The magazine Teen Vogue is being criticized for an Op-Ed that supports the decriminalization of prostitution and likens the interaction between a prostitute and a client to that of a doctor and a patient.
The Op-Ed, “Why Sex Work is Real Work,” was written by Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, founder of Nalane for Reproductive Justice, a pro-abortion group.
Mofokeng argues that prostitution should be decriminalized and presents a view of the relationship between customer and prostitute as more than physical.
“Many workers take on multiple roles with their clients, and some may get more physical while other interactions that may have started off as sexual could evolve into emotional and psychological bonding,” Mofokeng wrote.
“The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support,” she added.
She then compared her role as a doctor to the role of a prostitute.
“I find it interesting that as a medical doctor, I exchange payment in the form of money with people to provide them with advice and treatment for sex-related problems; therapy for sexual performance, counseling and therapy for relationship problems, and treatment of sexually transmitted infection. Isn’t this basically sex work?” she wrote.
“I do not believe it is right or just that people who exchange sexual services for money are criminalized and I am not for what I do.”
Mofokeng then summarizes the health and abuse issues faced by prostitutes and concludes, “Evidence, not morality, should guide law reforms and sex work policy for full sex work decriminalization.”
Hersh, a former special victims prosecutor, was not the least supportive.
“As the mother of a daughter, I feel sick that your magazine is selling our daughters the regressive belief that their bodies should be commodified and that commodification, exploitation, and trauma should be empowering for them. But as the mother of a son, I feel raging mad that in the middle of this #MeToo moment, your magazine is sending my son the misogynistic message that purchasing women and girls is legitimate and harmless,” she wrote.
“Teen Vogue is grooming a generation of young girls into prostitution — one of the most violent, dehumanizing, and traumatizing industries on the planet and convincing them that this form of violence against women is a good ‘job’ option,” she tweeted.
@TeenVogue is grooming a generation of young girls into prostitution—one of the most violent, dehumanizing, & traumatizing industries on the planet & convincing them that this form of men’s violence against women is a good “job” option.Unacceptable https://t.co/4r9pLHqXSK
— Laila Mickelwait (@LailaMickelwait) April 27, 2019
“Promoting prostitution to young girls is not only pushing them toward sexual exploitation but is also effectively promoting sex trafficking, because according to both domestic and international law, anyone under the age of 18 that is prostituted is legally a victim of sex trafficking,” Mickelwait told The Christian Post.
— Stephanie Clark (@StephClark82) April 28, 2019
In a post on her Facebook page, Gail Dines, a crusader against pornography, lambasted the magazine.
“Teen Vogue grooming girls into the sex industry. In an article posted over the weekend called ‘Why Sex Work Is Real Work,’ they sanitize the reality of prostitution by making the absurd claim that: ‘The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support,‘” she wrote.
“Yes, the john is absolutely looking for intimacy, connection, friendship and support as he pays to rape a prostituted girl or woman!! How do you make sense of this as a girl growing up in a porn culture surrounded by a coherent narrative that women = sex?”
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