legal prostitutes save lives!

No, not really.

But there’s a persistent argument I see in every single discussion about Elliot Rodgers: that if prostitution were legalized, he would not have gone on his rampage. I think it’s almost always men who bring up this idea. It seems to hinge on the belief that under legal prostitution, the state owns women’s bodies and can force them to have sex with whomever demands it. That’s not how legalization works, even in Nevada brothels — which are not too far away from where Rodgers lived. It’s also notable to see the call for legalization not because sex workers are human and deserve basic human rights but because men feel entitled to sex, just like Rodgers.

Once again, sex workers aren’t seen as human. If they were, then no one would demand they have sex with someone who despises their very existence. While I firmly believe that sex cures many ills, if you’re a man who hates women, having sex with a woman will not magically cure you of your hatred. If that were true, all Jews would have had to do was fuck their way out of concentration camps. That didn’t happen because sex does not cure deep-seated hatred of the person with whom you’re having sex.

22 thoughts on “legal prostitutes save lives!

  1. Pingback: legal prostitutes save lives! | Adult Friends Dating, Local Personals and Casual Sex | Adult-Friends.biz

  2. Lionel

    Dear Ms. Brooks:
    You are right because they are not responding to the basic psychological and emotional questions that are well outside the boundaries of sexual intercourse. The questions that would arrive and be manifested out of this behavior would be one that a mental health professional should address as opposed to a commercial sex worker. This would be the case because they are well qualified and prepared to confront the phenomena that these men would present.

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Lionel — I don’t think therapy changes hatred either. I don’t really believe that people change. After all, he was seeing therapists and they obviously couldn’t do enough (not that I’m blaming them — I don’t think there was anything they could have done).

      “Phenomena” my ass. Entitlement and misogyny are not anything women regard as phenomenal and all of us have plenty of experience with it, especially sex workers.

      But your comment did make me laugh because psychologists differ from sex workers in that they would be trying to help Rodgers with his issues, whereas sex workers would either want to kick his ass or kick him out. Generally, we’re not going to delicately handle a raging misogynist, especially when he’s just a twerpy, creepy kid.

  3. Ann Gallerie

    Who comes up with these ideas, anyway? People have a lot to learn about mental illness, the limits of psychiatric intervention, and oh yes, prostitutes.

    The bottom line is that no one is to blame for this tragedy. A lot of people were involved in trying to help, including his family. I am very sorry for all concerned.

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Ann — I personally think Elliot Rodgers is to blame. Yes, other people tried to help him and he did not want to listen or learn or change his own behaviors. The mental illnesses he is reported to have had aren’t typically associated with violent behavior, nor this all-consuming rage directed at a group of people. I think he is very much to blame for what he thought and what he did. Society allowed his anger to fester and gave him access to guns, sure, but is he any different from men who rape and kill women in India or stone them in Pakistan? Not a bit.

  4. Serra Inara

    Why are we dancing around things with terminology like phenomena or saying that no one is at fault here? This isn’t phenomena. This is yet another example of male entitlement and misogyny. Of course someone is at fault. Elliot Rodgers is at fault. Mass murder is a choice.

    What everyone always wants to avoid anytime men go on rampages like this is that there is one common denominator. The killer is male. The killer felt he was entitled to _______________, usually including a beautiful woman and unlimited access to her pussy. Why the fuck does everyone want to dance around that and verbalize it a way to make sure that men’s feeling aren’t hurt. While a majority of men are not bad men, there is a large percentage of men that are violent with women at one point or another. It is always the same basis. They feel that having a penis means they are superior to us, that they are entitled to any fucking thing they want, that our bodies are theirs to be conquered and then to be available to them. They believe they can just be them and not even use a fucking washcloth in the shower but that women should be beautiful, always accessible, smiling, nodding, supporting them.

    The problem of the mass violence in our society IS men. Not all men. But it is a male problem. Every fucking mass killing is some male is upset because things aren’t going his way and he is entitled to always have it go his way. It is that he feels alone, that he is bullied, that he is being denied sex, he lost his job, his car was repossessed, WWE Raw was cancelled, whatever. Welcome to the real world. What woman hasn’t experienced feeling alone? What woman hasn’t experienced being intimidated, coerced, threatened, or actually faced violence? Usually by men? We get laid every damn time we want to either nor do we have the perfect boyfriend. We also don’t go on mass killing sprees. We get help, we live it and we go on when we don’t get something we felt we should have.

    The answer to much of the mass killings isn’t about having sex workers be cannon fodder for violent losers who can’t relate to women as real, living, human beings. Why the fuck is it considered a sex worker’s duty to relieve these poor frustrated men’s sexual desires to protect other women from harm? Why are worth less than non sex worker women? Why should I as a sex worker be at risk to fucks like Elliot Rodgers anymore than any other woman? His misogyny isn’t going to stop with me because I’m a sex worker. The opposite occurs because he has to pay for it and he finds out that the escort is still just a woman, like every other woman, we have bodily functions, we have boundaries, we have feelings. Now his fallacy that he is entitled to the perfect woman of his dreams because he paid for it is gone, he’s pissed about losing his dream, pissed about paying money and not having that money for other things he thinks he is entitled to and we pay the price. Men know that women are an easy target, sex worker or non sex worker. We aren’t physically strong enough to fight back most of the time so we face the violence by default of not being able to stop it unless the predator stops, unless someone intervenes, or we get lucky.

    Why the fuck is everyone talking in gentle terms about Elliot Rodgers and his mental health issues and that he needed more “support” from professionals. He was privileged male from birth. Despite advances for women this is still a man’s world. Men get support in ways that women don’t all the fucking time. A man says he is in pain and the fucking sky falls. A woman says she is in pain and we are told it is in our head, or isn’t as bad as we think. Who the fuck are people kidding? Anyone heard of childbirth? The average male would lose his fucking mind if he had to face what women face daily. Yet we don’t mass kill. Men walk into an ER with a sinus infection and it’s the end of the world. A woman walks with chest pain and the default is it must be psychological. When does a man’s chest pain get a psych referral? It’s taken seriously immediately because he’s a man. Yet he has no fucking idea and no concern that he gets medical care by virtue of misogyny. Let’s just get back to the pain from his sinus infection.

    Step one is for men to stop with the entitlement bullshit. A penis doesn’t qualify you for anything. FFS, most of the men who think they are entitled have a 4 inch flaccid penis fueled by Cialis and act like four year olds about it when it doesn’t work or we aren’t immediately in love with it or them. Men, you want the good job? Earn it just like we do. You want the good girlfriend? Then be a man and earn it. Earn her love and her respect, treat her like a human being and you’ll get your precious fucking sex. Maybe you don’t get the beautiful babe of your dreams. That’s the real world. Most of us don’t get super models of either gender.

    There is no God damn excuse for mass killing innocent people. None. Let’s stop making excuses and baby talking men and call it as it is. Get over your fucking entitlement and stop focusing on your penis, what it supposedly entitles you to and what every other man has for a penis and his entitlements, realize you aren’t entitled to anything and grow the fuck up.

    If you can’t handle that and have to resort to murder/suicide than be a man and start with the suicide first.

    Jesus Fucking Christ can we stop holding men’s hands on everything?

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Serra — Greatest rant ever! Nice to see you back in fine form.

      Women can behave entitled as well, but it’s always based on their assumed social status and they never seem to feel entitled to posses other people. Men’s entitlement is always based on the mere fact that they’re male — and they never understand why that doesn’t fly. At this point in life, I have as much pity for the poor menz as you do.

  5. Jim

    Once again, sex workers aren’t seen as human. If they were, then no one would demand they have sex with someone who despises their very existence.

    I’m sure you’re right. But, just for the internet good form of it all, could you please give a few links to someone making such a demand? Because, that would be, among other things, a very bizarre demand. I’d be interested in seeing what sort of tap-dancing a person would have to do to make such a demand, without it being too obviously what it would be: crazy talk.

