Hot Air

Working Women

I’ve always cracked — and not facetiously, either — that if women had run the world from the outset, prostitution not only would be legal, it’d be the most respected of vocations.

My reasoning? Well, lady-parts is the one commodity women have and men don’t. If our civilization wasn’t so dependent upon men exerting crushing influence over others through physical strength and violence, women would prob. happily peddle their singular wares in a peaceful, chilled-out marketplace.

But, of course, the guys of our mad, mad species needed to slut-shame women into hating their junk. Add to that the fact that men wanted to control their womenfolk, so sex was turned into the dirtiest of words.

In a woman’s world, I’m guessing, the sex worker would be as revered as, say, the late Mother Theresa or Angelina Jolie is in this one.

This past weekend, Amnesty International sponsored a colloquium in Chi., the subject being should sex work be legalized. Ill. Att’y Gen. Lisa Madigan picked up a placard and joined protesters in howling outside Amnesty Int’l’s get-together at the JW Marriot hotel west of the Loop. They claim sex work is by definition demeaning to women.

The protesters led by the state’s chief shingle fail to recognize that it’s not the act of selling sex that’s demeaning but the combination of society’s twin distastes for women controlling their own commodities and for even wanting to have sex in the first place. Keep in mind hundreds of millions of Catholics on this crazy planet honor Mary, the mommy-o of Jesus, for the sole reason that she was a virgin. (And we wonder why that particular religious gang — especially its priests — is so sexually eff-ed up).

Woman can be the gatekeepers of their sexual favors and they can make a good living out of it. But, man, that’d make so many people itchy in this holy land — and every other holy land, for that matter.

From SWOP-Chicago

Activist Sex Workers

My call for legalization of sex work doesn’t mean all sex should be commodified. Hell, I’m four-square in favor of clinical social workers, therapists, and grief counselors charging for their services; that doesn’t mean I think all the acts of a friend should be paid for. You wanna have sex, go ahead. You wanna present a bill for your services, that’s as cool as cool can be, too.

Lisa Madigan, presumably, wants hookers, massage parlor workers, call girls, and other such professionals locked up. Makes sense; she’s a sworn upholder of the law. When your tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I want our lawmakers to decriminalize traffic in the one product that only women can provide.

BTW: I want those who kidnap and coerce people to get into the skin game to be jailed or caned, or somehow pilloried to within an inch of their lives. And dealers who string junkies along in the street prostitution business should be doubly damned. See, it’s not the sex that’s evil, it’s the slave trade aspect of the whole thing.

There. Now tell me how wrong I am.

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2 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. David Paglis "Cynicism gives the illusion of understanding." says:

    I’ve got a beef. Though raised one I am not a practicing Catholic. You have repeated the claim that Catholic priests are particularly prone to sexually abusing kids. This is one of my favorite examples of how the media is liberally biased. I googled the subject and found an article on the CBS news website (I realize this undermines my argument a bit) which quoted Hofstra Univ. researcher Charol Shakeshaft as saying “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 the abuse by priests.” I don’t think anyone would argue the abuse by teachers has received the publicity received by the Church. As far as legalizing prostitution goes, I don’t know maybe we should let a few states try it as an experiment and see what happens.

  2. stormforgovernor says:

    I’ll be honest, I find this conflates things that should be dealt with distinctly. When we consider “decriminalizing” things like drugs the issue makes sense. That is a commodity that gives pleasure (while leading to lifelong pain for some) and that we, I think rightly, see as a choice made by persons about the ways they might manage their living (drugs are a part of all civilizations–perhaps are a requirement of living outside of tribal care when societies replace human relationships with faceless functions).

    However, it seems a gross error to use this same logic with sex or sex work. There are “commodities” in the sex market, obviously, but I’m not sure we’d do more harm by regulating into “industry” the sex trade.

    So, I’m not saying that I can’t see the possible benefit of creating a regulated and protected “employment” scenario. BUT that seems misguided in the extreme if we think about the real issues with employment and labor abuse that exists in all industries in a capitalist economy.

    Labor is not the thing with feathers in America. It’s what we exploit to bring down “costs” so that owners gain profit.

    Sex labor will be no different.

    Poverty and desperation seems to be what we’re really trying to address, isn’t it?

    I can of course think that some people want to be paid for having sex because that is what they like and what they want to do for money. But I’ll admit to thinking this is not as shiny a thought as most want to believe.

    But it’s MONEY that’s at issue really isn’t it?

    What does MONEY do to every relationship? Replaces all that is human with the abstraction of exchange.

    I won’t be able to be any more clear about it. That is, I see the argument for safety and protection but I do not see the argument as being truly one of empowerment.

    On the one had I find that I agree that I don’t think it should be illegal; but I find myself simply being worried about what it becomes as a legal and legally exploited industry.

    So, I’m lost in the argument, but I think the core issue is poverty and the dire straits that economic (and so fabricated) realities create for a large part of their population. That won’t be cured by legalizing a kind of denigration of the human, by replacing an ubiquitous and common act of all being with an abstracted and externalized commodity exchange. It will simply create a different way to debase women.

    (I suppose we’re not thinking of the boys and men in the “trade” here?)

    Confusedly Yours,

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