Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"I'm happy being a prostitute"

No, I'm not a prostitute...  That's just the name of a Brazilian ad campaign that was slated to run online but was ultimately scrapped.  Prostitution is legal in Brazil, as it also is in some European countries.  In Germany, sex workers are taxed and tested.  The oldest profession in the book is a totally legitimate for a person to use their... um... talents.

When my husband and I lived in Germany, we took a trip to Poland.  After crossing the border from Germany to Poland, we drove through an area that looked a bit like Tijuana.  I saw a pretty but very young girl standing on the side of the road, leering provocatively at passers by like a living billboard.  As we drove along the road, we saw several other girls dressed scantily, advertising their "wares".  At the end of the wooded area, there was a subcompact car parked, probably the pimp.  It was a bizarre sight for us, being prudish Americans... and really, those girls were really girls.  One of them looked to be no older than about 14.  It was kind of tragic.

Later, we were in the Czech Republic and saw a couple more prostitutes.  They were a lot older and more discreet.  They appeared to be very practiced at their careers.

Frankly, I don't really have a huge problem with legalized prostitution.  Like the late George Carlin, I don't see why it should be illegal to sell something that is perfectly legal to give away.  Besides, a lot of people end up "paying" for sex in one way or another.  It's not a career path I would personally embrace, but for some people it may actually be a calling.  And if they're licensed and get regular health checks, it could even be reasonably safe.


However, I also kind of agree with the Brazilian Health Minister, Alexandre Padhila, when he says the prostitution promotion plan is not exactly the kind of message his office ought to be promoting.  A lot of diseases and injuries can come about due to casual sex.  There are sexually transmitted infections that can be spread, even when condoms are used properly.  Sometimes prostitutes can end up being beat up by an angry john or a pimp.  Also, there's always the chance of an unintended pregnancy, which can lead to more complications.  Prostitution can end up costing society a lot.

I still think it's interesting that Brazil was considering running an ad campaign about happy hookers.  I wonder what the purpose of that was intended to be.  Were they trying to recruit new people for the job?  I also think it's interesting the women who were chosen to be photographed for the campaign.  They're not exactly "spring chickens", if you know what I mean.  But they do at least appear to have a lot of experience and some of them are even bettering themselves by learning English.

  

2 comments:

  1. If it's going to happen anyway, maybe it should be regulated. Perhaps a government that devoted the resources that most US states do to stopping it could devote the same resources to making it safer and to keeping minors out of the field and ensuring that all "professionals" were partcipating of their own volition. It's creepy to me, but I don't believe it can be stopped anytime soon, so why not tax it and then use those revenues plus some of what we're already using just to regulate it?

    No one is saying a church has to embrace the practice. Why not simply encourage its members to stay away? There's always that old standby, "Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion . . ."

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  2. Well, I'm sure prostitution isn't a huge deal in every locale. Those Brazilian prostitution ads are kind of funny, though. Neither of the ones posted on CNN appears to be the stereotypical hooker.

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