Pic of the day: I don't think I need to feel like a prostitution client just because I give more presents to girls than I receive. In fact, I think there are natural reasons for this...
I was peacefully pondering the fact that my workplace used to have a fairly large team of workers sorting paper forms, until we started using electronic forms and the computer sorted them automatically. Back then I was the only male on the team for a while, and indeed soon advanced to a better paid but less repetitive job while most of my female coworkers stayed. Now, this is not exactly Yemen. Here in Norway, two out of three university students are female. Admittedly quite a number of them study topics that don't immediately create wealth, such as art history or literature, and some even study feminism or religion. Men, on the other hand, tend to focus on technical or financial studies that can ensure a decently paid job immediately upon graduation.
I concluded that a well paid job is not so important to most women, as they can get their bills paid by the man they live with. And I thought, how is that really different from prostitution?
A generation ago, when I was young, extreme feminists had a slogan: "Marriage is organized prostitution." Perhaps they still say so, but no one listens. Much like the body's immune system successfully dealing with a splinter, feminism has been isolated to the academic milieu where they can quote each other and dispute for a modest pay without disrupting the working classes. Marriage is much reduced at least here in Scandinavia, but the unwed women overwhelmingly live with some guy who pays the bills. They just can get rid of him easier and keep less money after breaking up. Nothing fundamental has changed. If marriage is organized prostitution, then cohabitation is poorly organized prostitution.
I then kept thinking (which I like to consider a defining trait of mine). If it was really prostitution, then women would be substantially less interested than men. Is that really so? Is living with a man so unpleasant that a monetary compensation is in order, otherwise they would rather avoid it? That's not easy for me to say for sure, having never been a woman (and a rather unusual man as well). But popular literature strongly suggests that most women are interested in living with a man, and that his income is not the most important attribute that makes a man attractive. Given that this literature is mainly sold to women and girls, it is unlike to utterly contradict their worldview.
As for prostitution, as an economist I think it is quite all right as long as workplace safety is made sure. (Sure, many of the girls hate it. Well, then they should get another job. If they can't, that's a separate problem. Drug dependency and slave trade are not OK, but they would not have been OK if the victims worked in coal mines either.)
As a person, however, I don't like prostitution. I wouldn't want to be on either end of it. I suppose pity sex would be OK though... No, seriously, I would find it extremely humiliating to have to barter for intercourse, assuming by default that I am that much less attractive than she. If that's how they feel, let them buy a full-body mirror and do their own thing.
In conclusion then, I don't think women are selling their bodies any more than men are in a marriage or similar relationship. Rather I believe that men feel obliged to contribute more financially because women are expected to contribute more in other ways, such as housekeeping and childbearing. In some parts of this unwritten contract there will likely be a change: As women earn more, they will be expected to pay more of the bills and the men will be expected to do more chores in the house. But it is unlikely that men will give birth anytime soon, or even help out with the breastfeeding. Thus, they will always feel obliged to haul some extra deer carcasses home to the cave.
Visit the ChaosNode.net for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.