“Paradigm shifts and paying for sex”

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Brilliant essay by S. M Berg, below is an excerpt

… The old prostitution paradigm sees prostitution as a women’s problem and thusly suggests fixing women as the solution. Identifiers of the old paradigm that circles around prostituted women are: permits for prostituted women, STD & AIDS checks for women, condoms for women, panic-buttons for women, bad date lines for women, unions for women, government registries for women,”whore college”for women, etc. In my less gracious moments I call proponents of this Victorian, women-as-moral-gatekeepers attitude towards prostitution the Build a Better Whore Brigade, and in generous moods I call them sex worker rights lobbyists.

The new prostitution paradigm, conceived by the Swedish Parliament in 1999, draws prostitution’s circle around the men who economically coerce sexual consent; the johns. Identifiers of this new paradigm are: criminalizing prostitute-using men, fining johns, jailing johns, instituting educational”john schools”, and publicizing the names of men caught sexually preying on vulnerable citizens. The average age of entry into Portland prostitution is 13-years-old not because there’s a lack of adult prostitutes here, but because Portland johns frequently, willingly choose to rape 13-year-olds.

The new john-centric paradigm is needed because prostitution legalization has failed to protect children and women from men’s violence. Legalization should have resulted in decreased male violence against women, decreased sexual slavery, decreased child prostitution, decreased drug dependency, and decreased STD & AIDS. Legalization has not borne out these theorized promises in places like Germany and The Netherlands, where politicians who originally supported legalization have since changed their minds because organized criminals continue to control prostitution despite legalization.

Recent news from the Netherlands adds fuel to the growing bonfire of the legalization paradigm’s death as a third of the red light district’s brothels were shut down for failing to stop illegal trafficking into legal brothels. When a 16-year-old Ukrainian girl who had her front teeth pulled out by a pimp was discovered working legally in a German brothel, it was a horrific wake-up call on the failed promises of legalized prostitution. …

Read the whole thing here.

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