I have always been a huge believer in the legalization of prostitution. Some of you may have heard about a 14-state crackdown called National Day of Johns Arrests. Instead of targeting prostitutes and pimps, the cops went after the johns. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has taken the lead on this thing, and he had this to say about the sting operation: “It makes them understand that there are some consequences here. The public still perceives prostitution as a victimless crime, so we’re going about it this way to address the problem and raise awareness.”
Here’s the problem, though: prostitution, generally speaking, actually is a victimless crime. There are no victims, only winners, and the only reason it’s a crime is because the courts say it is. The john is a winner because he or she gets to have sex. The prostitute is the winner because he or she gets paid.
Hold on, Bruni, I hear you say. What about child prostitutes? What about pimps kicking the shit out of their girls? What about this, that and the other thing? You’re right, those are definitely crimes with victims. However, the only reason they exist is because prostitution is illegal and therefore unregulated.
Let’s take a look at where it is legal and regulated:
Nevada (for the most
part; there are some counties that don’t allow it). While there are the usual
problems, these instances are vastly lowered by the legalization and regulation
of prostitution. (There will always be child prostitution, because no one in
their right mind would legalize that. People will always have illegal cravings,
and there’s nothing to do about it except to crack down harder on those who
would sell kids and those who would fuck kids.)
Working conditions for legal prostitutes are good. They’re constantly tested for disease. Brothel owners can’t beat them senseless. No one forces women into this industry here. Some people will still say that sex isn’t something that should be sold. To quote George Carlin, though, “Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal?”
It’s all about choice. Morality can’t be a legal issue because morality is subjective. If you want to sell your sexual organs, you should be able to do so. If you want to buy someone else’s sexual organs, you should be able to do so, just so long as the person who has them is a consenting adult.
That’s key to the equation, by the way. Everyone involved must be a consenting adult. If this requirement is not met, then the act is a crime.
There are still some valid complaints about legal prostitution, though. For example, the legal prostitutes complain that the health tests are to protect the customer, not the prostitute, as the customers aren’t tested. This is a fair complaint. In
Australia, the customers are
screened carefully before they get to pay for sex. This is something we should
adopt here, because if we ever do legalize prostitution, sex workers absolutely
need to have rights.
Also, there are some odd laws requiring prostitutes to not wander very far from their brothel for very long. In other instances, they need to leave the county if they’re not working. In even other instances, they can’t hang out in local bars and socialize when they’re not working. As a result, some prostitutes have complained that they’re being unfairly detained or regulated. Again, another fair complaint. We need better regulations.
If we can fine-tune this process before taking the next step to legalization, we will see an amazing drop in crime, maybe even shocking. There will still be problems, but it will be nothing like the mess we have now.
Dart also said something else: “If there was no demand, there would be no prostitution.” A simple, slightly goofy thing to say. Let’s face it, there is and always will be a constant demand for sex, and as long as prostitution is illegal, selling fucking and the violent crime that is empowered by lack of legality will always be a problem.
By the way, Dart might not be all that bright. National Day of Johns Arrests lasted for 18 days, which is 17 more than is required for a national day of anything. He was quoted by TIME as saying that “53% of the arrested johns were married and 47% were college graduates.” To directly quote Dart: “The idea that these are a bunch of ne’er-do-wells could not be further from the truth.” The article doesn’t mention whether or not he gave serious consideration as to what, exactly, this means.
And who the fuck says “ne’er-do-wells” anyway?!
Okay, one last thing: did you know that
Rhode Island accidentally legalized
prostitution in 1980? It wasn’t fixed until 2009. So what happened during
nearly two decades of legal selling fucking? Researchers at
took a look at it, and to quote the WASHINGTON POST article about it: “[They]
found that more women entered prostitution . . . and the price of their
services fell. In addition to the lower rate of gonorrhea infections among
women, Shah and Cunningham [the researchers] estimated that decriminalizing
prostitution prevented 824 rapes that would have been otherwise reported to
police—and presumably many more that otherwise would not have been reported in
any case.” Baylor University
Hm. Very interesting. Your thoughts?