Prostitutes, Politicians And Other Name Calling

By: Grainne Rhuad

Earlier in the week the Canadian government struck down two old provisions that made working with prostitutes illegal.  While prostitution has been legal for some time in Canada, the services around it like bookkeeping, healthcare, insurance, etc. have not been.  While this could seem like a plus, prostitutes technically did not have to pay taxes, it also had its drawbacks, prostitutes could not plan for their futures or claim any expenses, of which there seems, there are many.

Most public opinion reported was favorable.   “I feel like a citizen.” That’s what Valerie Scott — legal coordinator of the Sex Professionals of Canada organization — said after emerging from a courtroom where the Supreme Court of Ontario struck down two provisions in the criminal code against prostitution.

What this decision also provided was the legalization of brothels or the incorporation of prostitutes in supportive environments and the ability to legally hire support staff.

At a moment in time when in the United States women’s reproductive rights are a huge topic of discussion from Politicians to Women’s Book Clubs.  And  when it seems like the world should be moving forward, The United States has taken a big step back in how it feels about womanhood in general –(Fun fact: Did you know science didn’t know exactly what  a clitoris looked like until 2009?) and Prostitution in particular.

Nowhere is this more evident than on the political field.  Prostitution after all is a matter which is only important to people professing a moral issue with it.

It is an unfortunate truth that the United States has made morality its business.  The small insertion of God’s name by the founding fathers, despite Thomas Jefferson’s many writings to the contrary has given every politician since the idea that the United States government exists to enforce morality on its citizenry.

A funny dichotomy since the very act of being a politician is in essence prostituting oneself to the masses in order to get either a payday or power or both.  In fact political pandering produced more tax sheltered dollars and benefits for the politician than any prostitute can ever hope to earn.

But let’s break the two down a bit more:

On the one hand, a prostitute makes his or her money by agreeing to engage in pre-arranged acts of sexual congress.  Sometimes the script goes off course and they end up doing more than they thought they would and since what they are doing is illegal they have no recourse.  They simply live through it and go to work the next day.

On the other hand, a politician makes his/her money by agreeing to engage in pre-arranged acts of congress and business and special interests.  Very often the script goes off course and since what they are doing is against the constitution and/or laws, they are left with no recourse.  They simply live through it and pass the pain on to their constituents.

See, Politian’s are actually more screwed than prostitutes and by more people.  They also highjack a higher number of people to their “business ventures” and pass along the pain than does your typical prostitute.

None of this really matters to us as a society of course, as most people are perfectly fine with prostitution being legalized.  It works fine in states like Nevada with no apparent shift in the Moral Majority’s standing in that state.  In fact the Moral Majority is alive and well there.  Mormons, who we have heard so much of with Mitt Romney running for president, operate a Temple in the heart of Las Vegas and their membership numbers for the state are 346,677. Nevada also boasts 9 mega churches with a congregation total of roughly 39,681.  This doesn’t include the many other moral majority members less easy to count that belong to smaller congregations.  By comparison the number licensed brothels in the state are 28 which employ on average 300 prostitutes at any given time. (Nevada law does not allow for prostitution outside of brothels) That adds up to roughly 8,400 registered prostitutes, quite a bit less than the moral majority in the state of Nevada. (Source: Wikipedia)

No, in the one state in the Union known for its legalized prostitution, there is no problem with the Moral Majority living side by side with prostitution.  This is because prostitution has in our time become just another sling or arrow to throw at those on the other side of the fence.  It is a galvanizing word and it gets people’s attention because in our society when we say it we think of sexuality.

However, we can and do prostitute everything from our time and talents to our very souls, which if we were actually taking some sort of moral high ground would seem to be of more concern than what we did to blow off steam or meet our physical needs.

