Both are selling your body for (relatively) high pay. Both have you burn out usually by your mid-late 40's. Both are dangerous work. Both have high degree's of human trafficking*. Both subsist mostly on young naïve workers. Both have no education requirements. Both have success predicated greatly on genetics (strength vs. looks). Both are the oldest professions in the world.
Really the most substantial difference I can see is in how society values men vs. women, dispensable vs. protected. Which is of course the same way humans valued men and women for pretty much all of history.
*Trafficking is tricky because in the US it's basically if you do (illegal) sex work and have a boss you are being trafficked. Basically everyone in construction would be "trafficked" then, so instead I go with a high degree of desperate illegal immigrants who will do really any work (ripe for exploitation).
Edit: I should note that my take is that prostitution should be legalized, regulated, unionized, and not stigmatized. It should be on the same social rung as labor.
Even worse is that in a country like the US, they practically have their own version of slavery with how inmates are effectively forced into labour for insignificant wages, which then benefit private corporations.
This is definitely an aspect of humanity that will be looked upon very poorly in the future.
I realize drug dealers aren't forcing anyone to take them, but seeing what meth can do to a community is horrifying to the point where I feel most would agree it shouldn't happen (which is what laws are for).
Certainly the way our prison systems run needs a major overhaul, but imprisonment due to permanently destroying lives, their potential children's lives, and communities for personal monetary gain (drug trafficking) does not sound like absolute insanity.
Harmful drugs and drug addiction should be treated through education, healthcare and community involvement. It actually disgusts me at this point that people think drug criminalization is a good thing despite what prisons are in much of the world.
A few cleaned up some. But never the same.
Zero sympathy for people pushing stuff.
If/when we do eventually go down that road, I certainly hope people are well educated in the harms of these drugs, and that they are in a position mentally/physically/socially to not have to turn to such things...
I would like to see some kind of hurdle erected to give kids (and young adults) a serious educational blast before selling them their first dose, but otherwise I think it has to be legal if you're interested in harm-minimization.
The missing element with drug legalization is the preventative aspect. It simply doesn't happen in large enough numbers using the exposure/education method.
However, shame based propaganda has been showing significantly positive(?) results with cigarettes. Most people I've e countered from younger generations cannot fathom smoking a cigarette. Vaping, sure, but stinky cigarette? Ewwww, gross.
Meth and heroin legalization and "it's all good if you're responsible" mentality isn't going to work.
You're right though, often times the only solid education is experience.
Ergo, if workers realized that their work was valuable and created a bloc, we can turn the tables (unions come to mind as well as brothels and other collectives which seek to harness their power). The trick is you have to know you're powerful.
And I'm not suggesting that's enough to solve the entire problem, but its enough to enable negotiations to continue improving the situation.
Because the regulation is crappy. Current regulation and laws is what made them dangerous.
> Both have high degree's of human trafficking
Again. This is due to the current laws. If woman were able to travel to another country (say, USA) and do short-term entertainment work for a few months on her own terms, you will reduce human trafficking.
The current laws benefit lots of people. For politicians, this problem doesn't exist since prostitution is illegal. For human traffickers and clubs, this brings them money because if woman were to operate legally on a freelance basis, they'll have no business mode. The customers don't really care.
Operating legally on a freelance basis is the norm for strippers right now. The club's business model is that they charge the stripper for use of the floor.
I don't think regulation would fix this. Is the main impetus for human trafficking the inability for sex workers to independently travel? Doesn't fit my mental model of the issue.
I know first hand that there are organizations that will help people in poor countries get a tourist visa to a wealthier country, and set them up with under the table jobs for a few months so they can go home with enough cash to support their families for the rest of the year. Not legal, but relatively harmless.
I've heard stories, but no personal knowledge, of traffickers pretending to be one of the above organizations, but once the victim is in the foreign country, they effectively enslave them using some combination of confiscating their documents, direct threats, threats against relatives, and lying/exaggerating what the local law enforcement will do if they find out they came to work illegally. By the time people back home realize something is wrong, the traffickers have already moved on. No idea how accurate or how common this is.
Same would apply to orgs offering to smuggle people into a wealthy country without a visa with the intention of staying indefinitely. In either case, I suppose a freer flow of labor could reduce that grey market and therefore the opportunity for abuse.
Regulation will never work to create better working condition. There will always be more laborers willing to replace you than amazing job opportunities. Also, labor regulation is constantly being worked around by companies. Eg. in Europe, due to tough regulation of working conditions, many workers are now being employed as freelancers and therefore receiving exactly zero worker protections.
Competition for workers is what has empirically worked to improve working conditions. UBI or just reducing monopolistic living costs, such as real estate rent, could give people the option not to work - the biggest contribution to competition for workers.
Regulations do already create better working conditions, including making workplaces safer and things like overtime pay for wage earners. Why do you think that more regulations can’t improve the conditions further?
Could you please elaborate a bit more?
EDIT: Brave New World
Human sexual morality is complex. Disease control and the consequence of pregnancy are large parts of the reason sex is such a loaded issue.
This is a poor argument for suggesting people should not be allowed to provide sexual services for cash if they so choose.
Aside from that, you also have the personal aspect of the two.
When you leave labor related work and go to your house, you don't generally do labor on your own or with other people you share an interest (or a deep emotion with) with, you might do it as an hobby, but that's pretty much it.
Sex on the other hand, is different. You can still do it without any emotions attached, but you also do it when you are deeply involved with other people. It's one of the basic ways to share deep affection with other people, which can be hindered if you do it professionally.
Of course this depends on the person, or more generally, the society. Maybe that's probably why prostitution is legal in some countries.
Sex releases happy chemicals, just like drugs. Nobody is getting hooked on paying people to pour concrete.
There's the saying "if you look for yellow cars, you'll find them." I think your assumption that the difference was gender is just a product of the times: you were looking for that answer. Even though male prostitutes are illegal too. And there's clearly an emotional difference between having sex with someone, and having them mow your lawn.
Even with that emotional connection, both psychologists and masseuses exist just fine
Please, reflect on that for a second. Imagine going through all the drugs you could, trying heroin, and being like: "woah, this one drug is actually better than sex." It says a lot.
Without passing an opinion on the subject, isn't that kind of a flaming laser sword? You could apply it to any parallel drawn between two things regardless of whether the comparison is valid or not. It doesn't seem like a useful tool to discriminate valid ideas from invalid ones.
In 1800s Britain, it could be applied to reject claims such as "cholera is caused by the jews", but it could not be applied to claims such as "cholera is caused by contaminated water pumps".
Similarly, the claim "prostitution was made illegal because the Plumbers and Deliverypeople Union wanted exclusive nibs on spontaneous sexual encounters" would be impervious to this 'sword', because blaming plumbers for the problems of society is not a current trope of our culture.
Disregarding the merits of this particular instance, that seems like a reasonable general heuristic: after all, if some conclusion is socially desirable, then people may reach it even when it's not supported by the preponderance of evidence.
