‘No to legalising prostitution, says a women’s organisation’ screams a headline in this newspaper and the sub-title was ‘Malta should adopt the Swedish model, which criminalises the user’.
That this Swedish model strips women of agency and autonomy and regards men as morally superior to women because they remain culpable for their decisions, whereas women are not, is, of course, nowhere to be read.
How dehumanising is that?
People who cry crocodile tears over prostitution and claim that it demeans sex workers seem to ignore the countless office workers, electricians, plumbers, janitors and garbage collectors who punch in for work every day out of sheer necessity to provide for their families. How is their job any less demeaning than sex work and, more pertinently, why is sex work demeaning in the first place?
Like George Carlin said, if sex is legal and selling is legal, then why is selling sex not legal too? If sex workers have the courage to claim job satisfaction, – as women’s groups here in Malta would confirm for themselves should they ever conduct some unbiased research – they are met with accusations of ‘you must be disturbed’ or ‘you must not be able to hold down a real job’.
Of course, this is just old-fashioned sex phobia and an internalised perception that sex is somehow shameful merely because the people making these accusations are ashamed of their own bodily functions.
Sex work is not a crime if the only victim is the State’s or some women organisation’s self-serving definition of ‘decency’. If a person is disturbed by a particular sex act, that does not make it unhealthy. Pathology is not determined by what some find offensive.
Finally, I believe that sex workers are the only women who are honest about female sexuality and about the real standing relationship between men and women at any time in history.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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