purest possible form.

    No, because it's a survival instinct. Promiscuous gay men threaten the health and well being of other gay men by increasing the overall disease rate in the community. If AIDS and gonorrhea weren't issues, I seriously doubt too many gay men would give a rat's ass what the man hos did.

  • ||

    whether or not they would let this girl drive their car

    Oh, no! I'll never get laid again!

  • ||

    "if you think guns should remain free and legal for citizens, do you have to shoot every one you come across?"

    Now that is a dumb analogy. Just because I think guns should be legal doesn't mean I think that it is okay to shoot someone abasent self defense. The correct analogy which would be, "I think guns should be legal but wouldn't own one". The question is why wouldn't I own one. Now applying that to the sex issue, is why wouldn't Howley be promiscuous. One answer could be that she is afraid of disease. That is a fair answer. But I would then ask Howley if she had the opportunity to sleep with a stranger who was attractive and she knew 100% was disease free, and the money he paid to have sex with her went to charity would she do it? If her answer is no, I think it is because she feels a sense of shame about having sex for money and again my question is, if it is shameful for her, why is it not shameful for other women?

  • alan||

    It is about women saving themselves grief.

    I find that to be the most convincing argument I've read in the post because it is based upon experience in the world. Some make a case for social shaming, but that is a bit warped because it is based upon the idea of a collective mindset where there is the duty of each us to engage in slut shaming to preserve the social order. I'm certain the need for this is purely illusionary and would represent a magnificent waste of time that could be put to better and more productive use.

  • alan||

    In other words, you can be a rigid empiricist in your daily life and get by just fine, but to be a Platonist and avoid starving to death you have to compromise your beliefs every single day.

  • ||

    "Actually it is true - by the definition of the law you cannot consent to sex when you are drunk."

    That is such a dramatic load of horseshit. The law says nothing of the kind. What is drunk? The varying degrees of drunk. You can only "not consent" if you are so drunk as to no longer be able to think. Literally passing out. That is long past blowing a .08. That woman ought to be shot so she doesn't further pollute the gene pool

  • Episiarch||

    Argghh, you people: maintaining "purest form" has value for women, so some will do it. It is not something they are forced into.

    Nobody forces women to wear makeup or work out, but when they do they find they get things they want like attention and being treated better by men.

    Many men (who will make what they consider acceptable future husbands) will not consider a long-term relationship with a woman known for promiscuity. There are multiple reasons for that, but the important one is that of genetic protectionism.

    By remaining "pure", they increase their pool of potential husbands. They CHOOSE to do this. A woman has every ability to say "I will fuck day and night and I don't want a husband so it's no problem."

    Women who remain "pure" are investing in their future by their own choice.

    Whether you think this is right or not is irrelevant.

  • robc||

    Mason,

    Why would you stigmatize?

    Immoral actions should be stigmatized.

    The only reason I can think of would be negative externalities, but then why wouldn't you just tax?

    Because Im opposed to government intervention in consensual activities.

    It's more efficient (we actually get tax revenue) unless you actively enjoy making people feel bad about their preferences.

    I dont enjoy it. I just think some behavior is immoral, and should be treated that way.

    For those who think it's wrong but want to legalize anyway, why? I think murder is wrong and don't want it legalized, I don't think its wrong for one person to pay another for sex, and I think it should be legal. Why just because you don't like something doesn't mean it's wrong, I don't like tobacco, but I don't think it's wrong for some else to smoke it.

    There are different types of acts - some are wrong and harm others, like murder or theft, that should be illegal. Others are wrong and dont harm others (or, at least, the harm is consensual). These acts shouldnt be illegal, but I see no reason, I, or society, or anyone else who wants to, shouldnt stigmatize those acts.

    Law and moral wrongness shouldnt be the same. Nothing should be illegal unless it meets 2 criteria:

    1. Is morally wrong
    2. Harms others against their will

    I cant, right now, think of anything that meets #2 that also doesnt meet #1, but I hold open the possibility. Maybe self defense or a just war fall into that category. Yeah, that works, if I shoot a burglar breaking into my house, that harms someone against their will (although you could argue they accepted that possibility when they decided to commit the crime) but isnt morally wrong.

  • T||

    If her answer is no, I think it is because she feels a sense of shame about having sex for money and again my question is, if it is shameful for her, why is it not shameful for other women?

    So, now people should answer questions based on what you think their motivations are?

    Let me try. John, I think you make these posts because you're ashamed of being a moron. If you feel ashamed to be a moron, why should other people not feel ashamed for being morons?

    There are a multitude of reasons for Kerry not to engage in the behavior we're discussing. Why is shame the only possible explanation?

  • Episiarch||

    And John was correct about women saving themselves grief.

    Kerry may consider the social opprobrium that comes along with promiscuous--and particularly sex work--behavior more than she wants to deal with. I can certainly understand that, as the stigmatization is extreme (even if undeserved) and certainly factors into a lot of female decisions about sex.

  • ||

    DENY men the sexual attention they crave, to IGNORE their out-of-control egos, to STOP allowing ourselves to be used and treated as sex objects



    Damn! They're on to us...

  • Episiarch||

    Seeing as this thread has gone from Kerry's point to whether Kerry should be playing hide the salami for $20*, someone needs to work in the Catholic schoolgirl stuff that totally failed to materialize on its own thread.

    * just kidding Kerry, I'm sure you're worth $25

  • ||

    OK, a thread arguing that Kerry should be a prostitute on principle? Ya'lls be trippin'.

    But, on a more serious matter: Where's Warren? Kerry + Prostitute = Warren. I hope he's OK. Maybe someone should swing by his house and check on him.

  • ||

    "There are a multitude of reasons for Kerry not to engage in the behavior we're discussing. Why is shame the only possible explanation?"

    Because if it is external reasons, then she should be willing to do it if those reasons are not present. Suppose for example, whoring herself out was the only way that she could pay for her child's medical care and she did it, never caught a disease and everything turned out well. Now, is it the case that Howley would do it and never think twice or feel any shame about it later? If so, then she has a point. But if not, then she is just kidding herself about there being nothing shameful or immoral about selling herself.

  • ||

    ... it's almost impossible to find any such redeeming feature when you're paying for it.

    I spent 20 years in the military. I will attest that MANY third world brides of servicemen were, at the tome of introduction, bar-girls (that's pronounced whore by most people). Not a few, many. If you meet a sailor or an airman who met his wife in the Phillipines while he was stationed there, she was likely a prostitute.

    When a well mannered person like myself is introduced to said bride, any excuse/lie about how they met is politely accepted and never discussed again. I'm told they make loving, caring wives. I challenge you all to fit that into your equations about the business without pulling a muscle.

  • robc||

    JsubD,

    I'm told they make loving, caring wives. I challenge you all to fit that into your equations about the business without pulling a muscle.

    Ive seen Pretty Woman. All hookers have a heart of gold, Hollywood wouldnt lie to us.

  • alan||

    The biological imperative is a bit over emphasized in some post above to a greater extent than sociobiology can explain contradictory behavior.

    When I was in my early twenties I was pretty much a normal guy, the jealous type, and I was that way because I was insecure about myself. Now, I'm a bit older, and really possess no insecurities.

    I'm at the point that I really don't give a damn what a woman does when she is not with me. The only two demands I have are, 1) don't give me anything I can't get rid of, and 2) pay strict attention to me when you are with me.

    This has nothing to do with extending the species and has everything to do with fulfilling what gives me pleasure.

  • ||

    "Kerry may consider the social opprobrium that comes along with promiscuous--and particularly sex work--behavior more than she wants to deal with. I can certainly understand that, as the stigmatization is extreme (even if undeserved) and certainly factors into a lot of female decisions about sex."

    That maybe true. If it is, then that means that she would be promiscous if we lived in an ideal world were no just stigmatization exists. I somehow doubt that is the case. I don't know her but my guess is that Howley wouldn't be selling herself for money even if it were encouraged in our society.

    Let me give you an example. I would rather do almost anything than move furniture for a living. It is the most unpleasent awful work I can think of and I would only do it if it were that or starve. That said, if I ever did have to move furniture for a living, I wouldn't feel any shame in doing so. It would be one of those stories I told later in life about how that one year things got so bad I had to move furniture for a living and man that sucked. Now, apply this to prostitution and Howley. Suppose things got so desparate for Howley that she had to enter in the business for a few months to keep from starving. Social appropbation aside, would Howley look at those few months the same way I look at my moving job, a crappy job that had to be done, or would Howley feel in some way more degraded and ashamed of her experience than I would by mine? I think she would and given that fact, I don't see how she can honestly claim that being a prostitute is so hunky dory for some women just not her.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I seriously doubt too many gay men would give a rat's ass what the man hos did.

    For some, but I can assure you that many DO care. And it isn't necessarily about health, although that may be part of it, but mostly it's about shame and lack of class.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I hope he's OK. Maybe someone should swing by his house and check on him.

    LOL, if Warren was a cartoon character, Gahan Wilson would be the creator.

  • Episiarch||

    John, I look back at my furniture moving days with great shame, because I failed to take that MILF up on her offer to bang her. For shame.

  • ||

    "It seems to me that it is not the policy that deems it a crime against the American people to open your legs. Anti-prostitution laws add a layer of legal sanction to all of our worst intuitions about the treatment of sexually independent women; they strengthen and validate the idea that women who bed men with any frequency are sick, marginal, pariahs."

    If you read that statement closely, Howley seems to be saying that to be a "sexually independent women" you need to bed a lot of men. Otherwise, why would the social stigma and laws against promiscuity be aimed at "sexually independent women"? My question is Howley promiscuous or is she not a "sexually independent woman"? In her world it seems you can't be both. If you have ever known a real life prostitute, something I doubt Howley ever has, they are anything but "sexually independent women". They are generally not into their work for enjoyment but for money and for a specific purpose and time period. They would never want their daughter or their sister to engage in that kind of work and they get out of it and try to forget it as soon as they can. Yes there are exceptions but they are pretty damn few. I guess what bugs me about this post is Howley, someone with the education and opportunities totally unavailable to most women stuck in a life of prostitution, lecturing the world about how what sexually independent women prostitutes are like some bad Penthouse Letter. I think if Howley ever tried such a life, she would find being a "sexually independent woman" sucks pretty damn bad.

  • alan||

    It does come across as weird to keep using Kerry, instead of, say, Kristen, as an example in this thread. I'm sure there are subconscious motivations involved.

