It sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? I hear the arguments. Prostitution is more like rental or leasing, it’s nowhere near shackles and chains.
So shackles and chains define slavery? In what universe?
People in 1850s Georgia, especially children, would never have been able to pick so much cotton in shackles and chains. Yet they were no less slaves.
Oh, but there was a bill of sale, too. Proof that the owner, well, possessed human beings.
There has to be a bill of sale? Tell that to the millions of slaves in India, many of them children who are given over to slavery because of their parents’ debts. No bill of sale there.
But . . . but . . . it’s not ownership of a female or male prostitute. It’s like a rental car – you take it out for a spin and return it.
Let’s examine that repugnant analogy. First, humans aren’t “taken out for spins”. Second, when you rent a car, you are responsible for its condition when you return it. Crack the windshield, you pay. Tear off a hubcap, you pay.
If a prostitute, female or male, were truly “rented”, the johns who beat them would pay damages at the end of their session. Truth is, they don’t. People who are beaten and assaulted are never recompensed. In fact, they might be beaten again by their pimp.
Not do most prostitutes have much control over the acts they are required to perform or the ways their bodies are penetrated. Especially not if they’ve been trafficked, have been forcibly addicted to drugs, are mentally ill because of the way they’re treated (over 90%) and/or are under 18.
What the johns do is acquire temporary possession over someone else’s body without her/his informed and valid consent. Sometimes they return that body in relatively unchanged condition. Sometimes, they don’t.
You know what that makes them? It makes them possessors – even for a brief interlude – of another human being. It makes them slave-owners.
Despite weird apologists like Cliven Bundy, people in Western nations claim to hate slavery as an human rights offense, so where is the outrage over this? We despise the Shia Islamic notion of temporary marriage, nikah mut’ah, viewing it as just another excuse for abuse of women and girls, so why is the temporary slavery of prostitution okey-dokey?
It’s because few people have made the connection between the two. Just as in pre-Civil War times, most white citizens in the southern US accepted that darker-skinned people had fewer rights. That was regarded as immutable law. Until the truth came crashing in.
Paying for sex ought to be illegal. That’s what the Nordic countries have legislated, and a similar push is on in the UK.
Not because prostitution is unhealthy – though it is – not because it’s demeaning and dangerous, though it’s that, too.
It should be illegal because it turns johns into temporary slave-owners, and slavery is an offense against human rights.