I don’t understand why prostitution is illegal. Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal? You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away? I can’t follow the logic on that one at all! Of all the things you can do, giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing in the world. In the army they give you a medal for spraying napalm on people! In civilian life you go to jail for giving someone an orgasm! Maybe I’m not supposed to understand it..
~ George Carlin
Thanks to ridiculous puritanism, in many countries prostitution is forbidden and is punishable by imprisonment (or worse).
Now, it seems that Amnesty International began to worry seriously about the rights of sex workers and is considering taking a clear stand in favor of legalization:
At an international conference next week in Dublin, about 500 Amnesty delegates from more than 80 countries will vote on whether to advocate the elimination of all penalties for prostitution, based on “evidence that the criminalization of adult sex work can lead to increased human rights violations against sex workers.”
But Amnesty International, formed in 1961 to bring attention to political prisoners, argues for a different approach in a leaked proposal that has circulated widely. That document contends that sexual desire is a fundamental need and that punishing buyers “may amount to a violation of the right to privacy and undermine the rights to free expression and health.” The group also cites the benefits for buyers with physical and psychological disabilities who “feel safe to express their sexuality” and “develop a stronger sense of self with their relationships with sex workers.”
Amnesty also sides with the argument, made recently by prostitutes in France, that penalizing customers would drive prostitution further underground, making the workers more vulnerable to dangers.
The initiative has been strongly opposed by ridiculous pseudofeminists who don’t understand that prostitution is not sex slavery.
I have yet to understand how can anyone say that they stand up for the rights of women, while telling them what they can or can’t do with their bodies. Actually, I don’t: turns out anti sex-work activism is a way too profitable career.
Anyway, telling women (or men) what they can or can’t do with their bodies is denying them agency over their own lives — classic objectification!
I hope common sense, reason and civil liberties trump the neopuritan stance, and Amnesty International does the right thing. Sex workers deserve having their rights acknowledged and protected by the law.
By the way, there’s now a letter to AI by all the sex workers and their advocates that is well worth reading.