  • ||

    That is something to be ashamed of Episarchic. But alas, we all have our skeletons.

  • T||

    would Howley feel in some way more degraded and ashamed of her experience than I would by mine? I think she would and given that fact, I don't see how she can honestly claim that being a prostitute is so hunky dory for some women just not her.

    Given that feelings of shame and degradation are entirely internal to the individual, what you're saying is that if she feels one way about something, nobody else could possibly feel differently about the experience, and thus she is arguing that point in bad faith.

    To use another sexual analogy, I would certainly find getting pissed on to be degrading. However, if it floats your boat, go ahead and convince someone (or pay them) to pee on you. I don't care, because I'm not involved. Likewise, no matter what anybody else's feeling on prostitution may be, if it works for the women involved, let them charge for it. Why is this such a difficult concept for you to grasp?

  • ||

    Ive seen Pretty Woman. All hookers have a heart of gold, Hollywood wouldnt lie to us.

    But have you seen Olongapo City in its heyday? Have you ever sat down and discussed life, played cards, dice and chess with these women. Get tanked or blow a joint with a "hostess". Have you ever seen them walking on air because they think this customer might be the one to rescue them from their fate? Perhaps you've met some stateside who are trying desperately to integrate into middle class American society burdened by what is an open secret about their past.

    Sure, some of these women can't adapt to a monogamous relationship, but the majority try their damnedest to be good wives and loving mothers. It's sad, funny and somewhat inspiring watching it from the outside. What I'm trying to convey is that prostitutes are real people. Making them outlaws is downright evil.

    Full disclosure - I hired third world hookers when I was a young single sailor. I always treated them nice and was a good tipper in the morning. If you try to get to know them as people, it blows away many preconceptions you hold.

  • ||

    It is not T, you just so fucking stupid you don't understand what I am saying. Let me say it slower for you so maybe you will understand. It is not that Howley is wrong for claiming that prositution should be legal. It should be. Where Howley is full of shit is in her claim that being a prostitute is somehow not degrading. It is. Just because it shouldn't be illegal, does not mean that it is anything but degrading and lousy for the women involved. For someone in Howley's position to claim otherwise is frankly insulting.

  • Episiarch||

    Jsub, for some reason all I see in your final paragraph is "...third world hookers...blows...many...you..."

  • Jennifer||

    My question is Howley promiscuous or is she not a "sexually independent woman"? In her world it seems you can't be both.

    Only if you're a clueless dumbshit who thinks "sexually promiscuous" means "any woman who has ever voluntarily had sex with a man other than her legally wedded husband."

  • ||

    J Sub D.,

    You are right. They are real people and for most of them being a prostitute is a really shitty experience they would like to forget. Howley seems to be claiming that that is not true and that they are just "sexually independent women". That is just crap and Howley at some level has to know it.

  • ||

    I don't see how she can honestly claim that being a prostitute is so hunky dory for some women just not her.

    John, read The Happy Hooker, by Xaviera Hollander. It probably is not at your local library. You may be surprised.

  • ||

    If you read that statement closely, Howley seems to be saying that to be a "sexually independent women" you need to bed a lot of men.

    If you read the statement closely, it says no such thing.

    Now, apply this to prostitution and Howley. Suppose things got so desparate for Howley that she had to enter in the business for a few months to keep from starving. Social appropbation aside, would Howley look at those few months the same way I look at my moving job, a crappy job that had to be done, or would Howley feel in some way more degraded and ashamed of her experience than I would by mine? If I were not in a committed relationship, I assume I would feel no more guilt than I felt, say, selling my ova. I fail to see a meaningful distinction.

    Now applying that to the sex issue, is why wouldn't Howley be promiscuous.

    Let's review the assumptions you have made about me, a stranger, in the course of this thread.

    1. I am not "promiscuous." 2. If I were "promiscuous," I would feel ashamed. 3. I am a hypocrite because while I assert that prostitution is not inherently shameful, were I to sell sexual services, I would secretly feel humiliated.

    I'm not even sure why you're so confident about the 1st, forget the 2nd and 3rd.

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    That doesn't even make sense. If you want to be insulting at least say something that makes sense. No one has ever said "sexually promiscuous" means "any woman who has ever voluntarily had sex with a man other than her legally wedded husband." Take a deep breath and try again because right now what you are saying is so stupid that I can't even feed you as a troll.

  • ||

    No, Ms Hollander is not the norm in the sex trade. The fact remains that some, not many but some, hookers are content with their careers.

  • ||

    John, please define "sexually promiscious" as it applies to:

    A) Men
    B) Women

    I don't blame you if you pass on that request.

  • Episiarch||

    So Kerry, you're saying that you are promiscuous?

    See, I can misread what you write too!

  • ||

    Kerry,

    Than maybe you would. I think you are sadly mistaken however if you think you could go prostitute yourself and walk away unscared by they experience. Maybe you could. Some women do, but most women don't. I only assume you are not promiscuous out of respect for you. Since I don't know, it is hardly fair of me to claim you are. I seriously doubt that many women who have actually been prostitutes would agree with you that it is no different than selling eggs.

  • ||

    J Sub D,

    I think it is the same rules for both. But for whatever reason women seem to get the blunt end of it. I have known any number of women who felt bad about being promiscuous. The only men I ever knew who felt that way were born again Christians who had been basically sex addicts. Maybe that is because society makes women feel bad. Maybe evolution makes it that way. I don't know. But, for whatever reason that is how it usually works and why it basically sucks for most women to be prositutes.

  • ||

    John, IMHO, the reason women who practice the sex trade are harmed by the experience is because religious and unexamined moral judgements have been shoved down their throat by a sexually confused society since they learned the local language.

    Birds do it
    Bees do it
    Even Siamese do it

  • Jennifer||

    Jennifer, That doesn't even make sense. If you want to be insulting at least say something that makes sense.

    Neither does what you wrote in the context of Kerry Howley's comments.

    No one has ever said "sexually promiscuous" means "any woman who has ever voluntarily had sex with a man other than her legally wedded husband." Take a deep breath and try again because right now what you are saying is so stupid that I can't even feed you as a troll.

    Word of advice to all the men who have been so thoroughly and spectacularly missing Kerry's point here: the more you think with your dick, the more likely you are to be one.

  • ||

    John:
    Let me say it slower and add italics to indicate the simple answer for you since it comes from your own posting: I think it is because she feels a sense of shame about having sex for money...

    If that is the reason Ms Howley doesn't do it for money, what other reason is necessary? What is the big deal here? If that is the case, let go of it, it is HER reason.

    Where Howley is full of shit is in her claim that being a prostitute is somehow not degrading.

    Where John is full of shit is in his belief that Howley's doesn't have PERSONAL values that may differ from someone else's.

    If you want to talk her out of her values, and can meet the $$ line that might overcome HER reasons (if there is a $$ line) have at it and keep us posted.

    What exactly is your problem if some women might find it "hunky-dory" and others do not? Are you saying all women "should" have exactly the same values/feelings about every damn thing?

    But, for whatever reason that is how it usually works and why it basically sucks for most women to be prositutes.

    Kinda shot yourself in the foot here John-boy: note the words usually and most above.

    Now listen closely, I'll attempt to say it again slowly, but in a slightly different way: If she feels shame it is a SUBJECTIVE response belonging to HER. Whether anyone else feels the same way or not is up to THEM, not up to YOU. Get it now?

  • ||

    I think it is the same rules for both.

    You are not a very good verbal dancer John. I don't blame you for avoiding defining the term, because it is in the eye of the beholder. Defining sexual promiscuity says much about yourself.

  • ||

    "Word of advice to all the men who have been so thoroughly and spectacularly missing Kerry's point here: the more you think with your dick, the more likely you are to be one."

    I have seen your picture, trust me, when dealing with you the last thing I am thinking with is my dick.

  • ||

    John, are you really joe?

    Descending into personal attacks is what a joe does... or maybe it is what a John does too.

  • Dickin D\'Ass||

    What men like !

    Still don't think it's worth $4,000

  • ||

    "Now listen closely, I'll attempt to say it again slowly, but in a slightly different way: If she feels shame it is a SUBJECTIVE response belonging to HER. Whether anyone else feels the same way or not is up to THEM, not up to YOU. Get it now?"

    That is not what she is saying. She is saying that "In sum: If we are ever going to introduce a conceptual distinction between the moral character of individual women and the integrity of their hymens, it seems extremely important not to criminalize aberrant sexual behaviors." If it doesn't effect moral character, why is it not right for her? At best it is just relativism. But Howley stated above, she doesn't feel shame about it, which I think is crap.

  • Guy Montag||

    Kerry! Kerry! Kerry!

  • alan||

    Damn, John, what is wrong, man? You start off with a really good point about the advice you would give a daughter about saving herself some grief, and then stumble into the deep end, tearing at some psyche scab.

    The kind of vitriol you expressed should be saved for Communist, not for ladies of a libertarian disposition.

  • Abdul||

    If I were not in a committed relationship, I assume I would feel no more guilt than I felt, say, selling my ova.

    Kerry's kinda undermining her point here.

    Why would being in a committed relationship make any difference? Because her significant other would regard hooking as a betrayal.

    Why would he or she (no assumptions!) regard it as a betrayal? Because sex is linked to intimacy. Sex with a party outside the relationship violates that intimacy.

    So why is it wrong that society regards people who buy or sell their sexual intimacy with shame? Don't we also shame gossips and blabbermouths who cheapen non-physical types of intimacy?

  • Jennifer||

    I have seen your picture, trust me, when dealing with you the last thing I am thinking with is my dick.

    John, if you want to hurt my feelings you'll need an insult a LOT better than "My photo isn't being used as masturbation fodder by a military prude with scattershot spelling ability and multiple teeth missing from his mental gears."

  • ||

    I should not have taken a personal shot at Jennifer. I was responding to what I felt was a personal shot at me and about 43rd condescending statement she has thrown my way over the course of the past few threads and should not have let that cause me to throw a personal shot. She started it is no excuse. My apologies.

  • ||

    You right Jennifer. The better answer is to ignore you. You used to have interested things to say on here. Lately, all you can say is "stop thinking with your dick" and the like. My mistake was still taking you seriously. My apologies for still considering worthy of insulting. I don't insult Juanita, why should I inuslt you.

