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Legal prostitution will hurt women, and that’s good, says allegedly pro-woman MRA

If only all women were whores!

A lot of MRAs maintain that they’re not anti-woman, just antifeminist. Heck, one new contributor to Reddit’s Men’s Rights subreddit has put that claim in the name he chooses to identify himself by: ProWomanAntiFeminist.

Alas, his comments don’t quite live up his moniker. PRAF (for short) launched his Reddit career a couple of days ago with a series of comments, all of them upvoted by the regulars, arguing that prostitution should be legalized — because he thinks that would be bad for women. “[L]egal prostitution reduces women’s economic advantage over men,” he argued in his second comment. Why? According to PRAF, because prostitutes offer men a better deal on sex:

[P]rostitutes give men no strings attached sexual satisfaction reasonably and anonymously for a set price. Without the man having to jump through arbitrary hoops to “impress” the girl, risking an “oops” pregnancy, or (god forbid) getting married.

When sex and female companionship is a man’s objective, prostitution is an efficient and cost-effective option that many women don’t want to have to compete with.

In other words, prostitutes break the back of the dreaded Pussy Cartel — or, as PWAF would call it, the “sexual trade union.” Not only are wives and girlfriends more costly in the long run for men, but they’re also not actually obligated to have sex:

Married women get unfettered access and control over male resources, and they don’t even have to put out. Girlfriends get some access to male resources, dependent on how attractive she is and how desperate he is.

Simply paying up front for sex is so much more convenient:

Prostitutes offer a dependable, no strings attached experience for men.

And so we come to what PWAF sees as the big payoff here:

Legal prostitution reduces the desperation of men, mandating that non-prostitute women have to bring more to the table to secure male resources.

I suggest you read that last sentence over again, because it’s a doozy.

Even by his own daffy logic, PWAF is advocating something that he clearly sees as anti-woman — or at least anti “non-prostitute women,” as he so charmingly puts it.

Might want to rethink that name.

Of course, given PWAF’s familiarity with MR lingo and logic, I suspect that this “new” commenter is actually a very old commenter under a new name.

I’d suggest he go back to his old one.

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mythago
9 years ago

@Raincitygirl, it might also be that these guys are selecting for “wholesome”, “nice girls” who have low libidos or don’t much like sex. Surely I can’t be the only person who’s heard a guy talk about how there are two different kinds of women, and then who bitches that “the kind you marry” doesn’t want to put out as often as “the kind you screw”.

Pam
Pam
9 years ago

Yes, it’s a real quandary for them when that pure and chaste girl doesn’t suddenly transform into Jenna Jameson after marriage.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

Temporary Name:

VoiP, please tell me where I described anyone as “pathetic, awful, creepy” as I am assuming your italics are to imply that your words somehow come from me….I believe the way that you characterized my comment was unfair and needlessly judgmental. If there is something that you find questionable about something I have said, wouldn’t it be easier to directly say what has set you off and why, so that I may address it? Isn’t that a lot more civil and honest than needlessly putting harsh words like “pathetic, awful, creepy” in my mouth?

It was more the depiction of the sort of attitude that sometimes goes along with disapproving of men who go to prostitutes.

That attitude has a number of assumptions to go with it:
(1) Whether sex is sacred or nasty, it is bad to have sex with people you don’t love.
(2) Therefore, normal, desirable, respectable men don’t go to prostitutes.
(3) The men who do go to prostitutes are undesirable not because they are shameful in and of themselves, but because they’ve partaken of a shameful act. OR the other way around: the only reason they would participate in such a shameful act is if they are pathetic.
(4) The sex worker involved is out of the picture, except as a potential source of contamination. That she is a human being who has ideas about things, makes choices (perhaps she was coerced into sex work, but maybe she wasn’t), and deserves a good life, does not enter into this conversation.

By no means would I force them on someone else, but why should values that I believe in for myself and are comfortable for me be taken away from me, because you are projecting and reading what you want to read regardless of what the actual words are?

Nobody’s trying to say that you can’t have your own opinions. If you had said, “I wouldn’t want my partner to go to prostitutes and, if a man told me that he was into that, I would not consider him as a partner,” that would have been fine. But the way you framed that implied that only a particular kind of man goes to prostitutes, and that this kind of man is identifiably not the kind of man you want to be with. In the first place that may not be factually correct — as Magdelyn pointed out, “normal men” do a lot of things — but in the second place, it seems like you think sex work is somehow contaminating, which contributes to demonization of sex workers and makes it harder for the women involved to live well—for instance, if people think that this is always “dirty,” it’s less likely that a sex worker who’s been raped will come forward or that she will be taken seriously when she does. .

