#1 By: Cory Doctorow, August 8th, 2013 23:02
#2 By: tedsmitts, August 8th, 2013 23:39
Many points for the proper plural of dominatrix.
#3 By: Ashley Yakeley, August 9th, 2013 00:02
For those who oppose prostitution, is this reduction in demand a positive or a negative development?
#4 By: kd__, August 9th, 2013 01:37
I guess that means that punters are getting more bang for their for their buck.
#6 By: Jonathan Badger, August 9th, 2013 03:23
So in other words, they're fucked by not being fucked?
#7 By: Daemonworks, August 9th, 2013 03:28
Ever notice how almost no reports that discuss sex work even mentions the estimated 25% of the industry that's male?
#8 By: knoxblox, August 9th, 2013 04:49
Are we speaking of those who actually oppose prostitution, or those who only pretend to, and partake at any opportunity?
#9 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, August 9th, 2013 07:20
I suspect that it depends on what aspect(s) of prostitution they oppose; because the factors behind it also drive an increase in supply. With the supply increase in the picture, I'd be inclined to say that it's probably a bad thing.
If prostitutes had other (good) options, a decrease in demand would drive a decrease in supply, as people either left the market or never entered it in response to the poor returns available. Since that isn't happening, and people are entering the market (and, more specifically, even entering more dangerous areas of the market that experienced prostitutes historically preferred to avoid), the picture seems to be fairly bleak.
If one derives some moral satisfaction from former Johns now too poor to buy, I guess there's that; but I'd be a lot more concerned about the prostitutes who, in increasing numbers, are dividing up a smaller return, sometimes for more dangerous work, and who (based on the fact that they are still entering the market, despite the fact that doing so has become less attractive) apparently have few or lousy other options.
#10 By: Humbabella, August 9th, 2013 08:55
Oh my God! Doug Stanhope was right!
#11 By: Humbabella, August 9th, 2013 08:59
Unfortunately I think this is exactly what most opponents of prostitution would be focusing on. Maybe I'm being too general, but in my experience anti-prostitution advocates care about as much about women in dire straits as anti-abortion advocates care about babies.
#12 By: Austin Hamman, August 9th, 2013 09:02
of course, they are men and therefore assumed to have made an informed decision. also men are expected to want sex so men selling sex is expected.
however, women are assumed to be forced into sex.also if they are BUYING sex they are assumed to be old, ugly, fat, or otherwise unattractive (otherwise why would they need to pay)
#13 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, August 9th, 2013 10:50
I don't know how the anti-prostitution types break down; but my impression was that this story was really just a facet of the ongoing 'relatively poor people getting relatively poorer' saga, so the odds of it having a happy ending for anybody involved aren't terribly good(especially since, regardless of what you think about prostitution, it's pretty much impossible to deny that the really low-price sectors are much, much, worse: hard to beat trafficked sex slaves on cost).
#14 By: Mark K, August 9th, 2013 11:08
I think they need to be more creative, like volume discounts, coupons, "happy hours", etc.
#15 By: Matt Lewis, August 9th, 2013 12:52
so, you are saying that there level of concern is high?
#16 By: Ashley Yakeley, August 9th, 2013 14:17
So would it be a good thing to encourage people to buy sex, to help alleviate this?
#17 By: Humbabella, August 9th, 2013 14:47
Oh, I meant babies that have already been born (or babies that haven't been born for that matter, I don't actually believe that a lot of these lawmakers passing anti-abortion laws give a rat's ass about the embryos that are killed by abortion, I think they just hate their mothers for having sex). Honestly, you can find some people out there who really, really care about babies and children and who are against abortion, and I'm sure you can find some people out there who really, really care about sex-workers who are against sex-work. But a lot of those people who define themselves as being against something don't care about much other than their own anger.
#18 By: Jason Jeffrey, August 9th, 2013 14:49
This just sounds to me like further confirmation of Dvorak's Law.
#19 By: Jonathan Roberts, August 9th, 2013 15:14
Much like with people who are against abortion (or for animal rights, feminism, environmentalism etc. for that matter), there's plenty of scope for people to be against prostitution and pro-women, or to have these positions as part of your support for wider social reforms. All of these views can be based on a desire to support groups that you feel are treated unfairly in society. Unfortunately, they can also lead to a lack of compassion if they become the only important issue in people's minds, and especially when the rhetoric becomes that of your group standing out against the rest of society. I guess if you mainly see more extreme advocates shouting on the street or writing angry comments online (or politicians proposing asinine laws), it's easy to get the idea that people holding that view are generally lacking in humanity.
It's always possible that we know very different types of pro-life or anti-prostitution groups - I know plenty of people who are pro-life, but don't know of anyone who's been involved in a protest or demonstration (especially outside of an abortion clinic). Many of them give significant amounts of their time and money to support charitable work (including among babies). I did know one guy who was a very vocal animal rights activist, but he also had some mental issues and a criminal record for other reasons. When I still went to church a number of years ago, the church was open on Saturday nights for people to drop in. We usually had about 5-10 prostitutes who would stop to have some food and talk (it wasn't a big church at all). Some of them would come to the services where they were welcomed (on the whole - there was some petty theft that doesn't go down too well in white middle class circles), but they weren't expected to be there or given conditions on coming on a Saturday. None of the people who staffed the church approved of prostitution on moral grounds, but they were very willing to engage with the women as human beings and they weren't going to stop showing an interest in their lives just because the women didn't go to church or stop being prostitutes.
#20 By: Humbabella, August 9th, 2013 16:22
In my comment I said I might be being over-general, and by that I meant I was being over-general (though I can hardly blame anyone for not reading it that way). It is entirely possible that it is actually the majority of people with pro-life views who are very concerned about the welfare of children and the majority of people with anti-prostitution views who are very concerned not only about the welfare of women but also of sex-workers in particular.
The reason it doesn't feel that like at all is because the people who are making the laws that criminalize both abortion and prostitution are generally pretty awful, and they get voted in by people who don't seem to care how awful they are as long as they agree with them on certain social issues.
But on top of that those laws don't work. It's safe to guess that people don't want to see women forced into a situation where they feel that sex-work is their only option to stay afloat, but the laws that criminalize prostitution don't help women who are being victimized, they make it harder for them to seek help because they are criminals themselves. Laws that criminalize abortion don't "save" embryos, they kill and maim women as well as heaping misery on women who are in the worst moments of their lives - like a woman who was put in prison for falling down a staircase while pregnant because the prosecutor convinced a jury it was an attempt to terminate her pregnancy.
I think people of good conscience can have a problem with abortion and a problem with prostitution. At the same time I think that people who elect lawmakers who support the criminalization of these things are dangerously ignoring facts and thwarting what they are hoping to accomplish (unless their intention was to be cruel in the first place). But it is not fair of me to group people who have moral beliefs with people who support inhumane and senseless laws, and I should be less callous about that.
#21 By: Ladyfingers, August 9th, 2013 18:59
I was just about to post that routine.
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