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.
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.
For further reading on the subject go to:
- Neil Steinberg’s Every Goddamn Day blog
- Steinberg’s original Sun-Times piece on the Amnesty Int’l get-together
- Amnesty Int’l’s winter 2014 statement on sex work decriminalization
- Access (through Scribd.) to Amnesty Int’l’s sex work study findings
- The Sex Workers Outreach Project-Chicago Facebook page
- And, finally, a Nation magazine piece on leftists wanting the sex industry to be decriminalized.