by Dish Staff
A reader adds his two cents to the discussion:
I wouldn’t want my daughter to make her living in porn, but not because I have a moral objection to it. My problem is with the career trajectory. A porn actress’s earning power peaks fairly early on. And after that happens and she wants to get a job outside of the adult industry, that porn history will put a pretty low glass ceiling over her head.
Another has a more philosophical objection:
We already make certain moral, qualitative distinctions between free commerce and other sectors of life. You are not allowed to sell your enfranchisement, for example. Why not? Most people don’t use nearly all the votes to which they are entitled as citizens. Why can’t they offer a price to someone who wishes to make use of them? It’s easy enough to argue that votes are already bought when politicians vow certain breaks or benefits for their election. But that’s not the same thing as selling the vote itself before the fact.
You’re also not allowed to sell yourself into slavery, however much that might benefit your family or designated beneficiaries financially. Again, one may argue that all labor relations are just attenuated versions of precisely that already, but that’s not the same thing as selling the sum of one’s liberty and labor as such.
If we agree that there are already certain domains of life (e.g. enfranchisement, liberty, citizenship) where no amount of economic necessity can validate the commercialization thereof, then why is it hard to see sex as something similar? You don’t need to be a prude and you don’t need to see public law and family law as the same thing in order to recoil at legalized prostitution. If sex doesn’t rank up there with citizenship and the vote as a special, non-commercial endowment, then what principle would prevent a world of indentured servitude and commodified enfranchisement?