The history of Prostitution and why it should be legalized IntroProstitution, an occupation dating back to 2400 BCE, is considered the world’s oldest profession. It started in Mesopotamia, where the people worshipped a god named Ishtar, and the women in her service would offer their bodies to men who donated to the temples (Fanni). In a lot of civilizations back then, sex work was not considered taboo. But now in modern society, prostitution is considered unthinkable and illegal in many countries. Throughout history, prostitution in the United States was considered to be taboo while in parts of Eurasia it wasn’t; now John Shaming has been integrated into our society negatively affecting people. America Originally, prostitution was considered widely legal in the United States. With the invention of red light districts, areas with a concentration of sex-oriented businesses, it was more common for madams to own the place of business but were “pressured by cops to pay expensive bribes in order to operate without fear of raids (Grant).” Grant also mentions that these districts were created not because of  “an acceptance of prostitution that led to the establishment of red-light districts; rather, it was the perceived “failure” of such informal governance (or corruption or tolerance, depending how you looked at it).” Even though these districts were legal, sex workers were still targeted by cops and were considered social outcasts especially for having sex outside marriage. Some laws used to target women who sold sex were vagrancy and nightwalking. It pretty much meant that if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time or poor and female, you would get arrested. In New Orleans, if you were not a white prostitute, you could get charged with “insulting a white person.” It was also illegal for women to dress like men. Twenty one New Orleans women were charged with cross dressing (Grant). In Louisiana, when laws did involve actual sexual conduct, they didn’t just go for people in the sex trade. The state said that it was illegal to engage in oral or anal sex because it was a crime against nature (Grant). In 1830 New York, when prostitutes demanded for equal rights, the brothel riots occurred. Citizens would pillage a prostitutes home and destroy many items she owned. Many angry residents wanted to kick these businesses away from their neighborhood but were unsuccessful because prostitution wasn’t technically against the law so the citizens couldn’t do much about it (Ditmore). Sex workers are just people who want to make money to support themselves. Even back then, when they weren’t doing anything illegal, they were still being wrongfully charged and were considered outcasts. Prostitution is also a victimless crime because all parties consent to having sex. No one is getting hurt from practicing this profession. Around 1910, The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union helped make prostitution illegal in the United States Eurasia In Greece, sex work affected the economy in a positive way. In 2015 Rebecca Reid writes about how the Greek wage had fallen to four hundred and fifty euros a month and how half of the young people are unemployed. Greece’s prostitution rate has risen over 150%  because more and more women are turning to prostitution to support their families. The problem is that out of the 20,000 prostitutes in Greece, only 1,000 are legally registered. There are brothels in Greece where it is safer for women and more regulated. She states that to become a prostitute To become a prostitute in Greece, “be free from STI’s or other infectious illnesses; not suffer from mental illness or drug  addiction; and not have been convicted of homicide, pimping, child porn trafficking, robbery or blackmail.”” Married women who are very poor cannot become a legal prostitute because of the laws in place. The author states that some married women can’t even support their kids and the can’t get jobs anywhere so their only other option is illegal prostitution. And now, over the past 4 years, STD rates have been at 200 percent rise. Also, in 2400 BCE, Mesopotamian religious practices gave birth to the prostitution trade, as women in Ishtar’s service would help men who offered money to her temples with the ‘sacred’ powers of their bodies.” Priestesses became the nurses and sex therapists in their early society. Men of any rank could hire these women and make an offering to the goddesses. Ishtar, one of their goddesses, became known as the protector of all prostitutes. The Prostitution involved in these sacred rituals existed without any taboo.ShamingJohn shaming is also a big problem in modern day society. In 2015, a Nova Scotia newspaperpublished a story about a prostitution crackdown in Cape Breton. The article included a list of,”27 alleged johns facing charges, complete with name, age, and place of  residence.” Adding these names was a danger to both the victims and the  prostitutes. Garcia, a community organizer with a Montreal sex worker support group said, “When you criminalize clients when clients are less     visible, women are out on the streets longer.” This business is based on avoiding police, so when clients are named in the paper, they are now more likely to meet you in a, dangerous area where sex workers would get  into cars without properly negotiating terms. It is also very embarrassing for clients to have their names in the paper like that. But  before this, police would go to your house and “out” clients in front of  their families. Garcia also shows that the laws are rooted in client shaming and if you see a prostitute you must be a felon. Another example of this is the Washington Madam.


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