In a recent political development, the French Government are currently debating a very interesting Issue, that of client payment for prostitution .
At a quick glance this may seem to be a sensible measure, as it is aimed at reducing the demand for such services, through prosecution of the client should he or she wish to pay for such services.
The rationale seems to be that if no payment can be offered, legally anyway, then prostitutes will no longer offer their services due to a lack of funding for their trade.
Clients would face a either a fine of 1,500 euros ($2,040), or have to attend an awareness course showing the often degrading conditions in which prostitution takes place, or both. The fine would be doubled for repeat offenders and not only would prostitutes would be offered help to leave the trade, including finding jobs and housing, but foreigners would receive help with obtaining legal residency.
So far so good. The sex industry will face extinction, through prostitution anyway, workers within that industry will benefit through state assistance, and the users rather than the service operators will pay
Is it that good though, and is it a case of a government believing in what they want to believe in, rather than accepting an uncomfortable truth that lies before their eyes?
I am no historian, psychologist, care worker, or industry expert; in such fields, but even through light research I gather that prostitution has always been part of our lives. The oldest profession, or the second oldest profession in the world, some term it, so whatever we think of it, either communally or as individuals, it seems that such a trade is here to stay.
If this is so, then is it a good or a bad thing, and, through state regulation and monitoring, can it ever be made safe/acceptable or brought under control
Ok I hear the screams of protest all ready, from numerous quarters, but read on for a moment, and my stance will become clear.
Some bad aspects of Prostitution
- sex workers may have nowhere else to turn
- The trade has led to the growth of sex rings, sex slaves, and underage explotaion
- Sex workers often face rejection with society
- Psychological or physical harm for those working within the industry
- potential spread of disease within , at times, an unregulated industries
These are just a few of the negative aspects, so can the trade ever be described as “beneficial” to society. Well this is what some might say.
Some good aspects of prostitution
- As regards workers benefits they can enjoy, flexible working hours, good earnings, and, if all parties “requirements” are met to the full, good job and client “satisfaction”.
- If properly regulated health risks, to both workers and clients, can be minimised and controlled
- If handled correctly, a safe outlet for sexual release of tension can occur
- If a safe outlet is not available, then such tensions may be released, more harmfully, elsewhere
- Finally, if you cannot kill a trade, it is much better to recognise it’s real nature , rather than ignoring it and burying your head in the sand.
Where do I stand on this question, it is very simple.
I have no desire, nor have ever had any desire or inclination to use the services of a prostitute, but I cannot see a time when the demand for such services will be extinguished. If it can be controlled properly, I would much rather see such trade dealt with properly, rather than seeing it going underground.
Does that mean I want to see legalised sex rings, sex slavery, and God forbid, the involvement of children. No, certainly not, but let me tell you of one incident that crossed my path nearly 34 years ago.
I was working in London as lab technician when a lass was admitted to hospital for treatment. She was a prostitute, an alcoholic, and a heroin addict, and when they checked her lower abdominal area, it was so bad that a total abdominal hysterectomy was performed there and then. She was “cleaned up” ,and sent on her way, and we never saw her again; but she left the hospital aged 14.
She was still an addict, she was still an alcoholic, and we all knew that all too soon she would be plying the only trade she knew, but what none of us who saw her could ever forget, was the way she looked at us. She spoke no words, but she looked at us through the eyes of a child.
Her story, it was an all too familiar one. Aged 12, but looking 16, She had a row with her parents, walked out , and came down to London. Some “kind people”, who just “happened” to be at King Cross mainline railway station, offered her a bed for the night, or a night or two. No need for rent, no names or packdrill, she was told, but then after a week or two rent had to be paid, as well as payment for the booze they had kindly given her. Some “nice ” guys were introduced to her, thereby her entry into prostitution. She was given more booze and heroin to “help her”, but then she had to work harder to pay for that help, and that is when she came into hospital. That is when she came in with syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and a double drug addiction for which there was no easy route for a cure.
I’m sorry to say this , but if this is just one of the many realities of undercover prostitution, then even though I dislike the concept of prostitution, I would much rather see it state controlled, state regulated, and most definitely, as far as possible, all above aboard.
To end this post I will leave you with two sides of the equation; I will leave it up you to decide the best way to go.
- Sex workers need support – but not from the ‘hands off my whore’ brigade | Selma James (theguardian.com)
- France debates ban on paying for sex (bbc.co.uk)
- Predicament of legalising prostitution (donmartinwhande.wordpress.com)
- Prostitutes tell MPs law changes have failed them (radionz.co.nz)
- Despite popular belief, legalizing prostitution would actually make it safer. (thelibertarianduke.com)
- M.E.N. sex trafficking special investigation: Romanian woman forced forced to work as a prostitute speaks out (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
- Nefarious: Merchant of Souls: The truth about Prostitution (hdan89.wordpress.com)
Categories: Growing pains