Thursday, June 5, 2014

Limit the Amount of Times People Have the Power of Life or Death Over You (Plus Prostitution)

Seems reasonable no? The power of employers over their workers in an increasingly neoliberal economic order is one such intolerable situation. "Workers as Citizens" is the most efficient way I know of for bringing that state of affairs to an end.

Say! I know what else I can write about!

The harper regime says that its new prostitution law mirrors the new "Nordic Model" of prostitution legislation. In the Nordic Model, prostitution is seen as institutionalized sexual violence, with the prostitutes as the victims. To combat it, the laws only target the users of the prostitutes' services; the "Johns."

Prostitutes, or "sex workers," say that the Nordic Model doesn't work. That it makes Johns more furtive and therefore more dangerous. Prostitutes are unable to screen their clients adequately. I'd have to see some statistics on this before I render any judgment.

Personally, I do not have an objection to a straight trade of sex for money. However, only a fool would deny that most of the prostitutes who ever worked were not there by choice or that they were victimized. It could also be argued thought that the legal regimes in place to discourage prostitution often re-victimized these victims. The Nordic Model is different in only targeting the clients. If it turns out that it hasn't appreciably improved things for prostitutes (I'm surprised there'd still be any prostitution in the Nordic social democracies where men can be criminalized for trying to buy sexual services.)

I think the best way to avoid the victimization of this "industry" is to address the supply. (Something that I believe the Nordic democracies are also doing.) Some women make very good incomes as escorts. They can choose their clients. It's when someone feels compelled to dangerous and degrading situations out of economic necessity that the victimization aspect enters into it. Provide services, housing, mental health and addictions counseling, a guaranteed annual income, etc., ... so that nobody is faced with a choice between prostitution and homelessness. So that vile people cannot take advantage of people with addictions.

Another option would be to change the attitudes of men about sex to those attitudes among women (to the extent that this is possible) which sees a much lower tendency (practically zero?) of women buying sexual services.

How much of that is caused by the greater economic alternatives to prostitution when it comes to men? How much of that is caused by the social conditioning that make men think it too shameful or beneath them to supply such services? How much of that is caused by the physical reality that its harder to fake an erection than submit to penetration? (Of course, men could provide oral services to their clients!)

To what extent this phenomenon is the result of the repression and shaming of female sexuality and to what extent it involves a better appreciation of the dignity and autonomy of others and the absence of unjustified sexual entitlement, I'm not sure. To the extent that its healthy, men should try to emulate it. On the other hand, to the extent that, if done properly, prostitution could provide sexual gratification to lonely people, or just as a straight transaction between consenting adults, I'm opposed to its total demonization and elimination.

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