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The story of Roxanne: Victim of sex or society?

Prostitution has always been a controversial aspect of civilization. Biblical characters

have been sex workers, films have been made about sex workers, and countless songs have been

written by and for prostitutes. With America’s ever-changing social climate, the rising

acceptance of counterculture lifestyle, and exploration of foreign policies. Prostitution may be

the next big change in the country, much like women's rights, gay rights, and the new

legalization of marijuana have been.

Prostitution is often considered the oldest profession, which may not be true, it is listed

with several other women’s professions such as “Lady doctor, barber, and cook” in the Sumerian

records from 2400 BC (Christy). Prostitution is a profession, like doctorship, that spans across all

countries and across all recorded time. 1100s England regulated brothels, 1600s China had a

Red-light district, even young America had a thriving prostitution scene through the mid-1700s.

Prostitution has such long history that a historical Podcast, ‘History Unplugged’ did a seventy-

five-minute episode on the subject. Prostitution is not only a real occupation that has been around

longer than a majority of our jobs today, but it is one that needs to be made safer and more


Marginalized people are beginning to speak out. Homosexuals gained the right to marry in

2016. Marijuana users are coming out of the woodwork to support the legalization of their drug of

choice. Yet, an ancient profession is still ignored by the American Government. In a controversial

article in a recent Teen Vogue article, Medical Doctor Tlaleng Mofokeng compares her work to

sex work, saying,

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“I find it interesting that as a medical doctor, I exchange payment in the

form of money with people to provide them with advice and treatment for

sex-related problems; therapy for sexual performance, counseling and

therapy for relationship problems, and treatment of sexually transmitted

infection. Isn't this basically sex work?”

She poses an interesting question to America. “Isn’t this basically sex work?” (Mofokeng)

Sex workers are people to, and the work that Doctors do, seemingly America’s most respected job,

isn’t too different.

Sex work is dangerous. A fact that many opposers choose to ignore. “Romina Kalachi, a

32-year-old woman, was stabbed to death in her own home…” (Sanders) Legalizing Sex work

would help keep those who risk their lives safe. Law enforcement wouldn’t have to ignore the

crime stricken red light districts as they do now. Sex work wouldn’t be a black-market industry as

it is now. Women and men would be safe on the streets, and that is the purpose of law, ensuring

the safety of American citizens.

Like all marginalized peoples and countercultures, Sex Workers face discrimination. Pretty

Woman, a major motion picture, has been made depicting the discrimination that a Courtesan

might face. There is a slew of art made about prostitution, most of it being about an artist falling

in love with the worker but being unable to get together or have a normal life with the worker

because their union would be socially unacceptable. Such is the story of song “Roxanne” (The


America’s biggest issue with Sex work is that most people deem it as an immoral action.

Most of the country is Christian, most of the country agrees that prostitution is immoral. Morality

is completely subjective, and it is something for the church to standardize, not an agnostic
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government system. The bible compares Prostitutes to Tax collectors (Matthew 21:31-32 TEV), a

profession that is not immoral, but necessary to a functional economy. An argument should be

made that prostitutes are as important to society as Tax Collectors, they keep us active and healthy

sexually. It is a fact that sex is healthy for all creatures. It is a fact that Tax builds a stable and

healthy government. Strange how society has kept hating one profession, yet they allow the other

because it benefits their government.

Previously mentioned was that Americans seem to be looking toward other governmental

systems in hopes of finding something that better. A model that is beginning to gain respect of

other great nations is the Nordic Model. The Nordic Model is an economic structure of laws and

strictures employed by Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. These countries have

devised a system that has become an example for impressionable countries like France and Great

Britain. However, the Nordic countries are significantly smaller and more unified than America

is. The dynamic of the whole country is different. They have less crime, different voters, and

completely different economic and social climates in general.

“Finland is as big as two Missouri’s, but with just 5.2 million residents, it’s

ethnically and religiously homogeneous. A strong Lutheran work ethic,

combined with a powerful sense of probity, dominates the society.

Homogeneity has led to consensus: ... And Finns have extraordinary

confidence in their political class and public officials. Corruption is

extremely rare.” (Kaiser)

Frankly, the issue is not whether or not Prostitution is moral or immoral. The issue is that

it is growing more and more dangerous because it is illegal. Human trafficking is a growing

problem all around the world. People are disappearing all over the world because of trafficking. It
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is significantly easier to target someone that society already deems dead because they engage in

‘loose’ activities. It is easier to murder someone who no one will know is dead. It’s easier to get

drugs if you already work in the black market. These are the reasons that Prostitution should be

legal. Morality is for individual consideration, if you don’t agree with engaging in sex work, don’t.

Disagreeing with a matter doesn’t make turning a cheek to the dangers of it justifiable.

Works Cited

Andersen, Torben M. The Nordic Model: Embracing Globalization and Sharing Risks. Taloustieto Oy,

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Christy. “Ancient Sumerians.” AllAboutHistory.org, All About History, 13 May 2017,


Geraghty, Jim. “Ten Reasons We Can't, and Shouldn't, Be Nordic.” National Review, National Review,

13 Mar. 2018, www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/ten-reasons-we-cant-and-shouldnt-be-nordic/.

Kaiser, Robert G. “Why Can't We Be More like Finland?” Seattle Times, Seattle Times, 25 Sept. 2005,


Marshall, Garry, director. Pretty Woman. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2005.

Mofokeng, Tlaleng. “Why Sex Work Is Real Work.” Teen Vogue, 26 Apr. 2019.

“Prostitution Throughout History: Sumerian Temple Priestesses, Ottoman Brothel Workers, and Call-

Girls for the Medieval Clergy.” History Unplugged Podcast, performance by Howie Carr,

Stitcher, 19 Apr. 2018.

Sanders, Teela, et al. “Is Sex Work Still the Most Dangerous Profession? The Data Suggests So.” The

Conversation, 18 Sept. 2018, theconversation.com/is-sex-work-still-the-most-dangerous-


The Police. “Roxanne.” Roxanne, A&M, A&M Studios, Jan. 1978.

Weisberg, D. Kelly. “Children Of The Night.” AJN, American Journal of Nursing, vol. 85, no. 12, Dec.

1985, p. 1352., doi:10.1097/00000446-198512000-00065.

Weitzer, Ronald John. Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry. Routledge, 2010.

@Mahri_Irvine. “#Parents, please be aware that @TeenVogue is actively promoting #prostitution and
abuse buying to its readers. This is one of the most blatant promotions of #rapeculture and
#sexualviolence TO CHILDREN that I've ever seen. #parenting#sexworkisneither” Twitter, 27
April, 2019 2:20 pm, https://twitter.com/Mahri_Irvine/status/1122249233581604866