  • Episiarch||

    Why would being in a committed relationship make any difference? Because her significant other would regard hooking as a betrayal.

    Whaaaaa? If she is monogamous in a committed relationship, then that precludes hooking and getting fucked in the alley by the guy at the bar for free.

    Being in a committed relationship makes all the difference.

  • Guy Montag||

    Episiarch,

    I believe you are ignoring committed non-monogomous relationships.

  • Episiarch||

    Sorry.

    Being in a committed relationship makes all the difference for Kerry, it seems.

  • Jennifer||

    If she is monogamous in a committed relationship, then that precludes hooking and getting fucked in the alley by the guy at the bar for free. Being in a committed relationship makes all the difference.

    No, according to the jackasses here, it doesn't. There's only two choices for a woman: view any non-marital sex as inherently shameful, or prove your free-thinking sexual independence by being a hooker. No middle ground.

  • ||

    "If we are ever going to introduce a conceptual distinction between the moral character of individual women and the integrity of their hymens"

    If there is a distinction between a women's chastity and her moral character then there is no moral aspect to sex since a women or man for that matter can still be moral and have lots of sex. The first step to that ideal in Howley's is to stop criminalizing prostitution. First, I think Howley is talking out of her ass and is in no way that much of a libertine in her real life. But maybe she is. I don't know and don't care. Second, if we ever did separate morality from sex it would be a disaster for most women. For whatever reason, women suffer the most from promiscuity and there is more to it than social stigma. They are just wired differently about sex then men. For that reason, I don't think Howley's position is doing women many favors. Yeah, prostitution should be legal. But that is only becuase to make it illegal is even more cruel to the poor women caught up in it.

  • Guy Montag||

    Jennifer,

    My policy is "I don't care who she is married to as long as she is not married to me". So don't lump me in with those guys!

  • ||

    Every society in history has had to deal with his issue, and many have dealt with it differently than we do.

    Episiarch is probably right, in that there is a lot of primal instinct at work here.

    Regardless of one's attitude towards female sexuality, putting people in jail over it is stupid and destructive.

  • ||

    err, that should read "this issue", though my original typo certainly brings entertaining connotations.

  • Episiarch||

    Episiarch is probably right, in that there is a lot of primal instinct at work here.

    If we all agree that I am right, I win and we can stop all this discordant argument. Groovy?

    (emphasis on "I win")

  • ||

    "If we all agree that I am right, I win and we can stop all this discordant argument. Groovy?

    (emphasis on "I win")"

    You usually do.

  • ||

    If it doesn't effect moral character, why is it not right for her?

    Ever consider that "right or wrong" doesn't enter into it? She simply doesn't WANT to do it?

    Example: eating carbs doesn't appear to affect my moral character, some folks say carbs are "right" and wonderful things to consume, and I definitely find myself wanting some. Do I do it? Nope, (I'm diabetic) not any more.

    So regardless of someone else's determination of it being "right" or not, I don't do it any more, because subjectively (i.e. for me) it affects my health and energy in ways I do not like.

    It may be just "hunky-dory" for you to eat mashed potatoes, pasta, oven warm bread (snif) etc, but it ain't something I choose for myself, and my reasons have nothing to do with you or any one else.

    There are no more moral reasons to consume or not consume carbs than there are to indulge in sex... unless you add them yourself. True morality is self (not externally) imposed.

    Indulging in either one will simply bring results that you either like or dislike. If you choose to see results you don't like as "bad" or "immoral" that is between you and your conscience, nothing else.

    Maybe it is that simple John.

  • ||

    KT,

    You are right in that Howley is trying to claim that there is no moral element to sex and that choosing to sell yourself is no different than choosing what foods to eat. That is complete bunk. One, I don't believe for a moment she actually believes that if she were honest. Two, even if she does, decoupling morality from sex would be a really shitty deal for most women since they are not able to have sex with out emotional attachment the way men can and are the ones disproportionately suffer the burdens of sex, pregnancy and diseases. Yes, you are right about Howley's position and I disagree with it. Is it that hard for you to understand?

  • ||

    Why would being in a committed relationship make any difference? Because her significant other would regard hooking as a betrayal.

    One night stand as a single man, no guilt at all.
    One night stand during a failing marriage, guilt felt decades later.

    Not that friggin' complicated, is it?

  • ||

    John, its KD not KT

    Yes, you are right about Howley's position and I disagree with it. Is it that hard for you to understand?

    And no it is not hard for me to understand, what is hard for me to understand is this: ..decoupling morality from sex would be a really shitty deal for most women since they are not able to have sex with out emotional attachment...

    Again I point to the word most in your sentence. So is the big deal that all women (and in particular Kerry Howley) wouldn't find it a shitty deal? And if so, why is that such a big deal to you?

  • ||

    John, I haven't read all posts, just the last ones posted, and I happen to agree with you.
    I think women dont have much to gain by being overly promiscuous.
    Men and women are equal but not the same. And those differences are quite delicious.

  • Jennifer||

    I think women dont have much to gain by being overly promiscuous.

    What does "overly promiscuous" mean?

  • ||

    You are right in that Howley is trying to claim that there is no moral element to sex and that choosing to sell yourself is no different than choosing what foods to eat. That is complete bunk.

    John, your are now my moral guru. I want to hear more about my moral failings as a youth. I want to know why somebody who calls working girls sluts and whores is more moral that I, who have occasionally tipped them. I want to know why sex with a dancer I met that evening, while shipping out the next day makes me, and her, morally repugnant. Fell free to bring your misogynistic, genocidal god to the table, because I love quoting scripture.

  • Salvius||

    My favorite quote from this thread: I think she would [feel degraded and ashamed] and given that fact...

    Um, sorry: Your assumption about how someone else would feel in a particular situation is not a "fact", in any meaningful sense of the word.

  • ||

    I've had sex for pay. It's not that bad, provided one can select the customer and opt out (safely) if your spider sense alerts.

    I suspect most people on this board have been "paid" for sex (by a husband, wife, bf, gf, or whatever). Sometimes it's a stranger. Sometimes people do it to end an argument. Some people screw in exchange for dinner. Sometimes people do it for a diamond ring, or to avoid a speeding ticket. Sometimes it's for a work promotion or to get into a movie. Sometimes it's for cash. Sometimes we give sex as a thank you for returning the Superbad DVD rental. Sometimes we do it in exchange for a mere compliment or to compensate someone for making us feel nice about ourselves. Or whatever. Stupid to be illegal. Stupid to be anybody's goddamn business but mine.

  • ||

    "Again I point to the word most in your sentence. So is the big deal that all women (and in particular Kerry Howley) wouldn't find it a shitty deal? And if so, why is that such a big deal to you?"


    Howley is not talking about herself. She is talking about society as a whole. Howley is saying that it is deplorable to say that being promiscuous is wrong. She says "This whole tradition-the idea that women need be preserved in glass so as not to "ruin" themselves, lest they diminish their sexual value by "giving it away"-restricts the lived autonomy of women in ways I can't even begin to articulate" That is a load of horse shit. Sexual morality is not only justified by some primeval desire to keep women chaste for their husbands. Sexual morality generally works in women's favor. Howley seems to believe that it works against them and that women would somehow be better off if only we told women to have all the sex they want. As a former single guy, I have to admit that idea has some real appeal. As a human being who has three sisters and been emotionally close to any number of women and seen the after effects of promiscuity, I think that idea kind of sucks and that emotionally women and even men would be a lot better off if they didn't sleep with tons of people. Further, I seriously doubt that Howley lives by this mantra. I would imagine Howley as a woman understands the emotional issues involved yet stands on the sidelines and cheers on other women to do things that will most likely lead to a lot of unhappiness. She is basically the sexual equivalent of a "chicken-hawk" cheering other people on to do dangerous and destructive things she would never do herself.

  • ||

    John, If case you don't get my drift, actions that harm nobody are not immoral. Santimonious blowhards that think they have cornered the market on the "right" way to express sexuality, and condemn others who behave differently are immoral.

    Feel free to disagree.

  • Abdul||

    What does "overly promiscuous" mean?

    More than 12. Unless you're European, becuase they use the metric system over there.

  • Guy Montag||

    Jennifer,

    What does "overly promiscuous" mean?

    It means that she did someone before me, on the same day, without showering between encounters.

    I believe that is the official disctionary meaning.

  • ||

    What does "overly promiscuous" mean?

    More than 12. Unless you're European, becuase they use the metric system over there.


    Well, I'm OK then. I've never been involved in anything greater than a threesome.

  • ||

    i posted this on another thread but am repeating it here for the sake of argument.

    Dr. Laura on the today show monday. Would someone that is more capable than me PLEASE post this on the feministing site???



    "Dr. Laura Schlessinger has never been one to shrink from controversy, and she leaped headlong into one on Monday when she said that if a husband cheats, his wife may share some of the blame.

    "When the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he's very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs," the popular psychologist and radio personality said. "

  • ||

    Maybe Kerry just isn't hot enough to make it in the "sex industry", and that's why she works for Reason.

  • ||

    "John, If case you don't get my drift, actions that harm nobody are not immoral. Santimonious blowhards that think they have cornered the market on the "right" way to express sexuality, and condemn others who behave differently are immoral."

    Of course a lot of actions do harm others. The one night stand seems wonderfully harmless until the women you slept with keeps calling you because she thought that you thought something of her and wanted something besides sex and you have to blow her off. I have done that and it sucks and frankly was pretty damned immoral of me. I think women and men would be better off if they didn't sleep with large numbers of people. Everyone thinks it is harmless and in some cases it is but in a lot of cases it is not.

    Think of this example. Suppose my sister comes to me and reveals that she is a prostitute. Now in Howley's moral world, I should be happy for her. It is a good paying job and she doesn't seem to have a problem with it. In my moral world, I am certainly not going to disown her or condemn her, but I am sure as hell going to try to help her and get her into a different line of work. Why? Because being a hooker is a terrible degrading immoral line of work and I feel terrible for every women who has to do it. I agree with Howley that prostitution should absolutely be legal. But, I part ways with her when she acts as if it is just great for most or even some women to be prostitutes. It is not. If that makes me an immoral blowhard, then I guess I am.

  • Salvius||

    I would imagine Howley as a woman understands the emotional issues involved yet stands on the sidelines and cheers on other women to do things that will most likely lead to a lot of unhappiness.

