So there has been talk as of late (at least here in California) about legalizing and taxing marijuana as a way to help the state recover lost money and on a nation scale it is mentioned as one of the ways we could fight the drug lords that are taking over Mexico.
Anyone who knows me will not be shocked to hear that I a very pro legalization of not just pot, but all drugs. As well as prostitution and all forms of gambling. I was also a supporter of the NO ON 8 (gay marriage ban). I am a pro free speech to the point of extreme. I am pro choice and pro right to die. Do you see a trend here? To me these are all the same issues. You might ask "What the hell does gay marriage have to do with drugs, gambling, prostitution, free speech or any of that other crap?"
For me it's simple. These are all personal adult decisions. Who you marry or have sex with. What you do with or put into your body, what you do with your money, what you do when you get pregnant, when you end your life. To me these are all things that only your parents can tell you what you can and can't do with. Mom and Dad even lose that right when you become a legal adult.
Now there are hundreds of arguments for all these things. Debate on abortion is well covered so I'm gonna skip that. There are pros and cons for the legalization of drugs. From making it safer for addicts to get treatment if they don't have to fear legal prosecution to the tax benefits of a new cash crop. Most of us know the sides there. But then there are the harder ones. Like prostitution, most of the pro arguments are biased around safety for the working girls. I could go on all day but once again it all seems pointless to me because the best argument I can think of for all of them is "It's my body, my life, I'm an adult, I'm not hurting anybody else so it's none of your fucking business!"
Lots of people are pro one or two of these things. It's pretty easy to be pro choice, that's mainstream. Gay marriage is in vogue for the left crowd. Legalization of drugs is a little sticky but still not that far off the mainstream. So some of the people that are pro those things read that last sentence up there and might have given an internal "hell yeah" to it . But some of these same people manage to find some issue with the harder parts of personal freedom. In my opinion this largely due to misguided moral issues. They are alright with gay marriage or legalized drugs but when you get down to pro prostitution or right to die it starts to get sticky for some.
Let me clarify what I mean by "right to die" because I'm a bit more extreme then what you might be thinking. But it is a good start point to pointing out the double standard I am talking about. I am not just talking about pulling the plug on your dying relative or the people who are sick, dying and in pain so they choose assisted suicide. I'm talking full blow RIGHT TO DIE. If you want out, get out. It's your body your choice. To me you can't use the "my body, my choice" line for abortion and not have it apply to suicide. It's not consistent.
I mentioned free speech before because to be a true advocate of free speech is one of the hardest positions to take and stick to your guns on no matter what. It means that you have to support the rights of some pretty fucked up people to stay consistent. It means that you have to support the rights of speech for your gay activist friends the same way you support the rights of speech of people like the KKK.
It means Keith Olbermann has the same right to speak his mind as Bill O'Reilly.
It's not always easy, but to me it is vital. To have a double standard on individual rights, is in my opinion one of the worst forms of hypocrisy out there, one performed everyday by otherwise good people. Individual rights is much like free speech in that to be consistent is hard work.
Lets have some fun with this! See if your convictions hold up to conflict.
Let me ask you female pro choicers who are anti legalization of prostitution. There are a whole bunch of you, don't be shy. Can you really say "My body, my choice" and not apply the same thinking to another female who chooses to sell her body?
George Carlin had a great line about prostitution. "Selling is legal, fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal?"
I know a lot of the arguments against form around the old "prostitution is exploitation" lines. I am not going to say for a second that there are people out there right now exploiting, taking advantage of, and in extreme cases making virtual slaves of desperate and often very young women. It is very much going on and is very sad. All that being said there are hundreds of thousands of women out there who very happily choose to enter the sex industry. Those are women who's rights you are trying to infringe. Not the poor girl forced into prostitution. She is a victim of the black market and needs your help. But we will get to that.
I'm going to jump here to one of the big arguments about ending the drug war for a second. Mexico is on the edge of falling because Mexican drug lords fat on the money gained by importing drugs into our country are using that money to fund an all out attack on that government. So it has been batted around (rightfully so) that ending our prohibition on drugs would cut off the funding of these drug cartels and give the government of Mexico a fighting chance again.
To sum up, our drug laws have created a thriving black market that allows bad people to do bad things and make a shit ton of money doing it. Just like our prostitution laws have created a thriving black market that allows bad people to do bad things and make a shit ton of money doing it.
If we end our laws against prostitution, then submit it to taxation and regulation we give the power back to the girls who make the decision to enter the life. We make it safer, and we effectively put the violent and abusive slavers who call themselves pimps out of business. On top of it all we provide new and much needed tax revenue.
All of this is fine and good and very long winded. So again lets apply "It's my body, my life, I'm an adult, I'm not hurting anybody else so it's none of your fucking business!"
Why would a pro choice person ever say, in effect "Well it may be her body, but she can't make THAT choice" You are acting just like the pimps who control and abuse their girls and the pro life types trying to take away a woman's right to choose. You are being a hypocrite! Sorry, I hate to be the one to break it to you.
If a adult women wants to become a sex worker who the hell are you to tell her she can't? How does it affect YOU?
You are denying the right of a person to choose what they do with their life. Plain and simple.
You are the same as the people trying to deny gay marriage. They want to tell people that they can't marry (i.e. have an emotional and sexual life) who they want. You want to tell people that they can't have sex with who they want for their own reason. You might want to change your Prop 8 vote because you clearly don't believe that people have the right to do what they want in the bed room.
It's not easy fighting for personal freedom. It means you have to take the good with the bad. Martin Luther King with David Duke. It means you have to let go of trying to use the law to impose your morals on other people and allow them do decide for themselves what to do with the life given to them.
Evelyn Beatrice Hall said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,"
These words have meant the world to me since the first time I heard them. It is not just a clever line about free speech to me. Those are words to live and if need be die by. It is about being true to yourself and not selling out your beliefs even in the hardest and most extreme cases. It means checking yourself every now and then and making sure that you do indeed practice what you preach.
Am I over simplifying the above issues, maybe a little. But maybe these are issues that have been grossly over complicated in the first place. But if any part of "It's my body, it's my life, I'm an adult and not hurting anybody else" is used and any argument you use then you have to honestly ask yourself if you are applying it across the board. For better or for worse, the good with the bad.
An adult has the right to make their own decisions, even bad ones. If you take that away at all, even the bad ones you are opening the door to having your right to make your decisions taken away from you for your own good. That scares the shit out of me. I hope it scares you too!
Until next time...
From Parts Unknown