Cf. a "sign of the times": something that shows the kinds of things that are happening, popular, important, etc., in a culture at a particular period in history.
Also I am talking more about hard labor, construction, dock work, mining, landscaping is is taxing but it doesn't pay the big sell-your-back-knees-and-possibly-a-limb bucks.
So you think sex work is illegal / made very impractical in so many countries to protect the customers?
And then we vilify sex work and torture sex workers on the theory that sex in exchange for money is A Bad Thing.
Our logic is idiotic and our world is broken.
This comment kind of seems 40 years out of date? Or maybe it's different in other places?
It is pretty predictable to pay for a date here, go look at toxic relationship comment sections or even Clubhouse and you’ll see many people denigrating men if they are not paying for a date
The cishet male experience requires guessing which framework the woman present at the time is following and never being wrong. Paying for a food item can either be expected or offensive. It’s never benign like when your male colleague or friend drives across town to see you and you pay for the meal because its nice they went out of their way. With many women right now its not factoring in that it isn't a gendered action even if they are claiming that splitting is their form of equality when equality can mean treating the person that went out their way as well.
Maybe future generations will sort this out.
In the mean time, the world is being run by a lot of folks who are my age and older. And I think this general paradigm still is the crux of the issue.
Women still on average make less than men. Multimillionaire women, like Janet Jackson, can still marry up because men in her league are billionaires.
That's true, but as I understand it, it's not because of discrimination but because of different choices.
Historically, teachers made relatively good pay and were respected. That was when it was a mostly male profession. That changed when it became a mostly female profession.
Conversely, programing was originally a more female dominated profession and not well paid nor respected. Now it is a male profession and very well paid.
Humans tend to pay men better for the same work. We come up with myriad explanations for the phenomenon but it's stubbornly persistent.
I think it's more complicated than "Women just entirely voluntarily choose something else."
It's neither. It's a reason, an explanation.
> I think it's more complicated than "Women just entirely voluntarily choose something else."
From what I understand, the research shows that isn't the case. Basically all of the earning gap is explained by choices, not discrimination.
> Historically, teachers made relatively good pay and were respected. That was when it was a mostly male profession. That changed when it became a mostly female profession.
Correlation is not causation though. I know you know that, but just stating it for others that are reading this.
The alternative explanation can be this:
Societal expectations is that the resource provision is core to male value. This can be observed on the disproportionate impact of wealth on relationship attractiveness between the genders , men generally benefit more from status than women, and women tend to benefit more from attractiveness than men .-
With incentives like this, I find it unsurprising that men are more likely to chase status. It's also a cleaner model, with clearer causal lines than "society is built around paying women less".
Citation needed on this one, particularly on the "same work" section. It's my understanding that studies that followed up on the initial gender wage gap studies found that the intial gap shrinks drastically once the data was controlled for type of work (the same work assumption you made), as well as for the number of hours worked across a given time period.
I generally will end a date if the bill isn't split at least for the first few dates. As a result, I had nothing but trouble to the point of swearing off dating until a chance encounter in the real world introduced me to my current girlfriend.
This is no longer true. Most countries now have no fault divorce laws so withholding sex has no impact on whether or not you can divorce.
Every day there's probably a few thousand morons on the internet clutching their pearls about how you theoretically don't need car insurance in a few states despite the reality that anyone who can afford to opt out is better served by buying insurance and the only people who opt out have very, very, niche use cases. You are using a a similar presentation of the truth but not the whole truth in your comment.
States have widely varying laws. Just because something isn't specifically illegal doesn't mean some existing clause wasn't used to prosecute it. If a state doesn't have a lot of frequency of some event it will likely not develop specific laws, it will just use existing laws and precedents in weird ways. For example CA has all sorts of laws about wells and water in order to mediate disputes. Arkansas for example simply doesn't have those laws because those issues aren't as common and the volume is low enough for those issues to go through different parts of the legal system without causing much problem.
Saying X wasn't illegal in every state until Y year is about as meaningful as saying Z is known to the state of CA to cause cancer for any value of X and Y you could pick.
The person you are replying to is saying marital sexual assault did not have its own laws. Rather, it was prosecuted general sexual assault laws.
You are saying marital sexual assault did not have its own laws and it was NOT prosecuted under general sexual assault laws. For example, because the sexual assault laws had an exception saying the law does not apply if the perpetrator is married to the victim.
So, which one is correct? Did the law before 70's or 90's specifically exclude marital sexual assault? Or was it neutral and used for all sexual assaults, both within and without marriage?
We sometimes see laws covering things that are already covered, not changing things, but merely making them more explicit. In more recent memory, once can remember the debate surrounding Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which essentially aimed to criminalize something that was already criminalized by the existing statutes.
I am saying this because it was a fact in the United States. Laws specifically and unambiguously stated that rape was not a crime if the women was married to the man (and yes, it was gendered in the law). Hence the need for the laws to be changed starting in the late 1970's.
Some background: https://nortontooby.com/node/13251
See, e.g., Black’s Law Dictionary (6th ed.1990) (defining rape as the ‘act of sexual intercourse committed by a man with a woman not his wife and without her consent, committed when the woman’s resistance is overcome by force or fear, or under other prohibitive conditions’).”
Not sure it proves what the GP was saying, though. The second result is similar, and seems to be referencing an actual law.
Marital sexual assault was generally prosecuted under domestic violence laws (which themselves became broader and stricter over time) on an as-needed basis but the required fact pattern for prosecution in 1965 or so was a higher bar in general than the standard set by the laws by 1990 or so. Furthermore, plea bargains rose in popularity over the same time period and DV went from a non-issue misdemeanor to a serious problem on your record over the same time period so examining conviction stats for various crimes is difficult.
That's interesting. I assumed plea bargains were always this popular. Any idea why they rose in popularity during this specific period?
A variety of reasons but mandatory minimums and stiffer sentencing in general (both made popular by the war on drugs) are the bulk of the reason.
When your lawyer could say in confidence that based on the fact pattern you're all but assured sentence on the order of a lesser crime that more correctly fits the fact pattern you're more likely to go to court and try and clear your name. When you're guaranteed a minimum sentence should you lose taking the bargain seems more reasonable.
There are all kinds of diabolical issues with our current laws, etc. related to human sexuality.
https://everythingsweden.com/dating-in-sweden/ - "Coming from the UK, it’s very common that if you take someone to a restaurant, the guy pays for the meal. If the opportunity is there then great, but don’t be offended if your date demands to split the bill 50/50. Sweden is very serious about being gender neutral and this is a good example."
https://www.government.se/4a7738/contentassets/efcc5a15ef154... - "Women and men must have the same opportunities for economic independence. In Sweden, some of the most important reforms concerning gender equality took place in the labour market and in social policy in the 1970s. These reforms pushed gender equality and increased women’s prospects to have the same opportunities as men to enter the labour market, and to remain and develop there." including "Separate income taxation for wife and husband", "Development of public child care", and "First country to introduce gender-neutral paid parental leave benefit".
