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What Pollak said! - Where you from, Kansas?

Apr. 8th, 2008

09:08 am - What Pollak said!

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From:mediumdave
Date:April 9th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
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Hi Chad... I think you're the first person to take umbrage (in so many words, at least) to something in my journal, so kudos there.

Why "would" there be heavy regulation of legal prostitution? Is there something inherent to the profession that requires unusual protections compared to, say, the profession of frozen chicken factory worker? (This may sound like a dumb question, but I hope you'll bear with me.)
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From:drownedinink
Date:April 9th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure if the regulations would be "unusual" compared to frozen chicken factory workers. In both cases the laws, which would be strict in either case from a certain perspective, would be there to protect the laborer from abuses, both from their work environment and from management, protections that prostitutes (outside of Nevada, at least) currently do not enjoy. It would be the same general principle, if we divorce sex work from the view that sex work is somehow exceptional from an overview.

I think the flaw in arguments against legalization is that they rely on a number of ideological assumptions - that johns seek out prostitutes mostly for abusive purposes, that sex work is inherently degrading and misogynistic (despite the existence of male-for-male and male-for-female prostitution, both of which tend to be overlooked or flat-out ignored in such discussions), that prostitutes have never had and still do not have agency, and that sex can never be "just" a commodity - that are all derived from the Reformation and second-wave feminism (and there is more of a similarity between how the first generations of Protestant intellectuals and second-wave feminists view prostitution than the latter would admit). I won't deny the misogynistic currents in our society and how they impact prostitution, but intertwined with that is the profoundly negative view of prostitutes and prostitution that comes from the climate caused by criminalization. How can second-wavers expect sex workers to ever be treated well as long as they are regulated to the fringes of society?

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From:mediumdave
Date:April 10th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
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But you yourself said that legal prostituion would have to be "heavily" regulated, rather than simply regulated. The assumption that sex work is somehow exceptional is right there in the words you chose.
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From:drownedinink
Date:April 10th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
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Well, I tend to think that most jobs do get "heavy" regulation, between federal and state guidelines and the oversight of agencies like OSHA. I just used "heavy" to emphasize what such regulations might do, considering the lawless state of sex work in this country today.

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