Thursday, December 10, 2009

Claudia Amezcua
English 155
Prof. Driussi
08 December 2009
Morality vs. legislation
The extension where government can rule our lives is notably large, if we see it from the view where we live in a developed society where laws have been made to protect each and every person who belongs to this society. Without noticing we have grown in a society where morals and ethics play a strong and valuable part of our behavior and personality. For that reason it is impossible to separate morality and ethics when it comes to making laws. Laws had been made to protect our health, living and others interactions. Lets not forget that we are the government, we decide who represent us. We as the government have the natural sense to control everything, keep things in order to make everything easier. Laws have been made to protect people in general, but of course there are some exceptions and that is where social problems come in. That leads to one of the many controversial problems the government has, prostitution. This subject has not being accepted by the majority of the people because it is not a good example for children, it will disturb their natural growth, confusion of what is right and wrong, and the propensity to be infected with any type of sexual transmission disease or HIV.

We don’t see is that because our morality respect towards prostitution is so skeptical and unpronounceable, we prefer not to talk about it and just say that is wrong; but for what reasons? It can be our personal opinion due to our religion and our ethic group; but how about the government? Should the government interfere if we decide to become a prostitute? Unfortunately, yes the government has to intervene for the only reason that most individuals don’t accept that immorality which causes a lot of violence in a level of sociological conflict in the place we live. The government must intervene only to enforce the laws and keep our environment safe, not to force in believing something we don’t want to.

Prostitution is one of the oldest occupations in the existence of our nature. If all agree, most of us have seen prostitution as wrong and goes against our moral believes. But do we really know why is it that we don’t accept prostitution? Or why prostitution has not been yet regulating it? We are human beings, not a product that you can go out to the street and buy it or even rent it. Our body is more than a case where people can play or use it for money and legalizing prostitution will not protect a prostitute from violence or infections; as Cari Mitchell expressed his opinion and the article, Should the laws against prostitution be abolished? he says, “no, legalizing prostitution does not protect those involved but rather acts to expand the sex industry and normalize the exploitation of women”; this can lead to an increase of violence against prostitutes either from the client or the owner of the brothel which as Mitchell says, “the owner of legal brothels who will often demand 50-60% commission from the women”; how can a prostitute make a living if most of her profits goes to the brothels? That’s where illegal activities come in.

Legalizing prostitution leads to a numerous count of illegal activities such as human trafficking of victims, murder, rape, and drugs etc. for a few, simply earned dollars. If prostitution were to be legalized the brothels would be seen as any other open business and illegal activities would be seen as a normal treatment towards a prostitute. A case in Vancouver, Canada where prostitution is legal, Andrew Evans was convicted of second-degree murder for the 2007 killing of Nicole Parisien, a 33-year-old prostitute: “Mr. Evans said he agreed to pay Ms Pariesien $200. He became enraged when she couldn’t maintain his erection, hitting her and choking her to death”; where do the laws take a play in these types of cases, where violence is part of the typical day for a prostitute? The odd part of the case is that Ms. Parisien was worked out of at a well-known apartment building; the room was monitored with a living-room security camera and yet she died in a minute or two of Mr. Evan’s first hit. Is that what we want for women? As Janine Benedet says in her article, legalizing the purchase of women for sex won’t make them safe she says, “The violence in prostitution comes not from the law, but from the male pimps and buyers such as Andrew Evans”; do we want women to be always the victim of a crime, which is not exactly a crime because is legal to satify the client in any ways?

Prostitution also goes beyond what just happens inside of a room. As Benedet says, “Promoters of prostitution want the public to believe that prostitution is safe when it happens indoors”; children get affected by this phenomenon. When kids are exposed to one of those situations their natural growth is disturbed for what their expectations are about a couple which means for them, the mother and the father. For example, when I was living in Mexico, I met a prostitute who was a single mother, and although she tried to hide her profession from her 4-year-old boy but he always noticed different men enter into his home, and because he did not know his natural parent, he always called his mother’s clients “daddy”. As he kept growing he realized his mom was not the same as his friends’ moms’. His behavior towards the people that surrounded him was always violent and antisocial. His grades were the lowest and from early age he entered in to drug trafficking life. Both women and children can be hurt by prostitution in a physical and psychological way. Can laws do something about these types of cases? No, those are the effects of prostitution and it doesn’t matter if it’s legal or not; what matter is the impact on society and the new generations who should be better than ours. The government should regulate children’s condition in order to be safe on the streets, in the schools and mainly in their personal lives.

