Author Topic: Prostitution & feminism  (Read 22515 times)

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #165 on: February 24, 2012, 05:49:08 am »
Do science. Sell your body for 30 days. Try to stay objective. See if the idea of idealized prostitution matches the reality of prostitution. And you even get a head start, you have tha advantage of choosing your tricks. Please tell me after 30 days if you feel that selling your body for physical sex doesn't affect your psyche.

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #166 on: February 24, 2012, 09:36:47 am »
Do science. Sell your body for 30 days. Try to stay objective. See if the idea of idealized prostitution matches the reality of prostitution. And you even get a head start, you have tha advantage of choosing your tricks. Please tell me after 30 days if you feel that selling your body for physical sex doesn't affect your psyche.


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« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 10:09:48 am by hirley0 »

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #167 on: February 24, 2012, 11:41:21 am »
Do science. Sell your body for 30 days. Try to stay objective. See if the idea of idealized prostitution matches the reality of prostitution. And you even get a head start, you have tha advantage of choosing your tricks. Please tell me after 30 days if you feel that selling your body for physical sex doesn't affect your psyche.

this is an important point -- a lot of the arguments surrounding this are really wrapped up in privilege. personally, I find it really difficult to come to a conclusion about this whole debate, i've had literally no experience with prostitution whatsoever, and so while i would like to think that it's possible for prostitution to be empowering and positive, in practice maybe that's not true at all.

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #168 on: February 24, 2012, 01:04:05 pm »
Yeah that's where my last conversation about this went. I'm sensitive to the point. If it's inevitably/inherently exploitative and dehumanizing then of course it's no good. I'm not convinced that this is the case, but I'm receptive to the point. I still wonder how much of this outlook is due to our particular historical perspective, our views of how relationships should work, and how labor should work. Agreed, people aren't a product. Prostitution needn't make people a commodity exactly, though that's one way to view it. It could also be considered a service. Think of a model--if a magazine hires a model for an ad, they're not really buying the person, they're paying them to pose. If you pay a prostitute, you're not buying them, you're buying sex, and maybe it's by the act, maybe it's by the hour, I don't know how this works, but at the end of the day, everybody goes home. Now if there's a real ethical dimension to this, and there are certain essential characteristics to interpersonal relationships that cause all prostitutes to be exploited and all their clients to be exploiters, that's one thing, but I'm skeptical of essentialism. It's one thing to say it's exploitative given a certain social and historical framework, and another to say that it is always and invariably the way things will be, across all cultures and at all places and times. A prostitute needn't be viewed as an object. I heard on NPR a few weeks ago a report about a prostitute whose clients were all either terminally ill or seriously disabled people, and sometimes she'd just go help them around the house, sometimes she'd just sleep next to them, sometimes she'd have sex with them. I can imagine that there are possible situations and contexts where this trade is respected and legitimatized. But again, these are the objections that really got me thinking, shit, maybe I'm completely wrong and this is an inherently unethical practice. I just always thought the criticism of prostitution stemmed from the Judeo-Christian outlook that saw women as property of husbands or male relatives, rather than agents endowed with self-ownership. So these concerns about exploitation really strike me, because they actually make the objection to the practice seem relevant again.

Can you please break up your future walls of text into paragraph's or something? I find it hard to read.

Back on topic:
I think prostitutes should be pitied and helped if they want help.
The same goes for their customers.
But making it illegal doesn't actually help anybody. It reminds me of abstinence-only sex education.
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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #169 on: February 24, 2012, 01:30:11 pm »
I don't know if I would put that on the same level as abstinence-only sex education.  Abstinence-only sex education is built upon a naive idea that sex is immoral and bad when you are under the age of 18.  The reality is that it is a good idea to dissuade kids from choosing sex before the age of 18, not because of morality, but because of the consequences on their lives. STDs, unintended pregnancies, potential for pedophilia, etc.  But, at the same time, they need to know safe sex practices because, well, we all know how hormones work.
 
I think there is a bit more utility in a position of prohibiting prostitution.  One is the idea of limiting the spread of STDs.  Now, of course one could counter this and suggest you legalize it and regulate it.  Which certainly is an argument that merits debate.
 
I myself don't really have a firm position on this one way or the other.  I probably lean more towards legalization and heavy regulation, but I admit not having enough in depth knowledge and experience in this area of policy where I don't really feel comfortable laying down a specific position. 
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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #170 on: February 24, 2012, 02:20:12 pm »
I think there is a bit more utility in a position of prohibiting prostitution.  One is the idea of limiting the spread of STDs.  Now, of course one could counter this and suggest you legalize it and regulate it.  Which certainly is an argument that merits debate.
 