But name calling and finger pointing isn’t relegated to prostitutes.  We have a variety of ways to call people names who we don’t agree with. We also call them sluts, whores and liberals. Conversely the other side is quick to call their nemesis names like conservatives, republicans, reporklicans, republicants.  We call them Politicians too.  When people point out our foibles and we don’t like it, we dismiss them by calling them pundits, non-mainstream news, bloggers or even worse; Comedians.  What do comedians know anyway?  This is a tactic recently used by Fox News and affiliates.  As pointed out by Jon Stewart recently on The Daily Show:

 

It’s a good thing Comedians have a sense of humor as shown by Will Farrell in his “comedy helmet”

 

 

Back to Prostitution, it’s a job, like any other job.  Some people may find it distasteful, boring, and morally wrong and those people shouldn’t do that job.  Just like people who find feet gross shouldn’t be podiatrists.  But does it hurt society?  In the words of one person recently (legalizing prostitution) “reduces the cost of war on crime, increases tax revenue, regulates it, and if done properly, can reduce the risk of diseases… hey, people are gonna fuck, legal or not…”

Clearly it does not.  It hasn’t slowed anyone’s moral, spiritual or community growth.  Nevada is a testament to that.  Its legalization protects both those in the sex trade field and those who need to be protected from it, like under aged children who might otherwise be taken advantage of. In fact a Canadian study outlined how keeping prostitution illegal hurt sex industry workers.  It protects the procurers of sex.  They don’t have to worry about being blackmailed or their kept woman keeping other lovers.  The contract is clear from the beginning.

It even protects the politicians.  The ones who rant about the evils of sex (except to procreate- a lot apparently).  Maybe especially the politicians as they are the ones most often caught in prostitution scandals.  Making this legal keeps them on the job, selling themselves to the highest bidder with no worry about skeletons being released.

Sounds like a good deal all around.

 

58 Comments on “Prostitutes, Politicians And Other Name Calling”

  1. No that’s not what I mean Grainne.

    I think the first point is that we have a capacity for a behavioral/moral code. The second point is that there exists a collective code of conduct based on the consensus of the time (and place.) And the third point is that a moral code is composed of certain abstract propositions.

    The first two points are beyond the scope of individual choice IMO; they are constants. The third point however is a variable, and while it is possible for an individual to decide what behavior suits him/her personally, there is no way for any individual to decide the modality of the time.

    So, it seems individuals are obliged by the natural order to conform to the consensus. And there is a very small degree of freedom here mind you; if one’s idea of morality is averse to the general agreement, one is certain to encounter friction IMO.

    And then there’s the matter of whether the collective model of right behavior is in fact right.. but this is a whole other discussion.

    In the end, the simple truth IMO is that unless people -living in the same time and place- have a similar (practically identical) moral code, collisions and tension (ie. lack of order) will be very common. I think the purpose of morality is order; I don’t believe that morality exists for its own sake.

    I’m sure all of us here can more or less agree on the bulk of the abstractions that make up “morality.” I don’t expect anyone (anywhere, anytime) to agree with my idea of what is right, rather I myself follow the modality of the time.

  2. @ shh,

    “I think the first point is that we have a capacity for a behavioral/moral code. The second point is that there exists a collective code of conduct based on the consensus of the time (and place.) And the third point is that a moral code is composed of certain abstract propositions.

    The first two points are beyond the scope of individual choice IMO; they are constants.”

    The first one might be a constraint (but ten again, the capacity to do something does not necessarily imply it’s necessity…) but the other is actally well within the scope of individual influence – the dominant consensus of a given people group can be modified if one knows what strings to pull and set up the proper cicumstances for social engineering to occur (ex. an individual can form an alternative society by selectively pulling various malcontents with the present order towards his own way of thinking – effectively creating a culture within a culture that rejects the and subverts the mainstream society).

    “The third point however is a variable, and while it is possible for an individual to decide what behavior suits him/her personally, there is no way for any individual to decide the modality of the time.”

    On may not be able to change the modality of the day, but one can *defy* it and refuse to acknowledge it as having any legitimate claims over his life provided he has the power to keep the social mainstream at bay – just because a given mode of thinking is presently more popular than mine doesn’t mean I must submit to it.

    “So, it seems individuals are obliged by the natural order to conform to the consensus. And there is a very small degree of freedom here mind you; if one’s idea of morality is averse to the general agreement, one is certain to encounter friction IMO.”

