I think being legal is best for the health and wellbeing of the sex workers and minimises the criminal involvement.
There are brothels all over the place but mostly they are pretty low key, often hidden in backstreets or warehouse areas with only a red light and a sign to indicate they exist.
I wish we had such an enlightened position on drugs, which remain almost completely criminalized, whilst other parts of the world move towards legalization of various aspects of drug law.
They pay tax and get the government work related accident insurance and retirement saving schemes, they get health checks and are regulated to prevent unsafe behavior, they also are presumably subject to inspections to ensure that no drugs, human trafficking, or underage prostitution occurs.
So, IMO there is nothing unusual about Prostitution regulations protecting both workers and customers, it's just striking because it demonstrates the value of regulation that's normally invisible.
PS: Track on the job deaths around the world and US workers are protected from a lot of harm even with relatively poor enforcement.
saucy music plays
Spreading your legs doesn't exactly require a detailed training regime. Electricians and plumbers have challenging jobs that require a lot of training. Changing out electric sockets doesn't make you an electrician.
When I came to US I was amazed that guns and weed were legalized but not prostitution. Even in Vegas.
I'm sure there is plenty of underground prostitution in US where the workers have little rights and are probably abused.
I have no hopes that this will ever happen in trump administration but hopefully in 2020+ this could be a possibility.
And making it a crime creates all kinds of problems. I support decriminalization.
For example the local government of Amsterdam is trying to close the window brothels  in the cities' Red Light District and many cities now have a policy where they don't grant licences for new coffeeshops and wait for the current licenses to expire . The cited reasons for wanting to close the coffeeshops (too close to schools, within 250 meters) are stupid since every Dutch student rides a bicycle and for my friends it was no big problem during a free hour to bike for a few kilometers to buy and smoke hash or weed. My friends did this many times (none became a worse person for it, either).
They wanted to restrict access to coffeeshop (not sure about brothel) to only Netherlands citizens but this raises constitutional problems.
They initially thought they would be at the forefront of a wave of legalization across Europe, but as it failed to materialize, their uniqueness brought their own issues.
I do have hopes for France though. Macron has the same political sense as Hollande, who just made a show of gay marriage legalization to prevent talking about other issues. I think they are keeping weed legalization as the next smokescreen.
On prostitution, the French liberals are a bit more divided. A lot of people actually associate human trafficking and prostitution and feel that criminalizing clients could be a way to make it go away. I tend to think that legalization would actually make the fight against sex-slavery much easier but I understand why people are more cautious about this issue.
Also the far-left shared some fake stories (but not totally implausible scenario) under which legalization of prostitution could mean that unemployed women could be forced by unemployment office to accept prostitution jobs or lose their unemployment benefits. They used the outcry to justify that prostitution is not a job like every other one.
It is a complicated issue, muddied by emotional bias and over-simplified solutions.
It would be just as outrageous if an unemployed actress had to chose between shooting a pornographic movie or lose her unemployment benefits. I don't see anyone using that argument to outlaw pornography.
But I totally agree that there is no need to go so far. I think it is generally accepted that not everyone is expected to accept every job:
- A muslim or jew and a job handling non-halal/non-kosher meat
- A "pro-lifer" in an abortion clinic
- A teetotaler at a liquor store
- An ideologue vegetarian or vegan handling meat, leather, etc.
- Washing/preparing bodies in a funeral home / crematorium
- A butchering job involving killing animals
Lists as such are, in fact, implemented in every "you have to accept job offers" situation, usually officially and with a procedure you can apply for to add a new one to the list or at least get a special exemption. Almost always, "personal service" jobs are exempt.
I'm sure no one would object if no job that required "no clothing", "skin on skin contact" or "insertion of anything into a body cavity" are exempt. I mean, one should never be forced to be a food taster either.
Actually this office is widely criticized to propose absurd job offers to candidates as they are pressured to remove candidates from benefits lists, either by finding them a job (rare) or by having them refuse two jobs in a row (more common).
Their scenario was really not that implausible.
The law (from the early 19th century) said that names for newborns should either be chosen in the calendars (plural, no religion mentioned) or from known people in history. So from the beginning, Mohammed was an acceptable name for instance.
