Feminist Perspective On Prostitution

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Prostitution is often referred to as the world’s oldest profession, and yet, it is also one of the most controversial. Utilizing multiple perspectives to understand certain issues may aid in the creating strategies for equality (Levan, “Unit 1”, 10). Different feminist theories have varying opinions regarding prostitution, and this paper will attempt to address the concerns that each framework brings in order to promote justice. One of the main arguments surrounding prostitution is whether or not this type of work should be legalized. Some argue that this work should be decriminalized so that people who want to work in this field can. This would be voluntary work, unlike those who are forced into it via human trafficking. In the course text, it is explained that Marxist theory recognizes that choices “... made in the context of economic or political pressures [can] narrow the possible and desirable choices” (Levan, “Unit 3”, 57). In the context of prostitution, this may mean that people are choosing the field because it is an accessible type of work that will pay the bills, as opposed to doing it purely out of choice. From a Marxist, perspective, this means that the workers do not have freedom (Levan, “Unit 3”, 57). Additionally, if the workers were not able to recognize that they were being coerced into this field by economic necessity, Marxist feminists would claim that they are living with false consciousness. Levan describes this as the failure for one to see their
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