Discussions of sex work in general, and prostitution in particular, often focus on questions of legality and prosecution. Should prostitution be decriminalized? Should it be regulated? Should we focus on "end-demand" laws, which prosecute johns more vigorously?
These are important issues. But criminalization really isn't the root of the problem that sex workers face, writes Noah Berlatsky. Sex workers are despised in part because they're criminalized, but they're also, and perhaps first, criminalized because they're despised.