A law from 1966 recognized that this was vague and not really applied, as usage varied (basically it was just used to deny too harmful names to kids) and decided to give a broader definition, allowing explicitly names from mythology, regional names, composed names, variation and abbreviated versions.
In 1981 the sole interdiction was to choose a name that "would not be judged ridiculous".
The 1993 version changes even that and says (more appropriately IMO) that the officer registering the names can delay the thing, if he judges that the choice of name is contrary to "the interest of the child". A judge then has to decide or deny. I remember a case involving a «Pikachu», a «Satan» and, I think, a «Jihad».
Names like Anakin or Gandalf were likely acceptable even under the 1966 law.
Is this how the system really works in France? If a programmer is unemployed and some manager at McDonald's offers them a job flipping burgers, they have to either take the McDonald's job or they lose their benefits? Do the unemployed really have to accept the first job offer anyone gives them, no matter what?
After two refused job offers, your unemployment benefits will be discontinued.
Programmer and cook are probably in different categories, but there is no way for someone to say "I don't want to work with meat" like the comment I answered to suggested. As a programmer doing robotics, I made the choice to refuse military jobs but I know that in France that's more than 50% of the jobs in the field.
I would not be 100% sure that sex workers would be put in a different categories than "entertainers" making it plausible that an actress would be proposed a job in a porn studio.
Thing is, a member of a porn studio reacted to this scenario: he basically said "we know Pole Emploi does not filter offers at all. Porn acting is very specific, the last thing we want is to force people into it. It would be contrary to our work ethic and probably to the law."
They know they would be blamed for it, so the unlikely part is that they would post such an offer. If they did, however, it is likely that it would be send inappropriately.
Note that the above is about accepting a job. At times you may be required to fill out so many job applications (per week) and you are not allowed to refuse any interview offered. The result is people do apply for bad jobs and get an offer in the interview they have no intention of accepting.
Of course after a few months your benefits run out and then the low ball offer is more appealing as at least it gets you something. However even then a low ball offer isn't as common as you might think. Someone with no place to go will take it, but you cannot stop them from finding a new job next week. Offer someone too low and your risk they collect your money just long enough to become useful and then find a new job. You are paid for your first week of work even though you spend most of it learning and so you cost the company money in training, thus once a company hires you they need to keep you long enough for you to pay off that first week training time.
Note that in the US each state does things differently. The above is a generalization based on what I've seen in different states. The details are different and change.
> and you are not allowed to refuse any interview offered.
We have this in Norway. If one has been unemployed for a while the state run employment agency will often force you to "voluntarily" agree to send 10 employment applications per week and you have to go to any offered interview.
Thus applicants are feared by everyone doing recruiting because no one wants to hire anyone that does not want to be hired. If you do the candidate may be totally unmotivated and even hostile to his new employer. This would be a very bad start for everyone.
In my experience candidates like this will often not show up for a scheduled interview, and if they do they will clearly state that they are there just to satisfy the state employment agency.
Would I pay for that through taxes? You bet.
(I'm a proponent of guaranteed minimum income even for people who want to drink beer and watch tv all day. I really don't care what people do with their money.)
However the topic is unemployment, which is designed for those are choose to make more than the minimum income to keep a good income (not as good as before, but perhaps better than minimum). This is a different discussion with different pros and cons.
In EU countries, unemployment is not necessarily linked to the size of the salary you were making before. And actually, unemployment can be very limiting in many countries and a basic income would be preferable. The reason for that is that with unemployment, you immediately lose your benefits if you pick up any work, even if the work is low-paying or it’s not certain you’ll be able to stay with it long. UBI, on the other hand, is intended to be something you always keep regardless of what else you try to do to make some money. When the UBI trial was launched in Finland, several of the people involved (longtime unemployment recipients) said they were keen to start their own business or take on unusual forms of employment because there was no longer a risk in doing so.
It's hard to go back in time and do that experiment, but I'd say with certainty that some stress and pressure leads to a net gain in the long run. Clearly in the short run that's not the case.
One of my big disappointments in visiting Europe the last time is how the major cities are all starting to look the same, with big shopping districts devoted to the same high end brands. It sounds like Amsterdam is heading in that direction as well.
EDIT: Not to take over the properties themselves, but to up-value the surrounding areas.
You now have to go to the zoo in Antwerp because otherwise there's no longer anything to see.
IMO, lines of shops selling brightly coloured and vastly overpriced pieces of cloth is even more miserable use for prime property than sex.
Regulation is failing, so it's being banned instead. Which will only push things further underground.
Hardly a neutral observer.
What a marketing claim
Simply comparing the hourly pay rate is pretty meaningless when comparing job options like these that differ so massively in other factors.
I'll keep my tech job if it is all the same to you.
(not that I imagine many being willing to pay a good rate for an hour with my physical form, so the choice might not really be mine!)
You do not work for Google though, you live for Google - work just happens to be the majority of your life.
You don't live for prostitution, it pays the bills like any other non-life-consuming job.
The IRS is very open about this. A fellow HN commenter pointed me to this document , on which you should search for "Bribes" and "Stolen Property". Even if you don't want to trust to the IRS's confidentiality rules (for example, it won't share your tax return with law enforcement without a court order), it's still common practice to come up with another description for your income in order to pay tax on it.
Once upon a time it was the best excuse for those who had undisclosed income sources (other than prostitution). Recently tax offices started demanding proofs, like names of the clients.
Huh? That makes no sense. Why would naming a client proove anything? And why would sex workers know names of their clients?
It's not because the receipt proves anything. It's because if there was ever any question, it gives a validator something to actually validate, to call up the putative place of business and confirm the transaction and the size.
It's one of those deals where the mere threat of being able to validate tends to keep the system humming along fairly well, even to the point that many of the participants have forgotten the justification for the system. Presumably there's someone out there routinely forging receipts for fun and profit but it must not be that big a fraud considered across the entire system.
Same thing here.
Maybe a little more similar to a software consultant who has to spend a ton of extra time drumming up clients and setting up engagements and pays for their travel and any hotel fees out of their rate.
(the answer is probably "they don't need to")
It can vary from state to state.
Under Tasmanian law it has never been illegal to be a sex worker, however Current Tasmanian Legislation – Sex Industry Offences Act 2005
Provides that it is illegal for a person to employ or otherwise control or profit from the work of individual sex workers (brothels are illegal)
Allows two sex workers (but not more) to work together in a partnership arrangement, provided neither controls or manages the other;
Makes it an offence to offer or procure sexual services in a public place – making street prostitution illegal for both worker and client
While I generally agree with the notion that legalized prostitution reduces human trafficking, this wouldn't be a certainty from looking at the effects on Australia/NZ.
I'm not going to pretend it's all clean - certainly there's underage, trafficked and exploited people. However that's still the case when it's illegal, the difference is how we can find and protect those who have been exploited by others.
When prostitution is legal a prostitute can go to the police without fear of prosecution (but not persecution unfortunately - less of an issue here because the laws were loosely enforced). Additionally a legitimate business is more attractive to most customers, so a legal businesses subject to inspection and record keeping requirements are more likely to take business from the less legitimate ones.
My personal opinion is that prostitution is here to stay. We should focus on the safety of those involved. Giving them a criminal record is certainly not going to get them away from prostitution.
In theory, Sweden's approach of only criminalizing the clients (and pimps, I assume) should provide that too; a bit like the decriminalization of drug consumption. On the other hand, since every "john" is at risk if the prostitute does go to the police, it's much more likely that they'll avoid doing so. Even where drug use is decriminalized, users don't tend to go to the police if their dealer rips them off or physically assaults them.
Also I think that provides a side effect too: if a john is already committing a crime when going to a prostitute, he may be more likely to do so anonymously and with less trace, making it easier for them to add robbery or assault to their acts.
I think that hypocrisy never helps. If it is illegal to go to a prostitute, it should be illegal to be one, their existence would have no legal justification.
Few are forced to visit and hire a prostitute. But we know people are forced to be a prostitute (trafficking), some do it for drugs, and some feel they have no other way to survive. While society understands not every prostitute is in one of these categories, it seems a cruel punishment to charge them with a crime. MOstly because it would be charging a rape victim with the crime of being raped.
Some people are forced into working in sweatshops to sew t-shirts. That does not make a good reason to criminalize t-shirts.
Forcing someone into doing something is already illegal. The forced person is a victim, most laws are clear about it. If the issue we are talking about is fighting against human-trafficking, the only question should be to know if legalizing prostitution would help the police find human traffickers.
And this should be the top question of the debate IMHO. I don't care much to live in a society that answers differently than me to the question "Should prostitution be legal?" but I would love to be in a society where human-trafficking does not exist.
I do have the feeling that pimps do enjoy the hypocrisy and moral ambiguity of the laws: it makes their services invaluable and their activities under the radar. But this opinion mostly comes from anecdotes and common sense. I am inclined to change opinions based on facts.
But you know how rumors are - all it takes is one person to decide that "It's obvious, innit?" and they start repeating it as fact.
When they haven't committed a crime they should be able to get aid from the authorities and their pimps and traffickers arrested.
Unfortunately this isn't a perfect world and resources aren't always available for whatever reason. I don't like it, but I also don't like creating criminals out of victims.
There are legal brothels in Australia found with links to international human traffickers. If Australia has this problem with far more police powers than American police have, who is to say that the problem won't be rampant in the US?
I am all for legal prostitution if it reduces human trafficking. My argument is just that you can't assume that what works in Australia will necessarily work in the US.
Its one less step if you can more easily monitor and the sex workers can speak freely to police.
In fact I'm more about how they treated sex work in several historical governments in the past and that is only government-operated brothels are allowed.
Please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicious_Lawless_Association_Di...
This law would not be possible in the US due to the US constitution's protection of freedom of association, while it has been strictly enforced at times in the state of Queensland. These sorts of powers substantially weaken organized crime but at major cost to civil rights.
They do not need probable cause, they need "reasonable suspicion".
The same standard Aus had until around a decade ago (now reduced). There were nearly 700K stop and searches in NYC in 2011 alone (vastly reduced now) which undermines your suggestion that the BoR provides solid protection in this particular respect. Although I agree there are some protections offered by codified rights.
However I think germany's decriminalisation was a good testcase. The netherlands don't seem to have problems either.
Legalising brothels removes the social stigma from prostitute clients increasing demand for prostitution by the order of magnitude. Which gives human traffickers additional incentive.
I think that the good solution is what we have in Poland:
prostitution is legal for the clients and individual prostitutes but it is illegal for any third party (e.g. pimp) to interfere and make profit from prostitution. This gives a prostitute possibility to just go to the police and denounce her pimp, making it much harder to force her to sex work.
> Literally dozens of thousands of them.
> increasing demand for prostitution by the order of magnitude
A whole magnitude? Citation really needed.
In Germany a john has to report to the police if he suspects the prostitute is being coerced, if there are legal women, why would he seek an illegal one and risk jail time?
but what would incentivize said john to report it? I don't think the john is going to make a difference in this case.
The numbers in the Wikipedia link is a couple of magnitudes lower.
If prostitution is illegal then it will be run by people who do not obey the law and will happily traffic people and have people people working illegally or forcibly.
and no, the defining feature of any govt is not to enfore its way of thinking on others, it is to govern others in a proper way.
but at least in India, politics has become a business.
1. The morality to add financial consideration in the decision to provide consent to a sex act.
2. The amount of freewill that a person has within the job market.
What is interesting is that you can have different liberal or conservative position on both of these considerations and still be unsure about the side the scale weights in:
As a conservative:
1. Social conservatives tend to consider sex like a serious matter, set apart from the rest, so they will say that consent is not to be sold.
2. Fiscal conservatives tend to consider freewill in the job market is close to absolute: you are always free to refuse a job, so people deciding to go into prostitution really chose it without constraints.
Depending on how you weight sex-is-special vs job-market-is-free, you can be against or for prostitution as a conservative.
