Should Prostituion be a Crime? No!
Horse racing may be the “Sport of Kings”, and fox hunting that of the aristocracy, but prostitution has been the sport of the masses.
Ever since the beginning of human history, women and men have traded their favors for goods (money), position in society, and power. It is the way of life, always has been, always will be.
Sexuality in general was accepted for what it was, a good, healthy, and natural way of life until the 12 century (or thereabouts) when the church decided its priests were not exactly obeying the rules and needed to be put in line. The decision for celibacy was a conscious one of necessity, at least in the minds of the church leaders. Before that, even the popes had families, with wildly varied results, just as in the rest of society. The family lives of the early popes makes for great reading.
With the degree of success they had, the next step was to try and control the general populace. When simply making rules didn’t work, they created demonology. Maybe the fear of the “Incubus” and Succubus” would work. When that failed, for the next few hundred years, they turned to torture and physical punishment with the “Inquisition” and the witch hunts. It is interesting to note that there were a lot more witches than warlocks hunted down and burned. Women always did get the worst of it.
After the advent of romantic love in the Middle Ages, and more attention to the nuclear family, at least on the surface, you would think prostitution would be eliminated, it wasn’t. In the United States there was little effort in that direction until after the beginning of the 20th century.
Notorious places like the Barbary Coast in San Francisco and Chicago had its share of brothels and cat houses, but so did most towns of any size, and some country sides. It was, if not an accepted business, a quietly tolerated one. After the Great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 destroyed most of the Barbary Coast, it was never rebuilt, and acceptance ebbed. Prohibition finished it off in Chicago.
Probably the forces that brought us the failed effort of prohibition had a lot to do with the passing of anti-prostitution laws, driving the entire business underground. And as with all attempts to regulate social behavior with government regulation, it was a dismal failure with horrendous results.
The Baltimore Examiner on August 13th ran a story entitled “Who is Killing the Prostitutes”. Already 5 have been killed this year making a total of 26 over the past decade. A Task Force has been set up by the Mayor, good luck. This is not particular to Baltimore; the same scenario plays out daily across our country.
Add to this the transmission of STDs, especially AIDS, and you see what a hellish mess this brings to our society.
Of course, one of the first responses is “let’s get the Johns, they are the real criminals”.
I believe the real criminals are the weak-kneed legislators that made prostitution a crime in the beginning. No degree of law enforcement will ever make a dent, let alone curb the business. The efforts are futile and the manpower is needed elsewhere.
My answer is to legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. It is just a business after all. Develop zoning to accommodate it properly, require weekly medical examines, and protect the workers in the industry with OSHA rules. It is the only humane thing to do.
If your religious or social beliefs run counter to this, work to educate your family and friends, but mind your own business. Again, this is not an area that should be the federal government’s purview and thankfully there are no federal laws against it. Keep it that way.
Each locality obviously can pass laws and ordinances as the community sees fit, that is their right, but the public that supports such laws should be made aware of the cruel results of those actions.
I know all of the objections, but they just do not hold up to scrutiny in my opinion. I am however more than willing to discuss them, here or in a future article.
This is another example of government interfering with nature and trying to regulate social behavior, and as usual, it simply doesn’t work.
The best government is the one that hurts the people the least.
Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved