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Sex Work Marches Towards Legality

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Revoltingest, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    This is good news IMO.
    Manhattan to Stop Prosecuting Prostitution, Part of Nationwide Shift
    Excerpted....
    The Manhattan district attorney’s office announced Wednesday that it would no longer prosecute prostitution and unlicensed massage, putting the weight of one of the most high-profile law enforcement offices in the United States behind the growing movement to change the criminal justice system’s approach to sex work.

    The district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., revealed the new policy as he appeared virtually in court to ask a judge to dismiss 914 open cases involving prostitution and unlicensed massage, along with 5,080 cases in which the charge was loitering for the purposes of prostitution.

    The law that made the latter charge a crime, which had become known as the “walking while trans” law, was repealed by New York State in February.

    Mr. Vance said that with the announcement, his office had fully shifted its approach to prostitution. Many of the cases he moved to dismiss dated to the 1970s and 1980s, when New York waged a war against prostitution in an effort to clean up its image as a center of iniquity and vice.

    “Over the last decade we’ve learned from those with lived experience, and from our own experience on the ground: Criminally prosecuting prostitution does not make us safer, and too often, achieves the opposite result by further marginalizing vulnerable New Yorkers,” Mr. Vance said in a statement.

    The office will continue to prosecute other crimes related to prostitution, including patronizing sex workers and sex trafficking.

    Manhattan will join Baltimore, Philadelphia and other jurisdictions that have declined to prosecute sex workers. Brooklyn also does not prosecute people arrested for prostitution, but instead refers them to social services before they are compelled to appear in court — unless the district attorney’s office there is unable to reach them.
     
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  2. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Prostitution is, indeed, a problem, but most of it's problematic effects are artifacts of it's illegality.
    Why can't it be licensed and regulated like any other business?
     
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  3. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    This appears to be more in line with a TED Talk video that I once posted here from a former sex worker. She did not advocate for legalization, she argued for deregulation. The difference being that any laws regulating prostitution will have a negative effect on low income sex workers. If one legalizes it there will always be those that work outside of the law for worse. And that has the problems of pimps and abuse. If it was merely deregulated then those who were being abused by pimps or customers could report those crimes. As it is now prostitutes are targeted by everyone.
     
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  4. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Some things should not be "a business". Sadly, few Americans are capable of understanding this, anymore. We have turned EVERY aspect of humanity into a commodity to be bought and sold (exploited) for profit. It's hard to see what's wrong with prostitution when everyone is already a whore.
     
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  5. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    And it will continue whether legalized or not.

    I know a former prostitute myself. She was a drug addict that had to earn money somehow. She had a relationship with my housemates son, who also had a drug problem at that time. When he was in jail she asked me to hold the bail money that she was earning to get him out. She knew that I was the only person that would hold her money without spending it and she did not trust herself. One time I had to meet her at her hotel. It felt rather weird to be picking up cash from a prostitute. I still communicate with her regularly. She is clean and out of that lifestyle. My housemate's on unfortunately relapsed. They both did prison sentences and both got back together afterwards. They even got married. When he relapsed she did not follow him.

    I can relate to their problems because I have known some of them.
     
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    There are some things that benefit from a wee bit'o regulation.
    - Ensuring public (pubic?) health
    - Ensuring no human trafficking

    The trick (not a pun) is to regulate in a manner that doesn't
    drive the profession underground. Licenses should be easily
    obtained, without being an unreasonable restraint on trade.
     
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  7. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    How would regulation ensure no human trafficking? The current laws against it make human trafficking a thing. When women cannot turn to the law for protection, which is the case with many prostitutes, they become targets of trafficking. I do agree that legalization could address health issues.
     
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  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Those are your values. But IMO you shouldn't impose them
    upon others who willingly engage in voluntary activities.
    And pragmatically, you cannot stop sex work. You can only
    punish them. What good has that done them & society?
    It's just more business for cops, lawyers, judges, & jailers.
     
