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Following The Issue

The Stupidity of Illegalizing Prostitution

Twelve Reasons Why It Should Be Legalized

Discussions on many crucial social topics and issues continue to stir the minds and arouse the interest of a great deal of our compatriots. For instance, there is the discussion about whether homosexuals – that is, gays and lesbians – should be allowed to live freely or not. Some say they could live together, but they should not be allowed to get married or adopt children, while others say the practice should be banned completely. There is also the discussion on marijuana. Some argue that it should be legalized, while others say that it should never be legalized. Still, there is the discussion about whether prostitution should be legally allowed in the society or not.

Indeed, there are many topics and issues that the people of our society continue to discuss or have some opinions on. I would strongly advise and suggest that we allow and promote discussions on any of these topics or issues. It is better for us as a society to discuss these crucial social issues than to treat them as taboos and pretend as if the issues didn’t exist, while they continue to live with us.

It is my interest to write on each of these topics and issues; however, in this article, I will focus on prostitution and the question of whether it should be legalized or not. There are prostitutes and prostitution sites/places over the country, especially in Monrovia. Many consider the practice of prostitution and its ramifications and ask: “Is prostitution a bad thing? Should it be legalized?”

Well, in this article, I will present twelve reasons why prostitution should be legalized in our society. I will present twelve arguments not because Jesus had twelve apostles, but because the word “prostitution” contains twelve words. In short, I will give one argument for each of the letters of the word. Are you ready?  Here we go …

The first reason why prostitution should be legalized is that it is considered a profession. It’s an occupation. It’s like farming, teaching, driving, cooking, tailoring, printing, surveying, writing and the likes. In fact, it’s considered the oldest profession in human history. It’s what some people have learned to do, and they do it well. Forbidding prostitutes to practice their profession is like forbidding the farmer to farm, the teacher to teach, the cook to cook, the driver to drive, the tailor to tailor, the printer to print, the surveyor to survey, the writer to write and so forth. Isn’t it insane to stop people from engaging in an activity that every nation knows is a job, a well-known profession? It is an open secret that a lot of people are already engaged in this profession openly, making their living through it, yet it is considered illegal in our country. The stupidity of making the practice illegal is seen in the fact that the practice is a profession, and many people are already engaged in it openly.

Second, prostitution should be legalized in that it helps to reduce rape and other sex-related crimes in society. Many men who rape or commit sexual crimes usually do so because there aren’t available opportunities; for example, there aren’t scores of brothels or prostitution sites in villages, towns and cities, where they could go every time and anytime to pay for sex. Frankly, if prostitution were legalized, and if there were prostitutes all over the place – day and night, rain or shine, etc. – sex-related crimes would definitely be diminished.
Third, legalizing prostitution would help reduce other crimes committed in society. Because people refuse to legalize prostitution, and because prostitution is unavoidable and unstoppable, the underground market takes over. And, as most of us are aware, the underground market connected with prostitution also usually involves drug dealing, gun dealing, human trafficking and so forth. Decriminalizing paid sex would help to prevent or reduce other crimes. This would certainly be welcome news for law-enforcement officers and society, wouldn’t it?

Fourth, prostitutes should be allowed to operate legally because prostitution is similar to other human-related business activities. For example, some choose to sell their livers, kidneys, etc., and these body parts, when sold, go forever. Do we arrest and imprison the sellers? No! So, why all the noise when a woman or a man decides to temporarily sell their body for some cash? Let’s stop the madness. If people decide to do business with any of their body organs, it’s their choice. It is their business. Let’s stop disturbing them.

Fifth, the practice should be legally encouraged in that charity-minded prostitutes usually donate to charity causes from the money they make. They give to various humanitarian organizations, to schools, to churches and so forth. It’s stupid to willingly accept donations from prostitutes, while at the same time stopping them from doing what gives them the money. Besides, criminalizing prostitution does certainly kill many people’s humanitarian spirit. Why do this, when the need to help one another has become more necessary? Let’s legalize the practice. Ah, by the way, let’s remember the name Rehab the Harlot in Joshua 2, the woman who helped save the Jewish spies. Well, she was a prostitute.

Sixth, prostitution should be legalized in that legalizing it would help reduce the unemployment rate, as many could choose to be prostitutes, since they would be working in a profession that would enable them to earn money legally. Soon, many of the unemployed would fall under the employed block. Wouldn’t this be good news for a government and a society that want to see the unemployment rate drop to, say, 50%? By the way, isn’t it unbelievably foolish that some are against legalizing an activity that has the propensity to help people get jobs?

Seventh, legalizing prostitution would help the government to generate additional revenue from the taxes paid by prostitutes and others connected with the business, since they would be engaged in a legal and government-regulated occupation. Which is better, to criminalize the practice as we are now doing and make the government lose thousands of dollars in taxes in the process when we know that we cannot stop it, or legalize it and allow the government to make money from it? It is simply stupid to illegalize such a practice when we know that it is openly practiced everywhere. Our stupidity is causing us to close some income-generating inlets. When will we be smart?

