TheWorld’s Oldest Profession.
Ina society that now prospers on acceptance, rights, and equality and anever-ending list of unaddressed issues bring about questions for thefuture and the rights we have as human beings. With many new laws andrights being passed for the acceptance and social equality ofindustries, sexually oriented groups, medical research, awareness,and narcotic reevaluation, it is only natural as humans that wecontinue to evolve and move forward in society. With many previoustaboos now being accepted and governed, it is only natural toquestion what the next push forward will be for the new age ofAmericans. America has had a progressive twenty years with advancingin the knowledge of medicine, drug use, sexual acceptance, racialequality, and religious freedom, but as progressive as we may bethere are a few gray areas Americans still deem taboo and one of thembeing the world’s oldest profession, prostitution. With more than80,000 arrests per year for soliciting sex, over two thousand deaths,and an estimated $14 billion spent a year on prostitution it is timewe address the issue and seek out a plan for the industry andquestion the stance America has on the profession and ask if oursociety is ready for the leap of acceptance to prostitutes, pimps,and jons, by legalizing prostitution or the steps taken to put an endto the industry.
Freewill and the right to lead your own life are amongst the basicinstincts humans possess which assist in the thriving of their livesand the source of a successful start. Although there are manypositive and negative reasons for legalizing prostitution, rightsplay an extremely important factor. The right over your own body hasbeen tried many times when it comes to what citizens can and cannotdo and play a role in nearly every aspect of life. The right to dogood over bad, the right to have ice cream over an apple, the rightto possess weapons, and even the right to marry the ones you love.Many rights are granted because they are our basic human rights. Oneof the rights put into question when discussing the legalization ofprostitution is body rights. Samual C. Wheeler III, a professor ofphilosophy at the University of Connecticut, agreed that body rightsand property rights should be treated the same. Wheeler believed thatnatural body rights involve the impermissibility of someone else’sinterference with the motions and uses of our bodies. In his article,Natural Rights, Professor Wheeler stated: “If a person has anatural right to move and use his body, then it is morally wrong foranother to force him to move his body or for another to use his bodyin ways the person doesn’t choose” (Wheeler 71). By stating thisWheeler is implying that everyone has the natural given right tooperate their body in their own way, so to criminalize prostitutionis to force an individual to abdicate their exclusive right to moveand operate their body freely as they please. The freedom given towomen and men in the sex industry is all too limited to many, but tosome, prostitution is not regulated enough and is believed to belacking enforcement. Engaging in such an intimate behavior is arguedto be unpriceable. To place a number on a woman is to demean her andobjectify her and the right of objectification is hardly a right atall. Giving a woman the right to devalue herself, put herself inharm’s way, and potentially cause self-esteem issues can be arguedas heartless and inhumane. For any person who possesses a body, bodyrights are granted to them and to be knowledgeable of your own rightsis as important as the rights themselves. Being made aware of thedifferent rights that we both have and do not have on our property,possessions, and our own bodies encourages the legalization ofprostitution, as well as refuting it by supporting the continuationof criminalizing the industry ultimately falls upon the right holderthemselves and the free will to decide which best suits them.
Thecurrent status of prostitution remains illegal throughout all 50states in America except for in parts of Nevada where owning andoperating a brothel are allowed. With that status, it is hard for theworkers in the illegal sex industry because when faced with a violentclient, madam, pimp, or a number of dangerous circumstances, it ishard for the men and woman to come forward to law enforcement forprotection when they themselves face the risk of prosecution. Dr.Melissa Ditmore, the coordinator of the Global Network of Sex WorkProjects for the Washington Post, stated in her article that “…Policecannot and do not simultaneously seek to arrest prostitutes andprotect them from violence…” (Ditmore p. 2). Dr. Ditmore goes onto describe numerous accounts of women who have reported the policeofficers refusing to investigate acts of violence against those whothey knew engaged in prostitution, and would simply state, ‘whatdid you expect?’. It is reported that Gary Ridgway murdered 48prostitutes throughout the course of twenty years simply because heknew that he wouldn’t be accountable for their deaths. On theother hand, with a profession which has such a high death rate, andthe likelihood of being raped on average of once a week, it is hardto support and deem legal an industry which backs the mistreatmentand devaluing of women in a sexual manner and is cruel to suggestthat decriminalization or legalization will protect anyone inprostitution.
Asintimate as sex may be, prostitution is still a business industry andshould be treated as such. With more than $14 billion spent a year onprostitutes, it is time we allow the industry to be legalized so thatthe proper actions can be taken to legitimize the sex industry forwhat it is worth. Fromthe economic point of view,prostitution is something beyond the exchange of sexual favors.Therefore, prohibition of prostitution is similar to illegalizing afree market model in economics (Brooks, 91).
Sexuallytransmitted diseases have greatly affected prostitution. There is anurgent need of revisiting the legal, social, and economic aspects ofprostitution with the intervention to improve the working conditions,security, and health regulations. According to Brooks (91),prostitution is prohibited because we have chosen to illegalize it.These efforts will enable the prostitution industry to be a safeenvironment for service providers and their clients. Since we cannotdo away with prostitution in the society, lets us come together, joinhands and find ways of getting a long-term solution to the crimes andmurders relating to this business.
Inconclusion, prostitution as an old profession has faced variouschallenges since the early days of civilization. Regardless of theseproblems, the nation should readdress this issue and think oflegalizing the business as an industry of its own. This step mightnot be the solution to every crime in the commercial sex industryhowever, it is a starting point for unfolding the evils that usuallyhappen. For instance, it will be easy to find out issues such asforced and juvenile prostitution and other forms of unreportedabuses. There are those sex workers who need serious help, or maybeget an alternative, but they cannot come out and say what they aregoing through at the moment. Apparently, there are those who are notquitting the business since they also need to exercise theirconstitutional rights freely. Thus, America has all the possiblereasons to come up with the law that permits and protects commercialsex workers.
Brooks,Thom. "Defending Punishment. Reply to critics." Philosophyand public issues. 5.1(2015): 73-94. Print