The issue of prostitution is usually treated and represented in two different ways – the adherents of traditional values unambiguously label this phenomenon as appalling vice that is in full discord with normal, let alone pious, life. They point out at the results the oldest profession produces on an individual who gives or gets that service, and on a society with all its moral principles, ethical standards, requirements and taboos. Sexually transmitted diseases, human trafficking, slavery, personal degradation and other by-products of prostitution are quite strong arguments for its prohibition or, at least, severe limitation.
The second approach is liberal-like, it posits the legitimacy of prostitution appealing to the freedom of choice, pluralism, natural needs and even the inevitability of eradicating this kind of service. It is often said that women choose that occupation themselves, and men are not forced to visit them – everything is based on the free will of both parties, and the others, those who are not envolved in it, should not have any concerns for that.
Nickie Roberts, for instance, writes that “it is implicit in the demand that the women have control over their own bodies that they also have their rights to sell their own sexual services, if they wish to” (qtd. in Jeffreys 129-130). Claiming to support freedom, such a position in fact justifies prostitution with the help of liberal, pluralistic rhetoric, and it does not seem to be sincere as it predominantly focuses on the apology of prostitution after general introductory declarations about freedom, choice etc.
Thus, the prevailing argument in a pro-prostitution discourse is “choice”. Let us have a more careful look at the sphere of “sexual services” (ibid. ). Do all those women really appeared in that position completely voluntarily, or maybe they have been dreaming of that profession since their childhood and their dreams have successfully come true? I guess the 15-year-old girl from New York was not intending to be advertised on Craigslist for prostitution in Maryland, she was going to Montgomery County “for a modeling photo shoot” (Morse).
There cannot be seen any free choice in Jasmine Caldwell’s returning to the street after escaping her pimp and being abused by a policemen as well (Kristof). And how many other adult and especially juvenile females are decoyed or forced into prostitution? They are not able to exercise their right to leave that sphere and lifestyle. These victims are the main imputation against justifying the sphere of sexual services. Some people regard any woman as a potential prostitute, e. g.
in Schopenhauer’s Studies in Pessimism we may read – in the chapter “On women” – the statements like “it is also revolting that she [a woman] should spend her husband’s money with her paramours – the money for which he toiled his whole life long, in the consoling belief that he was providing for his children” and other ones emphasizing the base intentions and motives of the women (62-75). Although such statements are grounded on his experience, such generalizations are unfair, and they insult the dominant majority of women.
The inevitability of prostitution, the fact that “street sweeps do not reduce prostitution” (Petrocelli), the legalization of brothels in Nevada (Powers) are not a reason to stop limiting and struggling with this detestable phenomenon of our life. It is far from being “victimless” (Goldman 92) and even those who are willingly engaged in such services do not feel safe as their basic rights are being constantly infringed (Slayton).
Prostitution is a serious deviation from the natural demands and needs of women, it deprives them of matrimony, they do not experience the happiness of maternity, they are even bereft of a chance to be independent singles making real free choice at every moment of their life – what to do, where to go, when to have free time and the like. Beyond prostitution, a woman faces a prospect of multifarious lifestyles, manifold occupations and hobbies, various possibilities. Direct opposite is the life in the street – a dull, routine slavery that destroys both body and soul, and inflicts harm to the people around.
Goldman, Mimi. “Prostitution in America. ” Crime and Social Justice 2 (1974): 90-93. Jeffreys, Sheila. The Idea of Prostitution. Melbourne: Spinifex, 2009. Kristof, Nicholas D. “Girls on our streets. ” The New York Times. 6 May 2009. Web. 9 May 2010. < http://www. nytimes. com/2009/05/07/opinion/07kristof. html? _r=1>. Morse, Dan. “Montgomery police arrest three in human trafficking, prostitution cases. ” The Washington Post. 2 March 2010. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://voices. washingtonpost. com/crime-scene/montgomery/montgomery-police-three-human. html>. Petrocelli, Joseph. “Street prostitution. ” Police Magazine.
1 February 2009. Web. 9 May 2010. < http://www. policemag. com/Channel/Patrol/Articles/2009/02/Street-Prostitution. aspx >. Powers, Ashley. “Male prostitution is Nevada’s newest legal profession. ” Los Angeles Times. 6 January 2010. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://articles. latimes. com/2010/jan/06/nation/la-na-male-prostitutes6-2010jan06>. Schopenhauer, Arthur. Studies in Pessimism. Trans. Bailey Saunders. New York: Cosimo, 2007. Slayton, Philip. “A trial in error? Why should a Toronto court decide Canada’s prostitution laws? ” Macleans. 24 December 2009. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://www2. macleans. ca/tag/prostitution-laws/ >.
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