Eighth, legalizing the practice is the way forward in that it would help the community and streets to be more developed and beautiful in that there would be beautifully designed posters and billboards, some electronic, advertising the various locations and services of prostitutes. We all know how well-designed billboards help make places beautiful. The electronic billboard recently installed near the Executive Mansion and the Capitol is an example. Furthermore, entrepreneur-oriented individuals and institutions would be encouraged to construct more brothels or public places in the community, as the number of prostitutes increases. Wouldn’t this be a boost to community development, too? Considering the numerous benefits that could derive from prostitution, isn’t it stupid to refuse to legalize it?

Ninth, legalizing prostitution would save the government some resources. Imagine what various governments expend, in terms of resources, to monitor or arrest prostitutes. They have to train special people for the task. They have to buy equipment to be used by those trained. Besides, the government has to pay the people responsible for identifying and arresting prostitutes. Don’t forget about the fact that government has to spend money to prepare a place where the arrested prostitutes will be placed when apprehended. Then there is the headache that the officers have to go through in arresting a prostitute – running, fighting, struggling with pimps and so on. Why go through all this, when the government could use the funds to build new roads, bridges, schools or hospitals or to help the disadvantaged in society? Isn’t this willful stupidity?

Tenth, legalizing the act could make the practice of prostitution safer, while keeping our doctors and other health workers busy. At the moment, there are considerable health problems in places, including Liberia, where sex is illegal, but is still practiced. Prostitutes don’t really have control over their own bodies. If paid sex were legalized, the prostitute could have regular medical checkups and tests, well regulated and intensive. Besides, there could be more healthful and safe products for use in the profession. For instance, competition in the sex industry could cause the production of better and safer condoms. Legalizing it would not only boost the condom business, but would also evoke creativity in it. As the number of  prostitutes and clients increased, more condoms would be needed, causing more production and increased revenue. This could also spark a demand for more workers, thereby, further helping to reduce unemployment. Creative-wise, more well-designed and quality condoms could be produced, as a result of increased competition in the market.

Eleventh, prostitution should be made legal in that, sometimes, it is the only way by which others can fulfill their sexual needs. For example, there are people who do not have any partners and cannot get one not because they are uninterested, but because they are unlucky, ugly or dirty. The only way out for them is to go to a brothel and pay for sex. Once they are denied this opportunity, some of them could revert to rape, which is a crime. Let’s give such people an opportunity to have sex by legalizing prostitution. Let’s not be so phlegmatic and uncompassionate. Let’s feel for other people.

Twelfth, and finally, it is prudent to legalize prostitution in that the practice cannot be expunged; in other words, it cannot be eradicated. It has been around for years – for millennia. It was practiced in ancient times and societies, it’s being practiced in almost every country, and it will continue to be practiced. No society or leadership has ever been able to eradicate prostitution. In Liberia, for example, Penal Code Revised Volume 4, Chapter 18, says that prostitution is an illegal practice that is punishable, but the law is not implementable. It is unrealistic. There are prostitutes all over Monrovia and other parts of the country.  In fact, the number of people entering this profession continues to increase, causing prostitution sites to spring up all over the place.

The original Happy Corner between Michelin and Randall Streets is still in operation, but new ones have sprung up. To name a few, there are Samoa Bar on the Air Field, Talk of the Town on Center Street, Delta Bush at GSA Junction, Exodus on Gurley Street, Anthony Shop in Lakpasee, New Creation near Bong Mines Bridge, Peace Talk on Lynch Street, Up Town on Camp Johnson Road, Upper Link on Front Street, Rendezvous at Barnesville Junction and Monkey-Monkey at the same Barnesville Junction. There are prostitutes in Grand Bassa County. It is said that it is worse in Buchanan.

They are found near the Ocean View Bar & Club, the Black & White Club and other entertainment spots. The same is true in Nimba, Bong, Maryland, Sinoe, Lofa and other counties. Illegalizing prostitution is as insane – I mean, as stupid – as illegalizing marijuana. It just won’t work. There will always be demand for prostitutes. There will always be people who are willing, able and ready to provide sex for pay, as there will always be people willing, able and ready to pay for sex. No one can stop it by illegalizing it. In my view, it is stupid to do so. Even in the region called the Holy Land, there are prostitutes and brothels all over the place called Jerusalem, the City of King David. Thinking that we can stop prostitution by making it a crime is insanity beyond measure. 

So, let’s hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Let’s legalize prostitution and get rid of the stupidity and numerous problems associated with its illegalization, as we stand to benefit a lot from legalization than illegalizing it. Let paid sex be supported, promoted and legalized. Let it be remembered, though, that I have proffered my arguments as a citizen of a free, secular society called Liberia. In other words, I have argued secularly, not religiously. So, let no one rush on me with I Corinthians 6:9-10 or any other verse for that matter.

Believe me, my people. We will never stop following the issues.

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