Friday, April 28, 2006

Prostitutes Against the War, or PAW

now have a new argument to use with their sister sex workers: on the importance of, not only very carefully screening one's clients, but, more importantly, on the pitfalls of not paying attention to the intersection of one's work with politics.

A number of women escorts and prostitutes are learning first-hand that, for them, working for Republicans can only lead to expensive legal troubles and public disgrace. Witness the unraveling of carefully guarded secrets of some members of the GOP in the midst of the interconnected scandals involving Abramoff, Delay and Cunningham. Until very recently, the scandals had lacked the spice of sex required to really interest the MSM's pundits. However, now that Cunningham and two of his contractors have been implicated in trading political favors for prostitution services, the tabloid coverage cannot be far behind.

Of course, in this economy, one still has to earn a living, and deliberately eliminating 50%, or possibly much more, of one's client market is not the most pragmatic move one could make. However, there are other creative and practical options being explored, at least in the EU, if not in the US. Last month, the online Telegraph reported on a pilot program in Germany, in which a church is recruiting prostitutes to train and work as nurses.
"They are in general very good at dealing with people, in addition to which they don't get squeamish and have absolutely no fear about touching or being touched."
* * * * *
Yet, such obvious-seeming solutions are rarely so simple. More than a year earlier, the Telegraph had also reported on unemployed German women being forced into prostitution or having to face a loss in their unemployment benefits. Such a drastic move was only possible because:
Prostitution was legalised in Germany in 2002 because the government believed that this would help to combat trafficking in women and cut links to organised crime.
Although I don't doubt that the intended effects probably did occur, there are usually unpredictable effects that occur with any significant change to public policy. Who could have predicted that rising unemployment across the EU, but especially in Germany, could lead to women being forced into legal prostitution?

Wouldn't it make more sense, given the nursing shortage, just to recruit unemployed women to train as nurses? Or is the conventional wisdom that a year or two of prostitution is an important part of the preparation?

I'm just asking...


Blogger Tiresias said...

I didn't find this over the top at all. Growing up in a Dutch Reform household in the fifties I'm probably as repressed as the next person. I do favor the legalization of prostitution because of the brutal conditions many of them work under. Many become prostitutes to feed a drug habit. I agree that it would be more rewarding for the women to be trained as nurses, but to do this,you would first have to legalize the trade.

4:27 AM  

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