In theory, there’s no difference between prohibiting an Avatar to have sexual experiences with a person and paying your word processor minimum wage; Think about it as you read this post:
Today, around the time this post will be published, I’ll be attending the parliamentary subcommittee for prevention of women trafficking to discuss Zehava Galon‘s proposal to ban internet brothels. The bill itself is an amendment to the Israeli Penal Code that will state that “He who holds or administers a place, including a vehicle, a boat and an internet website, for prostitution, shall be incarcerated for five years”.
The question what is a website hasn’t popped up and didn’t come to discussion in the bill, and therefore I compiled a brief about the bill [heb], the same paper was a response to Dr. Michael Birnhack‘s brief which fears that the bill shall impose liability on hosting services, ISPs and content providers. However, the Electronic Commerce Bill, which will be discussed this Wednesday (expect news and maybe live posts in Hebrew) may immune them and make his worries redundant.
My primal fear in the brief is from banning virtual worlds in Israel just because those virtual worlds allow certain players to initiate sex for money; another problem may be that the legislator in Israel has yet to speak about Virtual Sex Services (also, also, also) which will be provided by instruments and Artificial Intelligence (which allegedly may solve the Prostitution Problem via technology). And that’s what I said before:
“A great example is the satire Ynet present about watching pornography: Pornography doesn’t really exist, but it a virtual game where the player portrays himself masturbating. He isn’t even producing sexual enjoyment from it, but “plays”, like any other game, he takes upon himself a role. There’s no difference between a game where you’re a pedophile and a game where you’re a car thief or any other hated profession.
Our lives are being virtualised every day, even today: We take upon ourselves active roles instead of being passive. We participate in games instead of passively watching TV just because we wish for interest in our lives. When we’re passive we try to select the lesser bad, to chose these with the most interesting lives to live in. We simulate sex when we wish to be with someone that we can’t afford to get, but we can’t yet live with certain imagionations, can we? (22.01.2007)”
It’s quite obvious that website which will let other watch you, or someone else, in an amateur manner won’t be considered virtual prostitution as Adi Alyah wrote, but did the legislator intend to prevent the abuse of software or prevent advertising for prositution? A wide prohibition on “Internet Whorehouses” may do great service to children who need protection from the horros on the net [in Hebrew this was actually funny, as the link is to the latest internet demonisation campaign, which is quite ignorant in anything relating to the net] and maybe it would cause those who demonise the web to stop the horror. Prohibiting advertisements of prostitution services may also stop tormenting the Israeli net, as those websites who advertise prostitutes will taken out of the web, that’s why my brief was about clause 205, and not 204, where my offer was to prohibit advertising prostitution services on the net.
Indeed, it is still legal to be a prostitute in Israel and as long as it remains legal you can’t restrict [prostitute’s] freedom of employment; however; banning advertising may be a wide restriction. However, in the same manner that lawyer are prohibited to solicit or advertise, steps have to be taken to mark the way for prostitute to advertise [on the net]. Advertisements have to be modest, coherent and reasonable in a way that manner that won’t hurt the reader’s feelings and won’t mislead any reader (in the same way as tobacco and alcohol ads are regulated). [Here’s the part where I admit to being wrong but I believe I can still make a difference]
Restrictions should be on the hours that the ads will be displayed, but by imposing punishments on those who advertise outside the regulated standards. This may promise that the ads will only be displayed to adults or by only allowing ads on “Professional Guides” (so that the police would have the power to regulate that those women are not being raped and are getting humane conditions)
Img CC-BY-SA-NC MarkHaertl
I assume that most readers won’t agree with my opinion on Prostitution: I believe that consumers should not be punished, I also believe that a woman’s right on her body incorporates her right to provide sexual services, I also believe that it’s a legitimate service. The problem isn’t the prostitutes, it’s what goes on all around.
In comes technology, and makes the impossible possible, “Prostituteless prostitution” is now just like “meatless meat” which is under development. Prostitutionless prostitution may solve all the problems in women trafficking: any person may chose within a virtual world his perfect partner and fulfill his deviation or perversion in a perfect way: Anal sex, violent sex, sex with minors, with aliens, animals and maybe even with himself (twice or several times in a gang-bang).