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One thing I really disliked about how Brian handled the call-ins was prioritizing calls from women.
Why is this specifically a "women's" issue? First, I'll note that although the majority of sex workers are women, there are also many male sex workers and also *a lot* of transgendered sex workers. On the other hand, I don't think non-sex worker women have any more special insight into the nature of sex work than non-sex worker men do.
Why are the voices of transgendered and male sex workers made invisible in this conversation, or at least given less priority than non-sex worker women? For that matter, even a "johns" perspective would have been interesting.
Give this some thought, Brian!
er also writes:
"It's a false "choice," since most prostitutes have no other career path, and one that most balanced middle- to upper-class women would not choose."
The fact is, yes, guess what, there are class differences within sex work, just like there are class differences in many other kinds of work. Some sex workers don't have a lot of other options, something that needs to be addressed, and something that criminalization doesn't do a whole hell of a lot to help with. On the other hand, there are sex workers who do have other options and who are very much there by choice. (Whether you happen to consider them "balanced" is pretty irrelevant.)
I suggest googling "Bound, Not Gagged" for some very articulate voices of sex workers who are doing it by choice and standing up for their rights.
"The easy way to check the sincerity of "choice" is to ask these pro-prostitution people, "Would you want your daughter to become a prostitute?" If you say yes, then wow. We really do disagree on the issue. I would *not8 want my daughter being a prostitute. It's unsafe psychologically and physically."
Again, the whole "would you want your daughter to do this" or "would you sell your own body" argument is a pretty cheap rhetorical device employed by anti-sex work moralists. I think few parents like to think about the specifics of their children's sex life in general, much less their child becoming a prostitute or porn star. This has little to do with what should or shouldn't be legal between consenting adults.
Emotional arguments like this shed a lot of heat and little light on the subject.
For the record, if I had a daughter that grew up to be someone like Audacia Ray or Nina Hartley, I'd be very proud of her.
"Brian, you were very dismissive last year of the concept of sex trafficking; you kept putting the phrase "modern-day slavery" in quotations marks. I hope your conversation today takes more seriously the reality of thousands of women in this country being forced to have sex for money against their will. NYS has one of the strongest laws in the country against sex trafficking, and that something NYers can be proud of."
The conflation of all sex work with sex trafficking is a rhetorical device increasingly resorted to by people trying to justify harsh laws against the buying or selling of sex. The fact is, most prostitutes in North America are not trafficked and are not underage, and this pattern is true of prostitution in Western Europe as well.
By all means, lets crack down on human trafficking where it exists (and I'll note that human trafficking goes way beyond sex work, a fact that often gets lost in this conversation), and for that matter, lets make all resources available so that anybody who doesn't want to be doing sex work can find some other kind of viable employment. Making sex work illegal across the board (including the Swedish "ban buying sex" model) does nothing to address this and only criminalizes people engaged in otherwise consensual behavior.
I think the Calvinist/Puritan legacy of the US has a lot to do with why prostitution remains illegal across the board in all but two states (brothels are legal in Nevada and escorting apparently is legal in Rhode Island), while most other developed countries (with the exception of highly-paternalistic Sweden) have some form of legalized or decriminalized prostitution.
This kind of puritanism particularly informs the kind of moralistic arguments for such laws made by the caller Alexa. "Exploiting yourself"? Give me a freaking break! This stretches the definition of "exploitation" beyond credibility, and pins down that the core of the argument is about personal sexual morality and attempts to regulate such.
Decriminalization is the answer in my opinion. Every worker should be able to work with respect, dignity, and safety.
Prostitution, like drugs (or any substance abuse) should definitely be de-criminalized & regulated, which is different from outright legalization. These are all human mental health problems which should be dealt with by health professionals, not the police. Organized crime thrives on exploiting society's irrational attempt to suppress these admittedly distressful activities, with tragic consequences for all of the participants. As to whether prostitution is just another lifestyle choice: would u want your mother to do it? If not, why not? No well-adjusted balanced human being would willingly 'sell' themselves to someone except under duress, and would not be comfortable if anyone they loved or cared for did so. Our sexuality is central to our humanity. Sex is something we do and should only do with others for free because we want to, because we want them. No amount of money should induce a person to have sex with anyone they would not wish to have sex with otherwise. And to withhold sex from anyone you would wish to be intimate with for want of money is depraved to oneself as well as to the other person.
barry, I think that's an oxymoron, nothing free about a wife.
RE:Posted by: barry "They should just get married.Then you can get bossed around for free!"
dream on david
Ok now that I've wasted a whole morning with Brian and you turkeys I guess I better get back to work.So "to the point" is at 2pm right?
Totally agree Paulo, I can't add anything to that.