And https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_law_in_Sweden#Grounds_... - "One critical feature that marks Swedish divorce laws is the complete absence of any fault requirement when establishing a case for divorce. Fault is entirely irrelevant and has no legal consequences on the results of the proceedings ... under the Swedish laws, there is no preliminary requirement of a separation period before a divorce case can be established."
And https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_divorce-45-se-maximizeMS... - "There are no rules governing marriage annulment in Swedish law."
In 2019, female workers in Sweden earned on average 25,500 Swedish kronor on a monthly basis, while the average salary for men was in the same class was 29,500 Swedish kronor per month.
But what are the causes of this inequality? What if it is simply different choices on average rather than discrimination? If it is the choice of free people that produces this inequality, do we force people to pick different jobs, or tax one side more heavily than the other to compensate? What is the proposed solution?
Birth control and other factors have made it possible to live differently than that but we still norm everything around practices that worked to get the least worst result for human kind historically.
The odds are good there will always be some differences between men and women. But those aggregate stats tend to downplay the degree to which women get barred from having a good life on their own efforts and tend to be condemned to poverty and hardship through no fault of their own, no matter how hard they try.
My proposed solution is we need to find ways to let women have enough more consistently without having to sleep with a man to get it. To my mind, one test for that is if I could just make my life work that would be a step forward, a step in the right direction.
I seem unable to adequately explain that to anyone here. I seem unable to adequately get across that there is something fundamentally wrong and gender-based when the highest ranked openly female member here still can't make ends meet and far too few people are at all helpful with that issue.
I remain essentially a charity case though people agree I add value, I'm smart, etc. It still fails to adequately open doors for me and people act like that has no bearing on conversations about gender inequality and dismiss me as just some loser and crybaby, as if I don't have some kind of legitimate point here.
I think I need to walk away from this discussion at this point. It's probably accomplishing nothing, as usual, and I find these kinds of conversations incredibly infuriating.
I doubt it, as I see that the gender wage inequality in The Netherlands is much higher (https://www.statista.com/statistics/537993/average-monthly-w... ) and yet the Netherlands has legalized sex work.
No, of course not. That's not what I'm suggesting.
When I was homeless, men repeatedly offered me money for sex or offered me a place to stay. Meanwhile, I was repeatedly told on HN that my desire to support myself with my writing was ludicrous, that writing dies not pay and I shouldn't expect it to.
And when I say my gender is a barrier to effective networking and a factor in my intractable poverty, I am routinely mocked and dismissed.
I am seriously handicapped, which limits the kind of work I can do. I don't qualify for disability.
I don't need a helluva lot of money. I still can't get what I need. All I get is BS personal attacks, dismissals and contempt.
It's very, very clear in my mind that men are willing to pay me for sex or marry me but far too few people are willing to pay me for other kinds of work and the networking that helps men make money via business is something I'm mostly cut off from.
And it's a tiresome situation because I'm given nothing but crap for trying to solve my problems no matter what I do.
I've been here nearly twelve years. Plenty of men make good money via HN. I don't, though my past front page post had over 15k page views and people thanked me for writing it. But it made not one thing dime.
And if you don't want to support my blog writing, I also do resume work and get too little business that way as well.
What kind of networking is being recommended? I'd like to know so I can do more of it.
All I know is multiple people here have comments in their profile "Don't hesitate to get in touch! I'm happy to hear from you!" And those people have proven to be generally unhelpful.
Saying too much more puts me in danger of getting in trouble for breaking the rules. It's perfectly acceptable for 5 million people to watch me starve and say "Not my problem." It's not perfectly acceptable for me to tell my story here, no matter how careful I am and I'm quite clear that being not careful would be more problematic for me and get me no remedy.
Where are you from? This is not true everywhere.
> We expect men to be the primary breadwinner in a marriage.
In a mysoginistic vision of marriage in your culture, maybe.
It's fine if you see marriage as a business arrangement (readily available sex for money AKA prostitution). But don't pretend everybody views marriage the exact same way.
"Men expected to work hard and die early to provide for the family, women most affected." /s
Men being expected to provide is not misogynistic. It places a burden on the man.
Yes, if the woman were PREVENTED from working that would be misogynistic, but that's not what the parent comment said. The parent comment merely said that men are expected to pay, not that women are prevented from earning, and these are not the same thing.
There is no misogyny in cracking down on prostitution. The amount of trafficked women forced into prostitution greatly outweighs the amount of willing participants in that "business". Believing the opposite certainly is misogyny.
Ideally a relationship is about getting to know someone, experiencing mutal attraction, forming an emotional connection, and so on. Sex is part of it but it's not all of it and mutual desire is important to most people.
I know nobody outside of 19th century books and Americans online argue these points. I'm not trying to be facetious: do people currently alive actually think these things?
People no longer default to assuming that women should be full-time wives and moms. Women in the US no longer need their husband's permission to seek employment. Etc.
But the general pattern still shapes a great many social phenomenon and I think it is a serious ongoing problem, yes.
Annulment isn't a "thought." It's a legal reality. You don't typically seal contracts with "and then we have sex and the contract is null and void if that doesn't happen at least once."
I do see now that some countries achieved the latter by importing some church laws into their legal system, so I suppose that's how in some western countries annulment is indeed still a reality. Amazing!
In my view, the main reason for making prostitution legal is to allow victims of trafficking and sex crimes to seek justice against their abusers without themselves being prosecuted. This doesn't mean that prostitution isn't still a negative and that we shouldn't try to eliminate it where possible.
I guess to be specific I think the police trying to expand anti-pimping laws to classify anyone who does business with a prostitute as a pimp are clearly detrimental to the well being of sex workers, but I don't think laws which discourage men from buying sex to begin with are necessarily more harmful than helpful.
And that makes the police behavior in the OP make much more sense: the goal of legalized prostitution (and criminalizing all related activities) wasn't to make sex work legal, it was only to reduce the leverage traffickers have over the trafficked.
It's a tough problem...
The OP isn't describing sex workers being "terrorized," it's describing people not wanting to associate with them because of the legal peril of supporting prostitution.
> which defeats the purpose as it risks pushing these women underground again.
I don't see any incentive for these women to go "underground" because they are in no legal peril themselves. The simple solution the ostracism is to stop being a prostitute and get a different job, which is probably what the law was intended to encourage.
> It's a tough problem...
The kind of strict-enforcement situation the OP describes actually seems like a tidy to solution to the problem of prohibiting prostitution without crating a trap for women in a trafficking situation. The key seems to be a broad interpretation of what "profiting from prostitution" is, so landlords, hotels, boyfriends, etc. won't want to take the risk. That replaces the legal pressure to get prostitutes to stop with social pressure.
Sure no legal peril, but if a sex worker does come forward to the police about an abusive John or a pimp she risks being kicked out of her home, locked out of her bank account and having her family and friends harassed by police.
This creates a strong disincentive to get help from authorities, which seems like exactly the barrier legalization efforts aim to eliminate.
>The kind of strict-enforcement situation the OP describes actually seems like a tidy to solution to the problem of prohibiting prostitution without crating a trap for women in a trafficking situation.
