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Risky Business

The director of the 1983 movie, Risky Business, Paul Brickman, says:

"I was writing it in the time just after Reagan had taken office and everyone wanted to be a capitalist, get their MBAs... It’s tough out there. Capitalism takes its toll on a lot of people."

Yes. This point was made with subtle humor. Like the scenes where Joel's parents are away, so Joel (Tom Cruise) turns his house into a brothel for the weekend with the help of call girl Lana (Rebecca DeMornay) to raise the money he needs to repair his father's Porsche.

The college recruiter from Princeton shows up to interview Joel, and when he asks Joel what his major will be: and Joel responds, "Business."

(wasn't it obvious?)

Subtle humor.

Pornography (arguably a subtle form of prostitution) for both men and women flourishes, and is arguably capitalism taking its toll on women and men.

Pro-choice feminist Tracy Clark-Flory writes elsewhere on Salon.com:

"At $25-$30 per hour, prostitutes make approximately four times what they likely would outside of the sex industry. Of course, that doesn't take into consideration on-the-job risks like contracting an STD (condoms were used in only a quarter of dealings) or being assaulted; researchers estimate that sex workers are assaulted an average of once a month.

"There's also the threat of being arrested, but according to the Economist, 'Prostitutes are more likely to have sex with a police officer than to be arrested by one.'"

Rose Evans, a pro-life Episcopalian and editor and publisher of Harmony: Voices for a Just Future, a "consistent-ethic" periodical on the religious left, says problems such as contracting STDs, being assaulted, pimp violence, etc. would not exist if prostitution were legal. And if any sex workers were abused or attacked, they could report the crime to the police without the fear of being arrested themselves.

I’m a pro-life Democrat (Republicans treat non-Christians like second-class citizens), but even some conservatives concede that prostitution can, depending upon the circumstances, be completely victimless.

Hey, Heidi Fleiss was pretty good at it!

And Reverend Glenda Hope is known as "the Mother Teresa of San Francisco" because her ministry gets prostitutes off the streets. Would Reverend Glenda Hope be respected and/or revered or instead reviled if she were merely persuading young women not to pose nude?

A Playboy pictorial from the late '70s called "Ladies of Joy" featured working girls from Nevada's *legal* brothels.

Conservatives are free to argue that there wouldn't be any exploitation of women (subtle or gross), what to speak of women risking rape and being passive victims of men's lust if they weren't movin' about and freely mixing with men in our society...

...and if instead women were kept chaste and protected by their fathers in their youth, their husbands in married life, and their sons in old age as taught by lawgivers like Manu in the ancient Vedic (Hindu) civilization, but, hey, that's another story!
(among the higher castes: brahmanas, kshatriyas, and vaishyas, known in Sanskrit as "dvija," or "twice-born," the boys are expected to study in the gurukula, or school of the spiritual master, as celibate monks until age 24, when permitted to marry.)

Women writers in Back to Godhead in the '70s and '80s pointed out along these lines that the cosmetics and fashion industries rake in billions of dollars, so women can't claim to merely be passive victims of men's lust...

...and one woman writer in Back to Godhead cited the scene in the Mahabharata where the Kauravas try to disrobe princess Draupadi, by pulling off her sari.

(According to Vedic civilization, the only time a woman appears naked is before her husband.)

The writer commented that in this day and age, women are eager to pose nude, and that Draupadi could have campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment or some other futile course of action, but instead prayed and surrendered to Lord Krishna, and He immediately and miraculously provided Draupadi with an endless supply of cloth, so they would never be able to see her naked, no matter how hard they tried.

In a 1995 column entitled “Prostitution as a Privacy Right,” Robert Craig Paul, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Times, wrote:

“If a woman’s right to control the use of her reproductive organs permits her to enter into a cash transaction with an abortionist, then how can this fundamental right of privacy not apply to other transactions involving her use of her body?

“…abortion has been against the law and restricted with greater intensity for more of our history than prostitution, reflecting social norms that abortion, viewed as infanticide, is more immoral than prostitution…

“In contrast (to abortion), prostitution is entirely an act between consenting parties that does not affect the bodily integrity, identity and destiny of a third party (the unborn)…

“It is legal nonsense that privacy conveys the right to abort, but not the right to ingest drugs or engage in sodomy…

“It will be interesting to watch the court sort out on the basis of Roe v. Wade why it is legal for a woman to contract for abortion but not prostitution.”

Subtle humor, but I get the point, and I must similarly comment: "It will be interesting to watch mainstream American society and our elected officials sort out why alcohol is socially acceptable but marijuana isn't."

... having contributed $1,008 to the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, DC in 2008.

I see pot-smoking as nonviolent civil disobedience, but if the right-wing sees cracking down (no pun intended) on pot-smokers as "gang-busting" (will jaywalkers be next?), then, there's no reason we can't use the political process to end marijuana prohibition.

It's like the difference between illegally blockading abortion clinics in protest against abortion Vs using the democratic process: (free speech, free press, elected officials) to bring about change and extend rights to the unborn.

"It's tough out there," says Paul Brickman.

"I'm sure there's some way we can be even tougher..."

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