Janice Raymond, in her “Ten reasons for not legalizing prostitution” reveals some of the (ostensible) mindset behind the drive to dictate the private behavior of individuals. Here is her list:
10 Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution
Janice G. Raymond
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW)
March 25, 2003
The following arguments apply to all state-sponsored forms of prostitution, including but not limited to full-scale legalization of brothels and pimping, decriminalization of the sex industry, regulating prostitution by laws such as registering or mandating health checks for women in prostitution, or any system in which prostitution is recognized as sex work or advocated as an employment choice.
As countries are considering legalizing and decriminalizing the sex industry, we urge you to consider the ways in which legitimating prostitution as work does not empower the women in prostitution but does everything to strengthen the sex industry.
- Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution is a gift to pimps, traffickers and the sex industry.
- Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution and the sex industry promotes sex trafficking.
- Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not control the sex industry. It expands it.
- Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases clandestine, hidden, illegal and street prostitution.
- Legalization of prostitution and decriminalization of the sex industry increases child prostitution.
- Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not protect the women in prostitution.
- Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases the demand for prostitution. It boosts the motivation of men to buy women for sex in a much wider and more permissible range of socially acceptable settings.
- Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not promote women’s health.
- Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not enhance women’s choice.
- Women in systems of prostitution do not want the sex industry legalized or decriminalized.
Of course, there are some obvious flaws in her arguments*. Firstly, she describes decriminalization and recognition as “state-sponsored” while it can just as easily be described as “state-neutral” or “laissez fair”. Reason #1 doesn’t even begin. A pimp earns his money; it is not a “gift” and, even if it were, this is not a valid reason to make it illegal. Reason #2 also does not begin; it is a circular argument that assumes all sex-trafficking is evil. The same applies to reason #3. Reason #4 is basically saying that making something legal will increase “illegal” versions of the same activity. This is like saying alcohol prohibition was a good idea because it reduced the “illicit” use of alcohol. Reason #5 may have some validity to it – but one can use this argument to make work at fast food joints illegal as well. Since it is legal for adults to work in fast food, it stands to reason that it is more likely that the labor of children will also be utilized. Since it is legal for adults to smoke, it stands to reason that more children will also smoke. Since adults drive cars, naturally there are better odds that children will also drive etc. etc. Reason #6 is vacuous because it assumes that no act should be legal unless a clear benefit is derived from it. Would Raymond argue that poker should be illegal because the game of poker does not protect children from the harm of gambling? Or perhaps she would criminalize unhealthy sexual practices since such practices do not protect children. Like the others, this argument makes no sense. Reason #7 is circular; it assumes that prostitution is immoral and, therefore, anything that increases it is also immoral. Furthermore, it assumes that anything that is immoral should also be illegal. Reason #8 – see reason #6 above. Furthermore, we would be in a sorry state if every risky or unhealthy behavior was illegal. Reason #9 – same as above but also, how can she state that allowing women to choose prostitution as a career does not enhance their choices? That some women resort to it for lack of a better alternative does not help her case; the same could be said of janitorial work. Reason #10 claims to speak for prostitutes themselves. It makes the ridiculous claim that these women prefer that their clients live in fear of the police, of arrest and fines. No doubt, this prostitute would disagree. It seems to be saying that private conduct between individuals should be subject to the approval of a majority. It also fails to take into consideration that, just like “illegal drugs”, prostitutes can charge more money due to the fact that their trade is illegal. It is like saying we should require a license to cut hair because most hair stylists are in favor of this measure. Of course they favor it; it limits their competition and drives up prices. Furthermore, Raymond makes the common error of describing prostitution as women “selling themselves” or “their bodies”. They are not selling themselves or their bodies. They are selling a service. Does a brick-layer “sell his body”? Does an engineer “sell his brain”?
No, I don’t think any of those ten reasons amount to anything. The real reason prostitution is illegal in most of the U.S. is that most Americans find it distasteful. It goes against their traditional religious beliefs – and it lowers the premium on sex that women can leverage against men. More to the point. Americans find prostitution to be distasteful because they perceive it as a social evil. Prostitution in the neighborhood lowers property values. People try to hide the practice from their children. They view it a cheapening of a special act that is supposed to be reserved for loving relationships. They consider it to be a degradation of the ideal society that they envision. In other words, they view it much the same way most of us view miscegenation.
Miscegenation does not directly harm anybody outside the relationship. It is a private choice made between individual adults. It has been going on for all of human history. Not long ago, it was lumped together with prostitution in that both were illegal in most of the U.S. If anything, there was more tolerance for prostitution than for miscegenation. Now the reverse is true. People have been swayed by the relentless propaganda promoting miscegenation – but there is no such propaganda that promotes prostitution. The acceptance of miscegenation has intensified competition for women. It has driven up the cost of sex and given women far more power than they ever had. It used to be that black men competed for a roughly equal number of black women. White men competed for a roughly equal number of white women. Today, many black women remain unmarried. For the remaining (mostly white) marriageable women, there is fierce competition. Women enjoy this power. It is only natural that they would not want to allow men an alternative (real or perceived) such as prostitution. So I think there is a connection between the promotion of miscegenation and the increased condemnation of prostitution.
This being said, I do believe that widespread prostitution can damage society. It can undermine relationships and make casual that which should be special. But it does not destroy the heritage of a society in such an irreversible way as miscegenation does. The product of miscegenation my euphemistically claim to have “two heritages”. In reality, he has none. Over time, such admixture may dilute itself and a society may recover. But this is not the agenda of the powers that be; they demand that it become the rule, not the exception.
Behind the condemnation of both prostitution and miscegenation lies an important principle: the union between a man and a woman is not strictly a private matter. All of society has a stake in it. Perhaps one reason anti-prostitution authors, such as Raymond, find it difficult to express this principle is that they refuse to acknowledge “society” as a legitimate entity. A “society” can also be called a “nation” or a “culture” or a “tribe” or a “people”. I cannot be certain of Raymond’s position on immigration (she seems to be a one-issue activist). But she is very much a part of academic America. She is a professor of “women’s studies”. As such, it is virtually guaranteed that she is pro-immigration and, therefore, anti-white. It is ironic how collectivists cannot recognize the most important collective among humans : that of a common heritage, culture, religion and language – that is to say, their own race, heritage and culture.
*Yes, she does elaborate on them more fully on her (linked) site, but I couldn’t resist giving my concise objections to her concise reasons. Much more could be said about this.