Except that’s not the situation this solution generates. It makes any aboveboard legal situation impossible, recreating the problems of prohibition and creating a trap.
There is no trap, if you don't break the law, and don't help other people break the law, then you aren't involved in the industry at all.
I'm not going to take a position on whether or not prostitution should be legal, but pretending that prostitution is currently completely legal when it always involves a crime doesn't seem like a good argument.
How does this create a trap, when a trafficked women can always run to the police and get everyone who tried to exploit them arrested, without being in any legal peril themselves?
nwsp has a report on harms involved with this model of prohibition
occasionally there are news stories about particularly bad travesties of this kind of prohibition
one thing to keep in mind is that many people cannot seek help from the police. people who are victims to forced labor are often in a complex legal situation created or exploited by the perpetrators. undocumented people, the most vulnerable victims of trafficking, risk being arrested and deported if they seek help. this may destroy lives, separate families, render people homeless, or deliver refugees back to their peril.
the only way to reduce this kind of exploitation is to legalize and proliferate good options that don't exploit people, and provide social support services to vulnerable people that do not involve law enforcement, so it becomes not easy or profitable to exploit people.
I mean, isn't that the exact problem that structuring prostitution laws in this way solves?
> undocumented people, the most vulnerable victims of trafficking, risk being arrested and deported if they seek help.
Illegal immigration is separate legal issue from prostitution, and issues caused by it won't get solved by normalizing prostitution.
I think a distinction needs to be drawn between legalizing prostitution and normalizing it. It's quite clear this Swedish model does the former without doing the latter, in order to solve a specific legal dilemma. That's still going to irk those who really want the latter.
That's a good point, but if the government is going to do that they should be above board about it.
Presumably the law was sold to the public and legislators as applying to pimping under the everyday definition. Calling everything pimping is abusing the law, just like in the US where calling everything interstate commerce so that the Federal government can control it is abusing the law.
And if you passed law A, you shouldn't get to interpret it as law B and say that that's okay because law B is a tidy solution to a problem.
I think your last paragraph relies on the concept that all sex workers are always victims and no one else (the buyers, coworkers etc) is ever a victim.
That really can't be true in practice. So we need a more nuanced approach.
People argue about these specific numbers because frankly it's a hard population to get honest surveys of, but here's one I found.
>As adults in prostitution, 82% had been physically assaulted; 83% had been threatened with a weapon; 68% had been raped while working as prostitutes;
>Eighty-eight percent of these respondents stated that they wanted to leave prostitution, and described what they needed in order to escape.
If those numbers are even close to reality I think it's hard to argue that the negatives of prostitution don't far outweigh any positives.
That said I think it's not at all obvious what the solution is here because clearly criminalizing prostitution is ineffective at eliminating prostitution.
I wasn't able to find any stats on violence in a country where it is both legal and normalized, but I did find this paper by a doctor of psychology about the trafficking and abuses that still occur under the German system.
I'm open to evidence to the contrary, but it seems like in many ways the legalization and normalization of prostitution has both failed to protect sex workers from violence and has normalized the trafficking and pimping of these women.
Sadly, people with mental health issues and difficult families being preyed upon by abusers is common, even here in the US.
What's the positive to society that justifies how frequently these women get robbed, assaulted, and raped?
Why is prostitution a different situation than those?
And how much of the violence against them is because they've been ostracized and routinely lack legal protections?
Is it really better for society that people who do prostitution to avoid starving to death... instead starve to death?
If you really believe people only do sex work because they lack the tools for something else, why not give them those tools instead of removing what little they already have? If your theory is correct, no one will decline these better tools; and anyone who does decline is reasonable evidence that your theory was wrong and sex work isn't actually intrinsically harmful.
Certainly, there are nations that legalize prostitution without falling in to anarchy and violence, and I don't just mean the Swedish model.
Yes that is precisely why it's not illegal to sell sex in Sweden, only to buy it. There is no need to allow the buying part, or pimping. The Reddit post is mostly bogus except for outlining the law in the first paragraph.
I mean come on, a landlord not allowing people to use his building as a private brothel isn't "a witchhunt".
You don't understand how limits on some types of work are different from a comprehensive prohibition on other types of work? I don't beleive you.
The distinction is arbitrary.
Do you think all sex workers identify as female?
> As long as buying a woman just to exploit her body sexually is normalized we will never reach equality
How is it any different from any other industry? What's the difference between paying someone to massage your scalp because it feels good and paying them to massage your genitalia because it feels good? For that matter, how is it any different to any job at all? Is a person being paid to restock shelves being hired for their holistic personhood? We're "exploiting" their body for their ability to lift items onto shelves. How are sexual skills any different from any other skill which we employee people for?
> The few happy sex workers that truly think they are not abused are not worth the enormous negative effects prostitution has on society.
Right, those sex workers are so dumb they don't even know of they're happy or not.
This is clearly a gender specific problem despite your desire to frame it otherwise.
As to your second point, we often hire underage people to do work such as restocking shelves. If sex work is truly the same as retail work would you also argue that hiring an underage prostitute is no different than when Walmart hires a 15 year old to push carts? If not, what's the difference?
This is clearly a situation that society knows how to handle via a fairly wide variety of methods and control systems.
I don't find this argument compelling. Are you saying that the only professions that are morally permissible are those that we would allow fifteen-year-olds to do? We don't allow them to bartend, drive trucks, nor be members of the US Senate, but I find it silly to think that fact makes those professions particularly immoral. 15 year olds aren't even allowed to work 40 hour weeks in most countries.
And, to answer your question, I think the answer is that the fifteen-year-old is not sexually nor emotionally mature enough to engage in prostitution. (Just like they are not mature enough to serve alcohol or drive, whereas they are likely emotionally mature enough to push carts.) They're below the legal age of consent by three years, for goodness' sake! Advocating for legalized and regulated prostitution is not equivalent to advocating for pedophilia, and I find the equivalence you've drawn troubling.
Also I think as a society we treat sex as different from other activities in a way that isn't really compatible with legal sex work.
For example, if some manager asks the intern to pick up their Dry cleaning as part of their job, some people might frown upon that but I don't think many people think the intern is being wronged or if they are that it isn't really a big deal.
On the other hand, if a manager asks his intern to have sex with him, I think most people agree that this should be illegal and that the manager in question is abusing his power, even if having sex with the manager was listed as a job requirement.
But if your job is only to have sex...suddenly it's ok again.
You can argue that we should treat sex as a normal activity like driving someone around or picking up groceries for them, but currently in society we treat sexual consent differently to prevent these power imbalances and pressured sex in the workplace, and I don't think that treatment is consistent with the sentiment of "sex work is just work"
The power imbalances and pressures are the same for picking up dry cleaning.
Sexual consent is treated differently because of how the laws shaped our views of prostitution. If prostitution, legally speaking, becomes a normal job like serving ice cream or sweeping the floor, then your sideline example naturally follows and is not some kind of exceptional case.