    It just came to me how to describe what's going on here: By assuming Howley would behave in a way inconsistent (in your opinion) with her words, you are arguing the hypocrisy of a Kerry Howley who exists only in your own mind. You're making an ad hominem argument against a straw man. You're literally piling one fallacy on top of another.

  • Jennifer||

    She says "This whole tradition-the idea that women need be preserved in glass so as not to "ruin" themselves, lest they diminish their sexual value by "giving it away"-restricts the lived autonomy of women in ways I can't even begin to articulate" That is a load of horse shit.

    So you're saying it doesn't restrict a woman's autonomy to be told that her worth as a human being depends on what she does or doesn't do with the space between her legs?

  • Episiarch||

    Maybe Kerry just isn't hot enough to make it in the "sex industry", and that's why she works for Reason.

    This explains everything!

  • ||

    J Sub D,

    I will even answer your question. Being promiscuous is sleeping with people without any emotional attachment and for the sheer physical pleasure of doing so. If you are just banging someone because they are attractive, you have basically degraded them to an object of pleasure, a means to an end, not a human being. I suppose in the rare case when both parties look at the other in the same way, things might be okay but that is the rare case. In most cases, one party, usually but not always the woman, actually has an emotional attachment to the other person and those situations never end well.

  • ||

    The one night stand seems wonderfully harmless until the women you slept with keeps calling you because she thought that you thought something of her and wanted something besides sex and you have to blow her off.

    Oh Jeez John. Suppose somebidy you served a drink to, thinks you shortshotted them and does a drive by on the pub. Suppose like the proverbial butterfly wingflap, we just set a hurricane in motion. I treat women as thinking adults. They generally act that way as well.

  • ||

    "Dr. Laura Schlessinger has never been one to shrink from controversy, and she leaped headlong into one on Monday when she said that if a husband cheats, his wife may share some of the blame."

    Give me a fucking break.
    If he cheats, we are to blame. If we stay, we are an accomplice or a fool. If we leave, we didnt understand or fulfill his needs. If we do the same and fuck his buddies, then we are vindictive sluts (which, by the way, no one would blame HIM for LEAVING our sorry ass). If we kill him... well, there is a thought.
    We are dammed if we do, dammed if we dont.

    Thanks Dr. Laura for making women, once again, responsible for men's actions.

  • Guy Montag||

    Being promiscuous is sleeping with people without any emotional attachment and for the sheer physical pleasure of doing so.

    I thought this was about sex, not sleeping. If sleeping in the same room is such a big deal to you then I understand why you sound so confused.

  • ||

    "So you're saying it doesn't restrict a woman's autonomy to be told that her worth as a human being depends on what she does or doesn't do with the space between her legs?"

    You are telling men the same thing. There shouldn't be a double standard. Men who screw around are immoral as well. Howley is right to object to the double standard. If that is all she did, I wouldn't disagree with her. Where I disagree with her is her contention that there is no moral dimension to sex, when there so clearly is. I think women suffer more from promiscuity but that doesn't let men off the moral hook. Who is causing that suffering? Usually men. If men weren't pigs and want to frequent prostitutes, women wouldn't be doing it. If men didn't go out and lie to women and get them to bed under false pretenses, women probably wouldn't be hurt so much by promiscuity.

  • ||

    In most cases, one party, usually but not always the woman, actually has an emotional attachment to the other person and those situations never end well.

    So isn't it the emotional attachment -- rather than the sex itself -- that's really to blame for the problems? It may be partially caused by genetics, but our culture also heavily reinforces the idea that sex and love are supposed to be connected.

  • Guy Montag||

    Priapus,

    Maybe Kerry just isn't hot enough to make it in the "sex industry", and that's why she works for Reason.

    I suggest you find some pictures of her. But if you have not, perhaps a different psychiatric counselor than the one who will be devoting their time to John might be in order.

  • ||

    "Oh Jeez John. Suppose somebidy you served a drink to, thinks you shortshotted them and does a drive by on the pub. Suppose like the proverbial butterfly wingflap, we just set a hurricane in motion. I treat women as thinking adults. They generally act that way as well."

    They are adults but it still sucks. Maybe I have an over active conscience but having what I considered meaningless sex withsomeone who thought it wasn't, it a really immoral thing to do. Is it forgiveable? Yes. It is not murder or rape but it sure as hell is immoral.

  • ||

    I wrote someone's phd thesis in exchange for sex. Clinical Psych. Also they bought me a hamburger.

  • ||

    "So isn't it the emotional attachment -- rather than the sex itself -- that's really to blame for the problems? It may be partially caused by genetics, but our culture also heavily reinforces the idea that sex and love are supposed to be connected."

    Yes it is the emotional attachment. That is what makes us human beings. Animals screw like well animals and never seem to think twice about it. Human beings for whatever reason invest emotion and love in sex, thus the moral dimmension to it. If their wasn't an emotional issue, it would be like any other bodily function.

  • Episiarch||

    Maybe I have an over active conscience but having what I considered meaningless sex withsomeone who thought it wasn't, it a really immoral thing to do.

    How about meaningless (but freaky!) sex with someone who sees it the same way as you: entertainment?

  • Episiarch||

    Also they bought me a hamburger.

    Thank god you didn't get exploited.

  • ||

    "How about meaningless (but freaky!) sex with someone who sees it the same way as you: entertainment?"


    In an ideal world, no I can't state a moral objection to that. Sadly, that ideal is rarely obtained. Both parties say that they know the rules and that it is going to be meaningless but it only works out that way sometimes. Often one party breaks the rules and gets emotionally attached. When you engage in meaningless sex you are always running the risk that the other party, despite assurences to the contrary, will not view it that way and you are stuck leaving them. Yeah, maybe that is their fault for investing too much into it, but at least I felt pretty awful the few times that ever happened to me.

  • ||

    John:

    You don't think the inculturation of a connection between sex and love from a very early age has something to do with it?

    Sort of like how the first humans, and indeed many humans today, have no problem eating live insects, yet us Westerners get sick to our stomachs upon the very mention of the idea? You think that's "part of being human" too?

  • Guy Montag||

    Episiarch,

    How about meaningful sex in absance of any meaningful relationship? No names, no numbers, at least not remembered the next day anyway.

    TG,

    I once wrote a tax accounting paper for a master's student I was dating. She was hot and I got lots of complements about her, but the sex was not. I think I got ripped off.

  • Guy Montag||

    Why is this thread turning into the rule-set that Jerry and Elaine had for their casual sex between friends episode?

  • ||

    Priapus,

    My Judea Christian ethics, fall of man, that kind of thing is showing. Is our emotional attachment to sex entirely a product of our society? Maybe. I don't know. I don't know of a society in history that was truly free love. Maybe you do. Whatever the reason, we certainly do invest a lot of emotion into sex and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

  • Jennifer||

    If you are just banging someone because they are attractive, you have basically degraded them to an object of pleasure, a means to an end, not a human being.

    And when I was in high school working at McDonald's, all those evil men customers degraded me to merely a way to get a piece of meat (with a side order of fries).

  • ||

    "I once wrote a tax accounting paper for a master's student I was dating. She was hot and I got lots of complements about her, but the sex was not. I think I got ripped off."

    Yeah, that sounds like a bum deal to me. Tax accounting is fucking tedious. The compensation shouln't be tedious fucking.

  • ||

    Women DO tend to invest more emotion into sex and relationships, in general, than men do. Perhaps we are wired that way (this doesn't mean ALL women at ALL times in EVERY occassion). I think women in the race to become equal with men have forgotten or down-played our differences, which make sex great.
    Im not making any moral judgements here. I believe that adults can have sex with whomever they like (pay for it, not pay for it, etc...)

  • ||

    "And when I was in high school working at McDonald's, all those evil men customers degraded me to merely a way to get a piece of meat (with a side order of fries)."


    In some ways yes. Now, is doing so the end of the world? No. But honestly, can you say the ones who were leering at you were giving you much credit as a human being? At that point to them how you anything more than a live pinup doll? Granted, that is hardly the worst thing that could ever happen to you, but it is still in some measure degrading.

  • Episiarch||

    She was hot and I got lots of complements about her, but the sex was not.

    Happens more than you think. It takes time to develop the "good lay" sense. Much like Spider-sense, it goes off when things are dangerous, but in this case to your ability to actually leave the bed on a weekend.

  • ||

    Guy,

    You're surprised that a woman who was banging you just so you would write papers for her gave lousy sex? Imagine the tables being turned...would you go the extra mile in that situation, or just go through the motions?

  • ||

    Guy,

    It is a simple supply and demand issue. She was getting her paper written one way or another. Anything beyond going through the motions wasn't going to change that, so why do it. The price of you writing the paper was sex, not good sex. Her giving you good sex would have just been a gratuity.

  • ||

    John, you have made the point repeatedly that YOU have a particular set of beliefs.

    I would imagine Howley as a woman understands the emotional issues involved yet stands on the sidelines and cheers on other women to do things that will most likely lead to a lot of unhappiness.

    and:

    If their there wasn't an emotional issue, it would be like any other bodily function.



    It may come as a shock to you but for some people there is no emotion attached, and it is just "bodily function." That is where the SUBJECTIVE bit comes into it (but I repeat myself). You may not like it, but other than preaching about your own preferences, there is not much you can do about it.

    And you ".. imagine.." that's pretty subjective of you. And so what? Even if it is the case, cannot these women make choices that will not lead to unhappiness regardless of whether (or if) anyone cheers them on?

    Yeah, maybe that is their fault for investing too much into it, but at least I felt pretty awful the few times that ever happened to me.



    It is nobody's "job" to prevent you or anyone from feeling pretty awful. I have no obligation to prevent anyone from feeling pretty awful just as I have no moral right or obligation to prevent anyone from feeling pretty good. My belief is that you learned just as much, if not more, from those pretty awful times, as from pretty good times though.

    Personally I am comfortable assuming that your sisters and/or the women you have been close to, are capable of actually learning from whatever sucky experiences they might have had while being promiscuous. (Or just plain sucky experiences in general.)

    And if they cannot (or choose not to) make different choices, have they asked you to be their savior? If they have, good on ya mate - go forth and save them. And if they have not asked you, perhaps you might consider just shutting up with paternalistic (or is it fraternalistic?) preaching about women.

    Apparently you do not share my assumptions about the learning abilities of "most" women.

    ...but it is still in some measure degrading.



    To paraphrase Elanor Roosevelt, ".. no one can feel degraded without their consent.."

