Periodically, there are articles in different outlets on the distinction between “prostitution” and “sex work.” Here is an old one from 2006. 10 years later, the same talking points are mulled over without any definitive conclusion. Why the lack of clarity?
Prostitution is one of the issues where feminism and liberalism clearly break down and the inherent contradictions within those philosophies are laid bare.
Shouldn’t women have a right to control their bodies? Isn’t that what pro-choice, pro-abortion advocates are constantly preaching? So isn’t restricting what women can do with their bodies an affront to freedom of choice and women’s rights?
But then what about objectification and the commodification of women’s bodies? Isn’t that something harmful that needs to be curtailed?
What about sexual liberation? Liberals universally agree that as long as two or more people consent to participate in a sexual act with each other, that act is morally acceptable and no one has the right to interfere with that. Why does that suddenly change if one party pays the other? It is still consensual, so what’s the big deal?
And so forth.
And don’t even think about bringing up Transgender prostitutes. You might cause some poor liberal academic or social justice warrior to have an aneurysm.