The idea that prostitution is liberating for women makes about as much sense as saying a drug addict is liberated by using meth. It is not sexually liberating or empowering for a woman to be used as a trade-able commodity. For the drug user, the benefit is getting high. For the prostitute, the benefit is money. Yet both are harmful to the individual on a spiritual and physical level. While neither liberates them.
The entire conception of sex work as liberating tends to come from fringe feminist groups that seem to believe that being empowered is the act of being completely controlled by a man, since he paid a small sum of money for that control. The industry believes that it is just a job where the men are nice and the women choose the work, but the reality is everything besides that.
The dark underside of prostitution is much more perverse. They seek out the young and vulnerable women, mostly from rough troubled backgrounds. Women that tend to have already been sexually abused and many times are underage. There is a plethora of news reports of brothels being busted for having down to 10-12-year-olds working their nights, yet they can just claim that the girl had a “fake ID” so no trouble ever falls on the brothel.
The Connection with Porn
Porn has exacerbated this issue tremendously. Actors in porn rarely, if ever, wear condoms. There are violent gang-bangs, verbal and physical abuse, choking, and beatings. This is ordinary, normal porn in the modern era. These practices hardly existed just 20 years ago and when they did, they were done in a safe environment where it was usually the women that desired and asked for it (while also not being filmed) in a trusting relationship. Now, we consider them normal sex practices that place these insane demands on women. This is because of men’s porn consumption that has perverted their normal sexuality to these more violent fetishes.
Prostitutes face the brunt of these demands. The average woman can still say no, prostitutes logistically cannot. Many of them never “chose” prostitution; Rather, they were forced into it at a young age. Or they fell on difficult times and had no money or skills to do something else.
So they have to convince themselves that they do it for their own reasons.
Even worse, the prostitutes are given absolutely no protection as an employee in legal brothels. I’m not speaking of the US–but places like the Netherlands or New Zealand. The places pro-prostitution advocates look toward for their policies.
They are still contractors for the brothel and are only paid for their bookings. They don’t get benefits, they can’t put down those years as verifiable employment, they gain no skills, eventually their looks dissipate and they’re left with nothing besides the abuses and trauma experienced over their lifetime as a sex worker.
Do you honestly think the brothel owners or pimps care at all about their sexual exploitation? No. They rarely even have insurance. When they do have insurance, it does not cover their lifestyle, as medical issues such as tears to the vagina/anus become ever-more common.
Hell, even the government gets the taxes off of this practice. How deranged is that? A government willingly exploits its own female population, destroys them, and encourages the degeneracy and degradation of women in the public sphere for tax money. Capitalism, at its finest.
The rates of drug addiction among prostitutes is astronomical. I can’t blame them. To deal with the violent, or just plain deranged sex that they have to endure would make me break down mentally as well.
“Empowering” For Who?
Again, the idea that prostitution is somehow empowering for women is an insane stance. Being subjected to the demands of whatever the customer desires is not freedom. Getting violently abused by men that don’t see anything besides a sex object takes a physical toll on her body and an emotional toll on their soul.
We can’t forget the unspoken victim here as well: the prostitutes’ kids. Various studies have shown that many brothel workers are single mothers, and no woman should have to resort to prostitution to fend for their child. And what of the child? The one to grow up knowing his mother as just a sexual object in her employment field?
There is no wonder so many kids in these types of situations grow up to have many developmental or anger issues. A society that throws its mothers under the bus and abandons their kids deserves no different youth.
Prostitution is Harmful. It Can Only Destroy.
Prostitution is a messed up a practice that creates victims all around. It victimizes the women by making them soulless sex objects and harms them directly. It victimizes the child that is brought into the sexual abuse at a young age and the ones affected indirectly through it. Prostitution then victimizes the men and women who continue to support it due to the propaganda from the media and feminists.
Above all, it is not a “right to their body” as described by proponents. Prostitution is just a man’s right to buy women and girls for sex. The choice to be a sex worker is rarely a choice made by a free woman. Instead, it’s by women that are addicted to drugs, single mothers without a financial source, or victims of previous or current sexual abuse.
Take it from the sex workers themselves:
The subculture I was involved in taught me that the more sex you were willing to have, the better a woman you were. Internet culture at the time taught me that it was easy money to make videos or pictures for men, and that it was something that could be fun. It also taught me there were no real life consequences for any of that.
Childhood sexual abuse makes you feel that your body is both worthless and, paradoxically, the only object through which you can gain worth and approval. It has been shown to have occurred in exponentially disproportionate rates in women working in the sex industry, women from all backgrounds, at all levels of this industry. In my opinion the statistics on women in the ‘sex industry’ who have survived childhood sexual abuse are enough to build policy upon.