Thankfully I think this is a fringe viewpoint, you won't find too many people like this in the real world. They tend to stay on the Internet where they can be maximally amplified.
The main problem is not SWERFs, it's that even sex-positive feminists tend to want to "normalize sex work" only from the production angle but not the consumption angle. This means that the rebuttal to SWERFs is not "sex work isn't exploitative", but "capitalism is exploitative and sex work is often the best option given the circumstances." Which leads to passivity at best towards attempts to shame/punish men who patronize sex workers.
I have not looked into the attitudes toward sex work on the other side of the iron curtain. That’s an interesting topic. Undoubtedly it existed, but in the absence of capitalism perhaps it could not be considered exploitative.
I mean, it's a very narrow view, but I can kind of see where it's coming from. Of course, the obvious implication is that working for money now becomes "slavery" by the same reasoning.
I think the problem is the assumption that prostitution would only ever happen as a last resort to stay financially afloat, and nobody would ever just choose it as their preferred way of earning an income; which time has shown, actually does happen, and more often than many might think.
All work is exploitative and the more so when the potential supply is larger than the demand. Look at the wages of office cleaners and supermarket shelf fillers.
There is a difference between doing blowjobs for a "living" and flipping burgers, if you can't tell then, I can understand how you would make such an absurd point.
No, there really isn't. If one seems less appealing to you, just as it does to me, then that's fine because nobody is forcing us to do that kind of work. If, however, somebody else is completely fine with earning their money that way, why would we care or even tell them they aren't allowed to?
I'm pretty ignorant on this issue, so I may have this wrong. But my intuition is that sex work, on average and over the long term, is not positive for one's mental well being. Something about repeatably being so vulnerable and intimate with strangers who have little interest in your whole self. That said, even if I'm right, I'm not sure what the laws or policies should be.
- Shovelling shit all day
- Listening to and dealing with other peoples traumatic experiences
- Lying to people (this is really a whole lot of jobs)
- Making sure locked-up people don't escape, using violence if "necessary"
- Driving around with so few chances to take a break that one has to pee in a bottle
- Working several shifts in a row saving life
- Shooting people for a living
- Bombing people for a living
- Deciding who gets shot and/or bombed
All of these are perfectly okay, according to society, yet getting laid is somehow "spychologically damaging" to the point where the decision cannot be even left to the individual? In what world does this make any sense?
Let's ban sewers, therapy, all borderline-scammy business models, prisons, delivery drivers, hospitals, wars (3 times) first, then we can talk about telling people how bad it is for them to have sex for money.
Says you, who's we?
But in practice, really consential sex work is too expensive, which is why there are criminals willing to force sex workers to work for a lot less and pocket most of the difference. And when prostitution is legal, the police can't really tell the difference. You can't ask the women, they've either been brainwashed or threatened enough.
The johns don't want to know either, even though they are raping the girls every time.
That's the background of Sweden's prostitution law. Assume exploitation, because you can't prove its absence.
I am in New Zealand where sex work is legal, and I know quite a few professional sex workers (disclaimer: not as a client but just random people that are somewhat open about it), and it is nothing like you have described.
Without doubt the work has its risks, just different risks from other jobs (for example bar work is dangerous and minimum pay). However sex work pays extremely well: pay off a house mortgage in a handful of years rather than decades well (without needing a degree). It is not very good for your mental health from what I can tell (but hard to tease cause from effect here).
That said, my social acquaintances don’t include the most at risk, the street workers doing dangerous tricks for a little money to get high. Those workers are definitely not saving for a home, and definitely are not getting the rewards for the risks.
You may also underestimate the size of the exploitative "market segment". And sometimes the line between consent and exploitation is blurry.
Chris Rock (I think) even has a bit on it "no one ever sold you drugs, you went and bought them".
Is there something about this “bad” judgement that puts it in a different class than drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or supersizing your daily McMeal?
While I guess it would be preferable the prosecutors would use some more discretion to actually go after cases of clearer exploitation, I still think the situation in Sweden is preferable to that here in Germany, where forced prostitution is blooming in the shadow of a largely legalized sex trade.
It is near impossible for police to tell if prostitutes are being coerced. And a large part of all prostitutes probably are coerced or exploited, to some extent, even if the situation is more complicated (like drugs, homelessness, psychiatric issues etc).
Just as with firearms in the US: the more potentially legal prostitution there is, the harder it is to sniff out the illegal ones, even when hiding in plain sight.
In Germany we have exactly that situation. Prostitution is legal, though I am not sure about exactly what registration is required. It is a bloody mess, because it is assumed that forced prostitution is now rampant in Germany, to the point that men from other countries travel over the border just for the brothels...
> It is a bloody mess, because it is assumed that forced prostitution is now rampant in Germany, to the point that men from other countries travel over the border just for the brothels...
They aren't traveling there because the sex workers are practicing under force. If Germany has a reputation it is because of its brothels with a visible presence in the public sphere. It is also a rich country, centrally located, and organized brothels allow woman from poorer European countries to outsource a lot of difficult work; security, housing, marketing. Renting an apartment in Italy, advertising on the local websites, being familiar with the laws, compounded by the language barrier, is much higher-effort.
The trafficking narrative is always very thing on evidence.
It is certainly assumed that there is a lot of trafficking in popular imagination though, mainly due to successful activism that seeks to exaggerate the problem in order to further the goal of outlawing sex work. This activism is, as always, the fusion of paternalism, the ring-fencing of the decent from the morally subversive, and radical feminist thought, and human trafficking is mostly a convenient public lever.
You have to look no further then the United States, where police departments routinely have brain-dead local press disseminate how they are saving human trafficking victims in various raids, but half of which will face criminal charges for prostitution, and the other half will be lucky enough to be forced into mandatory diversion programs to avoid charges.
You don't actually have any evidence that there is no trafficking, no exploitation. You assume prostitutes are taking drugs out of their free will. That they are not abused. That they live the lives they want to live. That "radical feminists" just have some evil agenda...
Well, why do you need to believe all this?
Most spas in Germany expect everyone to be naked, but don’t involve anything sexual at all. Large scale brothels use the term as a transparently disingenuous way of pretending the sex isn’t part of the business.
Their sites are pretty clear about what they are and they are the registered institutions for that sex trade that the registered sex workers work in, if their area requires them to operate out of a brothel.
We already reach similar conclusions with issues pertaining to hard drugs and mob control, but somehow things would be magically different with prostitution. For instance we know that legalization of certain previously prohibited substances has not eradicated mob control overnight, and in some cases they may have increased profits in the early stages as the market has not structurally changed much. As people move to govt-regulated substances, the narcos lose out.
Or that municipalities in Germany can more strictly outlaw it anyway?
The 'illegal tier' already exists, it's a farce to suggest that legalization "creates" it.
However, I don't think it's right to use that evidence to shut down discussion. We should use it as a data point on how to strike the best balance between protecting sex workers and preventing trafficking.
The posted link, at least on mobile, will try to force you to use the Reddit app to view the content.
