Mpho Maboi
Mpho Maboi

I agree with the MP

I must say that when I first heard about parliamentarian George Lekgetho’s request — or was that suggestion — to legalise prostitution, I was quite impressed, contrary to everyone else’s reaction. I was happy that someone had finally spoken up about this matter.

What I find interesting is how many people have since attacked or ridiculed him about that statement, talking about how it was wrong for someone in Parliament to say such things and how the MP simply wanted to add to the moral decay in the country. I ask: What morality? This country still has morals? Why didn’t anyone tell me this? I wouldn’t have done half the things I did in my youth, had I known that I was living in a moral country!

Jokes aside, I mean teachers and parents are impregnating kids left, right and centre, kids are stabbing and shooting one another, and we wash our dirty laundry in public just so that we can sell tons of newspapers. And you tell me about moral decay? Let’s get real.

I personally commend the MP for going against the grain. It takes more courage to go against the grain than to sway with the crowd.

Coming from a woman, I know you are slightly shocked, so I will give you a chance to catch your breath …

Now that I have all that off my chest, let me explain to you why I strongly believe prostitution should be legalised.

1. I really think that we need to stop acting as though prostitutes do not exist. I mean, men — and, of late, women — use them all the time. If the service was not a necessary one, then prostitutes would have been out of business a long time ago. It is, after all, the oldest profession, so why are we still looking down upon it? When you think about it, there are those who do it publicly anyway; the only difference is that we call them gold diggers or we say: “Oh, that woman is loose.” What’s the difference, really?

2. These women are not harming anyone. They simply ply their trade in order to feed their families. For some, this is their only means to survive. Why should they now contend with being arrested and humiliated daily, as if their job was not humiliating enough?

3. If they were allowed to work legally, half of them would not be on drugs since the stigma of the job would be lowered somewhat.

4. This would then cut down on pimps who abuse them; therefore they would be protected by law.

5. If we legalise prostitution, it would be much easier for regulations to be put in place that govern how they work: you would not have to see them as you drive home late at night or, better yet, they would not have to stand outside your home if you live in such an area. It would be easier for them to get tested for HIV, therefore ensuring that those who choose to use their services were safe.

We say as a country that we protect women and children. Why then does it seem as though we are choosy about which women we protect?

There are many more reasons I could put down here, but these are just the main ones. You might also be reading this and saying: “I bet you she is pro-abortion as well.” Let me tell you that I am pro-choice. Your body, your choice. If we legalise prostitution, women will be able to choose whether to enter into the profession, instead of being forced into it as a means of survival.

Maybe I’m over-simplifying the matter but I honestly do believe there are more advantages than disadvantages to legalising prostitution.

Perhaps ANC MP Christopher Gololo was on the money when he said the matter should be “thrown to the public” to debate.