For those interested in prostitution policies and their failures, here’s an article I published recently in an academic journal. For copyright reasons I can’t reproduce it here, and the journal’s not subscribed to by a lot of universities, and the language is roundly academic. Still, here is the reference for a rather caustic piece on the subject of the West’s assumed superiority.
Sex and the Limits of Enlightenment: The Irrationality of Legal Regimes to Control Prostitution (pdf when you click here)
Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Vol 5/4, 73–86, 2008
To assess the reasonableness of projects to improve the governance of commercial sex, the author explores how rationality in its current hegemonic Western sense is a cultural construction, perceived differently across time and space within Europe. The author examines some aspects of how varying conclusions are reached about which legal prostitution regime to impose, taking into account the role of cultures, worldviews, and interpretation. The author avoids the conventional classification of policy by country that results in unsubtle and overdetermined nationalistic explanations. Current projects to govern prostitution show how the traditional Western idea of rationality fails to lead to social betterment. Worldwide, social policy on prostitution tends to follow Western cues, in seeming acceptance that West is the best, with the most progressive, most enlightened approach. The rational project is, therefore, not limited to European geography.
–Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist