I was around 10 or 11 years old when I first met her. My dad was having a party with his friends in the basement bar, he had the whole set up with a pool table and a dartboard. Being bored, I kept going downstairs to hang out with everyone, but my dad kept telling me to go back upstairs. The escort they had called finally came up to play cards with me which seemed to have impressed my dad since they started talking a bit more seriously after that. She was a very caring person.
She was just like most of us. She had family and friends, she had loved, gotten her heart broken, worked dead-end jobs and had hardships throughout her life. The only difference is she was escorting to support her 3 kids from an old marriage. Her ex-husband had gotten her into escorting and she knew this was the most money she could make working. No other job with her level of education would offer that. Even with more education chances are she would have still made more prostituting.
We eventually moved in together and she quit escorting. She had her issues I won’t deny that. She got pretty bad into drugs and things got pretty bad at home. She eventually started escorting again and let it be known that the criminalization of prostitution didn’t deter her and certainly didn’t do anything to make the situation any better. Instead of having support programs in place to evaluate women’s mental health and offering them services, it put this shame and secrecy on the entire family. She couldn’t ask for help because she was looked down upon and discriminated against, almost like she wasn’t human.
I believe people should be allowed to choose what they want to do with their bodies. To me, it just makes sense your body your choice. Criminalizing prostitution is enabling predators to prey on these women by leaving them nowhere to turn when they need help. If you really think about it the pimps and the johns wouldn’t be able to abuse so easily if it was legal. Don’t get me wrong bad stuff will still happen like it does to everyone, but it wouldn’t be as prevalent as it is now. We need to create safe spaces and put services in place to help these women.
There’s a great debate happening about whether or not legalizing prostitution is helping women’s rights. I understand where both sides are coming from but me personally I believe it gives women power over their bodies which is a right we’ve struggled to gain over the centuries. If it’s something they want to do then who are we to tell them they aren’t allowed to do it. If someone chooses to trade sex for money is their choice, at least in this case they get to decide. Some would say marriage isn’t much different and let’s not forget the benefits sex workers provide. Sex alone has many benefits.
People who are against the legalization of prostitution believe that sex workers aren’t choosing this out of preference but are forced into it out of necessity, but don’t most people settle for a job they don’t exactly like to put food on the table. Probably with a stricter schedule and a poor pay (AND it should be considered work like stripping is considered work). A lot of arguments used against legalizing sex work could be used against strippers, but that’s legal. Sex work should be given the same workers’ rights as any other job, only then can we improve their work conditions. It’s been around long enough that it should be obvious by now that it isn’t going anywhere we need to accept that and realize that body autonomy is a basic human right.
Once the trade is legalized and not suffocating in secrecy being able to reach the people who are being forced into it will be much easier. It’s easier to detect something if it’s out in the open. They will be able to ask for help without fear of being treated as a criminal. Are people pressured into doing free or poorly paid manual labor?? Not where I live anyways and that’s in large part because workers have right, we have a minimum wage, labor board, etc. I don’t know if this makes any sense to any of you. Let me know in the comments below. I really appreciate your opinions as they help me learn and see things from different perspectives. Thanks
I know there is a lot more arguments for and against the legalization of prostitution so please share your opinion in the comments and let me know where you stand and why.
This article was originally posted on A Recovering Addicts Experience
Yours Truly, Charmed