Re: amibigous solicitation...without money?
The feminist perspective of deviance points out that studies of deviance have over focused the male model of offending. Girls and women have an extremely different position within society and must deal with greater barriers and odds rather than opportunities afforded to men (Chesney-Lind, 1989). Feminists also champion the importance of race and poverty on female problems and delinquency. Society is believed to be constructed through male dominance (Sullivan, 1995). Feminists hold a belief in the cycle of victimization to criminalization, a continuum which illustrates how the pervasive abuse of young women drives them to criminal activity. Feminists also tie this sentiment to a structural disadvantage for women within society which leads to a pathway of deviance and crime.
Other theories of deviance are haphazardly applied to women and are inadequate in explaining female behavior within patriarchal society (Chesney-Lind, 1989). The juvenile justice system is a major force in female oppression because this institution only reinforces the obedience of all young women to patriarchal authority and maintains female status beneath men. Agencies of social control like the police and the courts mold womanís subordinate place in male society. Feminist thought views prostitution within a capitalist patriarchy which is inherently oppressive towards women (Overall, 1992). Many sex workers are viewed as bad women, not only by the whole of society, but also by many feminists.
Traditionally, prostitution is viewed as a social problem and an unqualified evil (Weitzer, 2006). Many view prostitution as a moral panic and an insidious menace and threat to morality and society. In the past decade, there has been a growing crackdown on the sex industry in the United States and abroad. This moral crusade against prostitution has gained wide ranging support from many powerful factions of our society. These crusaders believe they are on a righteous mission to stomp out evildoers and help victims. These individuals target policy makers and political elites to address their specific issue. This helps legitimize their cause, affirm their moral standards elevate their status, offer an influx of new resources and give them endorsement by the state (Wietzer, 2006).
An alliance of the Christian right and the radical feminists form the coalition against prostitution. Religious conservatives view prostitution as a symbol of sexual liberalism, moral decay and family breakdown. A government crackdown on prostitution thus ratifies the Christian rightís views on sex and the family. Radical feminists (one faction) hold the traditional view of feminism and apply it to prostitution as male domination, exploitation and violence against women in every form, voluntary or not. The sale of women reduces all women to sex and may not be tolerated in any sense in the view of this group.
Although these two groups of activists are in strong opposition in regards to such prevalent social issues as abortion and same-sex marriage, they have vehemently joined together against the sex industry. This movement claims prostitution creates an environment of pervasive violence, the victimization and exploitation of women and legalization would only make it worse (Wietzer, 2006). The far right portion of the coalition maintains prostitution is sinful, immoral and harmful to the family while the extreme feminists echo how prostitution is oppressive to women.
Prostitution has always been a substantive yet divisive core issue of the feminist theory. It is wrong to assume all feminists think alike on such a watershed issue. There are many divisions within feminism regarding prostitution, but there is one major schism. Society has held the traditional views of prostitutes as social misfits, sexual slaves, victims of pimps and drug addiction, tools of organized crime (Jenness, 1990). This changed in the 1970ís and 1980ís when COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) was established.