But the question is, how do you regulate it, and how would you enforce such legislation?  A prostitute comes up hot on the HIV card, and they take away her card.  She has no other form of income, so she just keeps doing her thing, illegally, although at a lower price than she would have gotten.

The disease spreads further among the poor, and the beat goes on.

The only people that benefit from regulated prostitution are congressmen & trust funders, who can afford a higher class of prostitute (ie, one with a card).
Quote
"Here is the story," Trump began. "I don't want to have them make a big chart. Costs too much and I am a business guy. I asked how much it costs to make a big chart. Like it matters but it matters to me, does that make sense? Two maps identical. Except the one on top was Syria. See that? The one on top was Syria in November of 2016," Trump said. "This is all ISIS. On the bottom, today, the caliphate is gone as of tonight. Pretty good. That is pretty good, right?"

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #171 on: February 24, 2012, 02:40:14 pm »
Good points and I can't argue with any of them.  I think legalization would have the potential, on paper, of benefitting the prostitute through safety and health regulations.  However, you bring up the perfect example of how that goes to hell. 
 
And we all know how the argument of increasing benefits and healthcare for even legalized prostitutes would go.  If Americans are all hot and bothered about cutting the benefits of government employees, you know legalized prostitutes wouldn't even be considered for the conversation. 
 
 
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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #172 on: February 24, 2012, 03:06:25 pm »
I'm not convinced that this is the case, but I'm receptive to the point. I still wonder how much of this outlook is due to our particular historical perspective, our views of how relationships should work, and how labor should work.

Have you ever seen prostitutes up close?  Ever talk to one?  It's inherently dehumanizing work, and it fucks people up very badly, regardless of gender or their "status".  There is no "hooker with a heart of gold", there are no "happy hookers", at least none that have any choice in what they do (and if they do, it's a hobby, not "prostitution").  What there are, are walking wounded with very severe cases of depersonalization and something resembling sociopathy. 

The principle difference is, unlike any other occupation, they are not selling their skill.  They are selling themselves, their actual meat...Not in a metaphorical sense, but literally.  This makes them, in societies eyes and in their own, an object.
Quote
"Here is the story," Trump began. "I don't want to have them make a big chart. Costs too much and I am a business guy. I asked how much it costs to make a big chart. Like it matters but it matters to me, does that make sense? Two maps identical. Except the one on top was Syria. See that? The one on top was Syria in November of 2016," Trump said. "This is all ISIS. On the bottom, today, the caliphate is gone as of tonight. Pretty good. That is pretty good, right?"

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #173 on: February 24, 2012, 03:08:58 pm »
But again, these are the objections that really got me thinking, shit, maybe I'm completely wrong and this is an inherently unethical practice. I just always thought the criticism of prostitution stemmed from the Judeo-Christian outlook that saw women as property of husbands or male relatives, rather than agents endowed with self-ownership. So these concerns about exploitation really strike me, because they actually make the objection to the practice seem relevant again.

The criticism is primarily religious.  The PROBLEM, though, is psychological.

There is nothing "empowering" about leasing out your body to strangers.
Quote
"Here is the story," Trump began. "I don't want to have them make a big chart. Costs too much and I am a business guy. I asked how much it costs to make a big chart. Like it matters but it matters to me, does that make sense? Two maps identical. Except the one on top was Syria. See that? The one on top was Syria in November of 2016," Trump said. "This is all ISIS. On the bottom, today, the caliphate is gone as of tonight. Pretty good. That is pretty good, right?"

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #174 on: February 24, 2012, 03:30:31 pm »
I think there is a bit more utility in a position of prohibiting prostitution.  One is the idea of limiting the spread of STDs.  Now, of course one could counter this and suggest you legalize it and regulate it.  Which certainly is an argument that merits debate.
 

But the question is, how do you regulate it, and how would you enforce such legislation?  A prostitute comes up hot on the HIV card, and they take away her card.  She has no other form of income, so she just keeps doing her thing, illegally, although at a lower price than she would have gotten.

The disease spreads further among the poor, and the beat goes on.

The only people that benefit from regulated prostitution are congressmen & trust funders, who can afford a higher class of prostitute (ie, one with a card).

The problem I have with the current way in which prostitution is criminalized is that under any reasonable human trafficking law, it would not be the people being trafficked who are punished. It makes no more sense to punish the prostitute than it does to punish children for working in a sweatshop, or slaves for being sold.

