Choosing prostitution: Is it a choice?

June 19, 9:17 AM

According to “Sex workers testify at Senate hearing on prostitution bill”, Rhode Island, with exception of a few places in Nevada, is the only place where there is no law banning indoor sex trafficking.

In the article, some of the women testified that they are not being forced, or coerced, into prostitution. They claim that they make more than the $7 an hour job to support children and family.

One may argue that these women have a choice; to work more than one job, or get a job that has tips. They may argue that these women should go to the local McDonald’s or grocery store to apply for jobs.

Prostitution is the oldest profession for women. Yet it is the most dangerous job out there for women. We all know that it’s dangerous for many reasons: violence towards the women, drugs, alcohol, sexual diseases, etc. So why do many women choose this option?

Women don’t have a choice when it comes to prostitution. They choose to go in the field, because it’s the fastest way to make money. Due to our current recession, sex business has been booming, and naturally, women are going for it.

Women are not necessarily forced by men to get into prostitution; rather, it’s the money factor. The people who own these businesses or are involved in them get these women because they know that they are desperate for money. Even before the recession, prostitution was attractive for the same reasons. And these women think that they can get out of it at any time.

Sometimes, these women already have jobs, both hourly and salary. However, prostitution brings home the dough. Like the women said in the article, it is to support the family. People may argue that these women collect on food stamps if they don’t make enough, but then there’s the argument that these women are lazy. So, isn’t prostitution a trap for women?

If people were really concerned about getting rid of prostitution, they need more than just laws. Lawmakers would need to not just criminalize prostitution, but find jobs for women who have little to no education that pay well. If more women could find a safe, easy job that paid the bills, fewer women would be going to prostitution. Also, if we got rid of the stereotypes of women who live off the government, more women would not prostitute. Prostitutes come from different backgrounds, and I’m sure some would be ashamed to use government money, or, they may not know they qualify for extra help. It goes both ways.

Not all prostitutes or strippers are uneducated either. A few years ago, I had a friend Jen who worked for Foxy Lady in Providence as a stripper. She attended Community College of Rhode Island with me, and she did it to support her daughter and her education. She was in a bad relationship with a man who wanted nothing to do with her daughter. Again, money was the factor that made her strip. She told me once that she didn’t go as far as having sex, because she’s not that desperate for money, and she doesn’t want to get hurt.

It’s not the prostitutes who are the problem, but rather the people behind making the business. The government needs to stop passing laws that don’t do anything, and start passing the buck.

Original at Examiner


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