By Suryansh Upmanyu And Kshiteeja Tomar
Here’s why I think prostitution is a Taboo
Prostitution: A taboo topic for dinner-time family discussions in most places. If the discussion does come up, though, the verdict would most probably be that prostitutes are a disgrace to the society and prostitution should be banned. The liberal view would be that people should be free to choose whatever profession they want to and that women take up prostitution only when they see no other option available.
The issue is not exactly black or white; it has shades of gray too. I do not favour banning prostitution, but I do have an issue with the mentality of people regarding prostitution.
I have heard of students taking up prostitution to pay their tuition fees. I have a problem with that. Do you actually mean to say that you had no other option whatsoever to collect money, even in the future. Sometimes there isn’t, but I think in most cases prostitution is an easy way out.
But after taking up prostitution, what next? It is not just about easy money. The work culture matters too.Sex workers have to face social stigma regularly. Let’s face it: even you would initially judge people if they told you that they work in the sex industry.
Even the living conditions are no good. When it comes to safety and hygiene, the conditions in red light areas are just deplorable to the extent of being dangerous. They do not have access to the same kind of public health facilities that others have. In most cases, they do not even know what kind of precautions they could take to keep themselves safe.
If I had to list down the problems I have with prostitution, here is how it would look like:
Prostitutes face complete alienation from the society
They usually have poor health or do not take precautions regarding their own safety
The on-the- job risks e.g. pregnancy, contracting STDs, getting beaten up etc. are just too high
Prostitution opens up the option of child smuggling in the country
I feel that prostitution should be banned in India. Not because I have any issue with it in general, but because at least banning it would remove the above-listed problems completely. (By banning I also mean that the state plays an active role in removing it, and does not leave it in the illegal-but- still-existent mess it already is in.
Here’s Why I Think Prostitution Is Not Something That Is To Be Looked Down Upon
A mine worker sells his life for two meagre meals. A politician sells his soul for his greed. An artist sells his thoughts and actions for heavy boxes of money. Companies sell ads, lies; government and society sell prejudices, stereotypes, and norms. A child sells his dreams in order to fulfil someone else’s aspirations.
Humans, alone and together sell innumerable parts of themselves at every point in their lives and nobody, NOBODY speaks of it. A sex worker sells his/her body for a little pleasure for the buyer and wages for the worker and it suddenly becomes a crime. Let’s take a dive into why it is considered as a social crime.
Let’s face it. Sex is a taboo word in the society. In a place where people mourn over pre-marital sex, can we ever think of having an unbiased discussion about having sex for enjoyment, with a stranger, for money? It’s cool in this “Gen-Y” for people to go out, get drunk and sleep with complete strangers and forget about it in the morning, but it’s a shame when it someone actually earns a wage from it? A little hypocritical, don’t you think?
Definition of prostitution: Google defines it as “the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.” That is where the definition ends. What is made of the payment is not included. Child trafficking, sex slavery etc. are problems of the society and not the above-mentioned concept of prostitution.
The more prostitution is looked down upon, the more these problems will arise due to lack of proper laws and attention and care for them. They are humans, not objects.
Steve Martin says, and I quote, “I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy.” Sigmund Freud, a well know ardent psychologist talks a lot about how humans are driven almost completely by aggression and sexual desire.
Banning prostitution is futile. It won’t do anything in stopping prostitution, and rather make the condition worse. The government doesn’t and shouldn’t have the power to legislate what one does with their bodies, but should, in turn, help the people in its after effects.
We’ve come a long way in being open about our sexual desires as human nature. Shaming prostitution as an act of social crime will be taking a step backwards and I strongly believe that it goes on to show that if one believes prostitution has anything to do with body-shaming, it shows a problem in one’s thinking, rather than the concept of prostitution.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.