Sunday, January 14, 2007

An R-rated post

Thought I should warn parents not to let their kids read this post.

There's been an interesting debate raging here in merry ol' England since five young prostitutes were murdered in Ipswich (north of London). Headlines compared the serial killer to Jack the Ripper, which is inaccurate because none of them were "ripped." They were strangled. Not to put too fine a point on it.

The debate is this: Should the government provide more protections to prostitutes, and legalize brothels so they can have safer working conditions? I can't imagine such a debate in my native U.S., and I blame the Puritans for that. For starters, prostitution is illegal in most places. (Nevada springs to mind as an exception.) Europeans call them "sex workers," not prostitutes, as if this were a legit line of employment, and my understanding of U.K. law is that technically, it is legal, under certain conditions. You can't be hooking out on the street, so you tend to find them inside clubs and bars. Brothels are in fact illegal, however.

I'm not saying these women (and men) are the scourge of the earth and therefore get what they deserve when they walk the streets. Oh, no. What I am saying is that we should get to the root of the problem: All five women killed in Ipswich were drug addicts, and they hooked to pay for their habits. Why not have greater enforcement for drug laws, and stiffer penalties for pushers? Why not assign the blame where the demand is: the johns? And finally, take complaints of violence against these women and all women more seriously?

I am afraid to see what Google ads will pop up as a result of this post...


Blogger Middle Kid said...

I'm not a real Libertarian (nor am I a libertine, for that matter), but I have always thought that both drugs and prostitution should be legalized and regulated. The tax revenues (paid by the Johns, of course), then, could help take care of the problems those two vices cause. Regulation could also include some sort of security for the women, protecting them from violence. Both drug use and "sex workers" have existed for all of recorded history, so it seems strange that we, as a culture, haven't legitimized these activities.

4:40 PM  

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