Prostitutes and johns need help, not jail

Commentary: Prostitutes and johns need help, not jail

Craig Napier

OK, I’d like to take care of something right up front. Some very nice people in the know have informed me that I messed up last week. I described the mifepristone drug as the morning-after pill after reading a couple of articles about it prior to writing my column last week. Mifepristone is not the morning-after pill; it is the “abortion pill.”

The morning-after pill does not cause an abortion. Mifepristone does and is administered in a doctor’s office because it is more dangerous to a woman. A lot of misinformation has been propagated about both pills, and I wanted to make sure that I am not a purveyor of such misinformation. However, neither pill need be on the schedule with cocaine, heroin and PCP, so my point is still valid, even with this oversight.

Thanks to my readers for pointing this out to me, I will do better next time.

Now, on to the big news of the day — whom did Eliot Spitzer have sex with?

Man, another powerful guy brought down by his libido.

I guess for him it may be more the money trail that his libido left in its wake, but his libido or something else in his id that is the culprit nonetheless.

I can’t help thinking what a sad state of affairs it is that prostitution is still dealt with as a crime in this country, rather than the health issue, like drugs, that it really seems to be. People who are prostitutes and people who go to prostitutes would be better served by shrinks than jailors.

But the whole thing is set up by an arcane notion of women and their role in society.

Spitzer will likely be charged under the Mann Act, which was passed in 1910 and forbids transporting a woman across state lines for illegal sexual activity. Illegal sexual activity was defined as prostitution or debauchery; now it’s any sexual activity which could be charged as a criminal offense.

The law was passed 10 years before ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. It may be fair to say our conception of women has changed a little bit over the past 100 years.

Well, at least for most of us, I can’t speak for everyone on that note, but I know my wife is not going to quietly toil away at my bidding. Though, there are days the Cro-Magnon man would appreciate it.

It would seem that this law pretty much defines women as having no real say in their lives, and it is up to us men to defend the honor of women regardless of our relationship with them.

I think my wife would smack me if I read the last sentence out of context in her presence.

There is also this idea that Spitzer somehow structured his money, as if laundering it. But if it weren’t for the century-old law, there would be no money-structuring issue, because he would just be doing some money management.

Oh, well, I guess another good, though somewhat sanctimonious, man has been dragged down by his libido.

I am kind of thinking that whole sexual revolution missed the legislature, because if we really looked at this from a woman’s perspective there was no crime here.

Which is different than no harm, but it’s the kind of harm that the police and courts will not fix. Only years and years of counseling and the understanding support of family can do that.

I doubt that the young women who Mr. Spitzer brought across state lines for a bit of bedroom fun will get any of these things.

She will probably just get her five minutes of infamy and retire back to pages of MySpace and a new ring of high priced prostitution.

I wish our policy makers would consider a new approach; maybe it won’t be U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas or Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D- W.V., who lead the charge, as they were born right around the time women got the right to vote.

But, hey, miracles are possible.

I bet Eliot would like one right now.

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