Every young boy will learn that women and girls are commodities

Jimmy Carter in the Washington Post:

It is disturbing that some human rights and public health organizations are advocating the full legalization of the sex trade, including its most abusive aspects. I agree with Amnesty International, UNAIDS and other groups that say that those who sell sex acts should not be arrested or prosecuted, but I cannot support proposals to decriminalize buyers and pimps.

Some assert that this “profession” can be empowering and that legalizing and regulating all aspects of prostitution will mitigate the harm that accompanies it. But I cannot accept a policy prescription that codifies such a pernicious form of violence against women. Normalizing the act of buying sex also debases men by assuming that they are entitled to access women’s bodies for sexual gratification. If paying for sex is normalized, then every young boy will learn that women and girls are commodities to be bought and sold.

Emphasis added.

I’d love to know how the libertarian feminists get around that – really know how they do, not just hear their babble about “agency” again.

Carter prefers the Nordic model.

Critics of the Nordic model assert that mature adults should be free to exchange money for sex. This argument ignores the power imbalance that defines the vast majority of sex-for-cash transactions, and it demeans the beauty of sexual relations when both parties are respected.

Sex between people who experience mutual enjoyment is a wonderful part of life. But when one party has power over another to demand sexual access, mutuality is extinguished, and the act becomes an expression of domination. As author and prostitution survivor Rachel Moran explained in her book, “Paid For,” once money has exchanged hands, a woman must deliver whatever service the customer demands.

Check out Rachel Moran on Twitter to see her passion on this subject.

In May 2015, when the Carter Center held a global summit to end sexual exploitation, sex-trade survivors, including Moran, described their painful journeys through exploitation. They told of the abuse they suffered — abuse that should be understood as torture. They expressed their determination to speak not only for themselves but also for those who are either too traumatized to come forward or who perished as a result of homicide, suicide, drug abuse or disease. They compare their movement to the abolition of slavery, an institution that once also seemed like a permanent fixture in society.

Prostitution is not the “oldest profession,” as the saying goes; it’s the oldest oppression.

Those survivors told us that they once believed that selling sex was their choice but that this attitude was a requirement for survival — that only once they were fully free from the fetters of the trade were they able to fully understand their lack of choice.

If full legalization is adopted, it will not be the “empowered sex worker” who will be the norm — it will be the millions of women and girls needed to fill the supply of bodies that an unlimited market of consumers will demand.


Women and girls as commodities to be bought and sold.

12 Responses to “Every young boy will learn that women and girls are commodities”