Gosh, It’s Really Here
Andrew outlines the “cons” of legalizing prostitution.
Bringing it back to Rhode Island, it’s one thing to be aware in an intellectual vacuum that indoor prostitution is legal here. It’s another to read a description of and begin to fully understand that a florishing trade has resulted.
Ed Achorn provides that description:
One does not have to search very hard on Google to discover that the johns who prey on young women are well aware of the state’s innovative approach to the world’s oldest profession. They tout Rhode Island as a land of opportunity, offer crude reviews of the charms and demerits of the “girls” who work in the city’s strip clubs, and share such consumer info as whether strippers provide “takeout service” and how much they charge. Last month, in a Channel 10 I-Team report by Jim Taricani, a young cameraman entered the Club Balloons strip club with a hidden camera. Within minutes, a dancer was offering him, for a price, two forms of sex.
Money pours into the sex industry in Providence, particularly in a booming vice district along Allens Avenue. If Rhode Island has a “center of economic excellence” these days, this is it. Seedy customers from all over New England flock to Providence for the action, and “alternative” newspapers both here and in Boston survive on ads from local ladies (and a few gentlemen) who, to put it mildly, do not go to extreme lengths to disguise what they are selling.
The un-ironic title of this post was my reaction upon reading Achorn’s column today. Presumably, it was a naive assumption on my part that a law had not engendered actual businesses.
So. Now I’ve caught up. It’s here and business is apparently brisk.
Should it stay? Ed Achorn, Brad Plumer and others point to repugnant and illegal activity that gravitates towards legalized prostitution – slavery, pedophelia – as well as the self-destructive lifestyle – drug use – it can enable. But shouldn’t the question be contemplated solely on its own merits?
“Should it be legal for a consenting adult to sell intimacy to another consenting adult?”
Or is it simply not possible to do so because there can never be a circumstance under which the repugnant and illegal activity can be screened out? And that by saying yes to the above question, one is automatically giving consent to and approval of the other completely unacceptable activity?