Myth: Regulation makes prostitution safe

In any other occupation where there is a risk of exposure to other people’s body fluids, workers are required to wear masks, goggles, and protective clothing.

Health and safety regulations require RETHINKING working practices to eliminate unreasonable risk. When this is not possible, it is time to close the industry down, like the asbestos industry was closed down.

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Myth: Prostitution stops men raping women

Are you serious? Do you really believe that men are such weak, fragile creatures that without prostitution they have no choice but to rape women and children indiscriminately?

Are you really serious?

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Myth: Prostitution is the oldest profession

For millennia human communities were egalitarian and prostitution was unknown. Prostitution was invented when men seized control and started the system of male supremacy known as patriarchy.

We believe that prostitution is still a key mechanism in the patriarchal system and that women will never have equality with men while buying and selling women is considered acceptable.

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Myth: Prostitution is a victimless crime

Prostitution treats a woman as a commodity that men can use as a sex object, causing her real psychological and physical harm, and in violation of her human rights and the human right of all women to equality with men.

“Anyone who thinks prostitution is a victimless crime hasn’t seen it up close.” (Joe Parker, 2004)

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Myth: Punters respect the women they buy

Any claims that punters respect the women they buy and never use those who are unwilling or appear to have been forced or drugged are exposed as a lie by the comments that punters themselves post on sites like Punternet.

What they say makes it clear that they do not care a jot for the women’s comfort, welfare or health.

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Myth: Punters are lonely single men

Comments by punters on sites like Punternet make it clear that most punters are in a romantic relationship with a woman who thinks he is faithful, and if they are not in a relationship, many admit to being too lazy to seek and form one.

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Myth: Disabled men have the right to prostitutes

This argument is discriminatory and offensive, not least because it implies disabled people are too grotesque to be sexually attractive and are not capable of forming intimate relationships. It is sexist because it only considers men’s sexual needs, and it is exploitative because it requires a class of prostituted women to be available for men’s sexual use.

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Myth: Legalisation makes prostitution safe

Claims that legalisation makes prostitution safe are exposed as a myth by women who have experienced prostitution under a legalised regime. Rae Story talks to Alexis and Marie who have been in prostitution in Germany, where it is legalised.

“[Legalisation] serves the purpose of removing the stigma from men to treat all women as potential sex objects.”

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Myth: Legalising Prostitution Reduces the Stigma

If legalising prostitution made it safe and reduced the stigma for the women, we would expect to see these benefits in the state of Victoria, in Australia, where the sex trade has been completely legal for the last 33 years. Jacqueline Gwynne draws on her experience as a receptionist in a high-end legal brothel in Melbourne to show that stigma for the women is still alive and legalisation has not improved conditions or social acceptance for women in prostitution.

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Further reading