Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Heated Debate

Prior to arriving at CSW, all of the WomenNC members kept mentioning that many opposing feminist groups would be present. I was a bit surprised to hear that there would be groups with different views (e.g. pro abortion rights v. anti abortion rights), but I soon realized such was the case. One argument that has been incredibly prevalent is the argument of whether prostitution should be decriminalized or whether prostitution should be outlawed.

Prior to CSW, I believed that prostitution should be legalized. This was my opinion, because I thought legalization with regulation would lead to safer situations for prostitutes. However, after attending a few panels on the "Swedish model" (criminalizes all Johns), I am not so sure how I feel about the legalization of prostitution. Today, I heard five women, who were former prostitutes, speak on a panel. After hearing their experiences and views, and I am now a lot less convinced that decriminalizing prostitution is the best solution. This issue is something that I plan to continue to think about and potentially research when I get back to NC. I'm fascinated by this argument, because it is a feminist issue that is so incredibly divided. If you have any thoughts or information, please let me know!     


  1. You won't have any shortage of opinions or information on this topic, I think. It gets posed as a "choice" versus "moral decay" issue by the different side, just like abortion rights. Good luck with it! I know Beth is friends with a top-level activist on the anti side, so you can ask her for that contact and info on that side of the debate.

  2. I don't have any answers, and am frustrated at how old this problem is. I have heard prostitution called the "oldest profession". It is almost always a "profession" chosen as a last resort, by women who need to support family members, or who are forced into it by others; hardly a profession that anyone would aspire to. I always try to remember that every prostitute is someone's daughter. Is that the "profession" that any of us would want for our daughter?
    Perhaps we must start with better cultural education and changed social norms for ALL of our sons...