  • ||

    "You're surprised that a woman who was banging you just so you would write papers for her gave lousy sex? Imagine the tables being turned...would you go the extra mile in that situation, or just go through the motions?"

    Trust me P, you dont want to know how far I would go to avoid writing about tax accounting.

  • robc||

    J sub D,

    actions that harm nobody are not immoral.

    Bullshit.

    Im not even going to explain that one, I think it is obvious. We may not agree on what is or isnt moral, but that is because one (or, more likely, both) of us is wrong.

  • ||

    My Judea Christian ethics, fall of man, that kind of thing is showing.

    1 Samuel 15:2-3:
    Numbers 31
    Deuteronomy 22
    Leviticus 24:16

    I can go on for pages on biblical ethics. I choose other methods to determine mine.

  • ||

    Bullshit.

    Im not even going to explain that one, I think it is obvious.


    robc, Fascinating. Could you give me an example of an action that harms nobody and is immoral?

    I'm serious.

  • ||

    A factual point: if you want to know what society would look like if prostitution were legal, you don't have to look any further than New South Wales, Australia. Society has notably failed to collapse in that case. I'm sure there are still some abuses associated with the industry (like any industry), but the businesses seem largely clean and aboveboard. They advertise for clients and for employees like any other business, emphasizing their cleanliness, flexible hours, security, etc. In fact, the most striking thing about it is the sense of normality about it all. (No, I do not have any first-hand experience with it, in case you were wondering.)

  • ||

    JD, I wonder if they do on the job training.


    oh, and for those that suggested that Kerry isn't hot enough for the biz, you obviously have never been down the streets in a big city commonly used by hookers.The only physical requirement seems to be a pulse.

  • ||

    J Sub D,

    You are right, the world would not end if prostitution were legal. In fact it would be better because the women who do it wouldn't be as vaunerable and there would be some way to handle the spread of disease. But, the legal and public policy issue is separate from the moral issue. Making prostitution legal is just making the best of a bad situtation.

    KD,

    Women can make whatever choices they want. That doesn't make them the right choices. Just because something is not a legal issue or should not be prohibited by law doesn't mean it is a societal good. Prostitution is not a societal good and not good for anyone involved. It is a societal bad to managed as best as possible.

    Further, "if I fuck someone over, they will just learn from the bad time I give them", is about as pathetic of a moral code imaginable.

  • robc||

    J sub D,

    I can give you an example, but it may depend if we are on the same page with the phrase "harm nobody" or not. I realized after my previous post that you may mean that differently than I. I took that as "harm an external non-consenting body". If you meant nobody literally, then I agree with you.

    If you meant it as I took it, then I will go with the obvious one, considering this thread. Prostitition is immoral. It should also be legal (as I said in a post way above), but that doesnt really matter to this sub-discussion.

    I could think of a brazillion others. Smoking crack (in most cases). Eating fatty foods (to excess). Getting drunk (there is one I have a problem with, I think drinking alcohol is a-okay, it may be even especially moral {Paul recommended Timothy drink wine in one of his epistles [as a Southern Baptist, I dont understand the SBC's views on alcohol, even though they generally admit to them being extra-bibilical, maybe especially for that reason]}, but I do think drunkenness is immoral).

    That enough for you?

  • robc||

    JD,

    A factual point: if you want to know what society would look like if prostitution were legal, you don't have to look any further than New South Wales, Australia.

    I dont know where you are, but for most of us, Nevada is closer.

  • Guy Montag||

    JD,

    According to other people on another thread, the only place where they have hot prostitutes are in undocumented, mob run enterprises. The hot girls would never work in the town you mention, unless it is some sort of secret slave colony.

  • ||

    To me this whole thread shows how sick we are with the idea that law means morality. We have such a plethera of laws in this country people have forgotten the idea that something can be immoral and wrong without being illegal. Libertarians have even fallen into this trap. Just because prostitution should be legal, does not mean that it is a public good or in any way moral. You can rationally hold both positions; that prostitution should be legal but that it is also immoral. One really has nothing to do with the other. Most people mistakenly beleive that just because something is immoral means it should be illegal or that it is the government's business to prevent it from happening. Sadly, Libertarians often commit this same mistake in reverse and believe that anyone who claims something is immoral is automatically claiming that it ought to be illegal.

  • ||

    Morality being a concept based upon what we choose to believe is right or wrong doesn't clear things up much either.

  • ||

    robc, after I posted I realized that a lack of action can be immoral. A person lies bleeding on the side of the road. Ignoring him does not cause him harm, you didn't bop him on the head. Still one is morally obligated to be late for his dinner date and get the man to a hospital.

    Still, I do not see prostitution as immoral. A lady of the evening is giving pleasure to a stranger for monetary gain. This is, by my reckoning, not significantly different than the singer in a lounge act, the baseball player at the stadium, or the artist in his studio.

    Self harm by a thinking adult is a difficult and different thing altogether. A wino may perceive that the damage to his liver is a fair tradeoff for the pleasure of the buzz. I don't think that the harm to my health engendered by smoking reefer (I admit it, smoking pot is bad for your health) was immoral. I considered it a fair tradeoff for the pleasure it gave me. The next time I get stoned and listen to music or walk around the city marveling a human ingenuity will also not be immoral. Since I feel that way about my own decisions as it relates to health vs pleasure, who am I to say the crackhead is being immoral. I'm not saying that those folks don't do many immoral things, they do. But smoking the shit, by itself, isn't one of them.

    The good book has some fine moral advice. It also contains reprehensible lessons as well. If it's the word of God, he has some explaining to me. If it's merely the work of bronze age humans, than we can pick and choose what parts we give credence to.

  • scofflaw||

    Holy Cow. I got banned about a year ago for commenting on a similar post by Howley and saying similar things to robc and John. Jennifer was there. [Hey Jen!] Suddenly I'm not banned, even though I still was about a week ago. Wonder what happened.

  • ||

    "But smoking the shit, by itself, isn't one of them."

    True. It is about excess and irresponsibility. Smoking crack or driking or whatever to such a degree that you harm those around you through your irresponsibility is immoral. Even harming yourself is selfish and immoral. It is easy to say that it is a man's perogative to drink or smoke crack himself to an early death. But what about his friends and family who are left devistated and racked with guilt wondering what they should have done differently to save him and are left with the absence in their life his death left? I would say that person is a pretty selfish immoral jerk.

  • ||

    Just curious, but I wonder how many men would be OK (I mean really, truly, and honestly OK- heck maybe even happy she has embraced her true and free sexual nature) if their daughter/mother/sister/wife was a sex worker?

  • robc||

    scofflaw,

    Ummm, what did I say similar to John?

    Other than he has made a statement that morality and legality arent the same thing. We agree on that. I doubt you would get banned for saying that.

  • scofflaw||

    Julian Sanchez said I was "a deeply disgusting human being and if I had a shred of basic decency I would have taken my own life out of self-revulsion long ago."

  • ||

    Look out ROBC, it could be dangerous to be associated with me once Reason starts perging the apostates.

  • ||

    "Julian Sanchez said I was "a deeply disgusting human being and if I had a shred of basic decency I would have taken my own life out of self-revulsion long ago."


    That is pretty damned funny. I think it might say more about Sanchez that he managed to let a Hit and Run poster get under his skin so badly that it does about you, but I don't know what you said.

  • robc||

    J sub D,

    who am I to say the crackhead is being immoral

    It really isnt your or my place to say. It either is or it isnt, what we say has nothing to do with it.

    I will have to remember your example for future arguments, I didnt even think about inaction.

  • scofflaw||

    robc said: "Other than he has made a statement that morality and legality arent the same thing. We agree on that. I doubt you would get banned for saying that."

    I guess it was the "way" I said it. I suppose if I repeated it here I'd probably get banned again. My stated goal was to put the "shame back in shamelessness." Ms. Howley and the protectors of her delicate sensibilities deleted some of my more opprobrious comments. The threads are here:

    http://www.reason.com/blog/show/121067.html

    http://www.reason.com/blog/show/121122.html

  • scofflaw||

    robc: I liked your formula, "legalize and stigmatize." I recognize that you and John aren't saying exactly the same thing.

  • Guy Montag||

    rana,

    Just curious, but I wonder how many men would be OK (I mean really, truly, and honestly OK- heck maybe even happy she has embraced her true and free sexual nature) if their daughter/mother/sister/wife was a sex worker?

    I have a son who is going to be a lawyer and I am cool with it. If the people you are asking have a problem your question, then they are just do not have the internal strength of real men.

  • scofflaw||

    To put it as inoffensively as possible, I took Howley at her words and made the opposite assumption of John, i.e., I assumed she is promiscuous and applied to her the label commonly applied to promiscuous women.

  • ||

    "robc: I liked your formula, "legalize and stigmatize." I recognize that you and John aren't saying exactly the same thing."


    Legalize and stigmatize is pretty much what I am saying. They actually deleted your offensive posts like Soviet era communists erasing officials sent to the Gulag from photos. It is kind of funny. Howley's young libertine women act wears thin with me. I think Reason ought to send her out to do a three part report on the Mustang Ranch sometime. Not to work there, although I guess she could if she wanted to, but just hang out there and talk to the men who go there and the women who work there and then see if she still thinks that sex and morality need to be decoupled.

  • ||

    "If I were not in a committed relationship, I assume I would feel no more guilt than I felt, say, selling my ova. I fail to see a meaningful distinction."

    Scofflaw,

    That is Howley at about 11:39 am this morning. She has a liberal view of the morality of selling her body for money. I don't beleive that for a minute. I think she just said that after I called her out for encouraging other women to do things she would never do.

  • Guy Montag||

    John,

    My gosh! It is not like she was preaching that Ohio was never really a State and encouraging others not to file federal income tax, but she was secretly filing anyway.

    She did not encourage anybody else to do anything at all. She just gave some personal views.

  • scofflaw||

    Why don't you believe her? Why the insistence on thinking the best of a Reason staffer, against the evidence of her own words? Some people really are relatively shameless. Of course, it's easier to be shameless in an echo chamber like Reason, particularly when the wider culture has lost its moral bearings.

  • ||

    "Just curious, but I wonder how many men would be OK (I mean really, truly, and honestly OK- heck maybe even happy she has embraced her true and free sexual nature) if their daughter/mother/sister/wife was a sex worker?

