You know how I was complaining that nobody in the mainstream media is taking the opportunity to discuss prostitution in the wake of TawdryFest ‘08? I was wrong. An AP article in today’s Dallas Morning News devotes about 300 words to the topic. Oh wait, that’s right, no mention is made of prostituted women as a human rights crisis; the article is strictly a lament that nothing law enforcement can dream up ever seems to keep hordes of power-hungry pervs from paying for rapes. The author quotes one Kansas City cop who compares “the effort to curb prostitution” to running on a hamster wheel.
Note that the goal is merely to curb the male appetite for trafficked women. The message? Pay-for-rapists are here to stay! It is unfathomable that human society could exist entirely without a subclass of sex slaves.
Pandagon is not, unfortunately, mainstream media, although I wish it were, but Amanda’s got a timely post up about the pitfalls of legalizing prostitution. She nails it when she proposes that
the problem with prostitution is unique not because sex as a service is unique exactly. I think that the problem with legalization schemes is that prostitution is more, for the majority of the customers, about buying the opportunity to treat a woman like utter trash. In order for prostitution to be legal and yet still viable, the scheme either has to preserve the customer’s right to treat the prostitute like trash (which is why it works in Nevada, though it does the actual prostitutes little good), or an illegal side market of prostitution will flourish next to the legal one. In other words, if you have to be nice to the legal whores, a lot of johns will go to the illegal ones.
Not that legal prostitution is a contumely devoutly to be wish’d — even if johns are “nice” to you, you’re still gettin’ raped — but the illegal prostitutes to whom Amanda alludes would necessarily consist of children, since our broadminded progressive society in its beneficence would be unlikely to license for paid rapeabilty anyone under 18. Which, since 13 is the average age at which prostituted women enter what the AP article tiresomely euphemizes as “the world’s oldest profession,” nothing whatever would change as a result of legalization. At least, nothing for the better.