    Or, here’s an even easier one: I haven’t actually seen any instances online of the “argument” (assertion, really) being made that Mr. Elliott wouldn’t have become murderous had prostitution been legal.

    Thanks!

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Jim — Because I have nothing else better to do and you just can’t believe anything a woman says without proof.

      Just Google for: Elliot Rodgers legalized prostitution, no quotes needed. Also, several of the comments on Pandagon and other feminist sites that have discussed the whole violence-against-women thing and Elliot Rodgers in a variety of forms.

    2. Serra Inara

      Jim if you are sure Amanda is right than why are you asking her to prove it? That’s like me saying I believe you that it’s raining but can you outside and bring me a cup of rainwater. Unless you broke the internet what is preventing you from using a mysterious tool called Google and finding your own links.

      Your penis entitles you to proof because a woman’s word isn’t good enough for you?

      1. Jim

        You know, really, I asked a polite and civil sort of question. The resulting explosion of bile is a disagreeable surprise.

        On this-here internet, people who make reference to what “everybody is saying” about a subject often embed links in their text. This is a convenience to the reader, who can then quickly see an especially apt or egregious example. I had, and have, no doubt that Amanda has seen the sort of thing to which she refers. To ask if she has a “best” link or two handy is not to demand “proof,” nor does it imply that such links don’t exist. If the links aren’t handy, a simple “sorry, don’t have it, search for yourself” would’ve gotten the job done. Yeeesh.

        I hereby apologize for my possession of a Y chromosome, and of a penis, and for having apparently farted in church. I shall offer no further offense.

        1. Amanda Brooks Post author

          Jim — Your question did not come off as very polite at all.

          This post was basically a longer Tweet. It’s what I consider a toss-off post (guess that proves Sasha’s masturbation point, below). If you want to know more, I leave it to you to do the homework. There wasn’t anything I wrote that I felt I needed to PROVE. It’s not a theorem, it’s just a musing on an idea that I’ve seen wandering about.

  6. Sasha

    I happened upon this conversation through some unrelated links, but wanted to make an observation. I don’t condone what Elliot Rodgers did, for which there is no excuse. But I think perhaps you’re misreading some of the arguments about how legalized prostitution would theoretically prevent this or that violent outburst of male rage (and Serra is right, it IS a male problem).

    In your post, you claim that the argument people (men) make is that if women were forced by the state to have sex with a deranged mysogynist like Elliot Rodgers, he would be magically “cured” of his mysogyny and presumably would not go on a shooting spree.. Serra takes it a step further and implies that the real argument is that is if mysogynists like Rodgers are allowed to beat up on sex workers they won’t shoot bullets into “real” people. This argument is, of course, absurd on its face, as both of you acturately point out.

    But is it really the argument people (men) are making when they claim that legalized prostitution could save the world from violent male killing sprees? I don’t think it is. I think the argument really being made is that all humans have a psychological need for intimacy, and the lack of it festers and eventually results in hatred. In women, this hatred is often turned inward and results in self-loathing. But in some men, the anger becomes directed outward at whatever the man perceives is preventing him from experiencing this intimacy. Eventually, the argument goes, a man who’s not “getting any” will have no reason to abide by the rules of civil society and will “share” his pain with the world by acting out violently, including through murderous rampages. Ergo, if prostitution were legal, even a disturbed loser like Eliot Rodgers could get sex and thus wouldn’t “boil over” and go on killing sprees. (Now, Serra quite rightly points out that sex workers are not therapists and it isn’t their social duty to provide sex to every man who asks for it. But market forces do come into play here — perhaps most sex workers would have nothing to do with someone like Rodgers, but the chances are someone somewhere, for the right amout of money, will provide that intimacy, just like some pharmacist, for the right amount of money, will always be willing to provide lethal drugs to state execution boards even when other providers refuse.)