In my opinion, a reasonable approach would be to arrest and prosecute the pimps and the johns, and instead of arresting and prosecuting prostitutes, institute programs that offer them counseling, protection, and alternatives.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #175 on: February 24, 2012, 03:34:25 pm »
In my opinion, a reasonable approach would be to arrest and prosecute the pimps and the johns, and instead of arresting and prosecuting prostitutes, institute programs that offer them counseling, protection, and alternatives.

I agree with this.  Pimps are the absolute worst filth on Earth.  Johns should get fined and have their faces show up on the police blotter.  The prostitutes themselves should not face felony charges under any circumstances relating directly to prostitution.

Almost every prostitute I've met in the course of my careers fell into two catagories:

1.  No job skills, and kids to feed.

2.  Drug addiction.

In both cases, they inevitably wind up working for a pimp (Seth, for example), for protection against the more deranged Johns, and then they become slaves.  Eventually, they get found in a dumpster.
Quote
"Here is the story," Trump began. "I don't want to have them make a big chart. Costs too much and I am a business guy. I asked how much it costs to make a big chart. Like it matters but it matters to me, does that make sense? Two maps identical. Except the one on top was Syria. See that? The one on top was Syria in November of 2016," Trump said. "This is all ISIS. On the bottom, today, the caliphate is gone as of tonight. Pretty good. That is pretty good, right?"

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #176 on: February 24, 2012, 03:37:40 pm »
I think there is a bit more utility in a position of prohibiting prostitution.  One is the idea of limiting the spread of STDs.  Now, of course one could counter this and suggest you legalize it and regulate it.  Which certainly is an argument that merits debate.
 

But the question is, how do you regulate it, and how would you enforce such legislation?  A prostitute comes up hot on the HIV card, and they take away her card.  She has no other form of income, so she just keeps doing her thing, illegally, although at a lower price than she would have gotten.

The disease spreads further among the poor, and the beat goes on.

The only people that benefit from regulated prostitution are congressmen & trust funders, who can afford a higher class of prostitute (ie, one with a card).

The problem I have with the current way in which prostitution is criminalized is that under any reasonable human trafficking law, it would not be the people being trafficked who are punished. It makes no more sense to punish the prostitute than it does to punish children for working in a sweatshop, or slaves for being sold.

In my opinion, a reasonable approach would be to arrest and prosecute the pimps and the johns, and instead of arresting and prosecuting prostitutes, institute programs that offer them counseling, protection, and alternatives.
But Nigel, that would require actually going after the people responsible. But many of the people who are responsible for soliciting prostitutes are upstanding pillars of the community, who were clearly led astray by these temptresses. And as for the pimps, well, clearly they are merely entrepreneurial young men, who seeing that their neighborhoods are full of these foul harlots, decided to capitalize, in true AmericanTM fashion. I ask you, how is that wrong?

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #177 on: February 24, 2012, 04:47:27 pm »
     Regret, I agree my wall of text was obnoxious and I'll definitely watch that in the future. Apologies to all. These points are excellent, and I'm certainly reconsidering my thoughts on this issue. This is, of course, only the second time I've seen any non-religious type arguments on the prohibition side of the issue, and I genuinely appreciate the chance to have this kind of interaction with you folks.
     Nigel, to your original point, I don't think it's at all unreasonable to want to avoid dating people who'd been to prostitutes, nor do I think it says anything about your attitude toward prostitutes or feminism generally.
     I only know one guy who has gone to prostitutes, I didn't think it was especially common, but I guess it all depends. He is the craziest person I know, though. By far. Really far.
     
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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #178 on: February 24, 2012, 04:53:08 pm »
     I only know one guy who has gone to prostitutes, I didn't think it was especially common, but I guess it all depends. He is the craziest person I know, though. By far. Really far.
   

It's hardly surprising that people who think it's okay to rent other peoples' bodies would be creepy in other ways.
Quote
"Here is the story," Trump began. "I don't want to have them make a big chart. Costs too much and I am a business guy. I asked how much it costs to make a big chart. Like it matters but it matters to me, does that make sense? Two maps identical. Except the one on top was Syria. See that? The one on top was Syria in November of 2016," Trump said. "This is all ISIS. On the bottom, today, the caliphate is gone as of tonight. Pretty good. That is pretty good, right?"

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Re: Prostitution & feminism
« Reply #179 on: February 24, 2012, 08:25:34 pm »
     I only know one guy who has gone to prostitutes, I didn't think it was especially common, but I guess it all depends. He is the craziest person I know, though. By far. Really far.
   

It's hardly surprising that people who think it's okay to rent other peoples' bodies would be creepy in other ways.

This is a really good way of putting it.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”