Should Prostitution Be Legal?
A tricky question as news from Maine unfolds
The prostitution scandal in small-town Maine has been deteriorating into a case of she said/he paid. The question of who broke the law has already taken a second seat to who should be shamed, the alleged prostitute at a Zumba fitness studio and her business partner or the dozens of male customers on the Zumba Plus plan. Concurrent news on Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the defamed former IMF director, revolves around the fairness of “criminalizing lust.”
For a country with a strong Puritanical streak, America has proven remarkably tolerant of sex workers and their clientele. Hugh Grant is still a movie star, Heidi Fleiss enjoyed as much celebrity as notoriety, and Eliot Spitzer navigated a transition from disgraced politician to nightly political commentator. In the Kennebunk, Maine, case, attorneys for the male johns are fighting to protect the release of their names, characterizing them as victims of privacy invasion.
The case for decriminalizing prostitution has not held sway in the United States, despite the apparent leniency in the court of public opinion. With the exception of laws in parts of Nevada, lawmakers maintain that prostitution is inherently demeaning and that legalization would contribute to the expansion of human trafficking. Even with regulations in place, women could not be adequately protected against exploitation and the violence perpetrated by johns, pimps and traffickers. Poor women desperate for income might find themselves with no option other than turning tricks, and ever-younger girls would be drawn into dark and dangerous circles.
Proponents, meanwhile, have said that prostitution should be sanctioned and regulated in part because the world’s oldest profession will never go out of business. It is inevitable, the argument goes, so we’re better off improving the conditions than pretending we can control the trade. Unionizing sex workers would yield legal rights protecting them against traffickers and regulating health standards to stem the tide of sexually transmitted diseases. While those opposed to legalization (notably Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times) cite the rampant victimization and increased risk of HIV in countries such as India and Cambodia, those in favor point to Germany, the Netherlands and our own state of Nevada for evidence that legalization would not increase human-slave trafficking.
If ever the United States were to rethink prostitution laws and regulations, they might look something like the law Sweden enacted in 1999. The Kvinnofrid law made it legal to sell sex but not to buy it. That is, prostitutes couldn’t be charged with a crime but their clients would be charged, as would traffickers, pimps and brothel operators. Hotly debated, with even advocates of women’s rights on both sides, the law was passed based on the belief that prostitution would always prevail with or without a ban. As our slack-jawed nation watches the news unfold in a scenic, tourist-friendly town in Maine, that much seems to be beyond debate.
Photo: Chas Ray Krider/Getty Images
Might as well. Gay marriages are being legalized so why not Protrusion.
John Locke's 3 revolutionary ideas that came from the period of enlightenment.
1. Once your life begins, no one has the right to take it from you.
2. You can do whatver you want with your life unless you cause harm to others.
3. The product of your work is yours and yours alone.
This is what a free country would look like. No victim, no crime. Life, Liberty, Property.
The City of Albuquerque has a mass grave on the west side of town with over twenty prostitutes, murdered, dead and buried, with no answers. These women had families, they were people.
No one knows who did it, and no one cares.
Prostitution isn't empowerment, it is a death sentence.
Of course. Legal. Stop trying to control other people. Who do you think you are?
inspire: live a better life
Summer traditions can be great, but if you’re on year six of packing the same people into the same car to go on the same vacation, it’s time to switch things up. Surfing in Portugal, perhaps – or cycling through Northern Ireland. We've put together a list of 15 places well off the beaten path that you should go to when you're ready to try something new.
Grab a sleeping bag and head out to one of these amazing campsites.
A dozen adventures that are well worth the trip.
Paper downplays the significance of practice over raw talent.
Survey says American teens aren't great at complex or basic financial tasks.
Fear of Moving Away: How to conquer the latest cultural anxiety and embrace the unknown.
Adulthood has no eureka moment.
Just like your body, your brain needs a regular workout too.
Being a winner is a good feeling to have — especially in life. Winning doesn't solely relate to competitions or Charlie Sheen's coining of the term back in 2011. From achieving success to maintaining a work-life balance, find out what characteristics mean your life is going the way it should be. You may just even find an inspiration or two that you'll want to incorporate into your daily routine!
Sometimes it seems like you need a vacation from your vacation.
That'll get you and your 2 kids a house, SUV, and more, per a 'USA Today' analysis.
While most of us associate the Fourth of July with fireworks and barbecue (and taking a long weekend off from work), it's also an important day to give thanks to the people who help keep us safe.