Danes Urged to Think Global, Buy Local, Use Danish Prostitutes

In Denmark, much like in Nevada, it's legal to hire a prostitute.  Sex is seen as a commodity, and a lucrative one at that — with prostitutes paying taxes on their income — and it is legal to buy and sell. What remains illegal, of course, is human trafficking. You are not allowed to abduct, coerce, trick, or in other ways manipulate someone into working for you as a prostitute, nor one may suppose, as any other type of worker.

To stem the problem of human trafficking, one Danish lawmaker proposed that people "buy local," so to speak. If the citizens of Denmark patronize only Danish sex workers, then, she believes, the market will dry up for immigrant trafficked labor.

Allow me to state straight up that I'm for legalization. If a woman truly has complete control over her body, she should be allowed to use that body for whatever purpose she sees fit. If she enjoys sex, believes that she can be safe in the industry, and can make money from selling sex, then that should be legal, so as to make it as safe as possible for all involved. I think legalization would bring health benefits, protection from abuse and violence, and it would bring state revenue through taxation. Did you hear me mention safety? That's the biggie there; legalization makes for regulation makes for oversight — maybe stopping trafficking by paying attention to a problem before it becomes a problem.

So, returning to Denmark, should people buy local?  Will that stop the problem of trafficking?

Well, I think it's a good first step. However, fulfilling sexual desires aren't quite akin to fulfilling other needs and hungers. People want what they want when they want it, and it's (from my experience) rather non-transferable. If some Danes do not want Danish women, then no encouragement from the government is going to make them change their minds. It's not as though your local supermarket stopped stocking that special brand of yogurt, but you can find another one if you want. The desire for specific sexual partners seems to be one that is base and immutable, not to be discarded lightly.

And yet … it feels good that the government of Denmark is talking about what is a serious problem in the world, that women and children are taken or tricked into what amounts to sexual slavery. Once we all agree that something should stop, talking about how to stop it can, and should, lead to positive action. 

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Rebecca Gibson

Rebecca Gibson is graduating from Brandeis University with an MA in Women's and Gender Studies and Anthropology. Her major interests include LGBTQ rights, Victorian corsetry, osteology, archaeology, and marriage equality. She has taught, edited, and written for various university publications.

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