Choice Cut 2
Here is a small out-take of a much larger piece in which Dr. Brooke Magnanti totally fucking nails it:
Prohibition never works
There is a lot of talk in the political sphere about the need for “evidence based policy”. This means rejecting approaches that are moralistic and manipulative. Sex workers have suffered the tragic consequences of prejudicial social attitudes that lead to bad policy. The prohibition approach has not worked. It will never work. The people who endorse this view are putting people in danger and should not be guiding public opinion any longer. Disliking sex work is not a good enough argument to justify criminalising it. Is there any public interest served by preventing adults from engaging in a consensual transaction for sexual services? No, there is not.
Bit like the war on drugs: making the business profitable only to criminals, awaiting the inevitably grim results, then claiming that it’s the drugs themselves, not the laws, wot caused it. Few reasonable people believe that line of argument when it comes to drugs. Why does anyone believe it when it comes to sex?
Moral disapproval is a bad basis for policymaking. I don’t find the idea of taking drugs at all appealing, but I don’t assume my own preferences should be the basis for law.
The condescension heaped on people who do sex work is embarrassingly transparent. All this mealy-mouthed, ‘oh but we want to help them, really’. How’s that again? By saddling people with criminal records and taking away their children? Do me a favour.
As well as the happy prostitutes there are unhappy sex workers in need of support. Society should protect the unwilling and underage from sexual exploitation and provide outreach for those who need and want it. We already have laws and services for that. Maybe the laws should be more intelligently enforced and the services better supported. But prosecuting the victimless crimes does neither of these. It helps no one.