As a liberal:
1. Social liberals will tend to consider that consent is important in every part of life but that sex is (or can be chosen to be) an activity like any other. If someone is really willing to sell sexual favors, under what principle forbidding it? (and it turns to be a fetish too)
2. "Fiscal liberals" (is that an expression? Not sure, non-native here, I mean the opposite of "fiscal conservative) tend to consider wages and employment to be a tool of oppression and control. In that respect, they will be less likely to consider that someone who works for money chooses to do so freely.
Depending on how you weight you-are-free-to-sex-as-you-want vs wage-is-a-way-to-control you can be a liberal and be for or against prostitution.
"Have sex or starve" can be seen as a breach of consent.
Most prostitutes do not work out of a vocation or because they enjoy having sex with random people (though I guess on can find a few who do) but they do that for money. Some will think "that's so much easier and enjoyable than flipping burgers at the fastfood" and that's fine by me, but some others will think "that's the only way I can make enough money to feed my kids and pay our debts" and that's less ok.
Most people in the developed world feel that "do X or starve" is not the right model and want their government to take care of that. This, however, is done via public assistance, not by tweaking rules for X1, X2, ..., Xn, ... ("have sex or starve" is wrong, but "clean toilets or starve" is OK, etc.).
By extension, "flip the burgers or starve" is a breach of consent as well, so forced labour/slavery.
In that case, whether you find prostitution as acceptable as regular job depend on whether you find (toned down) forced labor more acceptable than (toned down) rape.
I'm not saying most hold this true, but a sufficient number of my anecdotal experiences lead me to estimate this is a popular view.
2.) Why should people have to film their act of having sex and then publish it (porn is legal in the US...)
3.) There is a problem with human trafficking that has to be dealt with. But dealing with this problem in some manner is surely the better way than making prostitution illegal. As long as there are hormons in this world, prostitution will exist. Learn to live with it.
Or that's how it seems from over here anyway. The UK's better, but not much.
For example, just a few months the Polish government made emergency contraception pill prescription-only. This government is strongly against abortion of any kind, yet it passed a bill that will surely increase (illegal) abortion rates. Yet, it does not THINK about consequences of action, just if it supports "right" or "wrong" causes (for them any non-Catholic sex life is "wrong").
This isn't a very good argument. If you care about "abortion of any kind", then increasing the illegal abortion rate while decreasing the overall abortion rate is a perfectly sensible thing to do.
I added "(illegal)" as an indication that all of such abortions are illegal in Poland.
When you are violently coercing people into some kind of behavior, one of those is objectively superior to the other.
Utility has a shared meaning among a population, ontology is meaningless over a group.
Yet, social deontology is meaningless¹, and the people using it on political arguments are just using it as a decoy for doing something that they pretty much derive utility from (on my case from being able to eventually settle anything down, on the original comment, from commanding people around and in some cases, by watching them suffer).
1 - There exists a fuzzy kind of "partial" deontology that people often share in practice. Yet, the moment one starts coercing people, it's a symptom that it just isn't there.
by bringing the trade into the public and properly regulated the next goal is to eliminate any shame from using such services. I would expect not using brothels would make that easier but both means needs to be available.
(Btw are they actually victims if they are willingly doing it?)
Filming sex doesn't suddenly make it legal. It's the permit required which makes it legal.
The presence of testosterone does not make use "learn to live" with violent acts.
Someone does it for free, someone for a promise to marry, someone for marriage, someone hoping it leads to something, rent paid etc etc. Who are to decide what "currency" is legal and what isn't for "her body"?
There may be less to understand than you think: there is a huge overlap between groups of people who are very anti-abortion and groups who are very anti-prostitution. The religious right to give the most obvious example (as they are loudly vocal, highly active, and in many places countries pretty controlling via lobbying), but that is definitely not the only example.
There are reasons to support one but not the other though they are contested. Many see prostitution as something that will lead to people trafficking and other crime. The opposing views, that legalising it will reduce such crime by bringing the activity more into the open so availability is not an issue for those who wish to take part (reducing the trafficking to bring in resource) and so those who chose to take part are better protected, don't generally win out in relevant debates.
