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Prostitution and Pornography Are Not Victimless Crimes; They Are Slavery

Posted By Lisa Richards On December 27, 2010 @ 10:00 am In Email,Feature,The Feminist Hawks' Nest | 10 Comments


Many people consider prostitution and pornography victimless crimes.  This excuse deems both as sanctioned or permitted sex between two consenting adults.  If this is true, why are many women and children trafficked and forced into sexual slavery?  Why are many prostitutes victims of violent physical abuse and murder by those they work for?  Further, if porn and prostitution are victimless crimes, why does the porn industry have an HIV/AIDS problem?

Those who view prostitution and porn as harmless sexual pleasure, say it’s no different than a man taking a woman out to dinner, spending the evening getting to know her as a potential girlfriend, and winding up in bed having sex. That is no different than paying a prostitute for the night?  Every excuse is used to reach as far as possible in order to unearth more ways to declare porn and prostitution harmless and victimless.

Many consider prostitution and porn non-criminal, yet decry America’s history of slavery.  What about sex slavery, which prostitution promotes?  What about human trafficking, the selling of women and children’s bodies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.   Despite evidence, some call the industry empowering to women. Unless, of course, hookers and female porn stars receive less pay then men. In November, Salon quoted radical feminist Amanda Marcotte as saying:

The idea behind the ‘porn is empowering!’ argument is that women who work in porn gain power in a pragmatic way, playing by men’s rules, and feminists should support this for pragmatic reasons, because at the end of the day, women have more real power. And that would be a legitimate argument if the women involved had more power at the end of the day. But what power do they have, exactly?  Joanna Krupa cites the big paychecks you get for nude modeling in Playboy, but since those paychecks stop coming when you’re a hag of 23 or so (or possibly younger), then it’s a false form of power.

Salon’s Kate Harding said Marcotte’s column proves that men, no matter their age, are paid better:

See, the underlying principle of feminism is equality.  As things stand here in the country that produces Playboy, women and men are not equal.  Men, for instance, are favored for all sorts of powerful, high-paying jobs, and often respected more as they get older and better at those jobs. Women, on the other hand, can sometimes make a bunch of money by taking off all their clothes when they’re young and most attractive to a large number of heterosexual men, but then they are less respected in that profession as they get older, no matter how much valuable information they’ve learned about posing naked by that point. Do you see the difference?

Do these “actual feminists” see the underlying danger of porn and prostitution?   Human trafficking is a billion dollar business inside the porn and prostitution industry.   Radical feminists angry over equal opportunity pay for porn stars should be screaming about the threat porn and prostitution poses—sex slavery, HIV, and murder. Harding does admit radical feminists have “arguments against porn” she says she did not mention in her column.  I wish Harding did.   Her colleague Tracy Clark-Flory did this week, exposing how Las Vegas pimps and clients have beaten, raped, and murdered many prostitutes, whose “bodies were chopped up…strangled, shot in the head by or ‘disappeared’ by their pimps.”  Feminists, be they conservative, liberal, Right or Left, must speak out about the dangers porn and prostitution creates.  Women must fight violence of every sort against women, taking a stand against porn,  prostitution, and the selling women and children as tools to be used until useless and disposed of through violent means—death. Who cares about equal pay for porn models, let’s discuss porn’s deadly facts. The sex industry has become glamorized.  No longer is prostitution considered seedy street work — the industry includes high priced escort services, glittery strip clubs, and late night commercials where men and women are encouraged to call each other for phone sex and “hook ups.” This covers up massage parlors, which are often brothels featuring trafficked sex slaves, not to mention child pornography, a massive Internet industry  using free speech to keep this crime alive. The sex industry is more than 20-year-old girls posing for Playboy and strippers getting dollar bills stuffed in scanty panties while spinning on poles—something once considered smutty, but now super-glammed up as aerobic exercise for women and a fun way to keep your husband turned on in the bedroom.  Substantiating evidence proves prostitution and porn are aggressively violent, immoral, and unjust:  “[T]he United States Department of State reports that between 14,000 and 17,000 individuals are trafficked annually (for commercial sex or forced labor) into the U.S. from other nations” including Japan, which practices slavery through prostitution industry. Dr. Melissa Farley, PhD, who researches prostitution, told Charles Montaldo of Crime and Punishment Guide:

All prostitution causes harm to women.  Whether it is being sold by one’s family to a brothel, or whether it is being sexually abused in one’s family, running away from home, and then being pimped by one’s boyfriend, or whether one is in college and needs to pay for next semester’s tuition and one works at a strip club behind glass where men never actually touch you—all these forms of prostitution hurt the women in it.

Farley’s prostitution fact sheet shows what really exists inside the industry:

  • 78 percent of 55 women who sought help from the Council for Prostitution Alternatives in 1991 reported being raped an average of 16 times a year by pimps, and were raped 33 times a year by johns.
  • 62 percent reported having been raped in prostitution.
  • 73 percent reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution.
  • 72 percent were currently or formerly homeless.
  • 92 percent stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately.
  • 83 percent of prostitutes are victims of assault with a weapon.
  • 75 percent of women in escort prostitution had attempted suicide.
  • 67 percent meet diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Statistical evidence further proves porn is not a harmless civil liberty, it is spreading HIV.  In 2009, the Los Angeles Times exposed that the health department says from 1998 to 2003, 14 porn stars contracted HIV.  In 2004, 16 HIV cases occurred inside the porn industry, but were swept under the rug, until publicized, causing the industry to halt production for 30 days. The San Francisco Examiner reported the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed adult film stars “are up to ten times more likely to be infected with a sexually-transmitted infection than members of the general public.”  That is not a “victimless crime.”  Porn stars are spreading AIDS, a death sentence to those they engaged in sexual intercourse with. The sex industry enslaves and kills. Amanda Marcotte should have railed against the above crimes, rather than discuss equal pay for naked models.  Porn helps promote sex slavery and death.  Purchasing porn keeps the industry alive and flourishing.  The “actual feminist” should have discussed how the sex industry involves sadistic crimes against women and children enslaved and forced to provide sex for so-called harmless civil liberties. NewsReal’s Phyllis Chesler noted in her recent column, “20 Questions About Pornography,” that prostitution and porn are indoctrinated into our children at a young age, and we are taught to deem it acceptable:

Pornography has invaded the world’s imagination…Five-year-old girls dress and are taught to behave like pornography stars in order to win beauty contests.  Ten- to twelve-year-old girls both dress and behave like the pornographic images that surround them—and they provide sexual services to young boys.

As a result of this acceptance of porn and prostitution, Dr. Farley’s studies show history of incest among 65 to 90 percent of prostitutes; in 1991, Portland, Oregon reported 85 percent of prostitutes “reported history of sexual abuse in childhood while 70 percent reported incest.” There is nothing victimless about an industry in which HIV, human trafficking, slavery, pedophilia, and violence and murder against women and children used for sex is rampant.  The sex industry cannot be equated to consensual sex between adults on a dinner date.  In a nation where slavery’s past is condemned, the sex trade should be equally denounced: it is no different. It is the selling and imprisonment of human flesh by those who own human beings used for sex.  Prostitution and porn are not victimless crimes, they are slavery.


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