Many years ago I wrote a book about prostitution with Dolores French: "Working, My Life as a Prostitute." As Dolores pointed out to me, men go to prostitutes in order to maintain their marriages. And that is especially true with sports stars, movie stars, musicians and politicians. They hire prostitutes because they will come when called, do the job, leave and say nothing. There is no emotional entanglement, no threat of blackmail. You notice, it wasn't the prostitute who revealed Spitzer's name. Whether you think a man should have sex outside marriage or not, prostitution gives those men who must an outlet that will preserve their marriage. Until something like this happens. Linda Lee
For all those who say it's demeaning for ALL sex workers... is it better for a woman who is comfortable with her sexual behavior to spend the rest of her life saying "Would you like fries with that?"
I'd like to say something on the ridiculous comment of the last caller about prostitution being 'inherently dangerous'. all other factors aside, by this reasoning we shouldn't have firemen police or any sort of military, not to mention many everyday jobs that require the use of 'dangerous' power tools or 'dangerous' solvents, etc. should someone choose to go into a dangerous profession i do no see how this aspect should enter into the conversation of whether it is legal or not, not in a so called free society.
How many would want their children to be a janitor? I'm sure you can think of many occupations that parents wouldn't necessarily want their child to choose. Not sure if that point proves anything...
hell...I'm an artist. A lot of parents wouldn't want their children to choose that....so that means going into the arts is bad? What parents would want isn't much of a standard, otherwise we should ALL be doctors and lawyers and that's it!
The "Swedish model" of criminalizing only the pimps and johns would suppress reporting of suspected sex trafficking. It gives the johns a strong incentive to keep quiet, as if they were conspiring with pimps who use coercion against sexworkers.
No one is really talking about the money. Thats what motivates everything here. Imagine your a women and you can make 20 an hour as a sectary and have men slobber all over you or you could make 100 and hour dancing on a pole.
Slavery has also always existed. That's bogus that just because it's always existed, it still should. Murder has also existed, murder-for-hire, incest, polygamy have all existed since the beginning of time.
The easy way to check the sincerity of "choice" is to ask these pro-prostitution people, "Would you want your daughter to become a prostitute?" If you say yes, then wow. We really do disagree on the issue. I would *not8 want my daughter being a prostitute. It's unsafe psychologically and physically.
It's a false "choice," since most prostitutes have no other career path, and one that most balanced middle- to upper-class women would not choose.
They should just get married.Then you can get bossed around for free!
It doesn't legitamize the organized crime, drugs and trafficking... it undercuts them.
And realize that we're not talking about instances of forced sexual acts. That's unacceptable has to always be illegal.
But if we legalize it for people who want to participate in it, then we can focus on the much smaller group that will engage in criminal acts such as forced prostitution.
Think about this: how do we feel about sex? Most women who are against prostitution tend to be in favor of women's sexual freedom letting them have sex with who they want when they want. Most of society is accepting of the buying and selling of goods. But somehow, when these two things are put together, we start foaming at the mouth. Why?
we need to stop marginalizing people for choices that do not hurt others. A woman becomes a much bigger victim if she is not protected. Prostitution needs to be legal but there should also be organizations set up to help women get out of the trade if they want to. They should also have access to protection both physical and mental. Look at Germany as a model, Prostitution is legal there and I don't think German women are any more 'oppressed' or 'degraded' than American women, in fact it might be the otehr way around.
The funny thing about the Feds spending time & resources on Emperors Club VIP. Anyone who looks at "Erotic Services" on Craigslist or TheEroticReview.com will find hundreds of protitutes advertising themselves blatantly.
I have met some of these women and I know one young woman who is, without doubt, a recent graduate of Columbia who has other choices but loves sex and thinks getting $300 an hour for it is fine.
There was a time when women's career "choices" were constrained to nurse, teacher, or nun. With feminism and freedom should come the choice of ANY profession. Do we look down on male strippers and models the same way? They're selling their bodies too.
Steve: I didn't say that the gov. engaged in slavery. I wasn't referring to Spitzer at all. I was referring to a BL segment in 2007 that was specifically on sex trafficking (i.e., forced prostitution) and Brian's handling of that topic. My point was the importance of the distinction between forced and voluntary prostitution.
If prostitution is just a choice of career, how many men or women would want their child to chose it?
A LOT of men go for the dominatrix men...a LOT.
Elexis has a point , thing is for some folks prostitution seems better than what they are currently doing.Like starving.It is about creating Jobs and we can do that by keeping the Bush tax cuts.!!Just kidding.
This discussion is not accurately representing the exploitative nature of sex work.
The US Department of Justice reports that the average age of prostitutes is http://cityvoicescityvisions.blogspot.com/. Many young girls are manipulated emotionally and physically by their pimps to become prostitutes and do not have control over their own decisions as self-aware adults. This reality, combined with the fact that prostitutes are often prosecuted while Johns are left untouched, leads to an extraordinarily exploitative trade.