Obviously there are people in institutions that criminalize prostitution based on morality. One of the main ones is religious institutions. For generations, religion has been part of the way we think and believe based on ancestors’ ideals that prostitutes should be banned or killed. Religion backgrounds bring us to point out and even make it into a law what we think is right or wrong.

As a member of the Roman Catholic religion I have always seen prostitution as wrong, and unacceptable. For example, in prostitution was as women have the obligation to take care of our bodies and remain virgins until we married, and be the perfect wife until you die. In Catholicism, if it’s known that person is a prostitute, of course they are judged, but if they want to change their way of living, and if they repent for their actions, they can be absolved from what we see as a sin. As Norma Ramos in New York Times says, “First, prostitution is not a sin; it is a social injustice. It is the world’s oldest oppression that stems from the world’s oldest inequality—that of women”; unfortunately, people who decide to in the prostitution business uses necessity, or different excuses to use prostitution as a business product; but they don’t see prostitutes as human beings that have feelings; brothel owners, and sex workers unions see the human body as a way to get money.

Organizations and unions that support the legislation of prostitution only see the monetary value they get out of the physical need of having sex. Because they know that due to moral and ethical believes a person can’t just go out of their house and sell their body without any body telling them something, they want it to be legal so they will not be worried of hiding or event giving money to the police to keep it secret, or as Cari Mitchell says, “legislation is an attempt to dignify the sex industry not the women involved- and we should never lose sight of this fact”; is it true? Of course it is, the sex industry want to see themselves as an institution where women for the necessity of the money come and get what they call “hard working job”. The only people who will only been seen as the cause of the growing of prostitution is the prostitute itself, the sex industry will put it as voluntary work. Morality is played, where only money is the valuable subject for brothel owners and organizations pro-prostitution; money is the way they use to convince government to legalize prostitution. They let any other industry to tax them for the jobs they are offering. Although money is a good convincer to the government members, due to the fact that most of them are rich, they are not convinced for morality reasons.

The main concern over all in prostitution is the decease that prostitutes transmit to their clients. Pro-legislation groups believe that if prostitution is legalize, control over diseases will be used and prostitutes will receive a health care plan, that of course they have to pay; but does that guarantee the safety of a prostitute and the client? No, that is for the only reason that just because they are prostitutes they are expected to have any kind of decease. How about the client? Is he/she clean? As Mitchell says, “the prostituted woman’s health is not necessarily protected by, nor of primary importance to a regulated sex industry. While legislation allows for HIV/Aids and STI screening, there is no compulsion for customers to undergo health checks, leaving the women vulnerable to infections”; what would the legislation do for that case? Is it going to obligate the customer to take an analysis before having sex with a prostitute? I don’t think that is going to work very well for brothels. Lost of money they will have just to have safe a prostitute.

Is it worth to legislate prostitution because of the money, education, or liberalism? Morality is not based on religion, it is based on the learning of everyday basis, the experience and the way we see life. There is more than materialism; there is the respect of us as human beings and mainly our bodies. Government has to intervene in our way we interact and live so we can have a safe and respectful environment we can live in.

Works Cited
Benedet, Janine. “Legalizing the Purchase of Women for Sex Won’t make them Safe”. The Globe and Mail [Canada] 07 Oct. 2009, Laws sec.: A17. California State University Library. Web.04. Nov.2009..
Mitchell, Cari. “Should the Laws Against Prostitution Be Abolished?” Irish Times [Sweden]11 Feb. 2009, Opinion sec. California State University, Northridge Library. Web. 04. Nov. 2009 http:///>.
Ramos, Norma. “Don’t Legalize Prostitution.” The New York Times [New York] 24 May 2009, Late edition ed., WK sec.: 7. California State University, Northridge Library. Web.04 Nov. 2009. .