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

(1) Whether sex is sacred or nasty, it is bad to have sex with people you don’t love.

I’m not saying that (1) is wrong, for you. I’m saying (and I think we’re in agreement here) that you never get to say that for others.

Raincitygirl
Raincitygirl
9 years ago

Good points, Mythago.

Temporary Name
Temporary Name
9 years ago

Yeah, VioP, you’re reading things that aren’t there. You’ve got your biases and assumptions, and refuse to read anything that disagrees with your preconceived notions. And yes, you ARE telling me I can’t have my own opinions when you are the one deciding my opinions for me!

You said, “It was more the depiction of the sort of attitude that sometimes goes along with disapproving of men who go to prostitutes.”
So, the attitude SOMETIMES (by your own admission) goes along with not wanting to be with a man who goes to prostitutes, that means you get to decide for me that this is clearly my attitude? No asking for clarification, just bam, and you decide for me. Because you didn’t frame it as saying that your assumptions go along with what I said, you jumped straight into telling what I believed for me. Nice strawman.

Besides, I never implied any one kind of man. The word “clients” is a plural and refers to a wide variety of people. If I had written, “the kind of man who visits a prostitute” as opposed to what I actually said, “their clients,” then you would have a point.

And about it being contaminating, that’s just silly. For me, and as I said in my second post, sex and intimacy are intrinsically linked. My preference for parters are people who share that view, because otherwise we would lack compatibility and make each other uncomfortable. And I have NEVER spoken for anyone else but myself, so I don’t know where you get off telling me what kinds of judgements and pronouncements I’m making on other people through your wild leaps to conclusion. As it is, all I did was provide a personal example of how prostitution does not have anything to do with whatever ridiculous “economic value” or sexual marketplace nonsense the MRA types are always going on about.

I don’t see any real need to continue this. You’ve already demonstrated that no matter what I say, your own assumptions will overrule so that you can decide what I believe in ways that are more convenient for you personally. It’s a shame, because we probably agree on sex workers and how they should be treated–to quote my second post, “support and compassion to any and every one by virtue of shared humanity.”

If you have any legitimate questions, I’ll answer them, but I have no interest in being your punching bag that you project your assumptions onto and dishonestly claim to speak for any longer.

Another Halocene Human
Another Halocene Human
9 years ago

What a tool. I’d call his bluff and make prostitution legal in the US tomorrow. I don’t think it would make him any more dateable or fuckable, and I’m not convinced the fee for services would change much in his area. (Legalized prostitution would probably just extract a fee (tax) from the call girls, raising their prices, while continuing to leave streetwalking illegal and dangerous.)

PWAF-PWAF-POO has forgotten that condoms and the pill as well as changing social mores allow women to “give the milk away for free” already.

His real problem is that women can earn their own money and own property now, so they don’t need to engage men in a pay for play arrangement. For some reason, this is leaving PWAFFIE all butthurt and sadz.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

OK.

Another Halocene Human
Another Halocene Human
9 years ago

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t understand why anyone would avail themselves of the services of sex workers, I just don’t get the “All the sex that ever happens ever is a financial transaction, and women only benefit from it monetarily.” crowd.

Almost like they need sex therapy or something. It’s like they want to masturbate and force an unwilling person to participate. And that’s creepy.

MissPrism
9 years ago

Single men can adopt, can’t they? If single parenthood on benefits is such a gravy train, jump aboard, guys!

MissPrism
9 years ago

What? I coulda SWORN I posted that to the other thread. Sorry for the non seqqy, everyone.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

Huh: a post from Another Holocene Human showed up between mine and yours, Temporary Name. Sorry about that. Anyway, thanks for clarifying your position.

Orion
Orion
9 years ago

Cynickal,

To be fair, I imagine it depends a lot on life circumstances. Finding casual sex with “non-prostitute women” is probably easier/simpler for people in liberal social circles, people in college or recently post-college, people in cities, people who meet lots of new people due to their chosen career or hobbies, and people without significant family obligations. That all describes me and I suspect a lot of it describes you.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if, for a 30+ year old man with a steady corporate job in a red state city, hiring a prostitute actually was simpler and almost as cheap as finding a casual hookup, especially if he worked nights, was a single father (or polyamorous father), or lived with or near other family members.