Studies of real world examples show wildly differing results (in part because most of them are run and/or funded by those with some bias towards one result or another) and experimental studies have problems getting through ethics committees for obvious reasons - so it is going to be a complex issue to resolve (and is unlikely to ever be resolved to the satisfaction of all).
> someone for a promise to marry, someone for marriage, someone hoping it leads to something, rent paid etc etc. Who are to decide what "currency"
Again, in many cases you'll find the judgement applied to selling sex is similarly applied to this form of currency, or if not other moral judgement is often found.
Absolute sovereignty over one's own body was never really a thing. There were always substances that were illegal to consume somewhere. There were always, even today, laws about public decency. There were always laws against suicide. Today things like trans fats and alcoholic energy drinks face bans.
So the controversy isn't about whether people get to decide what to do to their bodies, it's about when.
I tend to be more libertarian on these issues, but I recognize that the principle of personal bodily sovereignty isn't widely held.
The same was true of the US 18th Amendment, of the "War on Drugs" in the US now, of the banning of sex work, or most anything else. When the government decides to just ban something, others step in to control the market without any rule of law or responsibility to the public.
"Reported rape offenses decreased by about 30 percent," Shah said.
That's another big decrease. Shah says, if anything, you'd expect rape to go up as when prostitution is decriminalized, sex workers are more likely to report rapes. She compared this to neighboring states, too. The drop was only in Rhode Island. So she examined other crime data in Rhode Island, like burglaries and murders, to see if there had just been a drop in crime generally.
It didn't match.
Prostitution has its own controversy but in my view it is less likely to bring in unproductive discussion. The hard lines opinion about sex is more or less settled, so the discussion is mostly focused on policy and end results. It is also less common discussion than gender roles, so it also gets a bit of a free pass.
If you posted "Motherhood Isn’t Sacrifice, It’s Selfishness" as a comment here it would get flagged to death too. Putting it as a title of an OP-Ed doesn't change that even if the author will slowly break down why that ISN'T true (or more complex/nuanced).
If the author wants to generate legitimate discussion, they should talk to their editor about dropping the faux-controversial titles. Particularly as it sets the tone for the discussion is such a negative way.
It's not a male conspiracy to carefully disregard and disrespect certain topics/posts.
Say we legalize prostitution in the United States. What if a sex worker gets pregnant? Does the client have any obligation to support that child? Can the client sue for false advertising of an implied reproduction-free sex organ?
Laws governing social issues are messy and interesting but not technical. My point is it's a frivolous distinction to separate motherhood and women's rights from sex work because at the end of the day they are the same issue.
I think the combination of experiments in deregulation, a departure from norms in a historically socially conservative place like New England, and pruient curiosity probably attracted more reaction to this particular story.
I suspect its because the relevance of this article goes far beyond "a discussion of women's autonomy".
HN flags both anti and pro women's agency articles (most opinion articles actually) so it is fair.
My girlfriend grew up in a red light district.
She said it was mostly okay, the nights were a bit rough, because the clients would often argue loudly with the girls right before her window.
But the "madame" of a brothel around the corner would always look after the children going to school in the morning so they wouldn't be bothered.
* Female gonorrhea rates decreased 40%
* Reported rape offenses decreased 30%
* No evidence that decriminalization increases human trafficking
> She has a theory, though, in that while she knows for some men rape is about power, "I think the argument that we're making is that that might not be true for all men, and for some, these activities could be substitutes."
> In other words, for some men, rape may be just about sex. And if there's a legal and accessible market for it, the number of rapes in a community may go down. This has not been a popular theory or study. And for many, it challenges the notion that rape is about violence and power, and not sex. "So I consider myself a feminist, but I think this finding angers a lot of feminists," Shah said. "It is a very controversial idea."
What the hell is this "rape has nothing to do with sex" nonsense and why does challenging this absurd assertion anger feminists? How removed from reality do you have to be to believe that forcing sexual intercourse on someone has nothing to do with sexual attraction?
But back to the topic of criminalization, it's downright disingenuous to conflate prostitution with human trafficking. And I don't believe the government should be in the business of imposing its moral whims on the decisions of consenting adults.