I had no option but to sell sex in order to make some money to get some rent paid so I wouldn’t be kicked out of the women’s hostel.
He used paddles, belts, shoes and batons to beat me. I was covered in bruises so much that I couldn’t sit down for days. He even drew blood. But I was scared at this point to tell him to stop. I was in his house. What was stopping him from killing me and dumping my body, or taking the money back? The pain and humiliation was a price to pay to keep a roof over my head.
When men have given you money for sexual acts, they feel like they own you and they can do what they want. One night I had a man pull a knife on me and rob me of all the cash I had made that night.
The john was an older man who asked me to do a strip tease for him. As I was stripping he told me I reminded him of his daughter, he seemed pleased by this.
One of my former high school teachers would come in regularly and buy dances from the girls that used to attend the school he taught at.
You lie to yourself to ease the pain, keeping a smile on your face while wishing he’d just hurry up and finish. I was a sales woman… why would I ever be honest about hating my job? You just wouldn’t cos it’s bad for business and you’d have to face reality then wouldn’t you?
Most of us are brainwashed into thinking we chose it. It helps my self esteem to know that if it weren’t for poverty and mental illness… Hell no! I wouldn’t have chosen that life.
At the time I was working I probably would have said that I saw prostitution as my ‘informed choice’. I was not aware of the slow, insidious, accumulative effects it was having on me.
You simply cannot forget years and years of swallowing down your consent, of swallowing down what is, at best, disgust, irritation and boredom during sex and, at worst, anger, humiliation and terror. After you have lived through that, it is fundamentally impossible to have anything near a happy, healthy and ‘normal’ life. By this I mean, a life where you can, at a very basic level, trust and connect to others, men in particular, and, alongside this, feel OK about your own body, humanity and worth.
In a terrible and brutal way, I learned to be a sex toy for men and listen to their wills. Yet today I have difficulty saying no. Do not want people disappointed. Even though I am on my way now, the shame is still in me and the fear of those men who showed me the worst sides of humanity.
The women who charge several thousand dollars as ‘escorts’ or ‘courtesans’ or have sex with their boyfriends on webcam and repeat the mantra ‘sex work is work’ are liars and do not represent the majority of us who end up in the flesh trade. They are a sheltered and well-funded minority who are the covers for pimps and men who feel entitled to sexual access to women’s bodies and lives.
I don’t agree with that. A job is not supposed to psychologically damage you in any serious way and if it did, you’d leave it. So I think it’s very much a way of life and although you may know what damage you’re doing to yourself, it becomes your way of life. I think denial is what gets us through it.
Was it worth it? No.
You want to know what the #MeToo movement should be about? These women. There isn’t a single prostitute that hasn’t had to go through something similar to the above comments because of their “profession”.
So How Do We Fix It?
Attacking the supply vs the demand of the crime has always been a great debate with prostitution. But I think it’s too narrow-minded to actually be a policy platform. Instead of fighting it through the lens of economics, let’s fight it through the lens of victimhood.
The women are the victims. Purchasers are the demand. Pimps are the perpetrators. Incentivize and help the victims, punish the criminals. The same is true of the drug trade–punishing the addict does little as they are the victim. Target the dealers.
Here, the supply vs demand side is inverted, but the focus is the same: help the victims, cut off the perpetrators.
89% of women just want to leave the sex industry altogether instead of see it decriminalized.
60% of the prostituted women in “liberal, regulated, decriminalized oversight” countries reported physical assault.
70% reported verbal abuse.
40% reported being forced into the trade against their will.
63% reported being raped, whether by a client or by brothel owners/workers/pimps.
68% experienced PTSD.
Legalized prostitution has also been shown to increase rates of human trafficking, as criminal groups can now respond to the higher demand and reduced risk with cheaper and easier to control foreign women.
Decriminalizing only increases the number of these men.
Therefore, legalization will not decrease rape, it will increase it.
Decriminalizing does not help. It only further harms everybody.
The entire industry is based on deprivation, lust, greed, exploitation, and abuse. To think we can reform and monitor it to be an empowering, law-abiding industry is absurd.
Prostitution cannot be seen through the lens as a commodification of a woman’s labor.
Instead, it is the reduction of her person as an object that can be bought and sold. There is no way for a just society to contribute to this level of moral delinquency and abuse of their own women.
We need to address the reasons women are forced or drawn to these fields and correct it. Correction of it must include ways for women trapped in prostitution to get out of it.
Then, we need to ensure that we reprimand the traffickers and buyers (criminalization).
It is impossible for there to be any level of equality between the sexes when one can go buy the other one.
We can’t have a sustainable, just society while violence against women and children is rampant and there is a financial incentive to our own government to exploit them.