Tuesday, 25 September 2018
News

The impact of legalising prostitution

The article on the legalisation of prostitution in New Zealand is interesting and certainly calls for comments, though my thoughts on this subject are mere ramblings. Like the angel and the devil arguing both sides of an issue.

Though prostitution is still not morally acceptable to the public of New Zealand, some proponents have argued that the decriminalisation of the trade has led to better working conditions for women, less likelihood of exploitation and better relations with the police. However, other proponents of the reform stated that the laws have had little effect on such circumstances, claiming that working conditions had not been bad to begin with, there had been little exploitation and relations with police were pretty good to start with. So, where does that leave us? Can we use them as a model for deciding on legislation regarding prostitution in Europe?

Given the conflicting responses, certainly not. Every society is different and what works in one cannot be expected to work everywhere else. In a perfect world, I believe that legalisation of prostitution could reduce exploitation of women. But this is not a perfect world, so it may have the opposite effect. You can’t tell me that thugs will not kidnap defenseless females from Third World countries and force them into a trade that will profit the thugs as well as the women’s families.

Prostitution will never be morally acceptable enough to be allowed to exist in quiet, respectable neighbourhoods. So brothels will be faced with protests if they want to open wherever they please. And what would do-gooders say when legalisation of prostitution exposes those hookers who actually enjoy their profession? Do-gooders like to point out that women go into prostitution out of desperation, but one prostitute in New Zealand would like to go on the record as saying she loved her work. Quote per the BBC, “I had sex, money and men!”¦We get so pissed off when politicians portray us as victims. It’s important to blow down the stereotypes about sex workers – particularly that of the poor girl who is coerced into doing it.”

I’m sure that if European nations decided to legalise prostitution, more women will go into it. Perhaps it’s the current economic crisis that will drive them to it. But again, perhaps they have always wanted to do it but found that the stigma attached to such a profession was an obstacle. (New Zealanders have not overcome the stigma, apparently, since they would not use their real names and they kept other part-time jobs.) But then, if more women go into it, they will dilute the market. It might drive demand down. Pay will go down. Thugs will have to decrease the number of women imported. Hmmm”¦ Maybe it would reduce exploitation. Or, it might increase demand since more men, or even women, will decide to go ahead and pay for sexual services.

Like the devil, I can see the advantages to the justice system. But like the angel, I find this business to be despicable.

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