Prositution - An analysis based on Foucault and Marx

Topics: Prostitution, Human sexuality, Michel Foucault Pages: 3 (1082 words) Published: January 14, 2014
Prostitution
A Marxist & Foucauldian Analysis

Prostitution is a largely debated, controversial subject. This is due to different moral and ethical views, religious perspectives and legal matters. Some say it is a job like any other, however the lack of tax payment and regular check-ups denies this. Others say it is ethically wrong to pay in order to obtain sex, because it is essentially the sale of one’s body. Legally speaking, it is only illegal to buy sex, but perfectly okay to sell it. Buyers are then people who are not scared of consequences that could come with such actions; these often being people who already have nothing to lose. The issue with this is that the prostitute is then in danger of being harmed, which brings up another question: where it the boundary between sex selling and rape? It is a very fine line, defined by the asking of a question. Prostitutes agree to sex, while victims of rape don’t. Psychologically, however, it’s all the same. The trauma is still there after the encounter.

This paper will analyze whether prostitution is a form of slavery (and is focused on abuse) or if it is a regular job that society can benefit from.

“Prostitution is only a particular expression of the universal prostitution of the worker.” - Marx

This quote might suggest that prostitution is a relatively straightforward issue for socialists with leftist positions ranging from advocating repression and abolition on the one hand, to decriminalization and union organization on the other. Much of the current debate centers on whether the prostitution can really be considered as work or whether it is best dealt with as a form of violence against women. Like most commercial transactions under capitalism, prostitution is based on the sale and purchase of a commodity. In common saying, a prostitute sells herself. However, at the end of the transaction the client does not own the prostitute’s body. What the client buys is a service. Some socialists object...
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