Btw, teddit.net is a great alternative interface for Reddit.
I’m surprised how well it works and how few changes were needed to provide a big improvement in UX.
AFAICT The laws in Canada are similar to that described for Sweden, but I don't think they are enforced as strongly. I could be very wrong though.
I'm glad people are slowly coming around to the idea that victimless crimes should not be a thing, whether prostitution or drug crimes. It saddens me that there were millions of lives ruined in the process, but that can be said for so many puritanical rules that all countries still have in place.
...Rejuvenated. These are new. There's a new common ground around puritanism. The philosophical underpinnings have changed. Women's rights are, ostensibly, protected while the client side is criminalalised. The reason for the laws is no longer "public morals," it's consent.
However, we arrive at more or less the same place. Increasingly, bishops and feminists find common ground on these issues...
Imo, even legalization isn't enough. We need normalisation. While prostition is marginalized and ostrecized, sex workers will be at the bottom of the pyramid.
The kinds of people involved in violence are overwhelmingly poor, young males. This is not a group that cares about laws or cultural norms. They lack the money to pay for sex workers, they don't have cultural hangups about it. They lack the money, education, and human decency to maintain a girlfriend relationship.
Which is to say they're not bad people because they're sexually frustrated. They're sexually frustrated because they're bad people. Which can be a negative feedback cycle.
If you want to address violence it would be better to focus on reducing poverty, on education, and on rehabilitation. A lot of violence is drug related, providing a legal market for buying and selling illegal drugs would kill that element crime. Prohibition of drugs seems to be playing out the same that prohibition of alcohol did. Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.
Normalizing prostitution is not likely to move the needle for the reasons I mentioned.
However, honestly "voluntary" prostitution is also too expensive. Which is a big reason for the famed "management level" to exist. Through drugs, physical and psychological abuse they create a much cheaper supply, and only that way the demand can be met.
I'd argue this is precisely the person who should not have access to prostitutes. Their existence, or our inability to adequately police them, is one of the stronger arguments against prostitution.
Unless we’re talking about hi-class hi-paid workers here, which are far from common, this “outlet” has the same (or even lower) voltage than your hand-y discharger, if you get the analogy.
The more realistic result will be you and your kids living amidst endless brothels and their frustrated clients.
But if you are a man with these kinds of problems you have nowhere to go.
What if some people just like working in sex work?
That's not a fair generalization. Most sex workers remain in poverty, and it's extremely risky work -- for all that men's rights activists like to talk about men having the most dangerous jobs, their statistics are drawn from a perspective that sex work isn't a "job" -- so the actual #1 most dangerous job, mostly done by women, is overlooked.
Even in places like Canada were the work is decriminilized and clients are criminalized, sex workers rarely go to the police after being attacked or raped because the common response is that the worker "asked for it." Sex workers are freelancers: they don't get insurance or other benefits, so they need to charge a higher rate up-front.
Rather than limit the amount that sex workers get paid, it would be better to legalize it and treat it like any other job. Forced labor (pimps and sex trafficking) is already illegal; those laws just need enforcement, which will be easier with the transparency of legal employment. Also, individual workers and brothels can get insurance, medical and otherwise, hire security, etc. to improve the safety of workers.
Let the free market sort out the price.
By that token you'd also have to count "gangster" as a job, which is probably also pretty dangerous.
Furthermore, the entire notion that sex work is dangerous for women is exactly the reason it's widely prohibited in the first place.
You're nitpicking. You know they meant "a lot relative to the qualifications and difficulty of the job"
If something is illegal and people still do it to make a living you can be pretty much assured it's better than all the legal menial labor options.
No I'm not, and yes I know that, and I addressed it, but I'll spell it out some more.
Just about everybody is qualified to collect garbage, too. Garbage collection is physically risky and also disgusting and stigmatized. Like sex work, pay should compensate for those factors. Just because some people also voluntarily pick garbage in parks doesn't mean that garbage collection should be free.
The fact that sex work is illegal introduces additional risk to the workers, which, again, should increase its price. But, statistically, the highly paid sex workers are very uncommon. And that's not nitpicking; it's observing that OC is cherrypicking.
And anybody who thinks "sex is fun" and that comparing sex work to garbage collection is unfair has probably never done sex work nor had a serious conversation with somebody who has.
And it has considerable risks, partially because they cant legally hire security.
And if they remain in poverty even when being paid a lot they either work very few hours or they spend it on luxury goods like clothes or trips.
Edit: Anyway, the argument isn't that prostitutes are victims because there is a lot of violence related to the profession. The argument is usually that it is inhumane to subject a woman to involuntary sex, so women accepting money to have sex they otherwise wouldn't is seen as a bad thing for the woman even under perfect conditions. That is the main argument why sex work should be illegal, everything else can be fixed but that can't ever be fixed no matter how much you improve surroundings. I don't agree with that view, but that is what you are up against.
EDIT: This is not meant literally, I am not talking about toilette cleaning jobs at Facebook, I am talking about paying people for the time they spent working and maybe how physically taxing or unpleasant the work is. This is in contrast to paying people what you can get away with because of the available supply of workers or how much money you have to throw around because you can get it from your customers.
Economic theory might try to tell you that the low wages will incentivize people to seek better jobs which will reduce the supply of workers for menial jobs which will eventually get you a developer salary for cleaning toilettes, but as far as I can tell that is not what is actually happening.
My understanding of fair payment is not what you can get away with because of the supply and demand situation, it is that if you put eight hour of your life time into your work, then you deserve being paid for that time more or less no matter what you do.
People who comes up with those arguments just haven't thought things through.
For the second question I will admit that my initial comment sounds like it is an easy thing to do but you are right that I can not provide some policies that if implemented would yield my desired outcome. But you should also not take my comment to literally, I do not want a better wage for the janitors at Facebook but for menial work in general. So as a first step at least have a minimum wage that ensures that you are not living at the verge of poverty if you work full time. That is certainly a far cry from achieving what my initial comment asked for but it is better than nothing and as I said, I unfortunately do not know how to get there.
I'm not denying that the price can seem wrong. Who really thinks that sports stars ought to make 20x what a doctor makes?
(even though there were many other problems, and eventually the planned economy bit and large foreign-denominated loans backed by plummeting oil made the whole thing collapse like a house of cards)
I'll note that lots of people want FB developer jobs, but they don't solve that problem by cutting salaries until the number of applicants is roughly equal to the number of jobs. It's a tell that you use one hiring heuristic for people in your social class and a different one for people seen as lesser. That's a great illustration of the overall problem that the original article is part of.
>> I don't think you've tried very hard to figure out ways to decide. The obvious one is lottery, but there are many more.
> A lottery doesn't feel very fair though, does it? Why should a few people get paid more for the same work? Doesn't make sense.
A lottery is about the fairest way to distribute a scarce resource imaginable. And it seems even less fair to declare that everyone whose job is to clean toilets should continue to get equally crappy wages, while there's massive inequality in income all over the place.
So in short, the right thing to do is either leave facebook as is, or tax it so that neither its software engineers nor its janitors can earn much more than an average American.
