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Get Off Your High Horse
Should prostitution be legalised?
Member Name: pearlydewdrop
Should prostitution be legalised?
Advantages: Legalisation will protect women, everyone will benefit
Disadvantages: Middle England couldnt handle the reality of this night-life
There are two central issues, I think, in the argument as to whether prostitution should be legalised or not: 'Is prostitution morally acceptable?, and 'Should its moral acceptance have any bearing on whether we protect women from harm, or not?'.
The fact of the matter is, like many social ills, prostitution is, and probably forever will be a fact of life. Sex is a benefit of existance that some people either cant develop in the confines of a healthy relationship, or else it is an experience which various individuals cant get enough of- and this insatiable desire cant be fulfilled in a relationship alone, and so further gratification is sought outside of the meaningful union in their lives. At the other end of the equation is the prostitute..the service provider, shall we say. Prostitutes are essentially of two sorts: the lower-class' working-girl who simply sells her body for sex to either feed a drug habit/other debts or else to make a reasonable living when they have limited educational skills (I would say you either have low self-esteem to venture down this road, or a desperate need for money, because frankly, at this end of the market, the sexual clientele arent very tempting); the other form of prostitute is the more glamourised end of the spectrum, the likes of Belle du Jour perhaps. These women are termed 'High-class Prostitutes', and claim that they adore sex, are sex-addicts, or else are well-educated women who want to act as escorts and sexual gurus for worn-out businessmen. Such women assert that they are not being exploited by men, rather they are using their sexuality and sensuous nature to relieve men of their money and a few other burdens. Some insist that they are in the driving seat, and merely being paid to fulfil their own sexual needs and drives. This may be true, to some extent, but I personally feel that these women are deluding themselves; even though, at the time of being a prostitute they may feel that they are in control, selling your body, daily, must eat away at your soul. Youve got to be a very tough, or very detached sort of woman to do perform this act for money, everyday.
I guess the ideas of sexual exploitation of women, and the erosion of the soul through continual 'violation' of the body, for money, are the main reasons why prostitution is largely socially unacceptable. The spread of STDs must also be a consideration. Religious communities and other sections of society believe that prostitution is a morally corrupt act which serves to lower societies values. I understand this, obviously, because as a mother I dont particularly want to live in a red-light district. My 4 year old doesnt need to be told about people buying and selling sex, or why they exchange money for drugs etc.....However, Im not so dumb as to think that we can perpetuate a myth of a eutopian world, to our children, and pretend that butterflies and daisies are all that theyll ever see. I also know that turning a blind eye or self-righteously condemning prostitutes for their behaviour only shifts the pain to these unfortunate women- they will always be victims whilst we shame them and dont protect them.
Ok, so we can all be puritanical and judgemental, thats the easy part, but legalising prostitution will mean that we have to TACKLE the sex industry head on, in its full glory and well...sordidness. Sometimes I think the nation would rather sweep lifes ugly realities under the carpet than deal with the facts we face. If we legalise prostitution and create working brothels, safe areas for working girls, then society is going to have to accept that prostitutes are people worthy of protection and respect like anyone else. I just dont think some sections of the UK population are ready for that (they are too pompous and 'holier than thou'), but then maybe that means we must go ahead and legalise prostitution. Give responsible, sensible prostitutes access to healthcare, counselling, and a safe environment to 'perform' their role- all the while giving them the opprotunity to explore the option of giving up their lifestyle. Prostitutes need to be included in society, be involved in dialogue, and spoken to like humans. Maybe this treatment will renew these women's self-respect; well, middle England couldnt have that, could it?
I dont agree with prostitution per se; I wouldnt do it. However, Im not going to preach to people who have their own reasons for pursuing this avenue in life. Oh and there must be reasons, no-one wanders into prostitution without having suffered in life, or else sacrificed something of themselves to give up their body. Even high-class prostitutes must consider all the ramifications of their chosen career. Sex is a fact of life, and men will buy it like any other product on offer. Women can sell their bodies, like any other commodity, and boy does sex sell.
What makes me laugh is women are routinely condemned for being dirty for selling themselves, but doesnt anybody think that men who buy sex are just as disrespectful to their own bodies? Few people look at why men feel the need to sink the depths of human nature to sleep with a worn out addict, or ill prostitute? I mean, what does that make them? Surely men are wrong to exploit women for sex? Still, ultimately, women can choose whether they allow a man to treat them as an object for abuse. It is a two-way street though.
In effect, I do think prostitution should be legalised and policed. These women need help and protection, and whilst we all sit on our pedastal of morality, such women are being maligned and condemned for fulfilling a necessary role in society. Its awful really, but at least this way they might be recognised and helped.
Summary: Prostitution is a fact, deal with it, its not going to go away