    I have a son who is going to be a lawyer and I am cool with it. If the people you are asking have a problem your question, then they are just do not have the internal strength of real men."

    I am not sure you answered the question Guy. Would you be OK with it?

  • T||

    It is not T, you just so fucking stupid you don't understand what I am saying.

    Yay! I haven't gotten called fucking stupid in a long time, much less with grammatical errors. Man, I go off to get some actual work done and all the fun continues.

    John,

    You're a tool. Your entire argument, as poorly expressed as it has been, is nothing more than "I think prostitution is immoral and Kerry must, so she's being a hypocrite by not agreeing with me". I admit, I may have missed some subtle nuance of your thinking, but then again, I'm fucking stupid. The idea of other people having a moral code different from yours is apparently repugnant and offensive to you. This, in turn, makes you repugnant and offensive to me. Please go die in a fashion of your own choosing. If I may be so bold as to offer advice, try self-immolation.

  • T||

    Oops. Forgot to close my tag. Sorry.

  • ||

    Just curious, but I wonder how many men would be OK (I mean really, truly, and honestly OK- heck maybe even happy she has embraced her true and free sexual nature) if their daughter/mother/sister/wife was a sex worker?

    I'm not sure by what you mean by "be OK". If my sister had, by her own volition, become a prostitute I would still love her. I would not ostracize her, nor would I get on her case about it. Would I disapprove? Yeah. If she asked my opinion, I'd give it. I'd have to listen to and consider her reasoning as well.

    I wouldn't be happy if they became cops either.

  • ||

    "She did not encourage anybody else to do anything at all. She just gave some personal views."


    Why wouldn't she encourage women to be hookers if that is in fact what they liked? Howely tries to have it both ways by saying, there is nothing immoral or wrong with being a hooker, I just don't want to be one. That sounds reasonable until you ask her Rana's question. No way in hell would Howley want her daughter or anyone she cared about to be a hooker. Considering that fact, her whole "it is no different than selling my ova" crap is just that crap. It is clearly not the same to Howley at least if it involves herself or someone she loves.

  • ||

    T,

    Go choke on your self and die before you pollute the gene pool. You are one troll that is no longer worth feeding.

  • Episiarch||

    This would have been far more entertaining if Kerry had actually stuck around after making a single appearance.

    Is Kerry talking out of her ass as John contends? I have no fucking idea. However, that doesn't change the fundamental truth of her viewpoint: that people should be free to be a prostitute if they wish.

  • ||

    J sub D,
    Why would you disapprove of your daughter/sister/mom/wife being a hooker?

  • Abdul||

    I have a son who is going to be a lawyer and I am cool with it.

    Now that's really disgusting! Isn't the poor boy presentable enough to get a decent job hustling at truck stops?

  • ||

    "Would I disapprove? Yeah."

    Why would you disaprove? What if she liked it and made more money than she ever could any other way? Yeah, it is dangerous but so are a lot of things. It seems to me that if you are really going to say that it is totally okay to be a hooker, you have to be willing to say that it is totally okay for your daughter to be a hooker. Afterall, everyone is someone's daughter.

  • Abdul||

    However, that doesn't change the fundamental truth of her viewpoint: that people should be free to be a prostitute if they wish.

    There's a difference between being free to be a prostitute, and saying that the only reason people oppose prostitution is because they view women as having the sole purpose of saving themself for men. I'm in favor of legalized prostitution, but I would navor patronize a prostitute, and I think it's objectionable.

  • ||

    Thank you Abdul for saying exactly what I have been trying to say for this entire thread and more eloquently than I did.

  • ||

    Why would you disapprove of your daughter/sister/mom/wife being a hooker?

    Because I think it's a poor career choice. ;-)

    Seriously, because I have irrational baggage floating around my psyche that, try as I might, I'll never get rid of.

    You may find this difficult to swallow, but I was raised to be a good Roman Catholic. I was an alter boy, I went to catechism classes into high school. That kind of crap stays with you for life, even after you determine that it is all superstition. I also have an irrational fear of heights. Not enough to stop me from climbing masts, but enough to make that part of my job a hellish task. I don't believe you can ever completely control your own mind.

  • Lincoln||

    Ok then John and Abdul, spill the beans. Why is it objectionable?

  • ||

    "However, that doesn't change the fundamental truth of her viewpoint: that people should be free to be a prostitute if they wish."

    OK then let it be legal. But it seems that some posters here think it is a fine line of work and women should perhaps aspire to become one and if they dont it is because they are sexually repressed.
    The idea of women being whores seems just wonderful until it is your daughter or sister.
    "Hey, little susie, you are a bright girl and could be a doctor, an astronaut, or whatever you like. But you have got a bod that would raise the dead. You really should consider hooking. Flexible hours, good pay and lots and lots of sex!"

  • Episiarch||

    Look, if you read my initial comments I disagreed with her, because I put it on biology. But we got totally derailed because John thinks she's a hypocrite.

    She could be a huge hypocrite. Her angry reaction possibly indicates that John hit a nerve. But it doesn't matter.

    John thinks casual sex is immoral. I do not. I understand why he thinks it is immoral, I just disagree. So it's a stupid thing to argue about, because nobody will be changing anybody's mind.

    John also is on the money with asking people if they would be OK with their mom being a sex worker, because I think even the most open-minded people will balk at that.

    However, it would be much more interesting to talk about why even the most open-minded people balk at that, instead of whether Kerry would suck dicks for cash if it were legal.

    OK, maybe the latter is interesting but not in the way we've been going about it.

  • ||

    "Seriously, because I have irrational baggage floating around my psyche that, try as I might, I'll never get rid of."

    Have you stopped to consider that maybe it is not irrational baggage but common sense and decency, that although being a prostitute may not be the worst thing a woman can do, perhaps she deserves better? It sounds like you may be a nicer man than you give yourself credit for. ;)

  • ||

    I just re-read all the posts(I think I got em all.) The nerve that John hit was the fact that his harangue towards Ms. Howley was based entirely on assumptions he made from her article. His positions aginst her were built on a foundation of pure speculation. A house of water built on a foundation of sand. That's why she got her back up.

  • T||

    Just curious, but I wonder how many men would be OK (I mean really, truly, and honestly OK- heck maybe even happy she has embraced her true and free sexual nature) if their daughter/mother/sister/wife was a sex worker?

    Depends on the person. The wife doesn't get to do that. The rest? Well, if that's what they want. I have some practical issues I'd bring up, but if they have no objections, then rock on. It's the hard part of believing other people have free will and intelligence. Sometimes they use them to make choices you wouldn't.

    John, you're an exception from that since you display no signs of having intelligence.

    although being a prostitute may not be the worst thing a woman can do, perhaps she deserves better?

    I realized a long time ago that people may deserve better, but they usually end up with what their choices bring them. I also know that my definition of better isn't everybody's.

  • ||

    It sounds like you may be a nicer man than you give yourself credit for. ;)

    You take that back!

    Back to serious. I have had friends who were working girls overseas. We partied together, we laughed and cried together, we cared about and looked out for each other. Those prostitutes that were my friends were nice, moral, (yes! moral!) people who wouldn't steal, wouldn't cheat at cards, and would return your property if you left it behind while intoxicated. I also have met plenty of people in other professions that did not display that sort of morality. It's a job. A distasteful one perhaps, but ultimately it's a job. Providing sexual services is no more or less "moral" than washing windows or digging ditches.

    I can make a case that it is more moral than some well respected occupations, Soldier, cop, lawyer, politician all easily come to mind. I'm not saying that I believe those professions are inherently immoral, but that I can make the case.

  • ||

    "A house of water built on a foundation of sand. That's why she got her back up."

    No, I got her back up because I hit a nerve about her preaching one thing but being entirely the opposite. Notice the "how do you know I am not promiscuous" remark or something to that effect. Well, the fact that Howley felt the need to put out the fact that she might be that way indicates pretty strongly that she really isn't and good for her. I am sure she is healthier and happier for it.

    J Sub D,

    Honestly, I don't think that you are necessarily wrong about prostitution being just another profession. I can't quite bring myself to that conclusion because the prostitutes I have known didn't have very happy lives and I am honest enough with myself to admit I would never want my daughter going into it. Maybe you would look at it differently and you actually do have experience in the subject. That puts you miles ahead of Howley who seems to have no direct experience with the subject and seems to think that it is a great way to make a living for everyone but her. Perhaps, you should start writing for Reason instead of her.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    My two cents: a lot of people have a pretty f-ing arrogant attitude around here. I think Howley says things I agree with, but the groupthink that prevails here, as a rule, is that if you don't express your contempt for religion, morality, and pretty much any traditional value, then you're not REALLY a libertarian. I'm surprised at how so many "free minds" tend to think alike.

    I am all for legalizing prostitution, but it's a way of making a living that I don't think is right. You can tell me all the tired skeptical arguments about why I'm wrong, but at the end of the day, even if i'm a brainwashed conservative, it doesn't make me any different than other people around here who are brainwashed into not being able to separate morality and law.

  • ||

    scofflaw,

    It's generally a good idea to assume the best about people until you know otherwise. You don't know squat about Kerry's personal life, and the things you said went to a much further extent than the bowdlerized version you're giving now, well into the ban-worthy end of the spectrum.

    rana,

    I don't have any kids, but if my sister, niece, or mother chose to become a prostitute and they were happy with it, that would be good enough for me. I would be concerned about the dangers of that profession, but those are largely a creation of its illegality.

  • ||

    There are additional victims in the "victimless" crime of prostitution.

    Women; Are easily exploited and can (indeed) exploit themselves - selling their bodies for money and thereby making themselves into sexual chattel.

    Men: Are tempted and acclimated to the idea that sex is a commercial transaction. Along with pornography it heightens the idea that women are sexual instruments designed for men's pleasure & not fellow human beings to be considered as equel partners in lifelong marriage.

    The Public at Large: (ie. Society) - Under legal or widespread and winked at prostitution. Sex becomes a mere commodity. This is an assault on marriage and healthy sexuality. Sexual relations are recreated to become instruments of personal gain and not sacred indissoluble bonds.

  • ||

    It's generally a good idea to assume the best about people until you know otherwise.

    Of course, I'd insert the caveat that this doesn't apply to situations where you're trusting people with money, lives, etc., but it definitely rules out saying that a woman you don't know is promiscuous.

  • ||

    Women; Are easily exploited and can (indeed) exploit themselves - selling their bodies for money and thereby making themselves into sexual chattel.