This is because feminists (and everyone else) started rejecting Freud's theories of sex in the '60s. Freudian theory states sex and aggression are interconnected (e.g. the much misunderstood Oedipus complex). Even now people think violence is due to our culture, not biological drives or instincts. This is why feminists say we have a "Rape Culture," and that all we have to do is fix culture, then all rape and violence will disappear. Freud was much more pessimistic. "Civilization and Its Discontents" is a good summary of why.
> The Swedish or Nordic model takes aim at the demand, making it illegal to buy sexual services but not to sell it.
> In a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District of Rhode Island, COYOTE's lawyer argued that the state's law on prostitution was too broad and discriminated against women, given that female sex workers were arrested far more than male customers.
Saying "takes aim at the demand" for a mutually consenting interaction just seems a way of targeting men without explicitly saying it. Different countries and situations, but the reporter doesn't note the different treatment by the state when one sex is criminalized versus the other.
> "You see the silencing of victims," Hughes said. "It is just very harmful to women. It really is a libertarian approach, but the ones who get freedom are the pimps, the sex buyers, the businessmen who then can rent properties to the massage parlors, and to the sex buyers. There's very little freedom for the women."
> As for Robinson, the online escort who moved to Rhode Island? She was angry.
> "It pissed me off. I didn't know nothing about activism, I didn't know what a sex worker rights organization was," she said.
> Robinson changed that. She became active with COYOTE, the sex worker union and advocacy group.
> "Criminalization is a punishment for women who won't conform," Robinson said. "And we're just supposed to go live in the streets in poverty and not complain about it, and be good women."
Nothing wrong with a woman's perspective, but men's behavior was criminalized too. I would think it would add to the article to get some of their perspective.
Not including men's perspective, except as the businessmen who make money off the women and the rapists, makes the article sound like the reason for prostitution's negative reputation is men. Would a quote like the following fly?
> "Criminalization is a punishment for men who won't conform. We're just supposed to go live without sex and not complain about it, and be good men."
But, it's great when experiments do happen. And, I guess we're reaching a tipping point on drug policy, at least with regard to the most popular (still mostly) illegal drug.
I'm not saying it's not a positive thing that prostitution is less criminalized in some parts of Nevada than in the rest of the US. But, it's still pretty repressive and it still victimizes sex workers in the general case by putting their livelihood at the mercy of brothel owners.
Indeed; it's notably illegal in both of Reno's two largest cities (Las Vegas because Clark County has too high of a population, so prostitution is automatically illegal per state law; Reno/Sparks because Washoe County specifically outlawed prostitution), which really hinders the effectiveness of such an experiment. About 90% of Nevadan prostitution happens illegally, from what I understand.
Still, that's better than 100% illegal statewide, which is the case in pretty much every state bordering Nevada IIRC.
"no independent contractors allowed anywhere in the state"
I'm pretty sure most (all?) prostitutes in Nevadan brothels are independent contractors. They still report to brothel owners, though.
"it's still pretty repressive"
Indeed it is.
Not sure what would be the obvious cons. Happy to know if anyone points any out.
They just want to be treated like any other sole proprietor. They want the rule of law to apply for them, so when someone cheats them, robs them, or steals from them, they can call the police and be treated with something approaching respect. They want to be able to legally save and spend their money (and pay taxes on it) like everybody else. And, they want to be able to use tools like Backpage to find clients. Oh, and they want to be able to communicate openly with other people in their local industry so they can look out for one another when it comes to dangerous clients.
I think it's kinda the same thinking that leads to outlawing some kinds of sex work and/or equating all sex work with human trafficking (there's a whole category of so-called feminism that treats all sex work as human trafficking, which is just weird). Infantilizing the people who participate, as though they can't run their own small business without constant monitoring, and can't make their own decisions about the sort of work they want to do. There are good discussions to be had about health and legality and human trafficking, etc. But, I can't think of any good arguments for not acknowledging the basic autonomy of the workers themselves.
And paid sex outside a brothel would likely still be illegal.
If they worked in a brothel it would be even less fun than visiting the DMV.
