Domestic Violence: A Cycle of Disempowerment

Earlier this week, we viewed the “I AM UNBEATABLE” collection at the gallery. The mission of I AM UNBEATABLE is to raise awareness and prevent domestic abuse against children and women. The pictures were very powerful. One of the most moving pictures was a picture of both a mother and a daughter lying in their caskets. They were the victims of  a fatal case of domestic violence perpetrated by the mother’s boyfriend. Continue reading

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Prostitution and the United States

I believe that prostitution should be legalized. I see benefits outweighing the problems. I personally feel that there are societal norms set in place regarding the common individual and sex acts. I feel that if it becomes legal, crime rates for other things, such as rape, might drop. To me, since sex work does happen regardless of laws set in place, making it illegal poses a more dangerous scene for many women who partake in the act. This summer I heard the devastating news of a local girl in Southern California that was about my age, and a prostitute. She had been killed by a man and left in a bag in the streets. Her mother had no idea that she was a prostitute and still denied it post death. Because of this, it show that prostitution is looked down on in society by a lot of people, and many girls are forced to make this a dangerous act when it could be made safer if it was legal. Prostitution should be a personal choice, but I don’t think that it should control one’s life. I think that there should be a limited number of years that someone should be able to work as a prostitute. In addition, there should be many standards and regulations made in brothels. Special actions should be taken in order to prevent “creepers” or dangerous people from hiring a prostitute, such as someone masturbating as they make the phone call, and background checks.

Issues in the US that rise from prostitution being passed as a law include discrimination and image that comes along with legalizing prostitution. People might also discriminate those who enforce and take part in the act of prostitution. I feel prostitution is a personal choice, and that someone can easily make a choice not to be a part of it they don’t like it. I personally do not see how it effects outsiders, and why people who are against it would choose this unless they had a bad experience from it and were personally victimized.

Prostitution can definitely be seen as immoral as a norm, and because of this, people of the US will say that the image of the nation is disrupted. Legalization might cause uproars in many religions. Considering all of the commotion caused because of anti-abortion laws, human rights regarding sex is becoming a big controversy. If the United States ever even considered passing prostitution as legal, it would take a huge effort and would receive a lot of criticism.

This past Summer, I watch the movie titled, “Whore’s Glory” on Netflix. This really opened my eyes about prostitution worldwide, and how it is in fact seen as religious in India to some people, as they are devadasi, and considered ‘prostitutes of God’. After watching this video, it made me realize how different prostitution is in every country. It also gave me a lot of empathy towards prostitutes and their stories. In the book, “Introducing the New Sexuality Studies”, there is an interview with Wendy Chapkis regarding her opinions and views on sex workers. In this article, she talks about her education regarding sex, how and why she decided to study sex work, and describes the trust she had to earn, and the situations she faced when finding out more information regarding prostitutes personal lives. Some of the questions posed were about: problems encountered, ideas about prostitution before and after her research, prostitutes seeing their work as “just work”, typical sex work, US and Netherland differences, feminist views, and prospective sex work movements in the US.
In summary, the author makes many good points. She starts the interview talking about how like many other girls, she grew up to think of sex as both pleasure and dangerous. Growing up in the 70’s, the many difficulties dealing with sex slowly diminished, yet she still wondered why women were made criminals when they charged money for sex. Interested in Dutch ways of life, she moved to Netherlands to study sex work, which is legal. In the 1990’s, Netherlands had a woman’s rights movement, as well as little poverty and individual rights. Further discussed are problems involved with her research. Prostitution in Netherlands is legal, yet still considered disgraceful and gaining trust from the women seemed to be the biggest issue in receiving accurate information about the sex worker’s lives. The author wanted to make sure she was talking to women who worked prostitution for solely work purpose. Prior to research, she made many assumptions which were all true. Yet she quoted, “Women’s lives are rarely models of complete victimization or absolute empowerment. Prostitutes are no exception.”(Chapkis 329). This demonstrates that sex workers are just like any other women. They have feelings and are often categorized as “things”, and people need to consider that they have the same priorities and rights as any other woman. The interview then continues to talk about how the prostitutes get the job done solely as work. Something I found intriguing was the quote, “But it is my sense that it is not the exchange of sex for money that is the cause of most difficulty within prostitution: instead it is the poor conditions under which that exchange takes place.” This opinion proves that with regulation, sex work can be made legal and safe, with the correct conditions. The United States can benefit from a regulated and safe system of prostitution if the conditions are safe and adequately supervised.
I leave you with these questions:
What is the reason for prostitution?
Do you feel prostitution should be legal in the United States?
Do you think that prostitution is a personal choice for most women?
Who benefits from making prostitution illegal?