Catherine Mackinnon: “Prostitution is not a choice”

Prostitution is the oldest form of oppression, and is not a free choice. 
Catherine MacKinnon, professor in law at Harvard and Michigan University, talked about prostitution and inequality. There are different views of prostitution, but what is indisputable is that prostitution involves the poorest people, and that they do not escape poverty through prostitution.
In India, it is the lowest cast, in Canada it is the indigenous population, that is over-represented. Nobody chooses poverty or the ethnic group or cast they are born into. Most women enter prostitution when they are young, in India often around the age of ten.
“Prostitution is not a free choice, it’s done to survive, says Catherine MacKinnon.The situation is often exacerbated by legislaton in various ways. Everywhere in the world women are imprisoned because they are prostitutes, which makes it harder to escape prostitution because they are made into criminals.
“Gender inequality means that it is women who become prostitutes; if prostitution were a free choice, more men would become prostitutes.”Eighty-four percent of prostitutes in the world are controlled by someone, and 89 percent want to leave prostitution.

Catherine Mackinnon advocates a system that prohibits but does not criminalise the prositute.

“The Swedish model raises her status and criminalises him, and this has reduced prostitution and led to the lowest level of traficking in Europe,” she says, but at the same time rejects Germany’s legalisation of prostitution.

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