Prostitution is legal in Switzerland, but the women and their johns had a bad habit of dropping trou in public. In order to end that, the Swiss government has proposed "sex boxes," which are really more like hooker cubicles.
About the size of a parking space, the walled off green spots don't look like a place most would want to do the nasty, but it does provide a modicum of privacy to both the client and the prostitute.
Anything that gets sex off the street and away from the eyes of passersby and children has to be a good thing, right?
It's this kind of legislation and consideration/compromises around sex work that make it clear prostitution should also be legal all over the U.S. More than 1 million women in the United States have worked as prostitutes, according to the National Task Force on Prostitution. About 100,000 women are currently working. It's the "oldest profession" and, like it or not, will survive us all.
Traditional feminist theory might hold that prostitution is exploitation and perhaps it is, but it exists and occurs whether it's legal or not, so why not make it safe for everyone?
Five reasons prostitution should be legal:
- STD-free: A john visits an illegal prostitute, gets an STD, and brings that home to his wife who passes it on to their child. And that is just one scenario. The fact is, in places like Nevada, where prostitution is legal, the women get monthly blood tests, they have access to condoms and education about safe sex practices, and they're far more likely to have treatment if they do contract something. The spread of AIDS and other STDs would be reduced by legalizing prostitution.
- Safer for the women: Illegal sex workers get beaten up, robbed, and raped. They get shot in hotel rooms and left for dead. In a brothel, like the ones in Nevada, there are bouncers to protect the women and everything is more open. It wouldn't make it the safest profession in the world, but it would certainly cut back on some of the violence against the women.
- Money: If prostitution were legal, the law enforcement money currently spent fighting prostitution could go toward fighting something else. We could tax the service and therefore make some revenue from it. It would be a win-win.
- Less exploitation: Human trafficking is a very real problem all over the world and in the U.S. If prostitution were legal, there would also be legal requirements that prostitutes would have to meet --18 years old, a U.S. citizen, etc. There would still be a market for human trafficking and people would still be people, but more regulation would crack down on at least a portion of it.
- We own our bodies: The most compelling reason of all is that we own our bodies. It may be distasteful, but it's our right to use our bodies as we see fit. If a woman wants to rent hers out, it's her right to do so.
Do you think prostitution should be legal?
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