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  9. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    I'd like to point that one out as evidence of how crappy prostitution laws actually are. Cops don't care. They use those laws to harass and arrest us.
    Before people cry over sex work going towards decriminalization and eventual legalization, there are innocent victims of these laws, some not even involved with prostitution. And the prostitutes who get arrested? That's a crap thing to do. Don't set them up to stay on the streets, help them develop skills and get an education and help them succeed elsewhere (as many prostitutes feel they have no skills and no other options).
     
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  10. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    A Ted Talk from a former prostitute advocating for deregulation:

     
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  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Regulation would be part of legalization.
    Legalization competes with black market sex work,
    thereby reducing its market size & appeal. This alone
    would reduce human trafficking, since sex workers
    would be a legal labor pool.
    Regulation also provides an oversight body, which can
    monitor things, & perhaps detect problems.

    Keeping prostitution illegal certainly doesn't discourage
    human trafficking. It's always troublesome when government
    illegalizes something people will do anyway.
    Detente.
    Woohoo!
     
  12. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Are we sure?
     
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  13. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    What is wrong with consensual sex?
     
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  14. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    I would suggest that you watch the video that I provided. She explains the pitfall of legalization. It is expensive for sex workers and those in need will still take the illegal route. Deregulation allows those on the bottom to have full protection of the law. With legalization there will still be workers that cannot afford to work "legally". To best protect sex workers decriminalization appears to be the best solution.

    Or if you do not watch the video you can read this article about how it appears that decriminalization (I knew that "deregulation" was not quite the right term) works:


    Decriminalising sex work in New Zealand: its history and impact

    This quote is very telling:

    “After decriminalisation that dynamic shifted dramatically, and importantly the focus on the sex worker wasn’t on the sex worker as a criminal. It was on the rights, safety, health and well being of the sex worker”.
     
  15. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Probably that is a wise move.

    My comment on the thread: The title should have been 'Sex work schmoozes towards legality'.
     
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  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I'm not watching videos...unless Homer Simpson is in them.
    I'm a practical person. Are we better off with sex work being
    illegal, with workers & customers rotting in prison, & cops
    devoting time to catching them? Or are we better off with
    regulated legal sex work. I pick the latter as the more
    libertarian (& libertine) approach.
     
  17. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Perhaps composers shouldn't charge for their work either, or sculptors or other artists. Perhaps getting paid to read books aloud should be a labour of love, unpaid.

    Frankly, there are people out there who, for one reason or another, can't easily find a partner with whom to share their most intimate needs. Maybe they're widowed and old, perhaps not very attractive, maybe painfully shy -- all sorts of reasons. And maybe there are people out there who have difficulty earning money to keep themselves alive for one reason or another. And if these people get together and satisfy each others needs, I have no difficulty with it whatever.

    Most of us, myself included, happy to say, have no such need, and never go there. But that does not make us competent to judge others who are not as lucky as we are.
     
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  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Rape is often just a matter of personal opinion, too. And we can't stop it from happening by punishing it when it does. So why should we be imposing our personal preferences against it on people who feel it's acceptable behavior?

    The idea that by paying the victim money to get them to agree to it, that a sexual assault didn't happen, is absurd. And yet most of the people on this thread think this is acceptable reasoning. Like, if I pay you $100 to let me punch you in the face; my fist didn't assault your face, because the money somehow makes the act abstruse. Sure, i punched you in the face, but you weren't harmed by it because I gave you money to get you to agree to let me. The money just magically makes the harm not exist!
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    There's a significant difference between rape, which is
    a violent assault, & sex work which is voluntary sex.
    This must be recognized.
    But if you equate them, then discussion will be unproductive.
     
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  20. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    ALL those problems could be solved without the exchange of money. Some people like to have sex with lots of other people. So let them! I don't care about people having sex. I care about people being coerced to have sex when they don't otherwise want to, for money. In exactly the same way I would care about people paying homeless men to fist-fight each other for the entertainment of stupid little rich boys and their video-cams. Paying people to physically abuse and exploit them should be a crime. And that ESPECIALLY includes sexual abuse and exploitation.

    But we worship money so profoundly in this country that we can't even SEE the abuse and exploitation once the money has changed hands. It's profoundly sad, and inhumane, the level of immorality and inhumanity we have sunk to because of our insane worship of money.
     
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