morriswalters wrote:OK, show me that it is more than a belief on your part.
I've never worked in the sex industry -- and I'm not so foolish as to present any sort of contact I've had with that industry as anything more than flimsy anecdotal evidence.
morriswalters wrote:I once meant a pimp that was shopping his, what would you have me call her, in the booths in a sex shop. Other than what it says about me for being there, my experience was that he was lower than dirt. We both took advantage of her. My shame on this point is high. Perhaps you should shoot me as well. Do you in your flights of imagination that that being on her knees in front of me was one of her childhood dreams?
I... don't want to shoot anyone? That sounds like a terrible situation, and I'm a bit creeped out by how you 1) Did this thing despite feeling like you were taking advantage of her, and 2) Are comfortable enough with it to share it with me -- a stranger -- in a public setting.
But, uh, to address your point, I doubt that was one of her childhood dreams -- but do you think working behind the counter at McDonalds would be one of her childhood dreams, too? Would you feel better about it if she was standing in front of a register asking you if you'd like 'fries with that'? How would you feel if she appeared equally enthused -- or unenthused -- about both activities?
Sex can just be a recreational activity between consenting adults. Prostitutes provide this recreational service in exchange for cash. The reason we see the profession as degrading -- the reason the question 'was this one of her childhood dreams?' seems so troubling to us -- is because of how we perceive sex as a 'sacred' act, and force this perception on everyone around us.
That being said, the fact that sex can just be a recreational activity doesn't somehow let us off the hook for soliciting prostitutes, nor does it mean that prostitutes who feel disgusted about being prostitutes need to 'get over' their 'silly hang-ups'. This is a really complicated subject, and one I don't have nearly
enough knowledge to properly unpack. But I will say this much:
All prostitutes are not
helpless victimized people being held hostage by a toxic, corruptive system forcing them to sell their bodies against their will. All prostitutes are also not
sex-empowered people who are happily, willfully providing a service in exchange for money.
Prostitutes are just people. Different people, from different places, united by one thing: They're selling sex. They all do it for a reason -- and that reason is always
different, and always
unique to the person.
morriswalters wrote:Perhaps is some cases women retain enough agency in this to have some semblance of independence. But in most cases I think not. Most prostitutes are not courtesans. And most of the street trade is just as tawdry as my experiences, or so I believe. You would raise my estimation of humanity if you could at least tempt me to accept the possibility. I suspect without having any way to demonstrate it, that this isn't their first choice, or fifth. My problem is that there are too many confounding factors in society as it is configured. Women are too poor and ill educated, or lacking access to the minimums of what society has to offer to the middle class. I don't have anyway to gauge any of the other actors since my experiences, with one acceptation are heterosexual.
Not all prostitutes are women. In fact, a lot
of them aren't. And your concerns apply to them, too.
I'm not here to raise up your perspective on humanity (and to be honest, I'm completely uninterested in doing so). I don't want to sell prostitutes as people who have willfully chosen their profession -- because I highly doubt that's always the case. I do think, though, we need to understand that people who become sex-workers do so for reasons, and not all of those reasons amount to them being victimized by a pimp.
To address prostitution in a way that's responsible, you need to find out what these reasons are. And that means asking the prostitutes themselves.