Fundamental needs

I saw this again in a tweet and was reminded of how awful it is.

As noted within Amnesty International’s policy on sex work, the organization is opposed to criminalization of all activities related to the purchase and sale of sex. Sexual desire and activity are a fundamental human need. To criminalize those who are unable or unwilling to fulfill that need through more traditionally recognized means and thus purchase sex, may amount to a violation of the right to privacy and undermine the rights to free expression and health.

I wrote about it back in August 2015 – it must have been just a day or two after I moved back here – but it’s amazing me all over again.

It’s sly, too. Notice the move: from desire to activity. It’s very odd to describe sexual desire as a fundamental need, but they have to do that to make the jump to activity. Obviously sexual desire is not itself a need – that’s like saying hunger is a need, thirst is a need, hypothermia is a need. Humans don’t need hunger, humans need sustenance in the form of food, and hunger is the prompt to get it and put it in our mouths.

But they put it that way so that we’ll nod along when they say sexual activity is a need, and maybe we won’t pause to ask ourselves if they mean that access to someone else’s body for sex is a fundamental need. But that of course is exactly what they mean, because the overall subject is prostitution. Amnesty International is saying, just like MRAs and incels, that people have a fundamental right to access to other people’s bodies for sex. It’s a rapists’ charter is what it is.

And, anyway, it isn’t a fundamental need. People don’t die for want of sex. The species does, but individuals don’t. Amnesty could make other claims, like sex is fundamental to a good life or sex is basic to happiness, but instead they made a claim that is both absurd and incompatible with the rights of others.

It occurs to me that that was before Trump hit his stride. It was before the pussy tape. It was before Harvey Weinstein. I wonder if they were starting now, if they would feel squicked about saying that.

Nah, probably not.

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