I have watched with some interest an element of organized prostitution women adopt language from the organized labor movement. They argue that prostitution is just another job, albeit a relatively high paying one. They call pimps “managers” and johns “customers.” They say that what is wrong with the “business” is that it is illegal, or, as in the case of Nevada, that the State controls prostitution. They claim that what is needed is a union to bargain for wages (already high, they say), hours (already good, they say), and working conditions. If wages and hours are already good, the issue must be working conditions. These same women argue that what is better about prostitution than other jobs for women is that prostitutes have “control” over what they do, what they “choose” to do. They don’t explain why prostitutes can’t control pimps and johns who hurt them right now. They slide past hard issues and blame them on the illegal nature of prostitution.
The fact that prostitution is illegal does not explain why men sexually murder women and children for sex. The fact that police do not seem to care about dead prostitutes, or other dead women either, does not explain why men do it. The fact that some police officers are corrupt and brutal when they harass and arrest women for prostitution is a secondary issue.
… None of this addresses the system which requires male sexual access to women and children at all times. The analysis exhibited in the “business-as-usual” presentation of prostitution is one that does not in any way challenge the harm of prostitution itself. If workingclass people had no analysis of capitalism, then what we would have is what this element of organized prostitution has: no structural challenge to the status quo. Men must have this sexual access to women and children. (Why?) Fringe benefits like workers’ compensation, demands for no more arrests, or somehow resisting torture and murder are OK as far as they go, but they do not challenge the system of male supremacy of which prostitution is the ultimate systematic expression. Trying to make an inhumane system more humane with reformatory adjustments is like spitting in the ocean: I’m not against it, but it doesn’t do much.