Originally Posted by bjjs
I find the notion that we can make prostitution healthy and clean is ridiculous. Test the prostitutes all you want, that's possible. Test all the customers? Keep prostitutes from sleeping with untested customers, is that possible?? It's unrealistic.
The idea that the prostitutes are going to be organized in thirty days to reap these benefits is also unrealistic.
Trane brings up the point of sex trade workers who cater too niches and "have good heads on their shoulders". From what I understand, these people are finding a way to make money now. They can do it behind clothes doors, without breaking the communication law, and they can make good money doing it. I just don't see how this will help the ones on the street. I don't see where any real progress is made against "bad" prostitution.
The mature, healthy, self-promoting, independant prostitute has cleared a hurdle perhaps, but who is going to organize the drug addicted street walkers in to groups. A glamourized pimp. What wonderful pimps we'll have that although still making money off misguided youth, they'll alteast be supplying health benefits and cheap rent.
Their needs to be more ground roots help for prostitutes. Drug counselling, career counselling. Etc. This is can be done without making prostitution legal.
I think you might be misunderstanding what I'm suggesting.
By no means am I suggesting that this is a panacea. I don't think they'll eliminate pimps, or STD's, or drug addiction by legalizing prostitution. I do, however, think we can make much bigger improvements in those respects by providing a legal framework in which workers have some grounds for recourse should things go awry.
Imagine a system in which:
1. Businesses are required to test their workers at least once every 2 weeks.
2. Businesses are required to provide their workers with access to career counselling.
3. Businesses are required to provide their workers with access to addiction counselling.
4. Businesses are required to enforce the use of condoms.
5. Businesses are required to follow all other OH&S and tax regulations that a normal business would have to.
It seems clear to me that providing a legal framework in which these issues are brought above ground will help to reduce harm. Again, it is not a panacea but it can help reduce suffering.
As someone who has provided "ground roots help" to prostitutes, I can tell you that they need a heck of a lot more than just that. They need a framework in which they continue the business they're in while minimizing the risk they absorb until such time that a transition out of prostitution is feasible for them. And, contrary to your opinion, even the clever prostitutes need this sort of legislation because they have little-to-no legal recourse if they're, let's say, raped by their john.
You're absolutely right that it's not as simple as saying "It's legal now" but that's certainly the first step towards some long-term resolution of an age-old issue.