    Now I’m not saying this argument holds water. There are several points in it that one can criticize. Would a man who is willing to murder people really be deterred by anti-prostitution laws from seeking out the services of a prostitute if sex is what he really wanted? Is the lack of physical intimacy really a major factor in mass killing incidents? Indeed, does physical intimacy without corresponding emotional intimacy even satisfy the human need for contact? Probably not — lots of policemen use their positions to extort sex out of women (especially sex workers) every day, and this doesn’t seem to reduce their propensity for violence or help them address their mental health issues. So this argument may not hold any more water than the one proposed by Amanda in her initial post. But I think if we’re going to debate the argument (i.e. would legalized prostitution help reduce violent outbursts by men?), we should at least try to stick to the actual spirit of the argument rather than rephrasing the details of it so that it’s rebuttal proves the veracity of our own pre-existing world view — a kind of philosophical masturbation that really doesn’t get us anywhere. (Sorry, Amanda, I hated saying that, but I didn’t mean it in a mean way.)

    Personally, I think the world would be a much better place if sex-selection technologies were used to eliminate most male births at conception and ensure the proportion of women-to-men in the world was around 3-to-1. But many women might argue against this on the grounds that it would devaule womanhood and elevate the now artificially-scarce male to the status of a valued commodity, which of course would make them all insufferable bores who feel entitled to have sex with women anytime they want. . Can’t like with ‘em…pass the chili fries.

    Lastly, a big browncoat shout out to “Serra Inara” — I liked Firefly too.

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Sasha — “rather than rephrasing the details of it so that it’s rebuttal proves the veracity of our own pre-existing world view — a kind of philosophical masturbation that really doesn’t get us anywhere. ”

      Mostly, I’m just wondering what your point with that was. But since it’s my blog, I’ll indulge in whatever sort of masturabation I want, even if I seemingly manage to do so in three short paragraphs (speed record!). As for my pre-existing worldview…yes, I have one since I’ve lived a bit. You clearly have one too, whatever that may be. Our worldviews likely differ since we’re two different people.

      I’m not advocating the killing of men to make them somehow more “desirable” to women. Confident, secure men are plenty desirable and usually have their choice of partners. Creeps like Rodgers don’t and with good reason — someone with his issues isn’t attractive to any human, regardless of gender. I’ve gone through dry spells and though I really wanted sex, I didn’t feel the need to force anyone to have sex with me, nor did I feel the need to resort to violence to solve my issues. I recognized that I needed to make myself more available and reach out to prospective partners. I wanted the human touch of someone who was not a client and the only way to feed that need was to go out and find it, instead of waiting for the magic skygods to drop it in my lap. Maybe that’s part of my socialization as a woman, or maybe it’s just part of my personality — some people of both genders seem to choose the option of waiting on the magic skygods. And then there are some men who choose the option of violence, whether through rape or shooting objects of their anger. I guess what I’m saying is our reactions to difficult situations comes down to a personal choice.

      Though it does make me wonder that if women live in a society where their needs for sex and intimacy are denied by an artificially-enforced ratio, will they start getting mad and going on mass shootings of men, thereby depleting the population of men even more?

      Under legalized prostitution, yeah, some unfortunate sex worker would get stuck with Rodgers as a client and she likely would never see him again due to his creepy-vibes. Easier access to paid sex isn’t going to make someone with Rodger’s issues any better. Every sex workers has had to deal with men who have issues around “paying for it” — which always points to deeper issues they have with women and sex and their own raging insecurities. Legalized prostitution would go a long way toward deterring violence toward sex workers, though, which is hugely important. It won’t save the population from a mass shooter.

      The idea that sex and emotional intimacy is required to survive isn’t really correct. It makes life better but it’s not a right, it is something that is earned, one way or another. I think most people get the concept of earning an intimate relationship, fortunately.

      1. Sasha

        Amanda, thank you for taking the time to reply. A couple of comments on your rebuttal:

        I’m not “advocating the killing of men to make them somehow more ‘desireable’ to women.” Using sex selection technologies to make sure more fetuses remain X-chromosome instead of switching to Y-chromosome during fertilization is no more murder than is contraception or abortion.

        “…it does make me wonder that if women live in a society where their needs for sex and intimacy are denied by an artificially-enforced ratio, will they start getting mad and going on mass shootings of men, thereby depleting the population of men even more?” — Doesn’t this actually support rather than oppose the argument that the lack of access to sex is somehow at the root of mass shootings? And no, I don’t think women would do this. We’re wired differently. We’re more likely to hurt ourselves than to hurt others.

