Monday, July 25, 2011

The Problem With Freedom - Day 2

Your freedom can bring oppression to others.

That's my hypothesis for this series of posts. I started off on 7/20 referencing back to the Village Voice article that set off a lot of discussion. An excellent report of the growing demand for prostitution was posted this week by Newsweek, that also points out some of the problems with the Village Voice piece.

There's a issue that the Newsweek article started to expose that the Village Voice completely ignored. Men say they have a right to seek out sexual services, and feminists say that women have the right to offer said services if they want. The issue is that there are a ton of unintended consequences.

The Newsweek article talks about the increase in demand for prostitution. I talked yesterday about how unscrupulous people will work to meet a demand to make a profit. By offering legal services, adults who consent to a sexual transaction drive the problem of underage sexual exploitation.

Pimps who see a way to make a buck will find a way to get a woman out there. They don't care if the girl is underage and not mature enough to really consent. Pimps (whether male or female, there are women who will control other girls for money) will find the vulnerable to exploit. This can be runaways, kids from broken families, drug addicts, or wounded girls who find someone who pays attention to them.

In the very informative book Girls Like Us, Rachel Lloyd discusses the girls who get drawn into the world of sex trafficking in New York City. Many are recruited by men who claim to love them. Maybe a relative will push them out on the street, or make an internet ad to offer them up. In these cases, they don't realize what they're getting into. So women and girls are getting drawn into this violent, dangerous world. From the Newsweek article:
Prostitution has always been risky for women; the average age of death is 34, and the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that prostitutes suffer a “workplace homicide rate” 51 times higher than that of the next most dangerous occupation, working in a liquor store.
The problem truly does not stem from the supply. Yes, there will always be people who offer themselves for such services, but many more are forced into it due to the high demand.

And men, we need to answer for what we are causing. More on this in the next post.

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