    No, one has no obligation to conform to anything that he has the power to resist – of course, as you put it, one is certain to encounter fricton (but “friction” isn’t necessarily an imovable obsticle – even the mighty mountains can be worn down to nothing by the smallest of forces, you know…).

    “In the end, the simple truth IMO is that unless people -living in the same time and place- have a similar (practically identical) moral code, collisions and tension (ie. lack of order) will be very common. I think the purpose of morality is order; I don’t believe that morality exists for its own sake.”

    Most of the tensions you speak of have more to do with interests than with one’s “moral” code – the codes of behavior (be they “moral” or otherwise) in a given culture are not established until thre’s a clear set of interests to lay them down.

    As fo me, persoally, I don’t live according to any rule or principle that I can’t defy without consequense unless *I* have agreed not to defy it – and the reason I decide notto defy certain conventons is simple: it would be detrimental to the well-being of myslf and mine if I were to do so – in short, I’ve made myself the final judge over the matter of what principles are worth following and what principles are to be tread upon at any given opportunity. Yes, that’s a very egoistic take on ethics but then again all forms of ethics are made to benefit somebody (so why not make a form of ethics to benefit myself?).

  3. I already explained my line of thought in the last prostitution thread, but here it is again.

    The question is: is prostitution immoral? if so, why? (morality, in an objective sense, has been defined here already)

    And my reasoning is: The males of the human species have a biological imperative to procreate at all costs; this is a fact, and it’s nature’s way of making sure the human species continues to propagate.

    When males of our species are well nourished, they seek to impregnate as many women as they possibly can; this is also a fact, and it is nature’s way of creating a diverse gene pool IMO.

    With the advent of self-awareness and the resulting intelligence, men are no longer interested in spreading their seed, but the instinctual sex drive still exists.

    Today, men basically spend their lives wasting their life-force with nonsensical sex for pleasure; energy is not being used to create children, the energy we put into sex is doing no work other than satisfying us for a few hours.

    I conclude that sex is men’s weakness. It is a leakage of our life force IMO. And prostitution is the profession of manipulating men’s instinctual drive for procreation for financial benefit.

    It’s true that practically all men will say that they want sex and it’s nobody’s business, and this is why prostitution thrives. I think if men understood the enormous price of sex, they would all stop their idiotic behavior.

    As it stands, I believe prostitution is immoral because it is taking advantage of men’s ignorance and stupidity, and because it is demeaning to women who have to submit and acquiesce to the will of thousands of random men.

    If a computer programmer were to examine such a situation, he/she would most certainly do everything possible to eliminate prostitution from the system because it is corrupt behavior that leads to no good at all.

    I say prostitution is immoral because it is pointless; a waste of time and energy.

    But time and energy is the property of individuals, and individuals are free to be as stupid as they possibly can, but just because everyone is stupid doesn’t make stupidity moral.

  4. People should be helping eachother evolve, not manipulating eachother and taking advantage of one another’s weaknesses.

    I think of it this way.. all people on earth are my brothers and sisters (sincerely.) I feel like vomiting when I think about paying my sister for sex. And no sister of mine would seduce and manipulate my sex drive to get my cash.

  5. And to top this all off, to all those who claim prostitution is moral and should be legalized: Please, go work as a prostitute for a month. Then come back and tell me if you still believe it is a legitimate line of work.

  6. I agree that we tend to minimize the occupation, while none of us would likely work in this field. Why is that? If it earns a good living and is a reputable way of earning money, then why don’t most women run to this, especially in this economy and when women are still suffering wage disparities against men’s incomes? The answer to that question lies in the obvious, IMO.

  7. I would also think one cannot make a complete and moral judgement about an occupation without trying it. So if one is compelled to be against each and every prostitute no matter how they say they feel, they should also be compelled to walk a mile in those thigh-highs.

    But also, the argument has deteriorated to sex, entirely. Nobody is picking up on the fact that other people’s sexual activity clearly does not have to affect us individual or in our families.

    The other point here is we will seemingly always have scapegoats for our own foibles. Whether that be sex workers who “tempt us” or comedians who haunt us with our own ridiculousness or our neighbors who we (falsly) “know and believe are misled.”

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