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Even though sex workers are ordinary women who are only doing a job, most people do not care about them or the business they are involved in. But have you ever considered what would happen if your daughter was involved in this medium and nobody cared? The purpose of this text is to provide clear examples of why prostitution should be legalized in Mexico since it would bring lots of benefits to both, the sex workers and the government.
Of course if we want to discuss whether prostitution should be legalized or not, we need to define the term prostitution; according to Monsterrat Tubert (2013), who has a Master in Studies of Sexual Difference, La prostituciіn es la actividad a la que se dedica la persona que mantiene relaciones sexuales con otras, a cambio de dinero[Prostitution is an act that involves the exchange of money in order to obtain any activity with sexual purposes] (p. 3). After getting to know the definition of prostitution, it will be easier to comprehend the text and the examples provided.
The are three main reasons of why prostitution should be legalized in Mexico which are that sex workers would be granted certain rights that are endorsed by the Article 123 of the Mexican Constitution, the State would be able to control the flow of money that is being held by the prostitution business, and finally legislation may not eradicate sexual exploitation altogether, but it would have a strong impact on mafias engaged in sexual exploitation.
Others may propose that the legalization of prostitution would not work because it increases clandestine, illegal prostitution and street prostitution. Since the position defended is that prostitution should be legalized in Mexico, it is necessary to introduce Mexico’s prostitution history. According to Ana Cecilia Farias (2014), who obtained a postgraduate degree in law from Universidad Autіnoma de M©xico (UNAM), prostitution has existed in Mexico since ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs existed.
It was a profession that was not well seen by the society since sexual adventures outside marriage were prohibited, except for the pilli, which were the nobles that could have more than one wife. Nonetheless, sometimes prostitutes played an important role in certain religious festivities, where they served as a reward for the soldiers that had proved their strength and braveness. It is also important to mention that Xochiquetzal and Tlazolt©ot were two divinities related to love and sexual pleasure. During the Colonial Mexico era, everything related to pre-Hispanic beliefs was considered blasphemy, so prostitutes were considered as a spawn of sins.
However, men and women still prostituted themselves in places called Temazcales, where there was a large range of prices designed for every social class. At the same time, places called casas de recogimiento were built which purpose was to protect Spanish women, but they transformed into places where prostitutes attended in order to change their lives and get away from sins. At the end of the Colonial Mexico era, policies against prostitution were strengthened; this generated repression against prostitutes (pp. 22-25). This clearly demonstrates that prostitution has existed in Mexico for a long time and that it was not truly penalized by the law, but it was rather oftenly known for being an immoral act to do. Ana Cecilia Farias (2014) also states that in the 19th century prostitution had been legalized in Mexico, and was organized by the Comisara de Sanidad, which was a branch of the Consejo Superior de Salubridad.
This institution was in charge of controlling and registering women and brothels, as well as, checking women’s health and if needed, taking them to the hospital. When Porfirio Daz took power, some aspects of prostitution were changed, for example, the Consejo Superior de Salubridad ran out of fonds, so the Sanitary Inspection of public women would happen to depend on the Government of the Distrito Federal. Other policies had also been modified, because the government strongly believed that they had little impact and that they had nothing to do with the Constitution of that era. Notwithstanding the change of laws and policies, prostitution was still legalized in the Independent Mexico era. It was until April 9th, 1940, when prostitution was prohibited across all the country, mainly because of human trafficking and prostitution exploitation (pp. 25-30).
When analyzing this information we can reach to the conclusion that legalizing prostitution would not be anything new to the Mexican government. Having a well-regulated control of brothels needs to be the main concern of the government if prostitution is to be legalized since the main problems with illegal prostitution are sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The Political Mexican Constitution protects each and every legal job, so this would mean that prostitutes would be granted the rights that are endorsed on the Constitution, specifically on the article 123. As stated in the Constitution, workers have the right to certain benefits such as Seguro Social, Christmas bonus, vacations and holiday bonus. Legalizing prostitution would also mean that the employers would be responsible for occupational accidents and occupational diseases of the workers, which is done by offering the workers a health insurance, in this case it is the Seguro Social.
No worker can be fired without just cause, and if so, the employers must fulfill the contract or must compensate for the amount of three months of salary. These are only a few examples of how sex workers would be benefited by the legalization of prostitution, but there are many more. For example, the Constitution protects many more aspects of the working life of workers. Sex workers would also be able to apply for loans since their job would be considered a legal job. Basically by legalizing prostitution, sex workers’ life would be dramatically improved. This problem is not only related to rights since the State would also be benefited by the legalization of prostitution. The State would be able to control the flow of money that is being held by the prostitution business.
