Big Brother is Watching Her

Contributed by Shivani Sethi
shivani@indolink.com

Where does the government draw the line when deciding what they should and should not regulate? There's a thin line between regulating and being intrusive. The government has been fiddling with the issue of censoring for quite some time now. Parents have been given the right to block out certain television channels and programs on T.V. which they do not wish to allow their children to see. The language and graphics on some Internet web pages are also being regulated. Does this not violate the right of American citizens to have freedom of speech as well as freedom of the press? The way controversial issues are being arbitrated by the government these days, America seem to be a democracy, but only by name. The latest issue that is spurring up dispute in Congress is the idea of legalizing prostitution. Prostitution is not an issue which politicians and talk show panelists tend to debate over. It is an issue that has remained behind closed doors until recently when it was taken to Congress. Since the issue of legalizing prostitution has been brought up, one begins to think about why it was made illegal in the first place.

When it comes down to it, the overall opinion of the American public is that prostitution is something which mostly runaways and drug addicts resort to when faced with the issue of surviving on the streets. Prostitution is not thought to be glamorous. Feminists argue that prostitution gives a bad name to all women. The women who choose to become prostitutes also have many other options. Many of these women have not even graduated from high school. However, they can still manage to work in fast food chains or seek assistance from job agencies who specialize in finding work for those who are not very well educated. The stereotype is that women who become prostitutes generally are blinded by the amount of money they can earn on a typical night and therefore find no satisfaction in earning any less even it means earning it in a more respectable manner.

Is it wrong to be blinded by money? There are many Americans who have high paying jobs but do not enjoy their work. They simply work for the money. It is up to the individual as to whether or not he/she chooses to earn money in a "respectable" manner. There are many things which society considers to be socially repulsive such as stripping and gambling yet the government does not outlaw these things. Could it be that the government is still stuck in a type warp when it comes to idea of women? Apparently the government feels that women should not be allowed to sell their bodies. Why should the government control what women do with their bodies? It is a woman's right to decide how she wants to earn money. If she opts to sell her body, that's her prerogative. Why should Big Brother object? It's not his body she's selling. She's not causing harm to anyone but herself if she puts herself in a dangerous situation. Sure, the welfare of Americans is the concern of the government. If this is so then why does the government not make it illegal to drink alcohol or to smoke? These activities are not in the best interest of the physical health of Americans. Certain songs sporadically played on the radio as well as certain cartoons broadcasting during hours when children are most likely watching are not in the best interest of the mental health of Americans yet these programs are not illegal. Why? An individual has the full right to choose whether or not he/she chooses to drink alcohol, smoke, listen to music which promotes gang warfare, or watch television shows which advocate violence and stereotypes. Men and women have the freedom to choose from these everyday options so why aren't women allowed to choose whether or not they would like to sell their bodies?

Prostitution should never have been made illegal in the first place. Nevertheless, the past can not be relived and therefore we must make the most out of the present. Prostitution should be legal. It is not a question of what is morally correct or incorrect. Everyone has their own set of morals. It is a question of freedom. America was formed on the idea that this was a place to seek asylum. It is a country where difference in opinion is looked upon with respect rather than repudiation. It is a country where each individual has the right to say, act, and walk as they feel. Women should have the freedom to choose to earn money as they wish. The valiant women of America should stand up for their rights. No one should have a say in how a woman earns money except for herself. Just how far will Big Brother go?

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