        “Under legalized prostitution, yeah, some unfortunate sex worker would get stuck with Rodgers as a client…” — Why should she “get stuck”? If prostitution was legal then presumably she would have access to all the security she wanted with no worries about being prosecuted for her activities, so why not summon security and 86 him if he starts treating her disrespectfully? The sex worker who does chose to service him would do so on her terms and be well-paid for the service she renders.

        Besides, it strikes me that you’re assuming that Elliot Rodgers would have been awful no matter what, and that his awfulness is somehow the result of his failure to go out and “earn” an intimate relationship. Has anyone ever said that he never tried to find a girlfriend? Perhaps he tried, but failed to find one because he wasn’t “confident and secure”. (By secure I assume you mean well-employed, which is not so easy for men these days.) Perhaps if he had found one, and had a family to give him the emotional support he obviously needed, he would not have reached the point where a mass homicide seemed like a good idea. Given different life experiences, anyone could have turned out differently (better or worse) than they are. Isn’t that why we as women encourage each other to reach out to each other for emotional support — so that we don’t have to deal with everything alone?

        “The idea that sex and emotional intimacy is required to survive isn’t really correct. It makes life better but it’s not a right, it is something that is earned, one way or another.” — Whether something is a right and whether it’s necessary are two different things. Food, shelter and medical care are necessary, but they aren’t rights (at least not for those between 18-65). They have to be earned and paid for. Any animal can survive by itself, but we know that for many species a life isolated from others of their species will slowly drive them insane. Psychiatrists are gradually coming to the same conclusion about humans, which is why long-term solitary confinement in prisons has been eliminated in almost every Western country except ours.

        Also, what is “necessary” is broader than what is “required to survive.” It’s possible to survive emotionally alone, but we wouldn’t claim that anyone deserved to live like that. (Heck, we don’t even treat zoo animals like that anymore) I work with seniors, and you might be interested to learn than in all 50 states, enforcing emotional isolation on seniors is considered to be abuse, and is a crime. Most states make it a crime to emotionally isolate children and the disabled too. Clearly, our society recognizes that there are negative effects to emotional isolation of an individual. Spree killings may be one result of those negative effects.

        I don’t think it’s possible for us, as American women, to understand how difficult it must be to be male in America these days. The role they have occupied for thousands of years — that of breadwinner for their family — has suddenly been upended, as women are better educated and have better earning potential now. Practically the only occupations remaining where men are considered more desireable than women are those in which they are the purveyors of violence — police, soldiers, bouncers, and escort service drivers for example. What sort of message does that send? And men can’t receive emotional support from other men as easily as women can from other women: not only do men lack the instinctive socialization of women (they must learn those skills, while we known them at a more instinctive level), but while women are able to turn to other women for sex and simply be “free-thinking” or “bisexual,” society teaches men that for them to do so means they are gay and must thereafter deny their desire for women. (I know, there are bisexual men who resist these messages, but they are rare.) It’s no accident that Mad Men was so successful — it catered to a male fantasy of a male-dominated world.

        What we’re debating, I suppose, is first, whether lack of access to intimacy made Elliot Rodgers a monster, and second whether legalized prostitution would have made any difference as it delivers only physical intimacy and not emotional intimacy. I would say a qualified yes to the first and no to the second. What Elliot Rodgers needed was a friend, not an escort.

        (No doubt if you reply to this you’ll take issue with my assertion that a “male-dominated” world is a fantasy, so I’ll go ahead and respond to that now: what we live in now is a society where many of the people at the top in politics and business (especially finance) are still men, but where day-to-day life outside of the military-law enforcement establishment is run by women. It’s increasingly women who are the doctors, university presidents, government bureaucrats, media programmers, small business owners, and others who make the day-to-day decisions in America, and it’s inevitable that one day women will occupy the top positions as well because the current and future generations of women will be better-educated and more qualified for those positions than men when the current crop of men retires. The change will come gradually, probably over 2-3 generations, but it will come, if society stays on the same path.)

