So my question this week is one that's pretty controversial, I think...Over the past three days I've been involved in a discussion about the legalization of prostitution with some educated (and I would say conscientious) friends of mine. I stood on one side of the issue and my three friends (who are all male incidentally) stood on the other.
The boys argued that the legalization of prostitution would regulate the practice, thereby protecting women (and the occasional male prostitute) from sex trafficking, disease, unwanted pregancy, and violence.
I countered that legalizing prostitution would merely contribute to the continued objectification of women (since I felt it would still reduce women to a sexual/anatomical function). My argument had nothing to do with sex; if two consenting adults would like to share a sexual experience, have a nice time, however I worried about the "selling yourself" part of the whole equation.
Several of my friends countered with the fact that it's an issue of free will and that some women enjoy having sex and think that would be a great career. Here I disagreed, stating that lots of women do (and should) love sex, I just think that reducing it down to an issue of money still allows a man to basically rent a women's body (for me, a women owning her body is paramount--I suppose in my view prostitution seems to invalidate that).
Anyway, you get the idea; we've been up and down and around this position alot the past few days and I'm grateful for the discussion, it's really given me some new perspectives to think about (seriously Steve, it has been a good discussion).
What I'd love at this point though, is to hear your perspective on the situation...what do you think? Should prostitution be legalized?
In case you need a little info or something to give your opinions a kickstart, here is a wikipedia article about the legalization of prostitution in the Netherlands.