THE BLOG
03/11/2008 12:32 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Wow. Adults Doing Adult Things. This is a Crime?

News Flash: A married man goes to a prostitute. What a hypocritical country we live in. The morals police are jumping for joy. The Puritans will come out of the woodwork.

Woe is Eliot Spitzer, his wife and three teenage daughters.

The press loves it. Sex will sell newspapers and drive television audiences through the roof.

For the next few days we will be bombarded with pictures of scantily clad women from the Emperor's Club VIP Web site .... in the tabloids, on television and on web sites. How duplicitous. The media delights in selling sex in the same way that the prostitutes do --- only the women are not getting paid for their images. CNN, FOX, and CNBC ought to make a contribution to Coyote, a prostitutes' lobby group.

In France almost every president has a mistress. In Paris you can go to the red light district and pick out the girl you want by the type of car she in sitting in. In Amsterdam in the red light district, there are dozens of storefronts where the women show their wares.

Denmark, Canada, Germany, Hungary, France, Mexico, England, Wales, Israel, and many other countries allow prostitution in various forms. This is the only country in the world where this would be a lead story. These laws are almost never enforced against ordinary people.

This is the world's oldest profession; it's not going to go away. It is adults doing adult things of their own choosing. The woman was paid more than $4,300. Under what circumstances should this be a crime?

But given the moralistic nature or our society, Gov. Spitzer --- a man touted as the First Jewish President To-Be ---- did a most idiotic thing. Smarter politicians usually pick a pretty intern or campaign worker.

Invoking the 1910 Mann Act. How ridiculous. Every guy, who takes his girlfriend across a state line and pays for a hotel room, is liable to prosecution under strict interpretation. Black Boxing champion Jack Johnson was unfairly sentenced to jail by the Feds for transporting his fiancé across state lines one hundred years ago.

Larry Craig and David Vitter are also unfair targets of a police force that should have better things to do. Are the Feds listening to all our phone calls? Is this what the Patriot Act is all about?

Memo to FBI: Aren't there still bad guys and terrorists out there?

More than one million women in the United State earn their living by full time prostitution and more than twenty million men have willingly paid for a prostitute.

Let's throw them all in jail as well as all the adulterers and guys who have crossed state lines for a lascivious purpose.

One of the strong foundations of our society is the separation of Church and State. It's more than bizarre that people --- mostly women --- should lose their freedom - go to jail -- because of other people's religious beliefs---- which is essentially what the laws against prostitution are.

Puritanism and religious dogma should have nothing to do with criminal sanctions. It's like forbidding stores from opening on Sunday or deciding who you can marry.

Of course, most of the people locked up for prostitution are women and these laws stem from a paternalistic attitude that women must be protected from sexual exploitation. A sublime irony, we want to protect women by imprisoning them in jail cells.

It's a safe bet that prostitution is here to stay. A health-regulated decriminalized industry would protect women from going to jail, earn tax revenues, and free our police departments to focus on crimes with real victims.

Sex is often a bartered service even within marriage or a relationship. Some women provide sex for love, money, security and material goods, while many men give love for sex.

But poor women, who do this, go to jail and rich women end up on the society pages. As an article in The Liberator put it:

"There are three strata of prostitutes. Within the top layer rests discrete call-girls for the affluent, much like the services Heidi Fleiss offered. The middle layer holds bordello-dwelling prostitutes or others in less subtle environments such as strip clubs and massage parlors that offer backroom services. Streetwalkers (harlots, hookers, nightwalkers, ...) occupy the lowest layer. Some people entertain a controversial notion that the role of wife is akin to being a prostitute; their placement within the strata may depend on what socio-economic class they reside once married.

"The lowest layer prostitutes are plagued with the most problems. It is the group that usually remains perpetually vulnerable. "

write to: jfleetwood@aol.com