        1. Amanda Brooks Post author

          Sasha — Sex-selection has been tried in China and currently in India. It doesn’t work out well for either gender, or for society. It’s not a solution.

          The idea of women going nuts and mass-shooting men wasn’t an attempt to prove that Rodgers had some real need that was going unmet that society and the objects of his desire were obligated to fulfill. My point was that the answer isn’t to create an unbalanced society, it’s unbalanced enough already. And that it’s also absurd to imagine a lack of sex as the real reason for a shooting spree. Hatred is a much better reason.

          Let’s forget that Rodgers could have gone to Nevada if he wanted to engage in legal prostitution. It honestly doesn’t matter if prostitution is legal or not, at some point if someone who wants to pay for sex approaches enough sex workers, someone will take that person on as a client, likely because the sex worker needs the money. Simple as that. (Legalization doesn’t automatically offer all the bells and whistles you think it does, either in an NV brothel or another country.)

          I’ve read the same studies about intimacy that you have and I believe they’re correct. But Rodgers had people in his life who cared about him and tried to help him. He wasn’t alone, he just wanted to get laid by the girls he thought owed him the sex he felt he deserved, while hating women. That’s not even the same thing as him trying to survive in complete isolation because he wasn’t isolated at all. He may have felt isolated but the solution was for him to reach out and meet halfway the efforts others in his life were making. He’s not the first and only person in history to have social issues, or issues making friends, or not getting laid on schedule, or anything like that. Others have figured out ways of coping that didn’t involve mass murder. Maybe we should applaud those who successfully navigated their sense of isolation, instead of trying to make excuses for Rodgers.

          BTW, I’ve talked about “secure” men a lot on this blog. It means a self-aware man who is secure in who he is. Why do you think money=self-secure? It doesn’t. Not that it matters as Rodgers was financially far better off than any man I’ve ever dated in my personal life. He had every reason to be secure, or at least cocky.

          Oh FFS, we’re going down the path of how hard men have it when they still make the rules, earn the most money and can get away with a hell of a lot of shit? Seriously? No, that won’t fly here. There are plenty of men out there who have no issue with women taking their rightful place as half the population of the planet. They’re secure men. I wish there were more of them but that they exist prove its entirely possible to be a man in the truest sense of the word. I don’t pity men and real men don’t ask for pity just because they’re men. I like that.

          You have more faith than I do that women will take over day-to-day life and run the country from the middle-level. I’d frankly settle for fairness and equality and, of course, rights for sex workers.

  7. Serra Inara

    Jim- I am always amused how if one writes a response that doesn’t give a man the attention they want (In this case saying find your links) or a woman speaks directly to a man that the immediate reaction is always the same. A sarcastic apology about being a man that really implies that we are women who hate all men and that you are taking your Y chromosome and your toys and going home and never coming back. Very mature and entirely cliche. The news is bad Jim. Not every woman is going to jump up and give you what you feel you are entitled to. You are still whining like you are simply entitled to these links, that Amanda owes you these links to make it as easy for you as possible. You aren’t entitled to anything more than anyone else regardless of the fact that you were born with a penis so stop whining. If your little feelings are this sensitive you probably shouldn’t be playing with adults.

    Sasha- Yeah, Firefly was cool! One day watching the show I thought to myself Inara Serrra, Serra Inara, and it was a wow moment. Serra Inara would be a very cool screen name and a homage to great character.

  8. Serra Inara

    Two more attempts at mass killings today. One in the Pacific Northwest, another in Georgia. Once again people are quickly wondering what is causing this? Is there a pattern to this that we should be looking for? Yes. The same pattern as in 99 percent of mass killings. Male……

    Jim probably just broke one of his toys sulking how a mean woman is hurting men’s feelings by pointing out the obvious and not couching it in empathetic reflective statements to protect men’s and his little feelings.

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Serra — And this time a woman was involved as a shooter as well. I don’t think legalized prostitution would have done anything about preventing this shooting.

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