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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Selling sexual services for cash

Last week, several local media outlets reported on the shutdown of a massage parlor in Geauga County. After a six-month investigation, three of the women involved were charged with "engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity". Whatever the hell that means. One more was charged with prostitution.

This leaves me to wonder why so many people think that prostitution is wrong. Having been raised in a very conservative religious household, I can understand if you do. However, it's one thing to think it's wrong and completely another to try and use the force of government to outlaw it. Those who would do so presume ownership over the bodies of these women.

Who owns our bodies? The only possible answer that I can see is that I am the sole owner of my body. The implications of that are profound and far-reaching. It includes the issue we are discussing here. If we do in fact own our bodies, than there's no possible way that consensual selling of the use of our body can be considered a crime.

If the government and our neighbors pretend that they have the moral and legal authority to outlaw this act, then they are actually professing to own our body. That is no different than slavery. Ownership of other human beings has been illegal for a long time.

I can understand if you think prostitution is immoral, but making illegal will do nothing to stop it. You cannot prevent people from selling use of their bodies any more than you can prevent them from using drugs. The government has enough problems with violent crime. Selling sex is not a violent crime. I would much rather the state use my money to investigate murder and theft than prostitution and drugs.

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