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Posted by Jeff from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net ( on Friday, June 07, 2002 at 7:26AM :

In Reply to: Re: A friend's impressions... posted by julia from dhcp100232.res-hall.northwestern.edu ( on Thursday, June 06, 2002 at 4:30PM :

: ===> I didn't say your logic was "the germans legalized prostitution, so it's ok." I pointed to your statement: "I suppose it is beter to realize that you can't stop something and to legalize and regulate it than to let it get out of control illegally." I didn't think you OKed the activity itself. You say that making the most of a bad situation is a European mentality that gave rise to the idea of legalized prostitution. But i'm trying to understand what you think is a 'bad situation.'

++++ Prostitution in America is a bad situation. Prostitution in Germany is a bad situation. Of course, it's worse in America. Also, prostitution will always exist as long as men are what they are.

: To me, a bad situtation is women who lack human capital, who lack the skills or the experience neccesary to take on jobs without selling her body. Thus to me legalizing prostitution attends not to the bad situation, because i define a bad situation differently.

++++++You always try hard to disagree with me! :-p

: If I were to handle this situation, I would first see what kind of women wanted to participate in the prostitution economy. Were they educated , middle class women with human capital and job histories that indicate ability to move vertically and horizontally in the economy? Or were they low income women coming from abused families, with problems of drug abuse, and held jobs that offered wages that don't support a family? This to me is what is the important assessment. Then, I would ask what can I do to provide these women the resources they need to improve their material existence? Cash income supplements, health insurance, in kind transfers and childcare subsidies are all options to consider.

+++++You are looking at it from a moral standpoint. Prostitution is "sinful", and women would only do it if they were poor, or didn't care about themselves, or had low self-esteem, or low job skills, etc. etc. What if they just like sex? Keep in mind that I'm no excusing the practice.

: I believe the Europeans were right to respond to the "bad situation" of women prostituting themselves and getting hurt or diseased in the process. I greatly disagree with how they tried to solve the problem. To me, again, a bad situation is not limited to being beaten when you are prostituting. To me it is being beaten, itis being diseased, it is lacking the human capital to compete in economies demanding skilled labor. These realities point to a need for job training programs, social welfare provisions, child care provisions, etc.

: Essentially I see prostitutionn as a symptom of a greater problem, and not the problem itself. Therefore I believe the best thing to do is commit resources to the problem and not its symptoms. This way the women most vulnerable to living that kind of lifestyle find that they can save dignity and get help from the government, and live their lives most productively by increasign their human capital and the skills they would need to survive in the world.

+++++YYargh. See subject.

-- Jeff
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