Remember how at the beginning of December, I recommended everyone check out the debate on Cato Unbound regarding legalization of prostitution? Well, December is over and, I presume, so is the debate. Ms McNeill, who wrote supporting decriminalization, did not disappoint. Her arguments were articulate, logical, and backed up by data.
The prohibitionists, on the other hand, were clueless, illogical, and generally overwrought. Dianne Post, in particular, relied on unsupported, outlandish claims ("prostitution is slavery!"), exaggerations, and discredited data to make her points. The comments sections on her essays are awesome though. The commenters didn't let any of her crap go unchallenged. If you like a good debate, and especially if you enjoy seeing hysterical, irrational ideologues taking a smack-down, the whole thing is worth reading.
However, the very best part of the whole debate is a comment by Franz. While the essayists and the other commenters stuck to theoretical arguments, Franz made the whole thing real with a very personal tribute to escorts. His comment began,
"Dear Ms. Post, if you argue that prostitution reinforces the subordination of women, I like to argue that, while sex workers are being paid for rendering services that focus on simple sexual gratification, they really reinforce a complex of human values, such as mutual understanding, consideration, kindness, affection, and even friendship. In fact, generally they are quite extraordinary human beings.