The fact that our governor, the person who has received our tax dollars, faith, and support, has engaged in such a damaging practice is completely unacceptable. I hope he resigns.
Prostitution is legal in Germany, has been for many years. Prostitutes are required to get health check ups every three months, they pay taxes. Making prostitution illegal is just a denial of a normal human need for sex. Not everyone is in a relationship but everyone needs sex, scientifically proven, for good health.
Prostition is illegal because Men decide what a woman is allowed to do sexually. That is why Men decree that women must wear Burkas in Islam, must be celibate or only have sex to procreate in Catholicism, should cover their hair and look unattractive in Judaism.And there are other examples which I won't list here.
On the one hand, I'm thinking about NOW-NYC's campaign against human trafficking (http://www.nownyc.org/womensissues/home/issues/take_action_on_trafficking.php); on the other hand, I'm remembering the organization COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics), which advocated legalization of prostitution from the prostitutes' POV.
When the laws themselves speak of "transporting" women across state lines as if the women had nothing to say about it, doesn't that also objectify women?
Gotta wonder what's "feminist" about a merlot, or any wine. *Huh*?
But I laughed at the comparison w/a "therapist's hour."
So should we ban sports because they exploit male bodies? *laughs* What a crock.Sport players are certainly used for their bodies and pushed until their bodies are of no use and paid RIDICULOUSLY well for it.
I've known women who were involved in sex work who did not feel exploited and were not "victims" in any way. This caller is naive.
Trafficking is the real problem.There is a lot of slavery around the world.
I agree with Paulo -- making prostitution legal might make the "work" safer, but it also legitimizes the entire complex of exploitation around it: organized crime, drugs, and trafficking.
There's enough unthinking consumption in this country.
It already is kind of legal, ever look in the back of the Village Voice? All of those "bodywork" ads are freelancers.
If you tax prostitution, then the government can be seen as the pimp. I wouldn't want to be part of a government that treats its citizenry like that.
Are you surprised? Educated and cultured people get horny too!! LOL
Do most men go for the Dominatrix thing or just for straight sex.I wonder what the ratio is?
Partly the problem with Amsterdam is that it's just being overwhelmed... all the people who live in countries where it's illegal go to Amsterdam and lose all sense of self-restraint. Same problem with the legal drugs. Most of the people causing the trouble in Amsterdam today are foreigners visiting to live it up.
Prostitution (and some drugs) ought to be made legal and handled by the individual seller to run her/his own business like any small business. The exploitation comes in with "management" which is the case in any business if you think about it.
If you legalize victimless crimes they can be taxed and regulated. Obviously regulation ensures a greater level of safety for the workers as well as those using whatever service it is while the taxes collected on that service can be used to address the issues associated with that service/product. No matter what you do people want these services/products (illicet drugs) and society is going to have to deal with the consequences. Either recognize this reality and address it through legalization or continue living in a dream world. End of story.
My understanding was Amsterdam was shutting down legal prostitution.
So Down Under has it figured out.
I was just going to suggest the very thing the guest just mentioned. Buying sex should be illegal, whereas selling sex should not.
When listening to Dershowitz's specious arguments one cannot help but approach wonderment at his ignoring the big white elephant sitting in the middle of the room: Eliot Spitzer is a man who made his career out of prosecuting individuals on ethics issues and did so by employing the force of intimidation and government clout. All arguments about the crime are irrelevant faced with the enormous dereliction of public duty as a governor of a major state, who moved money around allegedly, in order to cover up what the majority of people think is a meaningless act. It is not a meaningless act to lose the public trust. If you want to end today's show with a de-moralization of the issue of prostitution, then all I can say is good luck as you head into the last days of Rome.
The one under your hat.
Let's make NY safer and legalize drugs, prostitution, guns and gambling. Then our governors will not be in trouble when caught.
If you had to go to school and get a degree to be a prostitute, then nobody would have a problem with it. And it's not such a joke. People who want to go into the sex profession should get educated. If they had licenses to practice, it would be presumed that they had earned them in some way that benefitted them (knowledge of STD's, self-defense, emergency treatment, etc.).
I think it's a good idea. Only unlicensed sex workers should be penalized for practicing without a license, and given the opportunity to quit (if they were coerced), or improve themselves.
AND, let's stop saying "WOMEN" -- men are also sex workers.
I find the idea of prostitution disgusting, but I don't think it should be illegal. I'm not sure how consenting adults exchanging money to have sex harms society. But invariably, when a public figure is caught using a prostitute I think the children are hurt the most. Kids don't even want to think about their parent's having sex with each other, but hearing that your dad's libido is so out of control that he turns to paying strangers he has never previously met for sex must seem totally gross and be very embarrassing to the Spitzer children. And if prostitution was legalized the prostitutes would have better "working conditions." Plus, when a public official is caught using a prostitute the public's attention is diverted from working on the issues that really matter.
Let's face it. There wouldn't be any scandal right now if all of this were legal.
Note that not all prostitutes are women, although almost all Johns are men. Please include the treatment/protection of male prostitutes in your discussion as well.
Owen: You're saying that the governor engaged in slavery somehow: what's your point?
This should definitely be legal and regulated. It would be much safer for everyone.I don't think that makes cheating on your spouse okay, or negates monogamy. Those are separate issues.
If a woman can make 4,500 per hour maybe she should rule the world. At least for the Hour.
Gee if we could only get governors to use legalized prostitution, then today would be a crisis day wouldn't it?
For one thing, women are not the only sex workers.
I assume it is exploitative for many women and men especially since it is not regulated. It should be. It should be taxed, regulated and have health worker oversight.
Brian, you were very dismissive last year of the concept of sex trafficking; you kept putting the phrase "modern-day slavery" in quotations marks. I hope your conversation today takes more seriously the reality of thousands of women in this country being forced to have sex for money against their will. NYS has one of the strongest laws in the country against sex trafficking, and that something NYers can be proud of.
Why does it immediately become a feminist issue? I mean, it's not like you can't have gay or heterosexual male prostitutes servicing female clients. Or what about female sex workers providing services for lesbian women? Would that be viewed as exploitative in the same way? I doubt it.
barry: i think you've made your point numerous times now.
Hi end call girl vs street worker.It's all about class warfare with you isnt it Bryan.
The reason prostitution is illegal probably has less to do with exploitation of women than it does with our puritan ethic.
Let women rule the world!!!
Yes! Allow the governors to use legal prostitution! This issue: Solved!
Why don't we have a Pimp call in and let us hear his views?
I think anyone who could use google or wikipedia would know what Calvinism is, and a governor lacking whoring around qualities, probably doesn't live up to purist Calvinism for many.
11,i really could careless about anyone elses sex life.
Cutting edge: here we go. Huh?
So can the governor of Nevada go w a prostitute in Vegas, where prostitution isn't legal, minus the press and the IRS attention?
YES, it should be legal! Prostitution has always been there and prostitution will always be there. Isn't ift curious that the very 'men' (for the most part) who have been making our laws for so many years are the very ones that have used prostitutes and the very ones who have kept it illegal? Why not allow these women the protection of providing a legal service?
Calvinism is a loaded term and really has no place here whatsoever.
here we go
The real issue is: who are our leaders?
4,500 PER HOUR, barry... that could be a couple of go's for some people.
I hardly think it's Calvinist not to want a governor who moves money around to sleep with whores. You're coloring that prudish? Sheesh.
Yea is a Prostitute a whore or a whore a Prostitute, what is the protocol?Is he a man whore?
Isn't the real issue, legalization for GOVERNORS?
Calvinist -- define that -- I think you've gone a little overboard with your lefty liberal rhetoric.
well if it is regulated then maybe the price will come down, I mean 4,500 for one go!That seems a little high>
Calvinist? A whoring around Governor of a major state is to your liking? You are going to get the society you want. Actually you probably have it already.
Oops, meant to put this here...
Legalizing prostitution is a slippery slope - look at what is happening in Amsterdam, where Russian and Eastern European mafia have taken over what used to be a madam run local industry, using young girls who have arrived there by questionable means. I am all for prostitutes being protected, and people doing what they want to earn a living, but safety for the rest of us is an issue.
Looks like the Calvinist are in charge for a while hjs.Better get used to it.
Hey Jonathon i've already read this 3 times.Try something new.Last days of Rome Yea yea yea
It should be legal and it should be regulated. All of the terrible things surrounding prostitution: exploitation, drug abuse, STDs and any of the other dangers all come as a result of it being illegal.
If Bill needs sex, and we know he does, who should be providing it?His wife right?If that doesn't work out then odds are he will get some sex another way.And vice versa.If you ignore your spouse they will stray(many times anyway.Some people dont care that much about sex by the way.Some are sex addicts,
how long will the Calvinist control this country. their hateful moralistic judgments, their double standards, their greedy consumption. now as our infrastructure collapses they make us fight wars for empire.
when will it end.
I'm less concerned about the prostituion aspect of this report and more concerned about the money laundering component -- which demonstrates consciousness of guilt. But I'm most concerned about the conversations that seem to want to believe that the kind of relations a person has with a spouse are -- or should be -- the same kind of relations that a person has or seeks to obtain from a person whose job is sex for hire.
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