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Women of The Night

In “The Strange Relationship Between Feminism and Sex Work” by Carol Leigh, she talks about the relationship of prostitution and feminism. This reading was not one of my favorites by far but she shall we say, knocked on the door of some rather interesting points. No matter what your own opinion is on prostitution, it does have a place in the topic of feminism.
Personally, I believe that prostitution should not be legal. This is not because of the service that they provide but because of the trafficking and dangerous situations that it can drive women into. Now this belief is certainly not a unanimous one and might even offend someone. Unfortunately as it was pointed out by Leigh, the Bush administration took this opinion to the extreme and decided not to aid sex workers specifically because of their occupation. Even though I agree that the government should not promote the profession, it is very extreme for them to simply turn their back on the prostitutes to aid their abortions because there is more than one life involved. However, that is not important to this blog.
What is important is what feminists stand for. The main reason Leigh talks about this is because this subject has caused a split in the feminist community. Some believe in equal treatment for the prostitutes and others believe that it is wrong for them to aid prostitutes because of what they do. To me, the ultimate factor comes from the male perspective. If feminists believe that men view prostitutes as sex objects than they will not have their support. But feminists thought that men viewed prostitutes simply as women, they would have their support.
As a guy that knows how guys think, just like the feminists it is split. Meaning some guys view them as equal humans and others view them as a sex object. This implies that each feminist is right and that what Leigh (regardless of her own opinion) is saying the right thing by encouraging feminists to find common ground. What they should decide on should not be based on how men view the prostitutes, but how to make life better for women in that profession.


  1. jaclynnicole says:

    I disagree with your entire argument, starting with the idea that prostitution should be illegal. I think that it should be legal, because criminalizing the profession is where the problems are. Making prostitution illegal would make it more likely for any woman to get arrested and accused of breaking the law even if she isn’t actually a prostitute, and denying prostitutes aid overall also makes it harder for them to get any type of health care, not just abortions. So essentially, a prostitute wouldn’t be able to receive testing for STIs which they would be at risk for. Something else that bothered me was when you said that prostitution leads to trafficking, which is a common misunderstanding. Trafficking can lead to prostitution, but not the other way around, since trafficking involves the kidnapping of women and selling or forcing them to engage in prostitution. Also something that the article fails to bring up is that sex work is more than just prostitutes. Strippers, porn actors, and phone sex operators are also considered sex workers, since sex work is people making money off of their sexuality not just having sex for money, and criminalizing all sex work also affects these people even if they aren’t actually having sex.

  2. sgadille says:

    I did say that my own opinion may be offensive but I only stated it to prove a point that even though someone who does not believe that prostitution should be legal believes that prostitutes deserve the same aid from the government that everyone else receives and that it should not be based off of occupation. You must not have read that part of my blog. My article also didn’t fail to bring up those other professions, they just were not the main topic of my blog which by the way was feminists uniting. I do however agree with what you said about trafficking but they go hand and hand. Furthermore, the idea that a woman would be accused of being a prostitute if she really is not and cannot prove it sounds rather ridiculous.

  3. jaclynnicole says:

    I don’t have my book on me so I can’t quote exactly, but there was a section that said in California women can be arrested for “loitering with attempt of prostitution” and also be arrested “even if they don’t take money for sex” so it’s not ridiculous it’s just fact. And yes, I did read your entire post because I based my response off the entire thing since I was rereading while I typed out my comment. When I said “the article fails to bring up…that sex work is more than just prostitutes” I was talking about Leigh’s article not your blog post. While I agree with you that aid should not be based off profession, making sex work illegal means that it would be harder for them to get the help they need because of stereotypes based around their profession, and I was not saying that you personally believe that they should not get any aid at all.

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