Legalese.

18Dec08

I’ve heard some compelling, engaging arguments against sex work and sex workers’ rights in my day, and I’ve heard some not so compelling ones. The one that I think hands down takes the cake for the dumbest argument against sex workers rights is the “but it’s illegal” one.

This demonstrates both a lack of understanding about how laws come about and a lack of understanding about the history of the legal system. That sex workers shouldn’t organize because they are criminals is a seriously weak and pretty much laughable argument.

Here’s a concise list of things that used to be illegal but are no longer  (at least in most states): abortion, alcohol, women voting, people of color voting, people of color owning property, women owning property, interracial marriage, whites and blacks using the same public facilities, sodomy, marijuana. Here’s a consider list of things that used to be legal but are now illegal: raping your wife, beating your wife, owning a slave, raping your slave, beating your slave, marijuana, cocaine, intelligence tests for voting, testing on human subjects without their consent. Get my point?

Sex work is legal in many countries. Sex work has been legal during many times in human history. Hell, even encouraged. The definition of what is prostitution is pretty vague. Under the law, if your wife fucks you so that you will buy her a diamond necklace, she committed an act of prostitution (that whole exchanging sexual intercourse for a consideration of value).

The legal system in America is built on interpretation and revision. To say that something shouldn’t be because it’s illegal is like putting your fingers in your ears and humming, I can’t hear you!

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2 Responses to “Legalese.”

  1. “Under the law, if your wife fucks you so that you will buy her a diamond necklace, she committed an act of prostitution (that whole exchanging sexual intercourse for a consideration of value).”

    No kidding! Hence our movement pointing out the selective enforcement of prostitution laws.


  1. 1 Being Amber Rhea » Blog Archive » Quote of the day #2

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