Monday, March 10, 2008

Breaking news: Old white guys like prostitutes!

So okay, NY Governor Eliot Spitzer is a hooker-lover. Frankly, I'm not really surprised; he's an old rich married white man. I think it would be more surprising if someone found me an old rich married white man who doesn't support the oldest profession known to man.

But why is prostitution so stigmatized? The word "prostitution" in itself has become dirty, something the media has slandered to depict life on the "wrong side of the tracks."

This case allows us to look at a side of prostitution that is rarely examined. Working girls are often classified as poor drug abusers who work the streets just to make money to pay rent. But there are also high class working girls who do the job because, well, they're good at it. And in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with that.

Why not use this debacle as a platform for getting a debate going about legalizing prostitution? Legalized, regulated prostitution would be beneficial in the following ways:
1) Protection of prostitutes against violence and STI's.

2) Less stigmatization against a group of women who are smart enough to use their bodies to get by.

3) Protection against blackmail from pimps.

4) Taxing their salaries = government revenue.

5) Less drug abuse among prostitutes.

The stigmatization of prostitution is such an ancient notion; it has its roots in religious and moral philosophizing that is long out of date in a society like ours where I can flip on the TV and see Kim Kardashian in a thong. Sure, Spitzer was wrong; government officials, especially those who fight against corruption, shouldn't break the law. But what if prostitution wasn't illegal? What if it was regulated and standardized, much like strip clubs or that Bunny Ranch in Las Vegas. I think Spitzer would agree with me: the world would be a happier, less sexually frustrated place.



'shloo said...

Although it shouldn't be anyone's business, I would like to think that people have a more serious problem with Spitzer cheating on his spouse than the fact it involved a prostitute. The legality and negative connotation of prostitution really have little to with one another.

I support the decriminalization of the profession b/c putting prostitutes behind bars does not solve anything. Legal or not these women (and sometimes men) do not practice by choice, but out of desperation. Legal or not, prostitution is going to exist.

At the same time, however, legalizing prostitution would do little to hinder the violence and degradation that comes with the job. Although you would think customers would be pleased with the idea of knowing the prostitute is healthy, this is is not the case. In countries where some sort of prostitution is legal there are usually laws that require prostitutes to undergo health checks, but this drives up their price. These countries still encompass an abundance of illegal prostitution, which is more sought after since it is cheaper. Basically, the majority of these women want to earn as much as possible if they have already gone to this length, which means forfeiting their legal protection. Also, legalization requires the registration of prostitutes and many refuse to lose their anonymity . Even here in the US, in Nevada where brothel prostitution is legal and protected, the situation is only ideal for its clients. The prostitutes are lined up and chosen from -- a completely degrading situation.

I have the stats somewhere on my comp if you want the exact, but I believe it is only about 15% that are the dirty, drug-addicted kinds that are portrayed in the media. Most of them have turned to prostitution for reasons other than drugs, like supporting their family (I know you're arguing against this stigma, but in reality there are very, very few who are "high class working girls").

Like I said I am all for decriminalization. Those who have made this their livelihood should not be the ones who are punished. I can definitely understand why the government will never legalize prostitution though. It will solve very little and they can save face by not giving their stamp of approval of the packaging of sex as a commodity Oh wait, I forgot about that multi-billion dollar porn industry.

Marshall said...

^^ Spitzer's wife ^^

da shlooster said...

I wish...she's gonna get a nice settlement out of this one.