Not every resource is divisible or practically divisible (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgement_of_Solomon).
You're kind of going all over the place to dispute everyone's points. If Facebook were to pay its toilet cleaners far above the market rate for that job, a fair way to solve the problem of "who gets these jobs" in the face of a glut of qualified applicants is by using a lottery.
You're right there's all kinds of other things that may be better to do, but we were talking about this specific artificial scenario.
If unfairness in jobs and compensation is what really motivates you, there are much bigger fish to fry than some totally imaginary jobs that will never exist.
Pick the first person that applies who has seen a toilet before in their life and is physically able to clean one.
(Which isn’t a bad idea given how much of ancient legacy shit we are still dragging in this area.)
I agree, humanely. But our entire competitive all-eating-optimizing nature works against this.
Raising min.wages would likely lead to the situation where they have no job at all, because if low-paid jobs were enforced as decently paid by law, companies would simply automate them. They didn’t do that yet, only because it’s cheap to use human labor. Taxi, delivery, cleaning, you name it.
If low skill job workers could get $$$$$$ jobs, they would. But they can’t, for various reasons. This is not fixable at the level we discussing.
And if we actually run out of jobs valued at least a living wage for some part of society - and I have no illusion that everyone can become a developer if they just tried hard enough - then this is a problem that needs addressing. Just pretending that there are still jobs because there is work that is valued less than a living wage but still more expensive then automation, is not a solution.
But I am not in a position to really judge objectively where we are, whether we are already out of jobs or whether some jobs are just underpaid because it is possible in the current market situation, or what mix of the former.
Just leave the god damned people alone, its sad that in 21st century some folks still feel above the rest of us and try to push their moral views unto everybody else.
Not enough that you can retire but enough that you don't have to worry about making ends meet for long enough to pivot to something else.
Most everybody would behave differently if they had substantially more money. I know I wouldn't be working where I am if I didn't need a paycheck. But choosing a shittier job because it pays better is not victimization.
Many of the FAANG companies are famous for their perks. One of those is having massage therapists at the office. By normalization, do you mean you would you be ok them also having sex workers (well paid with benefits) as well.
Just to be clear, I, and likely most people, would be against that, which shows that I don't think sex work is going to be completely normalized.
At many companies, it is pretty normal for there to be alcohol, even at work related events. I doubt, even if marijuana were made legal, that you would see marijuana at work related events.
There is a big difference between legalization and normalization.
One way you can think of normalization is with regards to its status in a professional setting. If you mentioned around the water cooler that you went to a nail salon and had a pedicure, no one would care. If you mentioned that you went to legal sex worker, you would have an HR complaint filed against you. One is normalized, the other is not.
I don't think sex in general will ever really be "normalized". It will always involve taboos of some sort.
I mean a culture where being a sex worker is not something that most people hide or gasp at. Strippers are, in some places, semi-"normal." You can date an ex stripper, in some circles. Ex-prostitute is, generally, a no-go.
>>I, and likely most people, would be against that
Yes of course. That's what not being normalized currently means. Normalisation would be a change in these opinions. Homosexuality was also "most people against" very recently.
Also, I didn't say that I think this change is coming. Quite the opposite. The current trend is in the puritanical direction.
In the modern era, libertarianism quickly breaks down when certain demographics feel grievances.
I am not sure if it is really that clear cut. Germany has pretty liberal laws around prostitution and there are massive problems with human trafficking. Many women do not do the work out of their own volition.
Through my last job for over a decade I had access to thousands of sex workers, many in Germany. I will attest, on everything I own, not a single one was doing it against her will.
I do not doubt there are some being forced, but this idea that it’s a large percentage… I can not get behind. I’ve been on the inside and never saw anything remotely like it. And since I wasn’t a client I spoke openly with the girls and discussed things like this with them. Most were from Eastern Europe and we’re just stacking cash.
The Philippines I came across some questionable stuff, but that was due to extreme poverty. South and Central America were not quite as above board as Europe. Frankly, America is the worst, and that’s why Americans have these strange overly negative views of sex work. Our laws make it dangerous and thus dangerous people are attracted to it.
> Countries with legalized prostitution are associated with higher human trafficking inflows than countries where prostitution is prohibited. The scale effect of legalizing prostitution, i.e. expansion of the market, outweighs the substitution effect, where legal sex workers are favored over illegal workers. On average, countries with legalized prostitution report a greater incidence of human trafficking inflows.
There's a lot more nuance to it if you read the article or the actual study. I am in general for legalizing sex work, but if we want to protect sex workers we can't pretend legalization is a panacea.
Based on the dataset the study uses to reach its conclusions the US, Japan, and Israel are considered "very high trafficking" countries. Whereas Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Moldova are classified "very low trafficking". Does anybody in their right mind honestly think human trafficking is less of a problem in Sudan than Japan?
With that kind of dataset, you can reach any kind of conclusion you want. Garbage in, garbage out.
EDIT: here are some recent improvements in Germany according to the wiki: The Criminal Code was amended in October 2016 to criminalise clients of trafficked or coerced prostitutes. This change was led by Social Democrat Eva Högl.
The Prostituiertenschutzgesetz (Prostitutes Protection Act) came into force in July 2017. Amongst the provision of the Act are registration of prostitutes, annual health checks and mandatory condom use. Brothel operators also need to register and prove their 'good conduct' before registration. The legislation also places restrictions on advertising. -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Germany#Legal_...
As patrons stick with the well-regulated outlets, they won't fund the competing mob-controlled ones, and trafficking will slow. The conditions were just too easy to exploit at the outset.
Response to edit: I’m glad Germany is making progressive changes, but I’d like to see data (or at least firsthand anecdotes) that the amended laws are working as intended.
So I guess there is no problem for a human trafficking victim to go to the police since they don't break any law themselves
I wouldn't want a neighbor operating a business that attract people, same as an hotel owner or guest. Criminalizing the owners is a step too far, I agree.
Filming arrests? they also film traffic offenders and other crimes, the names remain confidential until the trial though
Banks are worried to be involved in sex trafficking businesses, they don't have the tools to evaluate the legality of such a business so they simply ban all prostitutes. Similar rules apply BTW to large cash deposits or even unordinary sales of jewelry.
I couldn't find anything in Swedish prohibiting (explicitly or implicitly) being a spouse to a prostitute, unless of course if said spouse advertised her services which is illegal
TLDR; Sweden took it a bit too far maybe, but they also regulate alcohol sales so it makes sense.
Personally? I don't care too much, unless (and I haven't checked) someone can prove to me that legalizing prostitution can help reduce violence, rape etc in some way. I have the same opinion about legalizing some drugs- if the damages if significantly smaller then the benefit than why not?
People routinely build models on what prosecutors will pursue and what kinds of violations will be successfully punished and these will frequently be orthogonal to the laws text. See any US discussion online about the ATF for instance.
If people believe of can be made to believe they will be prosecuted for doing something that isn't illegal then it's just as illegal as if it actually was.
#4 is simply a fulfilling what the law and the government meant, prostitution is illegal and the best way to catch the offenders is waiting for them outside of the business.
Same for "what you do is legal, but we'll sit outside your house and arrest anyone going in-and-out".
Police are not sitting outside anyone's house, they do detain sex buyers from time to time and the most sensible place to do that is outside of the business
But that's different - kidnapping is not a victimless crime, and human trafficking is investigated and prosecuted entirely differently.
Would you also like fast food and sugar-filled foods to be made illegal because they directly lead to millions of early deaths and cost large amounts of money to healthcare?
I’m not sure why you would think otherwise. You’re talking to someone who clearly prioritizes personal agency less than overall well-being or positive outcome in certain cases.
The foreign mob who traffics would then have to compete with institutions that have a reputation among the populace for good working conditions.
The issues surrounding drugs are similar. Narco states and mob control don't disappear overnight from legalization, but the increase in legitimate avenues takes over their market share over time.
Even in countries were laws are relatively more permissive, operations are relegated to the streets, and the Nordic Model has resulted in terrible working conditions.
If the brothel organization or the .gov adds too much overhead cost there will be ample room for the criminals' overhead.
Weed is an example of this. The .gov couldn't resist taxing the crap out of it so there's still a black market.
This isn't necessarily true though. Research has shown that increasing legalization for sex work leads to both more "reputable" sex work and more sex trafficking.
We can plainly see the advantage with drugs, it's the same thing. At the outset, decriminalization of marijuana increases trafficking from the underworld in the short-run. Legalization eventually leads to a regulated market that circumvents illegal channels, and decimates their market share. This is beginning to be the case with marijuana.
There's no reason to believe it would be any different for sex work. Germany unveiled new regulations just a few years ago, stay tuned for new statistics this decade.
What is similar is that you can't do everything you want in your own house, like experimenting on bombs or making drugs, etc.
I am not totally against sex work. I am just pointing out the reasoning is flawed.
Why is getting laid a vice?
Or is it the "paying money to skip the BS" that's the vice?
As much as I don't like that people eat/smoke/work themselves to death, I don't want a government having the ability to go and criminalize such things.
The law is from 1999 and prostitution was not illegal before it.
Unfortunately, when prostitution is legal it is impossible to tell coercion apart from consent. Sweden errs on the side of protecting the victims. It also means that "honest, voluntary" sex-workers have a much harder time while not technically committing a crime or being exploited.
But the laws are not designed to owe those prostitutes a living from sex-work, they are designed to be able to suppress exploitation, and it actually works.
You'd really have to give good data to support this claim. Specifically, you'll have to prove that the majority of prostitution under a legal system is coerced.
And I'm adding an addendum here, a level of control equal to or lower than the standard job doesn't count. I.e. I'm not coerced in which I have to work to feed myself. That goes against what people generally define as coercion here.
To believe this is a voluntary choice of work, you need to assume these women have no other options. Which is ridiculous, as both Sweden and Germany have a social welfare system that values dignity. No, you don't have to hurt yourself just to get fed.
If a john visits a prostitute, and there is a chance that prostitute has been forced, at what level of chance does he become a rapist and at what level should he not be criminally liable? 90%? 50%? 1%? Point is: Neither the john nor the police can meaningfully tell the difference, and even a significant amount of forced sex labor is worse than prohibiting all prostitution.
It is also a claim that needs to be supported.
I doubt that anyone could amass the evidence that you would demand, because for some reason you want to believe that there is virtually no forced prostitution where there is legal prostitution. Here in Germany, social workers and charities who work in this areas, even police and prosecutors, know that this is anything but true. It is hard to actually prove trafficking beyond a reasonable doubt.
But when you regularly see young Romani prostitutes from eastern Europe, addicted to drugs, having been obviously physically and mentally abused, lacking teeth, etc and still saying they are doing this out of there own free will despite not living better than if they were living on social security. Especially if their pimp is standing behind them. Well. It doesn't add up, does it?
there should still be regulations around the commercialization of a vice.
sex billboards and youtube ads would definitely not be victimless.
for buying? maybe, but only if your country monitors and supervise prostitution in some way. As much as I don't like it a model where there are licensed brothels could work
Huge disclaimer- I don't have any numbers or data to support my feelings, the fact that there is a community with 170k members worldwide (probably not all of them sex workers) which have positive online attitude towards selling sex doesn't mean that this is their real life attitude. Mental problems or financial hardships can push people to justify things they might regret later.
I've never understood how sex work gets singled out from all the other forms of selling your body for money. I can't think of many(any?) working class jobs that aren't some form of selling your body for money. Typically for way less money then I would argue our bodies are worth.
So then shouldn't porn be illegal too?
It gets chosen because women have too few opportunities to make similar amounts of money any other way. Not giving women the right to sell sexual services condemns them to having no means to adequately support themselves. It doesn't protect them from anything at all.
Think about why this conversation is always about women selling sex. Why is that? Why are sex workers almost universally female or assumed to be while their clients are almost universally male?
That's the real issue here and it doesn't get fixed by criminalizing sex work.
So it's not really a rebuttal to my point.
Whatever else is going on in Sweden, prostitution exists there as well and criminalizing it is not stamping it out and is not a means to address the concern some people have that "Women who become prostitutes without being trafficked do so because they are desperately poor, so they still aren't truly there voluntarily."
I'm not saying that "Good paying jobs will stamp out prostitution." I have no goal of stamping out prostitution.
I'm saying that criminalizing prostitution gives desperately poor women no remedy for the poverty that forces some of them into prostitution. It just closes another door and makes their life harder, not better.
The swedish answer is simple- because they don't see prostitution as legitimate, criminalization or not
The legalization of prostitution in Austria resulted in a greater increase in illegal sex work:
“It indirectly supports the spreading of the illegal market in the sex industry,” the report concluded. “Organized crime has flourished and increased its influence in the sex industry.”
I am aware that some women are fully aware of what they are doing, and won't regret it but how many don't?
And your preferences are often a consequence of who you are, if you are healthy and wealthy and have a good job, then it is easy to prefer a state that does not want your money and lets you decide freely. If you are poor or have health issues or a high risk of being unemployed then you might reasonable prefer a stronger state. What you should be actually doing to decide your position in such matters is using the veil of ignorance, what policies would you want implemented if you were not yet born and you did not know whether you will be born into the richest family, or the poorest, or what sex or skin color you will have. So even in questions of personal preferences one can at least to some degree be more objective by considering different points of view.
So if the state decides for you that does not necessarily mean that the state acts arbitrarily, it might just optimize for different goals. And those might be arbitrary preferences by the people in power but there might also be sound reasoning behind and the resulting policy just does not align with your personal preferences. And sure, if there is some sound reasoning behind making prostitution illegal, then one should do this. But if the reasoning behind making prostitution illegal is to limit human trafficking then I do not see how you can have the resources to harass all the prostitutes but can not target human trafficking specifically and keep prostitution legal. But this might admittedly just be ignorance on my side.