Just as Gimeno Prensa (2017), representative of the University of Medellin stated, La existencia de un trabajo sexual sera єtil para el Estado en cuanto que contro- lara el flujo de dinero que de hecho ma- neja el negocio de la prostituciіn y que, por falta de una legislaciіn adecuada, est exento de fiscalizaciіn[The existence of sex work would be useful for the State in that it would control the flow of money that in fact manages the prostitution business and that, in the absence of adequate legislation, is exempt from control] (p.85). The people who are involved in this business would need to open regulated brothels, hire employees and pay contributions. This would be an example of what has happened in California with the legalization of marijuana, for instance. There was a need to open regulated stores and these stores needed to pay taxes.
When referring to taxes, sex workers would also need to pay taxes since their jobs would be regulated by the law. This would mean that a percentage known as the ISR would be reduced from their salary, and if workers try to avoid paying taxes they could end up in jail. Also as stated before, brothels would be required to declare their income to the SAT, and just like the workers if they try to avoid paying taxes those involved may be fined or may end up in jail in the worst case. The government would benefit from prostitution mainly because all of the taxes and regulations mean money, which is the most important aspect of a Capitalist System. As previously mentioned, sexual exploitation and human trafficking were the main reasons for the prohibition of prostitution in our country. It is true that legislation may not eradicate sexual exploitation altogether, but it would have a strong impact on mafias engaged in sexual exploitation. We have mentioned that the government would control the flow of money and this would only mean big losses of money for the drug cartels or mafias involved. The main purpose of a legal or non-legal business is money, and if money is being controlled by the authorities, it would no longer be a profitable business; the mafias would need to lean towards other activities.
This could certainly lead to the reduction of human trafficking in our country because all legal brothels would require their sex workers to be registered at least in the Seguro Social, making sure that sex workers are working by their own decision and not because they were forced. Monsterrat Tubert (2014) states, La prostituciіn reporta a las mafias ms beneficios que la droga porque la mujer puede ser vendida una y otra vez[Prostitution reports to the mafias more benefits than the drugs because women can be sold again and again] (p.15). If regulation takes place women would be less useful to the mafias since they would no longer be profitable. We can assure that mafias related to sexual exploitation would be diminished by the legalization of prostitution. The problem of the legalization of prostitution, as some state, is that it increases clandestine, illegal prostitution and street prostitution. According to Janice Raymond (2004), member of the Coallition Against Trafficking in Women,Muchas mujeres no quieren registrarse ni someterse a revisiones m©dicas, tal y como lo requiere la ley en ciertos pases en los que se ha legalizado la prostituciіn. Por lo tanto, la legalizaciіn a menudo las conduce a la prostituciіn de la calle. Adems, muchas mujeres eligen la prostituciіn de calle porque quieren evitar ser controladas y explotadas por los nuevos ”hombres de negocios” de la industria del sexo[Many women do not want to register or undergo medical check-ups, as required by law in certain countries where prostitution has been legalized.
Therefore, legalization often leads to prostitution on the street. In addition, many women choose street prostitution because they want to avoid being controlled and exploited by the new ” businessmen ” of the sex industry.] (p.78 )This situation would lead to many women who would find themselves in vulerables states, mainly working in street prostitution. Clandestine prostituion would also be one of the biggest problems related to the legalization of prostituion because it could mean that brothels could operate without the proper licenses. Obviously if businesses operate without proper authorization, this would be an act of corruption. In a few words, these are main the problems of the legalization of prostitution. This is not completely true since there are countries that have demonstrated tha prostituion works without any problems.
Countries such as Netherlands, Germany and New Zeland have demonstrated that workers can have security and should not be afraid of prostituion and that it is really difficult for illegal brothels to operate without the proper licenses. All in all, prostitution should be legalized in Mexico mainly because sex workers’ rights would be dramatically improved, the statte would have a regulated control of the money related to prostitution and that the legalization would have a strong impact on the mafias related to sexual exploitation. If prostitution was to be legalized it would need to be strongly regulated by the government, just like it had been on the past. For example, well-regulated brothels would need to be created and they could only be owned by people without criminal records.
The problem about legalizing prostituion in Mexico is, as always, corruption. It is no new news that Mexico is known for its high levels of corruption. Corruption affects every aspect of the Mexican society. This does not mean that prostitution should not be legalized since there are lots of businesses that are regulated by the government but still suffer from corruption itself. A good example are bars that operate without proper licenses or stores that cell alcohol or cigarretes to underage teens. I believe that if we want to grow as a country and be more developed, we should work on erradicating corruption from our country.
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