Monday, November 10, 2008
:::Sex In The City: Legitimizing The Hoe Stroll:::
If you're a New Yorker, there's no doubt you've seen this piece of propaganda around and about. Strangely enough the advocacy group responsible for these flyers only credit themselves as "The Author." After wading through the various grammatical and syntactic errors, one may find that the idealist 5-step process to prevent the spread of the HIV virus outlined here is just a tad bit out of touch with human nature and contemporary human agency. Just a tad.
While the flyer has it's cons, it does however bring up an interesting conversation piece: should prostitution be legalized?
Apparently California has been thinking the same thing. In addition to the presidential election on November 4th, San Francisco also voted on the potential legalization of prostitution. The proposed legislation seeks to end the enforcement of prostitution laws and end the racial profiling associated with human trafficking for the intention of prostitution. Advocates argue that the legislation would enable an estimated $11 million normally spent on prostitution law enforcement to be rerouted to other sectors of the city's public programs. Contrary to popular belief, this new legislation will not grant license to anybody trying to sell ass from their backdoor. It seeks to regulate an industry that has been historically viewed as immoral and, more recently, dehumanizing. Hmm. Looks like if it goes through, San Fran will be the guinea pig for the legalization of prostitution.
U.S. states like Nevada and Rhode Island have strict laws which regulate the profession, but it's unclear as to whether these states have sought to expand the terms of these laws. It goes without being said that the legalization of prostitution definitely has its pros and cons. One pro would be that some folks could probably get a leg up on getting out of this hell hole of a recession we're in making some extra cash on the side. No pun intended. Also, it would essentially decimate the perilous human trafficking industry. One major con would be the potential rise in HIV and other STD cases, which would require more state and city funding for treatment and testing (BTW, the city is actually cutting HIV treatment and testing funding for this coming fiscal year).
Also, I'm not so sure how this would work out logistically. I mean, if street walking and soliciting is considered undesirable, would this introduce the brothel into the picture? Or would you have to just acquire a professional gentleman of leisure to "manage" your career? Would this be the start of a new kind of temp agency and a revamping of the duties of a gal friday? Are their earnings taxable and what would their pension plans look like? And if you outlaw pimps AND street walking AND brothels, then is it cool to place ads in the classifieds? Hell, the back pages of the Village Voice are already teeming with ads from "fun loving," "out only" females specializing in "bodywork," "heavenly grooming," and "massage therapy." And my last trip to Brazil showed me that if you're going to get into the game, you gotta promote yourself like you got a fu*kin' album coming out! STICKER EVERYTHING!!!
But on the real, we all know that the basis for victimless crimes such as prostitution are based in moral codes derived from Puritanical views. There are many sex laws on the books that are essentially antiquated and silly at best. But to legalize prostitution would be to call in to question the validity of our morals as a country. I haven't looked at the proposed legislation, but it seems that we should look at other countries who have more or less made amends with the quasi-legalization of the world's oldest profession: