Wednesday, October 22, 2008

prostitution as legal?

Read the article here

Proposition K is a measure on the ballot before the citizens of San Francisco to decriminalize prostitution. Currently, prostitution is illegal in California, but Proposition K would essentially make that law purely technical. This measure would prohibit authorities from investigating or punishing prostitutes in the San Francisco area. So prostitution is still illegal, but there's nothing the authorities can do about it...legally.

Maybe I'm just a good little evangelical girl from the suburbs with a conservative sexual ethic who just isn't relevant enough to understand how prostitution could ever, ever be something someone would want to protect. Especially those involved in prostitution - the sellers of sex.

I know this issue is extremely complicated, and I cannot fully understand it by reading one article, especially because I have never had any experience in prostitution. And I praise God for that. But I cannot get past my understanding that prostitution is never, ever a profession to be desired. Yes, I realize that prostitutes themselves are not necessarily the criminals and laws that criminalize the prostitutes are more often than not punishing victims rather than the real perpetrators of the sex industry (i.e. pimps and the like). But to make it illegal to investigate prostitutes? To me, this law would just make it easier for pimps to prey on victims and promote an even more vicious cycle. It would remove one of the only, albeit faulty, escape routes for sex traffic victims.

Perhaps what bothers me the most is that there are prostitutes advocating for this Proposition K. I understand the idea of fighting for prostitutes' rights, because everyone should have rights, regardless of their lifestyle. I also understand that oftentimes these women have, or feel like they have, no other option. (Which in itself is a terrible tragedy, but also an entirely new issue.) But I don't see prostitution as something to be protected. I see the people involved as people that need protection, and this Proposition K seems as if it is removing what little protection there is already under the guise of offering "rights" to those involved in the sex industry. This legislation would more or less approve of the practice of prostitution, sending the message to everyone involved to go ahead and do what you want, just try and keep it out of the public's eye.

In Rhode Island prostitution is already legal behind closed doors, as in consensual sex for money behind closed doors is perfectly legal. I guess one could argue that two adults can do what they want with their bodies and it's a perfectly free world....

but is it? Is that really what the answer is? I don't think so. I think there is a better truth in this world, that selling sex should not be okay. I should react with concern and with that all-too-familiar stomach cringe that does not occur as often as it should any more because of my own compromises with today's sexually (and otherwise) liberated culture.

No comments: