It certainly seems to be the right time for Emily Bazelon’s recent New York Times Magazine article “Should Prostitution Be A Crime?” Seeing as we are on the cusp of deciding who will represent the Democrats and who the Republicans in the Presidential race, we might well consider what, if anything at all, will happen to sex workers if a Hillary or a Donald gets in.
Republicans would have to take a stand against prostitution morally, yet ideologically wouldn’t they have to be for an unregulated free market exchange of good and ‘services?’ Conversely, while Democrats are seeming champions of sexual freedom lifted beyond moral legislation, might they regard sex workers’ free market business as something needing heavy regulations…and in turn tax the dickens out of the girls?
As to our present presidential hopefuls’ stances on the question:
A recent rumor meme made the rounds that ‘The Donald’s’ grandpa Frederick Trump made money in prostitution in the late 1880’s. He seems to have owned some hotels in Seattle and British Columbia during the Yukon Gold Rush where possible ‘unsavory activities’ occurred in his establishments. But his grandson, who has flipped on a few issues like drug legalization, has stayed pretty much far afield from directly addressing prostitution legalization. Hillary has been staying mum herself, though the women of the infamous Moonlight Bunny Ranch began a HookersforHillary.com campaign, assuming that the possible next woman president would see to their health care issues above all else. Dennis Hof’s ladies- of-pleasure currently enjoy healthcare insurance via The Affordable Health Care Act, legislation Hillary Clinton (and her hubby) have been behind, and in one way or another attempted to make law.
No matter who gets elected legalizing the oldest profession might not become a hot button issue like LGBTQ rights or illegal immigration are. Or possibly the question of sex worker’s rights, health care for the men and women who provide sex services, and the overall future of legitimizing or legalizing of prostitution might stay a state issue the federal government might just continue avoiding.
Time might, or might not, tell.