Orion
Orion
9 years ago

I should mention that I’m basing this partly on my own experience in sex work, although obviously my clients have their own set of issues, starting with being closeted.

darksidecat
9 years ago

I would not want to sleep with a person who would pay to have sex with a prostitute in most cases in the current social situation. There is just too much trafficking, and so few means to ensure that the prostitute is in fact a fully consenting sex worker and not being coerced. A person would would take a substantial risk like that of knowing there is a decent chance they are raping someone and still go through with it-I could not be with someone like that. Granted, there are a minority of exceptions, where the person did have more means to ensure the prostitute they were with was in fact fully consenting (more personal knowledge about the sex worker and the sex worker’s position, certain high class escort services are rarely coerced, etc.), but there is just too much trafficking and coercion in the current climate for someone to uncautiously solict prostitutes without taking a substantial risk of raping someone in most situations. It is not because I see sex with a sex worker as dirtying or pathetic that I would be squicked out, it would revolve around issues of having ensured full consent of the prostitute.

makomk
makomk
9 years ago

Moewicus: about the point where he assumes that it’s women that get to control “male resources” using marriage, yeah.

Emilybites: that’s the less harmful version of Clause 14 of the Crime and Policing Act that was eventually passed after sex worker activists kicked up a fuss about the original wording. The version that the Government originally wanted to pass criminalised paying for sex with anyone “controlled for gain” – defined it as rape even – which was broad enough to potentially criminalise customers of sex workers that used third-party call screening services and all sorts. (It may even have made criminals of Belle du Jour’s customers, and a lot of anti-trafficking activists like to deride her as an example of a “happy hooker” distracting from all those actually harmed by prostitution.) Feminist lobbying organisations were quite unhappy with this change.

Pecunium: I get the impression that a lot of men that pay for sex get off on thinking that their sexual partner is enjoying themselves, actually…

KathleenB: I seem to recall reading somewhere that the British government had trouble with the white-feather brigade trying to push critical government workers that were needed back home into signing up for the military, actually.

(Also, a side note: between the voodoo economics around sex work and the creepy ideas about what men want, I’m sure MRAs and my local organised feminist movement have a lot in common. UK feminism is weird.)

vacuumslayer
9 years ago

I’m for prostitution being legal too. Now what?

Oh, wait. I feel like I’m supposed to feel threatened by this somehow. I’m not entirely sure how, but, ok…

I’m actually pretty confident that there’s a sizable portion of men out there who, you know, actually enjoy the company of women. And would, you know, prefer not to have to pay a woman for sex. Men who–and this may sound CRAZY–enjoy the physical and emotional intimacy of sex.

So, I’m banking on there being plenty of men being like that. But even if there weren’t, I’d still be for legalized prostitution. I guess I just can’t be threatened. *shrug*

cynickal
cynickal
9 years ago

@Orion

To be fair, I imagine it depends a lot on life circumstances.

You have a good point. I’m lucky and have a generous amount of privilege. Sometimes I’m still not aware of them.

It just seems like the MRA’s that bring up how “X should happen and that will show those bitches” are these Silver Bullets that will cure all their problems without them actually having to put any effort into examining the root problem; their shitty, selfish attitude.

KathleenB
KathleenB
9 years ago

>blockquote>I seem to recall reading somewhere that the British government had trouble with the white-feather brigade trying to push critical government workers that were needed back home into signing up for the military, actually.

That wouldn’t surprise me. Some of them were… zealous. And it was the same way in the US during WW2 – if you didn’t have some kind of obvious disability, people got really nasty about why you hadn’t enlisted.

Amused
Amused
9 years ago

I am all for legalizing prostitution, just not the way it’s now “legalized” in Nevada.

Orion
Orion
9 years ago

Darksidecat,

I don’t know much about trafficking, so I could easily be missing something, but It doesn’t seem to me that it would be all that hard for someone interested to avoid trafficked workers. I mean, I look white/American, I have an east coast accent, and my clients tend to ask me questions like what college I attend and what my major is. My online profiles include information on art projects I’m working on and things I’ve designed.

I suppose there could be white trafficked women who’ve been around long enough and from young enough to have typical American accents, who pretend to be college students and who post movie reviews and art projects on their profiles, but it doesn’t seem very likely to me.

oldfeminist
9 years ago

Shorter Orion: buy American!

(sorry, couldn’t help it, please don’t take it the wrong way!)

Orion
Orion
9 years ago

No, I get it, and I am a little worried that I may have some inaccurate, classist/racist ideas of what “trafficked women” are like. I know that people coerced into sex work probably look and act a lot more like “normal people” than TV would have you think. At the same time, class markings and education (the mother of all class markings) tend to be pretty obvious in even a casual social interaction. Maybe they’re fakeable, I don’t know, but intuitively I would think that checking for the signs of a middle class, college background would be a pretty good way to screen out the coerced.

