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Thread: prostitution

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    Yes men can be victims too but I cant help feeling this is all a distraction from the main issue, which HAS to be one of gender. Of course feminists must speak ‘for’ women, or what is it good for? The idea is to raise awareness of the exploitation that is behind the industry, and explode the many myths around decriminalization . What percentage of sex workers are men? How many women pay for sex with men? It is overwhelmingly women who are the victims of trafficking, exploitation, abuse and murder.
    I was only making the point about men as a side point, and obvs agree that the power dynamic for women sex workers is completely different, and agree with your last statement. However, it is important to be cognisant of the scale of male sex work (eg this study http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Document...-in-the-uk.pdf suggests 33% of all sex workers in UK are men; I've seen others claim up to 50%, but can't find the appropriate link now).

    "Of course feminists must speak ‘for’ women, or what is it good for? " I'm not 100% sure what you mean here, but I was questioning the right of any particular woman to speak 'on behalf of all women' while clearly not being much bothered what adult women (again, obvs the situation is very different when minors are involved) actually engaged in sex work think about their lives.

    As far as abolition goes, as John suggests above, it seems impossible to talk about this practically in separation from measures to guarantee everyone an economic safety net.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 01-05-2016 at 05:55 PM.

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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Abolition is a pipe dream. Its the world's oldest profession for a reason.





    The comparisons with drugs is adroit, because people will always want to take drugs. It can never be stopped, so the choice is to criminalise or regulate. The former always leads to worse outcomes - with the latter there is at least a chance of a less vicious system.





    As for the moral argument - the harm principle applies. People should be allowed to do what they want as long as it doesnt harm anyone else. Its not up to me or you to decide that someone else's choices are fundamentally abusive and it seems to me the potential for harm is decreased in a regulated system.


    I'm as liberal as they come but this is everyone's responsibility and it affects everyone - we tolerate the view that women are sexual objects that can be bought and sold. As you probably know most (arguably all) prostitutes are coerced into selling their bodies, or doing it as desperate manner of survival - not free choice. Maybe it can never be stopped - that doesn't mean that we shouldn't fight for gender equality to work towards a world where women don't have to 'choose' prostitution. Gender equality can never exist in a world where buying sex is normalized, justified and regulated.

    Organized crime, male entitlement and misogny should always be opposed, even if you think its unrealistic to abolish it completely.
    Last edited by Benny B; 01-05-2016 at 06:32 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    the view that women are sexual objects that can be bought and sold.

    Gender equality can never exist in a world where buying sex is normalized, justified and regulated.
    Why would paying for sex mean that a woman was viewed as merely a sex object? If I pay a barista to serve me coffee I don't immediately feel that the entirety of their existence is to serve coffee. If that barista was a woman, I don't assume that she's unequal to men. The same goes for providing any service I can think of. Why would providing sex as a commercial service be any different?

  5. #20
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    Come on, having sex with multiple men who you have no sexual desire for day in day out to fatten the pockets of exploitative criminals is not the same as any other 'service'.
    Last edited by Benny B; 01-05-2016 at 07:20 PM.

  6. #21
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    I kind of hate to do this but: Would you be perfectly comfortable with your own daughter becoming a prostitute. If not, why not?

  7. #22
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    (re post before last)

    That sentence is definitely true, but there are a lot of assumptions there about the nature of sex work that needn't apply to everyone involved in it. Most obvious one is that every sex worker is being pimped out by organised crime, which I'm a bit mystified by - I don't think anyone would disagree with your views on sex trafficking, but we're talking about something far wider here surely?

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    I kind of hate to do this but: Would you be perfectly comfortable with your own daughter becoming a prostitute. If not, why not?
    wouldn't be comfortable with my daughter going to prison* but doesn't mean i don't think prisoners should be listened to rather than lectured about their best interests. this q is a dead end - no-one here (i think) is advocating that people become sex workers, but rather reacting to the fact that some people are sex workers, for often v complex reasons

    *or taking heroin or anything that is A Bad Thing, prison was just the first thing that came to mind (prob because there's an awful lots of talk wrt prisoners of 'what's best for them' etc, as if getting out of prison into a life of barely making it by or minimum wage slavery is some kind of societal victory)
    Last edited by baboon2004; 01-05-2016 at 07:45 PM.

  9. #24
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    By adding “exploitative criminals” you’re introducing variables that weren’t in my post.

    Would you say that men who pay for male prostitutes view all men as merely sex objects to be bought and sold? Would you say that so long as there are women who buy sex from men, men will be viewed as inferior to women in our society?

    I have no idea what it’s like to have a child so I can only answer the daughter question in an emotionally detached way (which renders my answer a bit silly). If I was sure she was safe and happy (or as much of those things as she would be in another job), I imagine I’d be fine with it. I would have concern about people viewing her as a victim or psychologically damaged in some way. I’d be concerned that society's stigma’s might get her down or impede on her friendships and relationships. But these things reflect badly on society rather then my parenting or her personality (or her clients for that matter).
    Last edited by sadmanbarty; 01-05-2016 at 07:52 PM.

  10. #25
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    Just a couple of rhetorical questions for Benny.

    Is there any scenario where you would say that prostitution is not morally wrong? Say a woman of independent means who freely chooses to sell sex with no third parties involved?

    Is it only in the context of societies treatment of women that you view prostitution as unacceptable - what about male prostitution?

    Not to propagate the happy hooker myth - but can you conceive of a prostitute who actually enjoys her work?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    if like me you believe that there is something fundamentally abusive about any act of buying a person for sex...
    Well, I don't, or at least I see it as no more abusive than paying someone to drive you around, mow your lawn, do your taxes or whatever. (And 'paying' is the correct word here - 'buying' is ridiculous hyperbole.)

    I was going to write a big post here explaining my position, but it's probably not worth it if we're coming at it from such totally different angles. All I'll say further is that I think the impulse some 21st-century liberals feel that prostitution is necessarily this hateful and involuntary state of desperation that the women need to be 'rescued' from is a direct descendant of the impulse that made 'whore' and 'son of a whore' insults in the first place.
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    I was going to write a big post here explaining my position, but it's probably not worth it if we're coming at it from such totally different angles.
    If you can be assed I would be interested in your take.

    My intuitive position was similar to yours (comparisons with alcohol abolition, war on drugs, etc.) and so I was actually pro-decriminalisation. Thanks to Benny bringing it up I did a quick bit of research (those studies I posted earlier in the thread) which has changed my mind (though I'm by no means certain and of course I'll have to do more than some cursory google searching).

  13. #28
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    Don't be like that tea, I still think we can both get something out of the conversation even if we don't agree.
    Anyway lads I promise to get back to you all asap. I'm on my phone and in a bar rn

  14. #29
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    Listen to sex workers and shut up.
    The end.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    As you probably know most (arguably all) prostitutes are coerced into selling their bodies, or doing it as desperate manner of survival - not free choice.
    Also, don't just make stuff up.

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