HOOKERS AND SLUTS AND JOHNS, OH MY!
Prostitution is useless, to me
at least because I get enough from my women, but that in no way means that I
would want to outlaw it. It has been called by many, "the world's oldest
profession" and rightfully so. "World savior" comes in a close
second I think.
If you look at it, prostitution is a means for some women to survive and put food on their tables and a roof over their heads, without the help of a man... no pun intended. Those who are against it simply want to curb a woman's power in the work force. They make more than most of us, they work less hours than most of us, they can skip work when they feel like it, and when they work, the rules are made by no one but themselves. Prostitutes are not paid for degradation and humiliation, but for sex and most importantly... silence. They provide a customer with confidentiality. In return they assume full responsibility for what they get themselves into-- and what do they get in return? Incarceration, criminal records and public shame. When they are locked up, they rarely ever let the world know who their "john" was. Do you really think that was Hugh Grant's first hummer when he got busted. Now it's coming to light that Robert DeNiro has been visiting prostitutes in France for over a decade, apparently no one ever heard this from any of the prostitutes he was seeing all that time.
Do you think they are going to take this lying down... again, no pun intended. Prostitutes are fighting back. They have form organizations, such as COYOTE (which stands for Cast Off Your Old Tired Ethics) and are beginning to work with lawyers to decriminalize the world's oldest profession. They are trying to remove the stigma from a service provided to the public, and most importantly, the severe criminal penalties that hold them back from letting them make money... the way THEY want to, because believe it or not, it's not all teen-aged runaways and crack whores out there.
They are challenging the courts, through "rights of privacy" acts, that when applied to other legal businesses, are fully held admissible. And here in Florida, in 1995, a woman calling herself Jane Roe II, used Roe vs. Wade as a president in the court case against her for solicitation. If the woman has the constitutional right to use her own reproductive organs when pertaining to abortion, does she not have the same right to those same organs to either give sex away or charge for it?
New York attorney, Jack Palawan said it best, "The state has no right to be in the pants of the public."
Lets look into the economy of busting people for sex: San Francisco has 12 vice officers whose job it is to solely arrest prostitutes, nothing more. In one year it cost taxpayers $5 million dollars to process the 5000+ cases added by this squad to an already overcrowded system. Instead, that money could have gone to help solve the 91 murders, 292 rapes and 6624 robberies that took place during that same period. Not to mention that, as every other business, the services prostitutes provide can be taxed, which will also help an extremely in-debt system to boot. Under crowding and out of the red? No that's just too sane of an idea!
Now "holier-than-thou" lawyers are getting in the action. With help from American Family Association and the Christian Coalition, counties are beginning to put "johns" names on billboards. They call this the Shame Game. In Illinois they are sending letters, right now as I write this, to "johns" claiming that if they do not pay a $1000 out-of-court settlement, they will be brought up on... get this, civil suits against, soliciting prostitutes. What the fuck is that?!?! So they not only have to go to court for felony charges, but now civil rights violations as well. Oh, but the Shame Game goes on. Former asshole, I mean mayor of New York Ed Koch is threatening to run a John Hour on a radio station with hourly long list of those busted for picking up hookers. And the New York Civic Association sends letters to "johns" with the words "PATRONIZING A PROSTITUTE" in bold red letters on the outside of the envelope.
The Same Game just keeps going. Well, much like prohibition, outlawing prostitution creates a whole new industry of vice, including disease, poverty, corruption and overnight mobsters and pimps. It didn't work in the 30s, and after two hundred years of cracking down on prostitution... the laws are not working, but the prostitutes are. Prostitutes and "johns" should not be ashamed, America should!
From Issue 7.