I’ve recently engaged in some interesting conversations around the subject of prostitution and human trafficking. Most of it has revolved around the subject of legalizing prostitution. It’s a tricky and delicate subject because most people that I talk to are used to viewing prostitution in a certain light. Namely, the fatalistic view that it’s here to stay and that we should make it legal worldwide. I couldn’t disagree more.
I am not opposed to protecting sex workers. Legalization would provide certain protections and benefits accorded to legitimate employment. They would face less prosecution from police and have access to legal and governmental oversight. I do believe that most people who are for legalization of prostitution have good intentions. However, I have found through conversation that these good intentions tend to be built from a foundation of fatalism and defeatist attitudes. The thought is that it is too big to fight and demand won’t go away so why not just incorporate it into legal society. I can appreciate this perspective, but it is sorely lacking in an informed position on the subject of prostitution and the link to human trafficking and sex slavery.
The legalization position is a position of continuation. I hold the position of non-proliferation. There is more and more data coming to light that in places where prostitution is legal human trafficking is on the rise to meet demand. This is disturbing on many levels. The most staggering number to keep in mind is that over 92% of sex workers have entered the trade involuntarily at young ages that are unacceptable and criminal. They have either been abducted, sold into service by family, or duped and coerced into indentured sex servitude. They have faced a life of drugs and violence from their pimps and clients. Very few prostitutes are voluntary adults.
Though legalization could theoretically improve the lives of current sex workers it hardly addresses the issue of how these sex workers find themselves in this position in the first place.
Some argue that legalization would create transparency in the trade and that traffickers and pimps would have to move their business out of the shadows. I will simply cry bullshit on this. The reason the trade is clandestine is because of the severity of human atrocities that are committed to young women and men at tender ages. Legalization of prostitution would do nothing to change the clandestine nature of how sex workers enter the trade. If anything, it may exacerbate the situation by creating more demand thereby increasing the ongoing shadow practices of abduction and indentured sex servitude.
I should address what kind of demand we are talking about here. It’s not just run of the mill ‘normal’ sex requests. Most of the men who buy sex are looking to fulfill ugly sexual fantasies such as rape scenarios, child molestation, violent acts, etc. Yes, there are those who are only interested in conventional sex, but their needs are hardly a good enough reason to provide legal prostitution. My stance is that we need to become more educated and open with our sexuality so that we may become more in command of our sexual behavior instead of giving in to primal instincts on a whim out of convenience.
As human beings, we are the single greatest evolutionary anomaly the earth has ever seen. As a species, we are singularly aware at higher levels of consciousness than most other creatures on the planet. Because of this we have the ability to overcome and transcend the primitive behavior that is inherent in each of us. We must do better. We must live as greater beings. It is only in this way that we should be acknowledging the criminal issue of human trafficking and forced prostitution.
Nothing else matters if at the end of the day we do not become greater as a species.
– Defiant Rabbit