Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Your tax dollars at work

Apparently having nothing better to do, the Department of Justice is prosecuting executives of Rentboy for promoting prostitution. Let us stipulate that yes, in spite of disclaimers on the web site, that is essentially what they do. But really, who cares? Let's see what the harm reduction coalition has to say:

The criminalization of sex work fosters violence, stigma, and marginalization. Harm Reduction Coalition affirms a harm reduction approach to sex work which prioritizes creating conditions that provide sex workers with information, support and resources that allow them control and autonomy over their labor to reduce their risks for violence, trauma, HIV, and other harms.

Now, I realize that it isn't all that simple. Many sex workers, actually most of them in some settings, are exploited, even enslaved. Others say they are making a free choice, which is obviously a matter of degree depending on their alternatives for making a living, but that's true for just about everybody who does what they may find to be unpleasant work.

And, if you want to stop exploitation and sex trafficking, and you want to improve working conditions, the first thing you have to do is legalize it. That way, you can regulate it, with licensing, safe sex regulations and regular testing requirements, workplace safety and wage law enforcement, regulations to protect quality of life and property values for neighbors, even the possibility of workers organizing. That's what they do in much of Europe, with variations on the theme, and it seems to work pretty well.

Yes, I find it icky and I have no interest in participating. I don't even understand it. But it's never going away, so let's try to make it better. This DoJ action is just stupid. Now, if you're looking for a male sex worker in Providence, you have to go down by the wind turbines and find somebody on the street. Lots of bad things happen that way. 

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