Stripping (for) Education

Katha Pollitt kpollitt at
Mon Jun 1 15:28:45 PDT 1998

I think I'm exceeding my message quota, but I was away all weekend, and I can't resist.

So, re this question of welfare reform driving down price of a prostitutes services (the B-class prostitute's services, as Frances helpfully specifies). You are only looking at the supply side, but what about the demand side? Let's say that there are men who can't afford A class prostitutes, and are scared or repelled by C-class ones-- I mean don't you wonder about men who'd take advantage of some pathetic skinny drug addict who offers to blow them in a doorway? But maybe (because of welfare, pre-reform) it wasn't so easy for these men-in-the-middle to find a B-class one, so they didn't get as much paid sex as they would like. If so, we might not see the price go down if more women become prostitutes. We might just see more prostitution.

Jan Myrdal was at The Nation a few years ago. he said that street prostitution had been virtually eradicated in Sweden at one point, thanks to the welfare state and lots of employment for women. But now it was coming back with the budget cuts, mostly immigrants. This suggests that the number of customers for prostitution expands and contracts according to the number of prostitutes.

best, katha

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list