Just how free are we really in America? Of course, there are valid reasons that make it essential to place limitations on freedom to avoid pervasive chaos. However, is forbidding prostitution a truly necessary limitation on our liberty that we need, or is prohibiting prostitution more about moral and religious values of the majority of Americans being imposed on everyone? Now, I’m sure that there will be many people who are not willing to even entertain the idea of legalizing prostitution in America. Although you may not want to become a prostitute, why would you prevent other people who would like to make money from engaging in sexual intercourse with others from seeking this form of self-employment?
What’s really so illegal about prostitution? While many people will argue and have argued that prostitution is immoral, I contend that the real reason why the government has outlawed prostitution is the difficulty with trying to collect taxes off of money earned through sexual intercourse. If this is the dominant reason behind why prostitution is illegal to engage in, then why don’t we just legalize it and require prostitutes to report their earnings? This will stimulate the economy (and stimulate other things), generate significant tax revenue, and help to give the unemployed an additional legal profession to enter. We could help so many prostitutes to come out of the shadows and be substantially integrated into the center of American life. I assert that many more prostitutes will do a better job of protecting themselves if we would legalize prostitution. Prostitutes would not have to meet their clients in unsafe places if we legalized prostitution.
If you don’t like the products and services offered by a company or entrepreneur, you have the freedom in America to go to seek those products and services elsewhere. For those who have no interest in pursuing what a prostitute is offering, then they simply will not purchase any services from prostitutes. However, for those who would like to purchase the services of a prostitute, then they should be allowed to legally make this purchase.
We are unnecessarily denying people the legal right to pursue prostitution as their means of earning an earnest living.
By legalizing prostitution, we can enable the oldest profession to become much more professional. Prostitutes could purchase offices and buildings to conduct their services—just as any other legitimate entrepreneur is currently able to do.
For all of you self-righteous people out there, how many of you have had unprotected sex with someone you just met? How many of you have had one-night stands? Be honest. You engaged in just as risky sexual behavior (maybe even more so) as a prostitute does. What makes you any different than the prostitutes? Exactly. You got screwed and they got paid. Now, you’re mad.
I have personal problems with prostitution. However, I don’t want my personal problems with prostitution to bar others from being able to be prostitutes. Let’s begin to examine how we can increase liberty in America, even when increasing certain liberties would not necessarily comport with our personal moral and religious values.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison