On Choice and Prostitution

The always-excellent Meghan Murphy has written a great article on prostitution and the myth of choice for Verity magazine.

“The argument against prostitution is fairly simple: Women should not have to have sex with men they don’t desire. Women should be able to survive and thrive without having to accommodate male desires and abuse in order to pay their rent or feed their children.

It’s worth thinking about what it says about a society that believes sex is something a man should be able to buy—what does it say about our culture?

It says a few things:

  1. We believe, as a culture, that almost everything is commodifiable, even sexuality—if a person can pay for a thing, they should be allowed to have it.
  2. We believe that sex is a need for men—they must have access to bodies upon which they may project their fantasies, no matter how dark, degrading, or violent. To not have access to sexual pleasure, in whatever way they see fit, is somehow oppressive.
  3. We believe women are things—sexual objects that exist primarily to be looked at, to be groped, to titillate. This is the key relationship that exists between men and women (reinforced through the system of prostitution): the agent and the object—the aggressor and the passive recipient.
  4. Men want a fantasy, not a real person with needs and thoughts and feelings—they want a thing that will support their ego and then disappear.”

Read the whole thing here.

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