Is visiting a prostitute a straight up Gender Crime?

In our now infamous second podcast “Repugnant Ideas”, Bang spewed out the question “can anyone, like, umm, even give me ANY reason why prostitution should be like, illegal in any sense?!?” Articulate as always, but a good question.

“Baby ur so fine I’m calling u onion, ’cause chopping u up is gunna make me cry”

Governor and Fat Ass Tony half heartedly trotted out the usual stale religiously based moral position but we all agreed that where freedom of choice exists it should be legal, it’s safer for the sex worker, the client; the john as they say, and most importantly for the government –  it’s taxable.

We did explore, but I don’t think this part made it through the editing process, that in a moral vacuum, prostitution, like selling your organs,  should be legal but the real world isn’t that (although there is a vacuum where Governor’s morals belong). Generally speaking turning to prostitution to make money, like selling your organs, is a pretty desperate act and would not be most people’s first or even second choice of gainful employment.

So we can admit that some desperate people will be driven towards these acts thru lack of options or disempowerment, realistically the large portion of people making money in either of these ways do not really “consent” in a real sense.

This great little pod (only 15m) is from Philosophy Bites and explores the philosophy of gender crime, featuring Prof Catharine MacKinnon.

Why gender crime deserves it own category, separate from assault or even sex crime. The implications of gender crime in war and peace time. Why the prof. sees all sex work as gender crime, and their johns as perpetrating a criminal and controlling act against women.

Pretty extreme feminist view but it’s certainly the counter point to our rambling in Ep2 Repugnant Ideas and enlightening when she discusses the liberal free market way of viewing consent in our society. She points out that in our capitalist free market system the ultimate freedom we have is “consent”. If this criteria is met by both parties in any transaction it is by definition, ethical and right.

She argues for a bigger picture view. In the real world where the path to prostitution is often child abuse, poverty, drug addiction, homelessness and hopelessness, real freedom would be not having to turn to prostitution to survive, real freedom would be options.

For me, it’s not so black and white thou, it kind of feels hypocritical for me to say anyone should be doing A or B with their lives when we have no insight into the individual reasons why millions of women turn to sex work every year.

U go girl

U go girl

On one hand, we have the gold standard prostitute, the kind that those of us that think sex work should be legal always imagine, that sexy little informed thing that performs sex work on her own terms in a nice environment while she puts herself thru uni. You go girl, of course that should be legal.

But the reality is that that sexy young informed thing is probably in the minority.

Having said that, whatever the circumstances that led them to sex work, those circumstances are real and need to be satisfied. I doubt too many sex workers, even if they dread their job, once out on the street so to speak, actually don’t want work. And what are their other options? Keepin it real, how many jobs are available to the stereotypical prostitute, probably not too many “dream jobs” just waiting for them, a bright future of financial and carreer satisfaction that daddy promised, more likely flippin’ burgers for 10 bucks an hour if they are lucky.

Moshpods 5 simple rules for the enlightened sex client.

Moshpods 4 simple rules for the enlightened sex client.

Like, how many people on this planet actually love their jobs, all the ditch diggers, all the abattoir workers, the office drones, you get it, so how many of them, of us, waking up for another day of this same shit, stoically facing whatever drudgery is our lot, would want to go through the mental gymnastics required to get motivated to face the day, get to their field of toil, their cubicle, their street corner, after all that shit, and not get PAID! Goddam I gotta feed my babies / pay off those debts / get my crack on.

So go and visit a prostitute if that’s your thing and follow 4 simple rules:

1. Treat them nicely, gently and with respect. That hoe is someone’s daughter and probably someone’s mother.

2. Double check they are over 18 and are happy to be there. If they look 18 they could be 16, not worth the risk, also, black eyes, bad news.

3. Condom.

4. If in Asia, repeat steps 1 -3 and tip well.

prostitute banner

Download or listen to Philosphy Bites Podcast, the philosophy of Gender Crime

or check out their rss feed for lots more great philosophy Bites podcasts

Posted by Bang.


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