- Ana Sibrian
- Boston, MA
- United States
Should prostitution be illegal?
This article published today about France's new abolitionist stance on prostitution has made me question: is illegal prostitution better or worse for women's rights? On the one hand, if prostitution is legal, it promotes the ideology that women can be comodified, owned as property (or in this case, rented). Yet there are several successful, happy prostitutes living in countries where prostitution is legal and regulated such as Australia and Holland. So by making prostitution illegal we are technically stepping on these women's rights to use their own body to make money.
The purpose of criminalizing prostitution is to minimize violence on women, at least as stated by the above mentioned article. Another side effect, although not outlined by this article, is that it would ideally deter men from using women as objects. Yet as we have seen with the criminalization of other wide spread taboo practices such as drug use, criminalization has led to a booming underground industry of criminals and violence.
Does criminalization protect women or expose them to the risks of having to resort to clandestine, illegal resources that could ultimately be even more detrimental to their welfare?