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This post was inspired by the drive I took down my city's most trafficked street tonight. Within just 30 blocks, I counted between 15 and 20 young women selling themselves. They stood in the dark at the side of a 6-lane road, wearing high heels and miniskirts and fishnet dresses, their hems nearly at crotch level on a 50-degree Farenheight night. My city knows they're there. My city does nothing about it.

If a car stops with some man looking to buy them, there are no background checks. There are no STD checks. There is no safety.

And libfems always say "legalize it and it will be safer. legalize it and you take the market away from illegal enterprises." I used to be one of those people. Because it did make sense for a number of other industries, like pot.

But here's the thing about pot...

Its production can be ethically scaled.

When pot is legalized in a state, the farms that produce it explode in number and size. Despite the cost of new regulations, the sheer amount of skyrocketing supply causes prices to drop, those savings are passed onto the consumer, and the illegal seller is pushed out of business.

However (and I hate that this is a thing that needs to be said) women aren't plants. The "supply" of women can't be scaled. If prostitution is legalized, no matter how many women decide to enter the "profession", each working woman can only represent herself. There is no "increasing the supply" without increasing the number of women who must now earn an equal amount to survive. Therefore, the legalization of prostitution will never result in a decrease of price, men will continue to seek cheaper alternatives, and the illegal sellers will never be pushed out of business.

And it won't be the middle-class women who revert to illegal work, the stereotypical college student looking to pay tuition. It will be the poorest, most desperate of women. The same exact women who, as I type, are either still standing on the side of that 6-lane road or actively selling their bodies in some motel room right beside it.

This post was inspired by the drive I took down my city's most trafficked street tonight. Within just 30 blocks, I counted between 15 and 20 young women selling themselves. They stood in the dark at the side of a 6-lane road, wearing high heels and miniskirts and fishnet dresses, their hems nearly at crotch level on a 50-degree Farenheight night. My city knows they're there. My city does nothing about it. If a car stops with some man looking to buy them, there are no background checks. There are no STD checks. There is no safety. And libfems always say "legalize it and it will be safer. legalize it and you take the market away from illegal enterprises." I used to be one of those people. Because it did make sense for a number of other industries, like pot. But here's the thing about pot... Its production can be ethically scaled. When pot is legalized in a state, the farms that produce it explode in number and size. Despite the cost of new regulations, the sheer amount of skyrocketing supply causes prices to drop, those savings are passed onto the consumer, and the illegal seller is pushed out of business. However (and I hate that this is a thing that needs to be said) women aren't plants. The "supply" of women can't be scaled. If prostitution is legalized, no matter how many women decide to enter the "profession", each working woman can only represent herself. There is no "increasing the supply" without increasing the number of women who must now earn an equal amount to survive. Therefore, the legalization of prostitution will never result in a decrease of price, men will continue to seek cheaper alternatives, and the illegal sellers will never be pushed out of business. And it won't be the middle-class women who revert to illegal work, the stereotypical college student looking to pay tuition. It will be the poorest, most desperate of women. The same exact women who, as I type, are either *still* standing on the side of that 6-lane road or actively selling their bodies in some motel room right beside it.

24 comments

If all women had their basic needs met, I bet you none of them would voluntarily go into prostitution (except maybe as a trauma response). The whole “they chose their career and we should support that” crowd doesn’t seem to understand the desperation that drives women to selling their bodies for survival.

The other big thing is that legalization and regulation highly increases demand. But it doesn't make women any more willing to do it. Most women won't sell themselves in a brothel even if each john paid them a million dollars. So the only way to meet that demand is to lure in desperate women from the lowest rungs of society (or just outright kidnap women and traffic them into the brothels). Its not like other professions where the small number of people who are willing/able to do a thing that people want will get paid more. Most men will ignore the high end escorts and choose to rape the drug addicted 15 year old for $20 in an alley

Even if prostitutes created a 'sex worker' union, a lot of liberal feminists envision, how are they going to get the imported trafficked women and abused women pimped out by their boyfriends to join their union?

How are they going to justify the wage difference between them and bargain-level prices set by desperate, coerced, and forced women that meet 90% of male consumers' expectations and affordability?

If there is a hundred(s) dollar price difference between streetwalkers and high-end prostitutes, most buyers are going at the very least would want exceptional service and exotic acts they couldn't get from women standing on the corner.

What do liberal feminists think if they stamped 'ethically-sourced', men are going to empty their wallets rather than paying chump change?

If men want to care and think about the woman during sex, they would seek out a mutually-desired and enthusiastic consensual encounter rather than buying a woman's yes.

The whole purpose of prostitution is to be sexually satisfied without the inconveniences and difficulties of getting sex consensually. The whole industry is corrupted. You can't santised it.

This is my biggest issue with the Sex Worker Union idea. It hasn't happened even in countries with legal prostitution because it doesn't serve the women who need it most. And most women in the industry don't want everyone to know they're in prostitution. So they'll be reluctant to join an organization where it'll be on the record that they were a sex worker at some point

If a sex worker union happened, it would be 99% White Only Fans girls who make six figures selling feet pics.

Anyone on only fans making six figures has to do far more disgusting and degrading stuff than selling feet pics. Also, the unions would most likely be mostly brothel owners and pimps. That's what's happening in New Zealand.

Exactly. You have a limited supply of women and a huge increased demand for men.

And these men want sex cheap, convenient, and exactly how they order it. Most men wouldn't want to pay more than the price of dinner to woo a woman into bed consensually.

Most prostitutes are not going to be high-end because most male consumers are not in the high-end of income and do not value a woman who prostitutes herself that highly anyways.

So how do sellers meet the majority of the consumers who don't want to or cannot spend much money? They import and they coerce.

They know that lawmakers and policemen are among their customers so they know any violations would most likely be overlooked.

Nobody cares about vulnerable and poor women. People don't want to think about it.

They just want sex to available and cheap. Male orgasms matter more.

The other thing about pot is that it doesn't have feelings. Its not sentient. It won't cry or feel pain if you create, harvest, and sell more marijuana to meet the demand for legal weed.

Yeah it's really revealing when they compare legalization of prostitution to legalizing a substance... Women are not substances, we're people.

I've had so many arguments with brocialists and libfems on this subject. I really like your point, which as you say 0 shouldn't need to be said, but apparently does with that crowd, that women are not plants (or alcohol, because they also often use prohibition as an example).

It's kind of insane that they use these examples too, because it reveals what they think: Women/Sex as a product that can be bought and sold. Because... we're not talking about banning or legalizing a "product" when we're arguing against legalization. We're talking about whether or not a "job" can/should exist in a context of sex/economic oppression.

I've also had arguments with them about whether prostitution would exist in a utopia where no one is sexually/economically oppressed. Somehow they think it would - despite the fact that by definition prostitution is trading-sex-for-resources, which means it could not be definition exist in a society where everyone gets the resources they need automatically - people would just be free to have sex with who they want...

I've also had arguments with them about whether prostitution would exist in a utopia where no one is sexually/economically oppressed. Somehow they think it would - despite the fact that by definition prostitution is trading-sex-for-resources, which means it could not be definition exist in a society where everyone gets the resources they need automatically - people would just be free to have sex with who they want...

Agreed. Last week or so, there was a linked reddit post of TiM who was arguing that escort life is enviable because they can choose their own clients and only have sex with people they want, and it's like... if that was really the case, the escorts would simply be in relationships and there would be no profession?

Someone on Twitter or maybe it was here made an excellent point about the legalization of prostitution.

Bear in mind I'm referring to New York State, but from what I hear, welfare approval requirements are similar all over the States:

Imagine prostitution is legalized and state licensed and all that

When you go to apply for social services like SNAP (food stamps) or Temporary Assistance, you have to explain why you aren't working, you have to prove you aren't collecting unemployment/disability/any other form of income and they set you up with an employment counselor and periodically you'll have to attend a class or fill out a job search form. If you're on for too long, they can tell you you HAVE to either find a job immediately or volunteer X hours a week in order to keep your benefits. They choose the place you volunteer, you don't get to pick. Now imagine a social services clerk asking unemployed women: have you applied at any brothels? Well you can either go work there or your benefits are getting cut off.

The person who said it, worded it way better than me, it was terrifying to read

This is such an excellent point. I am of the opinion that Clinton's welfare reform (passed in 1996) is a large part of what led to stagnant wages in the US. The work requirements caused people who otherwise would not have worked - single moms for whom staying home and collecting benefits made economic/logistical sense - to flood the job market with unskilled labor. Of course wages went down in response.

In the mid 1970s, the average AFDC payment was over $200/mo, which is the equivalent to about $1200 in today's money.

This was dependent upon family size, and did not include Medicaid, food stamps, or a housing subsidy.

Because our geriatric government is always far behind, that was the justification given for 1990s welfare reform.

Because god forbid single mothers of very young children are able to survive.

I read that happened in Germany 😨

It happened in Germany in 2005: https://www.emma.de/artikel/bordelle-arbeitsamt-vermittelt-prostituierte-263146

But was picked up by the British press first.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/1482371/If-you-dont-take-a-job-as-a-prostitute-we-can-stop-your-benefits.html

This year (2022) a Bulgarian prostitute took the German Jobcenter to court because it refused to offer her unemployment money after she quit prostitution (after having her second baby) because she’d “voluntarily made herself unemployed.”

The woman won, thank goodness.

https://taz.de/Prostitution-vor-Gericht/!5868438/

Sorry that the articles are in German; a good translator if you want to read them is deepl.com

The article from 2005 quotes a press statement from the unemployment agency that this did not happen and will not happen. There are no other original sources in the article. Considering that Germany allows people to reject all sorts of job offers I think it is ver unlikely to be true.

I think that ended up being a hypothetical thing people were worried about, it didn’t actually happen, thou there was some technicality like brothels advertised in hiring offices or something

Brothels should definitely not be able to advertise XD I think what I am referring to happened in 2013, but they probably adjusted the rules for getting benefits. What is sure, is that legalising prostitution doesn't discourage human trafficking and illegal prostitution. (I am not referring to the news article, but there are some that are recent and heartbreaking.) Anyway efforts should be made changing the culture, not to encourage creeps and sex culture.

They better fucking start saying it to men in the same situation then

Right?? What excuse will they used to let men off the hook bc you KNOW they won't be asking men to do that

the supply of women can't be scaled

This is such an important point, and the reason why legalizing prostitution inevitably leads to increased human trafficking. There are decade-old studies about it https://orgs.law.harvard.edu/lids/2014/06/12/does-legalized-prostitution-increase-human-trafficking/

Prostitution is highly related to human trafficking and should never become legal nor be excused. And people stuck in it need to be saved, not prosecuted.

Actually legalization does decrease the price. But as you say, women are not plants. They cannot ethically be brought into prostitution. So legalization just gives cover to traffickers, who kidnap women or coerce them more and more into prostitution. They then operate more openly and charge less, as they compete with each other to supply more women and lower prices. Women then have less and less choice, even when they are not straight up trafficked. Currently in Germany, it is common for brothels to charge a flat fee for any type of sex acts you want. Women are anally raped with no say in the matter all night long. This is because of the brothel does not offer this at a cheap rate, men will go elsewhere.

Really Germany is the case study on this. It's supposed to be regulated and safe and all that, but it is a hellscape there.

I wish I could just pile those women into a van and drive them somewhere better. I hate that there is no somewhere better. I hate that they’re still there. I wish we could do something to make johns so afraid they never go there again.