Yes it's a cartoon and a stereotype. But the reason it's funny is that it's so close to peoples' everyday experience with government employees.
Not being a government org would give it the freedom to maneuver. It could exact penalties on abusive clients (fines, banning or worse). It could engage law enforcement on its own terms to combat human trafficking. But also commercially it has many advantages. It would know demand and could thus implement demand based pricing and overall help workers maximize their earnings.
A government org is never going to do proper marketing! A company can, and will. And it is a lucrative enough business that it will be able to provide real top quality service to everyone involved without sacrificing safety.
This sort of action is targeted by the government because it in a way negates the government's legitimacy and influence, because the taxes you pay ensure that you are under the protection of the government and mafia/pimps are in a way usurping that power.
Thus instead of depending on underground/illegal organizations, it could be better to rely on a more public and generally more stable legal organization for protection and marketing, etc.
I believe prostitution is an indication of a lack economic and social well-being both in the case of buyers and sellers.
Within about one or two decades maximum there will be revolutionary advances in robotics including things like much better weight-to power ratio artificial muscles and increased bio-mimicry. This will lead to truly life-like sex robots. Along the same lines, the majority of "ordinary" jobs that humans can currently do without high-bandwidth connections to computers or control over them will be replaced with sophisticated AIs and robots or automation. The perspective on sex work and general objectification of women will shift more towards one side then.
It's hard to say how representative these experiences are, but my hunch is that workers catering to middle class and upper class clients actually have pretty nice lives.
I went to strip clubs occasionally and once in a blue moon saw escorts in my late 20's and early 30's. I would fully agree that I was "socially unwell" (but quite fine economically) - when dating is all dead ends and your life completely lacks intimate touch, life isn't great, no matter how much money you make. A decade later, I see it as a phase that quickly passed, but helped me in ways that traditional self-improvement (including working out) and therapy were really not moving me toward. I have profound misgivings about the "industry" but it was really a bridge to living a full life and happy, fulfilling relationships.
I say this because it's underrated/ignored/mocked what a profound, innate human need sex work addresses. I certainly hope society can evolve enough to seriously consider creating ethical, legal and safe ways of addressing this need.
And much like soldiers who have actually been in the battlefield, many prositutes suffer from PTSD. I suspect the percentage of corporate drones suffering from debilitating PTSD is much lower than among soldiers and prostitutes.
The only way I can understand the downvotes to my comment is the missing /s on the first line; I somehow completely failed to communicate that, it seems.
There are always going to be problems allowing these activities and problems with banning them. If you let each neighborhood decide, at least you're moving the problem to areas that are ready and willing to deal with the problems. They can tax it, regulate it, provide security, drug treatment etc. That means the neighborhood has to form some kind of legal entity, of course.
And you're giving the customers reasons to go where they are welcome. By doing it on a neighborhood level, it becomes much easier to comply. It's easier to drive 15 blocks than to go to the next county.
And I think enforcement where it is banned can just be done with fines, giving people a good reason to take their business to where it is welcome. There's no reason to put people in prison.
It is not an accident that Thailand is a Buddhist country - people are tolerant to whatever is not harming others living beings.
Too much pressure on sexual issues is a sign of primitive authoritarian societies (who are cooksure that they know better what is right and what is wrong than biology and evolution).
The popular areas of sex tourism in Thailand are safer than most tourist hotspots without any security forces, cameras, etc. Everything is self-regulated, like a healthy market or society should be.
Buddy's (7-time wiseguy mayor of Providence, and 2-time convicted felon) usual driver was unavailable, and a detective was assigned to escort him. The mayor gives his new driver an address. The detective recognizes it, bit can't quite place it, and gets on his way.
When he gets there, it hits him. "Buddy, this is the address of a known brothel".
Buddy quips back "you must be a detective" and disappears into the building.
We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14946448 and marked it off-topic.
The post that this responds to asked if prostitution would be a viable career post forty, and my response is directly on-point. I certainly respect your right to moderate, but I'm trying to understand why this was unacceptable and their post was.
The correct approach is to decriminalize providing, and crack down hard on buyers.