Mixtapes for Hookers

Anti-Trafficking Rally Seeks To Ban Prostitution
April 22, 2009, 9:59 am
Filed under: hookers | Tags: , , ,

spa-psThere was an anti-trafficking rally held at the Rhode Island State House yesterday, which worries me.  Once again, people seem completely oblivious to the fact that consensual sex where money is exchanged is not the same thing as human trafficking.

It keeps happening here.  People try to criminalize prostituion on the grounds that the women are victims, they propose laws that would send the prostitutes/victims to jail, and then they don’t understand why people think that’s a bad idea.  There are currently multiple bills in the state legislature to ban indoor prostitution, and all of them seek mainly to put the prostitutes in jail.

That this rally took place just days after an escort was tied up and robbed at gunpoint is also very inappropriate.  Was the message of the rallyers that she was the one who should have been arrested?  That it was wrong of this woman to have called the cops?  That she should go to jail for possibly finding a murderer?

It’s true that Rhode Island is full of brothels thinly disguised as massage parlors.  But the argument of the anti-trafficking people seems to be that, except for the sex act itself, these places are fully untouchable by the law right now.  Do we know that?  Are all workers properly documented?  And over the age of 18?  Are any of these women living in the massage parlors?  Are the businesses filing fully legit taxes every year?  Are the buildings even up to fire code, or OSHA standards?  My guess is no, and probably a visit from the Health Department could solve lots of the state’s problems.  Also, I don’t think making prostitution illegal is going to make anything better for anyone, particularly for the trafficked women, who will have even fewer rights than they do now.

[Photo via the Mount Hope Neighborhood Association]

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