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Prostitution (or Sex work) has long been criticized and stigmatized in our society. While many members of society view sex work as immoral and degrading to women, I argue that sex work is essentially just work, and that it is not necessarily harmful to women. Under circumstances in which sex work is accepted and regulated in society, in which the sex worker is protected and granted the same rights as any other laborer, sex work has the possibility to be beneficial to women.
Sex work can be very profitable for women, and many women may enjoy work that allows them to creatively express their sexuality. Sex work can allow human beings a way to safely explore their sexual desires in ways they cannot through the current social norm of heterosexual, monogamous relationships. The sex work industry and its workers need not be chastised by a society that clings to puritan ideals of what is “moral”. I argue prostitution should be legal.
Every human being has the right to make informed decisions about his or her own body, and laws that govern sex work are laws that govern an individual’s right to make decisions about her own body. Sex work is illegal because it is largely viewed as immoral and degrading, but morality is objective and society’s opinion on what is “right” and “wrong” is constantly shifting. Morality provides no sound basis for law, as people governed by laws can not possibly all share the same moral beliefs.
My argument is that prostitution should be made legal, sex workers offered the same rights and respect as workers in any other field, and that by doing this sex work can become something that benefits women and humanity in general.
Prostitution is an embodiment of patriarchy. In historical societies, men had ownership over their wives but men no longer have complete ownership of women in our society. Prostitution provides a way for men to exercise ownership over women’s bodies temporarily.
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