Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Prostitution is commercial rape

There has been no talk on any TV channel about how to end prostitution. On the contrary there was talk about making it legal. There is evidence that prostitution has gone up where it was made legal.
On 29/1/2014 Gloria Steinem said:

“Prostitution involves body invasion and so it is not like any other work. So how can you call it sex work? Prostitution is the only word you should use.”

“It is the equivalent of commercial rape and so instead of the prostitutes, the traffickers should be punished and the customers should be educated.”

“When a girl is put into prostitution at the age of 12 or 14, does she have a choice after all?”

“Prostitution is not a profession but oppression.”

Those who want prostitution to be legal have following arguments:
1) Legalization of prostitution is an entirely separate issue from human trafficking.
2) Even if it’s not perfect, legalizing prostitution would at least make prostitution a little bit better.
3) Prostitution is a victimless crime. Legal prostitution protects women in prostitution.
4) Women choose to enter prostitution. It’s better to choose to make lots of money as a prostitute than to choose to work at a minimum wage job like McDonald’s.
5) Prostitution is sexual liberation.
6) Men need sex therefore prostitution must exist. Prostitution is a natural form of human sexuality
7) Legalizing prostitution gets rid of its criminal elements – pimps and traffickers.
Counter-arguments are the following:
1) Women trafficking is involved in prostitution. Women are lured by promise of jobs. When they refuse to be prostitutes they are starved, beaten and gang raped. The criminals are not brought to justice. Prostitution is the destination point for trafficking. Legalization of prostitution promotes sex trafficking. Prostitution and sex trafficking are linked.
2) Legalization of prostitution increases illegal prostitution. It does not improve the lives of women in prostitution. Prostitution can’t be made “a little better.” Prostitution has gone up in Holland after it was made legal there. Those who dispute it are like ostriches who bury their heads in sand.
3) All prostitution harms those in it. Legal prostitution does not protect women in prostitution from harm. It’s not the legal status of prostitution that causes the harm, it’s the prostitution itself. Trafficking and rape will continue.
4) It is profoundly unjust to declare that prostitution is an acceptable job for some women – those who are mostly poor, mostly young.
5) Prostitution is sexual exploitation.
6) The sex of prostitution is not “sex” for women in it. Most men who use women in prostitution have other sexual partners. Many of them are married men.
7) Legalizing prostitution benefits pimps and traffickers. Pimps become businessmen. Traffickers become suppliers.
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women opposes making prostitution legal for following reasons:
1. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution is a gift to pimps, traffickers and the sex industry.
2. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution and the sex industry promotes sex trafficking.
3. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not control the sex industry. It expands it.
4. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases clandestine, hidden, illegal and street prostitution.
5. Legalization of prostitution and decriminalization of the sex Industry increases child prostitution.
6. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not protect the women in prostitution.
7. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases the demand for prostitution. It boosts the motivation of men to buy women for sex in a much wider and more permissible range of socially acceptable settings.
8. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not promote women’s health.
9. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not enhance women’s choice.
10. Women in systems of Prostitution do not want the sex industry legalized or decriminalized.
CATW favors decriminalization of the women in prostitution. No woman should be punished for her own exploitation. But States should never decriminalize pimps, buyers, procurers, brothels or other sex establishments.
Hugh Grant was punished for having sex with a prostitute. Police caught him when Divine Brown performed oral sex on him in a car. That happened on or around 28/1/1995. Hugh Grant pleaded no contest and paid a fine of $1,180. Elizabeth Hurley was his girlfriend at the time. In most countries prostitutes are punished but men who go to prostitutes are not punished.
Renuka Chowdhury had suggested that law must be changed to punish men who go to prostitutes. She did not have support of her male colleagues in the union cabinet. On 15/9/2007 the ministers were discussing Amendment to the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act. The amendment was to enhance traffickers of women, portray prostitutes as victims instead of offenders and punish customers of prostitutes. Kapil Sibal opposed punishing customers of prostitutes. Anbumani Ramadoss and Mani Shankar Aiyar supported Kapil Sibal. The draft bill was sent to a group of ministers for re-examination.
Lalita Kumaramangalam, chairperson of National Commission for Women and BJP member, wants prostitution to be legal in India. What BJP has to say about it?
Some women choose to be concubines or mistresses.
Prostitution is not the oldest profession. It is hunting or agriculture.
Prostitutes have fixed place. Call girls go to clients.
Some anchors and panelists are like Birnam Wood fairies. For them fair is foul, foul is fair.
There are evil people who don’t want rapists to be punished. Whenever the question of punishing rapists comes up they say “It is patriarchy. It is society. It is mindset. It is lack of education.” and so on. They don’t say rape is a crime and rapist should be punished. They oppose death penalty for rape. They oppose castration for rape. They oppose life imprisonment for rape. They oppose 20 years imprisonment for rape.
Some evil people are anchors. Some are lawyers. Some claim to be human or women’s rights activists. While they don’t want rapists to be punished they want husbands to be punished for having sex with their wives. Marital rape is an oxymoron.
In some countries denial of holocaust is a crime. In France denial of Armenian Genocide of 1915 is a crime. India should have a law that makes it a crime to oppose death penalty for murder and such high crimes. India should have a law that makes it a crime to oppose death penalty or castration or life imprisonment or 20 years imprisonment for rape. Murder is a crime and not a human or democratic right or civil liberty. Rape is a crime and not a human or women’s or democratic right or civil liberty.
Those who talk of marital rape either don’t know what marriage is or have a perverse idea of marriage. It is strange for a woman who has defied her parents to marry a man of another religion to claim she was raped by husband.

Updated: January 3, 2016 — 12:03 pm

5 Comments

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  1. While I agree with most of what you are saying, the question that is pertinent is “Can prostitution be ended?” It is known as the oldest profession. You can see examples of it even in the ancient writings including scriptures. Abraham offered his wife as a prostitute in the Bible. The Bible has numerous such examples.

    Perhaps, we need to legalise it in such a way that its harms are minimised. We can educate men as you suggest. But has education achieved much in minimising crimes of any sort?

  2. Abraham did not offer his wife Sarah as prostitute. He was afraid that he will be killed if people knew Sarah was his wife and take away Sarah. He told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister. When Pharaoh came to know she was Abraham’s wife and asked why he lied about it he replied Sarah was his half-sister. They had same father and different mothers. Similar thing happened with Abimelech.

    I hope a day will come when there will no prostitution.

    We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
    We shall overcome someday.
    Oh deep in my heart, I do believe,
    We shall overcome someday.

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