AbsintheDexterous
9 years ago

Someone could come from a middle class background and still be coerced, especially if the prostitute is also a drug addict. Homeless teens, for one – they do grow up, and if prostitution is all you know, it’s all you know. Women turn to prostitution, more often than not, because their life circumstances are not good, which can happen at any time. Unfortunately, there’s really no good way to screen out people who are being coerced, unless you know the prostitute in question well, or go somewhere that you know is more reputable.

Honestly, I’ve always had a dream of running my own brothel, complete with health insurance (if we could get it), condoms only, exercise room and free offsite daycare, and good security to protect my employees. Because they’d be employees, not chattel.

KathleenB
KathleenB
9 years ago

AbsintheDexterous: They’re a little old now, but Spider Robinson’s Lady Sally* books (Lady Slings the Booze and Callahan’s Lady) are an excellent example of how a modern brothel ought to be run. But Lady Sally had… more advantages than a run of the mill person.

* A small warning: If you don’t like puns, don’t bother. Because they will drive you to distraction.

AbsintheDexterous
9 years ago

KathleenB – Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll check them out – they look like they’d be my cup of tea for interesting reading. And I’m not afraid of puns, as long they’re good!

tatjna
tatjna
9 years ago

Prostitution was decriminalised here in 2003 and surprise surprise! People are still getting laid, pairing off and marrying just like they always were.

Logic fail, that dude.

Monsieur sans Nom
Monsieur sans Nom
8 years ago

Obviously it’s in the interest of women who aren’t hookers to keep prostitution both illegal and criminalized. The reason so many women are outraged by (straight)porn is fairly similar: Men obtaining sexual gratification without having to pander to women’s needs and wants.
I’ve certainly heard plenty of sob stories trying to argue that women are “coerced” into doing it even if they aren’t actually FORCED into it(as in human trafficking). If a poor woman chooses to rent her body for easy $, that is her choice and she has to live with the consequences. A poor man could also choose to become a gay prostitute and rent his booty for easy dough….And yes, that does happen more than you might actually think. What it all boils down to is certain people who really can’t stand the idea of sex as a business transaction without any pretense of “wuve”.

Bee
Bee
8 years ago

If a poor woman chooses to rent her body for easy $, that is her choice and she has to live with the consequences.

What consequences do you think that should include, Frenchy?

Rape?

Disease?

Physical abuse?

Slavery?

People who have been sexually trafficked — even those who knew that they were going to be sex workers (as well as those who were told they would be domestic or factory workers, of course) — face all of the above. They are gang raped when they get to their new country, their passports taken away. They are beaten, humiliated, forced to have sex with one partner after another. Then, once they get familiar with the clients, the culture, and the language of one place, they’re sold to another owner, forced to work off whatever was paid for them, and the cycle continues.

NO ONE SIGNS UP FOR THAT, Frenchy. NO ONE.

Trafficked women have been forced to work even as they can no longer control their bowels. Or stand up. Are those the kind of consequences they should have to live with?

What it all boils down to is certain people who really can’t stand the idea of sex as a business transaction without any pretense of “wuve”.

Actually no, I don’t give a shit about that. And if you, as a client, want to pay for sexual services in a system where the person serving you is safe, healthy, well-paid, protected, of age, and willing, I actually see no problem with that. I have a problem with the majority of sex workers who aren’t all those things. Because, as a fellow human, I think we should do better for them. And … you don’t?

Monsieur sans Nom
Monsieur sans Nom
8 years ago

Bee: Did I not make it clear that I was referring to VOLUNTARY prostitution rather than *human trafficking*(i.e. FORCED prostitution)?

Honestly, I’ve always had a dream of running my own brothel, complete with health insurance (if we could get it), condoms only, exercise room and free offsite daycare, and good security to protect my employees. Because they’d be employees, not chattel.

I totally think you should DO IT. 4Realz.

Bee
Bee
8 years ago

So, by this

I’ve certainly heard plenty of sob stories trying to argue that women are “coerced” into doing it even if they aren’t actually FORCED into it(as in human trafficking).

you mean to say that women who are coerced (through, say, their financial situation) into sex work, like women who are forced into it, also shouldn’t have to live with “the consequences” … whatever they are? Is that right? It sounded like you were making a distinction between those who were forced and those who were coerced, but if not I apologize.

Can you elaborate on what you meant by saying that those who become sex workers willingly deserve “the consequences”? What consequences do they deserve?

Bee
Bee
8 years ago

I should clarify, also … when I was talking about sex workers who have been trafficked, I meant that to include both those who were forced into sex work and those who were merely coerced, through their financial situations in their home countries, debt, violence at home, etc., as well as those who went willingly but found that the reality they had chosen was even worse than they could have imagined. So there may have been some confusion there, if you thought I was only talking about people who had been forced into it.