The legalization of prostitution and feminism go hand in hand in the fight for equal rights, or more thoroughly, the freedom of ones body to be owned by oneself and not another, thus allowing a female to turn to prostitution if she feels she can benefit. Although prostitution is used for financial gain, most prostitutes use that money for self elevation, to get them out of the state they're currently in. If prostitution were legal and women didn't need some douche as a pimp then of course it is. Forget everyone else, they get to do what they want with their bodies. It's only degrading if the woman is forced and she's vehemently against it. If the choice is her own, what's degrading about that?
People say, "Prostitutes are essentially degrading their bodies to objects and using it as a means of profit. So it doesn't even consider women as human beings." What about those of us who are working physical labor? If we are using our bodies for a wage, are we degrading our bodies? If a woman is comfortable using her body in a sexual way for a profit, she's not degrading herself anymore than the average working man. It's more degrading to let someone else dictate your behavior and your morals.
My take on the issue is: People sell their labor everyday, and they aren't considered whores, but add sex to the equation and it becomes a completely different issue. Can anyone really disconnect him or herself from thousands of years or cultural mores obsessed with sex? I believe if she or he can, then selling any form of your muscle power is the same, and feminism is wholly compatible with the selling of labor. If money was taken out of the equation, what then? What if the Mrs says she'll give a special "favor" if hubby takes her out for a fancy dinner or buy her expensive shiny things?
How is someone being taken advantage of when there is a transference and an agreement of something. Money for sex. Sex for money. I see nothing wrong. Capitalism at its finest. True capitalism, you are equally as cute as the one down the street but charge 20% more. I will choose the one just as good looking and cheaper. Choice. And if her business fails. So be it. Freedom is lost when people presume to know what's better for another person. No one has ever been made more free by having choices taken away from them. I don't see selling sex as any different than selling ones ability to dig a ditch. I know which one I'd rather get paid for, but the market's very low for that.
More personal freedom and liberty is definitely part of any feminism I have heard of. You should check out Xavier Hollander "The Happy Hooker," she went from being a U.N. delegate to being an escort. People need people. Real affection. One exchanges intimacy for intimacy. Not money. That's sex. Sex is only intimate in intimate relationships. If it has become intimate then why is one paying for it? If it developed that way, fine, but otherwise it's just sex. Frankly some vagina won't work under those circumstances.
Prostitution is degrading to women, largely. So is porn. And do not mystify it; most women in porn and prostitution suffer from emotional trauma and medical issues. Choice or no choice, it is degrading, The way I see it, some of us are so up tight, or awkward, that we may need a context in order to make it happen. The exchange of money only provides the context, whether it's a woman paying for a man, or vice versa. In some particular cases, no humanist view is compatible with prostitution. Girls are conned and tricked by pimps in the most manipulative way to essentially become psychological slaves, and forced to do prostitution under threat of violence to them and their family. It is a prison for prostitutes; a scam to take advantage of vulnerable people.
However, as Belle de Jour has proved, there are many women who do it for pleasure and the money it provides. They are clever, independent women who haven't been oppressed, they do it because they want to. And then, there's others like a growing number of students who do it simply to pay bills. They can do it twice a week and make enough money to pay their bills. It's a job, they are paid for the use of their bodies. Forced prostitution and prostitution are different things. Just like forced labor and the labor are two different things. Just because they can be used to the same end, doesn't mean they are morally the same thing. Are we talking about prostitution all over the world or in the developed world, and are we talking about women forced into prostitution by pimps or those who (for what ever reason) choose to become prostitutes?
It depends on the feminism, most likely. Someone who wants women to be free and equal under the law alongside men probably would allow for prostitution. After all, why curtail a woman's liberty in that regard while fighting for her liberty in every other regard? It's the radical left-wing female supremacists who have a problem with it. They're like Marxists, but they're fighting a sex war instead of a class war. Men are the bourgeoisie and women are the proletariat. Sex is only seen as men exploiting women. So not only does this type of feminist have a problem with prostitution, they have a problem with sex in general. As for sex in general though, what has it come to in our society? Can we truly say that sex can be seen in such a way as it was meant to be? The term sex in today's society could be the hot button. And who could blame one for being so sensitive about it. It's almost everywhere we see.
If a woman chooses to be a prostitute, well, that is exactly what feminism is about; empowering women to make their own choices. Most service jobs are dehumanizing on some level and it isn't just women who prostitute themselves. Let's think about it a minute. A career based upon a female using her body for the pleasure of men, first thought would be that it is the opposite of feminism. Feminism has devolved into so many sects at this point, it really depends on which school of thought you come from. Patronizing is what it is. It implies women aren't capable of making informed-right-decisions for her life. There has to be a reason outside of their controls.
I've been able to maintain my essential objective compassion for people while at the same time retaining the understanding that people are manipulative liars wherever they come from. Everybody loves to hate on sex workers and drug addicts ... so much, so they conflate the two. But when rich people engage in promiscuous drug fueled sex with multiple gang-bang partners it is called clubbing.
I've seen people argue against prostitution on the basis that women only enter into it because they need the money. But doesn't that apply to almost everyone with a job?! We work because we need to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. But for some reason, prostitution is a worse line of work. And the truth of the matter is it boils down to the fact society still values women by their virtue and purity. Women shouldn't be "giving it away" for cash because your vaginas are sacred and special and for your husbands only, and in the other reality, the dude freely throw around his penis without having to suffer the same affection label. How come there's a stereotype that prostitutes have STDs but people who have sex for free don't have STDs?
With all due respect, you either want women (and other humans) to have ownership over their lives or you don't. If you do, you have to accept their decisions on what they want to do with their bodies, period. There is no women's freedom without the possibility of some of them choosing prostitution. That would be the obvious position of my stand, but obviously I may wrong, I'll never understand the attitude that freedom must be restricted for the good of those who would use it "wrong." Prostitution being illegal has more negative effects than it being legal. One thing we can find on a point of agreement ... I fully agree with women not being sexually exploited by laws that force them to always engage in sex for "free," not just in prostitution, can also included in the marriage. You, men, gotta give them something back.