Should Prostitution be Illegal?

After watching this the film “Buying sex” by Teresa Macinnes and Kent Nason I believe prostitution should be illegal. Canada has many prostitutes in the country and from this it is affecting the society and streets around it. The true definition of prostitution is the act or practice of engaging in sexual intercourse for money (


I believe that prostitution does not set up equality between the women. The idea of women giving themselves up for men is giving them inequality within their gender, class, and race. Also this is an issue because prostitution is a violation of international law. Prostitutes suffer from violence, abuse, beatings and even rape or other forms of torture. So why do women put themselves in this type of situation? MONEY is the answer… Women need to find another way to help themselves survive other than giving themselves up because it will physically and mentally destroy them.

The movie “Buying Sex” has many different opinions between people who are either prostitutes, male buyers, or women who used to be prostitutes and are willing to fight to stop it. But the main focus in this film is how to bring more safety between the sex workers. Trisha Baptile was a lady who is against prostitution due to her past experience being a hooker for fifteen years and having that identity that she did not want. Trisha went through extreme torture and was glad she got out of it when she did because it was ruining her life. She explains in the movie why prostitution should be illegal. She brings up and discussion the Pickton Case where 27 prostitutes were murdered and how it became Canada’s worst serial killing event. Also of how prostitutes even today they are becoming abducted and disappearing. Everything that Trisha Baptile talks about in this film I agree with because she is trying to end prostitution and make others become aware of the dangers within these men who are harming prostitutes.

One thing that Trisha Baptile did was put a strike on with a bunch of her people in front of a strip club fighting to stop prostitution. A prostitute stood over the balcony fighting for her freedom and yelling at the strikers who showed up in front of the strip club. She was preaching how they have no right to calm down women who choose to do what they do. But Trisha refuses to leave and fights for what she believes in by holding up signs saying “Sex Industry= Paid Rape” and wearing shirts enforcing to stop prostitution within Canada. As Trisha is she getting interviewed she explains how they need to criminalize the male demand and than when that falls through it validates the need to produce the supply, which are the prostitutes, therefore opening up safety measures. Prostitutes are looked down upon leading to violence within themselves and to others.

This video clip shows what others in Canada think about prostitution if it should be allowed or not. The film gave a lot of opinions between one another about the topic. Valerie Scott was a lady who has been a sex worker for most of her life and is trying to keep prostitution alive and legal. One thing that she was proud to express was that she has had sex with 5300 people! After hearing that number what do you think about a woman sleeping with that many people? They pulled male buyers into this film and interviewed them asking their views on prostitution and most of them thought it is totally okay and a great pleasure to themselves and for them to fulfill their needs. But as Trisha Baptile reflects about prostitution she makes some great points on why exactly it should be banned.

In our class book “Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, the interview with Elizabeth Bernstein, she interviewed some male sex workers and compared them to women’s experiences. Some differences were from socially and politically point of view. Male workers are less visible than female workers, and they are not arrested not as much as women. Also those indoor male sex workers often took great pride in offering an experience of bounded authenticity to their clients. When female sex workers offer this, they would call it the “girlfriend experience” and male workers would boast that the best purveyors of the “girlfriend experience were men. Some workers believe that it is a sacred, wonderful, beautiful thing to do for other people to get money for it (page 317). Even though most prostitutes are women there are a lot of men who view themselves as prostitutes today. Prostitution is a choice between the prostitute and the buyer and even though people know the dangers that fall under it they still do. So when is it going to stop?

Reference:, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2014.
Bernstein, Elazbeth, “The Political Economy of Sexual Labor”, Introducing the New Sexuality Studies.


4 thoughts on “Should Prostitution be Illegal?

  1. I did my engaging assignment on the same movie also and I really like how you approached this film! I agree with you completely on how prostitution should be illegal due to all the dangers it falls under and all the scary events that happened in Canada especially the Pickton Case. Also it was shocking to me that Valerie has been with 5300 people in her lifetime and I believe that shows her true identity on how she wants to come off towards others. Overall Trisha did a great job trying to influence others on her beliefs towards making prostitution illegal.


  2. I personally prefer prostitution being legal, although I might think otherwise if I lived in Canada. I’m not a buyer nor a seller. The problem is that criminalisation does not necessarily make prostitution disappear and could result in increased rate of rape and possibly human trafficking (that is my assumption and someone can correct me on that). It is a tricky business and definitely not something out of the pages of Fanny Hill but with better supervision the business could be made a safer career choice.


  3. I whole-heartedly agree with rescatooor; I think that prostitution should definitely be legal. The negative light that shines on prostitution is due to the fact that it is illegal. This criminalizes prostitution all together. As I stated in class discussion, prostitution has a major underground culture in America (Just like anything else that is considered illegal). The law is not enough to stop prostitution from occurring, which means that their may be underlying reasons for its occurrence. Instead of criminalizing the act, which has no drastic effect on participation, government officials should use that energy to make it safer for prostitutes while harvesting a approach that will combat their actual reason(for being prostitutes) first hand.


  4. I had the opportunity to take an “Economics of Crime” course while studying abroad in Europe last semester, and my class spoke extensively about the pros and cons of legalization of prostitution. In Copenhagen, prostitution has been decriminalized for Danish citizens only. While this may seem strange, it has led to a decrease in the number of women trafficked into the country. Other countries in Europe have legalized prostitution, and some even place a tax on the wages of these women. While I know that human trafficking is extensive in spite of large efforts to prevent it, I do think that by allowing these women to legally sell their services, they are in less danger of abuse from customers, and are more easily provided access to healthcare and safety. For a project, I interviewed the manager of a women’s center that catered to prostitutes. The center provided these legal workers with access to medical check ups and any counseling they needed. In addition, it provided temporary housing and a safe haven for women who felt in danger or who had been taken from their homes. People are motivated by so many things in life, and some are not bothered by the need to “sell” their bodies for money. While I find the act to take some degree of empowerment away from the woman, I do think it should be her choice and that she has access to the tools necessary to keep herself safe.


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