Sexual freedom, sexual slavery, and political correctness
There's sexual freedom and then there's sexual slavery, and the two are opposites of one another. The first takes place with the consent of the woman; the second takes place without her consent. There are many women for whom working in sex industry is a way to make ends meet, to pay for their education and job training, or to support their children. This is in opposition to human trafficking, in which case girls are tricked, kidnapped and made to serve in horrific conditions to gangsters and organized crime.
A very strong line must be drawn between one and the other. And in no case can either the wrongs of the human trafficking be generalized on the sex industry, nor the arguments for sexual freedom be used to excuse human trafficking. The two are not only not the same; they are polar opposites. One is freedom, the other is slavery. And that makes one right and the other wrong.
One argument frequently posed against sex industry is "would you let your daughter work in it?" One may as well be asking oneself whether one would let one's son work in a Chinese sweatshop. What would be an improvement for one person would not be an improvement for another person. And while sweatshop labor would not be an improvement for most First World residents, it has been a tremendous improvement for hundreds of millions of Chinese people over the desperate rural poverty in which they had lived prior to China's opening to international capitalism. They worked hard then, and they work hard now. They had a one-party state then, and they have a one-party state now. Only now, instead of subsisting on small portions of rice and starving when there is a crop failure or dying of hypothermia when weather does not collaborate, they can afford decent food, warm living quarters, proximity to cultural and commercial centers, and many even cars.
The same is the case for those women who are in the sex industry by their own volition. In a study done in Australia, it was found that women working in sex industry legally had the same levels of mental health as did women who did not work in the sex industry. The real problems were found in women who were working in it illegally. That should come as no surprise. The women who are working illegally live a very anxious existence, are constantly on the run from the law, and are either under control of brutal pimps or are at the mercy of any sadistic creep who may want to torture them or kill them. The problem is therefore not with the sex industry, but with the fact that in many places it is against the law. And where the sex industry is legal, the women who work in it don't have the problems that many wrongly ascribe to the sex industry and that are a direct consequence of being in an illegal business.
The politically correct line is that sex industry leads men to see women as "sex objects" and for that reason encourages rape and misogyny. This line is demonstrably false. Rape and misogyny pre-exist sex industry by thousands of years and are worst in the parts of the world - such as Middle East and the rural Africa - where there is no sex industry. The mass rapes of the wars in Congo and Bosnia; the Kenyan schoolboys going on a rape-and-murder spree against Kenyan schoolgirls and being excused with "the boys did not want to hurt the girls, they just wanted to rape"; and Afghan men demonstrating against recent anti-rape laws with signs saying "we want to rape"; have no relation to pornography, strip clubs or brothels and exist in places where such things do not exist. And to deny women the right to their choices, as many in political correctness are so fond of doing, is an act of greater disrespect than what is found in even the men who see women as an inferior gender or as being there solely to serve men.
The hysterical thinking of political correctness does not bear the scrutiny of reality any more than did the hysterical thinking of the Victorians. The problem is not with the sex industry and it was never with the sex industry. The problem is with the ugly misogynistic attitudes held by many men - attitudes that pre-exist sex industry by thousands of years - and the brutal, abusive actions in which they result - both toward women in the sex industry and toward women who have the misfortune of being with the "traditional" men who have such beliefs.
So that while every care must be taken to do away with such blatant abuses as human trafficking, it is also important that the sentiment not be generalized on people who are in sex industry by their own will. In the first case we see slavery, in the second case we see freedom. The two are opposites of one another and deserve to be treated as such.