    The idea that anyone can exploit themselves or make themselves into chattel (I'm guessing you don't know what that word means but chose it for its slavery connotation) is one of the most dangerous ones floating in the port of the marketplace of ideas these days. Telling someone what he or she may or may not do with their body turns them into chattel far more readily than prostitution does.

  • ||

    The Democratic Republican

    "My two cents: a lot of people have a pretty f-ing arrogant attitude around here. I think Howley says things I agree with, but the groupthink that prevails here, as a rule, is that if you don't express your contempt for religion, morality, and pretty much any traditional value, then you're not REALLY a libertarian."

    That's because THEY are not really libertarians. Rather they are libertines. Its a sad state of affairs when you have to preface your libertarian with "classical" or "natural law".

    These types of libertarians understand that their is not just a human nature but they understand that nature. As such they realize that limited government cannot thrive when social disharmony is created by allowing (among other things) prostitution.

    The state apparatus that needs to regulate, test and police a more widespread and socially acceptable prostitution industry along with the vice and family breakdown inherent in libertinism is anything but limited government.

  • the fez||

    Best thread ever. Riveting stuff.

  • ||

    The state apparatus that needs to regulate, test and police a more widespread and socially acceptable prostitution industry along with the vice and family breakdown inherent in libertinism is anything but limited government.

    Fitz, You didn't pay a whole lot of attention when grammar was being discussed did you?

  • Guy Montag||

    rana,

    I am not sure you answered the question Guy. Would you be OK with it?

    Stated another way, I am OK with my son being a lawyer, therefore I would be OK with the womenfolk being prostitutes.

    John,

    You really need help, or something. You leap from my factual comment of how Kerry just stated opinions to your making them up for her.

    T is right, your entire argument is that you think she shares your opinion, will not admit it, so she is a liar. You went that a few steps better with the response to me that I just mentioned.

    Then you had a keyboard tantrum.

  • JB||

    Every woman that's gone out on a date with a man who paid and then hooked up with him, is a prostitute. The same for any man who has done the same thing.

    You are all sluts. Get used to it and grow up.

  • OGRE||

    Well said, Fritz!

    Its amazing that every time I come here to Reason I read more and more calls for government action of one sort or another. (For example, evolution in public schools is popular here. I say burn all the mother fucking public schools down. And sow salt on the remains.)

    Please feel free to stigmatize my foul language.

    P.S. JB you are correct. We all indeed are.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    salt the remains works for me.

  • zoltan||

    I only assume you are not promiscuous out of respect for you. Since I don't know, it is hardly fair of me to claim you are.

    Lost somewhere in the middle of the thread, but sums it up. Not being sexually promiscuous is something to be respected.

    And here's my two cents on whether I'd want my son or daughter to be a sex worker (I personally prefer the term because prostitute rings of 'female' much like stewardess): same reason I wouldn't really want them to be a construction worker, miner, or any other somewhat dangerous manual labor. I'm a snobby elitist, and I would want my kids to go into something I can brag to my middle-class pals about. I hope this thread is still alive when I get back...Too bad I found it so late in the game.

  • ||

    "You really need help, or something. You leap from my factual comment of how Kerry just stated opinions to your making them up for her."

    Guy it is very simple. Kerry argues that it is okay for women to do things which usually are very harmful to them and which she wouldn't do in a million years. If Kerry thinks it is so great to be a hooker, why doesn't she go do it? Why doesn't she encourage her daughter to be one? Never going to happen because Howley knows how demeaning and awful it is to be stuck in that profession. But somehow it is okay for other women to do it. Bullshit. Yeah, it shouldn't be illegal. But for Howley to claim that hookers are just "sexually indpendent women" and the only reason it is wrong and we should feel pity for them is because we veiw a women's morality as linked to their virginity is one of the more apalling things Reason has ever printed. If you think it is okay for your daughter to grow up to be a hooker, you are either monumentally stupid, or need some serious help yourself.

  • ||

    Its amazing that every time I come here to Reason I read more and more calls for government action of one sort or another. (For example, evolution in public schools is popular here. I say burn all the mother fucking public schools down. And sow salt on the remains.)

    Some people focus on what is possible rather than non-achievable pipe dreams. They are called rational. Any questions?

  • T||

    The state apparatus that needs to regulate, test and police a more widespread and socially acceptable prostitution industry along with the vice and family breakdown inherent in libertinism is anything but limited government.

    I'm sorry, but I must have missed the calls for the creation of the Ministry of Vice. How did you leap from "prostitution shouldn't be illegal" to "state apparatus that needs to regulate, test and police"? That's a pretty impressive hop.

  • ||

    "I'm sorry, but I must have missed the calls for the creation of the Ministry of Vice. How did you leap from "prostitution shouldn't be illegal" to "state apparatus that needs to regulate, test and police"? That's a pretty impressive hop."

    Well..

    #1. I did not advocate that prostitution be made legal rather that it remain illegal.

    #2. The "hop" as you call it seems the norm anywhere in the western world that it is legal. This is the case from Nevada brothels to Amsterdam red light districts. It is highly regulated all the way to permissible advertising and the like. Indeed it's often the case that legalizing prostitution comes with this as its winning argument. "By legalizing it we will cut down on disease, have mandatory testing and end the exploitation of women by pimps and the abuse by Johns"

    One could make the call for a legalized (or decriminalized) prostitution unregulated in any way & the old "let the chips fall were they may". In reality it seems that our societies are not that crass. Even sexual libertine societies tend toward its regulation.

    The better reason for making it illegal is the promotion of virtue (i.e - family formation) Indeed this is the classic and vindicated rational for most morals legislation. That such practices retard sexual norms and lead to family breakdown. Family (as the first unit of society) prevents tyranny and provides a natural bulk ward against the state. The opposite is also the case, government grows larger and more intrusive as the family breaks down.. (From family courts to social workers to welfare policy)

  • T||

    Okay, I see. You're assuming that because some of us (including me) think it shoudln't be illegal, that a vast state apparatus is required to control it. I don't necessarily see that as the case. If such an apparatus is required, there's no reason it has to be part of the state at all. Let UL or a comparable independent certifying body handle it, if such a mechanism is indeed necessary. Just because that's the way everyone has chosen to do it in the past means it's the optimal solution. Most people in the world today have blinders on that imply all problems must have a government solution.

    And this:
    The opposite is also the case, government grows larger and more intrusive as the family breaks down.. (From family courts to social workers to welfare policy)

    Runs counter to history. The family breakdown was preceded by the government getting larger and more intrusive. As the government intruded more, people dealt with the problems themselves less, causing cries for more government and a vicious downward spiral. The inner city black community is the textbook example.

  • scofflaw||

    Priapus said "It's generally a good idea to assume the best about people until you know otherwise. You don't know squat about Kerry's personal life, and the things you said went to a much further extent than the bowdlerized version you're giving now, well into the ban-worthy end of the spectrum."

    Howley above criticized a previous commenter (I think John) for assuming that Howley was NOT "promiscuous." I accept her implied invitation to assume that her personal life reflects her professed values (a reasonable assumption), despite having no direct knowledge of her personal life (and not really caring -- in contrast it seems to John). Howley doesn't think there's anything morally wrong with being promiscuous, so why should she care if I make the reasonable assumption that she lives her life in accord with her stated values? Howley, I think, would disagree with my notion that to assume the "best" about someone implies also assuming that they are not promiscuous.

    As far as I can tell, I got banned for saying that Howley "came across as a slut" in one of her television appearances on Red Eye, a comment which was expurgated by her chivalrous colleagues from the comment thread. But isn't this the same as saying she "came across as promiscuous," with the difference that I simply substituted a word which reflects my value judgments rather than hers? The phrase "came across" simply reflects my belief that advocating certain moral values (or lack of values) invites the inference that the advocate herself or himself lives in accord with those values -- or more simply, that a person's moral character is intimately related to that person's moral beliefs.

  • Guy Montag||

    T,

    Okay, I see. You're assuming that because some of us (including me) think it shoudln't be illegal, that a vast state apparatus is required to control it. I don't necessarily see that as the case.

    And neither do I. What I find amazing is the length of explaination required for some, like the ones you are responding to, to get the point across that the state can stop at just making something legal without further steps.

    John is a whole other case, who will not be addressed by me after this comment. For some reason he can not grasp that advocating legality of something does not require encouragement of anybody to do it. He can't understand that being OK with a relative chosing a line of work is different than encouraging them to enter that line of work.

    For some reason, many of the people who can not grasp things when plainly stated in the English language seem to be the same folks who use "code words" for things and assume everybody else is doing the same as them. Not saying this has been revealed in these threads, or that these particular people do it either, just saying it seems common.

    I do not wish the fast food industry to be illegal, contrary to the wishes of some on the Left, but I never encouraged my son to work in one. I worked in a few as a young person, not ashamed of it either, but as my son was capable of being a high paid intern for a defense contractor while working on his A+ and CCNA as a Soph. in high school it sounds to me like a better use of his skills and that is what I encouraged.

    Now, if someone with those skills gets bored with that or interested in other work, I certainly have no problem with it. That is a far cry from encouraging one to quit IT and go be a hooker.

  • ||

    "John is a whole other case, who will not be addressed by me after this comment. For some reason he can not grasp that advocating legality of something does not require encouragement of anybody to do it. He can't understand that being OK with a relative chosing a line of work is different than encouraging them to enter that line of work."

    I perfectly understand that Guy. The problem is that you are either completely stupid or completely full of shit when you claim that your daughter becoming a hooker is the same thing as her becoming a ditch digger. There is a moral dimension to being a hooker that there is not in being a ditch digger. Further, if there is not, why would you not encourage your daughter to be one? It is fabulous money, great hours and would offer her the ability, if she planned well to retire before she was 30. The only career that I could compare to it is being a professional athlete. Would you be disapointed if your daughter became a professional tennis player? I think not. If not, why not a hooker if she were born with the talents necessary?

    Stop trying to blow smoke up people's ass and just admit that being hooker is not just any profession.

  • zoltan||

    I really have to jump in here. John you're arguing from a position completely mired in our society's fucked up view of sexual relations. Where is the moral dimension of being a hooker? Yeah, in this society it would suck the majority of time to be a hooker, that's the whole point of legalizing it. I don't see how anyone hasn't addressed that yet--the much better quality of life hookers will lead when the government isn't helping the mob and other assholes to fuck over their lives. What exactly is 'affecting' these poor women once we have a legalized view of it? Probably the coddling attitude of males who don't understand where the 'hurt' is coming from in the first place.

