A dedicated writer and translator of economic ideas who often delves into the economics of culture, Dr. Cowen has published dozens of books, reviews, and articles. His most recent book, Discover Your Inner Economist, shows how economic notions-such as incentives, signals, and markets-apply far more widely than merely to the decisions of social planners, governments, and big business.
mtphoto: "The inherent problem with prostitution is that it increases the spread of HIV and STIs. Prostitution also takes the intimacy out of sex, which most adults would know, is important.
Also, the prostitute, often times, does not keep all of the money for his/her services."
mullingitover: "I like the Costa Rica approach: prostitution is legal (and prostitutes are selective about who they do business with), meanwhile pimping is a felony."
"Women's role as mothers has defined them and subjected them to subordination. So in this non-ideal world of ours, if we allow baby selling, we treat women like anonymous fungible breeders. We reinforce objectification and subordination. We retain this defining role of Mother with a capital M. But now we even make it an alienated version, because we make it into a commodity and an object rather than just saying: That's women's nature and women's character.. Entering the market by degrading oneself is not liberating under these circumstances. ... This argument could conclude..."Women have always both sold themselves and been degraded for it, so let's not do more of the same.""
A market in women's bodies - wheter sexual prostitution or reproductive prostitution - reveals a social ontology in which women are among the things in the world that can be appropiately commodified - bought and sold and, by extention, stolen. The purported freedom that such institutions would give women to enter into the market by selling their bodies is paradoxical. Sexual or reproductive prostitutes enter the market not so much as agents or subjects, but as commodities or objects....Moreover, once there is a market for women's bodies, all women's bodies will have a price, and the woman who does not sell her body becomes a hoarder of something that is useful to other people and is financially valuable. The market is a hegemonic instituttion; it determines the meanings of actions of people who choose not to participate as well as of those who choose to participate. -- Sara Ann Ketchum, "Selling Babies and Selling Bodies," Hypatia, Fall 1989 at 116, 122-23.
"Whether surrogacy can be an act of freedom when women are unequal in society tends not to be asked as a legal matter, far less whether a group-based reality of inequality on the basis of gender, class, and race could make what might be an individual act of freedom under other conditions into an act of subordination under current ones." Catharine MacKinnon, Sex Equality 1189 (2d ed. 2007).
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