Feminism loses its way on prostitution

TheStar.com – Opinion/Letters – Re: Feminists split over judicial decision overturning some legal restraints on prostitution, Oct. 10
Published On Mon Oct 11 2010.

Daniela Caruso

As a sex-positive feminist, I am extremely disappointed and saddened that feminism has tremendously lost its way.

If a man comes up to any woman in Ontario and asks “How much?” we have no right to be offended because what he is doing is not only perfectly legal, it also has the approval of a large number of so-called feminists. Men are encouraged to view women as commodities they can rent. How could feminists betray women like this?

If prostituting women is just like any other job, why are the vast majority of prostituted women survivors of incest and childhood sexual abuse (65 to 90 per cent) before entering the industry? My current office job does not have three panic buttons like some brothels.

If prostitution is only a healthy form of women’s self-expression, why did researchers conclude that 2 out of 3 women in the sex industry suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder?

Allowing a minority of women in prostitution to argue “choice” on the backs of the majority who are out there, in perfect storm of oppression, neglect, abuse and human trafficking, is absurd, as stated so eloquently by a Canadian who used to be a prostituted woman.

Pedophilia and murder have always occurred too. Should we simply decriminalize them since we know they’re going to happen anyways?

Sacred prostitutes of ancient Mesopotamia were not dehumanized sex objects. The women and men were participating in a sexual rite they considered sacred and mysterious — it was their sacred duty to the goddess.

Men’s sense of entitlement to purchase women’s bodies for their sexual pleasure is a symptom of a society that views women as rentable merchandise. Decriminalize the supply (mostly women) and criminalize the demand (mostly men) in order to help the most troubled and marginalized women exit the dehumanizing “work,” and so the men creating the demand can finally be held accountable.

This Nordic/Swedish model has successfully reduced the country’s level of human trafficking as well as organized crime.

Daniela Caruso, North York

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