  • ||

    Zolton,

    It ought to be legal you are right. But there is more to it than that. Maybe it is because of our fucked up view of sex. Regardless though most women walk out of such a life pretty fucked up by the experience. Yes, legalizing would help but you are kidding yourself if you think that the women who get stuck doing it wouldn't end up getting the short end of the deal. I would encourage you to read this article written by someone who seems to have some experienc in the matter about the reality of prostitution. Only men and upper middle class nitwits like Howley trying to earn their liberated woman bonifides find anything ordinary or good about a life of prostitution.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/2008/03/ive_seen_my_share_of_spitzers.php

  • zoltan||

    When did I say it was good????

    And the point I'm making is that women are fucked up by the experience because of the the way the system works, not because of sex-for-money itself. The women who get "stuck" doing it are the same kind of people who get stuck doing any other shitty job--retail, food, ditch digging. They all suck. I'm not sure if anyone is saying hooking is some transcendental, empowering experience that everyone looks up to doing, but what sucks about it isn't the sex-for-money equation. Personally I have my own reasons why I wouldn't want to do it, but it doesn't make sense why it should be stigmatized. Sure from that article and examples in general, I would say the sex industry is not a good place to work right now. Come on, this woman is writing from within an illegal profession! If I can take the word of this woman, I can take the word of the 'Happy Hooker' J Sub D mentioned above. You're going to have to do more than just sob-story anecdotes about women who are in the industry NOW, as opposed to what it would be like without the law and the stigma. The whole problem is that partly the stigma is what creates the unpleasant mental experience for hookers.

  • ||

    "The whole problem is that partly the stigma is what creates the unpleasant mental experience for hookers."

    But what about the hookers in Amsterdam or the Mustang Ranch? Granted I would rather be one of them than one working illegally, but the experience still fucks most of them up in a way much different than working at Wall-Mart.

    "I'm not sure if anyone is saying hooking is some transcendental, empowering experience that everyone looks up to doing."

    Howley and Guy look at it as just another profession of the "sexually independent", which is close enough. Why is it so bad? The hours are great and the money is even better. If you take the moral and psychological elements out of it, it is no different than being a pro-athlete. You are done as a high end hooker by the time you are 30, but so are you if you play a pro sport. Sure a lot of hookers end up old and broke but so do a lot of former athletes. It is not the profession's fault that people blow their money. If you take away the moral and psychological issues associated with prostitution it is a great profession. But of course you can't do that and that is why it sucks and why Guy wouldn't want his daughter being one. Guy and Howley are so full of shit their eyes are brown when they claim that it is just like any other profession and just "undesirable". You never made $500 an hour working at Wall Mart. If not for the moral and psychological issues, it is anything but an undesirable job.

  • ||

    "What exactly is 'affecting' these poor women once we have a legalized view of it? "

    As a woman I can help answer this. And I wont mention moral issues, just practical ones. Have you ever wondered what it would be like fucking an old, fat, disgusting john? who is into really wierd shit that perhaps repulses you but you have to pretend to be really into it to get paid? What if he stinks, or has bad breath, or a small penis or too large, or the thought of kissing him makes you want to puke? Hey, not all johns are Charlie Sheen. Most are pretty undesirable physically. Plus, although women are capable of taking on multiple partners, after a while parts get sore.

    "If you take away the moral and psychological issues associated with prostitution it is a great profession."

    John, see my reply above. It is not a "great" profession. What it is is fast and relatively-easy money. So is drug-dealing.

  • ||

    John, see my reply above. It is not a "great" profession. What it is is fast and relatively-easy money. So is drug-dealing.
    So why aren't all you guys drug-dealers?

  • ||

    (stupid last comment) delete, delete. please pay no attention to the rana behind the curtain...
    It's past 6pm. I gotta get outta here....

  • zoltan||

    John, you're going to have to do better than "look at the hookers there" and point to America, where they are still operating under the social framework. No wonder they're fucked up, they live in a society that sweeps this shit under the rug while equivocally condemning it, then bombards everyone with glorifying images of women who are promiscuous or "give the impression of it" with varying degrees of positive and negative reactions. Part of me thinks it's pathetic to let that affect you, but I'm a pretty tough-minded individual and I'm trying not to let that cloud my argument. It seems as if you're criticizing a profession that is not even free to be it's own--without the illegality and the bullshit sex views. Of course it's not the same as working at Wal-Mart at this present time, because there is hardly a stigma against working there as opposed to being a prostitute. You don't get called a slut for working at Wal-Mart, so it's a poor analogy.

    As opposed to what you think Howley said, this is it "Anti-prostitution laws add a layer of legal sanction to all of our worst intuitions about the treatment of sexually independent women; they strengthen and validate the idea that women who bed men with any frequency are sick, marginal, pariahs."

    She's not saying prostitution = sexually independent women. I could infer that she means one could be sexually independent and prostitute and that it could be good for the person who wants to go into that profession, but her whole argument is that this is another societal attack that sees "promiscuous" women as social outlaws.

    I don't see how you make the connection between someone being a "sexually independent" prostitute is one who experiences something "transcendental and empowering". You can say "close enough" all you want, but it just sounds ignorant of the point. I also don't see what the moral and psychological issues are that are independent of the societal infliction of those views.

    Rana: That would be the case if it were coerced prostitution. Legal prostitution would allow for a prostitute to choose the men she sleeps with for money, and regardless of those characteristics, the ones who want to make money are going to overlook that. There are plenty of things I don't like doing at my job, but going into prostitution, they know they're going to sleep with men of all kinds and that they have the choice to refuse them. Sure, they won't make much money doing that, but that is also part of the job. Prostitution isn't perfect, and no, I don't think it's a "great" profession. I just don't think your argument is valid because a (legal) prostitute will always have to choice to turn down a customer.

  • ||

    Rana: I think you and John are actually on the same side. He is trying to mock Howley's argument, not actually argue that prostitution is OK.

  • ||

    Rana, you do know that every massage therapist, physician, dentist, etc has to touch people and in many cases look at people who are naked who repel them physically. Of course they aren't supposed to notice them sexually.

    You do know that every realtor, waitress, etc etc had to spend lots of time with people who they think are insane, a waste of time, cheap, have b.o., sexually harass them, ad infinitum.

    The reason people posting here are not drug dealers rather than economists, lobbyists, lawyers, or whatever they do is no doubt partly because the police state makes selling drugs much more dangerous, just as it does prostitution. Otherwise owning a nice shop that sells pot and other drugs inmeasured doses with some quality control and assurance might be at least as respectable as owning a liquor store.

    What is funny in all this is that "liberal" leftist Democrats like Spizter are supposed to be seizing hlaf my income and enslaving me for half of my work week to benefit poor unemployed homeless women like Miss Dupree, who finished high school, moved to the big city, and couldn't pay the rent. Is this what Demwit politicians mean when they say they will give the needy a job and a hot, nutritious, high protien meal?

  • ||

    How concrete bound the anti-prostitution bots posting here are.

    You are much like your "liberal" friends who natter on about gun control.

    The problem is that you allow the State, rather than downtown business associations, homeowner's associations, private firms, to own streets and sidewalks.

    Property owners should be the ones who get to say whether you can sell your genitals or carry a gun on their streets or sidewalks, and one solution need not fit all.

    Your "social disharmony" is caused by "public" property. It must be eradicated. Anarchy now!

  • ||

    Also, though this will make little sense to most of you, I suspect straight people shouldn't speculate on gay people or use them as evidence in discussions of heterosexual prostitution. We are just very different from you. Though on the other hand some of you assume that all hookers are women (and of course, you are also assuming that female prostitutes who have male clients are always heterosexual, which I suspect is not true). Stick to what you know. Don't composition teachers tell you that?

  • ||

    WRT all the questions along the lines of:

    1) If you think being a prostitute should be legal, why aren't you one?

    and

    2) Would you want your daughter to be one?

    Answer: Freedom, if it means anything at all, means allowing people to:

    1) Make choices that you yourself would not make.

    and

    2) Allowing them to make their own choices even if you don't think they are good choices.

    ... as long as they aren't violating anyone else's rights.

  • ||

    Zoltan,

    As I mentioned before, I agree that legalizing prostituion would definetly improve working standards for prostitutes. (its been over 250 posts so I dont expect you to read them all). The thing is, while legalizing prositution would let you pick and choose, to a certain degree, your johns, it still doesnt make prostitution a "great" profession- as some posters were concluding.

    Majors, I KNOW what I speak of, and because I am a heterosexual woman (and this blog began with Spitzer and his heterosexual female hooker) I argue from that viewpoint. I wouldnt begin to talk about gay male prostitutes because I dont have the experience to know what they go through.
    Also, I have worked as a waitress and other jobs where I have had to deal with undesirable, twisted and perverted people. I handled it well. But I can tell you that I would much rather serve the perv a drink than have to fuck him. Its COMPLETELY different. You DO KNOW that?

    Again, one can be in favor of legalizing prostitution for many reasons. But its a HUGE leap to conclude "its a great profession" if women could only get past their "moral and psychological issues".

  • jesus||

    I created women to serve men...charging them money for sex is wrong. Know your role and shut your mouth. Women have screwed things up since the beginning...remember Eve?

  • ||

    " Family (as the first unit of society) prevents tyranny and provides a natural bulk ward against the state. The opposite is also the case, government grows larger and more intrusive as the family breaks down.. (From family courts to social workers to welfare policy)"

    How is this working out in countries like Saudi Arabia, where a father and/or brothers can drown a woman in the family swimming pool for disgracing the family by having sex. I don't suppose the Saudi government is very large or intrusive, is it?

    I believe prostitution should be illegal. Whether it's considered degrading or immoral is another question, and most people do consider it something of a disgrace.

    Anyone who's not a robot knows that there is a power in sex that is beyond rationality. Illegal sex is hot. Dangerous sex is hot. That's why Spitzer would not only pay a "sex worker" $4000 plus, but call her up on Valentine's Day, no less.

  • ||

    "I believe prostitution should be illegal"

    Should be "I believe prostitution should be legal." Or "I don't believe prostituition should be illegal". Or even "I believe prostitution should not be illegal". Any of those.

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