In this project I intend to take a close look at the ‘sex industry’ with a particular focus upon the prostitution of women. I will place emphasis upon philosophical feminist approaches, including radical feminism or traditional feminism and ‘pro-sex’ feminism. I will also include reference to the utilitarians such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, and their principle of greatest happiness. Some key questions I will address include : Is any form of partaking in prostitution immoral? And by prostitution in this sense, I mean, any type of paying for sexual favours, where sexual favours can include, stripping, lap dances, pornography etc. If we do believe that prostitution is immoral, which part of it is immoral? Is it the prostitute, client or pimp who is being immoral? Has society become more open to prostitution, not just in England but in other westernized societies? And the main question I will be addressing is: Does paying for sex exploit women? I will start by clarifying the British laws regarding prostitution and trafficking in women, as this will give a clearer idea as to the difficulties of deciding whether prostitution is right or wrong. Throughout this essay I will use terms such as ‘prostitute’ or ‘sex worker’ which implies a woman who offers sexual favours for money, or has done on at least one occasion, ‘the client’ this is the person whom pays for sexual favours from a ‘prostitute’, a ‘brothel’ is a place where 2 or more ‘prostitutes’ work and the ‘pimp’ which refers to the organiser of a brothel, who takes a partial cut of the earnings of the ‘prostitutes’ and organises meetings with ‘clients’. The term ‘trafficking in women’ refers to the selling and buying of women and girls for sexual purposes, it is a type of modern day slavery and is illegal. I will discuss the differing views to prostitution in the essay, considering books I have read, and documentaries I have watched, as research, and come to a final conclusion as to whether prostitution is morally acceptable as a ‘career’. Morality versus prostitution. A feministic approach.
Laws and Debates
In the UK the laws on prostitution allow a person to work as a prostitute in private. They do not allow, street prostitution (i.e. loitering on streets waiting to be picked up by a ‘client’), ‘kerb crawling’ which refers to the client in a car picking up prostitutes from the street. Brothels are also illegal, i.e. A place where two or more prostitutes work. ‘Pimping’ is illegal, which refers to controlling and running prostitution, this includes escort agencies, which ‘control’ the escorts. Paying for sexual favours from a person who is forced into it is illegal, even if the ‘client’ is not aware that the prostitute is being forced. Child prostitution is illegal for the ‘client’ where child means anyone under the age of 18. A law also states that paying for sex or sexual favours from an illegally trafficked woman, can lead to charges of rape. Within these laws a prostitute is anyone who has been paid for ‘sexual favours’ at least once. In the UK there have been large debates over whether paying for sex should be made illegal, as it is in Sweden, because at the moment the actual act of paying for sex is legal, it is acts surrounding prostitution which are illegal. There have also been debates as to whether we should follow the path of many other countries, such as Australia, Netherlands, and Germany in legalising brothels. Would this lead to a safer life for prostitutes? Or would this lead to increased number of pimps and drug dealers in small communities? Why is there such stigma attached to prostitution? The Opposing arguments
In post modern society it seems that sex has become more openly discussed and appears on television adverts more frequently. There are also a lot more programmes with references to sex. So is sex such a taboo subject? A subject which we cannot openly talk about? And is paying for sex really morally and legally...