I've rethought my position since that last message I posted, and I realize that you, in the main, were right. When you talked about marriage between partners of unequal standing, I realize you implicitly meant economically coercive marriages, which are not only more dishonest than sex work, but I would imagine that, subjectively speaking (and I hate constantly to dwell in the realm of the subjective, particularly when the perception of empathy can so often be mere projection), nothing could be more miserable than a miserable and unequal marriage. The fact of the matter is that the lives of poor women are always difficult and labor-intensive, and it's unfair and silly to drag in Third World conditions, in which exploitation is everywhere horrid, to try to make a point about horrors of sex work. I do think, however, that a large percentage of sex workers have been victims of sexual abuse prior to entering the profession and so their independence often grows out of the pathology of their own parents' bad marriages. But I don't think you can pathologize all marriage, as I don't mean to pathologize sex work. More power to sex workers! And I have been thoroughly convinced that rhetorical uses of "prostitute" and "whore" really should be banished. Thanks for helping me through my own confusions. I will probably be unsubscribing from this list soon because I've been wasting way too much time on it (not to mention the fact that I can't dialectic my way out of a paper bag) but thanks for your insights!
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