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Why the approach of Radical Feminism to prostitution is most superior - Essay Example

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Why the approach of Radical Feminism to prostitution is most superior

While some see no problem with prostitution and defend it, others strongly call for the force of law to dispel this horrendous activity which has grave social repercussions. Many approaches have been identified by scholars over the years to understand and analyze the issue of prostitution. The three key approaches identified by Jaggar in her paper are related to liberalism, radical feminism, and classical Marxism. Each one of these approaches is comprehensively explicated and related to prostitution to analyze the merits offered by all three. My argument is this essay is that of all three approaches, radical feminism is the most preferable approach to prostitution because I believe that the women who engage in this practice do not engage out of free will, but are forced to do so being victims of oppression. To clarify this argument, I will start by briefly discussing the theme of both the liberal and Marxist approaches first and then I will scrutinize my preferred approach at length to prove why it is better. I will also include one objection to my position on this subject. According to the liberal approach as discussed by Jaggar, considering the practice of prostitution illegal or offensive is both a conservative and objectionable ideology. Proponents of this approach argue that prostitution should be decriminalized because taking legal measures against it would be a clear violation of thousands of women’s rights who engage in this practice by full consent. They also claim that any psychological or emotional disadvantages brought by offering sexual services are dwarfed by many benefits in the form of financial assistance ensured by this activity to women. Such liberals consider the defenders of radical feminism arrogant and manipulative who in the name of defending women’s rights actually work to make them more disadvantaged. The liberal approach disapproves equating prostitution to sexual abuse of women. This thought is based on the belief that prostitution is not public but private immorality due to which it cannot be considered a concern of criminal law enforcement agencies. Criminal law should only be concerned with the sources of public immorality like pornography which is a far cry from prostitution. This approach stresses that opponents should realize the staggering difference between prostitution which is harmless and pornography which can be harmful and not attempt to mingle them. Willingly or consciously selling sexual services is not the kind of activity which infringes on public order and decency, so there should be no penalties for people who are involved in this practice on any level (Jaggar, 1980, pp. 349-50). The Marxist approach is not as simplistic as the liberal approach and has more depth to it. This approach draws conclusions about prostitution after analyzing myriad effects produced by it on the society as the social context of any activity is considered critically important here. Marxists agree that prostitution translates into selling sexual services, but they also argue that this activity resembles marriage a lot in which a woman exchanges same services which are exchange in prostitution in return for financial support ensured by her husband. In the marriage, a man is willing to provide for the woman on the condition that she acknowledges and fulfills his sexual needs. Same is the case in prostitution in which a woman consents to offer sexual services in exchange for money from the men she attends. However, the difference is that a marriage is a legalized relationship approved by the social norms, while prostitution is not legalized and the women who are a part of this are called many derogatory names by the society. It is claimed by ...Show more
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“Prostitution” is a highly insightful and thought-provoking article authored by Alison Jaggar. There are many hidden aspects of this issue which need to be explored properly to solve certain complex riddles which have been the source of discomfort for quite long now. …
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