April 27, 2008, 9:21 pm
In the course of arguing for legalized prostitution, Will Wilkinson approvingly cites a long passage from a Martha Nussbaum op-ed that includes this:
…the idea that we ought to penalize women with few choices by removing one of the ones they do have is grotesque, the unmistakable fruit of the all-too-American thought that women who choose to have sex with many men are tainted, vile things who must be punished.
Without engaging the larger debate on legalized prostitution, note how absurd it is to suggest that prohibitions on “the oldest profession” are uniquely American. The “unmistakable fruit” of American thought? It’s as though prostitution has been legal across times and cultures except ours…