Here’s my thought: There is nothing — nothing — empowering about selling one’s body for money, power or fame. I’ve just begun reading an article on the “war” on sex workers, written by a “former” sex worker, that claims that the real war on women is found in the attempt to eradicate prostitution. I confess, I’m coming at this article with an acute and steadfast and — in my opinion, quite reasonable — intellectual bias. However many times I have taken this subject and examined it from an intellectual standpoint (no judgment here, I can honestly say) I cannot find anything objectively empowering about selling oneself. An argument can be made for practical reasons, for subjective reasons, for environmental reasons, but I cannot find an objectively logical way to identify prostitution of any sort as “empowering.”
What’s empowering about it? Treating your own body with the same contempt that others do is somehow preferable to the contempt being one-sided? Feminism is notably schizophrenic when it comes to sex, and the so-called religious right is notoriously hypocritical and shaming about it, but the author has a problem with anti-sex traffickers as well, which I can’t reconcile. I suppose we all justify our decisions in our own way, and we tell ourselves what we must in order to sleep at night.
The article can be found in the current issue of Reason, and its author is Melissa Gira Grant.